September 29, 2010

Second Candidate Forum Thursday, September 30

A second candidate forum that includes candidates for San Leandro Mayor, San Leandro City Council and San Leandro School Board will be held on Thursday, September 30, 2010. The forum will be held at the Marina Community Center and is being hosted by the Eden Area League of Women Voters and the San Leandro Chamber of Commerce.

The schedule for candidates is:

6:00 PMSchool Board Candidates
7:00 PMMayoral Candidates
8:00 PMCity Council Candidates

Pauline Cutter and Corina Lopez are the candidates for the District 5 City Council seat, David Anderson and Michael Gregory for the District 1 City Council seat and Stephen Cassidy, Sara Mestas, John Palau, Tony Santos, and Joyce Starosciak are the candidates for Mayor. District 3 City Councilmember Diana Souza has no opponent and will serve a second term.

The San Leandro School Board candidates are Lance James and Victoria Wang for the Area 2 seat held by Pauline Cutter and Latrina Dumas and Mike Katz for the Area 4 seat held by Katz. No candidate filed for the Area 6 seat held by Lisa Hague.

The forum will be held from 6 to 9pm on Thursday, September 30, 2010, at the Marina Community Center, located at 15301 Wicks Boulevard in San Leandro.

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Learn About Ranked Choice Voting Tonight

For the first time in San Leandro, ranked choice (instant runoff) voting will be used to decide which of five candidates becomes the next Mayor in the November 2010 election. If you have questions about ranked choice voting (RCV), there will be a meeting tonight at All Saints Church where you can learn about RCV and have your questions answered.

The meeting starts at 7pm on Wednesday September 29 (tonight). All Saints Church is located at 911 Dowling Avenue in San Leandro, next to Roosevelt Elementary School.

For those who can't make it tonight, you can learn about RCV from a Registrar of Voters representative at the Democratic Headquarters at 7pm on Tuesday, October 5. The Democratic Headquarters is located at 15069 E. 14th Street in San Leandro.

If you prefer using your computer, there is an online webinar offered by the Alameda County Registrar of Voters on Friday, October 8 at 3pm. Click here to register for the webinar.

The Registrar will also hold presentations on RCV on Saturday, October 9, 2010, at the San Leandro Library at 1pm and the Marina Community Center at 11:30am on Tuesday, October 12, 2010. The San Leandro Library is located at 300 Estudillo Avenue and the Marina Community Center is located at 15301 Wicks Boulevard.

All of these events are free. More information about RCV can be found at the Alameda County Registrar of Voters web site. A mockup demonstration of RCV can be found at the DemoChoice web site. There are also some helpful online videos:

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September 17, 2010

Volunteers to Build Playground Saturday at Toyon Park

Volunteers will help build a new playground at Toyon Park on Saturday, September 18, 2010, from 8am to 4pm. Toyon Park is currently the only park in San Leandro without playground equipment, but that will end tomorrow with support from the San Leandro Rotary, KaBOOM!, Amgen, and the City of San Leandro.

Toyon Park is located at 14500 Bancroft Avenue, next to Jefferson Elementary.

For more information, see the City of San Leandro Kaboom web page.

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September 16, 2010

Race to Nowhere Screens at Bal Theatre Monday September 20

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The documentary film "Race to Nowhere" will be screened at the Bal Theatre in San Leandro on Monday, September 20, 2010. According to the film's promotional material, it is "about the pressures faced by American schoolchildren and their teachers in a system and culture obsessed with the illusion of achievement, competition and the pressure to perform."

The 85-minute film has local connections, with scenes filmed at Roosevelt Elementary in San Leandro and Bishop O'Dowd High School in Oakland. Maimone Attia, the film's writer and cinematographer, attended Roosevelt Elementary, Bancroft Middle School, and San Leandro High School.

Director Vicki Abeles and writer Attia will be on-hand to introduce the film and participate in a question-and-answer session after the movie.

A review from the Los Angeles Times said ""Race to Nowhere" offers hope in the form of new models. For starters, there's the no-homework movement. Imagine." According to the New York Times, the film "doesn't entirely succeed" in presenting "a single, clear, narrative" but does "admirably convey the complexity of the issue with considerably more compassion than prescription." Oprah.com writes, "The groundbreaking documentary, Race to Nowhere is an investigation into the pressures American children and their teachers face in our achievement-obsessed education system and culture. See if the film is screening in your area. You’ll be inspired to make some changes, big and small, for the health of your kids."

The screening also serves as a fundraiser for the San Leandro Education Foundation, which will receive a portion of the $9 ticket.

Doors open at 6pm and the movie begins at 7pm. The Bal Theatre is located at 14808 East 14th Street in San Leandro. Tickets can be purchased at the door or online at the Bal Theatre web site.

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September 15, 2010

Sentinels Endorse Santos, Gregory, Lopez

The Sentinels logo The Sentinels, another local group that endorses local political candidates and contributes to campaigns, recently indicated its support for incumbent San Leandro Mayor Tony Santos, District 1 City Councilmember Michael Gregory, and District 5 City Council candidate Corina Lopez.

The endorsement usually comes with campaign contributions that range from $500 to $2,000. The Sentinels contributed $2,000 to Santos and his opponent, OB Badger, during the 2006 campaign for San Leandro Mayor. Starosciak received a $1,000 contribution from the group in 2008 and Gregory received $1,500 in 2006.

The Sentinels are a group of mostly local business owners and political insiders, including Personnel Relations Board Chair Kent Myers, former San Leandro Councilmember Gordon Galvan, Eden Medical Center CEO George Bischalaney, Planning Commissioner Tom Dlugosh, Alameda County Industries Executive Louie Pelligrini, Planning Commissioner Dale Reed, and Board of Zoning Adjustments Chair Charles Gilcrest.

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September 14, 2010

PACE Endorses Starosciak over Mestas and Cutter over Lopez

In the race for San Leandro Mayor, Councilmember Joyce Starosciak secured the endorsement of Political Action Committee for Excellence (PACE) and a $1,000 contribution to Starosciak's campaign.

In the District 5 City Council race, Pauline Cutter received PACE's endorsement, along with a $1,000 campaign contribution.

In other races, PACE endorsed Ellen Corbett ($1,500) for California State Senate, Victoria Kolakowski ($1,000) for Alameda County Superior Court Judge, Elsa Ortiz ($500) for AC Transit Board, Shelia Young for Oro Loma Sanitary District Board, and Stacy Blom and Isabel Polvorosa ($250 each) for San Lorenzo School Board. Young did not request financial support from PACE.

PACE is a local group that supports candidates for political office, much like political action committees. PACE is a group of politically active women that includes Denise Kaplan,, Polvorosa, Catherine Ralph, Starosciak, Ursula Reed, Dale Gregory, Anna Brannan, Harriet Engberg, and Esther Collier. The group typically endorses only women for office, but did endorse some men in the 2002 election.

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September 13, 2010

Labor Endorses Santos, Cutter and Lopez, But Not Gregory or Anderson

The Alameda County Central Labor Council endorsed incumbent Tony Santos for San Leandro Mayor today.

In the San Leandro District 1 City Council race, neither incumbent Michael Gregory nor former sheet metal worker David Anderson secured Labor's endorsement.

Both San Leandro District 5 City Council candidates Pauline Cutter and Corina Lopez received Labor's endorsement. Cutter has already secured endorsements from nine labor unions, including the Sheet Metal Workers, Carpenters, and Electrical Workers.

The endorsement of the Alameda County Central Labor Council is considered critical for support of union workers and generally includes financial support. It may also include phone banking and precinct-walking support.

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September 12, 2010

City Council Candidates Anderson and Gregory at Candidate Forum

Below is more video from the candidate forum at the Marina Community Center on September 8, 2010, this time from the San Leandro District 1 City Council candidates. In San Leandro city elections, Councilmembers must reside in specific areas, but everybody in the city votes for candidates in each City Council district.

The candidates for San Leandro's District 1 City Council seat are David Anderson and Michael Gregory. The position is currently held by Gregory, who was elected in 2006 after his sole opponent withdrew.

Opening statements of the District 1 City Council candidates:

What does your Council oath of office mean to you?

Do you intend to rollback unsustainable salaries and benefits and sales taxes in San Leandro?

If you are elected, what is the most important thing you will get done while you are in office?

More after the break.

Tell us about what is your plan for the San Leandro Marina.

What are you going to do to strengthen the families in our community?

What specifically will you do to bring new stores such as Trader Joes and Whole Foods Market to San Leandro?

What ideas do you have that are new that would bring revenue to our city?

There are two Wal-Marts in San Leandro. Can you attract businesses to San Leandro other than Wal-Mart and 99-cent stores?

The School Board adjusted retirement benefits for retirees in 2000. The City Council did not. When would a proposal to limit pensions and mandate contributions by employees be appropriate?

Closing statements of the District 1 City Council candidates:

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City Council Candidates Cutter and Lopez at Candidate Forum

If you missed the candidate forum at the Marina Community Center on September 8, 2010, you can still see and hear it all with the videos below.

The candidates for San Leandro's District 5 City Council seat are Pauline Cutter and Corina Lopez. There are competing for the position held by Councilmember Bill Stephens, who is being termed out after serving since 2002.

Opening statements of the District 5 City Council candidates:

What does your Council oath of office mean to you?

Do you intend to rollback unsustainable salaries and benefits and sales taxes in San Leandro?

If you are elected, what is the most important thing you will get done while you are in office?

More after the break:

Tell us about what is your plan for the San Leandro Marina.

What are you going to do to strengthen the families in our community?

What specifically will you do to bring new stores such as Trader Joes and Whole Foods Market to San Leandro?

What ideas do you have that are new that would bring revenue to our city?

There are two Wal-Marts in San Leandro. Can you attract businesses to San Leandro other than Wal-Mart and 99-cent stores?

The School Board adjusted retirement benefits for retirees in 2000. The City Council did not. When would a proposal to limit pensions and mandate contributions by employees be appropriate?

Closing statements of the District 5 City Council candidates:

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Democrats Endorse Santos, Gregory, Souza

The Alameda County Democrats endorsed incumbent San Leandro Mayor Tony Santos after a day long session of interviews on September 11, 2011. City Councilmember Joyce Starosciak, the only other candidate under consideration at yesterday's interview, failed to get the endorsement, despite support from the local Assemblymember. Santos was endorsed by Democrats when he ran for Mayor in 2006 and Starosciak was endorsed by Democrats when she ran for City Council in 2008.

In the District 5 City Council race, neither Pauline Cutter nor Corina Lopez secured the Democratic endorsement. Cutter was endorsed by the Democrats in her re-election run for School Board in 2006. Cutter's failure to obtain the endorsement is somewhat surprising since Lopez registered as a Democrat after 2008 and Democrats are generally reluctant to endorse new converts over long-time members.

District 1 Councilmember Michael Gregory and District 3 Councilmember Diana Souza, who is unopposed, received the Democratic endorsement last week.

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September 11, 2010

Mayoral Candidates at the Candidate Forum

If you missed the candidate forum at the Marina Community Center on September 8, 2010, you can still see and hear it all with the videos below.

The candidates for San Leandro Mayor are former School Board member Stephen Cassidy, Rent Commissioner Sara Mestas, former construction manager John Palau, incumbent Mayor Tony Santos, and City Councilmember Joyce Starosciak.

Opening statements of the Mayoral Candidates:

How do you differentiate yourself from your other Mayoral candidates?

What specific plans do you have to identify and fund resources to open and operate the Senior Community Center?

What is your position on pension reform and why do you feel that way?

More after the break:

What is your approach to solve the budget: more taxes or service cuts?

What is your plan for the San Leandro Marina? This includes the marina, the golf course, restaurants, any developments on that site.

Store fronts are looking trashy on E. 14th Street. Businesses are impacted by the roadwork in the middle of the street. What is your plan to clean it up?

Mayoral Candidates Closing Remarks:

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September 3, 2010

Candidate Forum September 8, 2010

All of the candidates for San Leandro Mayor and City Council are expected to participate in a candidate forum on Wednesday, September 8, 2010. The forum will be held at the Marina Community Center and is being hosted by the Washington Homeowners, Floresta Homeowners, and Broadmoor Neighborhood Associations.

Pauline Cutter and Corina Lopez are the candidates for the District 5 City Council seat, David Anderson and Michael Gregory for the District 1 City Council seat and Stephen Cassidy, Sara Mestas, John Palau, Tony Santos, and Joyce Starosciak are the candidates for Mayor. Diana Souza will also be on-hand, but faces no opponent and will retain her District 3 City Council seat.

Bob Leigh, the committee chair for the event, stated that the City Council candidates will be first and the mayoral candidates will be last, in order to accommodate Santos, who will be attending an earlier event that evening. Candidates will be allowed a two-minute opening statement, followed by questions from the audience and a closing two-minute statement. Interest in the event has been so great, according to Leigh, that the forum was moved to the Titan Auditorium to accommodate a larger crowd.

The forum will be held from 7 to 9pm on Wednesday, September 8, 2010, at the Marina Community Center, located at 15301 Wicks Boulevard in San Leandro.

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September 1, 2010

Democrats Endorse San Leandro School Bond and Increase in City Sales Tax

The Alameda County Democratic Central Committee unanimously endorsed the San Leandro Unified School District's bond and the City of San Leandro's 0.25% sales tax increase at its meeting on September 1, 2010.

The school bond would fund modernization of Burrell Field and the swimming pools at San Leandro High School in addition to athletic facilities throughout the District. The sales tax increase would increase the sales tax from 9.75% to 10% and provide an estimated $4 million in annual revenue.

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