The San Leandro Chamber of Commerce is the latest local organization to set up a political action committee (PAC). The PAC, also known as a recipient committee. was formed in November 2011. The treasurer is David Grodin and the principal officers are Chamber Director of Finance and Communications Emily Griego, Chamber Vice Chair of Government Affairs John Gooding and Chamber Board Member John Johnson.
Grodin works at Grodin Financial Services, family financial services business. Gooding runs The Quadric Group, a consulting company, that represents Bayfair Center owner Madison Marquette. Johnson is the President and CEO of McDermott Costa insurance company.
The Sentinels has for many years been the de facto local business PAC. However, the members of The Sentinels are generally there as individuals and not as representatives of businesses.
According to the Statement of Organization filed with Alameda County, the purpose of the PAC is to "Support or oppose local, county, and other regional + local candidates or measures."
Although no financial statements have been filed yet, San Leandro Chamber CEO Dave Johnson reported that there was about $2,700 in the group's account at the end of February.
While Benny Lee announced in January 2012 that he was running for the District 4 San Leandro City Council seat, Darlene Daevu is the first potential candidate to file a Candidate Intention Statement and Statement of Organization, the first steps towards official candidacy.
Daevu was nominated to the San Leandro Senior Commission by Mayor Stephen Cassidy and was appointed in February 2011. Lee was also nominated by Mayor Cassidy and appointed to the Personnel Relations Board at the same time. Daevu works as an Administrative Analyst for the San Francisco Department of Public Health, is a member of the Professional Fiduciaries Association of California and has been active with the Allen Temple Baptist Church.
Daevu is a registered Democrat and has never previously run for office. She says she is running for office "because I’m willing to help our City work towards maintaining and/or improving our quality of life during these recessionary times." Daevu has a Masters in Business Administration and work experience in the public sector.
Former Planning Commissioner Chris Crow has said that he might move to District 4 to run for City Council, but his Candidate Intention Statement on file indicates that he is running for the District 2 City Council seat currently held by Ursula Reed.
The District 4 San Leandro City Council seat is currently held by Joyce Starosciak, who was first elected in February 2005 after a run-off with Mike Mahoney and was re-elected in 2008. Starosciak also ran for San Leandro Mayor in 2010 and finished third. Term limits enacted by voters in 1974 prevent Starosciak from running for a third consecutive term. Starosciak, however, may run for City Council in 2016, as indicated by her campaign committee, "Joyce Starosciak for City Council 2016."
The Estudillo Estates Homeowner Association hosted a meeting with the San Leandro Police Department today in the wake of a sexual assault last week on Bridge Road.
The meeting was attended by more than 50 residents and eight members of the San Leandro Police Department, including San Leandro Police Chief Sandra Spagnoli.
Spagnoli was quick to point out that there were a lot of details that the police could not share with the community. Spagnoli said that the Police Department's priorities for violent crimes are to protect the victims, provide the community with information and to "protect the facts of the case and the integrity of the investigation."
Seeking to reassure members of the audience, Spagnoli stated, "I want you to leave here tonight knowing that public safety is a priority. We do not tolerate violent crime in this town."
Spagnoli said that the Police Department believes that the suspect entered the home with the intent to steal and that the sexual assault "was a crime of opportunity." In response to a question from the audience, Spagnoli stated that the police have enough information that leads them to believe that the suspect won't return to the area and "We don't feel that the community is in danger."
Contrary to some speculation and rumors, Spagnoli stated that there is no evidence of a personal connection between the suspect and the victim nor that the suspect worked for the victim or for others in the neighborhood.