Blogging Bayport Alameda

October 9, 2014

City Council candidates side by side

Filed under: Alameda, Election — Tags: — Lauren Do @ 6:09 am

Just a quick side by side comparison of the three Alamedans vying to be your next City Councilmember:

Stewart Chen Frank Matarrese Jim Oddie
Current office held City Council None None
Education (Undergraduate) Northwest Missouri State University, University of California, Berkeley Indiana University
Education (Graduate) Palmer College of Chiropractic n/a Loyola University in Chicago (MBA)
University of San Francisco (JD)
Relevant City
volunteer experience
Current City Council Member
Former Hospital Board member
Former Social Services and Human Relations Board member
Former City Council member
Former Economic Development Commission member
Steering Committee for Main Library Bond
Former Chair of Open Government Commission
Former head of Alameda City Democratic Club
Correctly identified top 3
Asian ethnic groups in Alameda?
The answer is Chinese (14.3%),
Filipino (7.2%) and Vietnamese (3.5%)
Yes No Yes


  1. Just in case anyone is wondering, this is the response Frank gave that Lauren seems to think is so damning, she’s keeps bringing it up:

    “Available sources identify those of Filipino and Chinese heritage as the two largest API ethnicities in the
    City of Alameda.”

    As you can see, his answer was not inaccurate. Did it ever occur to anyone that the percentages of the third and fourth groups were so small, that the numbers could have shifted since the data was collected and he did not want to answer incorrectly?

    FYI for new readers of this blog: Lauren does a great job of mining boring stuff you probably don’t want to read for salient points for us to discuss. Keep in mind, though, she is not a journalist (nor does she pretend to be), and is under no obligation to be either accurate or fair in her presentation of information. For that you should look at sources like that do have an obligation to avoid spin.

    Comment by Denise Shelton — October 9, 2014 @ 8:12 am

  2. Hilarious and sad !
    Thank you for the chart it further establish what kind of con artist Chen is , graduted from university , graduated from Chiropractic school . former board menber for Hospital , social services , human relation board …most likely more out there…..
    WITH all that Eduction and Qualification , He did not know when entering a guilty plea deal with the prosecution for fraud against all Citizen of California had only one ,meaning GUILTY , as such he is a felon unfit for public services.
    Every punk out ther know that entering a plea deal equal little or no jail time , Yet He is blaming His now deceased Attorney , How convenient , how low can one get ?

    Comment by joel rambaud — October 9, 2014 @ 8:20 am

  3. Seems that Frank Matarrese looks at people as people, not just as a member of an ethnic group.
    From what Trish Spencer (mayoral candidate) has said, she does also.

    This is a hugely major favorable quality in an elected official.

    In cities and countries across the globe, it’s ethnic identities that sometimes have caused–and are today still causing major battles and strife.

    Why would anyone even pose a question like that to candidates?

    Comment by A Neighbor — October 9, 2014 @ 8:35 am

  4. Denise, the editors at the Sun aren’t journalists but that doesn’t stop them from trying to pretend, just like they like to pretend they are unbiased news source. Meanwhile, I think Lauren at least has education background, a actual degree? 3.Howdy neighbor, Frank may be a big hearted guy and all but he sees us as votes like every other candidate, which why I used the term “panderer”. Who knows what Trish thinks and why would we care? Are you attempting to imply we live in post racial society? BTW- I am leaving it to you and other voters this year and not casting a vote for council. If Frank gets in then good for people who claim we need balance, but I’m not voting for one person simply to keep somebody else from being elected. When Al De Witt died I didn’t know Marie Glimore but I called her and asked her to throw her hat in the ring and she said she had just done so. I didn’t do it because she was black, though that was good for “balance”. She was brightest among plausible candidates and asked good questions on PB, more than twice a day like broken clock. Over the years some of the blush has been lost but I’m relieved that I can vote for Marie in good conscience because Trish for mayor would be a disaster and I’m happy my vote works against her. I’m beginning to think there is up side to Frank being elected and that would be to make his constituents feel they have some representation. Interesting to see if Chen’s legal history will haunt him. There is at least one street on the east end where I did some work which has about ten Chen signs in one short block.

    Comment by MI — October 9, 2014 @ 9:17 am

  5. Wow, Denise. That’s harsh from a grumpy amateur writer of not very good restaurant reviews, who won’t review non-Caucasian food. And as a former resident, are you even entitled to vote here?

    Comment by BC — October 9, 2014 @ 9:22 am

  6. BTW, Frank also served on the planning board.

    Comment by John P. — October 9, 2014 @ 9:29 am

  7. Info you left out about Matarrese; Former Planning Board member. Co-chaired Library 2000 committee: to build the new modern library we have today, without bulldozing the Carnegie or grotesquely expanding it, as many wanted to do at the time. The library was a huge deal & debate, much bigger than restoration of the privately owned Alameda Theater.
    Matarrese and Ashcraft can point to the library as a real accomplishment, and they should work well together if they serve on the same Council.

    Comment by vigi — October 9, 2014 @ 9:33 am

  8. 3. I know, when whites band together as “disenfranchised” majority it’s usually a group like the KKK. But I think it is understandable that immigrant minorities seek power in numbers by banding together, particularly in light of discrimination. I once heard that Asian parents on Bay Farm had formed their own PTA, but I hope that is simply a rumor hatched by people who fear the strength of Asians as a block. But it is a fact of the society that things are so skewed that groups Jewish Defense League are formed to keep things “balanced”. Denise, you are right, Vietnamese and Korean populations are too small to be significant. Why pander to them?

    Comment by MI — October 9, 2014 @ 9:37 am

  9. leaving out Frank’s service on PB is serious omission, but maybe he is nostalgic for EDC because he spent so many years languishing there waiting for his turn to be promoted to PB. I am just having a memory of having dropped in on Saturday EDC round table ( 1995?). There were no members of public at large, just the usual suspects who served on boards. It was in an era where there was a lot less civic involvement outside groups like Camber or LWV, so it was weird being there, though I was literally given a seat at the table. It may have preceded Irene Dieter, Steve Gerstle and I being linked through County Green Party entity for the purpose of forming local chapter. Anyhow, I asked folks to consider environmental sustainability when discussing local economics. People looked at me like I was from Mars. After the meeting Frank asked me just what “sustainability” really referred to? I think I said, just like all other words it means what the dictionary says it means.

    Comment by MI — October 9, 2014 @ 9:55 am

  10. Pandering. verb. The act of politicians you dislike engaging the public for votes.

    Engaging the public. verb. The act of politicians you do like pandering for votes.

    Comment by Ambrose Bierce — October 9, 2014 @ 10:15 am

  11. 5.

    Harsh? Which part was harsh? The part where I complement the great job she does (no irony was intended as I’m sure she herself knows), or the part where I restate a fact that Lauren has brought up numerous times herself in this very forum when others have accused her of being biased and/or unfair. I was simply informing people new to the blog who might not be aware of her policy.

    And yes, I am still a legal resident of California. We own a home in Alameda that we have no plans to sell. We’re up to date on our property taxes and pay California state income taxes, of which we will not be relieved unless we are out of the state for over 546 consecutive days (we expect to be back long before that, this is strictly a contract assignment for my husband). We have no legal address in New York (we’re at a bed and breakfast) so I can’t even get a library card or a driver’s license here, let alone vote. I’ll be submitting an absentee ballot.

    I never said I would not review non-Caucasian food and I did review Asian restaurants. I said I felt less qualified than others to assess the quality of the finer points because I was exposed to it fairly late in life and therefore did not have as broad a basis for comparison. As to the quality of the reviews, that’s a matter of opinion, but you can’t say they didn’t attract attention. The last one got over 3,500 hits, something of record in our little burg.

    Let’s also be clear about another thing, I’m a professional writer and have been for print, television, online news, corporate media, and the gaming industry over 30 years. I also got paid to write the reviews I did for The Alamedan and I pay taxes on that income, too. You may not admire my writing, and you are entitled to your opinion, but I’m certainly not an amateur writer by any means.

    Since, like so many who participate in this kind of forum, you don’t appear to have enough courage to post using your full name, I can only guess why you bear so much ill will towards me, that you felt compelled to launch such a personal attack. I haven’t kicked anyone’s dog or insulted anyone’s mother that I’m aware of, and although I may sometimes express opinions that are unpopular with some people, not always in the most considerate way, I think your comment was uncalled for. Why John Knox White himself, who I’ve been especially unkind to online in the past (I’ve mellowed in the past few years), recently emailed me an article citing scientific evidence supporting my contention that the water in NYC makes better bagels and pizza dough. If he can take it in stride, maybe there’s hope for you.

    Comment by Denise Shelton — October 9, 2014 @ 11:07 am

  12. Frank, wrong again!

    Comment by Real Homeowners of the the Gold Coast — October 9, 2014 @ 11:23 am

  13. 8. Mark, that is not what I meant at ALL. I meant if you have a group that’s within one or two percentage points of another group, and you are citing statistics based on data that was collected a year or more ago, it is all too likely that one group might surpass the other in size in the intervening time, rendering your identification today of one of them as the larger of the two technically incorrect. This could offend people whose group occupies the number 3 spot if they are aware of it or if new figures are released. As has become all too clear, nothing a politician says is ever forgiven or forgotten. The very fact that the question was asked implies that getting those numbers right matters very much indeed to some members of the Asian community.

    My suggestion–I can’t speak for what was in Frank’s mind at the time, obviously– is that he didn’t want to offend anyone so he may have elected to just name the largest two groups because he was fairly sure they were still the two largest and would continue to be for a while. I in no way suggested that any group is more significant than another. I’m kind of surprised at this coming from you as you are usually very thoughtful and don’t appear to ascribe the worst motives to those with whom you often disagree.

    Comment by Denise Shelton — October 9, 2014 @ 11:33 am

  14. And while we’re splitting hairs, let’s look at the other candidates answers to question 4:

    “The three largest API ethnicities in the City of Alameda are: Chinese Americans, Filipino Americans,
    and Vietnamese Americans.”

    “Chinese, Filipino, and Vietnamese”

    Is Chen’s addition of “Americans” to each of the groups in his answer the more politically savvy response?

    Comment by Denise Shelton — October 9, 2014 @ 11:52 am

  15. Denise, I thought your comments were a little harsh myself – and a little bit on the condescending side. This is Lauren’s blog and she/it’s been around a long time. It’s quite interesting to go back and read some of the past posts on her blog – we’re fortunate to have that as a resource. It’s always been clear to most of us that Lauren is an advocate for the Asian community, and it’s nice to get her perspective. I respect her right to run her blog as she wants to. She’s earned that right, and I guess if you don’t like it you can start your own blog.

    Comment by Karen Bey — October 9, 2014 @ 12:11 pm

  16. Denise, even though you are far far away, isn’t it nice to be able to have these warm conversations with your old neighbors.

    Comment by John P. — October 9, 2014 @ 1:04 pm

  17. To Karen’s point, I look at Chen’s responses as coming from someone within the API community, where ethnicity is a part of their Americanness, I don’t think it’s “politically saavy” I think it’s likely an important nuance that he brings to the discussion. Similarly, I think that Lauren, as Karen points out, brings a personal perspective that assumes that if you are going for the endorsement of the API Democratic Caucus and they ask you to name the top three API ethnicities in Alameda, perhaps naming two gives the perception that it’s not worth your while to consider that each of the enthnicities is unique and worth being aware of. Perhaps as a person of Vietnamese heritage, Lauren’s perspective on the matter is that highlighting just two without finding out that Vietnamese Americans are the third largest API group in Alameda (in response to a direct question that asked for the top three) appears dismissive. That if you’re not one of the top two, you’re just another Asian of some kind cause there aren’t enough of you to bother. (I am not suggesting that this was the intentional message of Frank’s response, don’t jump me on that).

    I don’t think your comment in number one was fair or correct. I liked the Ambrose Bierce definition on the other Frank comment stream. Would seem that “spin” could be defined similarly.

    Comment by jkw — October 9, 2014 @ 1:26 pm

  18. To all of you who want to call Frank a “panderer”, especially #4 who first used the word a day or two ago, I suggest you look the word up in the dictionary because you are not using it correctly. I suspect you mean he changes his tune so he can get votes. At one time, I would have agreed with you until I saw his sincere interest to learn more about the deterioration of the buildings at Alameda Point and their importance as part of a national historic district. As he says in his own words as he is campaigning, he promises to listen. learn and lead. I have respect for leaders who listen, learn and change their stance because they have seen things in a new light. Without huge public effort to sway our current city council members, we recently would have lost the Mif golf course and Crab Cove. The public should not have to work so hard to be heard.

    Comment by Nancy Hird — October 9, 2014 @ 1:47 pm

  19. You say you “have respect for leaders who listen, learn and change their stance because they have seen things in a new light.” This is exactly what the present council has done. I think the public should have to work hard and be educated about the issues, just as they have recently done. It is our job to make sure our elected leaders know what we are thinking, its the democratic process.

    Comment by John P. — October 9, 2014 @ 2:40 pm

  20. My apologies, Denise. My reply was not fair. I should’ve stopped after the first sentence.

    I reread your comment and still don’t see a compliment in there. But that doesn’t warrant what I wrote.

    David Howard’s antics a few years ago towards people who had the audacity to disagree with him convinced me not to use my name. As long as his toxic presence remains local, I’ll remain, sincerely, BC.

    Comment by BC — October 9, 2014 @ 2:41 pm

  21. Lauren’s stuff is the most factual info around. She may choose to only cover things that she has an opinion on but that is what makes it a blog. “balances” stories to the point that important things are missed to make each side look like they have a point when that isn’t always the case. It is the CNN of Alameda. I am not writing that to be mean, I am writing it because it true. Michele has the best intentions but when I read stories she writes about stuff I am very familiar with I see how she balances a story. I think her credibility with me also went into the toilet when she decided to partner with the Sun. They are the Star magazine of the island.

    Comment by not a hater, I swear — October 9, 2014 @ 4:33 pm

  22. And this Blog is the left’s version of Fox News.

    Comment by Pygmalion — October 9, 2014 @ 5:42 pm

  23. 21. My son asked me today “Can we cancel our subscription to the Sun” as we were both angry about some of the articles. I could only say “I wish we could!”

    Comment by Kevis Brownson — October 9, 2014 @ 7:57 pm

  24. 13. I’m just catching up on the posting today. Sorry you took my flippant remark so personally. All I really meant was to point out how your comment may come across. If you didn’t mean that, I’m good with that. I do think you are doing a bit of an contortionist act trying to massage Frank’s intent to sound benign. Who knows. I only see things through lens of white privilege, no real idea about being a racial minority. I’m surprised you are surprised to hear it come from me, but for me that may a be a bit of a good thing. I do try to put thought in to comments but I’m also more than willing to let it rip, so I sort of flattered to hear you describe me as thoughtful. I’m always ready for more dismissive characterizations. I kind of think of us as parallel in the constellation of chronic commenters here at Lauren Do.

    10. on the one that is great, right on! On the other, I’m not that thrilled when people I like start pandering and I’m quick to exit the room. It’s been happening lately. With folks who I’m less inclined to find sympathetic, it’s definitely irritating. Maybe because I have slowly distanced myself from the center of Alameda politics since the late nineties I am out of touch with a lot of the players and I’m going on old tapes in my head, but my sense is that people’s true nature rarely changes a lot even if they do become a bit wiser. I was clearer on what Frank stood for back during library campaign and less so as time has progressed. I appreciated that he held his coffee house meetings but having been to am couple I just felt it was an attempt to act accessible as much as a desire to be accessible. I’ll try to be more open minded about other people’s motives.

    Comment by MI — October 9, 2014 @ 8:42 pm

  25. I can’t believe I did not open my computer or look on my phone yesterday ,

    To MI , making the connection between the KKK and the caucasian population, a rather insulting one may I had , This is how I got out of a very fat speeding ticket from the CHP flying by the oakland jail on the freeway as a criser was getting on ….I pulled over under the next over pass with plenty of space for both of us . He pulled behind asked me why I pulled over ?
    Not togive you the satisfaction of a pursuite Sir !
    You know how fast you were going around 55 Sir but faster than you who were getting on the Freeway {the reality was around 70 He could not prove anything}
    Driver’s licence ,
    where are you from
    Alameda Sir !
    Before that ?
    San Francisco Sir !
    Before That ?
    Los Angeles Sir ?
    No I mean before that ?
    Los Angeles , Las Vegas , Houston and New york Sir !
    No I mean you have an accent where is it from ?
    Sir unlike You which was Born American , I choose to be an American and as such had to prove I had a clean criminal record , a clean DMV record a clean lifestyle , I am an American leaving in Alameda !
    Sir I apologize I just wanted to know which country you came came from , he said
    My reply was direct , I am an American just like the peoples who live on my left which you refer as N the peoples on my right you call C or the one on the hills you call yup , I am am american with a louzy Foreign accent my accent my color or lack of has no saying in a traffic violation
    I apologize Sir I did not mean to , You did Sir , No I did not men to come across as racist , Sir I am an old timer just give me the trffic Ctation , I go to one of these trffic school which have pizza party , music lesson and one even advertized dancing will get it out of my record anyway .
    Sir I sincerely apologize I did not mean to ! Sir you did let’s give me that ticket I am now getting late , ran my license came back very apologetic Sir you are free to go , please drive safely , I will Sir No arm done !
    can You back up your cruiser I am late and this will be far more expensive than lousy speeding ticket , don’t worry one again I apologize go ahead , I did and laid rubber on the next 25 feet smoking the tires ,
    Was going for an emergency MRI , they found something which ld the Doctor to tell me You have 12 to 16 month to leave …..another story which took 9 1/2 hour of the most precise surgery .

    Racism is something one has within themselves , usually the peoples pointing out or calling other such are the very one , took me almost 30 years to notice that Black and Chinese or any other in my crew were different , we all sweated the same way . It took a politician to point out the difference .

    Comment by joel rambaud — October 10, 2014 @ 8:28 am

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