September 17, 2012

Democrats Endorse Reed, But No Endorsement in District 4

According to a press release issued today, San Leandro District 2 Councilmember Ursula Reed was endorsed by the Alameda County Democrats at its meeting on September 15, 2012. Reed had been on the consent calendar with District 6 Councilmember Jim Prola and District 4 candidate Benny Lee, but she and Lee were pulled from the consent calendar. District 2 candidate Morgan Mack-Rose and District 4 candidate Chris Crow were nominated, which meant that they were interviewed on Saturday as well.

District 2

San Leandro District 2 City Council candidates Morgan Mack-Rose and Ursula Reed
San Leandro District 2 City Council candidates Morgan Mack-Rose and Ursula Reed

At the Saturday meeting, Reed and Mack-Rose, who is currently San Leandro School Board president, were interviewed in front of members of the Alameda County Democratic Central Committee. Each candidate gave an opening statement, closing statement, and answered two questions.

When asked what their top two priorities were if they were elected, Reed said “public safety and creating a better quality life in San Leandro,” noting that seven officers were currently out on workers' compensation. Mack-Rose stated that “my number one priority is our economic development,” noting that it is tied to the ability to restore police, services for senior citizens, and restore library services.

Asked about two issues that the candidates have initiated or advocated in your respective position, Mack-Rose mentioned her work on the Measure B and Measure M school bonds and her advocacy for instructional coaches in classrooms. Reed noted her work for Measure Z, the quarter-cent sales tax and getting the public-private partnership with OSIsoft.

Reed received 21 votes, three more than the 18 needed to reach the 60% threshold for the Democratic endorsement.

District 4

San Leandro District 2 City Council candidates Benny Lee and Chris Crow
San Leandro District 4 City Council candidates Benny Lee and Chris Crow

Lee came to the meeting with a handout stating that he supported medical marijuana. During the summer, Lee spoke at two meetings in which the City Council was considering a ban on medical marijuana dispensaries. At the June 18, 2012, meeting, Lee stated, “We're here to protect our children. Alvin was a child. He was exposed to things like these [medical marijuana]. And we should not allow that to happen.” Less than a month later, Lee concluded his comments on the possibility of medical marijuana dispensaries with the question: “Are we ready to face rising teenage usage, unsavory characters occupying our public places, and a significantly diminished quality of life.?”

Both candidates were asked about the two initiatives that they would like to accomplish if elected. Lee replied public safety and community re-investment. Crow responded that he would work to save San Leandro Hospital and enhance the broadband incentive program to connect businesses to the fiber loop.

Crow was asked about his Facebook comment responding to the China People's Daily report that Chinese Olympic athletes shouldn't have competed with the U.S. because Americans have bigger heads and chests. Crow expressed surprise at being accused of racism since he “grew up in an adopted Asian household (his grandmother is Korean)” and apologized if he offended anyone.

Lee was asked about his opposition to marijuana dispensaries. Lee stated, “I support medical marijuana” and said that he expressed his concerns about non-medical use of marijuana and that medical marijuana “is just like alcohol or tobacco.”

When the votes were counted, Crow received one more vote than Lee, but he was still short of the 60% threshold needed. A later review of the ballots showed Crow receiving two more votes than Lee, but the end result was the same: the Democratic Party has no endorsed candidate in the San Leandro District 2 City Council race.

Other Races

In other races relevant to San Leandro, the Democrats endorsed Rebecca Saltzman for BART, Penny Peck and Syed "Tony" Shaw for the San Lorenzo School Board, all San Leandro School Board candidates (all were unopposed), Doug Siden for East Bay Regional Park District Director and Shelia Young for Oro Loma Sanitary District Director.

The election will be held on November 6, 2012, and the last day to register is October 22, 2012.

Posted by Mike Katz-Lacabe at September 17, 2012 6:27 PM | TrackBack
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