Blogging Bayport Alameda

September 19, 2006

City Council Candidate Profile, part 5 of 6, Lena Tam

Filed under: Alameda, Election — Lauren Do @ 6:34 am

Lena Tam is running for City Council, there are only two seats for six candidates.

Her website is:, and she was one of the first city council candidates to push her campaign site live early.

Thanks to John W for this link to the Green Party’s questionnaire, with answers from the candidates. 

A recent article in the Journal regarding a candidate forum at the Elks Clubs had this to say in reference to Lena Tam:

Three of the six candidates for Alameda City Council would be willing to back changes to Measure A, a controversial 1973 citizens initiative that places curbs on city density.

Those candidates — Lena Tam, Mike Rich and current City Councilmember Frank Matarrese — made their views known during a candidates forum held at the Alameda Elks Club on Thursday.

Matarrese and Tam, a planning manager for the East Bay Municipal Utility District, agreed that all options related to Measure A should be open with regard to that development.

In 2005, Lena Tam was honored by State Assemblywoman Wilma Chan as “Woman of the Year” for our district:

“Lena Tam represents a new generation of leadership. She brings important skills to the table and serves as a role model for young women,” Chan said in a prepared statement.”

Lena Tam is a member of the League of Women Voters in Alameda and is part of the Administrative Committee. Here is a highlight from the biography she submitted the for the 2004 Hospital Board race:

Lena’s achievements have been widely recognized in the community. The Isle City Business & Professional Women’s Association honored her with the 2000 Women of the Year award. Recently, Girls’ Inc. honored Lena with the 2004 Citizen Advocacy Award.

She is also a member of the Alameda Hospital Board.

Lena Tam also serves on the National Women’s Political Caucus overseeing Boards & Commission Appointments.

There are some entries on the Alameda Magazine Blog from and about Lena Tam.

From Daren:

Lena helped put the hospital in sound financial order, let’s give her a chance on Council.

From Jon S.:

Beverly Johnson, Frank Matarrese, and Lena Tam have amply and recently demonstrated these skills and capabilities. While I do not always agree with them, they have proven competence as public officials and voters have ample opportunity to evaluate their “job skills.” Some candidates have not served as public officials, despite their experience or skills in other areas, and we cannot evaluate their public sector ”job skills.”

Lena Tam sits on the board of directors for the Chinese American Political Association.

She is also a member of the President’s Circle for Girls, Inc of the Island City.

Her candidate statement:

My family and I have lived in Alameda for over 35 years, and I am committed to preserving Alameda’s unique small town community spirit. I am the current President and founding member of the Alameda Hospital Board of Directors. Under my leadership, our 112-Year old Hospital has become sustainable, financially sound and successful. I was a County Planning Commissioner from 2000-2005 and helped resolve concerns over traffic, noise, neighborhood preservation and economic development. While I was chair, Alameda County certified its Housing element, balancing the interests of workforce housing, preservation of open space and historic landmarks. I was President of the Alameda League of Women Voters and support open access to government. I will ensure your voice is heard. I believe we must support city services, such as police and fire, to preserve our quality of life in Alameda. I support out local businesses and believe fiscal accountability is needed on redevelopment projects. For my community work, I received awards from Assemblymember Wilma Chan, Alameda Business and Professional Women and Girls’ Inc. My twenty years of community and management experience have prepared me to serve on the City Council. Elect Lena Tam to help you shape Alameda’s future! Visit

If anyone has more information about Lena Tam, please feel free to add it to the comments section.  BUT…if you do post something, please make sure to cite your reference and add a link so that others can reference it. 


  1. The Greens are just finalizing their endorsements and recommendations for this race. The City of Alameda Greens decided to endorse both de Haan and Tam if you can believe that. Because they (formerly we) aren’t an offically registered chapter, according to County Green bylaws, the County Council gets to vet the endorsements. Usually it is a rubber stamp. This year, the Lipow’s, who did not participate in the process before it went to the County, came screaming at the last minute in protest and insisted on plugging “The Slate”. The long and short of it is that they succeeded in taking down the Tam endorsement. A majority voted to uphold the City Greens but two close friends of the Lipow’s on the County Council were able to kill that because the Greens use consensus. The fact that Lena got an endorsement from Perata for her hospital board seat tainted her in the eyeys of the Greens, yet some of them seemed to think the slate’s Six Point Platform was nifty, even after reading John’s critique.

    The process was sick. I’ve FINALLY left the Green Party over this one.

    Comment by Mark — September 19, 2006 @ 9:00 am

  2. As far as I’m concerned, Tam has my vote. However, I am afraid that Pat Bail may suceed in buying the race this time. Having a politician who is strictly against changing anything in terms of postive growth in city council will not be a good thing for the city. But I’d be willing to bet that people will vote for her anyway simply because every other lawn in town now has a ” Pat Bail” sign out front.

    Comment by Willy — September 19, 2006 @ 9:19 am

  3. Well, if Tony Daysog gets his picks, it’ll be Tam and Bail.

    Now that’s an ODD combination, to be sure. Not sure how much would get DONE under such a council makeup, but it would certainly make for great political theater.

    Comment by Dave S. — September 19, 2006 @ 9:31 am

  4. Dave,
    You’re right about that one. Reading both Bail and Tam’s sites makes one see that they have heavily opposing views on Alameda’s poltical number one issue- measure A. Watching the Alameda public TV channel would be highly entertaining.

    Comment by Willy — September 19, 2006 @ 9:39 am

  5. Councilmember Daysog’s endorsements are entirely consistent with his behavior on the council: rather than take a stand on something controversial, he tries to have it both ways. This probably seems like shrewd political maneuvering to him, but in reality it says nothing and satisfies no-one.

    Comment by Michael Krueger — September 19, 2006 @ 2:01 pm

  6. When Tony dropped out of the Mayor’s Race, he posted that voters face 2 fundamental questions “do voters want to preserve our unique heritage and small town quality, and which among the candidates displays the fortitude and courage to fight for this heritage” Tony obviously answered these complex questions in his endorsements with a resounding YES! NO! MAYBE!

    Comment by Jason — September 19, 2006 @ 2:52 pm

  7. You guys are right on. I’m sick of Daysog and DeHaan taking the middle ground on everything. I’m sick of the “Yes son, I will get you a Porsche for your birthday, but only if you can find a new one for $20k” compromises they seem to come up with on every challenging issue. I’m glad that Mayor Johnson, Councilman Materesse are willing to make difficult decisions for the city.

    Comment by Chad — October 3, 2006 @ 2:46 pm

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