Blogging Bayport Alameda

August 11, 2014

Rainbows and ponies

Filed under: Alameda, Election — Tags: , , — Lauren Do @ 6:01 am

For a hyper political blogger, Trish Spencer’s nascent campaign for Mayor has already begun paying dividends and she hasn’t even populated her website with content yet!

First she launches out of the gate with amateur hour typically reserved for the very young and very politically naive by declaring that her main reason for running was because she was “disconcerted” by the land exchange that funneled much needed money into the school district to fix the failing pools at both high schools but also that:

Our children and families need a mayor who really supports public education.

Let me let that sink in for a bit.

Yes, Trish Spencer is running for Mayor, a role that has very little — if any — over sight over the Alameda Unified School District, the entity that oversees public education in the city of Alameda, because she wants to “support public education.”

Public Education.

Now, a rational person would say, but wait, if your goal is to support public education, wouldn’t you, oh, I don’t know, actually sit on the School Board?  A good question, but nothing shall derail the Trish Spencer Train.   As I’ve mentioned before, anyone running for a City Council seat with a public education platform is essentially running on a platform of rainbows and ponies.  No one will disagree that it’s a good thing, but it has very little to do with the actual job description.

There was a bit of drama (popcorn worthy, yes) on Trish Spencer’s Facebook page on Friday.   The CSEA Director (CSEA is the non teacher employee bargaining unit in Alameda) posted on Trish Spencer’s celebratory “I turned in my paperwork” post that:

I’m very disappointed in your decision to run for Mayor. I have called you a couple of times and you chose not to call me back, therefore I will start by putting it in your Facebook that I can not support you.

To which Trish Spencer responded back:

Hi Cindy! I’m sorry you won’t be supporting me. I got your texts discouraging me from running. Labor supported Bonta’s run for higher office while he was Councilmember; Labor does dual endorsements. I didn’t have endorsements my first election but I still supported CSEA, and I will continue to do so. I needed to hurry and get my papers filed so I could meet Elaine at SFO – she’s back from Denmark! I’ll call you later.

I just want to point out the maybe not so obvious here.   While Trish Spencer views this as a singular person not supporting her, I’m not sure if she realizes that the impact may be a lot larger than just one person given the role of the individual in the larger labor organization.   Also according to her response she still believes there is room for “dual endorsements.”   I’m not sure this is possible in a two person race.  This is all further complicated by the fact that Marie Gilmore already has AEA and by extension probably CSEA’s endorsement.   AEA has already run fundraisers for Marie Gilmore and other candidates as well.

A few posts later the CSEA Director responds back with this:

Trish, you know I encouraged you and supported you to run for School Board. You have represented us very well. I saw you on Tuesday in our house of Labor and you never mentioned that you were going to run for Mayor. As for Bonta running for a higher office, Labor encouraged him to run since it was an open seat. [emphasis added]

This post was “liked” by AEA president Audrey Hyman.  Now it could be that she was liking the first two sentences and much more shouldn’t be read into it, but that would be boring.  I placed in bold the part that was probably the most concerning to the labor groups that supported her in the past.  On the same day that she pulled the papers to run for Mayor she visited the “house of Labor” and didn’t even drop a hint that she would be running for elected office.  Seems weird, right?


  1. O.K. Lauren, I guess its just you and me that don’t think much of Trish Spencer. I can live with that. I have watched her operate at school board meetings both in person and on video. It seems her only goal is to disrupt the meeting and not let anything get done. She is a negative influence on staff and other board members.
    I’ve heard people say someone has to ask questions, well you can do that and still be sensible. Now she is going against the labor groups that backed her for the school board. Just my opinion.

    Comment by John P. — August 11, 2014 @ 4:01 pm

  2. I’ve been a harsh critic of Trish in the past but I’m voting for her for Mayor.

    Anything that gets her off the school board is a positive. She’s been a very negative & counterproductive board member but she may be a real positive on City Council. Her endless obstructing and pandering will help slow down the pace of development in the city, which is poised to take off. Those are irrevocable decisions and they are best made more carefully that they are now. Watching the “Trish Show”, on the dais will be maddening, but don’t ignore the silver lining in it. In any case, the current council is so haplessly inept she actually might be a contributor, and damn I never thought I’d type that.

    She also might *MIGHT* be a counterweight to the IAFF’s slate on council, which is badly needed. That’s hardly a given, as she changes her positions regularly, but Gilmore is never jumping off the fire truck.

    I know it’s a real stretch for anybody who’s been watching her silly BS on the School Board, but Trish for Mayor is a good thing. Hold your nose & vote.

    Comment by Trish in '14 -- A plan so crazy it just might work — August 11, 2014 @ 6:55 pm

  3. “Well-behaved women seldom make history”…Disruptive gets things done…Question Authority…why is it that the Liberals have become the sheeple?

    Comment by vigi — August 12, 2014 @ 10:11 am

  4. sorry Vigi, it has nothing to do with women, a disruptive person is a disruptive person, a negative person is a negative person. A well behaved person can disagree with others and still get things done.

    Comment by John P. — August 12, 2014 @ 12:01 pm

  5. Vigi, what, exactly, has Trish gotten done? Sow seeds of suspicion? Respond to the loudest voice in the room? Micromanage? Complain without offering solutions? Delay and obfuscate? Check, check, check, check, check.

    Comment by Oh the Irony! — August 12, 2014 @ 12:10 pm

  6. 2, Interesting thought. I don’t follow the school board very closely (and I suspect most voters, even with school age children, don’t either), so I don’t have strong opinions about what Trish has or has not done for the community while there. I think it will be very hard to beat Gilmore when most of what she’s done that people didn’t like got reversed when the public applied pressure. When you consider that the serious concerns that were raised about Lena Tam’s character and her involvement in the hated SunCal disaster did nothing to prevent her reelection, someone would have to post a picture of Gilmore clubbing a baby seal before anyone else could have a real shot at the Mayor’s seat. It’s clear from the robocalls, the only one the status quo is worried about is Frank. He’s the only one I’m absolutely endorsing. I know him personally and he has the experience and serious commitment to the overall good of the community. He seems to consider issues not based on his own political aspirations or cronyism but on what he honestly feels is best for Alameda. As a resident of the West End, he also has a front row seat and skin in the game when it comes to what happens to the former Naval Air Station property. Marie doesn’t appear to have a very strong character but she nice, inoffensive, and seems to be Teflon-coated when it comes to any past sins being attributed to her personally. I wouldn’t weep either way if she were re-elected. Oddie has the Bonta taint so no go there. Then there’s the guy with the criminal past. I’m reminded of a quote, “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” Maybe we are getting the government we deserve.

    Comment by Denise Shelton — August 13, 2014 @ 8:33 am

  7. Has Materese taken money from the public employee unions?

    Comment by Trish in '14 -- A plan so crazy it just might work — August 13, 2014 @ 8:46 am

  8. At August meeting of the City of Alameda Democratic Club, the club endorsed Jim Oddie for City Council. The club did not not endorse a second candidate as neither Frank Matarrese or Stewart Chen were to garner the required 60% vote for an endorsement. Top vote getter Solana Henneberry and Mike McMahon did not exceed the required 60% threshold and as a result there will be club endorsement in the School Board race. Finally, endorsed Measure I the AUSD school bond measure.

    Comment by Mike McMahon (@MikeMcMahonAUSD) — August 13, 2014 @ 10:19 pm

  9. Denise, I disagree with you about Marie not having a strong character. I’ve watched her lead the Planning Board during her term as President and gain the full respect of her colleagues. One can’t accomplish that without having character.

    And I’ve watched her grow and become I think one of the best Mayor’s this City has ever had. She listens, she offers solutions, she leads, and she governs. In light of what’s happening in Washington – the ability lead, to problem solve and to govern are the qualities we most want in a leader.

    Under her watch, we’re seeing the golf complex become a true destination; we’re getting more parks and trails – not less parks: the Jean Sweeney Open Space Park, the Estuary Park Athletic Field, and the Cross Alameda Trails are just a few of the parks in the pipeline during her term.

    Under her watch we’ve come out of the recession with many of our services still in tact. We’ve seen the opening of a new Target and the opening of a new Safeway on the West End is scheduled in the fall. We’ve seen improved ferry systems with more boats, and there are plans underway to improve our ferry systems even further with better access.

    We’ve seen Alameda Point conveyed to Alameda at no cost; and we’re seeing planning underway to develop Alameda Point into a huge economic tax base.

    Mayor Gilmore can point to a long list of accomplishments during her term as Mayor – something we can be proud of. I’m voting for Mayor Gilmore, because I believe she has the character and the leadership qualities we need in a Mayor.

    Comment by Karen Bey — August 17, 2014 @ 4:52 pm

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