political campaigns

Oct 122014

In order to better get to know the candidates for San Leandro offices, I sent out a questionnaire with questions provided by San Leandro residents and relevant to San Leandro.  Allen Schoenfeld has answered all the questions.


1- Do you have a website, Facebor Smart Voter page with more information about you and your platform?

Yes, I have a smart voter page however you can email me personally at Grandpaal369@aol.com and I will be happy to answer any and all questions.

2- What is your political philosophy?

My political philosophy is I love my city and want a safe place to raise your family. I have lived in San Leandro for 45 years and know how they city functions. I would also like to save the marina with a boat harbor as well as hotels and restaurants. I would also like to fix all the pot holes in the roads around town.

3- How do you evaluate when to stick by your principles and when to compromise?

I always stick to my principles unless the other guy is bigger than me. (Just Kidding) Compromise can be accomplished by listening to the other person’s views and working things out peacefully.

4- How often have you attended City Council meetings in the last year and what, if any, issues have you spoken out about in such meetings?

Once elected, I will regularly attend City Council meetings. Until then, I use to go to City Council meetings when Faith Frazier was a Council woman and the city was open for all to speak.


5- The San Leandro City Council is no longer producing full minutes of its meetings, and instead produces an audio/video recording and a record of its votes (but not comments/discussions). Would you restore full minutes?

San Leandro should have full mintues restored of all Council meetings, either online or a hard copy should be available if anyone wanted to pick it up at City Hall.

6- Do you support a sunshine ordinance in San Leandro? Be specific as to terms.

I thought the sunshine always shined in San Leandro. Yes, we need to have a sunshine ordinance to promote transperancy in city government.

7- Do you believe the City Council should censure Vice-Mayor Benny Lee for lobbying the Oakland City Council against renewing its $1Billion garbage contract with Waste Management? San Leandro collects $500K in taxes annually from WM’s transfer station.

No, the City Council needs to remind Council members that they represent the city and the city should educate Council members how to act when they represent the city.


8- What’s your position on measure HH?

I am NOT in favor of measure HH; the sales tax increase. We pay a lot of taxes now. A 30 year addition to sales tax is ridiculous. We need to save money and find other ways to generate revenue for the city.

9- Do you support continuing or making permanent the business license fee holiday for new businesses? Why or why not?

I think every business needs to pay the business license fee and no businesses should be exempt. The company I work for has been doing business in San Leandro for over 30 years and has always paid for their business license to do business in San Leandro.

10- Do you support pension reform in San Leandro? Be specific.

Yes, we should have had city employees contribute to their own pension years ago. If we did, we would not have a huge pension deficit in San Leandro today.

11- What are your plans for increasing revenue and/or cutting costs in San Leandro? Be specific.

We need to cut the fat out of city government. We have people who make the big bucks and hardly do anything. New business can help generate income but also create overhead. We need to stop giving the city away. As an example; no business license fees for new businesses and tax breaks for big businesses. Everyone should pay their fare share.

12- San Leandro is about to lose millions of dollars in taxes and development fees, due to Waste Management losing its garbage contract with the City of Oakland. What would you have done to prevent that situation from occurring and what will you do in the future to support San Leandro businesses?

The situation with Waste Management has changed and the city of San Leandro will not lose revenue because of Oakland’s garbage pick up. Waste Management will now pick up garbage and green waste and CWS will handle recycling. Waste Management is rumored to build a multimillion dollar recycling facility in San Leandro.

13- San Leandro has invested on creating a fiber loop and is trying to market itself to high tech manufacturing. What would you do to promote these efforts?

They city has already put out an open invitation to solicit high tech businesses to move to San leandro but we need to remember more business means more traffic which means more overhead.


14- What are your thoughts on redevelopment in general? What should the City do to spruce up downtown and the South part of town?

Development of the downtown area is important. More shops and more resturants means more revenue for San Leandro. The city needs to have a plan and stick with it. Now I see a dysfunctional city with disruptions.

15- What are your plans for the development of the Marina? If they include dredging, who should pay for it? Be specific as to what you will work to see happen.

This is the concern deep in my heart. I would like to see the channel dredged so we can bring back the boats and turn San Leandro Marina back into a marina again. We need to find the funds to do this. It seems everyone has given up. Money was found in the past, why not now? The developer who the city sold out to should have included marina dredging. I am looking to get a bid from a company to get cost effective ways of dredging the marina.

16- What type of affordable housing requirements do you support for new developments?

I support low income housing for senors. Senors have worked and supported this city and now the city needs to support them. Affordable housing is dear to my heart. Everyone needs a place to live, but there are some people that don’t want to work hard to achieve this.

17- How should the City and the School District collaborate regarding any new housing developments?

The city needs to realize that with more housing you have more students. Developer should have to contribute to our school system by building or enlarging our schools. I remember when San Leandro had 3 high schools, and many elementary schools which were torn down in the name of progress. I think it’s time to rebuild them to divert overcrowded classrooms and promote the education of our future city leaders.

18- What is your specific plan for repairing streets and sidewalks in San Leandro?

The city needs to get on the ball and start fixing the pot holes. I remember when the city street crew used to do just this. What happened to them? Not having funds is not an excuse. How did we do it before? Seems like street repair has been forgotten.


19- Global warming threatens to raise sea levels. What should the City be doing to help prevent rising bay waters from damaging property?

Global warming is more of a national issue rather than a city one. We can help on the local level by reducing carbon monoxide from our city by taking public transportation, riding a bicycle or walking.

20- What’s your position on a “tree preservation ordinance”? Please be specific as to any ordinance that you would support.

People are concerned about their private property rights and consider a tree on their property their business and they should have the right to do as they please on their property. I heard the Mulford Gardens HOA wants to prohibit cutting a tree in our own backyard. I remember when my street was beautifully tree lined until the trees broke the sidewalk and clogged the sewers causing the trees to be removed. Now, to get a treet removed the city requires too much red tape.

21- Should the City offer incentives to encourage property owners to install solar systems or other alternative energy sources? Be specific.

Solar engery is the upcoming means of energy but it should be up to the individual home owners if they wish to install it. I think the city should not offer incentives because the federal government already has incentives in place.

22- What will you do to make San Leandro more friendly for pedestrians and cyclists?

San Leandro has already become pedestrian and cycle friendly. We have bike lanes, handicap ramps and crosswalks with flashing lights. I hear San Leandro is going to become even more bicycle and pedestrian friendly.


23- What’s your position on red light cameras and why?

I have always thought we need to do away with the red light cameras, especially the one on the corner of Washington and Halcyon.

24- What is your position on public/police operated public surveillance cameras?

San Leandro does not need survallance cameras. NO BIG BROTHER! We as citiznes to watch and protect each other.

25- SLPD operates several mobile and static license place readers which photograph millions of license plates and cars. Do you support an ordinance that will restrict how long these records are kept and who they are shared with? Be specific as to terms.

San Leandro does not need license plates readers. People should be able to come and go as they please. What’s next? GPS tracking devices?

26- How would you tackle the increasing militarization of the SLPD? Do you believe that the SLPD should continue to operate its SWAT team?

San Leandro police does not need an armored vehicle by NO MEANS! San Leandro police does a great job in maintaining law and order in the city. Sometimes they show too much force when it takes 4 or 5 patrol cars to write 1 speeding ticket.

27- What are your public safety priorities?

Everyone’s priority is to keep our neighborhood safe from crime and violence. We can do this by watching out for your neighbors.

28- When the City Council passed an ordinance allowing citizens to keep bees with a permit, it provided that in order to get that permit citizens had to agree to waive their 4th amendment right to warrantless searches of their properties. What’s your position on this type of requirements? What will you do specifically with the requirement in the “chicken & bee” ordinance?

No BEES! No CHICKENS! If this is something you want you should not live in the city.


29- What do you think are the City’s responsibilities vis a vis ensuring that everyone in San Leandro has access to food, housing, health care and other necessities of life? How will you meet such responsibilities?

The city has a lot of community assistant programs. Davis Street Family Resource Center, Food Banks, and Churches have been doing a great job helping the less fortunate.

30- How should the Council promote community health in San Leandro?

With the new healthcare system in effect, everyone should have healthcare. San Leandro should not be responsible to provide community healthcare.

31- Will you support an ordinance to increase the minimum wage in San Leandro? If so, to what amount.

Yes. A living wage is important. A hard days work is worth a honest days pay. More people need to be educated to get higher paying jobs.

32- Do you support reducing development fees, zoning entitlements and construction permits in order to make housing more affordable?

Yes, construction fees have continued to sky rocket. More government involvement in the permit process, building inspections, and fire inspection. Everyone wants a piece of the pie therefore developers refuse to build in our city and go to other cities with less red tape. I was amazed to find out what it cost to break ground as far as taxes and permit fees.

33- What should San Leandro do to aid its homeless population?

We need to give more assistance to non profit organizations to provide services for the homeless. However, soime homeless people dont want assistance and want to remain homeless. San Leandro needs to help those who want to be helped by finding jobs and lost cost housing.

34- Do you support an ordinance that would stabilize rents and impose just cause requirement for evictions? Be specific as to what proposals you would support/oppose.

There is no rent control in San Leandro. We have a rent review board where landlords and renters can work things out. Yes, rents are on the rise but not as bad as other near by cities. Property owners have increased expenses as well; taxes, upkeep, utlities etc… and need to pass these increases to the renters. No one is getting rich.

35- What’s your position on having medical marijuana dispensaries in San Leandro?

I am okay with the marijuana dispensaries. San Leandro has already approved them. I would like to see a close watch on it to make sure they pay their fare share.

Sep 172014

In the last week there have been two poorly-advertised and poorly-attended Mayoral and City Council candidate fora in San Leandro.  Mike Katz-Lacabe tweeted from the Mayoral fora.  He’s running for City Council himself, so he couldn’t report on that part of the fora, though he did note some of the “lightening questions” from the first forum.

Update: See also responses to the APA Caucus questionnaire below.

City Council Candidates

All San Leandro City Council candidates favored a marina with small boats – in other words, no support for paying to dredge the channel.

All San Leandro City Council candidates said that they did not support surveillance cameras throughout city. Leah Hall was late so no answer

San Leandro City Council candidate Deborah Cox said she supports marijuana dispensary but spoke against it at June 18, 2012, City Council meeting

All San Leandro City Council candidates say they support marijuana dispensary except Lee Thomas.

All San Leandro City Council candidates support ranked choice voting except Dist. 1 candidates David Anderson & Deborah Cox.

Mayoral Candidates

Dan Dillman says San Leandro’s pressing problem is perception. It’s a beautiful city.

Pauline Cutter says San Leandro’s most pressing problem is economics.

Diana Souza says San Leandro’s most pressing problem are the streets.  (The street conditions decreased every year she’s been a Councilmember).

Mayoral candidates on Marina: Cutter: exciting new development planned. Dillman: what voters want. Souza: new restaurants, hotel, conference center

San Leandro mayor candidate Souza asks for other candidates’ views on rent stabilization. Cutter: we need to consider. Dillman: what voters want.

San Leandro mayoral candidates on city staffing: Souza & Cutter: more cops. Dillman: use police from CHP, BART, Sheriff, Parks.

San Leandro mayoral candidate Diana Souza says working poor can be helped by recreational programs for youth, seniors and adults.

Breaking news: All San Leandro mayoral candidates support transparency at City Hall. Cutter & Dillman mention improving meeting minutes.

San Leandro mayoral candidates on red light cameras: Cutter and Dillman oppose. Souza supports. Thinks they save lives.

San Leandro mayor candidates on SLPD acquisition of armored personnel carrier: Dillman opposed, Cutter researching, Souza supports.

San Leandro mayor candidates on Measure HH: (sales tax increase for 30 years) Dillman opposed to length. Cutter & Souza support HH.

San Leandro Mayoral candidates on whether they support marijuana dispensary: Cutter and Dillman: yes; Souza: No.

San Leandro Mayoral candidates on whether to keep ranked choice voting: Cutter says yes, Souza says no & Dillman says “what voters want.”

San Leandro Mayoral candidates on flying the flag of other countries: Cutter says no, Souza says yes, and Dillman says: whatever voters want.

Note: During the interviews for the Democratic Party endorsement, Souza and Cutter clarified that they are in favor of surveillance cameras, just not throughout the city.

APA Caucus Questionnaires

While many organizations ask candidates to fill out questionnaires, very few actually make the answers public.  The Asian Pacific American Democratic Caucus of Alameda County is the exception.  Here are the answers from San Leandro Candidates to APA Caucus questionnaires:

San Leandro, Mayor

San Leandro, City Council

District 1

District 3

District 5

Jul 312014
Annie Campbell

Annie Campbell

Oaklanders, this one is for you!

Last night I met with Annie Campbell Washington, who is running for City Council District 4 in Oakland. I came back very impressed.

She’s smart, competent, a good listener, friendly and with a good sense of humor. She seems like a very candid and human person, someone without airs or that sense of either superiority or inferiority that can be so harmful for working as a group. She seems to me like someone who will listen to her constituents, who considers all voices legitimate and would be able to weigh different interests and still come up with a policy that makes sense for the public.

Politically, she seems your typical Oakland progressive.  Her concerns while in the council include transit oriented development, developing a better system of bike lanes, supporting small businesses and trying to bring functionality to a deeply divided council.  She is also deeply committed to education and having the City support schools and working together.  She’s currently in the School Board and has two children who go to Oakland schools.

I don’t know that she would agree with me on everything, but I think she’s someone whose thought process I would respect. Basically, she’s the sort of person whom I wish would run for Council here in San Leandro.

If you live in District 4 in Oakland, check her out

Her opponent is Jill Broadhurst.  I haven’t met with Jill yet, but she’s the Executive Director of the East Bay Rental Housing Association, an organization that works against the rights of tenants. One of their major accomplishments is stopping legislation that would have made landlords pay interest on security deposits they hold for years/decades.

Jul 162014


Democrat DonkeyAre you a Democrat? Are you running for an office in a city/region of Alameda County? If so, I’d love to meet with you.

As a member of the Alameda County Democratic Central Committee I get to vote on the Democratic party’s endorsement of any candidate for local office that seeks it. I take that responsibility extremely seriously – that’s what voters elected me to do -, and I will talk and meet with any and all candidates who want to. I will also write a guide with my recommendations.

To be clear, I’m a liberal Democrat. I’m also someone who values transparency, accountability and good government. What I look for in candidates are people who are smart, analytical, research and data-oriented, who are committed to the democratic process and who care about other human beings.

Candidates can e-mail me at margalacabe@gmail.com

Please share this offer with any candidates for local office in Alameda County that you know.

Jun 012014

PAC-mailer-2 Supporters of incumbent Congress member Mike Honda have reached a new low.  They’ve sent out a xenophobic mailer falsely accusing Indian-American candidate Ro Khanna of wanting to “outsource our jobs”.  The mailer  plays on old fears of Indians stealing American jobs and is meant to both exploit any lingering racism among white voters against Indian-Americans.

It is profoundly sad that this is being done to support Mike Honda, a man who has fought against racial discrimination his whole life. It is also sad that Honda’s campaign will not distance Mike Honda from this mailer by denouncing it . I don’t want to believe that Mike Honda knows about the mailers.

It seems to me that Honda’s staffers are much more interested in having Honda elected at any cost, than they are in preserving the dignity of a man who has been a voice for the disenfranchised for a generation.  I think Mike Honda and his legacy deserve better.