Diana Prola

May 062016

election2016jpgA voter contacted me asking for more information on the the different candidates running for Alameda County Central Committee.  To make it easier on voters, here is a list of the candidates, with whatever information I know about them as well as links to public information on them.  If you know of other resources, please share them.

Committee members decide on which candidates for local office will get the Democratic endorsement and they pass resolutions on issues of local, state and national interest. They are also members of the California Democratic Central Committee and vote on state-wide and national endorsements.

Names in *ALL CAPITALS are those I recommend, (i) denotes incumbency (B) denotes a Bernie Sanders supporter while (H) denotes a Hillary Clinton supporter.  They are listed in the order they appear in the ballot.  Please feel free to e-mail me if you want more information about any of the candidates.  You can read more about my recommended candidates here and see my whole Alameda County Voters Guide here.


AD 15 (Emeryville/North Oakland north to Berkeley – vote for no more than 9)

Sharon Ball (i)

Sharon Ball has been a member of the ACDCC since 2008 and is active in the Women’s Caucus.

Voter’s Edge Page

Brett Badelle (B)

Brett Badelle currently works in the government relations department at BART. He is a founding member of the Black Young Democrats of the East Bay and is an alternate on the Alameda County Central Committee. He was Jean Quan’s Senior Policy Advisor on Public Safety and was campaign manager for Tony Thurmond.  He’s a member of the Metropolitan Greater Oakland Democratic Club and the Wellstone Democratic Club.  He’s running on a slate with three others.

Slate Facebook Page


Michael Barnett is a physicist at Lawrence Berkeley Labs. He is a long time member of the ACDCC and the author of the CA Democratic platform sections on education and criminal justice. He lives in Oakland.

Mike Barnett’s Campaign Website

Voter’s Edge Page

Jamila A. English

Jamila English is Senior Policy Analyst and Community Liaison for Oakland Vice Mayor Annie Campbell Washington. She is an alternate at the ACDCC. She managed Elizabeth Echols’ campaign for Assembly.

Voter’s Edge Page

Elizabeth Echols (i)

Elizabeth Echols was appointed by Gov. Brown to  direct the California Public Utilities Commission’s Office of Ratepayer Advocates.  Previously she was appointed by President Obama to direct the Small Business Administration for the Western region and prior to that she was Policy Director at Google.   She ran unsuccessfully for State Assembly in 2014. She lives in Berkeley.

Voter’s Edge Page

News articles on Elizabeth Echols

Kathy Neal (i)

Kathy Neal is a business consultant and long term Democratic Party activist and ACDCC member.

Voter’s Edge Page

Kathy Neal’s professional biography

David Shiver

David Shiver is an urban economics/planning consultant. He is a former member of the ACDCC and the current president of the Berkeley Democratic Club.

Voter’s Edge Page

David Shiver’s professional biography.

Karen Weinstein (H)

Karen Weinstein serves on the Berkeley Commission on the Status of Women, and is an activist and a grassroots organizer long-involved in the struggle for women’s rights, labor rights, and health care.  Karen is a health educator, former member of the ACDCC and current vice-president of the Berkeley Democratic Club.  She’s a strong Hillary Clinton supporter.

Karen’s campaign page

Voter’s Edge Page

Karen Weinstein’s Biography

Bonnie Wheatley (i)

Bonnie Wheatley is a healthcare consultant. She has been a member of the ACDCC since 2008 and is the Chair of the Alameda County Commission on Status of Women.

Voter’s Edge Page


Vincent Casalaina is a cinematographer  and longtime progressive Democratic activist. He is the Vice-Chair of the Progressive Caucus of the California Democratic Party and in the leadership of Democracy for America and the Wellstone Democratic Club.  He is a Sanders supporter. He is running in a slate with 3 other Wellstone members. He lives in Berkeley.

Vincent Casalaina’s Slate Facebook Page

Voter’s Edge Page


Andy is a young Democratic activist. He is active in East Bay Young Democrats and used to work for Democracy for America.  He is a Sanders supporter.  He has served one term in the ACDCC but was involved as an alternate before that.  He lives in Oakland.

Andy Kelley for ACDCC

Andy’s Voter’s Edge Page

Floyd Huen (B)

Floyd Huen is a physician and member of Wellstone Democratic Club. He’s running in a slate with three other candidates. 

Slate Facebook Page

Voter’s Edge Page

Three Questions for Dr. Floyd Huen (2011 interview)

Kate Harrison (B)

Kate Harrison is a policy consultant and member of the Wellstone Democratic Club. She is running in a slate with three other Democratic activists. She lives in Berkeley.

Voter’s Edge Page

Slate Facebook Page

Kate Harrison Consulting (her business website)

Dianne Martinez (B)

Dianne Martinez is the current Mayor of Emeryville.  She was elected to the Emeryville City Council in 2014. She is a TV producer.

Dianne’s Voter’s Edge Page

Interview with Dianne Martinez (when she was running for council)

Beverly Greene (i)

Beverly Greene is a long-time member of the ACDCC.


Ces Rosales is a committed Democratic activist. She’s been an associate with the ACDCC for the last six years and has had a variety of roles with the party. She was student leader in the Philippines and came to the US to escape persecution by the brutal Marcos regime. She is a Hillary supporters, but I’m giving her a pass.

Ces’ Campaign Webpage

Voter’s Edge Page


Len Raphael is an accountant, community activist and treasurer for the Coalition for Police Accountability. He ran unsuccessfully for Oakland City Auditor in 2014.

Len Raphael’s campaign website

Voter’s Edge Page

AD 18 Candidates (San Leandro, Alameda and parts of Oakland – vote no more than 10)

Corina R Lopez (i)

Corina Lopez was elected to the San Leandro City Council in 2014. Previously, she served 2 years in the San Leandro School Board. She was elected to the Alameda County Democratic Central Committee in 2012. Corina grew up in Soledad as the daughter of farm workers, made her way to Princeton and now runs an IT company with her husband.

SLT articles tagged Corina Lopez

Corina’s Council website

Answers to APA Caucus Questionnaire (for Council race)

Smart Voter page for Council Race


That would be me. I’m a human rights activist, working specifically for human rights and against impunity for human rights violators in Latin America, and for the memory of victims of gross human rights violations.  I was elected to the ACDCC in 2010. I’m committed to standing up for human rights and against corruption and self-dealing in the party. I’m also  Sanders supporter.

Why I’m running for Central Committee

e-mail me with any questions.


Guillermo is a community activist, working specifically on renters’ rights.  He has very strong progressive views which almost always mirror mine and has been an ally fighting for civil rights in San Leandro.  He was an active volunteer for Obama and is now for Bernie Sanders.

Guillermo’s website.

Voter’s Edge page

SLT articles tagged Guillermo Elenes.

Howard Egerman (i)

Howard is a union activist with the American Federation of Government Employees. He has been a member of the ACDCC for many years.  He lives in the Fruitvale district of Oakland.

Voter’s Edge page

Mario Juarez (i)

Mario Juarez is a realtor and business owner in Oakland. He ran unsuccessfully for Oakland City Council in 2008 and 2012.  He has been a member of the ACDCC since 2010 and is the current Committee Vice-Chair for AD 18.  He lives in Oakland.

Smart Voter page from his 2012 ACDCC race

Mario Juarez’ Professional Biography

Mario Juarez Real Estate

Jim Oddie (i) (H)

Jim Oddie is Assemblymember Rob Bonta’s District Director.  At the ACDCC, he votes as Bonta indicates he should vote.   He was elected to the Alameda County City Council in 2014.  Since his election to City Council, Oddie has seldom attended ACDCC meetings. He will be a delegate for Hillary Clinton at the Democratic National Convention.

SLT articles tagged Jim Oddie

Jim’s Council Website

Smart Voter page for Council Race

Articles tagged Jim Oddie, Alameda Merry Go Round

Robin Torello (i) (H)

Robin is the Chair of the Alameda County Democratic Central Committee and has been so for many, many years.  She will be a delegate for Hillary Clinton at the Democratic National Convention.  She lives in San Leandro.

SLT articles tagged Robin Torello

Voter’s Edge Page

Pamela A. Drake (i) (B)

Pamela is a community organizer and blogger from Oakland. She has a long political history, is an active member of the Wellstone Democratic Club and was elected to the ACDCC in 2012. She is a Sanders supporter.

Voter’s Edge page

Drake Talk Oakland – Pam’s blog

Pam’s comments on East Bay Express articles

Malcolm Amado Uno

Uno is Political Director of the Asian Pacific Environmental Network  He was recruited to run in a slate with the incumbents in the race (save for me).

Voter’s Edge page

Malcolm Uno’s bio


Mike is a human rights activist specializing in privacy rights.  He runs the Center for Human Rights and Privacy and investigates the use of mass surveillance by law enforcement within the US.  He was in the San Leandro School Board from 2006 to 2014.  He is a Sanders supporter.

SLT articles tagged Mike Katz-Lacabe

Voter’s Edge page

News articles quoting Mike on civil liberties

Randy Reynaldo Menjivar (B)

Randy is a graduate student at the University of San Francisco.

Randy’s Voter’s Edge page

Peggy Moore (H)

Peggy was California Political Director of Obama for America from 2008 to 2012 and is currently Hillary Clinton’s California Political Director.  In the interim she managed Libby Schaaf’s successful campaign for Oakland Mayor and served as her senior special advisor.

Peggy Moore’s biography


Marlon is an elected member of the Alameda County Board of Education, now running for re-election. He was appointed as member of the Alameda County Democratic Central Committee to fill a vacancy in 2013.  He lives in West Oakland.

Voter’s Edge page

Linda Perry (i)

Linda Perry is the current treasurer of the Alameda County Democratic Central Committee, and thus an Executive Board member,  and a long-time member of the ACDCC. She is a former San Leandro School Board and City Council member.  Linda works as treasurer for political campaigns, including those of candidates seeking the Democratic endorsement.

SLT articles tagged Linda Perry

Voter’s Edge page

Diana Prola (i) (B)

Diana is a long time member of the Alameda County Democratic Central Committee.  She is a retired teacher and member of the San Leandro School Board. She supports Sanders.

SLT articles tagged Diana Prola


Pamela Price is an Oakland based civil rights attorney.  She ran unsuccessfully for Assembly in 2014.

Elect Pamela Price website

Pamela Price for ACDCC FB page

Voter’s Edge page on Pamela Price

Oakland Tribune endorsement of her Assembly run.

AD 25 Candidates (Newark & Parts of Fremont – vote for no more than 3)

Mike Bucci

Mike Bucci was elected to the Newark City Council in 2014.   He is (or was) a Project Manager for Millwrights Local 102.

City Council Facebook page.

Nancy Thomas (i)

Nancy Thomas has been an ACDCC member for a long time and she also sits in the Newark School Board.

Voter’s Edge page


Paul Sethy is an IT manager and  has been a member of the ACDCC for the last four years and is a Director of Alameda County Water District.  He lives in Fremont.

Paul Sethy’s biography


Raj is a veterinarian who lives in Fremont. He has been an alternate at the ACDCC for a number of years. He served a 2-year appointed term in the Fremont City Council.

Voter’s Edge page

Raj’s web page for his City Council race

Articles on Raj Salwan

Raj Salwan’s professional biography

Patricia “Pat” Danielson (i)

Pat Danielson is a Health Information Manager and member of the Washington Hospital Healthcare System Board. She lives in Fremont and has been a member of the ACDCC since 2008.




Oct 222014

policeschoolThe following are tweets from last night’s San Leandro School Board meeting, made by parent Mia Ousley  (@Mia4Council), who is currently running for City Council District 5. The SLPD applied for a $500K COPS grant to put four resource officers in San Leandro schools. In return, the district would have to pay $1.7 million dollars, and cut programs accordingly. In addition to the people quoted below, several other parents and several teachers/counselors/nurses also spoke out against accepting the grant. The student trustee – who does not get a vote – did so as well. Only Board members Diana Prola and Ron Carey spoke in favor (but see comment below). 

Any parent who is concerned about using education money to fund police officers and/or has an opinion on what educational programs should be cut/not restored in order to pay for them, should speak out at the Nov. 18th School Board meeting and e-mail the Board.

For more information please e-mail School Board member Mike Katz-Lacabe: mkatz@slusd.us

Tweets from the School Board meeting

Evelyn Gonzalez approves of School Resource Officers, just asks for city to foot most of the bill.

Jessica Sievert – Mom of kindergardener, our work is to help change trajectory of at-risk youth so we don’t need police in schools.
Feels district is being forced to pay, district’s hand is being twisted. Feels politically inappropriate way to allocate money.
Any funding for students should not be pulled from other education resources to fund this.

Cynthia Chandler — Letter from district said Bancroft so deficient that parents have right to transfer out of district, so why spend money on police rather than on getting resources needed in classrooms and for teachers.

Liz Torres – 3 kids in 3rd, 6th, and 12th grade. We need safety and resources in schools, not more police.
$1.69 million should go to programs that uplift and inspire our children and prevent violence, not react to it.
Policing campuses is wrong direction and is misuse of our funds. After-school programs are what we need more of, what helps kids.

[School Board Trustee] Mike Katz-Lacabe – We have 1.8 nurses for 8800 students, this will prevent us from restoring cuts made in the past.
Doesn’t want to establish a precedent for the district funding SROs, outstanding Cathy Pickard notwithstanding.
Yet to see data showing SROs increase safety. Anecdotes are not evidence.
How many of our students get arrested instead of receiving school discipline  and what is their racial make-up? We (the school board) should NOT approve this grant.

[Mia Ousley‘s]  own statement — do not accept this grant because: (1) $$ needed for counselors, after-school programs, supplies, etc. – not police
(2) Hiring police to do job of counselors is harmful to students, and expensive to district.
(3) $1.7 million over 4 years is $106,250/year/officer . . . seems we’re paying MOST of their cost, not just some.
(4) Police shouldn’t help run student groups or after school programs, as the grant requires.
(5) Adding police to schools sends message that we expect kids to get into trouble.
(6) District should instead be teaching non-violent communication, implementing restorative justice, and hiring trained counselors.
And finally (7) It’s shameful this issue didn’t come before parents BEFORE SLPD applied for grant & BEFORE City Council voted on it.

Motion tabled ’til Nov. 18 meeting. Board President [Lance James] wants to give supporters a chance for public input to counter tonight’s public speakers.
Trustee Diana Prola only one to vote NO on tabling, saying “We need to have the cojones to vote the way we think.”
My opponent for City Council [Corina Lopez] was the only Trustee not to speak on the issue at all; perhaps she didn’t want to say anything controversial?

May 102012

It’s a new day in California politics: open primaries are back.   From this election forward, you’ll get to vote for whichever candidate of whichever party you want.  Finally, are Republicans able to sabotage Democratic elections and vice versa, let the fun begin!

There are two exceptions to this, however.  You can only vote for Presidential candidates for the party you are registered under.  That means that if you really don’t like Barack Obama, you don’t get to vote for Green candidate Roseanne Barr instead (at least, not in June).  And  you don’t get to vote for County Central Committee members from other parties.  Now,  I can imagine that it could be great fun for Democrats in the Bay Area to try to take over the local Republican party, but they still can’t do that, at least without changing party registration.

All of this is to say that if you are a Democrat – but only a Democrat – and you live in San Leandro, Alameda and most of Oakland (Assembly District 18) you get to vote for me for the Alameda County Democratic Central Committee (ACDCC).  You also get to vote for nine other of the nineteen candidates in the ballot.  I am running as part of a slate (see below) and I’m asking that you vote for all the candidates on that slate.  Of course, you can pick and choose as well 🙂

The ACDCC is the body that sets policy for the Democratic party in Alameda County.  It endorses candidates and propositions, works to get them elected or passed,  issues resolutions and presses its issues on the State party.  Its members are Democratic activists, who work on a myriad of issues at the local level.  All the members are elected from the different Assembly districts that fall in Alameda county.

This year, the elections for the AD18 members (us) has become quite interesting.  Oakland Councilman and power house Ignacio De La Fuente is running a slate of close associates, purportedly to take over the ACDCC.  In response, the incumbents (including me) have put out their own slate.  Two or three candidates have been slateless.

Marga’s Slate

While the candidates on this slate are all quite progressive, they don’t all share the same political vision.  Some of these candidates, for example, admire Obama just as much as I disapprove of him.  However, in my estimation they are all people with integrity, who want what’s best for the country, the state and the party.

Margarita Lacabe.  Yours truly.   I’m a international human rights activist, dealing mostly with issues of truth, justice and memory in Latin America.  I’m also a local community activist in San Leandro and I want to help steer the Democratic Party into one that can challenge those within the party that do not have a clear commitment to human rights and civil liberties.

Robin Torello.  Robin is the current chair of the ACDCC and the ONE person that needs to be re-elected for our local party to function.    Robin has been a Democratic activist since she moved to the Bay Area ages ago.  I’ve never seen someone so committed both to the party, and to the ideals that it represents.    She doesn’t receive compensation as Chair of the local party, but she spends countless ours in administration, fundraising, volunteer support, helping candidates, etc. etc. etc.  Honestly, I don’t know anyone else even wants to try to do her job, much less would be able to do so with any competence.  If you vote for ONE person in the slate, make sure it’s Robin.

Diana Prola.  Diana is a retired teacher and principal and a current member of the San Leandro School Board.  She’s been a party activist for years, has worked in countless campaigns, and has a real concern for the community.  What I value most about her is how much of an independent thinker she is, and how she will understand the consequences of issues in ways that I haven’t seen.

Pamela Drake.  Pamela is another long-time Democratic activist.  She is new to the Committee and I’m really hoping she will be elected.  I have only met her a few times, but I’ve been reading her blog about Oakland, and I’m blown away by the combination of progressive ideals and ethical pragmatism that she displays.  I encourage you, in particular, to read her entries about the Occupy Movement.

Corina Lopez.  Corina is new to Democratic activism, but I’m pretty sure she’s here to stay.  After serving as president of her neighborhood association, she stepped up and ran for City Council here in San Leandro in 2010.  Corina is yet another instance of the “American story”.  She grew up as the child of immigrant farm workers in Soledad.  She did well – very well – and got into Princeton, later became a financial analyst and finally started her own technology business with her husband.  Her commitment, however, is to her community, and I think she has a long political career ahead of her.

Howard Egerman.  Howard has been a Democratic activist since he turned 18, he was even elected as a delegate for Robert Kennedy the day of his assassination.  He is a federal employee, and a labor activist.

Linda Perry.  Linda Perry has been a Democratic activist since High School (or at least, so I’m told).  She was in the San Leandro School Board and City Council and has been the ACDCC treasurer for years.

Mario Juarez.  Mario is another Oaklander, with a profound commitment to his community.  He’s a very successful realtor, but he’s committed to stay in the part of Fruitvale where he lives, to make it be a safe place to live for everyone.  He’s run for Oakland City Council before, and I’m sure he will again.   Our views don’t always coincide – but then again, I live in the mostly safe San Leandro – but I admire the fire in his belly and his commitment to make his part of town safe.

Helena Straughter.  I’ll come out and say it, Helena is an Obama supporter – and, as a human rights activist, I’m anything but -, but I’m also in awe about the fire in her belly and her commitment to the party.  Whenever there is a party function, whenever there is a door to be knocked on, there is Helena.  She’s been an associate member of the ACDCC for years, I hope this time she finally gets elected.

Jim Oddie.  Jim is the lone representative of the City of Alameda at the ACDCC.  He’s a Democratic activist over there, very involved in local campaigns (he’s currently helping Rob Bonta get elected to the Assembly).  He’s a lawyer, and I mostly like lawyers (at least, run of the mill, intelligent, liberal lawyers) because we speak the same language.  So yep, I want him elected 🙂

 The Slate-less

Three people are running for election without the “benefit” of a slate.  They are:

Bernard Ashcraft.  Bernard is a very well respected leader in the African American community.  We tapped him for running for Surlene Grant’s seat back in 2008, but he had too many other commitments at the time.  He hasn’t been active in Democratic politics in a while, but I am sure he will bring an experienced perspective to the committee.

Michael Katz. Yep, it’s my Mike Katz.  For the un-initiated he is my husband.  He’s been a member of the San Leandro School Board for six years, we pretty much share the same political ideology but he’s much nicer, more respectful, non-judgmental, non-confrontantional and likable.  This is why I married him, rather than myself 🙂

Joe Macaluso.  He’s a newly appointed associate member, I believe.  I know he works as city auditor or something of the sort for the City of Oakland, but I know nothing else about him.  I met him once, he seemed nice.

The Ignacio de la Fuente Slate

Ignacio De La Fuente.  The man himself.  He is a powerful Oakland city council member with Mayoral ambitions.  I haven’t met him but I’ve heard that he started as a community activist wanting to improve life for his constituents, and slowly he was swallowed by the dark side.  Leaving Star Wars aside, in addition to my practical fears that he’ll actually take over the local Democratic Party and destroy it, I’m bothered by the many corruption allegations that plague him

Claudia Burgos.  She is a staff member for De La Fuente.

Winnie Anderson.  Winnie is Abel Guillen’s campaign manager.  She was recruited to run for the ACDCC by De La Fuente, who is also a supporter of Abel’s.  I like Winnie, but, as I’ve written before, I find this move politically troublesome.

Monique Rivera is a business manager who first ran for BART board in 2010 with the support of De La Fuente.

Mónica Tell is a former staffer of Don Perata, a close ally of De La Fuente.

Sandra Johnson.  I don’t really know anything about Sandra Johnson, I don’t believe I’ve ever come across her at any Democratic functions, but I believe she was recruited by De La Fuente to run on his slate.

De La Fuente is also running a couple of other candidates in a different district – he wasn’t careful enough to notice where the lines were drawn after redistricting took place in 2011.

Remember, you get to vote for 10 of the 19 candidates, so make your vote count!