Blogging Bayport Alameda

March 31, 2016

Open forum: local elections

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:01 am

This is not the place to talk about the national election, I promise I’ll put up a post for that tomorrow.  This one is just for local elections.

Here’s a helpful guide as to who is thinking about running locally.



  1. Here is the list I come up with from the link. Question to each: Where do you stand on yesterday’s Open forum topic: “Rent Control ballot initiative…Sort of speaks for itself, right?”

    13th District Congress (Oakland-Berkeley-Alameda-San Leandro): Sue Caro-R, former chair, Alameda County Republican Party, *Barbara Lee-D, congressmember; 9th District – State Senate (Oakland-Berkeley-Richmond-Alameda-San Leandro): Rich Kinney-R, mayor, San Pablo, Nancy Skinner-D, former assemblymember, Sandre Swanson-D, former assemblymember, Katherine Welch-D education advocate; 18th Assembly (Oakland-Alameda-San Leandro): *Rob Bonta-D, assemblymember, Roseann Slonsky-Breault-R, pres., Calif. Fed. of Republican Women; City Council (Choose 2): *Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft, councilmember, Alameda, Jeff Cambra, attorney, Stewart Chen, former councilmember, Alameda, *Tony Daysog, councilmember, Alameda, Malia Vella, labor attorney (formed cmte Feb. 16); City Auditor: *Kevin Kearney, city auditor, Alameda, Mike McMahon, former school board member, Alameda (formed cmte Feb. 1); City Treasurer: Jeff Bratzler, financial planner, *Kevin Kennedy, city treasurer, Alameda

    Comment by MP — March 31, 2016 @ 9:08 am

    • For Alameda council, I’m going with Marilyn Ashcraft, and Malia Vella. two very intelligent well spoken women. Both are very approachable and willing to listen to all sides. Just my opinion.

      Comment by John P. — March 31, 2016 @ 6:13 pm

      • Thank you Jonh P. I was hoping that some of the above candidates would chime in on where they stand on the rent control ballot initiative. My understanding is that Ashcraft and Vella stand on opposite sides (based on Ashcraft’s statements that the Council rent control ordinance struck a fair balance, and that Vella is reported to have secured or helped secure campaign funding for the ballot charter amendment). But I was asking the question because I haven’t seen any of the above come out in favor or against in public statements. Maybe it’s too risky too stake out a position this early.

        Comment by MP — March 31, 2016 @ 7:29 pm

        • Doesn’t hurt to ask though

          Comment by MP — March 31, 2016 @ 9:02 pm

  2. I got a phone call last night from somebody taking a survey. I usually don’t respond to those things, as they usually take forEVER, but I was curious in this case (and was sort of hoping it would be about the national candidates). It was actually about the race for state senate and asked me how I felt about a variety of candidates, and tested a bunch of different messages to see how effective they were. It was the usual boilerplate about Our Children, values, blah blah, except for one candidate, who was tarred as being one of the “one percent” who can’t identify with the tribulations of everyday people. It was a female candidate — unfortunately I can’t remember her name.

    Comment by trow125 — March 31, 2016 @ 9:45 am

    • Oh, it was Katherine Welsh. I found her name on the link helpfully provided above.

      Comment by trow125 — March 31, 2016 @ 9:45 am

  3. I’m looking forward to actual contests for the Treasurer and Auditor positions. Neither ever face any opposition and I like what Mike McMahon said about his candidacy earlier… (paraphrasing) “running for the position to see if it is still necessary, or should be eliminated.”

    Perhaps that $30-40k? worth of benefits the Auditor position gets can be spread around to the City Council Members who have huge workloads and actual responsibilities.

    Comment by BMac — March 31, 2016 @ 10:10 am

    • Elected Alameda city officials have the ability to receive benefits in addition to receiving meeting stipends. In the case of the current city auditor, he received over $22,000 (over $80,000 2011-2014) in benefits in 2014. If we remove the charter language (would require ballot vote by Alameda citizens) authorizing the auditor position, those monies could be redirected elsewhere (increased compensation of City Council?).

      Comment by Mike McMahon — March 31, 2016 @ 8:37 pm

      • I want to see a lawn sign that says “Hire me, so I can fire me.”

        Comment by BMac — March 31, 2016 @ 11:20 pm

        • Like he said, that would require a Charter amendment. But maybe you could print up some yard signs for this election that, consistent with the Charter, say – vote for me, the best City Auditor would be the City Auditor who audits the least

          Comment by MP — April 1, 2016 @ 7:05 am

  4. Barbara Thomas running for superior court. scary.

    Comment by notadave — March 31, 2016 @ 11:21 am

  5. Barbara Thomas could be a great V.P. pick for Mr. Trump.

    Comment by John P. — March 31, 2016 @ 6:08 pm

  6. For State Senate, replacing termed-out Loni Hancock, the most viable candidates are Loni Hancock and Sandré Swanson. Although I like some things that Swanson has done (especially sticking his neck out to oppose the awful Propositions 1A through 1F a few years ago), I am backing Nancy Skinner in this race. Her progressive values and actions show a lot of backbone and I think she’d be good representing us.

    For city council, I noticed on Lauren’s linked page that Jeff Cambra is apparently considering another run, and Stewart Chen is back for a second helping. I’ll definitely be supporting Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft again. I’ve met Malia Vella and I think she’s a strong candidate as well; it will be interesting to see how things turn out if there are really five people running for election/re-election.

    Comment by therealdanwood — March 31, 2016 @ 8:38 pm

    • I believe you mean Nancy Skinner to replace termed out Loni Hancock.

      Comment by Mike McMahon — March 31, 2016 @ 8:40 pm

      • Yikes! I guess I can’t go back and edit my note. Yes, of course that is what my brain meant to type even if my fingers disobeyed. Thanks Mike.

        Comment by therealdanwood — March 31, 2016 @ 8:54 pm

  7. Not sure why people are ga-ga for Vella. She has almost no record locally (except for being a Warriors fan and hanging out at political conventions and beyond) and is a newbie attorney. Gawd, we need another attorney on the City Council, an inexperienced one at that – not. She’s a wild card with no record. What’s to like?

    Comment by John K — April 1, 2016 @ 10:12 am

    • Mr. Sullwold, you misspelled your name when you posted.

      Comment by BMac — April 1, 2016 @ 10:56 am

      • among other things, she has served on the Historical Advisory Board for several years.

        Comment by John P. — April 1, 2016 @ 12:23 pm

    • 7 – John K., is your non-ga-ga-ness re Vella based only on inexperience, no record, etc. or also because of ARC initiative-specific issues?

      Comment by MP — April 1, 2016 @ 1:29 pm

  8. Trying again and recognizing that this may not be a yes or no answer: candidates for City Council, Auditor and Treasurer, what is your position on the ARC rent control initiative? The below suggested answers surely do not exhaust all possibilities. Feel free to supply your own.

    A = support;
    B = do not support;
    C = I have not had enough time to study the issue since the draft petition was filed with the City Clerk in February;
    D = I have not had enough time to study the issue since the final petition / charter language was approved for circulation in late March;
    E = I take no position;
    F = I have a personal opinion on the initiative, but decline to state it publicly and decline to state why I decline to state;
    G = I have a personal opinion, but decline to state publicly because the issue is wholly unrelated to the office I seek;
    H = N/A, I do not read Blogging Bayport, so this question has not come to my attention (response submitted by non-ratified proxy);
    I (a fill in the blank option) = I’ve had time to study the issue, but want more time to state my position publicly because ___________________;
    J = I decline to state or have no opinion now because I want to wait and see what happens under the Council-passed rent control Ordinance and will state my position once it forms or I am ready to make it public after enough of the wait and see period has passed.
    K = I’ll let you know after the election;
    L = I decline to state because it would not be an exercise of leadership, but rather incipient meddling with the will of the electorate, were I to state a preference
    M = Following age-old political wisdom, I just don’t get involved in local schoolhouse disputes or rent control issues.

    Comment by MP — April 1, 2016 @ 11:41 am

    • just adding a few more choices to my message in a bottle

      N = Although I am against the ARC initiative, I think it has no chance on election day and would rather not state a position that would alienate ARC supporters;

      O = Although I am in favor of the ARC initiative, I think it will win on election day without my public support, but I don’t want to alienate opponents so I decline to state

      P = My personal opinion is [choose one or fill in the blank] support/oppose/no strong feeling either way/_______________ the ARC initiative, but I made a commitment to ____________ to [choose one, or fill in blank]: support/oppose/take no position/_______________;

      Q = Whatever my opinion, it has been strongly recommended to me by __________ [or decline to state] that I remain quiet for now/as long as possible.

      Comment by MP — April 2, 2016 @ 9:55 am

  9. Just read through Daysog’s sloppy looking initiative. Ostensibly for the Mom&Pop landlords out there, but he cuts the relocation benefits from up to 4 months rent to up to 2 months rent FOR ALL UNITS. This would include places like 470 Central, Summer House, etc).

    He exempts local resident landlords from relocation payments for family move ins, if they own 6 units or less in all of CA, apparently.

    He exempts our very own Denise Shelton w/ her own Charter Amendment clause exempting people moving back into their only owned property after being away for a time.

    He says only folks with moderate income or lower qualify for relocation benefits.

    I assume Tony will be encouraging the creation of a branch of government responsible for supplying all tenants’ tax returns to their landlords so they can make informed decisions on whether to evict, raise the rent or stand pat. This branch will also be responsible for investigating how many properties an individual has an ownership interest in throughout the state, including family trusts.

    Good old small government Tony at work. What a steaming pile this initiative is.

    Comment by BMac — April 1, 2016 @ 12:03 pm

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