June 4, 2016

San Leandro City Council to Consider Extending Term Limits

At its next meeting on Monday, June 6, 2016, the San Leandro City Council will hear a presentation about extending term limits from the current two consecutive terms to three terms.

The presentation was requested by Councilmember Ursula Reed, who brought it up at the May 16, 2016, meeting of the City Council. "I'm interested in us looking at having the City Council, instead of having two terms, having three terms and so I would like to see if we could put that on the November ballot..." said Reed. According to Reed, City Clerk Tamika Greenwood "has already looked into it a little bit as far as the cities in the area..."

Councilmember Jim Prola asked for clarification of the proposal, stating, "As long as it doesn't apply to current City Council people, I think that would be a huge mistake if we applied it to current City Council people." Mayor Pauline Cutter said that Prola could bring it up during the presentation at next Monday's meeting.

Normally, a change to the City Charter would be referred to the Rules Committee first, but there wasn't enough time, so it will be heard by the full City Council.

While the City Charter limits councilmembers to two consecutive terms, it doesn't limit the total number of terms. Tony Santos took advantage of that, serving two consecutive terms as a councilmember from 1984 to 1992 and again from 2000 to 2006.

Click here to listen to the discussion from the May 16, 2016, meeting.

Reed previously suggested increasing term limits from two to three terms in 2011 at the June 20 City Council meeting. "The first term you’re just learning how to negotiate the council and all the different committees and sit in a meeting and understand everything that’s going on and I think by the second term you get to be really good and then the councilmember is gone. So I would also advocate for three terms for city councilmembers." Councilmember Joyce Starosciak also expressed support for increasing term limits, "I support the concept of extended terms and not allowing them to be retroactive...I can appreciate how important another term would be towards creating stability in this community and stability on the council and it is very ironic that I am the most veteran with only six years." Although Mayor Stephen Cassidy expressed support for discussing this and reform of the City Charter, there was no further discussion.

Click here to listen to the discussion from the June 20, 2011, meeting.

Term limits were added to the City Charter in 1974, largely in response to Mayor Jack Maltester, who served four consecutive terms.

The staff report on extending term limits states that the City Council would have to provide direction as soon as possible in order to give the City Attorney time to prepare an analysis of the change to the city charter before the August 12, 2016 deadline (88 days before the November 8, 2016 election).

Oakland and Hayward currently have no term limits, according to the staff report. Fremont, Dublin, and Pleasanton have term limits of two terms and Union City has term limits of three terms.

However, other cities also have campaign contribution limits. San Leandro has no limits on campaign contributions, which has made it difficult for challengers to defeat incumbents. Since 1970, only two incumbents running for re-election have been defeated. The most recent occurred when Stephen Cassidy narrowly defeated Tony Santos in 2010.

The City Council meeting starts at 7pm on June 6, 2016, at San Leandro City Hall at 835 E. 14th Street.

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August 19, 2014

San Leandro Vice Mayor Goes to Oakland - San Leandro to Lose Millions

The Oakland City Council's recent decision to award a garbage contract to California Waste Solutions instead of Waste Management will cost the City of San Leandro millions of dollars starting next year, according to San Leandro's Finance Director. Waste Management operates a transfer station in San Leandro that pays franchise and business license fees to the City of San Leandro.

Despite the financial losses for San Leandro, San Leandro Vice Mayor Benny Lee went to the Oakland City Council and spoke in favor of the decision that will cost San Leandro millions in revenue. Lee identified himself as the San Leandro Vice Mayor, but did not clarify whether his comments were his own or represented the San Leandro City Council. The lost revenue represents the approximate cost of three police officers. Here is the video from Lee's comments at the Oakland City Council:

As a result of the decision by Oakland to replace Waste Management with California Waste Solutions, the City of San Leandro stands to lose more than half a million dollars in annual revenue from franchise and business license fees, according to San Leandro Finance Director David Baum. Waste Management's Davis Street Transfer Station in San Leandro handles much of Oakland's garbage and Waste Management pays San Leandro based on the weight of the garbage that is processed at the facility.

In addition to the loss of annual revenue, the City of San Leandro stands to lose an estimated $1.3 million in permit fees from an expansion project that will no longer be necessary.

In his comments to the Oakland City Council in support of California Waste Solutions, Benny Lee identified himself as the Vice Mayor of San Leandro and noted that he sent an email to the Oakland City Clerk earlier in the day.

Between 1994 and 1998, California Waste Solutions owner David Duong and his family contributed more than $25,000 to members of the Oakland City Council. Oakland Councilmember Larry Reid is the godfather to three of Duong's children.

California Waste Solutions appears to be making similar inroads in San Leandro. Andy Duong, a director at California Waste Solutions, hosted a fundraiser for San Leandro Mayoral candidate Diana Souza. A picture from the event shows Duong and Souza.

souza_duong.jpg

On the day of her fundraiser, Souza reported a $1,000 donation from JAM Global Group. Andy Duong is listed as the CEO of JAM Global Group on its web site.

Other recent campaign finance disclosures for Lee and Souza showed no financial contributions from Duong or California Waste Solutions. Lee's next disclosure is due next year, while Souza's next disclosure is due on October 6, 2014.

Other news coverage of Oakland's decision to award its garbage contract to California Waste Solutions:

Posted by mike at 10:59 PM | Comments (0)

May 7, 2014

Benny Lee Elected First Asian American Vice Mayor of San Leandro

Benny Lee
Councilmember Benny Lee
San Leandro District 4 Councilmember Benny Lee was elected San Leandro's first Asian American Vice Mayor at the May 5, 2014, meeting of the San Leandro City Council.

According to the City Charter, "In the absence of the Mayor, the Vice Mayor shall possess and perform the powers and duties of the Mayor." This typically means representing the City and chairing meetings of the City Council in the Mayor's absence.

When it came time for the agenda item on selection of a Vice Mayor, Councilmember Souza stated, "I'd like to say that I've been disappointed these past three years that there has been no support or recognition for anyone to make a motion and support a Vice Mayor that recognizes and embraces the diversity of this council. I'd like to nominate Benny Lee for Vice Mayor...and this will recognize and embrace the diversity of our council and the city. And I'm going to quote the Mayor from just a couple of minutes ago and say, 'Think this through carefully.'"

After Mayor Stephen Cassidy noted that a current councilmember (Reed, an African American) had served as Vice Mayor and called Souza's reason a false argument, Lee was elected as Vice Mayor by a vote of 4 to 3, with Councilmembers Michael Gregory, Lee, Ursula Reed, and Souza voting for Lee.

In the past 10 years, five of the Vice Mayors have been African American.

In 2012 and 2013, Souza tried to be elected Vice Mayor, but failed on 4-3 votes each time.

During the 2013 Vice Mayor selection, Souza said, "I am very disappointed that I did not have the support of my colleagues for the opportunity to serve as Vice Mayor, but I am also okay with it for I know that in order to win that appointment I would have had to compromise my values and integrity got me elected and some would say that is just politics" when she was not elected as Vice Mayor by her colleagues.

Lee will serve as Vice Mayor until June 2015.

Below is a recent history of San Leandro's Vice Mayors:

  • 2004 - Orval "OB" Badger (District 1)
  • 2005 - Orval "OB" Badger (District 1)
  • 2006 - Surlene Grant (District 2)
  • 2007 - Surlene Grant (District 2)
  • 2008 - Bill Stephens (District 5)
  • 2009 - Joyce Starosciak (District 4)
  • 2010 - Ursula Reed (District 2)
  • 2011 - Michael Gregory (District 1)
  • 2012 - Michael Gregory (District 1)
  • 2013 - Jim Prola (District 6)
  • 2014 - Benny Lee (District 4)
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March 16, 2014

Lee Thomas Gets Head Start in 2014 San Leandro City Council Race

In the first financial disclosures for the San Leandro City Council elections of November 2014 District 3 candidate has a head start on any potential opponents with more than $3,000 in his campaign account.

There are no campaign contribution limits in San Leandro, so individuals and businesses may contribute any amount of money to local campaigns. Donations of $99 or less do not have to be itemized, but candidates are required to report the source of any donation of $100 or more.

Semi-annual campaign statements for current City Council candidates were due January 31, 2014, for the reporting period July 1 to December 31, 2013, and are summarized below.

Lee Thomas, District 3
Thomas is running for the District 3 City Council seat currently held by Diana Souza. Souza's term ends this year because of term limits. At this time, Thomas has no opponents for the District 3 seat. Thomas reported $3,018 in his campaign account. Significant contributions included:

  • $500 from Alan Fong, the pastor of Heritage Baptist Church in San Leandro.
  • $500 from Thomas Ng in San Francisco
  • $350 from Joy Chu in San Francisco
  • $300 from Tracy Kyaw in Fremont
  • $300 from Carla Stelling in San Francisco
  • $300 from Mary Hipona in Castro Valley

Thomas reported $1,500 in campaign consulting expenses to Gloria Ritchie Associates in Fremont.

Lee Thomas' Campaign Statement for July 1, 2013 to December 31, 2013


Benny Lee, District 4
Lee was elected in 2012. He reported $253 in his campaign account and $19,729 in outstanding campaign debt.

Lee reported a single contribution of $500 from the San Leandro Chamber of Commerce's political committee and a single expense of $1,000 to Charles Gilcrest for campaign consulting.

Unpaid bills included $2,860 to Autumn Press for campaign literature and $3,800 to Charles Gilcrest for campaign consulting.

Benny Lee's Campaign Statement for July 1, 2013 to December 31, 2013


Pauline Cutter, District 5
Cutter was elected in 2010 and is running for a second term this year. Cutter reported no campaign contributions or expenses and no outstanding campaign debt. She reported $931 in her campaign account.

Pauline Cutter's Campaign Statement for July 1, 2013 to December 31, 2013


Jim Prola, District 6
Prola's second term ends in 2016 and term limits prevent him from running for a third consecutive term. Prola reported no campaign contributions or expenses and had no money in his campaign account.

Jim Prola's Campaign Statement for July 1, 2013 to December 31, 2013


Ursula Reed, District 2
Reed won re-election in 2012 over former San Leandro School Board trustee Morgan Mack-Rose. Reed reported no campaign contributions, no expenses, no outstanding campaign debt, and had no money in her campaign account. Reed filed to run for Alameda County Superintendent of Schools in April 2013.

Ursula Reed's Campaign Statement for July 1, 2013 to December 31, 2013


Morgan Mack-Rose
Mack-Rose ran for the District 2 City Council seat in 2012, narrowly losing to incumbent Ursula Reed. Mack-Rose reported no campaign contributions, no expenses, no outstanding campaign debt, and had no money in her campaign account.

Morgan Mack-Rose's Campaign Statement for July 1, 2013 to December 31, 2013


Corina Lopez
Lopez lost in her bid for the District 5 City Council seat to Cutter in 2010. In 2012, she was unopposed for the Area 1 seat of the San Leandro School Board. Lopez reported $23,503 in outstanding campaign debt, no campaign contributions, no expenses, and had no money in her campaign account.

Corina Lopez' Campaign Statement for July 1, 2013 to December 31, 2013

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August 3, 2013

Quiet FIrst Half of 2013 for San Leandro Campaign Activity

The latest financial statements from San Leandro's candidates showed little activity during the first half of 2013. San Leandro District 4 Councilmember Benny Lee reported the most activity, with campaign contributions totaling $850.

There are no campaign contribution limits in San Leandro, so individuals and businesses may contribute any amount of money to local campaigns. Contributors of $99 or less do not have to be listed by name, but candidates are required to report the source of any donation of $100 or more.

Semi-annual campaign statements for the period from January 1, 2013, to June 30, 2013, were due July 31, 2013, and are summarized below. Reports are not required for candidates that neither raised nor spent more than $1,000.

Benny Lee
District 4 Councilmember Benny Lee reported $765 in his campaign account at the end of the reporting period, with $20,729.46 in campaign debt, including $2,000 to his wife Rose Ng.

Lee reported the following contributions to his campaign:

  • $500 from Steve Song, owner of F.H. Dailey
  • $250 from Tom Silva of Eden Realty
  • $100 from Carl Basuino

Lee reported the following expenses:

  • $1,069.41 to PoliticalCalling.com for phone banks
  • $300 to former Mayor Tony Santos to pay back a loan
  • $257 to his wife Rose Ng to pay back a loan
  • $200 to Charlie Gilcrest for campaign consulting
  • $100 to to Careful Design for campaign literature.

Lee also reported that his campaign owes $4,800 to Charlie Gilcrest for campaign consulting and $2,860.05 to Autumn Press for campaign literature.

Lee's Campaign Statement for January 1 to June 30, 2013


Stephen Cassidy
Cassidy reported no money in his campaign account at the end of the reporting period and no campaign contributions.

Cassidy's only expenses were a $250 contribution to the San Leandro Scholarship Foundation and a $533 transfer to a different campaign account.

Cassidy's Campaign Statement for January 1 to June 30, 2013


Ursula Reed
District 2 Councilmember Ursula Reed's report did not include any information about money in her campaign account. Reed only contribution to her campaign was $500 from herself and her only expense was $500 to Next Generation for campaign consulting.

Reed's Campaign Statement for January 1 to June 30, 2013


Pauline Cutter
District 5 Councilmember Pauline Cutter reported $931.65 in her campaign account and no campaign debt. Cutter reported a $50 payment to the California Secretary of State for office expenses.

Cutter's Campaign Statement for January 1 to June 30, 2013


Corina Lopez
Former District 5 City Council candidate Corina Lopez reported no money in her campaign account and outstanding debt of $22,861.

Lopez' Campaign Statement for January 1 to June 30, 2013


Jim Prola
District 6 Councilmember Jim Prola reported no money in his campaign account. The sole contribution to his campaign was $2,823.52 to forgive a loan he previously made to his campaign.

Prola's Campaign Statement for January 1 to June 30, 2013

The next election for San Leandro City Council is November 4, 2014. Although the information is not yet posted on the City of San Leandro web site, the candidate nomination period for the November 4, 2014 election is expected to begin on July 14 and end on August 8, 2013.

Elections will be held for Districts 1, 3, 5, and for Mayor. Michael Gregory, who represents District 1 and Diana Souza, who represents District 3, will be termed out and cannot run for re-election. Pauline Cutter represents District 5 and Stephen Cassidy, the current Mayor, are both expected to run for re-election.

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May 22, 2013

San Leandro City Council Votes in Jim Prola as Vice Mayor

San Leandro Councilmember Jim Prola
Councilmember Prola
San Leandro District 6 Councilmember Jim Prola was elected Vice Mayor at the May 20, 2013, meeting of the San Leandro City Council.

According to the City Charter, "In the absence of the Mayor, the Vice Mayor shall possess and perform the powers and duties of the Mayor." This typically means representing the City and chairing meetings of the City Council in the Mayor's absence.

Councilmember Michael Gregory made the motion to make Prola the Vice Mayor, which passed 4 to 3, with Councilmembers Benny Lee, Ursula Reed, and Diana Souza voting against Prola.

During Councilmember comments at the end of the meeting, Souza said, "...my vote against my colleague for Vice Mayor tonight was not because of his qualifications. I believe everyone is equally qualified to serve as Vice Mayor that sits up here on the dais. Many of you know I have not been Vice Mayor. I would have embraced the opportunity to be Vice Mayor and yes, I am very disappointed that I did not have the support of my colleagues for the opportunity to serve as Vice Mayor, but I am also okay with it for I know that in order to win that appointment I would have had to compromise my values and integrity got me elected and some would say that is just politics and I say "that is not my politics." Currently we have a process that generates an environment of conformity rather than collaboration, so I would like to challenge the Mayor and my colleagues to evaluate the current process and look for a process that will lead to a more collaborative collaboration in the Vice Mayor selection process as a tool to achieve all the great possibilities we have in San Leandro.

Reed said, "My vote was not against you. It was more around our action in that I think that during Councilmembers' terms there's enough time in a term for each one of our Councilmembers to have a chance to serve as Vice Mayor. And I think that since Councilmember Souza would have gone through this whole time without a term this year would have been her last chance to have that term and that's what I was more voting toward but either one of you - any one of us I believe are more than capable of being Vice Mayor..."

Last year, Reed offered a substitute motion to elect Souza as Vice Mayor, but it lost 3 to 4, with Mayor Stephen Cassidy, and Councilmembers Pauline Cutter, Gregory and Prola voting against Souza.

Prola will be the first Vice Mayor from District 6 in more than 15 years and will serve as Vice Mayor until June 2014.

Below is a recent history of San Leandro's Vice Mayors:

  • 1998 - Gordon Galvan (District 1)
  • 1999 - Gordon Galvan (District 1)
  • 2000 - Bob Glaze (District 4)
  • 2001 - Bob Glaze (District 4)
  • 2002 - Bob Glaze (District 4)
  • 2003 - Bob Glaze (District 4)
  • 2004 - Orval "OB" Badger (District 1)
  • 2005 - Orval "OB" Badger (District 1)
  • 2006 - Surlene Grant (District 2)
  • 2007 - Surlene Grant (District 2)
  • 2008 - Bill Stephens (District 5)
  • 2009 - Joyce Starosciak (District 4)
  • 2010 - Ursula Reed (District 2)
  • 2011 - Michael Gregory (District 1)
  • 2012 - Michael Gregory (District 1)
  • 2013 - Jim Prola (District 6)
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May 6, 2013

Former San Leandro Police Captain Pete Ballew Appointed to Personnel Relations Board

At tonight's meeting of the San Leandro City Council, former San Leandro Police Captain Pete Ballew was appointed to the Personnel Relations Board.

Ballew, who retired in 2012 after 28 years, was nominated by San Leandro Mayor Stephen Cassidy. Ballew has lived in San Leandro all his life. In addition to coaching sports at San Leandro High School, he served as President of the San Leandro Kiwanis Club, on the San Leandro Scholarship Foundation Board of Trustees, and the San Leandro Boys and Girls Club Board of Directors. Ballew is also on the adjunct faculty at Chabot College in the Administration of Justice Program and was a consultant for California's Commission on Peace Officers Standards and Training

Ballew has expressed interest in running for the District 6 San Leandro City Council seat when current Councilmember Jim Prola is termed out in 2016.

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April 22, 2013

State Senator Ellen Corbett and San Leandro Mayor Cassidy Address League of Women Voters

On April 19, 2013, the Eden Area League of Women Voters held an event to meet your local elected officials. Elected officials ranging from Congressional Representative Eric Swalwell to Chabot-Las Positas Community College Trustee Marshall Mitzman nearly outnumbered the members of the public at the event.

From San Leandro, Mayor Stephen Cassidy, Vice Mayor Michael Gregory, and Councilmembers Pauline Cutter, Diana Souza, and Jim Prola represented the City Council, which had been invited to the event by former San Leandro Mayor Shelia Young, who spoke during public comments at City Council meeting earlier this month. School Board President Diana Prola and Mike Katz-Lacabe (me) represented the San Leandro Unified School District and School Board Trustee Penny Peck was on hand from the San Lorenzo Unified School District.

The League of Women Voters honored State Senator and former San Leandro Mayor Ellen Corbett for her years of service. Cornett then addressed the audience as shown in the following video:

Each group of elected officials was asked to talk about on the group's goals for 2013. Mayor Cassidy spoke on behalf of San Leandro city officials and can be seen below:

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February 6, 2013

San Leandro Perennial Candidate Lou Filipovich Dead at 90

Lou Filipovich in April 2008
Lou Filipovich in 2008
San Leandro's perennial political candidate and gadfly, Lou Filipovich, has died at the age of 90. Filipovich frequently attended meetings of the San Leandro City Council, where he asked his signature questions: “How much will it cost? Who pays? And for how long?”

Filipovich railed against taxes and fees and often took the San Leandro City Council to task for what he said were violations of charter city regulations and municipality boundaries.

He entered at least 30 races between 1990 and 2010, but won only twice. In June 2006, Filipovich won the Republican primary for State Senate District 10 against Laura Riffle. In June 2008, Filipovich was unopposed in the Republican primary for State Assembly District 18. His last election was for San Leandro Mayor, in which he finished last.

Here is Filipovich making an opening statement at a candidate forum in April 2008:

This a list of all of the elections we could find for Filipovich:

Election DateOfficeNo. of VotesWhere he finished
November 2, 2010Mayor of San Leandro9last of six
June 8, 2010Alameda County Supervisor2,407last of four
November 4, 2008Oro Loma Sanitary District Director6,525last of two
November 4, 2008San Lorenzo School Board Trustee3,914last of five
November 4, 2008State Assembly, District 1833,596last of two
June 3, 2008District 4 San Leandro City Council1,856last of three
June 3, 2008State Assembly, District 18 Primary9,009Winner - unopposed
November 7, 2006Oro Loma Sanitary District Director5,069last of five
November 7, 2006State Senate, District 1041,510last of two
June 6, 2006Alameda County Supervisor1,448last of five
June 6, 2006State Senate, District 10 Primary10,973Winner
June 6, 2006Mayor of San Leandro849last of four
November 2, 2004District 4 San Leandro City Council2,904last of three
November 2, 2004Oro Loma Sanitary District Director5,857last of three
November 2, 2004San Lorenzo School Board Trustee2,055last of seven
November 2, 2004State Assembly, District 1817last of three
March 2, 2004State Assembly, District 18Unknownlast of two
November 5, 2002Mayor of San Leandro1,775second of three
November 5, 2002Oro Loma Sanitary District Director5,026last of four
November 5, 2002San Lorenzo School Board Trustee1,493sixth of eight
November 7, 2000District 4 San Leandro City Council7,253last of two
November 7, 2000San Lorenzo School Board Trustee3,955last of six
March 7, 2000Oro Loma Sanitary District Director4,624last of three
November 3, 1998San Lorenzo School Board Trustee3,209third of five
June 3, 1998Mayor of San Leandro???last of four
November 5, 1996San Lorenzo School Board Trustee4,643fifth of six
March 26, 1996District 4 San Leandro City Council4,856last of two
June 7, 1994Oro Loma Sanitary District Director3,593last of five
April 12, 1994Mayor of San Leandro214seventh of eight
April 14, 1992District 4 San Leandro City Council3,458last of two
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February 5, 2013

Prola Outraised Almonte by 8 to 1 in San Leandro's 2012 District 6 Campaign

In the final financial disclosures for the San Leandro City Council elections of November 2012, District 6 incumbent Jim Prola raised a total of $36,405 for his re-election, more than eight times the $4,362 raised by challenger Hermy Almonte, excluding loans.

There are no campaign contribution limits in San Leandro, so individuals and businesses may contribute any amount of money to local campaigns. Donations of $99 or less do not have to be itemized, but candidates are required to report the source of any donation of $100 or more.

Semi-annual campaign statements for current City Council candidates were due January 31, 2013, for the reporting period October 21 to December 31, 2012, and are summarized below.


Jim Prola

For the reporting period, Prola reported $1,276 in his campaign account with $4,000 in outstanding debt and $5,342 in contributions, including $4,000 from unions. Significant contributions to Prola's campaign included:

Prola's reported the following campaign expenses:

Jim Prola's Campaign Statement for October 21 to December 31, 2012


Hermy Almonte

Almonte reported $1 in his campaign account with no contributions during the reporting period and a $4,500 outstanding loan to his campaign. On January 31, 2013, Almonte filed paperwork to close his campaign account.
Almonte's campaign expenses included:

Hermy Almonte's Campaign Statement for October 21 to December 31, 2012

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February 4, 2013

San Leandro Councilmembers Prola and Lee Make Their Commission Nominations

While San Leandro District 6 Councilmember Jim Prola has re-nominated all of his existing commissioners, newly-elected Councilmember Benny Lee has nominated two new commissioners and re-nominated three existing commissioners. Lee has not yet nominated anyone to fill the vacancy on the Senior Commission.

Lee nominated Kai Leung to the Planning Commission. Leung replaces Tom Dlugosh, who vacated his seat on the Planning Commission when he was appointed in September 2012 to fill out the remainder of former Councilmember Joyce Starosciak's term. According to Leung's application, he is retired and was part of the San Leandro delegation to Yangchun, China, in October 2007.

Lee nominated friendly campaign rival Justin Hutchison (his campaign web site said, “Please cast your second choice vote for Benny Lee.”) to the Recreation and Parks Commission, where he replaces Charles “Chuck” Kane, who was appointed in May 2011. According to his application, Hutchison works for Target in Fremont. Hutchison listed his education and qualifications as an A.A. in Administration of Justice, San Lorenzo Little League Board of Directors from 2008-2011 and Washington Manor Junior League baseball coach since 2004.

Lee re-appointed Amada Robles to the Human Services Commission and Arlene Lum to the Library-Historical Commission where both have served since May 2005. Robles frequently provides Spanish translation at City events and Lum was circulating a petition against marijuana dispensaries at a recent town hall meeting. Lum contributed $100 to Lee's 2012 City Council campaign

Lee also re-appointed Catherine Vierra Houston to the Board of Zoning Adjustments (BZA), where she has served since September 2009. Houston is a labor union representative for the United Steelworkers.

In District 6, Jim Prola re-appointed Rene Mendieta to BZA, Carmen Fewless to the Human Services Commission, Carole Rinaldi to the Library-Historical Commission, Esther Collier to the Planning Commission, Robert Fox to the Recreation and Parks Commission, and Bella Comelo to the Senior Commission. Mendieta has served on the BZA since February 2009 and Fewless was appointed to the Human Services Commission in June 2005. Rinaldi has served on the Library-Historical Commission since March 2005 and Collier has been on the Planning Commission since March 2001. Fox was appointed to the Recreation and Parks Commission in February 2009. Comelo has been on the Senior Commission since February 2009. Collier contributed $100 to Prola's 2012 City Council campaign.

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December 17, 2012

Benny Lee to Become First Asian American on San Leandro City Council

Benny Lee in August 2012
Benny Lee
Along with Ursula Reed and Jim Prola, Benny Lee will be sworn-in as the District 4 Councilmember at tonight's San Leandro City Council meeting. When he officially takes office in 2013, he will become the first Asian American elected to the San Leandro City Council. (In 2008, Hermy Almonte was the first Asian American to run for City Council when he unsuccessfully ran for the District 6 seat.)

While Almonte and Lee were the first to run campaigns for council seats, Library-Historical Commissioner Arnold Mew was the first Asian American to seek appointment to a City Council seat in 1998. Mew was eliminated when the first City Council vote resulted in a tie between Melody Marr and Surlene Grant (who became the first African American on the San Leandro City Council after Young changed her vote). Mew went on to unsuccessfully campaign for a seat on the San Lorenzo School Board in 2004.

On the San Leandro School Board, the first Asian American to campaign for a seat was Alice Chin, who lost to Paul Meier in 1982. In 1996, Kenneth Pon ran for the At-Large seat on the San Leandro School Board and defeated Justin Agrella, becoming the first Asian American on the School Board. In 1998, Louis Heystek and Dennis Chin both ran unopposed for the Area 4 and Area 6 seats on the School Board. Pon was subsequently re-elected in 2000 and Heystek in 2002. In 2008, Almonte was elected to the Area 1 seat over incumbent Rick Richards. Finally, in 2010, Victoria Wang lost to Lance James for the Area 2 seat.

San Leandro School Board in 2001
San Leandro School Board in 2001 with Dennis Chin, Louis, Heystek and Ken Pon

According to the latest U.S. Census, Asians comprised 29.7% of San Leandro's population in 2010.

Lee will be sworn in at the San Leandro City Council meeting on Monday, December 17, 2012. The meeting starts at 7pm and will be held in the Council Chambers at 835 E. 14th Street.

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November 10, 2012

Mack-Rose Cuts Into Reed's Lead in San Leandro City Council District 2 Race

As of Saturday, November 10, 2012, the San Leandro City Council District 2 race between incumbent Ursula Reed and Morgan Mack-Rose continues to be too close to call with Reed leading by just 81 votes after the ranked choice algorithm is run. On election night, Reed's lead was 97 votes, which increased to 117 on Wednesday and then 149 on Friday.

Although Reed leads Mack-Rose with 7,692 (42.34%) to 6,985 (38.45%) first-place votes, Mack-Rose has been getting about 44% of Dan Dillman's second-place votes. Reed has been getting about 26% of Dillman's second-place votes while 30% of voters who made Dillman their first choice indicated no second or third choice.

In 2010, a total of 23,494 votes were cast in the San Leandro City Council elections. However, since this election was a presidential election, a higher turnout is expected, though not as high as the 2008 election, when 26,776 votes were cast in the District 2 runoff election. With 19,753 ballots counted so far, there are likely 4,000 to 5,000 more San Leandro ballots to be counted.

Mayor Stephen Cassidy won the 2010 election over incumbent Tony Santos by 232 votes after initially trailing Santos by 74 first place votes. At this point, Mack-Rose faces a 707-vote first-place vote deficit.

In 2010, the Alameda County Registrar of Voters (ROV) certified the election results 17 days after the election and 11 days before the 28-day required deadline. If the ROV performs the same this year, the District 2 election results may not be known until November 23.

Update: On Sunday, November 11, 2012, the latest vote totals and RCV show Reed with a 405 vote lead. Even if there are more votes to be counted, Reed is almost certain to be the eventual winner.

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November 6, 2012

Prola Wins; Reed, and Lee Lead in San Leandro City Council Races

With all precincts reporting, San Leandro City Council incumbent Jim Prola has been re-elected in District 6 while fellow incumbent Ursula Reed narrowly leads Morgan Mack-Rose in District 2. In District 4, Benny Lee heads the field and will likely win.

While Reed leads in District 2, Dan Dillman's second choice votes will likely decide the eventual winner. Approximately 44% of Dillman's second choice are going to Mack-Rose and 26% to Reed. This race is too close to call.

In District 4, Lee looks to be the winner with Darlene Daevu and Justin Hutchison's second-place votes almost evenly split between Lee and Chris Crow.

Prola will clearly win the San Leandro City Council District 6 race over San Leandro School Board member Hermy Almonte.

San Leandro City Council District 2, 57 of 57 PrecinctsVotes%
Ursula Reed709642.28
Morgan Mack-Rose638438.04
Dan Dillman325919.42


San Leandro City Council District 4, 57 of 57 PrecinctsVotes%
Benny Lee660043.21
Chris Crow387625.37
Darlene Daevu312220.44
Justin Hutchison163010.67


San Leandro City Council District 6, 57 of 57 PrecinctsVotes%
Jim Prola863555.57
Hermy Almonte683644.0
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October 31, 2012

Ursula Reed Reports $2,500 Late Contribution in District 2 San Leandro City Council Race

On October 29, 2012, San Leandro District 2 City Council candidate Ursula Reed reported a $2,500 contribution to her campaign from David Greenberg, a nurse at Lifelong Medical Clinic.

That brings Reed's campaign contributions up to $15,497, not including a $2,400 loan.

Contributions of more than $1,000 are required to be reported within 24 hours in the weeks leading up to the election. The election will be held on November 6, 2012.

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October 26, 2012

Lee Leads Latest Fundraising Round in San Leandro District 4 Race

San Leandro City Council candidate Benny Lee raised the most of the District 4 candidates, reporting contributions of $3,625 during the most recent reporting period. Most of that total, $2,500, came from a single contribution from the San Leandro Police Officers Association. Chris Crow reported $2,215 in contributions and Darlene Daevu reported $1,650 in contributions from two sources.

To date, Crow has the fundraising lead with $6,720 in contributions, followed by Daevu with $5,948 and Lee with $5,913. However, after adding in the loans to each of the campaigns, Lee ($12,000 loan) leads the field over Daevu ($7,500 loan) and Crow ($3,177 in loans).

Justin Hutchison has filed a form stating that he will not raise nor spend more than $1,000 during the campaign and therefore does not have to file campaign finance disclosure reports.

There are no campaign contribution limits in San Leandro, so individuals and businesses may contribute any amount of money to local campaigns. Donations of $99 or less do not have to be itemized, but candidates are required to report the source of any donation of $100 or more.

Pre-election campaign statements for current City Council candidates were due October 25, 2012, for the reporting period October 1 to October 20 and are summarized below. This is the last reporting deadline prior to the election. Only contributions of $1,000 of more are required to be reported between October 21 and the November 6 election.


Benny Lee

Lee reported $6,248 in his campaign account from $3,625 in contributions. Lee reported $12,000 in outstanding campaign debt.

Significant contributions to Lee's campaign included:

Lee's expenses included:

  • $2,164 to Belaire for campaign literature
  • $666 to to Chris Gray for campaign literature

Benny Lee's Campaign Statement for October 1 to October 20, 2012


Chris Crow

Crow reported $883 in his campaign account from $2,215 in contributions and a $1,500 loan from Margarita Lacabe [Full disclosure: Margarita is the author's wife]. Crow reported $3,177 in outstanding campaign debt.

Significant contributions to Crow's campaign included:

Crow's expenses included:

Chris Crow's Campaign Statement for October 1 to October 20, 2012


Darlene Daevu

Daevu reported $12,521 in her campaign account from $1,650 in contributions. Daevu reported $7,500 in outstanding campaign debt.

Contributions to Daevu included:

Daevu's campaign expenses included $285 to Statewide Information Systems for campaign literature.

Darlene Daevu's Campaign Statement for October 1 to October 20, 2012

The election will be held on November 6, 2012, and will be the second time that ranked choice voting is used in San Leandro elections.

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Prola Dominates Fundraising in San Leandro City Council District 6 Race

In the District 6 San Leandro City Council race, incumbent Jim Prola raised $10,209 during the most recent reporting period, nearly 10 times the $2,290 raised by challenger Hermy Almonte. For this campaign, Prola has raised $31,063, the most of any candidate in the 2012 election. District 2 candidate Mack-Rose follows with $26,366.

There are no campaign contribution limits in San Leandro, so individuals and businesses may contribute any amount of money to local campaigns. Donations of $99 or less do not have to be itemized, but candidates are required to report the source of any donation of $100 or more.

Pre-election campaign statements for current City Council candidates were due October 25, 2012, for the reporting period October 1 to October 20 and are summarized below. This is the last reporting deadline prior to the election. Only contributions of $1,000 of more are required to be reported between October 21 and the election.


Jim Prola

Prola reported $23,516 in his campaign account from $10,209 in contributions. Prola reported $12,000 in outstanding campaign debt.

Significant contributions to Prola included:

  • $2,500 from the San Leandro Police Officers Association
  • $1,500 from UNITY PAC
  • $1,000 from the San Leandro Chamber of Commerce PAC
  • $1,000 from IFPTE, Local 21 PAC, which represents city employees
  • $500 from MAPA PAC, AFSCME Local 1001
  • $500 from AMSCME District Council 36 PAC
  • $500 from Construction and General Laborers Local 304 PAC
  • $500 from Northern California Carpenters Regional Council
  • $100 from Assemblymember Bob Weickowski
  • $100 from Hayward City Council candidate Al Mendall

Prola's expenses included:

Jim Prola's Campaign Statement for October 1 to October 20, 2012


Hermy Almonte

Almonte reported $3,033 in his campaign account from $2,290 in contributions and a $3,100 personal loan to his campaign from his wife Maria. Almonte reported $4,500 in outstanding campaign debt.

Significant contributions to Almonte included:

  • $500 from Rodolfo and Paraluman Almonte
  • $500 from Joseph Daluraya

Almonte's campaign expenses included $1,490 to Handled With Care Mailing Service for postage and delivery and $632 to Akido Printing for campaign flyers.

Hermy Almonte's Campaign Statement for October 1 to October 20, 2012

The election will be held on November 6, 2012, and will be the second time that ranked choice voting is used in San Leandro elections.

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District 2 Incumbent Reed Edges Out Mack-Rose in Latest Fundraising Totals for San Leandro City Council Race

San Leandro City Council District 2 incumbent Ursula Reed edged out challenger Morgan Mack-Rose in contributions during the most recent reporting period with $6,297 in contributions to $5,254 to Mack-Rose. To date, Mack-Rose has raised $26,366, more than double the $12,997 raised by Reed. Dan Dillman had not submitted a financial report by the October 25, 2012, deadline.

There are no campaign contribution limits in San Leandro, so individuals and businesses may contribute any amount of money to local campaigns. Donations of $99 or less do not have to be itemized, but candidates are required to report the source of any donation of $100 or more.

Pre-election campaign statements for current City Council candidates were due October 25, 2012, for the reporting period October 1 to October 20 and are summarized below. This is the last reporting deadline prior to the election. Only contributions of $1,000 of more are required to be reported between October 21 and the election.


Ursula Reed
Incumbent Reed reported $10,776 in her campaign account from $6,297 in contributions. A $2,405 personal loan to her campaign reported in the previous statement was not listed.

Significant contributions to Reed included:

  • $2,500 from the San Leandro Police Officers Association
  • $500 from the Alameda County Firefighters Association
  • $500 from David Irmer of Innisfree, the developer of Village Marketplace
  • $500 from Daniel Boggan

Reed's campaign expenses included:

  • $2,039 to The Next Generation for campaign consulting
  • $525 to Democratic Voters Choice for a slate mailer
  • $500 to Election Digest 2012 for a slate mailer
  • $500 to Michael Buehler for information technology costs

Ursula Reed's Campaign Statement for October 1 to October 20, 2012

Morgan Mack-Rose
Mack-Rose reported $6,395 in her campaign account from $5,254 in contributions and a $5,000 loan to her campaign. That brings her total campaign debt to $9,000.

Significant contributions to Mack-Rose included:

  • $2,500 from the San Leandro Chamber of Commerce PAC
  • $500 from Evelyn and Juan Gonzalez
  • $250 from Michael Minnis
  • $200 from San Leandro School Board trustee Carmen Ward-Sullivan

Mack-Rose's expenses included:

Morgan Mack-Rose's Campaign Statement for October 1 to October 20, 2012

The election will be held on November 6, 2012, and will be the second time that ranked choice voting is used in San Leandro elections

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October 16, 2012

San Leandro City Council Candidates' Responses to Political Questionnaire

Each election, candidates for office answer questionnaires from organizations in order to gain their endorsement. Those endorsements can mean financial contributions to the candidate's campaign and the support of the members of that organization.

For most organizations, like the Alameda Labor Council and Sierra Club, those questionnaires are never released to the public. However, the Asian Pacific American Democratic Caucus of Alameda County has made candidates' questionnaires public and are available below.

For each candidate questionnaire, please click on the candidate's name.

Candidate questionnaires not listed above were not submitted by the candidate. On September 23, 2012, the Asian Pacific American Democratic Caucus of Alameda County endorsed Ursula Reed in District 2 and Benny Lee in District 4.

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October 9, 2012

Incumbent Prola Leads Fundraising in District 6 San Leandro City Council Race

In the District 6 San Leandro City Council race, incumbent Jim Prola raised $20,854 as of September 30, 2012, more than 10 times the $2,072 raised by challenger Hermy Almonte.

There are no campaign contribution limits in San Leandro, so individuals and businesses may contribute any amount of money to local campaigns. Donations of $99 or less do not have to be itemized, but candidates are required to report the source of any donation of $100 or more.

Pre-election campaign statements for current City Council candidates were due October 5, 2012, and are summarized below.


Jim Prola

Prola reported $21,123 in his campaign account from $20,854 in contributions. Prola reported $12,000 in outstanding campaign debt.

Significant contributions to Prola included:

Prola's expenses included:

  • $4,500 to Alliance Campaign Strategies for campaign consulting
  • $1,668.59 to Autumn Press for campaign literature
  • $1,408.84 to Impact Signs for campaign paraphernalia
  • $700 to Election Digest for a slate mailer
  • $650 to Your Ballot Guide for a slate mailer

Jim Prola's Campaign Statement for July 1 to September 30, 2012


Hermy Almonte

Almonte reported $1,185 in his campaign account from $2,072 in contributions and a $1,400 personal loan to his campaign from his wife Maria. Almonte reported $1,400 in outstanding campaign debt.

Significant contributions to Almonte included:

  • $600 from Stewart Chen, a chiropractor
  • $500 from Cassidy for Mayor 2010
  • $250 from Nestor Almonte, a supervisor with G2 Secure

Almonte's campaign expenses included $710.28 to Staples, FedEx Kinkos, Costco and Office Depot for campaign flyers, business cards, office supplies, and magnet signs.

Hermy Almonte's Campaign Statement for July 1 to September 30, 2012

The election will be held on November 6, 2012, and will be the second time that ranked choice voting is used in San Leandro elections. The last day to register to vote is October 22, 2012.

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October 8, 2012

Crow Leads Fundraising in District 4 San Leandro City Council Race

In the District 4 San Leandro City Council race, Chris Crow narrowly out-raised his opponents, reporting $4,505 in contributions. Darlene Daevu reported raising $3,300 and Benny Lee reported raising $2,288. Justin Hutchison had not filed a statement as of October 8, 2012. However, Daevu and Lee ended the reporting period with more cash on hand because of personal loans that each made to their campaigns.

There are no campaign contribution limits in San Leandro, so individuals and businesses may contribute any amount of money to local campaigns. Donations of $99 or less do not have to be itemized, but candidates are required to report the source of any donation of $100 or more.

Pre-election campaign statements for current City Council candidates were due October 5, 2012, and are summarized below.


Chris Crow

Crow reported $4,293 in his campaign account from $4,505 in contributions and $1,177 in personal loans to his campaign. Crow reported $1,677 in outstanding campaign debt.

Significant contributions to Crow included:

Crow's expenses included $316 to In and Out Printing.

Chris Crow's Campaign Statement for July 1 to September 30, 2012


Darlene Daevu

Daevu reported $11,167 in her campaign account from $3,300 in contributions and a $7,500 personal loan to her campaign. Daevu reported $7,500 in outstanding campaign debt.

Significant contributions to Daevu included:

  • $1,000 from former San Leandro City Councilmember Howard Kerr
  • $500 from Political Action Committee for Excellence, a local women's political group
  • $500 from SEIU Local 1021
  • $250 from former San Leandro City Councilmember and lobbyist Johan Klehs
  • $150 from former San Leandro City Councilmember Surlene Grant

Daevu's campaign expenses included:

Darlene Daevu's Campaign Statement for July 1 to September 30, 2012


Benny Lee

Benny Lee reported $5,473.94 in his campaign account from contributions totaling $2,288 and $10,000 in personal loans to his campaign. Lee reported $12,000 in outstanding campaign debt.

Significant contributions to Lee's campaign included:

  • $250 from Tom Silva of Eden Realty
  • $200 from former San Leandro Tony Santos and his wife
  • $200 from Derrick Gee
  • $100 from Mike & Susan Mahoney
  • $100 from Alameda City Councilmember Lena Tam

Lee's campaign expenses included:

  • $2,500 to Charles Gilcrest for campaign consulting
  • $1,452 to Autumn Press from campaign literature
  • $500 to Jamie McNeeley Consulting for information technology costs
  • $500 to Budget Watchdogs Newsletter, a slate mailer
  • $225 to the Alameda County Democrat Party for candidate travel, lodging, and meals

Benny Lee's Campaign Statement for July 1 to September 30, 2012

The election will be held on November 6, 2012, and will be the second time that ranked choice voting is used in San Leandro elections. The last day to register to vote is October 22, 2012.

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Mack-Rose Outraises Opponents in District 2 San Leandro City Council Race

In the 2012 San Leandro City Council races, District 2 challenger Morgan Mack-Rose leads her opponents with $21,112 in contributions, more than three times the $6,700 raised by incumbent Ursula Reed. Dan Dillman was a distant third, raising $1,524.

There are no campaign contribution limits in San Leandro, so individuals and businesses may contribute any amount of money to local campaigns. Donations of $99 or less do not have to be itemized, but candidates are required to report the source of any donation of $100 or more.

Pre-election campaign statements for current City Council candidates were due October 5, 2012, and are summarized below.


Morgan Mack-Rose

In District 2, Mack-Rose reported $10,822 in her campaign account from $21,112 in contributions and a $4,000 personal loan to her campaign.

Significant contributions to Mack-Rose included:

  • $3,000 from Margaret Walker, a retired doctor
  • $2,500 from the San Leandro Chamber of Commerce PAC
  • $2,500 from The Sentinels, a local political group
  • $2,250 from Galvan & Associates
  • $1,000 from Daniel Grace, owner of Dark Star Industries
  • $1,000 from Tim Holmes, owner of Zocalo Coffeehouse
  • $1,000 from Quadric Group
  • $1,000 from Innisfree Ventures, David Irmer's development firm
  • $1,000 from Political Action Committee for Excellence, a local women's political group
  • $1,000 from Cassidy for Mayor 2010
  • $256 from San Leandro School Board trustee Lance James
  • $100 from San Leandro School Board trustee Ron Carey

Mack-Rose's expenses included:

Morgan Mack-Rose's Campaign Statement for July 1 to September 30, 2012


Ursula Reed

Incumbent Reed reported $8,189 in her campaign account from $6,700 in contributions and a $2,405 personal loan to her campaign.

Significant contributions to Reed included:

  • $1,000 from Political Action Committee for Excellence, a local women's political group
  • $1,000 from Vernell Reed
  • $500 from California Real Estate PAC
  • $500 from Teamsters #853 PAC Fund
  • $500 from SEIU Local 1021
  • $500 from Electrical Workers Local #595
  • $400 from former San Leandro City Councilmember Surlene Grant
  • $250 from former San Leandro School Board Trustee Ken Pon

Reed's campaign expenses included:

Ursula Reed's Campaign Statement for July 1 to September 30, 2012


Dan Dillman

Dillman reported $624 in his campaign account from contributions totaling $1,524 and a $1,583 personal loan to his campaign.

Significant contributions to Dillman's campaign included:

  • $1,000 from Cindy Colindres, a software engineer
  • $100 from Pat Vadnais, an advertising manager for the San Leandro Times

Dillman's campaign expenses included $967 to Signs on the Cheap for campaign signs and VictoryStore for campaign sign wires.

Dan Dillman's Campaign Statement for July 1 to September 30, 2012

The election will be held on November 6, 2012, and will be the second time that ranked choice voting is used in San Leandro elections. The last day to register to vote is October 22, 2012.

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September 23, 2012

San Leandro City Council Candidates Make Their Case at Recent Forum

San Leandro City Council Candidates

On September 19, 2012, nine candidates for San Leandro City Council seats in Districts 2, 4, and 6, were at the Senior Community Center to make their case to a crowd of between 60 and 70 members of the community.

In San Leandro City Council elections, each candidate must reside in a specific district, but the entire City elects the candidate from each district. In District 2, incumbent Ursula Reed is being challenged by San Leandro School Board President Morgan Mack-Rose and Bal Theatre owner Dan Dillman. In District 4, former Planning Commissioner Chris Crow, Senior Commissioner Darlene Daevu, Personnel Relations Board member Benny Lee and Justin Hutchison are vying for the seat that became open when Joyce Starosciak resigned on August 1, 2012 In District 6, incumbent Jim Prola is being challenged by San Leandro School Board Vice President Hermy Almonte.

The questions were the same as those asked of those who applied for the District 4 City Council seat and were provided to the candidates in advance.

All candidates were given three minutes to make an opening statement, two minutes to answer each question, and a two minute closing statement.

In the only direct exchange of the night, Reed said, "It would have been wonderful to work for Measure L for the schools, but our school president wanted to come here and campaign against me...we could have been putting all our efforts in Measure L." Mack-Rose challenged Reed to campaign on behalf of Measure L and indeed, volunteers handed out flyers for Measure L with Mack-Rose's literature outside a recent back-to-school night event.

District 2:

When asked about the top two issues facing San Leandro, District 2 candidate Mack-Rose answered “the economy and public safety.” Mack-Rose said that the focus should be on crime prevention and noted that crime prevention officers were being re-assigned without consulting the public. For Dillman the top issue is the perception that San Leandro is not a wonderful place. Incumbent Reed said the top two two issues are the budget and safety. Reed said that “in order to have safety, we have to fund police officers” and said that the reason for the re-assignment of the crime prevention officers was because seven officers were out on workman's compensation.

District 4:

For Daevu, the top two issues facing San Leandro are the potential closure of San Leandro Hospital and Halus Wind Turbines. Crow also mentioned keeping San Leandro hospital open, but focused mainly on fiscal sustainability, including pension reforms needed to “get our fiscal house in order.” Hutchison said that the top two issues are public safety, noting the increase in crime and a decrease in the number of police officers, and businesses that don't want to come to our city. Hutchison said that he knew first-hand that “Criminals perceive our city as a place to go to commit crimes.” For Lee, the top two issues are budgetary and public safety.

District 6:

District 6 incumbent Prola succinctly stated that the top two issues facing San Leandro are public safety and public schools. Prola pointed out that although crime was up last year, but that was in part because crime in 2010 was at its lowest level in 30 years. He attributed the recent drop in crime to his emphasis on crime prevention. Almonte, as he did in many of his answers, focused on pension reform. Almonte noted that the COPS grant that funds five additional police officers, will expire soon, and the City of San Leandro will have to find an additional $800,000 to fund those positions.

The forum was sponsored by the Halcyon Foothill Neighborhood Association, the Best Manor Homeowners Association, and the Business Association of South San Leandro.

The election is November 6, 2012, and the last day to register to vote is October 22, 2012.

Video of the candidates making their statements and answering questions is available below:

District 2 Opening Statements:

District 4 Opening Statements:

District 6 Opening Statements:

District 2 Candidates on Why They Want to Serve on the Council:

District 4 Candidates on Why They Want to Serve on the Council:

District 6 Candidates on Why They Want to Serve on the Council:

District 2 Candidates on Being Part of a Successful Team:

District 4 Candidates on Being Part of a Successful Team:

District 6 Candidates on Being Part of a Successful Team:

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September 18, 2012

San Leandro Candidate Forum Tomorrow 9/19

San Leandro City Council candidates and California State 18th Assembly District candidates will appear at a forum tomorrow at 6:30pm at the San Leandro Senior Community Center.

The free event will start with light refreshments at 6pm, followed by the California State Assembly candidates, Rob Bonta and Abel Guillen at 6:30pm.

The San Leandro City Council candidates will take the stage at 8pm. The candidates in District 2 are Dan Dillman, Morgan Mack-Rose, and Ursula Reed. The District 4 candidates are Chris Crow, Darlene Daevu, Justin Hutchison, and Benny Lee. In District 6, the candidates are Hermy Almonte and Jim Prola.

The candidates will have three minutes for an opening statement, two minutes for a closing statement, and two minutes to answer each of the following questions (which are the same questions asked of the District 4 City Council applicants):

  1. Why are you interested in serving on the City Council?
  2. In your opinion, what are the two most pressing issues facing the City of San Leandro and how best should the City Council address these issues?
  3. How have you remained current and informed on city issues?
  4. Please summarize your experiences in community activities or issues affecting the City of San Leandro and could you give specific examples of your personal involvement?
  5. Have you even been part of a successful team and if so, what did you contribute to make it successful?
  6. Is there anything else you wish to share with the council that has not been covered in your interview this evening?

This is the first of two scheduled forums featuring San Leandro candidates. A second forum is scheduled for Tuesday, September 25 at 6pm at the Marina Community Center.

The San Leandro Senior Community Center is located at 13909 E. 14th Street in San Leandro near San Leandro Hospital.

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

Updated Sep. 19 with details of candidate forum.

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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.

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September 13, 2012

San Leandro City Council Appoints Tom Dlugosh to Replace Starosciak

At a sparsely-attended special meeting of the San Leandro City Council on Thursday, September 13, 2012, Planning Commissioner Tom Dlugosh was appointed as the new District 4 Councilmember to fill out the remainder of Joyce Starosciak's term.

The meeting began with San Leandro City Clerk drawing names to determine the order in which the four applicants would be interviewed. The order was Charles 'Chuck' Kane, Dana Chohlis, Tom Dlugosh, and John Faria.

The City Council was evenly divided on whether the applicants should be able to remain in the audience and listen to other applicants being interviewed or be sequestered out of earshot of the interviews. Mayor Stephen Cassidy decided to change his position and the applicants who were not being interviewed were moved to the Sister Cities Gallery.

The questions, decided at a previous City Council meeting were:

  1. Why are you interested in serving on the City Council?
  2. In your opinion, what are the two most pressing issues facing the City of San Leandro and how best should the City Council address these issues?
  3. How have you remained current and informed on city issues?
  4. Please summarize your experiences in community activities or issues affecting the City of San Leandro and could you give specific examples of your personal involvement?
  5. Have you even been part of a successful team and if so, what did you contribute to make it successful?
  6. Is there anything else you wish to share with the council that has not been covered in your interview this evening?

When asked about the two most pressing issues facing San Leandro, most of the applicants talked about the budget and business development. The topic of business development is high on the list for city officials with the recent resignation of Community Development Director Luke Sims, who has left to work in Dublin. Public safety was also mentioned by former San Leandro Police officer Kane and Chohlis.

Kane and Dlugosh gave brief answers that closely mirrored the brief answers on their applications. While Chohlis gave longer answers, it was Faria who demonstrated his knowledge by expounding on a number of issues. Faria served for 10 years on the Board of Zoning Adjustments before completing two terms on the City Council and a brief appointment as Mayor after Dave Karp died in office.

Dlugosh has been on the Planning Commission for 18 years and was previously President of the San Leandro Chamber of Commerce for a number of years.

During public comments, Chris Crow and David Erlich, who were eliminated from consideration for the appointment at a previous meeting, spoke in general terms about the issues facing the city in the next few months. Gerry Mellen, who served with Kane on the Board of SOS/Meals on Wheels, spoke in favor of appointing Kane to the position. Mellen previously served as the Treasurer for former Mayor Shelia Young, who sat in the front row during the meeting.

After thanking the applicants, the City Council proceeded to the first round vote:

ApplicantGregoryReedSouzaCutterProlaCassidy
Dana Chohlis
Tom DlugoshXXX
John FariaX
Charles KaneXX

With no applicant receiving four votes, Prola offered to change his vote from Faria to Dlugosh. However, Cassidy said that the Council should go with the process that had already been agreed upon and go to a second round of voting. For the second round, Chohlis was eliminated because she didn't receive any votes in the first round. The results of the second round of voting:

ApplicantGregoryReedSouzaCutterProlaCassidy
Tom DlugoshXXXX
John Faria
Charles KaneXX

With four votes to Kane's two votes, a motion was made to appoint Dlugosh to the San Leandro District 4 City Council seat. The motion passed unanimously and Dlugosh was immediately sworn in by San Leandro City Clerk Marian Handa.

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September 10, 2012

Demos Endorse Prola; Police Endorse Lee, Prola and Reed

San Leandro District 6 City Council candidate Jim Prola was endorsed by the Democratic Party on September 8. Prola is running for re-election against San Leandro School Board Vice-President Hermy Almonte.

Prola, along with District 2 candidate Ursula Reed and District 4 candidate Benny Lee, was on the consent calendar for the Alameda County Democratic Central Committee (ACDCC) meeting, but Reed and Lee were pulled from consent and candidates Morgan Mack-Rose and Chris Crow were nominated. That means Reed, Mack-Rose, Lee, and Crow will be interviewed by the ACDCC at its September 15 meeting. In order to receive the endorsement, candidates must receive at least 60% of the votes cast.

Although City Council races are non-partisan, the Democratic Party endorses candidates because once elected, some Councilmembers seek higher office, like current California State Senator Ellen Corbett and former California Assemblymember Johan Klehs.

In 2008, the Democrats endorsed Linda Perry in District 2, Joyce Starosciak in District 4, Jim Prola in District 6, and Mack-Rose when she campaigned for the San Leandro School Board.

According to San Leandro Police Officers Association (POA) President Mike Sobek, the POA has endorsed Ursula Reed in District 2, Benny Lee in District 4, and Prola in District 6. Sobek said that the endorsements were based on how well the candidates understood issues important to the POA and whether the POA believes that the candidate can win. When asked whether pensions were discussed, Sobek acknowledged that pensions were one issue of concern to the POA, but also said that the POA is not opposed to pension reform. The City of San Leandro is one of only four cities in Alameda County that pays the entire employee portion of the pension contribution.

District 2 candidate Dan Dillman and District 4 candidate Justin Hutchison were not interviewed for the endorsement because neither contacted the POA, according to Sobek.

In 2008, the San Leandro POA endorsed Charles Gilcrest in District 2, Joyce Starosciak in District 4, and Jim Prola in District 6. Unlike the Demoratic endorsement, the POA endorsement comes with a contribution to the candidate's campaign in 2008, that was $300.

The police employee contracts expire at the end of the year and new contracts are one of the items being discussed during a closed session meeting today.

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

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September 4, 2012

District 4 Candidates Snubbed by San Leandro City Council for Appointment

The San Leandro City Council eliminated half of the eight applicants for the appointment to the District 4 City Council seat to replace Joyce Starosciak at its meeting on Tuesday, September 4. None of the candidates in the November 6 election, Chris Crow, Darlene Daevu, or Benny Lee received a single vote. Neither did David Erlich.

Only Planning Commissioner Tom Dlugosh received votes from all of the City Councilmembers. Former Mayor John Faria received five votes - only Mayor Stephen Cassidy didn't vote for him. Former San Leandro Police officer Charles Kane received four votes - only Councilmembers Michael Gregory and Ursula Reed didn't vote for him. School teacher Dana Chohlis received three votes - from Gregory, Reed, and Cassidy.

ApplicantGregoryReedSouzaCutterProlaCassidy
Dana ChohlisXXX
Chris Crow
Darlene Daevu
Tom DlugoshXXXXXX
David Erlich
John FariaXXXXX
Charles KaneXXXX
Benny Lee

With nearly all City Council candidates seeking the Alameda County Democratic Party endorsement, City Council candidate Jim Prola made two interesting choices by selecting registered Republicans Kane and Faria. Reed, who is also up for re-election, also selected Faria.

The San Leandro City Council will meet on September 13 to interview the four applicants and decide who will be the next District 4 Councilmember. That person will serve until December 31, 2012.

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August 23, 2012

San Leandro District 4 Applicants on Why They Want to be Appointed

The deadline for applicants seeking to be appointed to the District 4 San Leandro City Council seat was Monday, August 20, 2012. The eight applications include information on education and training, previous City appointments, community group involvement and "why you want to be appointed to the City Council." Below are the reasons given by each of the candidates (in alphabetical order) followed by a link to the completed applications.

Dana Chohlis:

I have lived in San Leandro for over 30 years. For 15 years I lived in the Davis Street area and 15 years in Washington Manor. I am interested in this short-term assignment as a way to give back to San Leandro and help for a few months guide the city in the positive direction it has been aimed over the past few years. San Leandro has been a wonderful place to raise my family and I continue to live here and enjoy being a residence long after my children have graduated from college and started their own families.

Chris Crow:

I have a lot of pride in our city and our people. I want to help expand our business, improve city services, and champion a quality of second to none for San Leandrans.

Darlene Daevu:

Our City Hall is operating in the worst State budget crisis ever. Sacramento is raiding the budget ever. Sacramento is raiding the budget we count on for essential city services like police, fire, libraries, and services for senior citizens. I have learned a great deal as a San Leandro Senior Commissioner. I want to take my volunteer service to the next level and fight for the services our residents need during these recessionary times. Serving as a city council member will provide that opportunity. My promise to the City an its residents is to be a voice for open, transparent, responsive and accountable local government.

Thomas Dlugosh:

It would be an honor to serve on the City Council.

David Erlich:

To minimise public controversy and insure a smooth transition.

John Faria:

I am concerned that who is appointed has knowledge of the District and the whole city.

Charles Kane:

I have spent the major part of my adult life as resident and employee of the City of San Leandro The City has been good to me, I want to serve. I am well qualified because I know the City and its Government, and I know the people. I have the background and the skill to serve well.

Benny Lee:

To serve and represent the voters of San Leandro and to be both a listener and a voice for all San Leandro communities.

Here are links to each of the submitted applications:

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August 21, 2012

Eight Applicants Vie for Appointment to the District 4 San Leandro City Council Seat

On the last day for applications for the District 4 San Leandro City Council seat appointment, five more people submitted applications, bringing the total to eight.

The applicants include candidates Chris Crow, Darlene Daevu, and Benny Lee. Other applicants for the appointment are Dana Chohlis, a teacher in the Lafayette School District, Planning Commissioner Thomas Dlugosh, David Erlich, who withdrew his candidacy for the District 4 election, former San Leandro Mayor John Faria, and former City of San Leandro employee Charles Kane.

Dana Chohlis
Dana Chohlis
Chohlis teaches fourth grade at Lafayette School and previously taught for nine years at McKinley Elementary. She is an officer (Port Captain) and past Commodore of the Alameda Yacht Club, where former San Leandro Chamber CEOs Heidi Benson [Finberg] and Diana Gentry are Social Directors.

Dlugosh has served on the Planning Commission since 2005 and is a member of the Sentinels, a group of local business people that function as a political action committee and contribute money to local political campaigns.

Erlich moved to San Leandro from Lancaster, where he ran unsuccessfully for the Republican Central Committee in 2010. He has spoken at a few recent City Council meetings.

John Faria
John Faria
Faria was the District 1 City Councilmember from 1986 until he was appointed Mayor in June 1993 after the death of Mayor Dave Karp. As part of the appointment, Faria reportedly agreed not to run for Mayor, but changed his mind and finished third in the 1994 Mayoral race. Faria also unsuccessfully ran for the Oro Loma Sanitary District Board in 2006 and is a member of the Sentinels.

Kane has served on the Recreation and Parks Commission since 2011. He worked for the City of San Leandro for 35 years, including with the San Leandro Police Department for 28 years and is now retired.

The appointment to the District 4 City Council sear will be for a maximum of three and a half months, until December 31, 2012.

The City Council seat was vacated by Joyce Starosciak when she resigned on August 1, 2012. The City Charter mandates that the vacancy be filled by an appointment within 60 days.

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August 18, 2012

Just Three Applicants for City Council Appointment With Deadline Approaching

With the deadline a few days away, just three people have filed an application for the appointment to the District 4 San Leandro City Council seat. The last time the City Council appointed a member of the City Council, in 2007, there were 12 applicants, but that was for a two-year appointment and this appointment will be for a maximum of three and a half months.

San Leandro Bytes was able to confirm that two of the applicants are Chris Crow and Charles Kane. Crow is also a candidate for the seat in the November election, while Kane said that he does not want to run for elected office. Kane has lived in San Leandro since 1950 and worked for the City of San Leandro for 35 years. Although the third applicant is not known, Benny Lee, who is also running for the seat in November, informed San Leandro Bytes that he will submit his application for the appointment before the deadline.

The City Council seat was vacated by Joyce Starosciak when she resigned on August 1, 2012. The City Charter mandates that the vacancy be filled by an appointment within 60 days. The deadline to submit an application is August 20, 2012, at 5pm.

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August 13, 2012

Candidate Statements From 2012 District 6 San Leandro City Council Candidates

San Leandro City Council candidates may submit a 200-word candidate statement that will be mailed to voters with the sample ballot. In order to submit a statement, the candidate must submit the estimated $1,400 fee with the San Leandro City Clerk.

The deadline for the candidate statements was Friday, August 10, 2012, and candidates have until 5pm today to withdraw their statements:

Hermy Almonte, Vice-President, San Leandro School Board

We cannot continue to talk about pension reform yet do nothing. The City is spending $13 million annually, or nearly 20% of its revenue, on pensions. Funds to repair streets, maintain senior services, and keep libraries and pools open are instead being used to pay for employee pensions. As San Leandro School Board Vice President, I made hard choices to balance budgets and preserve student programs. I supported the successful bond to renovate school athletic fields and collaborated with my colleagues to complete construction of the ninth grade campus and Arts Center under budget and on time. As your Councilmember, I will bring real reform to City Hall. We must negotiate leaner retirement packages for city employees, and generate new revenue by helping existing businesses and attracting new ones. San Leandro averages two residential burglaries daily. This is unacceptable. We must hire more police officers and step up efforts to keep our neighborhoods safe. My goals include preserving the Marina and shoreline and creating job opportunities for youth and empowering them to become leaders. I pledge to listen to you, work hard, act with integrity, be responsive to the needs of our diverse community, and always put the people of San Leandro first.


Jim Prola, San Leandro City Councilmember

Serving the people of San Leandro as your Councilmember is an honor, My wife and I chose San Leandro to raise our family and it has been our home for 35 years. We raised three children here and take pride in being active parents, grandparents and citizens.

Preserving San Leandro's wonderful quality of life is important to all of us, Despite the economic downturn, I fought on the Council to save child care programs and branch libraries, keep San Leandro Hospital open, and move forward on constructing affordable housing for seniors.

Working together, we reduced city pension costs by $2.8 million, produced a balanced budget, opened a new senior center, brought Kaiser to San Leandro, secured "Safe Routes to Schools" funding, and saved money by making the city more energy efficient.

There is more work to be done, I will continue to take the lead in making public safety a priority and keeping our neighborhoods safe, bringing new business to our city, partnering with our schools for educational excellence, taking care of our seniors, and continuing on the path to fiscal stability.

I am proud to be supported by State Senator Ellen Corbett and would be honored to have your vote. www.JimProla.org


The election will be held on November 6, 2012. Since there are only two candidates for the seat, ranked choice voting (also known an instant runoff) will not be a factor in the election. The last day to register to vote is October 22, 2012.

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Candidate Statements From 2012 District 4 San Leandro City Council Candidates

San Leandro City Council candidates may submit a 200-word candidate statement that will be mailed to voters with the sample ballot. In order to submit a statement, the candidate must submit the estimated $1,400 fee with the San Leandro City Clerk.

After David Erlich notified the San Leandro City Clerk that he was withdrawing his candidacy on Friday, August 10, 2012, there are four candidates for the District 4 seat. The candidates are former Planning Commissioner Chris Crow, Senior Commissioner Darlene Daevu, Justin Hutchison, an Executive Team Leader at Target, and Personnel Relations Board Member Benny Lee.

The deadline for the candidate statements was Friday, August 10, 2012, and candidates have until 5pm today to withdraw their statements:

Chris Crow, Business Consultant

As the economy recovers, San Leandro continues to compete for jobs, revenue, and a better quality of life for its citizens. Our City Council needs fresh energy, innovative ideas, and a modern perspective to navigate the economic and social challenges of the 21st century.

I am a graduate of San Leandro's Leadership Program and serve in the San Leandro Education Foundation, the San Leandro Sports Foundation, Rotary Club of San Leandro, Relay for Life, and the Measure M School Bond campaign, in addition to volunteering countless hours in our public schools. These efforts have led to new funding, improved assets, and a better perception of our community. As a former member of the Planning Commission I have a keen understanding of the various processes that occur within our city and have experience collaborating with others to make tough and important decisions.

I have tremendous pride in our city and our people. Growing up and living most my life in San Leandro have shown me what great things our community can achieve. As your Council representative, I will work tirelessly to expand our business base, improve city services, and champion a quality of life for San Leandrans second to none. Please visit www.votechriscrow.com for more information.


Darlene Daevu, Business Professional

A homeowner with a vested interest and goals to keep San Leandro a nice place to live.

As a public servant since 1987, I have labored for public safety in Criminal Justice and I presently work in Public Health, Cultural Competency. Today's world demands representatives who value diversity and recognize its impact on strength based policy making. I possess inclusionary vision, dedication and work experiences to achieve our goals of safety, economic stability and affordability.

My private sector experience includes financial planning, private fiduciary and residential property landlord. Armed with graduate and undergraduate degrees in Business Administration, as well as public and private sector business experiences, I'm empowered and qualified to represent our community.

Since my appointment as Senior Commissioner, I have been working to develop a community driven strategy to prevent violence and increase safety. We have a moral obligation to assist seniors not only because it is the right thing to do, but also to demonstrate our gratitude for their civic engagement and tax contributions to our City.

In these recessionary times, we are in need of reasonable, reliable, hard working spokesperson to put forward our concerns. Therefore, I am humbly requesting your 1st or 2nd choice vote.


Justin Hutchison did not file a candidate statement.


Benny Lee, Statewide Non-Profit Technology and Financial Manager, City Commissioner, Homeowner's Association President

We can make San Leandro better and I will do my part to bring positive changes. My wife and I raised our child here and now that he's in college I have more time to give back to our community.

While serving as City of San Leandro Recreation and Parks Commissioner, Personnel Relations Board Member, Homeowner's Association President, Asian Community Cultural Association President, and volunteer I've spoken with many of you and share your concerns and hopes.

Public Safety is our top priority and above all else I will make sure that neighborhood policing and our firehouses remain fully staffed. With San Leandro leading the way in new technology, we can attract new businesses, increase shopping choices and bring good new jobs to San Leandro so we can turn commute time to family time.

The city runs on your tax dollars and with my financial expertise I will make sure your money is spent wisely. My long-term goals are to fully restore library cuts, fix our roads, and make sure city services are accessible to all community members. I support schools and will work to increase cooperation with our school districts.

Please vote Benny Lee for San Leandro City Council - District 4. www.ElectBennyLee.com


The election will be held on November 6, 2012. This will be the second San Leandro election to use ranked choice voting (also known an instant runoff). The last day to register to vote is October 22, 2012.

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Candidate Statements From 2012 District 2 San Leandro City Council Candidates

San Leandro City Council candidates may submit a 200-word candidate statement that will be mailed to voters with the sample ballot. In order to submit a statement, the candidate must submit the estimated $1,400 fee with the San Leandro City Clerk.

The deadline for the candidate statements was Friday, August 10, 2012, and candidates have until 5pm today to withdraw their statements:

Dan Dillman, Owner, Historic BAL Theatre

The status quo must go. The people of San Leandro need a true representative, a leader in the community who will serve as mediator, defender and Watcher over government, demanding accountability and transparency, protecting citizens and our tax dollars, while carefully guiding our city to success. This is how I will serve you on the City Council. We must erase the lines of division and clear a bright path to our future. I will fight for your rights and needs with the same passion I fight for Truth and Justice. Our city's future can be redefined with a strong, vibrant economy with thriving services, shopping, dining, schools and entertainment, while enjoying safe neighborhoods. Achieving this will make our City stronger and more desirable enhancing the quality of our lives. We must strengthen our business community while remaining a hometown in which your family, friends and you, can live and thrive. My experience, dedication, and passion for our community has prepared me to build better bridges to our city's future. Demand Change and Stand with me, Dan Dillman, this November. Dan Dillman, Xzault, The Historic BAL Theatre, 14808 East 14th Street, San Leandro CA 94578, 510-614-7700 office, dan@xzault.com, http://www.baltheatre.com


Morgan Mack-Rose, President, SLUSD Board of Trustees

I'm running for City Council because I care for our city and its future.

San Leandro is a diverse city with great possibilities, such as the new Fiber network and new Kaiser Hospital, but we're missing out. We need an active Council member who will pursue these opportunities. I bring the proven ability to make tough decisions, bring people together, and make progress despite hard times.

As a mother with daughters in San Leandro's public schools, I understand the critical role schools play and as School Board President, during one of our history's worst economies, I sought community input, prioritized accountability, and helped bring $200 million in construction projects on-time, under-budget, with union labor.

I will bring this same drive and leadership as your council member. We must have a cohesive vision and actively pursue opportunities; creating high-tech incubators, encouraging local business, and promoting our city's advantages. We must bring sustainability to our budget, prioritize libraries, parks, and community services which contribute to our daily quality of life, and fully staff our public safety departments .

I bring the leadership, focus, and drive to deliver real results for San Leandro. I would be honored to have your vote.

www.MorganForSanLeandro.com


Ursula Reed, San Leandro City Council Member

As your Councilmember these past four years, and as your former Vice-Mayor, I've made it my top priorities to listen, build consensus among diverse communities, and find workable solutions.

I've helped move San Leandro forward, with increased economic development, more job opportunities, and an improved quality of life. We've balanced our budget, opened our new Senior Center, moved forward with new developments that will create jobs and grow our economy like the Kaiser project and the Fiber Loop project, and we're reducing blight and improving our Downtown with the development at the old Albertsons site.

Going forward, you can count on me to focus on expanding economic opportunity, increasing public safety, and revitalizing our neighborhoods.

I'll pursue private/public partnerships to offset the lack of State funding, work towards a compatible shoreline development plan, and increase police technology, and I'm currently working to save San Leandro Hospital.

My past service includes work as a school teacher, principal, and Library Commissioner. I'm also Chair of the County Housing Commission and a County Fire Commissioner.

I'm supported by Senate Majority Leader Ellen Corbett, Mayor Emeritus Shelia Young, former Vice-Mayor Surlene Grant, and many more.

Contact me with questions, comments, solutions: ReElectReed@gmail.com, www.UrsulaReed.com.


The election will be held on November 6, 2012. This will be the second San Leandro election to use ranked choice voting (also known an instant runoff). The last day to register to vote is October 22, 2012.

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August 10, 2012

Justin Hutchison Fifth Candidate for San Leandro City Council District 4 Seat

The field of candidates for the San Leandro City Council District 4 seat increased to five as Justin Hutchison filed his nomination papers on August 9, 2012. The other candidates for the seat previously occupied by Joyce Starosciak are Chris Crow, Darlene Daevu, David Erlich, and Benny Lee.

Hutchison has lived in San Leandro since he was born. He is married with three children and works for Target as an Executive Team Leader in assets protection. He is a registered Democrat and has not held elective office previously.

When asked why he was running for City Council, Hutchison responded, “We have failed to maintain this city with constant change and growth. Our streets are old and unpaved, Our Law Enforcement is running at mid 90's staffing levels and our schools and sports facilities do not compete with what other cities are offering. We have failed to draw upscale restaurants, shopping and entertainment that our peer cities have drawn in. In my opinion, we can one day make San Leandro into a thriving vibrant safe city, but we need leadership with an outside perspective, not just more of the same......”

If elected, his three priorities are to increase the police force, improve schools, parks, and sporting facilities, and bring better restaurants, shopping, and entertainment to San Leandro.

All of the District 4 candidates have filed their nomination papers and only Hutchison and Lee have yet to be qualified as a candidate, according to the San Leandro City Clerk.

Previous City Council members from District 4:

  • Bob Glaze, 1984 - 1992
  • Howard Kerr, 1992 - 1996
  • Bob Glaze, 1996 - 2005
  • Joyce Starosciak 2005 - 2012

The City Council seats for Districts 2, 4, and 6 are up for election on November 6, 2012. This will be the second San Leandro election to use ranked choice voting (also known an instant runoff). The last day to register to vote is October 22, 2012.

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August 7, 2012

Slow Financial Start to San Leandro City Council Races

The San Leandro City Council races for November 2012 are off to a slow financial start, according to campaign finance reports for the first half of 2012 recently filed with the City Clerk. Semi-annual campaign statements for active campaign accounts were due August 1, 2012 and are summarized below.

District 2
In the District 2 race, all candidates didn't have any money as of June 30. Only incumbent Ursula Reed filed a financial report while opponents Morgan Mack-Rose and Dan Dillman didn't file, likely because no money had been raised as of June 30. Reed reported no contributions or expenses.



District 4
In District 4, Benny Lee leads the field with a $2,000 loan to his campaign from Rose Ng. Lee reported no campaign expenses. Chris Crow reported $800.31 in his campaign account, mostly from a $500 loan he made to his account last year. Crow reported no campaign expenses.

Benny Lee's Campaign Statement for January 1 to June 30, 2012
Chris Crow's Campaign Statement for January 1 to June 30, 2012

Darlene Daevu raised a total of $1,018 including $500 from Gloria Oliver, a co-worker at the City of San Francisco. Daevu also contributed $100 to her campaign. A single expense of $20 to Citibank was reported, leaving Daevu with $998 in her campaign account.

Darlene Daevu's Campaign Statement for January 1 to June 30, 2012


District 6

Incumbent Jim Prola made an $8,000 loan to his campaign to bring his campaign account to $11,778.45. That brings Prola's outstanding campaign debt to $12,000. Prola reported no contributions or expenses during the reporting period.

Jim Prola's Campaign Statement for January 1 to June 30, 2012

San Leandro School Board Trustee Hermy Almonte didn't file a financial report, likely because no money had been raised as of June 30.

The election will be held on November 6, 2012, and will be the second time that ranked choice voting is used in San Leandro elections. The last day to register to vote is October 22, 2012.

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August 4, 2012

Hermy Almonte to Run for District 6 San Leandro City Council Seat Against Prola

Almonte_small.jpg
Hermy Almonte
San Leandro School Board trustee Hermy Almonte announced on Friday that he will run against incumbent San Leandro City Councilmember Jim Prola for the District 6 City Council seat. Almonte pulled papers with the San Leandro City Clerk on Friday, indicating his intention to run. In his announcement on Facebook, Almonte wrote, “I am running for city council because there are community and public needs that have to be addressed.”

Almonte was elected to the Area 1 seat of the San Leandro School Board in 2008, defeating incumbent Rick Richards. Earlier in 2008, Almonte had an unsuccessful run for the District 6 City Council seat, in a race that included Jim Prola and three other candidates. Prola received nearly 58% of the vote, avoiding a run-off election.

Prola pulled papers to run for re-election on July 16, 2012. The deadline for filing is August 10, 2012, and will not be extended since Prola, the incumbent, is running.

The election will be held on November 6, 2012. The City Council seats for Districts 2, 4, and 6 are up for election. The last day to register to vote is October 22, 2012.

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July 31, 2012

David Erlich Becomes Fourth Candidate for the District 4 San Leandro City Council Seat

David Erlich pulled papers last week to run for the District 4 San Leandro City Council seat. Erlich joins Chris Crow, Darlene Daevu, and Benny Lee as the fourth potential seat being vacated by Joyce Starosciak, who resigned as of August 1, 2012.

Erlich spoke at a recent meeting of the City Council, criticizing the appointment of Bridge Housing employee Kevin Leichner to the Planning Commission. Erlich, who moved to San Leandro from Lancaster, is now the only candidate registered as a Republican. In 2010, Erlich ran for the Republican Central Committee in the 36th Assembly District, finishing eighth out of 11 candidates. Erlich did not respond to a request for additional information.

The deadline to complete the filing to be a candidate is Friday, August 10.

The election will be held on November 6, 2012. The City Council seats for Districts 2, 4, and 6 are up for election.

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July 29, 2012

San Leandro City Council Does U-Turn on Marijuana Facilities

After lengthy discussions, two moratoriums, and a proposed ban on marijuana facilities with a sunset clause, the San Leandro City Council decided to reject a proposed ban on marijuana facilities at its meeting on July 16, 2012. An ordinance for regulating marijuana facilities will now go to the Rules Committee, where Councilmembers will work with staff to provide direction in crafting an ordinance. The members of that committee are Mayor Stephen Cassidy and Councilmembers Jim Prola and Diana Souza.

Nine speakers spoke against an ordinance banning marijuana facilities, including District 4 City Council candidate Chris Crow, who argued that a ban would violate the First Amendment rights of patients. District 2 City Council candidate Dan Dillman also spoke against the proposed ordinance. Three speakers spoke in favor of a ban, including Benny Lee, one of Crow's opponents.

Prola spoke at length against a ban on marijuana facilities, as he has done during previous discussions. Souza and Starosciak made it clear that they supported a complete ban, while Councilmember Pauline Cutter said that she would support the alternative to the ordinance banning marijuana facilities. Councilmember Ursula Reed admitted she had been “on the fence” about medical marijuana because she doesn't want to open the door on crime, despite having many friends and relatives who have cancer.

Mayor Stephen Cassidy, who had supported an ordinance banning marijuana dispensaries at previous meetings, joined the new majority opposed to a ban. Cassidy stated, “I'm also concerned, given the actions of the Assistant United States Attorney General for the Northern District of California [Melinda Haag], that the option of adequate nearby access for San Leandrans is at-risk and potentially disappearing. You cannot say that you are in support of medical marijuana but then not allow patients to have the opportunity to purchase it.... I think we have an Assistant [U.S.] Attorney General that is operating as a bully and I don't like bullies and I think San Leandro has to stand up and be accounted for in this process.

The City Council's decision went against City staff's recommendation to “add Municipal Code Chapter 4-33 prohibiting the establishment and operation of Medical Marijuana Cooperatives, Collectives, Dispensaries and Cultivation Facilities in the City of San Leandro.” At the end of the Law Enforcement Analysis section of the staff report, the San Leandro Police indicated its strong and absolute support of the ordinance banning marijuana facilities, stating “The San Leandro Police Department supports all efforts to ban medical marijuana dispensaries, cooperatives, collectives, cultivation, and grow facilities.”

The history of San Leandro's prohibitions of dispensaries dates back to December 2004 when the City Council enacted a moratorium on marijuana dispensaries to prevent one from opening in San Leandro. Subsequent ordinances were passed in January 2005 and January 2006. The moratorium lapsed in December 2006, but was reinstated in October 2010. A staff report in November 2010 recommended that the City Council enact a 22-month moratorium, but the City Council voted for a 10-month moratorium. In September 2011, that moratorium was subsequently extended until September 2012 and cannot be extended because the State of California places time limits on the urgency ordinance used to enact the moratorium.

At the June 18, 2012, City Council meeting, the staff report recommended an ordinance to permanently ban marijuana facilities so that a ban would be in place before the moratorium expired. Prola, however, offered a motion to delay consideration of the ordinance until after the California Supreme Court ruled on two relevant cases. Vice Mayor Michael Gregory seconded the motion, which was defeated 5-2. Councilmember Joyce Starosciak subsequently motioned to direct staff to draft an ordinance banning marijuana facilities, as recommended in the staff report. Souza seconded the motion, which failed 4-3. Councilmember Pauline Cutter also voted in favor of directing staff to draft an ordinance banning marijuana facilities. Cutter then offered what seemed to be a compromise, motioning to direct staff to draft an ordinance that would ban “medical marijuana cooperatives, collectives, dispensaries and cultivation facilities in the City of San Leandro” until June 30, 2013.” That motion passed 6-1, with Prola voting against it. The draft ordinance banning marijuana facilities was on the July 2, 2012, City Council agenda, but was pulled after the California Second District Court of Appeals ruled that a municipality could not impose a complete ban on medical marijuana facilities.

An ordinance to regulate marijuana facilities will be discussed at the August 28, 2012, meeting of the Rules and Communications Committee. The meeting is scheduled to start at 4:30pm, but no location was available as of July 29.

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July 11, 2012

San Leandro City Council to Start Process to Replace Starosciak

The San Leandro City Council will begin the process of appointing a replacement for Councilmember Joyce Starosciak at its July 16 meeting. Starosciak, the Councilmember for District 4, announced that she would move out of San Leandro in July or August, leaving her seat vacant.

The recommendation from staff is to declare its intention to appoint a replacement, direct staff to provide public notice of the vacancy and the application process, and approve the timeline and process for the appointment.

According to the analysis in the staff report, "In order to meet the 60-day timeframe required by the Charter, staff recommends that the Council approve an appointment process and timeline tonight similar to past Council appointment processes, so the application process can commence during the August recess."

The draft application is the same as that used in 2007, which includes current employment information and responsibilities and the following as part of a questionnaire:

  • Please describe your education, training, and/or any special certifications
  • Please explain why you want to be appointed to the City Council
  • Please list any previous City of San Leandro Board Commission, or Committee on which you have served as well as any community organizations to which you belong or have belonged
  • Please provide any additional information you wish which covers your qualifications, interests, or training related to this appointment

Applicants must be a registered voter and resident of District 4 for the 30 days preceding the appointment. During the 2007 appointment process, applicants were also required to submit valid signatures from 20 registered voters. That requirement eliminated one of the 12 applicants in 2007.

The staff report notes that the City Council may "establish criteria beyond the basic qualifications" such as participation on City Council, Board/Commission or committee, diversity, and/or not a candidate for elected office.

If the City Council appoints someone who is running for the seat, it will be a huge advantage for that person in the November 2012 election. Since 1970, only three incumbents have been defeated: Councilmember Al Nahm in 1974, Mayor John Faria in 1994, and Mayor Tony Santos in 2010.

The proposed schedule includes a period to advertise the vacancy from July 23 to July 27, an application period from July 30 to August 17, with public interviews and appointment of the new District 4 Councilmember on September 4 or September 10. The newly appointed Councilmember would serve until January 1, 2013.

The application period overlaps the nomination period for City Council candidates, which starts on July 16 and ends on August 10, 2012. So far, Chris Crow, Darlene Daevu, and Benny Lee have filed paperwork to run for the District 4 seat.

The San Leandro City Council meets on July 16 at 7pm at the Council Chambers located at 835 E. 14th Street.

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July 3, 2012

Transcript of Joyce Starosciak's Resignation from San Leandro City Council

On July 2, 2012, San Leandro Councilmember Joyce Starosciak read this statement during the City Council Reports and Announcements portion of the agenda:

To the City Council and the community of San Leandro, I want you to know that I love San Leandro with all my heart. And I've always pictured myself living here the rest of my life. At this time, however, I have made the decision to move out of the Bay Area. As you may guess, this has been a lengthy and very difficult decision to make. Born and raised in San Leandro, I have often said that the soil is literally in my bones.

When I lost the election for Mayor of San Leandro, I was heartbroken. In order to move on from the daily reminder of this loss, it has become necessary to leave. While I would desire to finish my term as City Councilmember in December, my family is first priority. With my son starting high school in the fall and my daughter starting Junior High, this summer is clearly the best time for them to make a large change in their lives. My priority is to make the adjustment easiest on them.

We will be moving this summer and my council seat will become vacant as soon as I am disqualified to serve. I expect this to occur around the beginning of August. I love San Leandro. It has been a wonderful place to raise my family. I am thankful and honored to have had the chance to serve in elected and appointed office for over 14 years in this very special city.

I have appreciated all the community engagement and the energy from friends, colleagues, and residents that I've met through the years. I'm confident that San Leandro is on the right path and will soon be a world class city with a new hospital, a revitalized shoreline and a bustling downtown.

I wish for San Leandro all the best and a bright future. We will not be far away and will return often to watch as you bloom and prosper.

With warm regards and God's gracious blessings, Joyce Starosciak, San Leandro City Councilmember, District 4

Click here for the audio

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Joyce Starosciak to Resign from San Leandro City Council

Joyce Starociak
Joyce Starosciak
At the San Leandro City Council meeting July 2, 2012, District 4 Councilmember Joyce Starosciak announced that she will resign when she moves out of San Leandro in August. Starosciak cited her loss in the 2010 Mayoral race as part of the reason for leaving San Leandro.

According to Section 250 of the San Leandro City Charter, the City Council must appoint a replacement within 60 days of a vacancy or hold a special election. Since a special election means additional costs and could result in a very short term of office for the winner, the San Leandro City Council is expected to appoint a replacement.

As part of her stump speech while campaigning for Mayor, Starosciak said that she was born and raised in San Leandro, unlike her opponents, who moved to San Leandro as adults. Starosciak attended Pacific High School but graduated from San Leandro High when Pacific High was closed. Her website still states, "I have always been proud of my hometown…I have a true dedication to our future."

Starosciak couldn't have run for re-election anyway since term limits restrict City Councilmembers to two consecutive terms. Three candidates have already filed to run for Starosciak's seat in the November 2012 election: Darlene Daevu, Chris Crow, and Benny Lee.

The last time the City Council appointed a Councilmember was in February 2007 when Jim Prola replaced Tony Santos. Twelve people applied for that appointment. In July 2001, the City Council appointed Orval "OB" Badger to replace Gordon Galvan, who resigned from the City Council.

Starosciak served as on the Recreation and Parks Commission from 1993 to 1994, before she was elected to the San Leandro School Board Area 4 seat over Wayne Jeffries in 1994. After moving to a different part of San Leandro, Starosciak was elected to the District 4 City Council seat in a runoff election against Mike Mahoney in 2005. In 2008, Starosciak was re-elected after defeating Paul Gonzales and Lou Filipovich. Most recently, Starosciak lost her campaign for Mayor, coming in third behind Stephen Cassidy and Santos.

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June 26, 2012

Benny Lee, Dan Dillman, and Ursula Reed File for San Leandro City Council

Benny Lee made his candidacy for the District 4 San Leandro City Council seat official today by filing paperwork with the San Leandro City Clerk's office. Lee had announced his intention to run for the seat in January 2012.

Lee joins Darlene Daevu and Chris Crow in the race for the seat currently held by Councilmember Joyce Starosciak, who will be termed out of office this year. Crow initially filed to run for the District 2 seat held by Ursula Reed, but filed to run for the District 4 seat on May 4, 2012, after moving to a house on Fleming Street.

Like Daevu, Lee was appointed to a commission by Mayor Stephen Cassidy. Less currently serves on the Personnel Relations Board and was previously appointed to the Recreation and Parks Commission in March 2007. He also serves as President of the Heron Bay Home Owners Association and the Asian Community Cultural Association of San Leandro.

Lee is registered as decline-to-state.

Meanwhile in District 2, Bal Theatre owner Dan Dillman filed to run for Reed's District 2 seat on June 21. Reed filed June 25 to run for re-election. Dillman has been battling the City of San Leandro on permitted uses of the Bal Theatre and was recently convicted of resisting arrest, battery upon a peace officer and interfering with an investigation for a 2010 incident. Dillman is appealing the conviction.

In District 6, Councilmember Jim Prola has indicated that he will run for re-election, but nobody has filed any paperwork yet to run for that seat.

Reed is a registered Democrat and was elected in 2008, defeating Linda Perry in a runoff election. Until recently, Dillman was not registered to vote in San Leandro.
Term limits enacted by voters in 1974 prevent Starosciak from running for a third consecutive term.

The election will be held on November 6, 2012, and will be the second time that ranked choice voting (RCV)/instant runoff will be used for San Leandro elections.

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June 15, 2012

Michael Gregory Begins Second Term as Vice Mayor

councilgregory125_2.jpg
Councilmember Gregory
At the May 7, 2012, meeting of the San Leandro City Council, District 1 Councilmember Michael Gregory was re-elected to the position of Vice Mayor for a second term.

According to the City Charter, "In the absence of the Mayor, the Vice Mayor shall possess and perform the powers and duties of the Mayor." This typically means representing the City and chairing meetings of the City Council in the Mayor's absence.

Councilmember Jim Prola thanked Gregory for serving as Vice Mayor for the past year and made the motion to nominate him, with Councilmember Pauline Cutter seconding the motion.

Reed offered a substitute motion and nominated Councilmember Diana Souza for the Vice Mayor position. Reed explained her nomination by stating that the role was traditionally offered to each one of the council members. Councilmember Joyce Starosciak seconded the motion, "because I believe that, you know, it's her turn. It's time for her to step up into that role." From 2008 to 2010, each Vice Mayor served a single term, but Vice Mayors from 1998 to 2008 each served at least two terms.

Before the vote on the substitute motion, Gregory expressed surprise at the nomination and said, "I'm delighted and flattered to be considered."

Starosciak, Souza and Reed voted for Souza, but Mayor Stephen Cassidy, Cutter, Prola, and Gregory voted against Souza and the substitute motion failed.

Since the substitute motion for Souza as Vice Mayor failed, the City Council proceeded to vote on the original motion for Gregory as Vice Mayor. Starosciak joined Cassidy, Cutter, Prola, and Gregory in voting for Gregory with Reed and Souza abstaining.

Gregory will serve as Vice Mayor until June 2013.

In 2010, Reed was elected Vice Mayor after a failed motion by Gregory to elect Prola Vice Mayor. In 2011, Gregory was elected Vice Mayor. No councilmembers from Districts 3 or 6 have served as Vice Mayor for more than 14 years. Below is a recent history of San Leandro's Vice Mayors:

  • 1998 - Gordon Galvan (District 1)
  • 1999 - Gordon Galvan (District 1)
  • 2000 - Bob Glaze (District 4)
  • 2001 - Bob Glaze (District 4)
  • 2002 - Bob Glaze (District 4)
  • 2003 - Bob Glaze (District 4)
  • 2004 - Orval "OB" Badger (District 1)
  • 2005 - Orval "OB" Badger (District 1)
  • 2006 - Surlene Grant (District 2)
  • 2007 - Surlene Grant (District 2)
  • 2008 - Bill Stephens (District 5)
  • 2009 - Joyce Starosciak (District 4)
  • 2010 - Ursula Reed (District 2)
  • 2011 - Michael Gregory (District 1)
  • 2012 - Michael Gregory (District 1)
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June 12, 2012

Election Results for June Primary

With 100% of precincts reporting in the race for the California Assembly's 18th District, Rob Bonta and Abel Guillen will face off in the November 2012 election. Joel Young and Rhonda Weber are a distant third and fourth.

Young was the target of more than $113,000 in mailers funded by the California Alliance, an independent expenditure committee. The group's largest contributors in this election cycle were consumer attorney groups ($1.05 million), public employee unions ($400,000), California Nurses Association ($250,000), and California League of Conservation Voters ($190,500).

Another independent expenditure committee, the Golden State Leadership Fund PAC, spent more than $34,000 on mailers in support of Bonta. The group's largest contributors during this campaign were Pacific Gas & Electric ($45,000), the Committee on Jobs Government Reform Fund ($35,000), SF Forward, the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce's PAC ($25,000) and Duffy & Capitolo ($24,524).

Tara Flanagan is the clear winner for the Alameda County Superior Court seat, but will face Andrew Weiner in a November run-off.

Aisha Knowles is the winner in the race for the Area 4 seat on the Alameda County School Board.

18th Assembly District, 100% Precincts
CandidateVotes% of total
Rob Bonta2300736.76
Abel Guillen1852129.59
Joel Young1168018.66
Rhonda Weber908214.51
 
Alameda County School Board, Area 4, 100% Precincts
CandidateVotes% of total
Aisha Knowles1359652.26
Geraldine Sonobe1221346.95
 
Alameda County Superior Court Judge, 100% Precincts
CandidateVotes% of total
Tara M. Flanagan9249650.75
Andrew R. Weiner5445229.87
Catherine Haley3392218.61

Updated June 12, 2012.

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May 31, 2012

Sonobe and Knowles Compete for County School Board

The race for the Area 4 seat Alameda County School Board is between former Oakland teacher Geraldine Sonobe and Aisha Knowles, the current Public Information Officer for the Alameda County Fire Department. Area 4 of the Alameda County School Board includes San Leandro, San Lorenzo, Castro Valley, and other parts of unincorporated Alameda County.

When both of these candidates appeared before the Alameda County Democratic Central Committee seeking the Democratic nomination, neither seemed to know what the Alameda County School Board actually did. Despite that, the Democrats endorsed Knowles.

Knowles unsuccessfully applied to be appointed to the position after long-time Area 4 Alameda County School Board member Felix Elizalde passed away in September 2010.

At a candidate forum held at the Bal Theatre on May 16, 2012, Sonobe and Surlene Grant, representing Knowles, both made a case for why they should be elected.

Sonobe noted her 30 years of experience in education, including five years at Castlemont High School in Oakland. After lamenting the cuts to school districts and to the County, Sonobe noted that the math professional development services provided by the County are “absolutely stellar...I know from the actual professional development that I've taken at Alameda County...how it translates to the classroom.” Sonobe said she would look to companies and organizations for mentor-ships that could help engage students at risk of dropping out. Sonobe concluded by noting that she was endorsed by the Oakland Tribune. Complete video of Sonobe at the candidate forum is below.

Knowles was unable to attend because she was sick and was represented by Surlene Grant. Grant first discussed Knowles failed application for the County School Board vacancy in 2010. Grant noted that Knowles established partnerships in her role at the Fire Department, including some that involved training at-risk kids for fire services. “She will work to improve the communications between Alameda County Board of Education and our local community. She will be working to better prepare our schools for fire and life safety and emergency preparedness...She will assist schools with the challenge of state budget cuts and ensure that we are training, recruiting, and retaining quality teachers.” Grant concluded with a list of endorsements that included the Alameda County Democratic Party, Alameda Labor Council, and National Women's Political Caucus. Complete video of Grant at the candidate forum is below.

In its brief endorsement of Sonobe, the Oakland Tribune wrote, “Geraldine Sonobe holds a master's degree in linguistics and the teaching of English to speakers of other languages. She taught English language development in Oakland schools. She understands how academically unprepared our students are.

Today, she's a director of a program that helps prepare low-income students, predominantly African-Americans and Latinos, for college. It's the sort of education leadership that would make her an excellent county board trustee.”

The Oakland Tribune was not so kind to Knowles, “...we remain perplexed by why her opponent, Aisha Knowles, is running. Knowles, a public information officer for the Alameda County Fire Department, says she wants to improve communications between the Office of Education and the community.

However, she's unable to articulate what that would involve in any meaningful way. Moreover, she has no significant education experience. She unsuccessfully applied for a board appointment to a vacancy two years ago when a trustee died and regards that as a credential for her election. We don't agree.”

The election will be held on June 5, 2012.

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May 30, 2012

Second Independent Expenditure Committee Throws Weight into 18th Assembly Race

Golden_state_leadership_fund_mailer.jpg

The Golden State Leadership Fund PAC, another independent expenditure committee, is sending out mail for the California Assembly 18th District race between Joel Young, Abel Guillen, and Rob Bonta. In the past week, the committee has sent out two mailers in support of Bonta, focusing on his parents' work with César Chávez.

As of May 29, the committee had spent more than $34,000 in support of Bonta. The group's largest funder during this campaign cycle is Pacific Gas & Electric ($45,000). Other substantial funders included the Committee on Jobs Government Reform Fund ($35,000), SF Forward, the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce's PAC ($25,000) and Duffy & Capitolo ($24,524).

The Golden State Leadership Fund PAC is also supporting Betsy Butler in the 50th Assembly District and Gene Gantt in the 11th Assembly District. In the recent past, the committee has supported Ed Lee, Phil Ting, and David Chiu for San Francisco Mayor, Warren Furutani for Los Angeles City Council, and Danny Carrillo for Ventura City Council.

The other independent expenditure committee seeking to influence the 18th Assembly District race is California Alliance, which has spent $72,664 to oppose Young, as of May 29, 2012.

The 18th Assembly District includes San Leandro, Alameda, and a large part of Oakland. The election will be held on June 5, 2012, and the two candidates receiving the most votes will face off in the November election.

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May 26, 2012

Independent Expenditures Seek to Influence 18th Assembly District Race

California_Alliance_Joel_Young_mailer.jpg
Mailer sent by California Alliance in 18th Assembly District campaign

An independent expenditure committee called California Alliance is trying to influence voters with three recent campaign mailers attacking Joel Young in the race for California's 18th Assembly District . Although there are officially four candidates, the race is widely seen to be between the three Democratic candidates, AC Transit Director Joel Young, Alameda Vice Mayor Rob Bonta, and Peralta Community College Trustee Abel Guillen, since registered Democrats significantly outnumber Republicans in the 18th Assembly District.

The first mailer highlights Young's trouble with an ex-girlfriend and an aide for Oakland Councilwoman Rebecca Kaplan. The mailer states, “Joel Young. 2 restraining orders. In just the last year.” which implies that two restraining orders have been granted against Young. The truth is that although two restraining orders were filed against Young, neither was granted. One involved an incident in which Young's ex-girlfriend found him in bed with another woman and the other involved Kaplan's aide. Young subsequently filed a restraining order against his ex-girlfriend, which was not granted.

The second mailer repeats the phrase "unfit for office," which was used by the East Bay Express to describe Young and why it did not endorse him for office. The third mailer focuses on whether Young is telling the truth about who has endorsed his campaign.

These mailers may be based, at least in part, on a recent poll that asked voters whether they would support a candidate who had a restraining order.

According to campaign finance records, California Alliance, officially known as “California Alliance, a coalition of consumer attorneys and conservationists,” has spent more than $31,000 so far to oppose Young. During this campaign cycle, the group has yet to support or oppose any other candidates, but has been active in recent local California Senate and Assembly races.

During the 2006 campaign for California 10th Senate District seat, California Alliance spent $26,433 to support former San Leandro Mayor Ellen Corbett and $372,544 to oppose John Dutra, one of her opponents in the Democratic primary. Corbett went on to win the Democratic primary over Dutra and Johan Klehs.

More recently, California Alliance spent $111,428 to support Bob Weickowski and $63,086 to oppose Garrett Yee during the 2010 campaign for the California Assembly's 20th District. Weickowski is currently running for re-election to the new 25th Assembly District against weak opponents.

In both of the previous races, California Alliance only spent money prior to the June primary. However, with a new primary election system in California where the top two vote-getters in the June primary will compete against each other in November, the group may be spending money to support or oppose candidates after the primary this year.

The California Alliance is known as an independent expenditure committee. As such, it is not controlled by a candidate or a candidate's committee, but these groups have had huge impacts on the races in which they get involved.

Since 2009, the largest donors to the California Alliance are consumer attorney groups ($1.05 million), public employee unions ($400,000), California Nurses Association ($250,000), and California League of Conservation Voters ($190,500). This provides the biggest clue as to whom California Alliance might actually support. Many of the funders of California Alliance show up in donations to Bonta and Guillen.

The Consumer Attorneys PAC has contributed $3,900 to Guillen and the California Nurses Association contributed $7,800 to Guillen. According to his campaign endorsement page, Guillen is endorsed by the California Nurses Association, California League of Conservation Voters, California Teachers Association, California Federation of Teachers, AFSCME District Council 57, and Faculty Association of California Community Colleges.

The California League of Conservation Voters and AFSCME District Council 57 have also endorsed Bonta and neither have endorsed Young. The Consumer Attorneys PAC has contributed $3,900 to Bonta. Public employee unions have also made significant contributions to Bonta's campaign, including Alameda Firefighters ($7,800), California Professional Firefighters ($7,800), Alameda County Deputy Sheriffs ($1,500), Firefighters Local 55 ($3,900), Oakland Police Officers Association ($3,900), CSEA ($1,000), San Francisco Firefighters ($5,900), and the San Leandro Police Officers Association ($500).

Updated May 29: Added information about relevant organizations that have also endorsed or contributed to Bonta.

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May 17, 2012

California Assembly Candidates Struggle for Differentiation at Candidate Forum

Two Democratic candidates for the California Assembly's 18th District seat and a representative for the third appeared Wednesday night at a candidate forum at the Bal Theatre. Alameda Vice Mayor Rob Bonta, Peralta Community College Trustee Abel Guillen and Mark Goodwin, Joel Young's campaign manager, gave opening and closing statements and answered audience questions posed by moderator and San Leandro City Manager Chris Zapata. Young had a previous commitment and did not attend.

The audience, estimated at 50 to 60 people, included Mayor Stephen Cassidy, Councilmember Jim Prola, Councilmember Ursula Reed, San Leandro School Board Trustees Hermy Almonte, Mike Katz-Lacabe [Note: that's me] and Diana Prola, and Jennifer Ong, a candidate for the California Assembly in the neighboring 20th District.

In their opening statements, Bonta and Guillen spoke about their parents and backgrounds while Goodwin spoke about Young's support for a “buy American” policy at AC Transit and the recent decision to purchase buses from Hayward-based Gillig.

After opening statements, the first question to the California Assembly candidates was about what they could do to keep San Leandro Hospital open. Bonta, who previously served on the Board of the Alameda Health Care District, answered that a parcel tax, like that passed in Alameda, could save the hospital. He also said that he would work with Alameda County Supervisor Wilma Chan, “who has exclusively endorsed me in this race,” and look at possible hybrid models. Guillen used the question as an opportunity to express his support for single payer health care, which he sees as the way to fix the health care system. Young's campaign manager said that “the state is broken” and that Young supports changes to allow localities to pass tax measures with a simple majority rather than the current two-thirds.

When asked about the first legislation that they would put forth when elected, Bonta lamented the abolishment of redevelopment agencies and wanted to see tax increment financing brought back for former military bases, which would be good for Alameda and Oakland, but would do nothing for San Leandro. Bonta also said he wanted to create an emergency prevention fund for when communities face spikes in violent crime. Guillen said he would seek a constitutional amendment to lower the threshold to pass tax measures down to 55% and claimed it would have an immediate impact on children and communities. Goodwin gave an answer that ranged from government contract procurement policies to assessing the impact of government decisions on local employment.

On seismic safety, Guillen said that he had worked for the last ten years on modernizing school and said he would work with federal agencies to make sure that all schools has seismic safety kits that would help the schools become community centers during a disaster. Goodwin agreed with Guillen and that seismic safety of schools and hospitals was important. He went on advocate for transparency on bonds used as a source of funding, noting that some firms try to defer interest payments far into the future, which is more expensive for taxpayers. Bonta “I've been talking about public safety in this race from the very beginning.” He claimed that he has “the endorsement of every public safety organization that has gotten involved in this race,” referring to police and fire organizations. However, these groups have nothing to do with seismic safety. He said that he would propose a statewide school facilities bond to re-build school infrastructure and ensure all buildings were seismically safe. Finally, he said it's important for localities to have an emergency preparedness plan.

On what distinguishes their platform from the Democrat's standard advocacy for education, environment, and jobs, Goodwin said that Young was a big supporter of early childhood education and mentioned Young's support for a tax on sugar-containing beverage that is being considered by the City of Richmond. Bonta reiterated his support for public schools, public safety, jobs, the emergency prevention fund, tax increment financing for former military sites, and a statewide school facilities bond. Guillen said that he was the only one with six years of experience and proudly noted how he convinced his fellow trustees to divest Peralta Community College District's money from big bank like Wells Fargo and Bank of America and move it to local banks and credit unions.

The tone of the forum was respectful and civil, with candidates having nothing negative to say about their opponents. In many ways, it mirrored a previous forum held in April in Oakland with the same format.

The election is June 5, 2012, and the top two vote-getters will advance to the November election. Historically, winners of Democratic primaries in California have gone on to easy wins in November, but this year is likely to see two Democrats competing against each other in November.

The complete Assembly candidate portion of the forum can be viewed below:

The previous forum can be seen after the break.

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May 15, 2012

Assembly Candidates Debate Wed. 7pm at Bal Theatre

On Wednesday, May 16, the Bal Theatre will host a debate for the candidates for the California State Assembly 18th District seat. If you want to meet, ask questions, and learn about your future representative in the California State Assembly, you will want to attend this forum, which starts at 7pm. The candidates are Rob Bonta, Abel Guillen, Joel Young and Rhonda Weber. The Halcyon Foothill Neighborhood Association, Best Manor Homeowners Association, Bay-O-Vista Homeowners Association, Heron Bay Homeowners Association, and Washington Manor Homeowners Associations are sponsoring the event and it will be moderated by San Leandro City Manager Chris Zapata. Light refreshments will be served on the rear patio from 6:30 to 7pm. The event is free and all are welcome.

Guillen is a Democrat elected to the Peralta Community College District Board of Trustees in 2006 and re-elected in 2010. Young is a Democrat appointed to the AC Transit Board of Directors in 2009 and elected in 2010. Bonta is a Democrat elected to the Alameda City Council in 2010. Weber is a Republican and small-business owner.

After the debate, there will be an Open Candidates Forum for all candidates appearing on the San Leandro ballot.

The candidates for the 18th Assembly District appeared yesterday at a forum sponsored by the San Leandro Chamber of Commerce.

After redistricting, the 18th Assembly District includes all of Alameda, San Leandro, and a large portion of Oakland. The candidates are vying to replace Sandre Swanson, who cannot run for re-election to the Assembly because of term limits.

The Bal Theatre is located at 14808 East 14th Street in San Leandro.

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March 29, 2012

San Leandro Chamber Forms a Political Action Committee

San Leandro Chamber logo 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.

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March 28, 2012

Darlene Daevu is First Official Candidate for San Leandro District 4 City Council Seat

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."

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February 29, 2012

San Leandro Mayor Appears in Freedom to Marry Video

San Leandro Mayor Stephen Cassidy was among the Mayors appearing in a video released today by Freedom to Marry. Freedom to Marry is an organization working to "win the freedom to marry" nationwide for same sex couples. The organization announced today that 175 Mayors from 32 different states have signed onto the campaign. Cassidy participated in a press conference while he attended the U.S. Conference of Mayors in January 2012. Other California Mayors appearing the video include Ed Lee from San Francisco, Jerry Sanders from San Diego and Antonio Villaraigosa from Los Angeles.

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February 1, 2012

San Leandro Campaign Activity Quiet During Second Half of 2011

The latest financial statements from San Leandro's candidates show little activity during the last half of 2011. San Leandro District 4 Councilmember Joyce Starosciak reported the most activity, with payments to four organizations totaling $650.

Starosciak previously closed her Mayoral campaign account and transferred all of its remaining funds to a campaign account for City Council in 2016. Starosciak will be termed out in 2012, but will be eligible to run for the same seat in 2016.

Former San Leandro Mayors Tony Santos and Shelia Young previously closed their campaign accounts, as did Councilmember Diana Souza and formal Mayoral candidate David Anderson.

There are no campaign contribution limits in San Leandro, so individuals and businesses may contribute any amount of money to local campaigns. Donations of $99 or less do not have to be itemized, but candidates are required to report the source of any donation of $100 or more.

Semi-annual campaign statements for the period from July 1, 2011, to December 31, 2011, were due January 31, 2012, and are summarized below. Reports are not required for candidates that neither raised nor spent more than $1,000.

Joyce Starosciak
For her 2016 City Council campaign committee, Starosciak reported $429 in her campaign account at the end of the reporting period.

Starosciak reported no contributions to her campaign.

Starosciak contributed $250 to Anthony Portantino's Congressional Exploratory Committee and $100 each to the San Leandro Police Officers Association, Boys & Girls Club of San Leandro, Building Futures for Women and Children, and Stepping Stones. Anthony Portantino's California Assembly Campaign Committee contributed $500 to Starosciak's Mayoral campaign in 2010. The San Leandro Police Officers Association also contributed $1,000 to Starosciak's campaign in August 2010 and $900 to previous campaigns.

Starosciak's City Council 2016 Campaign Statement for July 1 to December 31, 2011


Stephen Cassidy
Cassidy reported an ending cash balance of $155 with $1,380 in campaign debt. The sole contribution was $250 that Cassidy loaned his campaign.

Cassidy's sole expense was a $150 to the United Democratic Campaign of Alameda County.

Cassidy's Campaign Statement for July 1 to December 31, 2011


Sara Mestas
Mestas had not filed a campaign statement at the time


District 1 Councilmember Michael Gregory reported $323.53 in his campaign account and $19,781.26 in debt. Gregory's only campaign account activity was an expense of $50 to the San Leandro Downtown Association for office expenses.

Gregory's Campaign Statement for July 1 to December 31, 2011


District 2 Councilmember Ursula Reed reported no cash in her campaign account, no debt, and no campaign account activity.

Reed's Campaign Statement for July 1 to December 31, 2011

Reed's declared opponent Chris Crow reported $787.55 in his campaign account and $500 in debt.

Crow's contributions included a $500 loan from himself to his campaign and $100 contributions from Ronald Crow, J&D Painting Company, and David Jagoda.

Crow's Campaign Statement for July 1 to December 31, 2011

Former District 2 City Council candidate Linda Perry reported $1,542.48 in her campaign account and $11,250 in debt. No other campaign account activity was reported.

Perry's Campaign Statement for July 1 to December 31, 2011


District 5 Councilmember Pauline Cutter reported $981.65 in her campaign account and no campaign debt. Cutter reported a $100 contribution to Wilma Chan's Supervisor campaign and $75 to the Alameda Building Trades Council for a meeting.

Cutter's Campaign Statement for July 1 to December 31, 2011

Former District 5 City Council candidate Corina Lopez reported $161 in her campaign account and no debt. No other campaign account activity was reported. Lopez subsequently noted that the campaign still had $23,503 in debt and would be filing an amended statement.

Lopez' Campaign Statement for July 1 to December 31, 2011


District 6 Councilmember Jim Prola reported $3,778.45 in his campaign account with $4,000 in outstanding debt. Except for a $50 contribution, no other account activity was reported.

Prola's Campaign Statement for July 1 to December 31, 2011

The next election for San Leandro City Council is November 6, 2012, unless the City Council . Although the information is not yet posted on the City of San Leandro web site, the candidate nomination period for the November 6, 2012 election is expected to begin on July 16 and end on August 10, 2010.

Reed faces re-election for the District 2 seat against opponent Chris Crow, who was recently removed from the Planning Commission. In District 4, Starosciak is termed out and cannot run for re-election. Benny Lee, who was appointed to the Personnel Relations Board by Mayor Cassidy, is the only person to announce his intention to run for the seat. In District 6, Prola faces re-election, but no opponents have emerged yet.

Update: Updated 2/2 to add Chris Crow's late filing and Lopez' loan correction.

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January 22, 2012

San Leandro Democrats Support Hancock for Senate and Bonta for Assembly

At a pre-endorsement meeting held on Saturday, January 21, 2012, local Democrats turned out for State Senator Loni Hancock and Alameda Councilmember Rob Bonta to represent San Leandro in the ninth Senate District and 18th Assembly District, respectively. The results of this meeting determine who will make it onto the agenda at the California Democrats State Convention and receive the Democratic Party endorsement for the June 2012 primary.

Each candidate was given two minutes to make their case for support of the Democrats in attendance, but by that time, most of the ballots had already been submitted.

For the 18th Assembly District seat, Bonta received votes from San Leandro School Board member Hermy Almonte, San Leandro Councilmember Pauline Cutter, Doug Jones, Margarita Lacabe, and Eden Township Healthcare District Board Member Carole Rogers. Joel Young, one of four candidates for the seat and a current AC Transit Board member, received votes from Linda Perry, Diana Prola, and Jim Prola. Andrew Kopp voted for Kathy Neal. Former San Leandro Mayor Shelia Young chose not to vote for any of the candidates while former San Leandro Mayor Ellen Corbett, Alameda County Democratic Party Chair Robin Torello, and Sue Kleebauer did not submit ballots.

Young picked up support from former Alameda Labor Council Executive Secretary-Treasurer Sharon Cornu, but failed to secure the endorsement of early supporter Assemblymember Sandré Swanson, who chose not to vote for any of the candidates. Current Alameda Labor Council Executive Secretary-Treasurer Josie Camacho and Alameda County Building Trades Secretary-Treasurer Andreas Cluver

Bonta received the most votes of any candidate, 18, with Young receiving 16, Abel Guillen 9, and Kathy Neal 8. However, no candidate met the 70% threshold for having an endorsement move on to the agenda for approval.

Swanson is termed out this year and is running against Hanock, who is seeking re-election. For Senate District 9, which includes most of San Leandro, Hancock picked up support from Almonte, Corbett, Cutter, Kleebauer, Kopp, Lacabe, Perry, Diana and Jim Prola, and Rogers. The only San Leandro support came from Doug Jones. Swanson picked up labor's support, including Camacho, Cluver, and Cornu and was also supported by Congresswoman Barbara Lee and Oakland Mayor Jean Quan.

Hancock received 136 votes while Swanson received 21 and will be on the agenda for the Democratic Party's endorsement.

The California Democrats State Convention, where the endorsements will be voted on, takes place February 10-12 in San Diego.

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January 15, 2012

Bob Wieckowski and Loni Hancock at California DISCLOSE Act Kickoff

On January 7, 2012, local elected officials joined the California Clean Money Campaign in a kickoff event for the California DISCLOSE (Democracy Is Strengthened by Casting Light On Spending in Elections) Act, which would require disclosure of political campaign funders in the political ads that they fund.

California State Senator Loni Hancock was joined by California Assembly Member Bob Weickowski, Oakland Councilmember Pat Kernighan, Trent Lange, President of the California Clean Money Campaign, and Michelle Romeo, Our Democracy Program Manager for the Greenlining Institute for event, held at Oakland City Hall.

Hanock, Wieckowski, California Assembly Members Mary Hayashi and Sandré Swanson, and California State Senator Ellen Corbett are all co-authors of the California DISCLOSE Act, AB 1148.

The California DISCLOSE Act would require that television political ads show the top five funders in a readable manner, radio ads disclose the top two funders, and print ads list the top five funders.

Hancock is running against termed out Swanson in 2012 to represent San Leandro in a newly-drawn Senate District. Wieckowski was expected to face termed out Hayashi in the new Senate District 10, but Hayashi's political future is in doubt after pleading "no contest" to shoplifting charges.

Below are the opening statements from Hancock and Wieckowski:

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January 11, 2012

Chris Crow May Be Removed From San Leandro Planning Commission

The agenda for the January 17, 2012, meeting of the San Leandro City Council includes an item for replacing Planning Commissioner Chris Crow. Chris Crow was appointed to the Planning Commission on November 1, 2010, by District 2 Councilmember Ursula Reed, who is up for re-election this year.

Reed said that she appreciates his service and wishes him well. Crow did not respond to questions at the time of this posting, but posted that the first he learned of his potential removal from the Planning Commission was today, a claim denied by Reed.

Appointments to commissions and boards are typically political decisions and appointees tend to be supporters of the Council member who appoints them. The nominations come from individuals members of the City Council but are voted on by the entire City Council. According to paperwork on file with the City of San Leandro, Crow filed to run for the District 2 City Council seat currently held by Reed on September 6, 2011. Former San Leandro School Board member Ken Pon is his campaign treasurer.

Crow isn't the first one to be removed from the Planning Commission. In March 2008, Marcene Nardine was removed from the Planning Commission. Nardine had been appointed by former Mayor Tony Santos, whom she endorsed shortly after finishing third in the June 2006 election. Nardine missed five of 12 Planning Commission meetings since being appointed, including three consecutive meetings.

The City Council Handbook section on Boards and Commissions is silent on reasons for removal of commission members, except for the following:

"If members of a board or commission absent themselves from three consecutive regular meetings of each board or commission, unless by permission of such board or commission expressed in its official minutes, or is convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude, or ceases to be a qualified elector of the City, their office shall become vacant and shall be so declared by the Council."

Crow works for McDermott Costa Insurance Brokers and graduated from San Leandro High School in 2002. On his application for the Planning Commission, Crow listed his qualifications for the appointment as, "AA, Certified Ins. Counselor, smart, go-getter, care about city, problem solver, hard worker." Crow is on the Board of the San Leandro Education Foundation, active in San Leandro Rotary, and an Assistant Wrestling Coach at San Leandro High School.


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November 10, 2011

Former San Leandro Councilmember Ed Suchman Dies at 99

Edwin_Suchman_small.jpg
Edwin Suchman
According to a press release from the City of San Leandro, former San Leandro Councilmember Ed Suchman died on November 9, 2011, at the age of 99.

After he served in World War II in Europe and retired at the rank of Sergeant, Suchman was a Reserve Officer in the San Leandro Police Department for 13 years.

After leaving the police department, Suchman ran for San Leandro City Council in 1978, losing to Johan Klehs. Two years later, he ran for San Leandro School Board and lost to Lois McDonald. In 1982, he defeated Bud Rames to take the District 3 City Council seat and won re-election in 1986 over Julian Polvorosa. After being termed out in 1990, Suchman ran again in 1998, losing to Glenda Nardine. Suchman also served as the City of San Leandro's representative to the Alameda County Mosquito Abatement District for 17 years.

Suchman remained active in local politics, even after he moved out of town, endorsing Bill McCammon for Assembly in 2006 and Charles Gilcrest for San Leandro City Council in 2008. Suchman also contributed to Tony Santos' mayoral campaign in 2006.

Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, November 15, 1:30 p.m. at Chapel of the Chimes in Hayward.

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October 10, 2011

Corbett Begins Fundraising for 2014 Congressional Campaign

corbett_oktoberfest_thumb.png After filing paperwork to run for the 15th Congressional District seat on September 13, 2011, California State Senator and former San Leandro Mayor Ellen Corbett will hold her first fundraiser later this month for her 2014 campaign. Corbett has previously served in the California Assembly and will be termed out of the California Senate in 2014.

Representative Pete Stark has said he will run for the 15th Congressional District seat in 2012. Stark faces a challenge from Dublin Vice Mayor Eric Swalwell in 2012, who had raised $70,000 as of October 10, according to the Mercury News.

As of August 1, 2011, Corbett filed paperwork showing that she had more $300,000 in two campaign accounts, which she can transfer over to her Congressional campaign account. This gives her a huge head start over former Obama administration official Ro Khanna, who also plans on running for the 15th Congressional District seat in 2014.

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September 30, 2011

San Leandro Passed Over for Grant for More Cops

SL_police_logo.png The U.S. Department of Justice announced on September 29, 2011, that 23 different California police agencies were awarded nearly $72 million to pay for 190 police officers over the next three years. San Leandro, which was awarded a COPS grant in September 2010 for five police officers, was not among the grant recipients this year.

The COPS grants fund police officers for a total of three years and require the grant recipients to fund the positions for a fourth year. For San Leandro, that means budgeting more than $800,000 in 2013-2014.

According to the COPS Scoring Methodology, the COPS Office tried to balance "the need for federal assistance, as measured by economic and fiscal health questions along with crime rates, with an applicant’s current commitment to community policing and their proposed community policing plan." San Leandro's score of 142.31 placed it 138th out of the 217 California police agencies that applied for a grant, according to the applicant rankings.

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September 17, 2011

Former San Leandro Mayor Ellen Corbett Files Papers to Run for Pete Stark's Seat

corbett_thumbnail.jpg On September 13, 2011, California Senate Majority Leader and former San Leandro Mayor Ellen Corbett filed papers to run for Pete Stark's seat in the 15th Congressional District.

The paperwork submitted to the Federal Election Commission was dated September 9, 2011.

Stark, the longest-serving member of the California Congressional delegation was elected in 1973 and has been re-elected 18 times, only twice with less than 60% of the vote.

Corbett was elected to the San Leandro City Council in 1990, two years after losing a City Council campaign. In 1994, she was elected Mayor of San Leandro, defeating the appointed incumbent Mayor John Faria and six other candidates. Corbett served in the California Assembly from 1998 to 2004 was elected to the California Senate in 2006 after defeating John Dutra and Johan Klehs in the Democratic primary.

Corbett resides in San Leandro with her son.

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September 5, 2011

Assembly Budget Release Details Portion of Hayashi Expenses

Hayashi_small.jpg
Calif. Assemblymember Mary Hayashi
Although the California Legislature recently appeared to blink when it agreed to disclose expenses for each of its members, it may have been more of a wink, since the disclosures fail to adequately account for the total expenses of each member of the Assembly.

For example, according to the California State Assembly Summary of Expenditures for December 1, 2010, to July 31, 2011(8 months), local Assemblymember Mary Hayashi's expenses totaled $207,485.08. The table below shows the breakdown of those expenses:

ExpenseAmount
Staff Salary$62,457.60
Travel & Per Diem (In-State)$914.80
Travel & Per Diem (Out-of-State)$0.00
Staff Travel$297.20
Car Lease$2,296.00
Car Maintenance$301.26
Gas & Oil$2,276.25
Car Rental Staff & Member$49.53
Dist. Office Rent, Mnt., Ut.$41,113.50
Telephone$1,767.40
Telegraph$0.00
Freight$640.51
Postage$3,649.00
Communications$58,598.38
Furniture & Equipment$0.00
Office Supplies$1,814.72
Subscr. & Publications$1,065.56
Misc. Services$5,914.38
Total$207,485.08

The expenses do not include any portion of Hayashi's annual salary of $95,291.00.

However, according to a list of Assembly staff salaries published by the California Assembly and dated May 31, 2011, the expenses for Hayashi's staff for that same time period (December 1, 2010, to July 31, 2011) total $518,264.00, more than double the amount released by the Assembly Rules Committee. The table below lists names and salaries for Hayashi staff members, and excludes a Committee Secretary:

Staff Member NameTitleMonthly Salary
Gin, Joanna M.M-Business & ProfessionsAssociate Consultant$4,167.00
Gutierrez, Jessica MarieM-District OfficeField Representative$1,365.00
King, Sandra LeeM-Capitol OfficeSecretary$4,000.00
Kobayashi, Afton YumejiM-Business & ProfessionsSenior Assistant$5,888.00
Mapp, AngelaM-Business & ProfessionsSenior Consultant$5,612.00
May, Rebecca BeatrizM-Business & ProfessionsAssociate Consultant$3,959.00
Mekata, Leandra K.M-Business & ProfessionsOffice Assistant$3,700.00
Parman, ChristopherM-District OfficeDistrict Coordinator$6,870.00
Ram, Shareen LataM-District OfficeSenior Field Representative$4,500.00
Ryan, Ellen ChristineM-District OfficeField Representative$4,000.00
Silva, Elissa ReneeM-Capitol OfficeLegislative Assistant$5,082.00
Warren, RossM-Business & ProfessionsChief Consultant$10,340.00
Wiant, Marina C.M-Business & ProfessionsLegislative Assistant$5,300.00

San Leandro Bytes has not received a response from Hayashi's District Coordinator Christopher Parman about the discrepancy. But Hayashi's expenses are not alone in being confusing and incomplete.

Judy Lin, in an AP story published on August 27, 2011, wrote …"the committee [Assembly Rules Committee] released documents that present an incomplete and at times contradictory picture. The figures show some rank-and-file Republican lawmakers with more lavish budgets than the Assembly speaker or the Democratic heads of powerful committees….It showed Portantino with the highest Assembly staff salary, having spent $213,263 so far this year. That compares to $160,832 for Perez, who controls the Assembly."

Unlike most of California's government, which is subject to the California Public Records Act, the California Senate and Assembly fall under the Legislative Open Records Act, which was passed in 1975. The Legislative Open Records Act enables the Senate and Assembly to determine which, if any, records, will be released publicly. The recent controversy over the release of the office budgets of members of California's legislature started when California Assemblymember Anthony Portantino refused to vote for the state budget and subsequently had his office budget slashed by Assembly Speaker John Perez. Perez has introduced a bill that would repeal the Legislative Open Records Act and subject the same disclosures as the rest of California's government.

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August 18, 2011

Former San Leandro Mayor Young Closes Campaign Account

Former Mayor Shelia Young had the most active of the remaining campaign committees. Young, who had changed the name of her committee to "Shelia Young for Mayor 2014" in July 2010, gave away all of the $6,608 in her campaign account in the first half of 2011.

Semi-annual campaign statements for active campaign accounts were due August 1, 2011, and are summarized below.

Shelia Young

Former San Leandro Mayor Shelia Young terminated her campaign account on June 15, 2011. Before doing so, Young made the following contributions to empty her campaign account:

Young's Campaign Statement for January 1 to June 30, 2011


San Leandro Police Officers Association Political Action Committee

The San Leandro Police Officers Association Political Action Committee (PAC) reported $2,495 in its campaign account. Contributions included $2,106 from the San Leandro Police Officers Association in six $351 monthly payments. The sole expense was $500 to Joyce Starosciak's City Council campaign.

San Leandro Police Officers Association PAC's Campaign Statement for January 1 to June 30, 2011


Michael Gregory

Vice Mayor Gregory reported $375.53 in his campaign account at the end of the reporting period with $19,781.26 in outstanding debt. Gregory raised $99 during the reporting period and repaid $1,000 towards a personal loan he made to his campaign.

Gregory's Campaign Statement for January 1 to June 30, 2011

David Anderson, who was Gregory's opponent for the District 1 City Council seat in the November 2010 election, terminated his committee in July 2011.


Ursula Reed

District 2 Councilmember Reed reported no money in her campaign account, no money raised, nor spent.

Reed's Campaign Statement for January 1 to June 30, 2011


Linda Perry

Former District 2 City Council Candidate Perry reported $1,542.48 in her campaign account and $11,250 in campaign debt. Perry had no expenses or contributions.

Perry's Campaign Statement for January 1 to June 30, 2011


Jim Prola

District 6 City Councilmember Prola reported $3,798.45 in his campaign account and $4,000 in campaign debt from a personal loan to his campaign. Prola had no expenses and contributed $200 to the Alameda Labor Council, likely for the Unionist of the Year Dinner in May.

Prola's Campaign Statement for January 1 to June 30, 2011

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August 17, 2011

Cash for Cutter and Debt for Lopez in Latest Financial Disclosures

Despite raising less money than her opponent in the 2010 District 5 San Leandro City Council race, Pauline Cutter has money in her campaign account and no debt. Her opponent, Corina Lopez, has more than $23,000 in campaign debt and $161 in her campaign account.

Cutter raised a total of $25,820 for the campaign while Lopez raised $32,567.

Semi-annual campaign statements for active campaign accounts were due August 1, 2011, and are summarized below.

Pauline Cutter

Cutter reported $1,161.55 on hand at the end of the reporting period with no outstanding debt. Cutter's contributions included:

Cutter's expenses consisted of $1,510 to campaign manager Louis Heystek for literature and office expenses.

Cutter's Campaign Statement for January 1 to June 30, 2011


Corina Lopez

Lopez changed the name of her campaign committee to "Corina Lopez for City Council 2018," but otherwise reported no changes from her previous financial disclosure. She had $161 at the end of the reporting period with $23,503 in debt.

Lopez's Campaign Statement for January 1 to June 30, 2011

Updated 8/17 at 8am and 10:50am: Changed to reflect a name change in Lopez' campaign committee and corrected amount raised by Cutter.

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August 16, 2011

San Leandro Mayoral Candidates Fundraise to Pay Off Debt and for Future Campaigns

The latest financial statements from San Leandro's mayoral candidates show that fundraising continued after the 2010 election as candidates tried to pay off campaign debt, usually personal loans that they made to their own campaigns. San Leandro Mayor Stephen Cassidy raised $10,826 during the period from January 1 to June 30, 2011. Former Mayoral candidate Joyce Starosciak raised $6,649 and paid off a $5,000 loan that her company Starotech made on December 28, 2010. Former Mayoral candidate Tony Santos raised $2,202 and closed his campaign account.

Starosciak also closed her Mayoral campaign account and transferred all of its remaining funds to a campaign account for City Council in 2016. Starosciak will be termed out in 2012, but will be eligible to run for the same seat in 2016, just as Santos did in 2000, when he ran for a third term.

There are no campaign contribution limits in San Leandro, so individuals and businesses may contribute any amount of money to local campaigns. Donations of $99 or less do not have to be itemized, but candidates are required to report the source of any donation of $100 or more.

Semi-annual campaign statements for active campaign accounts were due August 1, 2011, and are summarized below. Reports from Lou Filipovich and John Palau were not required since neither candidate raised nor spent more than $1,000.

Joyce Starosciak

For her City Council 2016 campaign committee, Starosciak reported $1,119 in her campaign account at the end of the reporting period.

Significant contributions to her City Council 2016 campaign committee included $300 from Sheet Metal Workers Local 104 and a $900 transfer from her Mayoral campaign account. Starosciak also reported $125 in unitemized expenses.

For her Mayoral campaign committee, Starosciak reported no money in her campaign account and $5,000 in outstanding debt from a loan from her company Starotech.

Significant contributions to her Mayoral campaign committee included:

  • $500 from EF Communities, a local developer

  • $500 from the San Leandro Police Officers Association

  • $200 from Teamsters # 853

  • $200 from Michael Pretto

  • $200 from Windsor Partners

  • $200 from Hayward Fire Chief Craig Bueno

  • $150 from former San Leandro Councilmember Gordon Galvan

  • $125 from Hayward Councilmember and California Assembly candidate Bill Quirk

  • $100 from Simon and Company, the lobbyist for the City of San Leandro

  • $100 from Alameda County Supervisor Nate Miley's campaign account

  • $100 from former San Leandro Police Chief Joe Kitchen

  • $100 from San Leandro Mayor Stephen Cassidy's campaign account

  • $100 from Shelia Young for Mayor 2014, a campaign account

  • $100 from Isabel Polvorosa's San Lorenzo School Board campaign account

  • $100 from former San Leandro Councilmember Johan Klehs

  • $100 from former San Leandro District 5 City Council candidate Corina Lopez' campaign account

Significant expenses included:

  • $900 transfer to Joyce Starosciak City Council 2016, a campaign committee

  • $750 to Christine Wise for professional services

  • $500 to Mon Cafe for a fundraiser on January 13, 2011

Starosciak's City Council 2016 Campaign Statement for January 1 to June 30, 2011
Starosciak's Mayoral Campaign Statement for January 1 to June 30, 2011


Tony Santos

Santos reported an ending cash balance of $0 at the end of the period and has terminated his campaign account. Significant contributions included $1,400 from consultant Charles Gilcrest and an $802 from himself.

No expenses were reported, but a loan of $2,600 from Charles Gilcrest and a $3,898 personal loan to his own campaign were reported as forgiven.

Santos' Campaign Statement for January 1 to June 30, 2011


Stephen Cassidy

Cassidy reported an ending cash balance of $130 with $1,130 in campaign debt. Significant contributions included:

  • $1,180 from Karma and Willian Denyer, a financial consultant at Charles Schwab

  • $500 from David Irmer of Creekside Associates

  • $500 from Eric Hohmann of Madison Marquette, the company that owns Bayfair Center

  • $500 from John Gooding of the Quadric Group

  • $500 from Louis Pellegrini of Aladdin Properties (previously reported as with Alameda County Industries)

  • $425 from Earl & Charlene Kehret, retired

  • $400 from Brad & Kim Nichols, a mortgage broker at Pret Capital Group

  • $250 from former District 5 City Council Candidate Corina Lopez and Luis Colon of Pinnacle Vista Technology

  • $200 from Anthony Batarse of Lloyd Wise automobile dealerships

  • $100 from Allan and Joyce Starosciak

  • $100 from Dale and Michael Gregory

  • $100 from Hayward Councilmember and Assembly candidate Bill Quirk


Cassidy's expenses included $10,900 to repay a personal loan to his campaign and $100 for a contribution to Starosciak's Mayoral campaign.

Cassidy's Campaign Statement for January 1 to June 30, 2011


Sara Mestas

Mestas reported an ending cash balance of $789 with $357.97 in campaign debt. She reported a $658 refund from the City of San Leandro for her candidate statement and a $658 payment to Chad Pennebaker for rent.

Mestas' Campaign Statement for January 1 to June 30, 2011

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July 4, 2011

Souza Seeks Support for Pot Ordinance at Town Hall Meeting

San Leandro District 3 Councilmember Diana Souza spoke at a recent Town Hall meeting about a proposed ordinance that would have prohibited marijuana collectives and cooperatives. That ordinance failed to pass on May 16, 2011, with Councilmembers Ursula Reed, Pauline Cutter, Jim Prola, and Michael Gregory voting against passing the ordinance.

While Souza did not explicitly encourage members of the audience to pressure their council members to pass an ordinance, it was clear that was her intent. The following is a transcript of her comments regarding the marijuana ordinance:

The thing that I'm going to talk to you about is medical marijuana dispensaries and grow facilities. How many of you know what those are? Great. We're moving along. So the Council directed staff at the end of last year, I believe it was, to put together an ordinance. Well first of all, we put a moratorium on medical marijuana in the City and we then directed staff to say create an ordinance to prohibit dispensaries and grow farms. So staff diligently did the work that we asked them to, When they brought that ordinance back to us, the ordinance was rejected by Council. So now we still have a moratorium and it's going to expire to expire, but we'll probably extend it another year. But we're going to be needing to give staff direction on what we want them to create. They have no direction right now and we haven't given them any. So I just want you as residents to be aware that coming down the road we're going to be giving them direction, so if you want to have a conversation with your council member or if you want to have input on how the council should provide that direction, I encourage you to contact your council members. And again, I don't really want to get into a debate about anything else about the situation right now. But I do want to just encourage - make you aware that's coming up and if you have an opinion, share it with your council members coming up.

The history of San Leandro's prohibitions of dispensaries dates back to December 2004 when the City Council enacted a moratorium on marijuana dispensaries to prevent one from opening in San Leandro. Subsequent ordinances were passed in January 2005 and January 2006.

However, the moratorium on marijuana dispensaries ended as of December 4, 2006, because the State of California places time limits on urgency ordinances like the ones San Leandro enacted to prohibit marijuana dispensaries within the City. According to the City Attorney, marijuana dispensaries cannot be licensed in San Leandro because they possess and distribute a federally-controlled substance. San Leandro Municipal Code Sec. 2.2.420 permits the Finance Director to reject a business license application if there is "reasonable cause to believe...that a proposed business will not comply with any applicable laws..." This seems to give the City of San Leandro the flexibility to ban or license marijuana-related businesses depending on the current climate.

More recently, on October 4, 2010, the City Council approved a 45-day interim urgency ordinance that placed a moratorium on dispensaries and grow facilities. After a work session on November 8, 2010, City staff recommended that the City Council adopt a 22-month moratorium at the November 15, 2010, meeting. That recommendation failed and a shorter 10-month moratorium was approved with only Councilmember Joyce Starosciak opposed (she voted for the longer moratorium).

At a February 28, 2011, work session, the City Council directed staff to prepare an ordinance prohibiting Medical Marijuana Dispensaries and Cultivation. On May 16, 2011, that ordinance was defeated, as noted above.

The current moratorium expires on September 30, 2011. Since the City already has the authority, under its municipal code, to prohibit licensing of marijuana-related businesses, the expiration of the moratorium is unlikely to produce any change in the status of marijuana-related businesses in the City of San Leandro.

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May 4, 2011

Michael Gregory is New Vice Mayor

The San Leandro City Council voted unanimously for Michael Gregory as San Leandro's Vice Mayor at its meeting on May 2, 2011.

After a motion by a motion by Vice Mayor Ursula Reed and a second by Councilmember Jim Prola, Gregory was elected Vice Mayor without further comment.

According to the City Charter, "In the absence of the Mayor, the Vice Mayor shall possess and perform the powers and duties of the Mayor." This typically means representing the City and chairing meetings of the City Council in the Mayor's absence.

From 2000 to 2008, Vice Mayors had served for at least two terms. That ended with the selection of former Councilmember Bill Stephens, who served one year as Vice Mayor after a failed substitute motion by Councilmember Diana Souza to elect Councilmember Starosciak as Vice Mayor. Last year, Reed was elected Vice Mayor after a failed motion by Gregory to elect Prola Vice Mayor. No councilmembers from Districts 3 or 6 have served as Vice Mayor for more than 12 years. Below is a recent history of San Leandro's Vice Mayors:

  • 1998 - Gordon Galvan (District 1)
  • 1999 - Gordon Galvan (District 1)
  • 2000 - Bob Glaze (District 4)
  • 2001 - Bob Glaze (District 4)
  • 2002 - Bob Glaze (District 4)
  • 2003 - Bob Glaze (District 4)
  • 2004 - Orval "OB" Badger (District 1)
  • 2005 - Orval "OB" Badger (District 1)
  • 2006 - Surlene Grant (District 2)
  • 2007 - Surlene Grant (District 2)
  • 2008 - Bill Stephens (District 5)
  • 2009 - Joyce Starosciak (District 4)
  • 2010 - Ursula Reed (District 2)
  • 2011 - Michael Gregory (District 1)
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May 1, 2011

Ellen Corbett Address the 2011 California Democratic Convention

On the second day of the California Democratic Convention, California Senator and Senate Majority Leader Ellen Corbett talked about the continuing fight for the "California dream."

Corbett criticized California Republicans for not allowing voters to decide on a special election for tax extensions. "Republicans say the people don't have the right to vote on the solution. I guess we now know how the party of Honest Abe has become the party of Donald Trump. And isn't that ironic? Because you know, in last year's election, California voters told Republicans, 'You are fired!'"

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February 23, 2011

Souza and Gregory Mostly Re-Appoint Board and Commission Members

San Leandro District 3 Councilmember Diana Souza appointed one new Commissioner and re-appointed four others. Library-Historical Commissioner Lawrence Smith was neither re-appointed nor replaced - he is planning to move and will continue to serve until he moves or is replaced, according to the City Clerk.

Souza re-appointed Denise Abero to the Planning Commission and Janice Woychesin to the Senior Commission. Abero has been on the Planning Commission since 2007 when she was appointed by Souza. Woychesin has been on the Senior Commission for slightly more than a year.

Robert_Leigh.jpg
Robert Leigh
Souza appointed Robert Leigh to the Human Services Commission. Leigh replaces Lee Thomas, who had served since 2009. Leigh is a retired probation officer who previously served four years on the Library-Historical Commission. Leigh was president of the Washington Home Owners Association from 1997 to 2009 and is on the San Lorenzo School Bond Oversight Committee.

Souza appointed Lee Thomas to the Board of Zoning Adjustments (BZA), where he replaces Darryl Shields. Shields was appointed to the BZA by Souza in 2007.

Shields was appointed to the Recreation and Parks Commission, where he replaces Debra Vandiver. Souza appointed Vandiver in 2007.

Souza was unopposed for re-election and had no campaign contributions.

In District 1, Michael Gregory re-appointed Philip Daly to BZA, Deborah Cox to the Human Services Commission, Donna Reed to the Library-Historical Commission, Dale Reed to the Planning Commission, Ed Shapiro to the Recreation and Parks Commission, and Sandi Forese to the Senior Commission. Donna Reed has served on the Library-Historical Commission since 1986 and her husband Dale has been on the Planning Commission since 1987. Shapiro was appointed to the Recreation and Parks Commission in 1996. Forese has been on the Senior Commission since 2003 while Daly and Cox were both appointed in 2007. Daly contributed $250 to Gregory's campaign while Donna Reed contributed $500.

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February 22, 2011

District 5 Councilmember Cutter's Board and Commission Appointments

Councilmember Cutter's New Commission and Board Appointments
Marguerite MazzittiJennifer Heystek
Marguerite MazzittiJennifer Heystek
 

San Leandro District 5 Councilmember Pauline Cutter retained four of the commission and board members appointed by her predecessor, Bill Stephens. Those are Sabrina Almazan on the Human Services Commission, her partner Thomas Fitzsimmons on the Planning Commission, Peggy Combs on the Recreation and Parks Commission, and Elinor "Pat" Free on the Senior Commission. Combs had originally planned to run for the District 5 seat, but pulled out of the race three months after announcing her candidacy. Combs contributed $100 to Cutter's City Council campaign.

Cutter nominated Marguerite Mazzitti to the Board of Zoning Adjustments (BZA), where she will replace Neal Pearson, who has served on the BZA since May 2004. Mazzitti is the owner of the Tutto Mio, an importer of Italian ceramics, and was previously on the BZA from 2002-2003. She is also in the Leadership San Leandro program and a member of the Political Action Committee for Excellence (PACE). PACE contributed $1,000 to Cutter's campaign.

Jennifer Heystek was nominated by Cutter for the Library-Historical Commission, a position which is currently vacant. Heystek runs a midwifery service and served on the Youth Advisory Commission from 1996 to 2000. Heystek was employed by the City of San Leandro from 2004 to 2005 and is also a member of PACE. She and her husband Louis, who was Cutter's campaign manager, contributed $252 to Cutter's campaign.

The appointments will be voted on at tonight's meeting of the San Leandro City Council. The meeting starts at 7pm and will be held at City Hall at 835 E. 14th Street in San Leandro.

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February 20, 2011

Mayor Cassidy's Appointments to Boards and Commissions

Some of Mayor Cassidy's Commission and Board Appointments
Janet PalmaLeah HallNestor CuellasScott Rennie
Janet PalmaLeah HallNestor CuellasScott Rennie
Johanne DictorLouis HeystekTyree JacksonPhyllis Gee
Johanne DictorLouis HeystekTyree JacksonPhyllis Gee

 

Commission and Board appointments are one way that newly-elected San Leandro Mayor Stephen Cassidy can extend his influence and repay campaign donors and supporters.

The San Leandro Mayor has one appointment each to the Board of Zoning Adjustments, Planning Commission, Library-Historical Commission, and Recreation and Parks Commission. The Mayor also has three appointments each to the Human Services Commission and Senior Commission and all five appointments to the Personnel Relations Board.

Once the Mayor submits the name of his nominees to the City Clerk, the City Clerk circulates the name to the City Council and if there are no objections, that person's nomination goes on the City Council agenda for a vote. This happened at the February 7, 2011, meeting and is done to avoid a situation in which the City Council might vote against a person's nomination and cause embarrassment for that person. The City Council approved the nominations on February 7 and are now on the February 22, 2011, agenda for City Council approval. Once a nomination makes it on to the City Council agenda, it will likely be approved.

Commission and board members frequently serve far longer than those who appointed them. Library-Historical Commissioner Donna Reed has served since 1986 and Planning Commissioner Dale Reed has served since 1987. Term limits were briefly implemented in the 1970s when term limits were also enacted for the Mayor and Councilmembers but were subsequently eliminated.

The Board of Zoning Adjustments and the Planning Commission are the most powerful of the boards and commissions and these are generally seen as "plum" appointments. Relevant campaign contributions have been included when available. In a message to supporters, Cassidy wrote, "I have sought to expand the leadership capacity of our city by bringing new persons that are active in our community into city government. I also wish to see that the diversity of San Leandro is reflected on our commissions and boards."

Mayor Stephen Cassidy nominated Janet Palma to the Board of Zoning Adjustments to replace Charles Gilcrest, who served for nearly three years. Palma works as an Environmental Health Technician for the San Francisco Department Public Health and served on the Association of Environmental Professionals Board of Directors.

Nestor Cuellas, MaryAnn Frates, and Leah Hall were nominated to the Human Services Commission to replace Corina Lopez, Suzanne Rudisill, and Alice Sarafian, who had served a year and a half, nearly 10 years, and nearly 27 years, respectively. Cuellas is an insurance salesman who served on the transit-oriented development committee, was a representative and organizer for the SEIU, and was on the boards of the Farrelly Pond Neighborhood Association and Estudillo Homeowners Association. Hall is an architect and stay-at-home mother and has served on the board of St. Paul's Episcopal School in Oakland. Hall also volunteered on Cassidy's mayoral campaign. Frates is working on her Doctorate in Education while working at the Castro Valley Unified School District as the Coordinator of Special Education.

Scott Rennie was nominated to the Planning Commission to replace Anna Claveria Brannan. Brannan served nearly four years on the Planning Commission. Rennie is an attorney for the City of Fremont and served on the Board of the Estudillo Homeowners Association. Rennie also served on Cassidy's transition committee.

Liliana Rosas-Cruz was nominated to the Library-Historical Commission to replace Frederick A. Reicker, who has served almost eight years. Rosas-Cruz works as a therapist for the East Bay Agency for Children and is a member of the National Association of Social Workers.

Johanne Dictor, Louis Heystek, Benny Lee, and James Browne were nominated to the Personnel Relations Board to replace Adan Alonzo, Hilary Van Austen, Shirley McManus and Kent Myers. Orval "OB" Badger was re-nominated and has served just over a year. Alonzo, Van Austen, McManus, and Myers have served nearly two and a half years, two and a half years, nearly 12 years, and ten years, respectively. Browne was an business litigation attorney an is a member of the Roosevelt PTA. Heystek is the Deputy CFO for Dutra Enterprises, served on the Youth Advisory Commission, served two terms on the San Leandro School Board, and is on the Board of the San Leandro Education Foundation. Dictor works for CPC International and served as President of the Estudillo Homeowners association. Dictor volunteered on Cassidy's campaign and contributed $550 to his campaign. Lee has worked at United Commercial Bank and East West Bank. Lee served on Cassidy's transition committee and was appointed by former Mayor Tony Santos to the Recreation and Parks Commission in 2007 .

Cassidy nominated Tyree Jackson to replace Benny Lee (4 years) on the Recreation and Parks Commission. Jackson works for the Castro Valley Sanitary District and was a resident manager for San Leandro rental property.

Phyllis Gee, Darlene Daevu, and Cimberly Tamura were nominated to the Senior Commission to replace George Tucker (11 years), Barbara Hamrick (11 years), and Michal J. Myers (8 months). Tamura is a retired educator, President of Alameda County Home Economics Teachers, Vice President of San Francisco Chinatown Optimists, and a Board Member of Wa Sung Community Club. 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. Gee is also a retired educator active with the San Leandro Friends of the Library and All Saints Episcopal Church. Gee volunteered on and contributed $750 to Cassidy's campaign.

Commission and board appointees will be sworn in at the San Leandro City Council meeting on February 22, 2011. The meeting starts at 7pm and will be held at City Hall at 835 E. 14th Street in San Leandro.

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February 7, 2011

Final District 1 City Council 2010 Campaign Reports

Incumbent Michael Gregory defeated opponents David Anderon and Carol Libbrecht (a write-in candidate) in the race for the District 1 San Leandro City Council seat, and raised the most money during the last reporting period from October 17 to December 31, 2010. Most of Gregory's $3,248 came from a $2,400 personal loan to his campaign. Anderson filed his final financial report on February 4, 2011. Libbrecht was not required to file financial disclosures because she neither raised nor spent more than $1,000.

Gregory raised a total of $13,552 during the campaign while Anderson raised $6,013.

Semi-annual campaign statements for active campaign accounts were due February 1, 2011 and are summarized below.

Michael Gregory

Gregory reported $734 on hand at the end of the reporting period with no outstanding debt. Gregory's contributions included

$250 from Alameda County Industries owner Robert Molinaro
$150 from Simon and Company, the City of San Leandro's lobbyist in Washington, DC

Gregory's expenses included:

$2,330 to Alliance Campaign Strategies for campaign consulting, campaign literature, and office expenses
$500 to Californians Vote Green for a slate mailer

Gregory's Campaign Statement for October 17 to December 31, 2010.


David Anderson

Anderson's campaign account was empty at the end of the reporting period with $4,933 in debt. His sole contribution was a personal loan of $364.

Anderson's expenses included:

$364 to Go Daddy for automated calls to registered voters

Anderson's Campaign Statement for October 17 to December 31, 2010.

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February 2, 2011

Final District 5 City Council 2010 Campaign Reports

Pauline Cutter may have won the race for the District 5 San Leandro City Council seat, but her opponent, Corina Lopez, raised the most money during the last reporting period from October 17 to December 31, 2010. Nearly all of Lopez' $10,506 in contributions were from $10,382 she loaned to her campaign. Cutter raised $1,691.

Cutter raised a total of $19,576 during the campaign while Lopez raised $32,567, including personal loans to her campaign totaling $23,503. Cutter won the race with 53.14% of the vote to Lopez' 45.79%.

Semi-annual campaign statements for active campaign accounts were due February 1, 2011, and are summarized below.

Pauline Cutter

Cutter reported $1,221 on hand at the end of the reporting period with no outstanding debt. Cutter's contributions included:

  • $500 from Steamfitters Local 342
  • $100 from Bal Theatre owner Dan Dillman
  • $100 from former San Leandro School Board Trustee Janet Plankenhorn
  • $99 from San Leandro City Councilmember Michael Gregory

Cutter's expenses included:

Cutter's Campaign Statement for October 17 to December 31, 2010.



Corina Lopez

Lopez had $161 at the end of the reporting period with $23,503 in debt. The only significant contribution was a personal loan of $10,382.

Lopez's expenses included:

Lopez's Campaign Statement for October 17 to December 31, 2010.

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Final Mayoral Campaign Reports for 2010

The final financial statements for the 2010 San Leandro Mayor campaigns show that Joyce Starosciak raised a total of $16,513 during the reporting period from October 17, 2010 to December 31, 2010, including a $5,000 loan from Starotech, her business. Former Mayor Tony Santos raised $3,774, including a $1,000 personal loan to his campaign while Mayor Stephen Cassidy raised $5,608, including a $2,950 personal loan to his campaign.

Together, Cassidy, Santos, and Starosciak raised a total of $185,795 for the mayoral campaign, which stretches back to 2009. Starosciak, who finished third in the November 2010 election, raised $82,636, the most of all candidates. However, if you subtract the $21,589 of Starosciak's funds that came from the campaign account she used when she ran for City Council, she raised $61,047, just $3,000 more than Santos. Santos followed with $58,050 and then Cassidy, with $45,109.

Santos spent $37,314 on consultants, the most of all the mayoral candidates. Starosciak was next with $26,454, not including $5,000 spent on polling, and Cassidy was last, with no funds spent on consultants.

There are no campaign contribution limits in San Leandro, so individuals and businesses may contribute any amount of money to local campaigns. Donations of $99 or less do not have to be itemized, but candidates are required to report the source of any donation of $100 or greater.

Semi-annual campaign statements for active campaign accounts were due February 1, 2011, and are summarized below. No campaign statement from Sara Mestas had been filed as of February 2. Reports from Lou Filipovich and John Palau were not required since neither candidate raised nor spent more than $1,000.

Joyce Starosciak

Starosciak reported $59 in her campaign account at the end of the reporting period and $5,000 in campaign debt from a loan from her business, Starotech. Significant contributions included:

Significant expenses included:

  • $25,467 to Print Pro for campaign literature
  • $5,000 to Statewide Information Systems for polling
  • $1,205 to Tramutola for campaign consulting

Starosciak's Campaign Statement for October 17 to December 31, 2010.



Tony Santos

Santos reported an ending cash balance of $2,202 at the end of the period, with $8,700 in campaign debt. Significant contributions included:

Significant expenses included:

  • $5,166 to Handled With Care for postage and mailing
  • $4,704 to Autumn Press for campaign literature
  • $4,000 to Gilcrest Campaign Management for campaign consulting and fundraising
  • $3,893 to Alliance Campaign Strategies for campaign literature, web site, email, robocalls, and graphic design

Santos' Campaign Statement for October 17 to December 31, 2010.



Stephen Cassidy

Cassidy reported an ending cash balance of $544 with $12,030 in campaign debt. Significant contributions included:

  • $1,200 from Kerry & Associates and related entities
  • $250 from Mitch Huitema

Cassidy's expenses included:

Cassidy's Campaign Statement for October 17 to December 31, 2010.

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December 7, 2010

Mayor Tony Santos' Farewell Statement

At the December 6, 2010, meeting of the San Leandro City Council, Mayor Tony Santos gave a farewell statement at the end of the meeting. These statements are typically made at the last City Council meeting of the year, which occurs on December 20.

In his statement, Santos noted that "San Leandro has always been known to have a stable government."

Santos said, "This is one of the first cities to have developed a sewer system, one which allowed the community to grow in the early part of the 20th century. In fact, that led to a great deal of annexations in San Leandro."

He thanked Stephens for his work on General Plan and for ensuring the budgets he worked on were balanced. "It was difficult but the budget has always been balanced."

Santos listed his achievements as helping to stop southern crossing and route 61, and forming NACSL, which "led to quieter skies and the school district was able to received over $5 million to sound insulate several of our schools." Other achievements he noted were passing the very first neighborhood preservation ordinance, a noise ordinance, and preserving 400 acres of open space along the shoreline.

On city employees, Santos said, "They have sacrificed much over these past several years - they have had their pay cut and we have lost 20% of the best employees in the county. We were involved in discussing pension reform before it was vogue. I say to our employees: 'Hang in there. Don't give up. You cannot give up what you have earned and deserved.'

On education, Santos stated "I do see a problem with our school system and it needs to be improved."

He ended his statement with, "And I say to all, as stated in my first State of the City address: Know your city and be proud to live, work, and play in the best city in the country."

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November 19, 2010

Registrar Certifies November Election Results; Cassidy the Official Winner

The Alameda County Registrar of Voters announced today the official final results of the November 2, 2010, election. The official results were released 11 days ahead of the November 30 deadline to certify the election results.

San Leandro Mayor-elect Stephen Cassidy defeated incumbent Tony Santos by 232 votes in San Leandro's first ranked choice voting election. Santos had 62 more first-place votes than Cassidy (7,956 to 7,894), but Cassidy took the lead when Sara Mestas' second-place votes were distributed to Cassidy, Santos, and Joyce Starosciak.

In the District 1 City Council race, the final result was Michael Gregory with 12,973 votes (65.05%) and David Anderson with 6,701 votes (33.6%). Write-in candidate Carol Libbrecht received 120 votes (0.6%).

Incumbent Diana Souza was unopposed for the District 3 City Council seat.

In District 5, Pauline Cutter received 10,719 votes (53.21%) to defeat Corina Lopez, who received 9,215 votes (45.74%).

The 0.25% sales tax increase, Measure Z, passed with 12,630 votes (61.11%) and the $50.1 million school bond, Measure M, passed with 10,638 votes (63.08%).

In San Leandro School Board races, Lance James received 8,244 votes (57.14%) to defeat Victoria Wang, who received 6,056 votes (41.97%) and incumbent Mike Katz [Note: the author] had 8,432 votes (58.05%) over Latrina Dumas' 5,963 votes (41.05%).

The complete election results for Alameda County can be found at http://www.acgov.org/rov/current.htm.

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November 17, 2010

Registrar Says All San Leandro Ballots Have Been Counted

According to the Alameda County Registrar of Voters, all ballots from the November 2, 2010, election have been counted. That means that the vote counts released on November 13, 2010, will likely be final.

On Monday, November 15, 2010, the Registrar began a manual tally of 1% of the votes cast, a standard procedure conducted after every election. The deadline for Registrar to certify the vote is November 30, but the Registrar hopes to be able to certify the vote on November 19.

Mayor-elect Stephen Cassidy and newly elected and re-elected members of the San Leandro City Council will be sworn in at the end of the December 20, 2010, meeting. Each person will have the opportunity to give a speech after they are sworn in. You can see the speeches from 2008 here.

At the November 15 meeting of the San Leandro City Council, City Attorney Jayne Williams was asked to respond to RCV concerns expressed by Mayor Tony Santos. Williams said that she agreed with the analysis by FairVote's Rob Richie and stated, "It is a 50% plus one vote of the votes cast per round and then the majority candidate is declared the winner. So there has been some discussion that I'm aware of in terms of the interpretation of that as it pertains to our charter but I do believe that our charter comports with the ordinance that was adopted by the Council in April which sets forth clearly what the process was."

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November 14, 2010

New Vote Counts Increase Cassidy's Lead

In new vote counts released by the Alameda County Registrar of Voters on Saturday, November 13, 2010, San Leandro Mayor-elect Stephen Cassidy increased his lead over incumbent Tony Santos from 172 votes to 231 votes after invoking the ranked choice algorithm. This gives Cassidy 50.57% of the continuing ballots cast to 49.43% for Santos. There were 2,134 exhausted ballots out of 23,493 ballots cast and a total of 20,321 continuing ballots in the final round.

Santos has not conceded the race and has recommended that the San Leandro City Council revoke the ranked choice voting ordinance and that the City return to run-off elections.

The totals also show that write-in Lou Filipovich received nine write-in votes, with most of his second-place votes going to John Palau. Cassidy received the most of Sara Mestas' and Joyce Starosciak's second-place votes.

In the District 1 San Leandro City Council race, Carol Libbrecht is shown with 120 write-in votes compared to 148 unknown write-in votes. Incumbent Michael Gregory won the contest with nearly double the votes of challenger David Anderson and 65.05% of the vote.

San Leandro School Board member Pauline Cutter defeated Corina Lopez 53.21% to 45.75% of the votes.

Measure M, the San Leandro Unified School District athletic facilities bond surpassed 63% approval in the latest results tally, while Measure Z, the City's 0.25% sales tax, held on to its 61% approval.

The vote won't be certified for a few more weeks, but the results are unlikely to change.

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November 10, 2010

Cassidy Lead Narrows in New Vote Count

Mayor-elect Stephen Cassidy's lead narrowed to just 172 votes today in the race for mayor in San Leandro's first use of ranked choice voting. A previous run of the ranked choice voting algorithm on Friday, November 5, 2010, had Cassidy with a 281-vote lead over incumbent San Leandro Mayor Tony Santos. The unofficial count gives Cassidy 10,119 votes to 9,947 for Santos.

Data from the Alameda County Registrar of Voters show that 941 San Leandro voters didn't vote for any candidate in the Mayor's race and 52 voted for more than candidate. There were a total of 23,184 ballots cast and 20,066 ballots with votes in the final round.

According to coverage in the Daily Review, the Alameda County Registrar of Voters acknowledges that there could be a small number of ballots that are not yet counted, but not enough to change the outcome of the race.

Prior to the ranked choice algorithm, Santos had taken the lead by 117 votes. Cassidy had led by 58 votes as of the November 5 vote count. Once again, Cassidy received the most of Sara Mestas' second place votes, but was behind by 51 votes until Joyce Starosciak's second place votes were allocated. Cassidy received 1,960 of Starosciak's second place votes compared to 1,737 for Santos.

Cassidy served on the San Leandro School Board from 2004 to 2008. Santos served on the San Leandro City Council from 1984 to 1992 and again from 2002 to 2006, when he was elected Mayor.

Results will not be final until later this month.

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November 8, 2010

County Registrar Violated Agreement with Cities on Ranked Choice Voting

When the Alameda County Registrar of Voters ran the ranked choice algorithm on November 5, 2010, it violated a Memorandum of Understanding it agreed to with the cities of Berkeley, Oakland, and San Leandro.

The agreement clearly states, "Given the nature of RCV voting, the Registrar shall not under any circumstances, provide any RCV election results until all of the ballots have been tallied, including, but not limited to, vote by mail, provisional, and early voting ballots. The Registrar will provide only final election results once all of the ballots have been tallied."

The Registrar ran the ranked choice algorithm on November 5, 2010, with an estimated 15,000 ballots still to be counted. An estimated 2,000 ballots from San Leandro have yet to be counted.

Earlier today, the Alameda County Registrar of Voters issued a press release acknowledging that the counting of ballots for Oakland will not be completed today. ""We still have a relatively small number of provisional ballots that are taking a little longer to process than expected," stated Alameda County Registrar Dave Macdonald.

The press release indicated that updated vote totals would be released this afternoon, but the ranked choice algorithm would not be run tonight. Vote counting is done each day until 10pm, so there is still a chance that updated vote totals will be released later tonight.

The latest vote count on November 5, 2010, prior to the RCV algorithm shows Stephen Cassidy with a 58 vote advantage over Tony Santos in the race for San Leandro Mayor. That lead extends to 281 votes after RCV is implemented.

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November 5, 2010

Stephen Cassidy is San Leandro's New Mayor

Stephen Cassidy is San Leandro's new Mayor after the ranked choice algorithm was run by the Alameda County Registrar of voters on Friday, November 5, 2010.

Cassidy ended up with 7,471 (50.96%) votes to 7,190 (49.04%) for Tony Santos. The majority of Joyce Starosciak's votes went to Cassidy. See the detailed report at http://www.acgov.org/rov/rcv/results/rcvresults_3192.htm.

The vote count is not final, but Cassidy's lead prior to the RCV algorithm increased from 27 votes yesterday to 58 today. When RCV was run, Cassidy gained 37% of Mestas' second/third place votes and 53.2% of Starosciak's second place votes.

According to the Alameda County Registrar of Voters, 15,000 ballots from Berkeley, Oakland, and San Leandro remain to be counted. San Leandro's portion of those uncounted ballots is unknown. 16,698 ballots have been counted so far, including 447 ballots in which no vote was cast for the Mayor's race and two ballots where the voter marked more than one candidate as their first choice for Mayor.

In the November 2006 election, which most closely approximates this election, 20,298 votes were cast for Mayor. In November 2002, 16,857 were cast for Mayor. Based on those numbers, it appears that up to 4,000 San Leandro ballots may have yet to be counted, but are unlikely to change the outcome of the election.

Historically, no elected Mayor has been defeated since at least Jack Maltester was elected in 1962. However, John Faria, who was appointed Mayor in June 1993, lost his bid to remain Mayor in April 1994 to Ellen Corbett.

Ballots will continue to be counted over the weekend and final results should be available Sunday.

Updated 10:33pm

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November 4, 2010

Updated Numbers Narrow Cassidy's Lead to 27 Votes Over Santos

Additional ballots counted by the Alameda County Registrar of Voters today narrowed Stephen Cassidy's lead in the race for San Leandro Mayor to 27 votes over incumbent Tony Santos. Today's vote count for the Mayor's race totals 15,010, an increase of 736 from yesterday's count.

Final results of the race for San Leandro mayor won't be known until 4pm on Friday, November 5, when the Registrar runs the ranked choice algorithm. The eventual winner will be decided by Joyce Starosciak's second place votes.

Mayoral results so far:

Stephen Cassidy532235.46%
Tony Santos529535.28%
Joyce Starosciak357623.82%
Sara Mestas5723.81%
John Palau2441.63%

Here are the updated totals for the San Leandro City Council races where Pauline Cutter and Michael Gregory were the winners.

District 1:

David Anderson442033.43%
Michael Gregory879766.53%

District 5:

Pauline Cutter723654.30%
Corina Lopez608545.66%
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November 3, 2010

Lopez Loans Her Campaign Another $7,000 Day Before Election

San Leandro District 5 City Council defeated candidate Corina Lopez loaned her campaign another $7,000 on November 1, 2010, according to a statement filed on November 2, 2010, with the San Leandro City Clerk. To date, Lopez has loaned her campaign $29,621 of the $38,561 total she has raised.

Pauline Cutter, the winner of the District 5 City Council seat, reported no campaign debt and a total of $13,942 raised in her most recent filing on October 21, 2010. Cutter replaces Bill Stephens who will be termed out after serving eight years on the City Council.

Contributions of more than $1,000 are required to be reported within 24 hours in the weeks leading up to the election. The election was held on November 2, 2010.

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James Joins San Leandro School Board; Katz Re-elected

With all 45 precincts reporting, Hayward teacher Lance James and incumbent Mike Katz [the author] cruised to comfortable victories over their opponents for the San Leandro School Board.

Both James and Katz received nearly 57% of the vote.

Katz was elected to the School Board in 2006 when he defeated Pete Lismer.

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November 2, 2010

City Sales Tax and School Bond Pass

Measure Z, the 0.25% sales tax increase, passes with more than 61% of the vote and all 49 precincts reporting.

Similarly, Measure M, the $50.1 million school bond, passes with nearly 63% of the vote and all 45 precincts reporting.

Updated 1:08am

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Cassidy Leads Mayors Race; Cutter and Gregory Win

With all 49 precincts reporting, Stephen Cassidy is leading the race for San Leandro Mayor by just 66 votes over incumbent Tony Santos. Joyce Starosciak is a distant third. Incumbent Michael Gregory has a huge lead in the District 1 City Council race and Pauline Cutter has a smaller, but still substantial lead in the District 5 City Council race. Gregory retains his seat and will be joined by San Leandro School Board member Cutter.

Final results of the race for San Leandro mayor won't be known until later this week. With ranked choice voting, the eventual winner will be decided by Starosciak's second place votes.

Mayoral results so far:

Stephen Cassidy35.53%
Tony Santos35.07%
Joyce Starosciak23.87%
Sara Mestas3.87%
John Palau1.65%

District 1:

David Anderson33.71%
Michael Gregory66.25%

District 5:

Pauline Cutter54.24%
Corina Lopez45.73%


Updated 1:03am

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Starosciak Reports Late In-Kind Contribution from Polling Firm

San Leandro mayoral candidate Joyce Starosciak reported an in-kind contribution of $1,500 from a polling firm, according to a report filed today with the San Leandro City Clerk. According to the filing, the in-kind contribution was received on November 1, 2010.

The polling firm, EMH Opinion Sampling in Sacramento, was also paid $10,000 in early October 2010 by Nadia Lockyer, who is running for Alameda County Supervisor. Starosciak and Lockyer have both paid for Tramutola to run their campaigns.

Starosciak previously reported a $1,000 late contribution from Ken Houston on October 22, and $4,000 from the Economic Development Alliance on October 25, 2010.

Starosciak's reported campaign contributions (cash only) now total more than $71,000, including $21,589 transferred from her City Council campaign account.

Contributions of more than $1,000 are required to be reported within 24 hours in the weeks leading up to the election. The election is today and polls are open until 8pm. If you haven't mailed your absentee ballot, you can turn it in at any polling station. It is too late to mail in absentee ballots.

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November 1, 2010

Lopez Reports Late Loan of $9,500

San Leandro District 5 City Council candidate Corina Lopez loaned her campaign $9,500 on October 28, 2010, according to a statement filed on November 1, 2010, with the San Leandro City Clerk. To date, Lopez has loaned her campaign $22,621 of the $31,561 total she has raised.

Pauline Cutter, Lopez' opponent for the District 5 City Council seat, reported no campaign debt and a total of $13,942 raised in her most recent filing on October 21, 2010.

Contributions of more than $1,000 are required to be reported within 24 hours in the weeks leading up to the election. The election will be held on November 2, 2010.

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October 28, 2010

Cassidy Reports Late Loans Totalling $2,950

San Leandro Mayoral candidate Stephen Cassidy loaned his campaign an additional $2,950, according to a report filed today with the San Leandro City Clerk's office. That brings Cassidy's total in loans to his own campaign to $12,030.

Tony Santos, the incumbent running for re-election, has a campaign debt of $4,700, while Joyce Starosciak has no debt and Sara Mestas has a debt of $365.97. During Santos' previous campaign for mayor, he loaned his campaign more than $27,500.

Contributions of more than $1,000 are required to be reported within 24 hours in the weeks leading up to the election. The election will be held on November 2, 2010.

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October 27, 2010

Santos Reports $1,000 Late Contribution from San Leandro Police

On October 27, 2010, San Leandro mayoral candidate Tony Santos reported a $1,000 contribution to his campaign from the San Leandro Police Officers Association (POA).

The San Leandro POA endorsed Joyce Starosciak for mayor early in August 2010 and weeks later gave a dual endorsement to Santos. Mike Sobek, President of the POA, was quoted in the San Leandro Times, "We still think Joyce will be a great choice for mayor and Tony has done well for us too....We felt that they (Santos, Starosciak, and Cassidy) are the top three candidates and we don’t want to see Stephen Cassidy elected."

During this election cycle, the San Leandro POA has contributed $1,000 to Starosciak, $2,000 to the campaign for Measure M, and $30,000 to the campaign for Measure Z.

Contributions of more than $1,000 are required to be reported within 24 hours in the weeks leading up to the election. The election will be held on November 2, 2010.

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October 26, 2010

San Leandro District 1 City Council Candidate Libbrecht

Carol Libbrecht became the third candidate for the San Leandro District 1 City Council seat earlier this month, after both candidate forums were held.

In order to provide voters with some more information about Ms. Libbrecht, San Leandro Bytes asked her some questions, including those that were asked at the second candidate forum.

Q: Why did you decide to run?

A: I entered the race because I feel that I can add a new demention [sic] to the council.. I was raised in this town, went through the public school system here, have a home, and business here for many years.  I have been involved in many organizations in San Leandro as well as going through the Chambers Leadership program.  Leadership taught me that no one person can achieve the ultimate goal, you need a group of people working together as a team.  I feel that I can bring a positive attitude to the position..


Q: Why didn't you file during the nomination period?
 
A: I entered the race after the nomination period because I was urged to do so.  Did not realize the level of support that I had in the community until family, friends and clients pushed me to be a write in candidate as an alternative choice. 
 

Q: What is your reaction to the headline story in the San Leandro Times about the recent rash of robberies in the City and what do you think is the solution to this problem?

A: The San Leandro Times robbery reports are alarming.  We need a strong police dept. but they can't be everywhere.  I would like to see more neighborhood watch groups and residence educated that it's ok to call the police dept if they see something suspicious.  National night out is good but we need more than one night a year for people to get to know each other.


Q: What specific plans do you have to identify and secure sustainable funding to open and operate the senior community center?

A: We need to make this a priority.  Council needs to be assertive and clear of our priority with staff. Finding a non profit organization to manage the center.  There are organizations out there we just need to find one SOON? 


Q: What is being done to bring new large companies to San Leandro? What type of incentives would you recommend you offer?

A: I have been involved in and with business for many years.  We need to update the San Leandro Business Plan and check to see why other towns can reinvent themselves and bring in new businesses.  Need to offer business incentives and retention packages to reinvent our town.  Also needs to be a transparent process. 

 
Q: Do you feel Measure Z could have a negative impact on our City? Might big ticket items such as cars be purchased in other cities, thus decreasing revenue?

A: All towns are looking to increase revenue.  Union City is asking for a 1/2 %, San Leandro is asking 1/4%.  We have to do something to keep our police, fire, and services strong.  My biggest concern is the 7 year time line, but I do like that it will be reviewed by a citizens oversight committee.


Q: What are San Leandro's plans for electric vehicle charging stations, specifically the Callan Start Garage Project?

A:  Exciting to realize a state of the arts structure.  Great start need to be innovative and promote green technology.  Looking forward to future green projects.


As a write-in candidate, Libbrecht's name does not appear on the ballot and must be written on the ballot to vote for her. The election will be held on November 2, 2010.

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Measure Z Campaign Takes in Almost $1,000 in Latest Fundraising Report

According to the most recent financial disclosure from the Protect San Leandro Services Committee for Measure Z, the campaign raised just under $1,000 in the first two weeks of October 2010.

Contributions included:

  • $500 from Tom Silva of Eden Realty
  • $250 from City Council candidate Corina Lopez
  • $150 from San Leandro City Attorney Jayne Williams

Expenses included:

  • $5,833 to Lew Edwards Group for campaign consulting
  • $4,977 to AdMail for print ads and campaign literature
  • $2,066 to Sphinx Graphics for print ads
  • $1,875 to Christy de Maria for campaign worker salaries

Click here to download the committee's disclosure for October 1 to October 16, 2010.

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October 25, 2010

Starosciak Reports $5,000 in Late Contributions

Financial disclosures were published today by the San Leandro City Clerk indicating that mayoral candidate Joyce Starosciak received $5,000 in late contributions to her campaign. Oakland contractor Ken Houston contributed $1,000 on October 22, 2010, and the Economic Development Alliance contributed $4,000 on October 25, 2010.

As previously reported, the Economic Development Alliance is a Los Angeles-based political action committee run by Afton Kobayashi, who is also Director of the Iris Alliance Fund, a mental health foundation founded by Mary Hayashi. The Economic Development Alliance has contributed money mainly to Dennis Hayashi and candidates endorsed by Mary Hayashi.

The contributions bring Starosciak's total raised for the campaign to more than $71,000, including $21,589 transferred from the campaign account used while she was running for San Leandro City Council.

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October 22, 2010

Starosciak Leads Campaign Contributions in Race for Mayor in Latest Period

Once again, San Leandro Councilmember Joyce Starosciak raised $10,780 during the most recent reporting period, leading the field of candidates for San Leandro Mayor. Former school board member Stephen Cassidy followed with contributions of $4,342 and Sara Mestas raised $900. San Leandro's incumbent mayor Tony Santos raised just $600. Lou Filipovich and John Palau are not required to file paperwork because they do not expect to raise or spend more than $1,000.

With 11 days until the election, Starosciak reported $15,868 in her campaign account, followed by Santos with $12,191, Cassidy with $10,473, and Mestas with $1,004.

There are no campaign contribution limits in San Leandro, so individuals and businesses may contribute any amount of money to local campaigns. Donations of $99 or less do not have to be itemized, but candidates are required to report the source of any donation of $100 or greater. Future financial statements are due on January 31, 2011. From now until the election, any contributions of more than $1,000 are required to be reported within 24 hours. The election will be held on November 2, 2010.

Pre-election campaign statements for active campaign accounts were due October 21, 2010, and are summarized below.



Joyce Starosciak, San Leandro City Councilmember, District 4

Starosciak reported campaign funds of $15,868 at the end of the reporting period and no campaign debt. Significant contributions included:

Contributors to Starosciak's campaign included $600 from three employees of Tramutola, the consulting firm to which she has paid more than $25,000 for campaign consulting. In addition, Side Walk Strategies, a firm with the same address as Tramutola, contributed $500 to her campaign.

Starosciak's largest expense was $3,633 to Adept Printing for campaign paraphernalia, followed by $1,233 to Bruce Gordon of Gordon Commercial Real Estate Services for rental of her campaign office at 1505 E. 14th St., and $600 to Daniel Ziegler for campaign literature.

Starosciak's Campaign Statement for October 1 to October 16, 2010



Stephen Cassidy, former member of the San Leandro School Board

Cassidy had $10,473 at the end of the reporting period with $9,080 in debt. Campaign contributions included:

  • $500 from Sunny Tong, Managing Director of Westlake Development Partners
  • $250 from Veronica Mendoza and Robert Mercer
  • $250 from Nikii Torres-Menasco and Ken Menasco
  • $250 from Robert Caruso
  • $250 from Kevin and Nicky Cassidy

Cassidy's expenses included $4,846 to Autumn Press for mailer printing and lawn sign wires, $3,300 to the San Leandro Times for two ads, and $2,520 to Handle With Care for mailing literature.

Cassidy's Campaign Statement for October 1, 2010 to October 16, 2010.


Tony Santos, Incumbent

Santos' reported $12,191 in his campaign account and $4,700 in campaign debt. Contributions included:

Santos' expenses included $4,922 to Handled With Care for postage and mailing services, $3,297 to Autumn Press for campaign literature, $1,294 to Alliance Campaign Strategies for campaign consulting and automated calls, and $565 to Voter Information Guide for a slate mailer.

Santos' Campaign Statement for October 1 to October 16, 2010


Sara Mestas, Member of the Rent Review Board

Mestas reported $1,004 in her campaign account after raising $900 during the reporting period. Contributions included:

Mestas' treasurer, Alexander Morey, has the same address as Kent Entertainment.

Expenses included $299 to Sign Depot for lawn signs and $185 to Chad Pennebaker for an office.

Mestas' Campaign Statement for October 1 to October 16, 2010

Full disclosure: the author, Mike Katz-Lacabe, is on Stephen Cassidy's campaign committee.

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Cutter Leads Latest Fundraising Round but Lopez' Loans Even it Up

San Leandro District 5 City Council candidate Pauline Cutter raised $2,835 during the most most recent reporting period of October 1 to October 16, 2010. Her opponent, Corina Lopez, raised $1,644, but also loaned her campaign $3,500, bringing the total loaned to her campaign to $13,121.

Both candidates are seeking the seat held by Bill Stephens since 2002. Term limits limit the Mayor and members of the City Council to two consecutive terms.

With 11 days until the election, Cutter has $3,230 in her campaign account, compared to Lopez' $1,450.

Overall, Cutter has raised $21,617 and Lopez has raised $9,827, not including the $13,121 she has loaned to her campaign.

Future financial statements are due on January 31, 2011. Between now and the election, any contributions or expenses of more than $1,000 must be reported within 24 hours. The election will be held on November 2, 2010.

Semi-annual campaign statements for active campaign accounts were due October 21, 2010, and are summarized below.


Pauline Cutter, San Leandro School Board Trustee

Cutter reported $3,230 on hand at the end of the reporting period with no outstanding debt. Cutter's contributions included:

Cutter's expenses included $3,865 to Autumn Press for campaign literature and $2,806 to Handled With Care Mailing Service for postage and mailing services.

Cutter's Campaign Statement for October 1 to October 16, 2010.


Corina Lopez, Human Services Commissioner

Lopez had $1,450 at the end of the reporting period with $13,121 in debt. The campaign received the following contributions:

  • $500 from Bulmaro Lopez, a truck driver in Soledad
  • $250 from car dealership owner Anthony Batarse
  • $100 from lobbyist and former California Assembly Member Johan Klehs

Lopez's expenses included $2,500 to Alliance Campaign Strategies for campaign consulting, $1,940 to Autumn Press for her walking piece, and $305 to EM Two Technologies for automated phone calls.

Lopez's Campaign Statement for October 1 to October 16, 2010.

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October 21, 2010

Third Candidate Joins Race for District 1 City Council Seat

On October 11, 2010, Carol Libbrecht qualified as a write-in candidate for the San Leandro City Council District 1 race. Libbrecht, whose name does not appear on the ballot and has had just 10 days to campaign, faces an uphill battle against incumbent Michael Gregory and former Oakland School Board member David Anderson. Libbrecht's supporters will have to write her name on the ballot in order for her to receive a vote.

Libbrecht entered the race about 3 weeks before the election and has an ad in this week's San Leandro Times. She owns Hair Trap Designs on E. 14th St. and is on the boards of the California Cosmetology Association, and the Boys and Girls Club of San Leandro. According to her ad, she is also a member of the San Leandro Historical Society, Alta Mira Club, and San Leandro Downtown Association.

Libbrecht's entry into the race means that there is a small chance that ranked choice voting (RCV, aka instant runoff) could be used for the District 1 San Leandro City Council election if neither Gregory or Anderson receives more than 50% of the vote in the first round.

The election will be held on November 2, 2010, and the deadline to register to vote has already passed.

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October 18, 2010

Local Political Committees Recent Financial Disclosures

On October 5, 2010, candidates for political office were required to disclose financial details of their campaign contributions and expenditures. Committees were also required to disclose their finances as well.

Citizens for San Leandro Schools received $59,790 in contributions during the July 1 to September 30, 2010, reporting period. The largest contributions were:

Other contributions included

  • $2,000 from the San Leandro Police Officers Association
  • $250 from former San Leandro City Manager John Jermanis
  • $200 from Alameda County Supervisor Alice Lai-Bitker's campaign committee

Total expenditures for the reporting period were $37,698. The largest expenditures were $15,000 to campaign consultant Connell Lindh, $8,685 to Accurate Mailings for mailing three letters, and $6313 to Bayside Printed Products for printing of door hangers and letters.

At the end of the reporting period, the committee had $51,398 in its account with no debt.

Citizens for San Leandro Schools' Campaign Statement for July 1 to September 30, 2010.


Protect San Leandro Services Committee for Measure Z received $58,375 in contributions during the reporting period. The committee received the following contributions:

Expenditures for the committee totaled $20,525 and included $8,333 to the Lew Edwards Group, $3,750 to Christy de Maria for campaign worker salaries, $2,000 to Sphinx Graphics for campaign literature, and $1,890 to Election Education Guide, a slate mailer. The Lew Edwards Group is the same organization hired for $61,000 in November 2009 by the City of San Leandro to educate San Leandro voters about the City's need for increased revenues.

At the end of the reporting period, the committee had $37,850 in its account with no debt.

Protect San Leandro Services Committee for Measure Z's Campaign Statement for July 1 to September 30, 2010.


The Sentinels, a group of local business owners, received $3,850 in contributions during the reporting period, including contributions from new Sentinels members René Mendieta, a member of the Board of Zoning Adjustments, Ken Pon, a former member of the San Leandro School Board, and Chad Pennebaker, owner of Douglas of Electronics.

Expenditures for The Sentinels totaled $10,100 and included:

The Sentinels' Campaign Statement for July 1 to September 30, 2010.


The campaign disclosure for Political Action Committee for Excellence (PACE) was not available at the Alameda County Registrar of Voters as of October 15, 2010. However, most of the group's expenditures were noted in a previous post.


San Leandro Teachers Advocating New Directions (STAND) reported no contributions in the most recent reporting period. Expenditures included $250 to Citizens for San Leandro Schools and $250 to San Leandro School Board candidate Lance James. At the end of the reporting period, STAND reported $10,633 in its account with no debt.

STAND's Campaign Statement for July 1 to September 30, 2010.


The San Leandro Police Officers Association filed paperwork to establish a recipient committee on October 1, 2010. A previous San Leandro Police Officers Association recipient committee was terminated in October 1997. The group has contributed at least $2,500 to candidates since 2004. No financial disclosures were available for the group.

San Leandro Police Officers Association Statement of Organization.

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October 7, 2010

District 1 San Leandro City Council Candidates at Second Candidate Forum

The District 1 San Leandro City Council candidates met at a second forum on Thursday, September 30, 2010, to make their case to San Leandro voters. Former Oakland School Board member David Anderson is seeking to unseat incumbent San Leandro City Council member Michael Gregory. Gregory was elected to the City Council in 2006. The forum, sponsored by the League of Women Voters and the San Leandro Chamber of Commerce, was held at the Marina Community Center.

Here are the candidates in their own words:

Opening statements:

What is your reaction to the headline story in the San Leandro Times about the recent rash of robberies in the City and what do you think is the solution to this problem?

What specific plans do you have to identify and secure sustainable funding to open and operate the senior community center?

More after the break.

What is being done to bring new large companies to San Leandro? What type of incentives would you recommend you offer?

Do you feel Measure Z could have a negative impact on our City? Might big ticket items such as cars be purchased in other cities, thus decreasing revenue?

What are San Leandro's plans for electric vehicle charging stations, specifically the Callan Start Garage Project?

Closing statements:

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District 5 City Council Candidates at Second Candidate Forum

The District 5 San Leandro City Council candidates met at a second forum on Thursday, September 30, 2010, to make their case to San Leandro voters. San Leandro School Board Trustee Pauline Cutter and Human Resources Commissioner Corina Lopez are both seeking the seat currently held by Bill Stephens, who cannot run for re-election because of term limits. The forum, sponsored by the League of Women Voters and the San Leandro Chamber of Commerce, was held at the Marina Community Center.

Here are the candidates in their own words:

Opening statements:

What is your reaction to the headline story in the San Leandro Times about the recent rash of robberies in the City and what do you think is the solution to this problem?

"What specific plans do you have to identify and secure sustainable funding to open and operate the senior community center?

More after the break.

What is being done to bring new large companies to San Leandro? What type of incentives would you recommend you offer?

Do you feel Measure Z could have a negative impact on our City? Might big ticket items such as cars be purchased in other cities, thus decreasing revenue?

What are San Leandro's plans for electric vehicle charging stations, specifically the Callan Start Garage Project?

Closing statements:

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Lopez Edges Cutter in Recent Fundraising for District 5 City Council Race

In the race for the District 5 San Leandro City Council seat, Corina Lopez raised $7,296 during the most recent reporting period, slighting edging out the $6,395 raised by Pauline Cutter. With less than a month to go before the election, Cutter had $5,666 more in her campaign account than Lopez.

Both candidates are seeking the seat held by Bill Stephens since 2002. Term limits limit the Mayor and members of the City Council to two consecutive terms.

Future financial statements are due on October 21 in 2010 and January 31, 2011. The last day to register to vote is Monday, October 18 and the election will be held on November 2, 2010.

Semi-annual campaign statements for active campaign accounts were due October 5, 2010, and are summarized below.


Pauline Cutter, San Leandro School Board Trustee

Cutter reported $7,328 on hand at the end of the reporting period with no outstanding debt. Cutter's contributions included $1,000 each from local women's group Political Action Committee for Excellence and California Apartment Association Political Action Committee, $500 from the Northern California Carpenters Regional Council, and $250 each from Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1555, Operating Engineers Local 3, and Steamfitters Local 342.

Cutter's expenses included $1536 to BelAire Displays for lawn signs, $1,296 to Autumn Press for campaign literature, and $600 to Vo's Restaurant for a fundraiser.

Cutter's Campaign Statement for July 1 to September 30, 2010.


Corina Lopez, Human Services Commissioner

Lopez had $1,662 at the end of the reporting period with $9,621 in debt. The campaign received contributions of $3,000 from The Sentinels, $500 each from former City Councilmember Gordan [sic] Galvan, Alameda County Firefighters Association, Pleasanton Garbage Service owner Robert Molinaro, and Michael Lopez, a student in Soledad, California. Lopez also loaned her campaign an additional $6,554.

Lopez's expenses included $5,500 to Alliance Campaign Strategies for campaign consulting, $1,980 to Prime Signs for lawn signs, $984 to Voter Guide Slate Cards for slate card mailers, and $743 to Van Austen Creative for web page and content design.

Lopez's Campaign Statement for July 1 to September 30, 2010.

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Gregory Leads Fundraising in DIstrict 1 City Council Race

Councilmember Michael Gregory outraised challenger David Anderson $6,674 to $605 in the race for the District 1 San Leandro City Council seat during the most recent reporting period.

Future financial statements are due on October 21, 2010 and January 31, 2011. The election will be held on November 2, 2010.

Semi-annual campaign statements for active campaign accounts were due October 5, 2010, and are summarized below.

Michael Gregory, Incumbent

Gregory reported $7,059 on hand at the end of the reporting period. Gregory's contributions included $1,500 from The Sentinels, $1,000 from the California Apartment Association Political Action Committee, $500 each from the Change Income Property Partnership, Creekside Associates, and Donna Reed (wife of Planning Commissioner Dale Reed), $300 from the Alameda County Firefighters Association, $250 each from Board of Zoning Adjustments member Philip Daly and Eden Realty, and $200 from car dealership owner Anthony Batarse.

Gregory reported no expenses except for a filing fee.

Gregory's Campaign Statement for July 1 to September 30, 2010.

David Anderson, former member of the Oakland School Board

Anderson had $2,338 at the end of the reporting period. The campaign received contributions of $100 each from Mary Anderson, Mildred Gardner, and Gloria Ricardo. Although most financial statements don't include contributions smaller than $100, Anderson listed contributions of $20 from former San Leandro City Councilmember Surlene Grant and current San Leandro City Councilmember Joyce Starosciak. Anderson also loaned his campaign an additional $1,733.66.

Anderson's expenses included $631 to Oakland Print and Copy Center for campaign literature, $350 to unlisted recipients for food for a fundraiser, and $304 to the US Post Office for postage.

Anderson's Campaign Statement for July 1 to September 30, 2010.

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October 6, 2010

Mayoral Candidate Starosciak Leads Latest Round of Fundraising

Councilmember Joyce Starosciak raised $14,962 during the most recent reporting period, leading the field of candidates for San Leandro Mayor. Former school board member Stephen Cassidy followed with contributions of $10,270, followed by San Leandro's incumbent mayor Tony Santos with $8,899. Sara Mestas raised $785. Lou Filipovich and John Palau are not required to file paperwork because they do not expect to raise or spend more than $1,000.

With less than a month to go, Santos reported the most cash on hand, with $22,954, followed by Cassidy with $18,380, Starosciak with $11,181, and Mestas with $588.

There are no campaign contribution limits in San Leandro, so individuals and businesses may contribute any amount of money to local campaigns. Donations of $99 or less do not have to be itemized, but candidates are required to report the source of any donation of $100 or greater. Future financial statements are due on October 21 in 2010 and January 31, 2011. The election will be held on November 2, 2010.

Semi-annual campaign statements for active campaign accounts were due October 5, 2010, and are summarized below.


Joyce Starosciak, San Leandro City Councilmember, District 4

Starosciak reported campaign funds of $11,181 at the end of September and no campaign debt. Significant contributions included $3,500 from Creekside Associates, $1,000 each from the San Leandro Police Officers Association, government relations-advocacy firm owner Christopher Townsend, and local women's group Political Action Committee for Excellence, $750 from property developer Brandenbury, Staedler & Moore [sic], and $500 each from Thomas Dlugosh, Chang Income Property, Bayfair Center consultant Quadric Group, and 7-11 owner Amarjit Sekhon,

Starosciak's largest expense was $5,032 to Tramutola for campaign consulting, followed by $1,667 to Bruce Gordon of Gordon Commercial Real Estate Services for rental of her campaign office at 1505 E. 14th St., and $1,200 to Belleci Designs for campaign literature.

Starosciak's Campaign Statement for July 1 to September 30, 2010.


Stephen Cassidy, former member of the San Leandro School Board

Cassidy had $18,380 at the end of the reporting period with $9,080 in debt. The campaign received contributions of $590 from property manager John Sullivan, $500 each from Creekside Associates, attorney Joseph Saveri, Charles Ramsey's campaign committee, attorney Melissa Obegi, and Innisfree Ventures .

Cassidy's expenses included $4,575 to Autumn Press for campaign literature and lawn signs, $2,851 to Handle With Care for mailing literature, and $900 to Costco for campaign literature.

Cassidy's Campaign Statement for July 1 to September 30, 2010.


Tony Santos, Incumbent

Santos' contributions included $4,000 from The Sentinels, a $3,700 loan from Santos to his campaign, $1,000 from the Central Labor Council, and $500 each from Alameda County Firefighters Local 55, Marina Mechanical owner James Hussey, Overhead Doors owner Eric Eisfeld, and Creekside Partners.

Santos' expenses included $5,000 to Alliance Campaign Strategies for campaign consulting, $2,500 to Community Outreach Services for various campaign services, $1,716 to Autumn Press for campaign literature, $1,000 to Charles Gilcrest for campaign Consulting, and $934 to Voter Guide Slate Cards for a slate mailer.

Santos' Campaign Statement for July 1 to September 30, 2010.


Sara Mestas, Member of the Rent Review Board

Mestas reported $588 in her campaign account after raising $785 during the reporting period. Contributions included $396 from Mestas to her own campaign and $350 from Round Table Pizza.

Expenses included $370 to Chad Pennebaker for an office, $100 to CVS for gift cards, and $100 to Tasche Cryor for a DJ at a fundraiser.

Mestas' Campaign Statement for July 1 to September 30, 2010.


$53,000 to Campaign Consultants So Far

Campaign consultant Tramutola has received $25,249 from Starosciak's campaign, while Community Outreach Services has received $18,127 from Santos' campaign. Santos also paid $9,000 to Alliance Campaign Strategies and $1,000 to Charles Gilcrest for campaign consulting.

Oakland-based Tramutola also manages campaigns for Alameda County Supervisor-elect Wilma Chan, Alameda County Supervisor candidate Nadia Lockyer, and Oakland mayoral candidate Don Perata. Hayward-based Community Outreach Services is run by Eden Realty owner Tom Silva of San Lorenzo. Alliance Campaign Strategies is run by Alice Lai-Bitker Chief of Staff Shawn Wilson, Alameda County Democratic Party Central Committee Vice Chair Royce Kelley, and Angela Ramirez Holmes.

Cassidy's campaign is managed by volunteer Tim Holmes and Mestas is managing her own campaign. Filipovich and Palau are not expected to campaign at all.

Full disclosure: the author, Mike Katz-Lacabe, is on Stephen Cassidy's campaign committee.

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October 4, 2010

Mayoral Candidates at Second Forum

San Leandro Mayoral candidates met at a second forum on Thursday, September 30, 2010. The forum, sponsored by the League of Women Voters and the San Leandro Chamber of Commerce, was held at the Marina Community Center.

Here are the candidates in their own words:

What is your position on Measures M and Z and why?

What are your specific plans to identify and secure sustainable funding to open and operate the senior community center?

More after the break.

What percentage of the city's budget goes to police and fire salaries and pensions and how much to pay retired police and firemen and what will you do to reduce those costs?

What is your position on the legalization of marijuana and its production in San Leandro?

Why are you the best qualified candidate?

Closing statements:

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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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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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August 20, 2010

Vida Blue Pitches for San Leandro City Council Candidate

San Leandro District 1 City Council candidate David Anderson's campaign kickoff will feature former Oakland A's pitcher Vida Blue. Blue played with the A's when they won the World Series in 1972, 1973, and 1974.

Anderson is a retired sheet metal worker and former member of the Oakland School Board. He is challenging incumbent Michael Gregory for the District 1 City Council seat. Gregory was elected in 2006 after opponent Frank Lynn moved out of the District 1 area.

Blue isn't the first celebrity to make an appearance in support of a San Leandro City Council candidate. In 2008, actor Danny Glover appeared at a campaign fundraiser for Ursula Reed. Reed went on to win the District 2 City Council race over veteran Linda Perry in a run-off election.

Anderson's campaign kickoff will be held from 1 to 4pm on August 21, 2010, at the Sheet Metal Workers Union Hall at 1700 Marina Boulevard in San Leandro.

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August 12, 2010

No Candidates File for Hague's Seat on the San Leandro School Board

At the close of the extended filing period at 5pm on August 11, 2010, no candidates had filed for the Area 6 seat on the San Leandro School Board. As a result, the School Board will have to decide whether to hold a special election or make an appointment by the end of January 2011.

Lisa Hague, the current Area 6 trustee, announced at the August 3 School Board meeting that she would not seek re-election. Hague was appointed to the seat in 2005 after Kimberly Wilson was removed from the School Board for moving out of the trustee area.

According to the Board's bylaws, "If a vacancy occurs four or more months before the end of a Board member’s term, the Board shall, within 60 days of the date of the vacancy or the filing of the member’s deferred resignation, either order an election or make a provisional appointment.... (Education Code 5091)"

In the Area 2 School Board race, Lance James and Victoria Wang are vying to replace Pauline Cutter, who is campaigning for the San Leandro City Council District 5 seat. Cutter was first elected to the School Board in 1998, when she defeated Bill Stephens, who she is now running to replace.

In Area 4, San Leandro School Board incumbent Mike Katz (that's me) faces a challenge from Latrina Dumas. Katz defeated opponent Pete Lismer in 2006 to replace Louis Heystek.

The election will be held on November 2, 2010.

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August 11, 2010

Economic Interests of the San Leandro Candidates

In order to run for Mayor or the City Council, candidates must submit a Statement of Economic Interests (Fair Political Practices Commission Form 700) as part of the required paperwork. This purpose of this form is to disclose financial interests that could lead to a conflict-of-interest by elected officials.

These disclosures are public documents and any member of the public can inspect and obtain copies ($0.10 each page) of these disclosures.

Statement of Economic Interests for Mayoral Candidates

Statement of Economic Interests for City Council Candidates

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Candidate Statements from San Leandro Mayoral Candidates

San Leandro Mayoral candidates may submit a 200-word candidate statement that will be mailed to voters with the sample ballot. In order to submit a statement, the candidate must submit the estimated $1,200 fee with the San Leandro City Clerk.

Below are the candidate statements for San Leandro Mayoral candidates. Tony Santos, the incumbent was elected in 2006. City Councilmember Joyce Starosciak was elected in 2004 and re-elected in 2008. Stephen Cassidy served on the San Leandro School Board from 2004 to 2008. Sara Mestas was appointed to the Rent Review Board in December 2009. No information was available about John Palau and he did not submit a candidate statement.

Stephen H. Cassidy:

I'm running for Mayor because I care deeply for San Leandro. I bring new leadership, a willingness to listen, and solutions to our challenges. Our gem of a city is threatened by record deficits, crime, and cuts to vital services. As Mayor, I will restore fiscal discipline to City Hall. I will lead by example, refusing a salary until the budget is balanced. Instead of last resort tax hikes, we must reform pensions by asking employees to contribute their share, enact structural changes, and eliminate excessive.overtime. I'll use my experience as a business owner and attorney to attract businesses, grocery stores, and restaurants. This will create jobs and fund our police, senior center, libraries, and pools. Imagine San Leandro a prosperous, thriving community. Our hospital is critical to San Leandro's well-being; I'll fight to keep it. My wife is a former public school teacher. We are raising and educating our daughters here. As School Board trustee, I proposed the Ninth grade campus, championed the Performing Arts Theater, and will collaborate with our schools, supporting student programs from a balanced budget. Elected officials, commissioners, school board trustees, community leaders across San Leandro support me. Working together, let's make San Leandro a safe, vibrant, sustainable city.

Sara M. Mestas:

My name is Sara M. Mestas and I'm running for Mayor of San Leandro because it is time for us to get back to the good old days of education, safety, community, and caring. As someone who has a track record of breaking the mold, overcoming many challenges, and seizing great opportunities, rest assured I am capable of tackling big issues, offering bold ideas and solutions. I will stand my ground and answer first to the Citizens of San Leandro. I promise to track my success by delivering real results. I will be a hands on Mayor who is actively engaged 24-7. I attended Cal State East Bay with a Major in Bio-chemistry. I have held many high profile positions, Executive Marketing Director 6 years, Unix Systems Administrator Electronic Arts, EMT Children's Hospital Austin, volunteer Fire Fighter Austin, and I am currently self-employed. I am dedicated to seniors, public safety & fire, education, jobs, closing our budget deficit and creating a prosperous economy in San Leandro. I have a plan to cut spending, increase revenue, engage citizens, support education, and keep our streets safe all while keeping our small town feel. "Save the View, Save the Bay" www.electsaramestas.org 510-355-2789

Anthony B. "Tony" Santos

Serving the people of San Leandro, as Councilmember and now Mayor, has been my greatest honor.

We have achieved a special quality of life in our city, expanding and preserving open space, strengthening public safety, and keeping our city's financial base strong while other communities struggle.

Even in these tough economic times, San Leandro is moving forward. Under my leadership, we broke ground on the new Kaiser building, built the 9th Grade Academy, constructed affordable housing for our seniors, and preserved child care for our families.

I've taken the lead in preserving our quality of life, authoring neighborhood preservation and noise ordinances and establishing a neighborhood park.

We made San Leandro a "green" city, taking the lead in energy conservation and green building, expanding bike lanes, fighting airport noise pollution, and opening the Bill Lockyer Bridge to connect the bay trails.

With continued prudent management, San Leandro will go on delivering quality services. We will continue to create jobs, fight to keep San Leandro Hospital open, and make public safety our top concern.

Please join our Firefighters and State Senator Ellen Corbett and re-elect me as your Mayor to keep San Leandro the great place it is to live, work, and raise a family. www.santosformayor2010.com.

Joyce Rutledge Starosciak:

As your Councilmember I have been working hard to make San Leandro a better city. However, the Mayor sets the vision and agenda. Our city faces a severe budget crisis and tough choices need to be made. A fresh, positive change in leadership is needed in San Leandro. I am well-qualified to be Mayor, having served this city in public office for 10 years. I grew up in San Leandro and own a San Leandro business. Because of my work on public safety issues, I received the endorsement of the San Leandro Police Officers Association. Because of my work with the schools, I am endorsed by parents and teachers throughout our community. Over the past year I have walked every neighborhood in San Leandro. Citizens tell me they want quality shopping, restaurants, and development. They want streets repaired, ordinances against speeding and panhandling enforced, the senior center opened, schools improved, businesses thriving, and a police department that is fully staffed. These will be my priorities. I would appreciate your vote for Joyce Starosciak for Mayor of San Leandro. Working together to get it done, we'll make San Leandro a place we're proud to call home.

For more information visit www.electjoyce.org

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Candidate Statements from San Leandro City Council District 1 Candidates

San Leandro City Council candidates may submit a 200-word candidate statement that will be mailed to voters with the sample ballot. In order to submit a statement, the candidate must submit the estimated $1,200 fee with the San Leandro City Clerk.

Below are the candidate statements for San Leandro City Council District 1 candidates. Michael Gregory, the incumbent, was elected in 2006. David Anderson is a former member of the Oakland School Board.

David L. Anderson, Sr.:

I am a Candidate for San Leandro City Council, District 1. I am committed to making the City of San Leandro a better place today and tomorrow!

I have gone door-to-door and spoke to businesses, community members about issues and concerns and get their views on San Leandro. I have been hearing that we need a local hospital with emergency room; we need to repair our streets and need to support our youth to excel in school and more after school programs, ie. tutoring programs, sports & other extra-curricular activities, and a healthy environment. I will also advocate for the needs of our senior citizens.

I will bring a practical and analytical approach to develop and implement policies that gets to the heart of what is needed to protect and restore the City's revenue and fiscal stability.

It is time to turn our attention to the "Real Business" of protecting vital services by working in partnership with police, businesses, labor unions, Professional Organizations, and Government Agencies.

Tough times require community leaders with the courage to introduce new approach. I will work in collaboration with the community to develop our Marina and bring additional revenue, improve our schools and make our community safe.


Michael J. Gregory:

My wife and I have been your neighbors in this community for nearly 25 years. Our family is proud to call San Leandro home and it has been a privilege serving you on the City Council.

As your Councilmember, I advocated strongly for our schools, initiated the Safe Routes to Schools program, worked for affordable housing for seniors and working families, fought to preserve police and fire services, led the effort to save San Leandro Hospital, championed transit-oriented development and created a more environmentally sustainable San Leandro.

These are challenging times for cities, including our own, but we will weather the storm. We broke ground on the new Kaiser Hospital, recruited new jobs and businesses, mitigated traffic, and envisioned new ideas for the Shoreline.

I am running for re-election to preserve the qualities that make San Leandro special. We need to make our downtown a destination, expand economic development, improve the partnership with our schools, commit to public safety, and continue to deliver quality City services.

I have a vision for a better San Leandro and I want to continue to work with you to achieve it. It would be an honor to have your vote for re-election. www.votemichaelgregory.com

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Candidate Statements from San Leandro District 5 City Council Candidates

San Leandro City Council candidates may submit a 200-word candidate statement that will be mailed to voters with the sample ballot. In order to submit a statement, the candidate must submit the estimated $1,200 fee with the San Leandro City Clerk.

Below are the candidate statements for San Leandro City Council District 5 candidates. Pauline Cutter was elected to the San Leandro School Board in 1998 and has served 12 years. Corina Lopez was appointed to the Human Services Commission in July 2009.

Pauline Russo Cutter:

San Leandro faces tremendous challenges right now. Our local economy, businesses, schools and families are feeling the stress of reduced revenues and budget cuts. During these difficult times, we need proven leadership we can trust on the City Council. Through my work as a preschool director and a School Board Trustee, I have made tough decisions to protect critical programs and have achieved results. I have helped balance multi-year budgets, pass two school bonds, and build new facilities. With both bonds, we have secured millions in matching funds, ensured projects are finished on time and under budget, and put people to work in San Leandro. As a parent of three and a 30-year resident, I am invested in the future of our city and want to make sure it remains a great place to Iive, work and raise a family. As your Council representative, I will work tirelessly to restore and expand services for children and seniors, create jobs, and preserve essential police and fire services. I offer a common-sense approach to problem solving and the leadership skills needed to achieve our goals. I will bring a fresh perspective to city government. Please visit www.paulinecutter.com for more information. Thank you.

Corina N. Lopez:

Throughout my life, I have dedicated myself to public service and giving back to the community. I have spent my time listening and working with my neighbors for a better San Leandro while serving as a City Human Services Commissioner, President of the Best Manor Homeowners Association, and Co-Chair of the Latino Business Council. My academic background and professional experience in these tough fiscal times is critical. I have a strong financial background with experience both on Wall Street and as a business owner and investor. We must focus on the financial viability of our city, making sound financial decisions in order to provide needed services to our community from youth to seniors alike. I am running for City Council to bring a fresh perspective to our city and to ensure that our neighborhoods continue to have a strong voice. As your Councilmember, I will make public safety our top priority; promote economic development and create jobs; build a better partnership with our schools; invest in infrastructure like roads and parks; and exercise fiscal responsibility and accountability. San Leandro is a special place. We can do more and we can do better. I would be honored to have your vote. www.CorinaLopez.com

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August 10, 2010

Starosciak Gets Police Endorsement; Santos Gets Fire

San Leandro Mayoral candidate and Councilmember Joyce Starosciak received the endorsement of the San Leandro Police Officers Association (POA) for the November 2010 election while the International Association of Firefighters Local 55 endorsed incumbent Mayor Tony Santos.

The San Leandro POA gave Starosciak $500 in November 2004, $100, in May 2007, and $300 in May 2008. Starosciak, whose husband works with the Alameda County Sheriff's Department, also received $1,000 from the Peace Officers Research Association in October 2004 and January 2005 and another $500 in May 2008.

The firefighters contributed $500 to Santos in June 2005 and another $500 in February 2006. They also made contributions in the same amounts to OB Badger, Santos' opponent in the 2006 election.

Since 2004, the POA has not contributed to Santos and the firefighters have not contributed to Starosciak.

Although endorsements from the public safety organizations have historically been highly sought after, it's unclear how much impact they have. Charles Gilcrest had the endorsements of both groups when he came in third for the District 2 San Leandro City Council race in June 2008 and Rick Richards had the endorsement of the police when he lost his bid for re-election to the San Leandro School Board in 2008.

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August 9, 2010

Field Set for San Leandro City Council and Mayor Races

With the deadline for filing passed, the field of candidates for San Leandro Mayor and City Council is now set.

Incumbent San Leandro Mayor Tony Santos faces a challenge from former San Leandro School Board trustee Stephen Cassidy, Sara Mestas, John Palau, and San Leandro Councilmember Joyce Starosciak. Perennial candidate Lou Filipovich had taken out papers to run but failed to submit them before the deadline.

Palau is a newcomer to the race, having taken out papers to run just two days before the filing deadline. Santos was elected in 2006 after defeating OB Badger in a run-off election.

In District 1, incumbent Michael Gregory faces a challenge from former Oakland School Board member David Anderson. Gregory was first elected in 2006.

District 3 incumbent Diana Souza will not face an opponent and will not appear on the November ballot. Souza was elected in 2006 after a run-off election with Julian Polvorosa.

In District 5, where two-term Councilmember Bill Stephens is termed out, San Leandro School Board member Pauline Cutter will face off against Human Services Commissioner Corina Lopez. Ted Kai, who had previously taken out papers to run, did not complete his filing by the deadline. Stephens did not face an opponent in 2002 or 2006.

The election will be held on November 2, 2010, and will be the first time that ranked choice voting (aka instant runoff voting) will be used in the City of San Leandro. The deadline to register to vote for the November election is October 18, 2010.

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Field of Candidates Nearly Set for November Races

In AC Transit Ward 4, which includes part of San Leandro, Board President Ryan "Rocky" Fernandez did not file to run for re-election and may be replaced by Gavin Wilgus, who was an intern at the Castro Valley Sanitary District. In a statement, Fernandez said, "I feel this is the right time to step aside and, among other things, further my education." Wilgus is the only candidate to have completed his filing at this time.

In AC Transit Ward 3, which includes part of San Leandro, incumbent Elsa Ortiz faces a challenge from Dollene Jones and Nancy Skowbo.

Isobel Dvorsky will automatically get the Chabot-Las Positas Community College District, Trustee Area 2 seat as no challenger submitted paperwork to run for the office. Her name will not appear on the November ballot. The Chabot-Las Positas Community College District is governed by a seven-member board of trustees representing Castro Valley, Dublin, Hayward, Livermore, Pleasanton, San Leandro, San Lorenzo, Sunol and Union City.

For East Bay Municipal Utility District Ward 7, Incumbent Frank Mellon is being challenged by Matt Turner. EBMUD is governed by a seven-member Board of Directors representing Alamo, Blackhawk, Danville, Diablo, Pleasant Hill, San Ramon, Walnut Creek, Oakland, Pinole, Richmond, Albany, Berkeley, Emeryville, El Cerrito, Alameda, San Lorenzo, San Leandro, Crockett, Hercules, Rodeo, Pinole, San Pablo, Hayward, San Ramon, and Castro Valley.

Incumbent Eden Township Healthcare District Director Carole Rogers and at least three challengers will vie for three seats in the November election. The challengers so far are Les Friedman, Susan Reisz, and William West. The five-member at-large Eden Township Healthcare District Board of Directors serves on the governing Board of Directors of Eden Medical Center, which includes San Leandro Hospital, and disperses grants through the Community Health Fund.

Oro Loma Sanitary District Board incumbents Timothy Becker, Howard Kerr, and Frank Sidari face a challenge from former San Leandro Mayor Shelia Young and Larry Johnson. The Oro Loma Sanitary District provides sewage treatment, solid waste, and recycling services to an area of San Leandro and San Lorenzo. The five-member Board of Directors is elected at-large.

The San Lorenzo School Board race will see incumbents Isabel Polvorosa and Helen Randall face challenges from Stacy Santos Blom, Rebecca Olivera, Elliot Schneider, and former San Lorenzo School Board member Gene Judson. The five members of the San Lorenzo School Board are elected at-large.

Former San Leandro Mayor and incumbent State Senator Ellen Corbett faces certain victory in November against Republican/Tea Party candidate Rob Maffit and American Independent candidate Ivan Chou.

Likewise incumbent State Assembly Member Mary Hayashi will handily prevail over Republican college student challenger Michael Havig.

Would-be Pete Stark challenger and Tea Party candidate Chris Pareja did not submit enough signatures to qualify as an independent candidate for the 13th Congressional District seat. Stark, who has held the seat since 1973, will likely be re-elected easily in the heavily Democratic district over Republican challenger Forest Baker.

Note: Updated on August 9 to reflect that the deadline to file for some seats has been extended until August 11 since the incumbent did not file for re-election.

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August 5, 2010

Cutter Leads Fundraising Among All City Council Candidates

District 5 City Council candidate and San Leandro School Board member Pauline Cutter led all San Leandro City Council candidates by raising $4,712 during the first half of 2010. One of her opponents, Corina Lopez, raised $3,067 during the same period, but it came in the form of a loan from Lopez to her own campaign. Ted Kai did not file a financial statement. District 1 City Council incumbent Michael Gregory didn't raise any money during the first half of 2010, while his opponent David Anderson raised $1,319, all but $100 of which was a loan to his own campaign. District 3 incumbent Diana Souza doesn't have an opponent and doesn't have an active campaign committee.

Cutter had $6,469 in her account at the end of the reporting period. Significant contributions included $500 each from Evelyn Gonzalez, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 595, Operating Engineers Local 3, and Sheet Metal Workers Local 104. Former California State Assemblyman John Dutra contributed $250, and former opponent Peggy Combs contributed $100.

Cutter's expenses included $440 to the Postmaster for postage, $345 to In & Out Printing for office expenses, and $306 to Ken Pon for services.

Cutter's Campaign Statement for January 1 to June 30, 2010.


Lopez reported $242 in her campaign account as of June 30, 2010. Her sole contribution came from a $3,067 loan she made to her campaign.

Lopez' expenses included $2,091 to Community Outreach Associates for email services, $431 to Van Austin Creative for graphics and web site development, and $150 to Jerry Hamilton Photography for photography services.

Lopez' Campaign Statement for January 1 to June 30, 2010.


In the District 1 race, Gregory had $1,613 in his account despite raising no money in the first half of 2010. He had no expenses and $7,223 in outstanding debt.

Gregory's Campaign Statement for January 1 to June 30, 2010.


Former Oakland School Board member Anderson had $1,319 in his campaign account. Anderson received a $100 contribution from Sal Diaz and a $1,219 loan to his own account. Anderson did report any campaign expenses.

Anderson's Campaign Statement for January 1 to June 30, 2010.


Other officials and former candidates with campaign accounts that are still
active are summarized below:


Councilmember Bill Stephens, who will be termed out this year, continued to deplete his campaign account. Stephens had $1,169 in his campaign account after contributing $200 to the San Leandro Boys and Girls Club, $160 to the San Leandro High School Boosters, and $150 to the Martin C. Kaufmann 100 Club of Alameda County.

Stephens' Campaign Statement for January 1 to June 30, 2010.


District 2 Councilmember Ursula Reed had no expenses and raised no money during the first half of 2010 and ended the reporting period with no campaign debt and an empty campaign account.

Reed's Campaign Statement for January 1 to June 30, 2010.


Former District 2 City Council candidate Linda Perry had no expenses and raised no money during the first half of 2010. Perry ended the reporting period with $1,542 in her campaign account and $11,250 in campaign debt.

Perry's Campaign Statement for January 1 to June 30, 2010.


District 6 City Councilmember Jim Prola contributed $200 to the Alameda Labor Coundil in the first half of 2010. Prola raised no money and reported $4,168 in his campaign account and $4,000 in outstanding debt.

Prola's Campaign Statement for January 1 to June 30, 2010.


Former District 6 City Council candidate Estelle Clemons reported $84.82 in her campaign account with $1,900 in debt. Clemons didn't raise any during the first half of 2010.

Clemons Campaign Statement for January 1 to June 30, 2010.


Former Mayor Shelia Young, who was recently elected to the Alameda County Central Democratic Committee and is running for Oro Loma Sanitary District, did not raise any money in the first half of 2010. Young contributed $100 to Wilma Chan's campaign and $100 to the San Leandro Players. As of June 30, 2010, Young had $7,778 in her campaign account and no campaign debt.

Young's Campaign Statement for January 1 to June 30, 2010.

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August 4, 2010

Santos and Cassidy Lead Mayoral Fundraising

San Leandro's incumbent mayor Tony Santos raised $20,402 and challenger Stephen Cassidy raised $10,705 during the first half of 2010 to lead the field of mayoral candidates. Councilmember Joyce Starosciak raised $9,333 and Sara Mestas raised $1,285. Lou Filipovich is not required to file paperwork because he does not expect to raise or spend more than $1,000.

There are no campaign contribution limits in San Leandro, so individuals and businesses may contribute any amount of money to local campaigns. Donations of $99 or less do not have to be itemized, but candidates are required to report the source of any donation of $100 or greater. Future financial statements are due on October 5, and October 21 in 2010 and January 31, 2011. The election will be held on November 2, 2010.

Semi-annual campaign statements for active campaign accounts were due August 2, 2010, and are summarized below.

Tony Santos, Incumbent

Santos' contributions included $2,500 from Electrical Workers Local 595, $1,500 each from Manuel Vieira and the California Apartment Association, and $1,000 each from UA Local 342, District Council of Iron Workers, East Bay Leasing Co., Charles and Wanda Bray, and Steven Leung. Other notable contributions included $750 from former Councilmember Kent Myers, $500 from car dealership owner Anthony Batarse, $250 from his wife Melitta Santos, and $250 from former Councilmember Gordon Galvan.

Santos' expenses included $15,627 to Community Outreach Services for various campaign services, $4,000 to Alliance Campaign Consultants [sic] for campaign consulting, and $960 to Vo's Restaurant for a fundraiser held in January.

The statement indicated that $4,081 was still owed to Community Outreach Services, so while Santos reported an ending cash balance of $23,943, it would actually be $19,862 if that debt was paid.

Santos' Campaign Statement for January 1 to June 30, 2010.


Stephen Cassidy, former member of the San Leandro School Board

Cassidy had $20,346 at the end of the reporting period with $8,830 in debt. The campaign received contributions of $1,050 from Tim Holmes, $1,000 each from fellow attorney Elizabeth Cabraser and Juan and Evelyn Gonzalez, and $500 each from Ron Musgrove and John and Mary Sullivan.

Cassidy's expenses included $746 to Costco for campaign literature, $269 to In & Out Printing for campaign literature, and $253 to the T-Shirt Factory for campaign paraphernalia.

The total raised for the period rises by $7,560 when including the loan made to the campaign by Cassidy.

Cassidy's Campaign Statement for January 1 to June 30, 2010.


Joyce Starosciak, San Leandro City Councilmember, District 4

Starosciak reported campaign funds of $6,324 at the end of June and no campaign debt. Significant contributions included $500 each from Southern California Assemblymember Anthony Portantino's (D-Pasadena) campaign committee, Pacific HVAC Depot, Robert Molinaro, owner of Alameda County Industries, and PAM Companies. Other contributions included $300 each from Creekside Associates and Windsor Partners, $150 from EMS Management, $100 from Innisfree Ventures, and $100 from Oakland Supervisor Nate Miley's campaign committee.

Starosciak's largest expense was $10,200 to Tramutola for campaign consulting, followed by $3,857 to Print Pro for campaign literature, and $606 to Marcy Ramsey for a fundraiser.

Starosciak's Campaign Statement for January 1 to June 30, 2010.


Sara Mestas, Member of the Rent Review Board

Mestas reported $263 in her campaign account after raising $1,285 during the first half of 2010. Contributions included $1,060 from Mestas to her own campaign and $100 each from Litvinchuck [sic] Realty and Clancy's Ice Cream.

Expenses included $740 to Chad Pennebaker for an office, $124 to Office Depot for toner and ink, and $120 to FX Dream for photos at a press conference.

Mestas' Campaign Statement for January 1 to June 30, 2010.





Campaign Consultants Reap $40,000 So Far

Campaign consultant Tramutola has received $20,217 from Starosciak's campaign, while Community Outreach Services has received $15,627 from Santos' campaign. Santos also paid $4,000 to Alliance Campaign Consultants (actually Alliance Campaign Strategies) for campaign consulting.

Oakland-based Tramutola also manages campaigns for Alameda County Supervisor-elect Wilma Chan, Alameda County Supervisor candidate Nadia Lockyer, and Oakland mayoral candidate Don Perata. San Leandro Bytes could not find any information about Hayward-based Community Outreach Services, but it has the same address as Eden Realty, a local real estate company run by Tom Silva. Alliance Campaign Strategies is run by Alice Lai-Bitker Chief of Staff Shawn Wilson, Alameda County Democratic Party Central Committee Vice Chair Royce Kelley, and Angela Ramirez Holmes.

Cassidy's campaign is managed by volunteer Tim Holmes, who has contributed more than $1,000 to the campaign while Mestas is managing her own campaign. Filipovich is not expected to campaign at all.

Note: Full disclosure: the author, Mike Katz-Lacabe, is on Stephen Cassidy's campaign committee.

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July 21, 2010

Pete Stark Town Halls This Saturday July 24

Pete Stark, San Leandro's Member of Congress, will hold town hall meetings on Saturday, July 24, 2010, in Hayward and Alameda.

The Hayward town hall will be held in the Council Chambers of Hayward City Hall at 777 B Street from 9 - 10:30am.

The Alameda town hall will be held in the Council Chambers of Alameda City Hall at 2236 Santa Clara Avenue from 11am - 12:30pm.

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July 20, 2010

Alameda County Democrats Endorse Marijuana Legalization Initiative

Although the Executive Board of the California Democratic Party decided to remain neutral on July 18, 2010, the Alameda County Democratic Central Committee endorsed the ballot initiative to legalize the sale of marijuana at its meeting on July 7, 2010, with only one member opposed.

The initiative will appear on the November 2, 2010, ballot as Proposition 19, the California Regulate, Control, and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010.

The resolution passed by the Alameda County Democratic Central Committee reads:

Whereas, controlling and taxing cannabis, like we do with alcohol and cigarettes, will generate billions of dollars in annual revenue for California to fund what matters most to Californians: jobs, health care,· schools and libraries, roads, and more.
Whereas, California should stop arresting thousands of non-violent cannabis consumers, freeing up police resources and saving millions of dollars each year, which could be used for apprehending truly dangerous criminals and keeping them locked up, and for other essential state needs that lack funding.
Whereas, if a controlled and taxed cannabis market operated on the same level as the California wine industry, it would generate tens of thousands of new jobs and billions of dollars in new yearly wages for workers.
Therefore, be it resolved that the Alameda County Democratic Central Committee endorses the California Regulate, Control, and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010, appearing on this November's statewide ballot, and
Be it further resolved that the Alameda County Democratic Central Committee urges the California Democratic Party to endorse the California Regulate, Control, and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010, appearing on this November's statewide ballot, at its Executive Board meeting scheduled July 16-18, 2010.

After the passage of Proposition 215 in 1996, San Leandro took no action regarding the marijuana dispensaries that were permitted under the new state law until 2004 when the City Council enacted a moratorium on marijuana dispensaries in December to prevent one from opening in San Leandro. Subsequent ordinances were passed in January 2005 and January 2006.

However, the moratorium on marijuana dispensaries ended as of December 4, 2006, because the State of California places time limits on urgency ordinances like the ones San Leandro enacted to prohibit marijuana dispensaries within the City. According to the City Attorney, marijuana dispensaries cannot be licensed in San Leandro because they possess and distribute a federally-controlled substance. San Leandro Municipal Code Sec. 2.2.420 permits the Finance Director to reject a business license application if there is "reasonable cause to believe...that a proposed business will not comply with any applicable laws..." This seems to give the City of San Leandro the flexibility to ban or license marijuana-related businesses depending on the current climate.

Even before California voters decide whether to legalize marijuana in November, the City of Oakland will decide on Tuesday whether to permit four large marijuana growing operations that could generate millions in tax revenues. Meanwhile, discussions about a possible growing operation in San Leandro have faded as quickly as they appeared.

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July 14, 2010

Election Filing Period Begins for November 2010 Election

The election filing period for the November 2, 2010, election opened on Monday, July 12, 2010. In San Leandro, the office of Mayor and City Council seats in Districts 1, 3, and 5, will be decided in November. The Mayor and members of the City Council are elected by all San Leandro voters, but Councilmembers are required to reside in specific District areas.

Numerous candidates have already entered the races for Mayor and City Council, although none of them will be official until the required nomination papers with the signatures of 20 registered voters are validated.

In the Mayor's race, incumbent Tony Santos faces a challenge from San Leandro City Councilmember Joyce Starosciak, former San Leandro School Board member Stephen Cassidy, and newcomer Sara Mestas.

District 1 Councilmember Michael Gregory faces a challenge from former Oakland School Board member David Anderson.

When asked, District 3 Councilmember Diana Souza said that she will seek re-election. For now, Souza has no declared challengers.

With District 5 Councilmember Bill Stephens unable to seek re-election because of term limits, San Leandro School Board member Pauline Cutter, Human Services Commissioner Corina Lopez, and newcomer Ted Kai have all stated their intention to seek the seat.

Candidates have until August 6, 2010, to submit the paperwork required to appear on the November ballot. See http://www.sanleandro.org/howdoi/run/defaullt.asp for more information on running for Mayor or City Council.

3:13pm: Updated to show that Souza is running for re-election.

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June 29, 2010

Ted Kai Files to Run for San Leandro City Council District 5

Burkhardt "Ted" Kai filed his Candidate Intention Statement for the District 5 San Leandro City Council seat on June 16, 2010. Kai is a registered Green Party voter and seems to be new to local politics.

Kai joins San Leandro School Board member Pauline Cutter and Best Manor HOA President Corina Lopez in the race for the City Council seat currently held by Bill Stephens. Stephens has held the seat since 2002 and will be termed out this year.

Candidates can file nomination papers to run for office from July 12 until August 6, 2010, but candidates for three of the four seats have already gotten a head start. The election will be held on November 2, 2010.

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June 8, 2010

Chan Wins Her Former Supervisor Seat and Other Local Election Results

With all precincts reporting, former Alameda County Supervisor and member of the California State Assembly Wilma Chan has been elected as the District 3 Alameda County Supervisor with 54.6% of the vote, avoiding a November run-off. Her closest competitor, former Alameda Mayor Beverly Johnson, received just 30.8% of the vote. Oakland businessman Harold Lowe and perennial candidate Lou Filipovich were a distant third and fourth. Click here for current results from the Alameda County Registrar of Voters (ROV).

State Senator Ellen Corbett and Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi were unopposed in the primaries and can now cruise to their re-elections in November. Similarly, U.S. Congressman Pete Stark cruised to an easy victory over San Leandro resident Justin Jelincic with 83.5% to 16% of the vote and all precincts reporting. Click here for current results from the Alameda County ROV.

In the 18th Assembly District Democratic Central Committee race, former San Leandro Mayor Shelia Young received the most votes of the 13 candidates vying for the six seats. Young was followed by incumbents Linda Perry and Ryan "Rocky" Fernandez, newcomer Margarita Lacabe [Full disclosure: Margarita is my wife], and incumbents Robin Torello and Diana Prola. Click here for current results from the Alameda County ROV.

San Leandro resident Don Grundmann lost out to Edward Noonan in the American Independent U.S. Senate primary. Grundmann unsuccessfully ran for San Leandro School Board and U.S. President in 2008, the U.S. Senate in 2004 and 2006, and U.S. Congress in 2000 and 2002.

Further south, Nadia Lockyer (38%) appears headed for a run-off with former California State Senator Liz Figueroa (25%) for the District 2 Alameda County Supervisor seat being vacated by Gail Steele. Union City Mayor Mark Green finished a strong third with 23.8% of the vote, just 263 votes shy of Figueroa. With late absentee ballots still to be counted, Green still has a chance at a run-off with Lockyer. Hayward Councilmember Kevin Dowling was a distant fourth with less than 13% of the vote. Click here for current results from the Alameda County ROV.

Updated at 11:19pm and 6:53am.

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May 19, 2010

Aspiring Rapper Enters Race for San Leandro Mayor

Sara Mestas San Leandran Sara Mestas, a.k.a. Mo Wiley, filed paperwork on May 17, 2010, indicating her intention to run for Mayor of San Leandro. The Candidate Intention Statement is the first step needed for a candidate to begin raising money and incurring expenses towards a campaign. On the form, Mestas indicates she is a registered Democrat and resides in the Washington Manor area of District 4, the same district fellow mayoral candidate currently Joyce Starosciak represents on the City Council.

Current San Leandro Mayor Tony Santos resides in the Marina Faire neighborhood in District 6 and mayoral candidate Stephen Cassidy resides in Estudillo Estates in District 1. [Full disclosure: I have endorsed Cassidy for mayor.]

Mestas became active in San Leandro politics last year after the San Leandro City Council eliminated funding for crossing guards for all San Leandro elementary schools. Mestas organized a press conference, spoke at a City Council meeting, and volunteered as a crossing guard until the City Council accepted a proposal from the San Leandro School Board to split the cost of crossing guards with the San Leandro and San Lorenzo School Districts.

In late 2009, Mestas had considered running for Mayor until she spoke to Santos and subsequently wrote on her web site, "I endorse Tony Santos for Mayor, 2010-2012, also council persons Prola and Gregory." Asked about her decision to run for mayor after endorsing Santos, Mestas replied, "I have came to the realization that the Mayor is up against many opposing and proposing forces, I just believe I am the better person to stand tall against those forces…"

In December 2009, Mestas was appointed to the City of San Leandro Rent Review Board. The Rent Review Board last met in September 2008 and despite discussions at the City about possibly eliminating it, the board will be retained for now.

In an undated press release sent May 12, 2010, Mestas said she will officially announce her candidacy on May 25, 2010 in front of San Leandro City Hall. According to the press release, her motivation to run for Mayor was "resistance from the San Leandro Police Department and City Manager when I tried to start a San Leandro Police Activities League. They were uncomfortable with me being the face of the organization because the video for my single 'You Can’t Touch It'..." Mestas is an aspiring rapper under the name Mo Wiley. A biography for Mestas' alter-ego Wiley can be found at Luck Media & Marketing.

Mestas' priorities include "A major overhaul on the current education system," "Department of Justice Community Oriented Policing Strategies," "incentives for quality new businesses and residents to move to San Leandro," and the environment.

On a possible 0.25% sales tax increase that has been discussed by the San Leandro City Council, Mestas said, "I have mixed feelings I will tell you raising taxes alone will not fix our problem, we are going to have to have a stable plan to create steady revenue streams." When asked about the City's fiscal situation, Mestas replied, "The first thing I think is necessary , is to look at all of the spending my first 30-days of office, and come up with a proposed budget within 90-days of taking office for the entire City, a budget that will support my platform..."

Mestas wants people to know, "I am for the people, and my track record over the past 13 years shows a track record of action, I am ready and willing to do the neccessary work to bring action to the job of Mayor. I understand that by squeezing the life out of my people during hard economic times is not the answer, but to provide solutions for them to get back on track through education, opportunities, and support. If we fostered and environment that welcomed our community, there would 87,000+ ways for us to move towards peace, and prosperity."

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May 18, 2010

Democratic Committee Incumbents Face Numerous Challengers

The race for the 18th Assembly District Democratic Party Central Committee has been a quiet affair in the previous three elections, with seven candidates running for a total of six seats on the committee.

This year, Democratic voters will choose from 13 candidates for just six seats, the most candidates for the committee since 2002, when supporters of Lyndon LaRouche campaigned heavily for seats on the committee.

The committee represents the local arm of the California Democratic Party. One of its most important functions is to endorse local candidates for offices such as City Council, School Board, and County Supervisor.

This year, five incumbents and eight challengers will vie for the six seats.

The incumbents are Rocky Fernandez, Linda Perry, Diana Prola, Robin Torello, and Rick Trullinger.

Fernandez was elected to the Central Committee in 2004. In 2006, he was elected to the AC Transit Board and currently serves as President. He has served as a member of former Assemblymember Johan Klehs' staff.

Perry was elected to the Central Committee in 1980. She served on the San Leandro City Council from 1988 to 1996 and on the San Leandro School Board from 1996 to 2008. Perry previously headed the Halcyon Foothill Neighborhood Association.

Prola was elected to the Central Committee in 2006. In 2008, she joined the San Leandro School Board after running unopposed. Her husband serves on the San Leandro City Council and she has served as a delegate to the California Democratic Convention.

Torello was elected to the Central Committee in the early 1990s. She is the chair of the Alameda County Democratic Party and the Eden Area United Democratic Campaign.

Trullinger was elected to the Central Committee in 2000, lost in 2002, and was re-elected in 2004. He was previously president of the Hayward Demos Democratic Club and has served as a delegate to the California Democratic Convention

The challengers are Tom Kersten, Susan Kleebauer, Margarita Lacabe [editors' note: Margarita is my wife], Julie Lind, Jennifer Ong, Helena Straughter, Mary Warren, and Shelia Young.

Kersten was President of the Hayward Demos Democratic Club from 2007 to 2009. In 2008, he was selected to serve on the Hayward Citizens Advisory Committee. When asked why he was running, Kersten noted "a serious lack of communication between the Democratic Central Committee and the local democratic clubs" and that "it is time for some new voices to emerge and serve as voting members of the committee."

Kleebauer previously served on the Central Committee from 1996 until 2001, when she resigned "out of frustration with the Committee's inability to take positions on important issues." She served on the City of San Leandro's Library Historical Commission from 1995 to 2002 and the City of San Leandro's Planning Commission from 2002 to 2007. When asked why she was running, Kleebauer stated, "I am once again excited and encouraged by the changes in Washington and the chance to elect a democrat as Governor." Kleebauer also supports legalizing and regulating marijuana, ending the death penalty, and bringing "an infusion of new ideas and new leadership" to the committee.

Lacabe is a human rights activist that founded the human rights group Derechos Human Rights. Her work with Equipo Nizkor led to the unprecedented detention of former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet in England in 1998. Lacabe was one of the founding members of the San Leandro Community Action Network, which has been active in supporting progressive candidates for office in San Leandro. When asked, Lacabe said that she is running "to inject new blood and new ideas into what has become an old-boys-and-girls network" and "have a committee that is more in touch with the grassroots and the true concerns of Democratic voters."

Lind served on the Santa Clara County Democratic Central Committee from 2004 to 2008. She currently serves as a field representative for California State Senator Ellen Corbett and was on the City of Hayward's Human Services Commission from 2008 to 2010. When asked why she was running, Lind replied, "I want to make sure that young people have a voice in our County party, are part of the decision making process, and have a seat at the table."

Ong is an optometrist in Alameda and currently serves as Vice President of the Hayward Demos Democratic Club and the Eden Area League of Women Voters. Ong is one of the few candidates with a campaign web site. When asked why she was running, Ong stated that she wants to "contribute my efforts and experiences as a health care provider, environmental activist and advocate for underrepresented communities to further diversify the values represented in the Democratic Party."

Straughter is a member of the Hayward Demos Democratic Club and currently works as a real estate broker. She was elected as a delegate to the Democratic Party in 2009.

Warren previously served for more than 15 years on the Central Committee, including ten years as Chair. She was Vice Chair of the California State Democratic Party for two years and served on the Democratic National Committee for four years. Warren says she is "running to enhance the role of the Party in Alameda County and the State of California."

Young previously served on the Central Committee in the 1990s. Young was elected to the San Leandro City Council in 1996, elected Mayor of San Leandro in 1998 and re-elected in 2002. Young has served on the Physician Assistant Committee of the Department of Consumer Affairs since June 2007, when she was appointed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. When asked why she was running, Young replied that "the Party needs to pay more attention to local issues and candidates and to demonstrate fairness and consistency in their activities on behalf of the Party."

More information about the candidates can be found at http://www.smartvoter.org/2010/06/08/ca/alm/race/016/

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April 11, 2010

Democrats Endorse Wilma Chan for County Supervisor

The Alameda County Democrats endorsed Wilma Chan for the District 3 Alameda County Supervisor seat after interviewing candidates on April 10, 2010. The endorsements from the Democrats and Labor should make fundraising for Chan easier and will make it much harder for opponents Beverly Johnson and Harold Lowe.

In the District 2 Alameda County Supervisor race, Nadia Lockyer received the endorsement over Liz Figueroa, Kevin Dowling, and Mark Green.

Endorsements don't become official until the Democratic Central Committee votes to approve them.

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March 28, 2010

Hayward Demos Endorse Wilma Chan for County Supervisor

The Hayward Demos Democratic Club endorsed Wilma Chan for District 3 Alameda County Supervisor at its candidate forum on Saturday, March 27.

Three of the four District 3 candidates for Alameda County Supervisor were present for the forum, in which a number of prepared questions were asked followed by questions from audience members. Perennial candidate for office Lou Filipovich was invited, but did not attend the forum.

When asked about her accomplishments in the legislature, Chan responded that she "passed over 55 bills when I was there, and about 20 related to health care…one of the bills I passed, AB356, was the bill that blew the whistle on Anthem Blue Cross," referring to the 39% proposed increase in Anthem's insurance rates. Beverly Johnson said that "the greatest accomplishment I've had in Alameda is the construction of a new library…that opened about three years ago" in response to a similar question. In his response to how his professional experience as a financial planner relates to serving as a county supervisor, Harold Lowe noted that he worked with unions at American President Lines, worked with pharmaceutical companies, and worked with educators to make them more effective as examples of how he had practical experience rather than just "the theoretical."

On San Leandro Hospital, Lowe said that "it's interesting to understand that someone would talk about closing the hospital" when more people are going to have insurance and use hospital services. Lowe said that he would have "top-to-top conversations and broaden the conversation," but referred to Summit as the owner of the hospital (Sutter is the owner). Chan said that she was already working on the issue and there are two viable options: "one would be if Sutter would release the lease and another provider would come in and buy…the other option is for the County to continue the lease, but to do a hybrid model" keeping the emergency room open. Johnson said that she helped lead the process to keep Alameda Hospital open and that the current process needs to be stopped and "take time and really look at this." She sounded skeptical about Sutter's claims that San Leandro Hospital operating at a loss and said that we need to "develop a long-term strategic plan for delivery of health care services throughout the county."

The candidates also addressed questions about county childcare services, county general assistance funding, state and federal funding of county programs, and the three professional sports teams, the possibility of them leaving, and public funds for keeping them.

In the District 2 Alameda County Supervisor race, the Hayward Demos endorsed candidate Kevin Dowling over Liz Figueroa, Nadia Lockyer and Mark Green. Hayward Mayor Mike Sweeney received an endorsement as well, which won't matter much, since he is unopposed and will not appear on the June ballot. Finally, Hayward City Council candidate Sara Lamnin received the endorsement over Mark Salinas and Marvin Peixoto.

The election for District 3 Alameda County Supervisor will be held in June 2010.

Additional links to video from the candidate forum:

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March 26, 2010

Former Oakland School Board Member to Run for San Leandro City Council

Former Oakland School Board member David Anderson filed paperwork on Tuesday, March 23, 2010, indicating his intention to run for the District 1 San Leandro City Council seat currently held by Michael Gregory. Gregory was elected in 2006 and is up for re-election this year.

Anderson, a retired sheet metal worker, says that elected representatives must get out and talk to their constituents. He wants to be the "magnet that brings people together" to solve many of the City's problems. He also highlighted the importance of keeping the Boys and Girls Club pool open for the city's senior citizens. San Leandro Bytes asked Anderson about the city's financial situation, transit-oriented development, and other issues, but Anderson has not yet responded.

Anderson grew up in Oakland, graduating from McClymonds High School. From 1987 until 1992, Anderson served on the Oakland School Board, including as School Board President in 1991. In 1992, after Anderson lost his bid for re-election, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that "police are investigating accusations that Anderson offered to vote in favor of renewing the $ 92,500-a-year contract of [Oakland Unified School District] general counsel Dan Siegel if Siegel would help to arrange for Anderson to get a consultant's job with the district." According to the article, Anderson denied the charges and "accused Siegel and Superintendent Pete Mesa of suggesting that he could have the consulting job and retire his campaign debts if he supported Siegel." Siegel handed a tape to police that he claimed substantiated his allegations, but the Alameda County district attorney's office that there wasn't enough information to file any charges.

During a telephone conversation, Anderson referred to the accusations as baseless innuendos and said that when he left the Oakland School Board, the District had a multimillion dollar surplus. Ten years later, the state of California took over the Oakland Unified School District and provided a $100 million loan to help resolve the district's fiscal crisis.

In 2000, Anderson ran again for the Oakland School Board, losing the race and finishing fourth out of five candidates.

In 2005, Anderson moved to San Leandro, but registered to vote in San Leandro just within the past six months. When asked about this discrepancy, Anderson replied that he owned a house in Oakland on 30th Street.

San Leandro's District 1 includes some of the central downtown area up to and including the San Leandro Hills, where Bay-O-Vista is located.

The City Council election will be held in November 2010.

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March 15, 2010

Tam Drops Out of County Supervisor Race; Three Left

On March 15, 2010, Lena Tam announced that she would not run for the District 3 Alameda County Supervisor seat. The move surprised some observers because she had the endorsement of Alice Lai-Bitker, who currently holds the seat.

In her announcement, Tam stated, "...the City of Alameda needs my experienced leadership more at this time....It has become even more clear to me that campaigning for the Board of Supervisors at this time is distracting my attention from taking care of business and governing the City of Alameda." For the full text of the announcement, see The Island.

To date, only Alameda Mayor Beverly Johnson and Wilma Chan have completed the necessary paperwork to become an official candidate. Harold Lowe has until March 19, 2010, to complete his filing. Young announced this weekend that she has withdrawn from the race and is endorsing Chan for the seat.

The election will be held June 8, 2010.

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March 14, 2010

Young Out of County Supervisor Race; Endorses Chan

According to a press release issued today, former San Leandro Mayor Shelia Young has decided not to seek the District 3 Alameda County Supervisor seat and has endorsed Wilma Chan.

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March 11, 2010

Labor Endorses Chan for Supervisor

The Alameda Council Central Labor Council has endorsed Wilma Chan for District 3 Alameda County Supervisor over rivals for the seat held by Alice Lai-Bitker. Alameda Mayor Bev Johnson's campaign issued a press release today announcing her official entry into the race and endorsements from Senator Loni Hancock, Assemblyman Sandre Swanson and former state Senate President Don Perata.

According to Johnson's press release, her first priority will be to keep San Leandro Hospital open. Chan is also opposed to the closure of San Leandro Hospital, inviting her supporters to the vigil scheduled for Monday, March 22, 2010.

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March 8, 2010

County Supervisor Race Gets Crowded

Harold Lowe became the fifth potential candidate in the race for District 3 Alameda County Supervisor late last week. Although the filing deadline is normally March 12, 2010, the deadline will be extended until March 19, because incumbent Alice Lai-Bitker will not be running for re-election. As of March 5, none of the candidates had completed the paperwork to become an official candidate.

Like all of the other candidates, Rowe is also a Democrat. He has served on the Advisory Board for Alameda County Supervisor Nate Miley for more than 10 years. Unlike the other four potential candidates, Lowe has not been elected to office before.

Lowe is currently president of Forus Financial Services , an independent financial planning company he recently started.

He faces a highly competitive field with former California State Assemblywoman Wilma Chan, former San Leandro Mayor Shelia Young, Alameda Mayor Beverly Johnson, and Alameda Councilmember Lena Tam all vying for the seat.

When it comes to money, Johnson leads the field with $13,893 in her campaign account and no debt. Young has $8,324 in her campaign account and no debt. Tam has $1,844 with an equal amount of campaign debt. Chan has an active campaign account, but the amount of money she has from previous campaigns could not be determined. No information was available on whether Lowe has existing campaign funds.

However, the money situation could change if Lai-Bitker uses the $83,982 in her campaign account to help Tam, whom she has endorsed.

A recent poll asked voters about the District 3 Alameda County Supervisor race, but assumed only four candidates. While the source of the poll is not known, as of December 31, 2009, only Lai-Bitker had enough money to bankroll it.

The election will be held on June 8, 2010. If no candidate receives more than 50% of the vote, a run-off election will be held in November.

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March 1, 2010

The Race for Alameda County Supervisor

With less than two weeks to go until the March 12, 2010, filing deadline, only four candidates have been issued the necessary paperwork to run for the District 3 Alameda County Supervisor seat held by Alice Lai-Bitker.

Former San Leandro Mayor Shelia Young, who ran for the seat in 2006, is the sole candidate from the southern area covered by the seat, which includes Alameda, San Leandro, part of Oakland, San Lorenzo, and other unincorporated areas of Alameda County. Young was elected to the San Leandro City Council in 1996 and served two years before being elected Mayor in 1998.

Alameda Mayor Beverly Johnson is termed out after serving two terms and Councilmember Lena Tam has served just one term on the Alameda City Council. Lai-Bitker endorsed Tam for her seat in early February, which could give Tam an edge in the race.

The fourth candidate is Wilma Chan, who held the County Supervisor seat from 1994 until 2000, when she was elected to the California State Assembly, where she served three terms. In 2008, she ran for California State Senate against Loni Hancock and lost. In 2005, Chan named Tam as Woman of the Year for her community service and later endorsed Tam for Alameda City Council.

Although the race is non-partisan, all of the candidates are Democrats. Unlike the California State Senate or Assembly, County Supervisors have no term limits, which, combined with the salary and staff, and no long commutes to Sacramento, make the position quite attractive.

The complete list of candidates and whether they have submitted paperwork is available at http://www.acgov.org/rovrpt_app/cfsRptList.do

3/2 Update: Corrected dates of Young's elections and number of terms for Johnson.

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February 8, 2010

Economic Development Alliance and its San Leandro Political Connection

In a recent campaign finance filing for San Leandro mayoral candidate Joyce Starosciak, the Economic Development Alliance was reported to have contributed $1,000 to Starosciak's campaign, her single largest donation in the second half of 2009. The Economic Development Alliance is a Los Angeles-based political action committee. In April 2008, the group contributed $500 to Starosciak when she ran for re-election to the San Leandro City Council. It also contributed $500 to Councilmember Jim Prola's campaign in 2008.

The Economic Development Alliance has no web site. However, you can use its FPPC ID# (1303625) to find it on the California Secretary of State's web site.

According to information from the California Secretary of State, the Economic Development Alliance has raised $89,200 since January 2008, with $30,000 from the California Correctional Peace Officers Association, $15,000 from the California Medical Association, $12,000 from Indian gaming tribes, with lesser amounts from Securitas, PG&E, EdVoice (a proponent of charter schools), Norcal Mutual Insurance, Anthem Blue Cross, and Dentists Insurance Company.

Of the $59,950 it has spent since its inception, $49,575 (83%) went to support the election of Dennis Hayashi to Alameda County Superior Court Judge. Hayashi is the husband of California State Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi, who was elected in 2006 and represents San Leandro. Prola and Starosciak, who received contributions from the Economic Development Alliance, were both endorsed by Mary Hayashi during their campaigns. Other candidates who have received contributions from the group, Francisco Zermeño, Nadia Lockyer, Jean Quan, and Marvin Peixoto, have all been endorsed by Hayashi during their campaigns.

The phone number and address for the group, lead to the Los Angeles company David L. Gould Company, an organization that performs political finance, reporting and consulting services.

According to the David Gould Company, the Economic Development Alliance was formed in January 2008 and its principal is Afton Kobayashi. The purpose of the group is "Voter education and awareness." Kobayashi is the Director of the
Iris Alliance Fund, a mental health foundation founded by Mary Hayashi.

Click here for a complete list (in Excel format) of expenditures and income for Economic Development Alliance.

In future articles, San Leandro Bytes will look more closely at other political contributors.

Posted by mike at 10:51 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

February 2, 2010

Unions Dominate Early Political Contributions for 2010 Mayoral Race

With the date of the 2010 election set for November, the candidates are in full fundraising mode. San Leandro Mayor Tony Santos took full advantage of the power of incumbency, raising $20,000 during the second half of 2009. Similarly, Councilmember Joyce Starosciak transferred $21,589 from her City Council campaign account to her mayoral campaign account.

Semi-annual campaign statements for active campaign accounts were due February 1, 2010, and are summarized below.

Santos' first fundraiser last year contributed significantly to the $24,628 reported in his account at the end of 2009. Contributions included $2,500 each from the Sheet Metal Workers Union, Northern California Carpenters Regional Council, International Union of Painters and Allied Trades, Operating Engineers Local 3, and Electrical Workers Local 595. Santos also received $1,500 from the Teamster DRIVE committee, $1,000 from the District Council of Iron Workers, and $500 each from former Councilmember Kent Myers, Galvan and Associates, Robert Molinaro of Pleasanton Garbage, Batarse Family Trust (Anthony Batarse owns auto dealerships), and UA Local 342. Galvan and Associates is the lobbying firm owned by former San Leandro Councilmember Gordon Galvan. This does not include contributions from a fundraiser held on January 26 at The Vo's Restaurant.

District 5 City Council candidate and recent Human Services Commission appointee Corina Lopez contributed $250, former California Assemblyman and current lobbyist Johan Klehs contributed $250 and Hayward Councilmember Bill Quirk contributed $100.

Santos' only expense was $300 for an Alameda County Labor Council fundraiser.

The previous campaign statement for the Santos campaign listed $27,500 in campaign debt, but no campaign debt was reported on this statement nor is there any indication that it was paid off.

Santos' Campaign Statement for July 1 to December 31, 2009.


Starosciak reported campaign funds of $13,675 at the end of 2009 and no campaign debt. Significant contributions included $1,000 from the Economic Development Alliance, $500 from Tom Dlugosh, a retired member of the Sentinels, $500 from contractor Jim Hussey, $500 from Milledge Hart, a retired resident of Dallas, Texas, and $500 from Creekside Partners. The Economic Development Alliance seems to be a political action committee funded by Indian gaming interests and corporations. Galvan and Associates contributed $250, half of what was contributed to Santos' campaign. District 4 Human Services Commissioner Amada Robles contributed $100. This does not include contributions from a fundraiser recently held in southern California.

Starosciak's largest expense was $10,017 to Tramutola for campaign consulting, followed by $3,857 to Printopro for campaign literature, and $642 to In & Out Printing for campaign literature.

Starosciak's Campaign Statement for July 1 to December 31, 2009.


Former San Leandro School Board member Stephen Cassidy reported $5,053 at the end of 2009 with $1,270 in campaign debt. Contributions included $1,000 from fellow attorney Robert Lieff, $750 from retired couple Phyllis and Steven Gee, and $500 from former California State Controller Steve Westly, a venture capitalist.

Cassidy's biggest expense was $1,051 to Autumn Press for campaign literature.

Cassidy's Campaign Statement for July 1 to December 31, 2009.


San Leandro School Board member Pauline Cutter reported $3,696 at the end of 2009 with no campaign debt. Most of her funds came from the $1,649 transferred from her School Board campaign committee. Significant contributions included $500 from Steamfitters Local 342, $250 from Jennifer Heystek and former School Board member Louis Heystek, and $100 from current School Board member Carmen Sullivan. Cutter has a fundraiser scheduled for February 4, 2010, at Zocalo Coffeehouse.

Cutter's sole expense was $246 to In & Out Printing for campaign literature.

Cutter's Campaign Statement for July 1 to December 31, 2009.


Corina Lopez, Cutter's only opponent so far for the District 5 seat, hadn't raised any money by the end of last year.

Councilmember Bill Stephens, who will be termed out this year, contributed $100 to the San Leandro Scholarship foundation, but raised no money last year. Stephens had $2,014 in his campaign account at the end 2009 and no campaign debt.

Stephens' Campaign Statement for July 1 to December 31, 2009.


District 1 Councilmember Michael Gregory, who will seek re-election in 2010, didn't spend or raise any money during 2009. Gregory had $1,613 in his campaign account and $7,222 in outstanding campaign debt.

Gregory's Campaign Statement for July 1 to December 31, 2009.


District 3 Councilmember Diana Souza, who will also seek re-election in 2010, doesn't have a active campaign account.

District 2 Councilmember Ursula Reed had no expenses and raised no money during 2009 and ended the reporting period with no campaign debt and an empty campaign account.

Reed's Campaign Statement for July 1 to December 31, 2009.


Former Councilmember Surlene Grant contributed the remaining $272 of her campaign account to the Stephanie Brown Cadet Foundation in Redwood City. Grant did not raise any money and had no money in her account at the end of 2009. Grant was termed out of office in 2008 and was succeeded by Ursula Reed.

Grant's Campaign Statement for July 1 to December 31, 2009.


Former District 2 City Council candidate Linda Perry had no expenses and raised no money during 2009. Perry ended the reporting period with $1,542 in her campaign account and $11,250 in campaign debt.

Perry's Campaign Statement for July 1 to December 31, 2009.


The financial statement for former City Council candidate Charles Gilcrest was not available as of February 2, 2010, but City officials expected to receive it soon.

District 6 City Councilmember Jim Prola reported $234 in unitemized expenses in the last half of 2009. Prola raised no money and as of December 31, 2009, had $4,403 in his campaign account and $4,000 in outstanding debt.

Prola's Campaign Statement for July 1 to December 31, 2009.


Campaign statements from former District 6 City Council candidates Estelle Clemons and Wafaa Aborashed were not available as of February 2, 2010, but were expected soon.

Former Mayor Shelia Young, who has been mentioned as a potential candidate for San Leandro Mayor, Alameda County Supervisor, and Oro Loma Sanitary District, did not raise any money in all of 2009. Young contributed $250 to the Chabot College Foundation and $90 to the Political Action Committee for Excellence, a women's political organization. As of December 31, 2009, Young had $8,324 in her campaign account and no campaign debt.

Young's Campaign Statement for July 1 to December 31, 2009.

Update: Corrected to show that Cutter is not yet a former School Board member.

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January 5, 2010

Alice Lai-Bitker Won't Seek Re-Election in 2010

Alameda County District 3 Supervisor Alice Lai-Bitker announced today that she will not seek re-election in 2010. Lai-Bitker represents San Leandro, Alameda, San Lorenzo, and parts of Oakland, Ashland, and unincorporated Alameda County.

Lai-Bitker was appointed District 3 Supervisor in 2000 as the anointed successor to Wilma Chan. Lai-Bitker won election to the seat in 2002 and re-election in 2006.

Possible successors include her current Chief of Staff, Shawn Wilson, who is reportedly already seeking endorsements, former San Leandro Mayor Shelia Young, who lost to Lai-Bitker in 2006, current Alameda Mayor Beverly Johnson, and, ironically, Wilma Chan, who ran for Don Perata's Senate seat and lost in June 2008.

The complete text of the press release is below.

Third Supervisorial District ● County of Alameda

Representing the communities of Alameda, San Leandro, San Lorenzo, portions of Ashland, and the Chinatown and Fruitvale Areas of Oakland

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Shawn Wilson

January 5, 2010 510-272-6693

COUNTY SUPERVISOR ALICE LAI-BITKER NOT TO SEEK RE-ELECTION

Alameda County Supervisor Alice Lai-Bitker announced today she will not seek another term as County Supervisor in 2010. Currently the President of the Alameda County Board of Supervisors, she has represented District 3 since December, 2000.

Lai-Bitker has been a strong advocate for children, working families and seniors. She has fought for access of health care for the uninsured, championed increased services for sexually abused children and domestic violence victims. The Supervisor has committed to making government work by initiating projects and programs that provide services in a more efficient, fiscally responsible and streamlined way, such as in the area of eligibility of health insurance and mental health services for at-risk youth.

Supervisor Lai-Bitker has worked tirelessly to promote new economic development for San Lorenzo and will continue to work on these projects while winding down her very successful tenure on the Board.

"I am honored to have served the County and District 3 for the last nine years," Lai-Bitker said. “By the time I complete my term, it will be a decade of service." "I have been part of a great many things that have happened in the County. It's been a real privilege, but it's time to move on and allow someone else the opportunity to serve. I look forward to working with my successor to fully implement the many programs that I have started over the years."

Supervisor Alice Lai- Bitker chairs the Board's Health Committee, Unincorporated Committee, and serves on the Social Services Committee. On the regional level, she chairs the Alameda County Transportation Improvement Authority, serves on the Bay Conservation and Development Commission, co-chairs the Oakland Airport Community Noise Forum, and serves on the Board of Bay Area Partnership.

Alice Lai-Bitker represents District 3, which includes Alameda, San Leandro, parts of Oakland, and the unincorporated communities of San Lorenzo, Hillcrest Knoll and part of Ashland.

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January 4, 2010

Peggy Combs Withdraws from District 5 City Council Race

Just three months after getting into the race for San Leandro's District 5 City Council seat, Peggy Combs has announced that she is withdrawing from the race. Her exit helps San Leandro School Board trustee Pauline Cutter, whom Combs has endorsed, and who has greater name recognition than the other remaining candidate, Corina Lopez.

In a statement emailed to supporters, Combs wrote, "While I deeply regret disappointing those who have been so generous with their time, energy, support and counsel, this decision is the best one for me and my family at this time." She concluded her statement, "I certainly plan to remain active (and vocal!) in the community, through the Recreation and & Parks Commission, the Shoreline Citizens Advisory Committee, and in any other ways that help to benefit the San Leandro community."

Combs serves on the Recreation and Parks Commission and was Chair last year. She also serves as Vice-Chair of the Shoreline Citizens Advisory Committee.

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December 24, 2009

Corina Lopez Enters the Field for District 5 City Council Seat

Corina Lopez - photo taken at Taste of San Leandro in April 2009 Corina Lopez filed paperwork today to become the third candidate for San Leandro's District 5 City Council seat, currently held by Bill Stephens. Stephens cannot run for re-election because of term limits imposed in 1974. Lopez will face Recreation and Parks Commissioner Peggy Combs and School Board Trustee Pauline Cutter.

Lopez, together with her husband, run a small technology consulting company called Pinnacle Vista Technology. She is also current president of the Best Manor Homeowners Association and is working with Rene Mendieta to form a new Latino Business Council.

In July 2009, Lopez was appointed as an At-Large member of the Human Services Commission.

The San Leandro City Council will decide in January 2010 whether the election will be in June 2010 or in November 2010.

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November 11, 2009

Cassidy to Kickoff Campaign Thursday Night

San Leandro mayoral candidate Stephen Cassidy will hold a campaign kickoff party on Thursday, November 12, at Zocalo Coffeehouse.

The event comes one week after Joyce Starosciak's fundraiser and will take place from 7:00 to 9:00pm. Zocalo is located at 645 Bancroft Ave. in San Leandro.

Cassidy was elected to the San Leandro School Board in 2004 when he defeated incumbent Ken Pon for the At-Large seat. He served one-term and is now campaigning against incumbent Tony Santos and Councilmember Starosciak for mayor.

The election is currently scheduled for June 2010 unless moves to instant run-off voting (IRV), also known as ranked-choice voting, which would move the election to November 2010.

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October 22, 2009

Tis the Season...for Campaign Fundraisers

San Leandro Mayoral candidate Joyce Starosciak will hold her first fundraiser at Sergio's Pizzeria in San Leandro on November 5, 2009.

According to the flyer, the three donor levels are bronze: $25, silver: $100, and gold: $500+. The event will take place from 5:30 to 7:30pm. Sergio's Pizzeria is located at 150 W. Juana Ave. in San Leandro.

The flyer notes that "There are no campaign contribution limits for the Mayor's race." In fact, while state senate and assembly campaigns face contribution limits of $3,900, San Leandro City Council and Mayoral candidates have previously chalked up $5,000 contributions.

Starosciak currently holds the District 4 San Leandro Council seat, which she has held since she defeated Mike Mahoney in a runoff election in February 2005. Starosciak was re-elected in June 2008 and, if successful in her campaign, the City Council would likely appoint her replacement, as happened when Tony Santos became Mayor in 2006.

Three candidates have announced their intention to run for Mayor: Starosciak, Santos, and former San Leandro School Board trustee Stephen Cassidy.

The election is currently scheduled for June 2010, but if the San Leandro City Council decides to implement instant run-off voting (IRV), also known as ranked-choice voting, the election could be moved to November 2010.

Posted by mike at 10:49 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

October 7, 2009

Cassidy Joins the Race for San Leandro Mayor

cassidy_small.jpg Stephen Cassidy announced today that he will join Mayor Tony Santos and Councilmember Joyce Starosciak in seeking to be elected Mayor of San Leandro in 2010. Cassidy also filed his Candidate Intention Statement with the City on October 7, 2009, indicating that he will seek to become Mayor.

Cassidy served on the San Leandro School Board from 2004 to 2008 and was Vice President in 2006 and 2007.

According to the press release, Cassidy also serves on the Board of Directors of Building Futures with Women and Children and the San Leandro Scholarship Foundation.


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September 27, 2009

Peggy Combs Joins the Race for the San Leandro City Council

P_Combs.jpg On September 24, 2009, Peggy Combs filed her Candidate Intention Statement to run for San Leandro's District 5 City Council seat. That seat is currently held by Bill Stephens, who will be termed out of office in 2010 after serving for eight years. Coincidentally, it was Stephens who defeated Combs in 1994 when she ran for the San Leandro School Board.

Combs will face San Leandro School Board trustee Pauline Cutter in the race for the District 5 seat.

In addition to her run for School Board in 1994, Combs served on the Steering Committee for a school bond in 1994 and was co-chair of the successful 1997 school bond. More recently, Combs has been on the Recreation and Parks Commission since April 2007 and now serves as Chair. Combs is also the Vice-Chair of the Shoreline Citizens Advisory Committee.

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September 9, 2009

Congressman Pete Stark Town Halls on September 12

Pete Stark, San Leandro's Member of Congress, will hold a town hall meeting on September 12, 2009, at San Leandro City Hall from 10:30am to 11:30am. Health care reform is expected to figure prominently once again at these meetings.

San Leandro City Hall is located at 835 E. 14th Street in San Leandro.

Other town hall meetings will be held at the Fremont Senior Center at 40086 Paseo Padre Pkwy at 9am and Alameda City Hall at 2263 Santa Clara Ave. at noon.

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Diana Souza Files to Run for Re-Election

Diana Souza, the current District 3 San Leandro Councilmember, filed paperwork on September 9, 2009, to run for re-election.

Souza was elected in 2006 after defeating former Councilmember Julian Polvorosa in a run-off election. District 3 runs from Davis Street on the north to Washington Manor on the south and is bounded by railroad tracks on the east and west with Interstate 880 running down the middle.

The election is currently scheduled for June 2010, but may be moved to November 2010 if San Leandro implements instant runoff or ranked-choice voting.

Posted by mike at 10:41 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 7, 2009

Senator Corbett Speaks Against San Leandro Hospital Closure

California State Senator and former San Leandro Mayor spoke out against the closure of San Leandro Hospital at the annual Labor Day picnic held by the Alameda Labor Council on September 7, 2009.

Corbett was joined on stage by Eden Township Healthcare District Board member Carole Rogers, who joined two other Board members in voting against the sale of San Leandro Hospital to Sutter Health. Corbett sent a letter on August 26, 2009, asking Attorney General Jerry Brown to investigate Sutter Health's "alleged misrepresentation of hospital finances, economic and medical redlining, abuse of nonprofit status, anti-trust violations, questionable allocation of public assets, and execution of contracts that may be in conflict with existing law..."

Other local elected officials at the event included California Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi, San Leandro Councilmembers Jim Prola and Joyce Starosciak and San Leandro Mayor Tony Santos.

The event also featured Alameda County Supervisor Scott Haggerty becoming a registered Democrat, to the delight of the crowd.

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Santos Hosts First of 2010 Campaign Fundraisers

San Leandro Mayor Tony Santos will host the first of the 2010 campaign fundraisers on September 17, 2009, at Vila Cereja restaurant in San Leandro.

According to the flyer for the "Annual Fundraiser," the honorary host committee consists of California State Senator and former San Leandro Mayor Ellen Corbett, Alameda County Supervisor Alice Lai-Bitker, former San Leandro Mayor Shelia Young, San Leandro Councilmembers Jim Prola and Michael Gregory, former San Leandro Councilmembers Gordon Galvan and Kent Myers, and former California Assemblymember and San Leandro Councilmember Johan Klehs.

According to the flyer, host committee sponsorships are $2,500 and nine of them are listed, a total of $22,500. Tickets are $99 (for those who wish to remain below the $100 reporting threshold) and the event will take place from 5:30 to 7:30pm. Vila Cereja is located at 1045 MacArthur Boulevard in San Leandro.

Santos is running to be re-elected Mayor of San Leandro, a position he has held since November 2006, when he defeated San Leandro Councilmember Orval "OB" Badger. Santos previously served as the District 6 Councilmember from 1994 to 1992 and from 2000 to 2006.

Although there had been speculation that former San Leandro Mayor Young might run again for Mayor, her listing as an honorary host of the fundraiser confirms that Young will not be running for Mayor. So far, San Leandro Councilmember Joyce Starosciak is Santos' only opponent.

The election is currently scheduled for June 2010, but if the San Leandro City Council decides to implement instant run-off voting (IRV), also known as ranked-choice voting, the election could be moved to November 2010.

Posted by mike at 11:32 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

August 17, 2009

Starosicak and Cutter File to Run in 2010

starosciak_small.jpg Joyce Starosciak, the current San Leandro City Councilmember for District 4, and Pauline Cutter, the current San Leandro School Board member for Area 2, filed papers recently to run for office in 2010.

San Leandro Bytes has obtained copies of Cutter's filing and Starosciak's filing from the San Leandro City Clerk's office.

Starosciak will be running for Mayor of San Leandro against incumbent Tony Santos. Other possible candidates include former Mayor Shelia Young and former School Board member Stephen Cassidy. Starosciak served on Recreation and Parks Commission from 1993 to 1994 and the San Leandro School Board for one term from 1994 to 1998. In 2005, Starosciak defeated Mike Mahoney in a run-off election for City Council and successfully ran for re-election in 2008. Her current term ends in 2012.

cutter_small.jpgCutter will be running for the San Leandro City Council seat currently held by Bill Stephens, who is being termed out after serving two full terms on the City Council. Cutter was first elected to the San Leandro School Board when she defeated Stephens in 1998.

In addition to the District 5 City Council seat and the Mayor, District 3 Councilmember Diana Souza and District 1 Councilmember Michael Gregory are up for re-election in 2010.

The election is currently scheduled for June 2010, but the City Council is considering instant runoff voting (IRV), which would likely move the election to November 2010.

Posted by mike at 4:43 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

August 6, 2009

2010 Candidates Begin Fundraising

While the date of the next election for the City Council and Mayor hasn't been decided yet, Mayor Tony Santos has started fundraising for his re-election campaign. However, City Councilmember and likely mayoral candidate Joyce Starosciak out-raised Santos in the first six months of 2009 and has nearly $17,000 more in her campaign account than Santos.

The semi-annual campaign statements for current or former candidates were due last week and are summarized below.

District 2 Councilmember Ursula Reed had no expenses and raised no money during the first six months of 2009 and ended the reporting period with no campaign debt and an empty campaign account.

Reed's Campaign Statement for January 1 to June 30, 2009.

Former Councilmember Surlene Grant spent a total of $320, including $150 to the 100 Club of Alameda County and $140 to the Black Elected Officials of the East Bay during the first six months of 2009. Grant did not raise any money and had $272 in her campaign account as of June 30, 2009. Grant was termed out of office in 2008 and was succeeded by Ursula Reed.

Grant's Campaign Statement for January 1 to June 30, 2009.

Former City Council candidate Linda Perry had no expenses and raised no money during the first six months of 2009. Perry ended the reporting period with $1,542 in her campaign account and $11,250 in campaign debt.

Perry's Campaign Statement for January 1 to June 30, 2009.

The financial statement for former City Council candidate Charles Gilcrest was not available as of August 5, 2009.

During the first six months of 2009, District 4 Councilmember Starosciak spent $1,511, including expenditures of $198 to CITIPAC, a political action committee of the League of California Cities, and $150 each to Christine Wise and Girls, Inc. Starosciak raised $2,553, including a contribution of $1,000 from the California Apartment Association Political Action Committee, $500 each from Eden Realty and consulting company Quadric Group, and $250 from John Sullivan. As of June 30, 2009, Starosciak had $21,589 in her campaign account and no outstanding debt.

Starosciak's Campaign Statement for January 1 to June 30, 2009.

District 6 City Councilmember Jim Prola's only expense during the reporting period was a $100 contribution to the AFL-CIO. Prola raised no money and as of June 30, 2009, had $4,637 in his campaign account and $4,000 in outstanding debt.

Prola's Campaign Statement for January 1 to June 30, 2009.

Former City Council candidate Estelle Clemons had a single expense of $800 to repay part of her campaign debt during the reporting period. Clemons received a $500 contribution from John Gooding of the Quadric Group and ended the reporting period with $85 in her campaign account and $1,900 in campaign debt.

Clemons' Campaign Statement for January 1 to June 30, 2009.

The financial statement for former City Council candidate Wafaa Aborashed was not available as of August 5, 2009.

Mayor Santos spent $400 during the first six months of 2009 for a fundraiser for the Alameda County Labor Council. Santos raised $1,750, including a contribution of $1,000 from the California Apartment Association Political Action Committee, $500 from Eden Realty and $250 from John Sullivan. As of June 30, 2009, Santos had $4,625 in his campaign account and more than $27,500 in outstanding campaign debt.

Santos' Campaign Statement for January 1 to June 30, 2009.

Councilmember Bill Stephens, who will be termed out in 2010, spent $518 during the first six months of 2009, including expenditures of $150 to the Martin C. Kaufmann 100 Club of Alameda County, $130 to the San Leandro Chamber of Commerce, and $100 to the San Leandro Boys and Girls Club. Stephens had $2,115 in his campaign account as of June 30, 2009 and no campaign debt.

Stephens' Campaign Statement for January 1 to June 30, 2009.

Councilmember Michael Gregory didn't spend or raise any money during the first six months of 2009. Gregory had $1,613 in his campaign account and $7,222 in outstanding campaign debt.

Gregory's Campaign Statement for January 1 to June 30, 2009.

Former Mayor Shelia Young, who has also been mentioned as a potential mayoral candidate, spent $440 during the first six months of the year, including $250 to the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame and$100 to Eden Housing. As of June 30, 2009, Young had $8,799 in her campaign account.

Young's Campaign Statement for January 1 to June 30, 2009.

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May 3, 2009

Former San Leandro Mayor Jack Maltester Dies

Former San Leandro Mayor Jack Maltester died Friday, May 1, 2009, at the home in San Leandro where he was born in 1913. Maltester was 95 years old.

Jack Maltester was first appointed to the San Leandro City Council in 1948 to replace Helen Lawrence, who served as his mentor. He served for just a few months and lost when he campaigned for City Council in the April 1948 election. He was subsequently elected to the City Council in 1956 and became Mayor in 1958. In 1962, Maltester became the first Mayor elected directly by the residents of San Leandro instead of the City Council. Maltester was re-elected in 1966, 1970, and 1974, but was forced to leave office after term limits were enacted and he had served as Mayor for 20 years.

On May 6, 1967, Maltester testified at a hearing of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, which was investigating housing discrimination.

While he was Mayor, Maltester served as President of the US Conference of Mayors from 1969 to 1970 and introduced a resolution at the 1971 annual conference calling for the US to withdraw from Vietnam. In the resolution, of which he was quite proud, he stated, "I might ask you: Have we left anything up until now to the military experts or have we been running a political war in Vietnam? My city, a small city in California with less than 70,000 people, proposed this resolution and it is supported by the citizens of the community. It is not a resolution of condemnation. It is not offered in rancor. It is a positive statement of principle. To support this position, I believe, is an obligation none of us can ignore in the name of humanity. I ask your vote for an end to this war."

In 1973, Maltester ran for the California State Assembly against San Leandro School Board member Bill Lockyer after Robert Crown was killed while jogging in Alameda. Lockyer, who served as one of Crowns' aides and was helped by Willie Brown in his campaign, prevailed over Maltester.

Maltester remained active in San Leandro affairs, founding The Sentinels, a group of local businessman that provide campaign contributions to local candidates and ballot measures. He also served as President of the San Leandro Chamber of Commerce and President of the California League of Cities.

San Leandro residents who knew him remarked that Maltester always worked to bring resources and development to San Leandro and described his passing as a great loss to the City and community.

Former San Leandro City Manager John Jermanis said that "all of us that had opportunity to meet and know him benefited greatly." Jermanis also described Maltester as a "great political leader" who had a "major influence on development of the City," especially the Marina.

Former Councilman Kent Myers, who has known Maltester for 30 years, noted that Maltester's "mind was still active to the very end. The City is going to miss him."

San Leandro resident Brian Copeland, who has had a successful solo performance and book based on his experience growing up in what was an essentially segregated San Leandro said of meeting Maltester at his most recent birthday, "Although he was in a wheelchair and past 90, he was as sharp as a tack and regaled us with stories about how he loved (and knew) JFK yet hated Bobby Kennedy. We talked some about the research I had done. I found him to be gracious, charming and funny."

Copeland continued, "I got word a few weeks back that his daughter had called Jake at Vila Cereja and said that Jack was happy and excited to have met me and wanted to have me to his home for lunch and to talk more about the era I've written about. We were supposed to pick a date soon. Sorry I won't get the chance.

"The one thing you can say about Mayor Maltester, whether you agreed with policies enacted and maintained during his 20 year tenure or not, is that he truly loved this city and gave it his all. I am truly sorry to hear of his passing and my sincere condolences go out to his family."

San Leandro Mayor Tony Santos learned of Maltester's on Friday afternoon and stated that Maltester "was obviously San Leandro's icon. He and his colleagues on the City Council in the 1970s set the industrial base for San Leandro and was instrumental in developing the Marina."

Maltester continued to be involved in politics until the end as Santos confirmed that Maltester endorsed him for Mayor in 2010. Maltester had endorsed Orval "OB" Badger for Mayor in 2006 and previously endorsed Santos for City Council when Santos was unopposed.

City flags will be flown at half-staff until services are held for Maltester.

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February 4, 2009

More Than $100,000 Spent by San Leandro City Council Candidates in 2008 Elections

According to financial disclosures filed on February 2, 2009, San Leandro City Council candidates spent more than $100,000 in the June 2008 and November 2008 elections. The most expensive individual campaign was waged by Jim Prola, winner of the District 6 San Leandro City Council seat. None of the races, however, were as expensive as those waged in 2004 for the District 4 seat by Joyce Starosciak and Mike Mahoney or in 2006 during the race for Mayor between Tony Santos and Orval "OB" Badger.

Ursula Reed, winner of the race for the District 2 San Leandro City Council seat, spent $32,138 during the campaign, nearly double the $16,566 spent by former School Board member Linda Perry. Reed spent about $3,000 less than Prola, who secured the District 6 City Council seat in the June 2008 election. Reed and Perry faced a run-off election in November after none of the candidates secured more than 50% of the vote in the June election.

Reed's campaign raised a total of $8,357 between October 19 and December 31, 2008, including $2,500 from The Sentinels, $1,000 from the PAC Political Action Committee, $500 each from UA Local 342 PAC, Sheet Metal Workers, and Northern California Carpenters Regional Council, and $250 each from the Central Labor Council of Alameda County Solidarity PAC, Teamsters 853, and Waste Management. Reed's campaign raised a total of $37,773 for the entire campaign and has $4,500 in outstanding debts.

Reed's expenses included $8,124 to Pacific Print Resources for campaign literature and mailing, $6,767 to The Next Generation, a campaign consulting firm run by EBMUD Director Doug Linney, and $460 to Mikko Design for campaign literature.

As of December 31, 2008, Reed had $5,635 in her campaign account.

Click here to download Reed's latest financial disclosure.

Linda Perry raised $745 between October 19 and December 31, 2008, and a total of $18,109 during the campaign. Contributions to Perry's campaign included $200 from Harold Kitzmann and $545 in contributions of less than $100 each.

Perry's campaign spent $4,189 for postage with Handled with Care Mailing Services, $740 for campaign signs from BelAire Displays, and $1,315 for campaign literature with In & Out Printing.

As of December 31, 2008, Perry had $1,542.48 in her campaign account and $11,250 in outstanding debt.

Click here to download Perry's latest financial disclosure.

Charles Gilcrest had not filed his semi-annual financial disclosure as of February 3, 2009

The Yes for Public Safety Campaign, which was formed to pass Measures RR, SS, and TT, reported $6,550 in contributions between October 19 and December 31, 2008. Measures RR and SS to revise the utility users tax and convert the 911 fee into a tax both passed, but Measure TT, a public safety parcel tax, failed to get the 66.7% approval needed for passage. Contributions included $3,000 from the Peace Officers Research Association, $1,000 from Meyers Nave, the City of San Leandro's law firm, $1,000 from the Alameda County Firefighters Association, $1,000 from The Sentinels, $250 from Jayne Williams, the attorney for the City of San Leandro, $200 from then Police Captain Ian Willis, and $100 from Carolyn Knudtson, the Recreation Director for the City of San Leandro.

Yes for Public Safety's expenses included $4,110 to Gilcrest Campaign Management for campaign consulting, $3,195 to Autumn Press for a mailer, $1,522 to BelAire Displays for lawn signs, $2,632 to Handled with Care Mailing Services for mailings, and $1,106 for a full-page ad in the San Leandro Times.

As of December 31, 2008, there was no money in the campaign account for Yes for Public Safety.

Click here to download Yes for Public Safety's latest financial disclosure.

District 6 Councilmember Jim Prola raised $5,200 between July 1 and December 31, 2008, to help pay down his debt from the June 2008 election. Prola's contributions included $1,000 each from the Northern California Carpenters Regional Council, Electrical Workers Local 595 PAC, and UA Local 342 PAC fund, $500 each from Sheet Metal Workers Local 104 and the Peace Officers Research Association, $250 each from UFCW Local 5, Gordon Galvan, and Pacific Gas & Electric, and $100 from former San Leandro School Board member Ray Davis.

Prola's expenses included $4,000 to pay off loans he made to his campaign, $290 to Ken Pon for professional services and a $250 contribution to United Democratic Campaign of Alameda County.

As of December 31, 2008, Prola had $4,434.55 in his campaign account and $4,000 in outstanding loans.

Click here to download Prola's latest financial disclosure.

District 6 candidates Estelle Clemons, Hermy Almonte, and Wafaa Aborashed had not filed their semi-annual financial disclosures as of February 3, 2009. Mark Tichy did not plan to raise or spend more than $1,000 and is not required to file financial disclosures.

District 4 Councilmember Joyce Starosciak raised $396 between July 1 and December 31, 2008. The filing didn't include any information about the contributions, but expenses of $1,127 included $200 to Dennis Hayashi's campaign for Superior Court Judge, $150 to Christine Wise for professional services, and $100 each to Joan Buchanan's Assembly campaign, the San Leandro Public Library, and the Fund for Union Democracy.

As of December 31, 2008, Starosciak had $20,547 in her campaign account and no outstanding loans.

Click here to download Starosciak's latest financial disclosure.

District 4 candidate Lou Filipovich did not plan to raise or spend more than $1,000 and is not required to file financial disclosures.

Mayor Tony Santos report no contributions during the reporting period. Expenses consisted of a $2,500 loan to campaign consultant Charles Gilcrest, which will be used for a fundraising event later in 2009. As of December 31, 2008, Santos had $2,915 in his campaign account and $25,084 in outstanding debts.

Click here to download Santos' latest financial disclosure.

District 5 Councilmember Bill Stephens reported almost no activity during the reporting period and had $2,632.42 in his campaign account as of December 31, 2008.

Click here to download Stephens' latest financial disclosure.

District 1 Councilmember Michael Gregory reported no activity during the reporting period and had $1,613.45 in his campaign account as of December 31, 2008, with $7,222.94 in outstanding loans.

Click here to download Gregory's latest financial disclosure.

Former District 2 Councilmember Surlene Grant reported no contributions during the reporting period. Expenses included $500 to the Mandela Wist Training Center in Oakland and $200 to the "Adopt-a-Family" program. As of December 31, 2008, Grant had $592.07 in her campaign account and no outstanding loans.

Click here to download Grant's latest financial disclosure.

Former Mayor Shelia Young also reported no contributions during the reporting period. Expenses included $200 to Jerry Hill for State Assembly and $100 each to Ursula Reed's campaign, Tim Sbranti for Mayor, the Carolena Foundation, Calico Center, and Davis Street Family Resource Center. As of December 31, 2008, Young had $9,239 in her campaign account and no outstanding loans.

Click here to download Young's latest financial disclosure.

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January 26, 2009

Second WalMart Opening Merits Only Two Councilmembers

San Leandro Councilmembers Ursula Reed and Bill Stephens were the only two to make it for the opening of San Leandro's second Walmart store on January 14, 2009. Although the new Walmart touts more than 300 new jobs in a tattered economy, other Councilmembers skipped the event. Councilmember Jim Prola has consistently opposed Walmart's labor practices and spoke out against the original San Leandro Walmart on Davis Street while other Councilmembers have or want to have close ties to organized labor.

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December 17, 2008

Councilmembers Swearing-In Speeches

San Leandro City Councilmembers Ursula Reed, Joyce Starosciak, and Jim Prola were given the opportunity to give speeches after they were sworn in at the December 15, 2008, City Council meeting. Reed will assume office as of January 1, 2009, after defeating former City Councilmember and School Board member Linda Perry in a runoff election in November 2008.

If you want to hear what your City Councilmembers have to say, see below:

Ursula Reed:

Joyce Starosciak:

Jim Prola:

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December 8, 2008

New School Board Sworn In

Four new School Board members were sworn in at the San Leandro School Board's meeting on Monday, December 8, 2008. Hermy Almonte, Morgan Mack-Rose, and Diana Prola were sworn in by California Assemblymember Mary Hayashi and Carmen Sullivan was sworn in by Alameda County Judge Gail Brewster Bereola.

The short agenda consisted of electing new Board officers and considering putting forth a nomination for a delegate to the California School Boards Association Delegate Assembly. First, Vice President Lisa Hague asked which Board members were eligible to become Board president. The School Board has a policy that states, "Prior to serving as Board President, he/she shall have completed the California School Board Association’s (CSBA) Board Presidents’ Workshop."

Only Pauline Cutter and Mike Katz-Lacabe were eligible under the Board policy, but Pauline indicated that she was not interested in serving as Board President, so Katz-Lacabe was elected unanimously.

Cutter nominated Hague for Vice President and Katz-Lacabe nominated Prola. In a four to three vote, Prola was elected Vice-President, with Prola, Almonte, Katz-Lacabe, and Mack-Rose voting for Prola.

Cutter was asked if she was interested and Mack-Rose nominated her. Cutter was elected clerk unanimously.

Prola replaces Ray Davis as the Area 5 School Board Trustee and was unopposed, so her name did not appear on the November ballot. Davis decided to run for the At-Large seat instead of running for re-election against Prola. Prola is the wife of District 6 San Leandro City Councilmember Jim Prola.

Sullivan replaces Linda Perry as the Area 3 School Board Trustee and was also unopposed. Perry left the School Board to run for the District 2 San Leandro City Council seat and lost to Ursula Reed.

Almonte replaces Rick Richards as the Area 1 School Board Trustee after defeating Richards in the November 2008 election.

Mack-Rose replaces Stephen Cassidy as the At-Large Trustee after Cassidy decided not to seek re-election. Mack-Rose defeated Davis and two other candidates in the November 2008 election.

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December 3, 2008

Corbett Re-Appointed as Chair of Senate Judiciary Committee

California State Senator Ellen Corbett was re-appointed as Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee on December 3, 2008, by Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg. Corbett has served as Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee since she was elected in November 2006 to represent Senate District 10, which stretches from San Leandro to San Jose and Pleasanton to the San Francisco Bay.

Ellen Corbett previously served on the San Leandro City Council from 1990 to 1994, as San Leandro Mayor from 1994 to 1998, and in the California State Assembly from 1998 to 2004.

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November 7, 2008

Updated Vote Totals Show Bigger Wins for Mack-Rose and Reed

Updated vote totals from the Alameda County Registrar of Voters released late on Friday, November 7, 2008, showed slightly bigger wins for Morgan Mack-Rose in the San Leandro School Board At-Large race and Ursula Reed in the District 2 San Leandro City Council race. Mack-Rose now has more than 50% of the total vote, In the Area 1 San Leandro School Board race, the win for Hermy Almonte over Rick Richards slightly narrowed.

At-Large 	 	# of Votes  	% of Total
Morgan Mack-Rose 	8751 	 	50.74 	
Ray Davis 	 	6359  		36.87 	
Don J. Grundmann 	1204  		6.98 	
Mark Tichy  		796 	  	4.62 	
Write-in  	 	136 	 	0.79
Area 1 School Board	# of Votes	% of Total
Hermy B. Almonte	9821  		58.28
T.W. "Rick" Richards	6840 		40.59
Write-in 		189 		1.12
District 2 City Council  # of Votes  	% of Total
Ursula Reed 		12113 		56.32
Linda Perry 		9225 		42.90
Write-in 		168 		0.78	

The end result for the San Leandro tax measures was the same, with Measures RR and SS easily passing and Measure TT missing the needed two-thirds by 12 percentage points.

In a very tight race for the second spot on the Eden Township Healthcare District Board, Rajendra Ratnesar has a 96-vote lead over Frank Rico. With more votes to count, this race is still too close to call.

Updated election results can be found at http://www.acgov.org/rov/current_election/index.htm.

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November 5, 2008

Results for Other Local Races of Interest

Democrat Mary Hayashi successfully defended her California State Assembly seat from Republican Lou Filipovich.

Mary's husband, Dennis Hayashi, prevailed in the runoff election for Superior Court judge against Phil Daly, who currently serves on the San Leandro Board of Zoning Adjustments. Hayashi won with 61.36% of the vote.

In the San Lorenzo Unified School District, Measure O, the $83 million bond measure to modernize and improve school facilities passed with 73.29% of the vote. In the race for the School Board, incumbents Norm Forbert and Helen Foster were re-elected, while Jim Sherman unseated incumbent Gene Judson. Lou Filipovich also lost out in this race.

Chris Peeples overwhelmingly won the At-Large seat on the AC Transit Board and Measure VV, a parcel tax increase of $48 per year won with 71.4% of vote.

The East Bay Regional Park District's Measure WW, which would extend an existing property tax, passed with 71.7% of the vote.

Doug Linney retained his seat on the East Bay Municipal Utility District with 64.73% of the vote. Linney's firm also served as campaign consultants for Ursula Reed.

In the Eden Townshi Healthcare District Director race, Vin Sawhney was the top vote-getter with just one vote separating Frank Rico from Rajendra Ratnesar.

In Lou Filipovich's third race, he lost out to Tim Becker for a seat on the Oro Loma Sanitary District Board.

For more local results, visit http://www.acgov.org/rov/current_election/index.htm

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Voters Approve Two of Three San Leandro Tax Measures

San Leandro voters approved a change in the utility users tax and a 911 tax, but a police services parcel tax failed to get the two-thirds majority needed for approval.

With all 48 precincts reporting, Measure RR passed with 83.01% of voters in favor (18,000) and 16.6% (3,684) opposed. RR reduced the existing utility users' tax, but widened the number of services that are now subject to being taxed.

Measure SS passed with 77.94% of voters in favor (16,864) and 22.06% (4,773) opposed. SS converted an existing 911 Emergency Communication System Access Fee into a tax. The City Council approved this ballot measure because of a court decision that invalidated a similar fee in Union City.

Measure TT failed with 55.08% of voters in favor (11,739) and 44.92% (9,575) opposed. TT needed a two-thirds majority to pass. TT would have instituted a parcel tax of $48 per year for single-family homes and differing amounts for other types of properties to maintain current levels of police services.

Since Measures RR and SS are essentially revenue neutral, the City Council will be forced to look for alternatives to raise revenue or cut expenditures to close its budget deficit.

The "Yes for Public Safety" committee campaigned for the three measures, with the San Leandro Police Officers Association providing most of the funding. The committee was chaired by former San Leandro Mayor Shelia Young and former San Leandro City Manager John Jermanis served as Treasurer.

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Newcomers Storm to Victory in San Leandro Elections

Hermy Almonte and Morgan Mack-Rose defeated current San Leandro School Board members Rick Richards and Ray Davis by substantial margins on November 4, 2008.

With all 44 precincts reporting, Mack-Rose had 49.87% of the vote (7,887) to Davis' 37.36% (5,908). Candidates Don Grundmann and Mark Tichy each had less than 10% of the vote.

Almonte had an even larger lead over Richards with 58.41% of the vote (9,027) to Richards' 40.42% (6,246).

Davis currently holds the Area 5 School Board seat, but decided to run for the At-Large seat after Diana Prola filed papers to run for the Area 5 seat. Davis became a member of the School Board when he was unopposed in 2004. Current At-Large School Board member Stephen Cassidy endorsed Mack-Rose to replace him after he decided not to run for re-election.

Richards has held the Area 1 School Board seat since 2000. Almonte is the first opponent Richards has faced since he was unopposed in 2000.

In the race for San Leandro City Council District 2, Ursula Reed defeated San Leandro School Board member Linda Perry. With all 48 precincts reporting, Reed had 56.19% of the vote (11,343) while Perry had 43.03% (8,686).

Reed becomes the first African-American to be elected to the San Leandro City Council without first being appointed. Previous African-Americans on the City Council include Surlene Grant, who was appointed in August 1998, and Orval "OB" Badger, who was appointed in July 2001.

Grant currently holds the District 2 City Council seat and supported Reed to replace her.

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November 1, 2008

San Leandro Tax Measures Seek to Raise Millions for City

Yes for Public Safety campaign placing sign on vacant lot near BART

Just a week before the election, the campaign for the City of San Leandro ballot measures, RR, SS, and TT, placed signs all around town and purchased ads in the recent issues of the San Leandro Times. The ballot measures are for a change in the utility users tax, a change of the 911 fee into a tax, and a parcel tax to maintain police services. The San Leandro City Council has taken action to reduce its budget deficit, but still faces a shortfall unless the ballot measures pass on November 4, 2008.

Until recently, the only organized opposition to the ballot measures had been an argument against the parcel tax in the voter guide by Tom Silva of the California Apartment Association Political Action Committee. However, in the most recent issue of the San Leandro Times, a full-page advertisement against the City's ballot measures was purchased by San Leandrans for Taxpayer Equity. According to Justin Agrella, San Leandrans for Taxpayer Equity is a loose-knit group of about 25 people that has successfully campaigned against previous tax measures.

Members of the San Leandro City Council have been advocating in support of the ballot measures and Councilmember Surlene Grant sought support for them at a candidate forum held at All Saints Church on October 19, 2008:

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October 31, 2008

Mack-Rose and Richards Lead Fundraising in San Leandro School Board Races

In the race for the San Leandro School Board Area 1 seat, incumbent Rick Richards continues to lead in fundraising, reporting another $2,874 in contributions between October 1 and October 18, 2008. That brings Richards' total to $11,935 since July. Recent contributions included $2,000 from The Sentinels, a group of local business owners and $500 from Teamsters Local 853.

Richards' expenses included $4,893.57 to Handled With Care Mailing Services for campaign literature and mailings, $1,381.13 to In and Out Printing for campaign literature, $480 to KLS Productions to send email, and $305 to Alliance Campaign Strategies, a campaign consulting firm.

As of October 18, 2008, Richards had $1,290.61 in his campaign account and $4,000 in outstanding debt.

Hermy Almonte raised $2,520 between October 1 and October 18, 2008, just a few hundred less than Richards. Contributions included $2,000 from STAND, $200 from Elmer Embry and $100 from School Board trustee Stephen Cassidy.

Almonte's campaign spent $2,057.56 on mailing services from Handled With Care Mailing Services and $1,536.93 on campaign literature from Autumn Press.

At the end of the reporting period, Almonte had $559.88 in his campaign account and $500 in outstanding debt.

San Leandro School Board At-Large candidate Morgan Mack-Rose raised $4,185 between October 1 and October 18, 2008. Contributions to Mack-Rose's campaign included $800 from P.A.C.E., $500 each from Evelyn Gonzalez and Gordon Galvan, $300 from Isaac Medical, and $250 from Donna Reed.

Mack-Rose's campaign expenses included $3,550 for campaign literature from Autumn Press and $2,709 for mailing services from Handled With Care.

As of October 18, 2008, Mack-Rose had $4,923 in her campaign account and an outstanding debt of $550.

No financial disclosure for Ray Davis was on file for the most recent reporting period.

As of September 30, 2008, Davis had $422 in his campaign account and $695.73 in outstanding debt.

At-Large candidates for the San Leandro School Board Davis, Don Grundmann and Mark Tichy all filed paperwork indicating that they would neither raise nor spend more than $1,000. Tichy and Grundmann did not file financial disclosures since they have remained under the $1,000 limit.

The four candidates for the At-Large school board seat are vying to replace Stephen Cassidy, who is not seeking re-election. Cassidy has endorsed Mack-Rose to replace him.

The election will be held on November 4, 2008.

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October 30, 2008

Reed Gets Late $1,000 Contribution for City Council Race

According to a disclosure filed on October 29, 2008, San Leandro City Council candidate Ursula Reed received a $1,000 contribution from a family member in Kentucky on October 28, 2008. So far, Reed has raised a total of $32,416, not including non-monetary contributions, in her race for the District 2 City Council seat. Her opponent, Linda Perry has raised a total of $17,364.

Contributions of more than $1,000 that are received from October 19 until election day are required to be reported within 24 hours. All other contributions will be reported in January 2009.

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October 25, 2008

Reed Continues to Outpace Perry in Campaign Fundraising

According to financial disclosures filed on October 23, 2008, District 2 San Leandro City Council candidate Ursula Reed continued to outpace opponent Linda Perry by raising $5,685 between October 1 and October 18, 2008. Contributions to Reed's campaign included $2,500 from SEIU Local 1021, $800 from PACE, and $500 each from the San Leandro Police Officers Association and Isaac Medical.

Reed's campaign spent $3,000 on door hangers from Pacific Print Resources, $562 on graphic design from Mikko Design, and $100 to on tickets for the Trivia Bee from Project Literacy.

As of October 18, 2008, Reed had $13,629 in her campaign account.

Click here to download Reed's latest financial disclosure.

Linda Perry raised $4,199 between October 1 and October 18, 2008. Contributions to Perry's campaign included $2,000 from Electrical Workers Local 595, $1,000 from the California Apartment Association, and $800 from UA Local 342.

Perry's campaign spent $850 to be included on the Voter Information Guide slate mailer, $422.40 on ads in the San Leandro Times, and $201.19 to In and Out Printing for campaign literature..

As of October 18, 2008, Perry had $7,384.91 in her campaign account and $11,250 in outstanding debt.

Click here to download Perry's latest financial disclosure.

Perry and Reed are vying to replace Surlene Grant who cannot for re-election because of term limits. Grant has endorsed Reed to replace her.

In the June 2008 election, Perry received 41.52% of the vote, Reed received 31.12% of the vote and Charles Gilcrest received 26.82% of the vote. A run-off election is being held in November because no candidate received more than 50% of the vote. The November election is expected to bring out many more voters than the 10,587 who voted in June.

The election will be held on November 4, 2008.

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October 24, 2008

Police Fund Campaign for City Tax Measures

According to the most recent financial disclosures from the "Yes for Public Safety" campaign to pass San Leandro tax measures RR, SS, and TT, the San Leandro Police Officers Association has contributed $10,000 of the $13,000 raised so far. The disclosures cover the period from October 1 to October 18, 2008. Measures RR, SS, and TT are on the ballot for the November 4, 2008, election and are for a utility user tax, 911 tax, and police services parcel tax, respectively. The parcel tax would raise money to maintain police services and would expire after four years.

Other contributions to the "Yes for Public Safety" campaign included $2,000 from campaign treasurer and former San Leandro City Manager John Jermanis and $1,000 from Meyers, Nave, Riback, Silver & Wilson, the law firm that represents the City of San Leandro.

Expenses included $3,131.75 to Handled With Care for mailing literature to absentee voters and $1,016.41 to the San Leandro Times for an advertisement.

As of October 18, 2008, the "Yes on Public Safety" campaign had $7,851.54 remaining in its campaign account.

In addition to former San Leandro City Manager John Jermanis, the "Yes for Public Safety" campaign has former San Leandro Mayor Shelia Young as its Chair.

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October 23, 2008

San Leandro School Board Candidates Sound Off at Candidate Forum

As a candidate forum held at All Saints Church on October 19, 2008, Hermy Almonte and Rick Richards, candidates for the San Leandro School Board Area 1 seat, provided the sharpest contrast, with Almonte criticizing Richards for the School District's legal fees and Richards defending his decisions in a difficult year.

In the At-Large seat, former Presidential candidate Don Grundmann faced off against Morgan Mack-Rose's representative, Andy Kopp. Candidates Mark Tichy and Ray Davis did not attend, despite telling organizers that they would attend.

The forum was captured on video and here are the School Board candidates' opening statements:

Hermy Almonte:

Rick Richards:

Don Grundmann:

Morgan Mack-Rose:

For more video of the San Leandro School Board candidates answering questions and their closing statements, see below:

The School Board candidates on their qualifications:

The School Board candidates on their top priority:

The School Board candidates on the Transit-Oriented Development Strategy and San Leandro Crossings:

The School Board candidates on why the School Board instead of City Council:

The School Board candidates on finances, morale and teacher salaries:

The School Board candidates' closing statements:

Morgan Mack-Rose
Don Grundmann
Rick Richards
Hermy Almonte

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October 17, 2008

Mack-Rose Top Fundraiser in San Leandro School Board Races

Political newcomer Morgan Mack-Rose was the top fundraiser in all of the San Leandro School Board races, according to financial disclosures filed on October 6, 2008. At-Large candidate Mack-Rose's total of $9,123 was slightly more than the $8,561 raised by Area 1 incumbent Rick Richards. Mack-Rose faces a field of three other candidates while Richards faces a single opponent.

In the race for the San Leandro School Board Area 1 seat, incumbent Rick Richards raised $8,561 between July 1, 2008, and September 30, 2008, including a loan of $4,000 from his wife Pam Richards. Contributions included $500 each from David Irmer of Creekside Associates and Gordon Galvan of Galvan & Associates, $200 each from Tom Silva of Eden Realty, former Muir Middle School Principal Vince Matthews, and Esther Collier of Holcomb's Home Repair, and $100 from San Leandro Mayor Tony Santos.

Richards' expenses included $910 to Bel Aire Displays for lawn signs, $864 to In and Out Printing for campaign literature, $275 to California Voters Guide for a slate mailer, $150 to the Englander Sports Pub for a fundraiser, and $332 for three other slate mailers.

As of September 30, 2008, Richards had $5,696 in his campaign account and $4,000 in outstanding debt.

Hermy Almonte raised $4,399 during the reporting period, including a loan of $500 from his wife Maria Almonte. Contributions included $2,000 from STAND, $200 each from the Hayward Demos Democratic Club and Rodolfo Almonte, and $150 from School Board trustee Stephen Cassidy.

Almonte's campaign spent $989 on campaign literature from APS, $896 on lawn signs from Bel Aire Displays, and $450 on a filing fee to the SLUSD.

At the end of the reporting period, Almonte had $1,634 in his campaign account and $500 in outstanding debt.

San Leandro School Board At-Large candidate Morgan Mack-Rose raised $9,123 between July 1 and September 30, 2008, including $550 that Mack-Rose loaned to her own campaign. Contributions to Mack-Rose's campaign included $2,000 from San Leandro Teachers Advocating New Directions (STAND), $1,000 from Margaret Walker, $500 from Tim Holmes, $400 from L. Kent Rose, and $300 from Jill Quaye.

Mack-Rose's campaign spent $1,186 on lawn signs from Bel Aire Displays, $450 for a filing fee, and $212 to In and Out Printing for campaign literature.

As of September 30, 2008, Mack-Rose had $7,095 in her campaign account and an outstanding debt of $550.

Ray Davis raised $1,068 between July 1 and September 30, 2008. Contributions to Davis' campaign included $695.73 that Davis loaned to his campaign. Additional contributions of $372 were not accounted for in the disclosure.

Davis' campaign spent $450 on a filing fee to the San Leandro Unified School District and $195.73 to In and Out Printing for campaign literature.

As of September 30, 2008, Davis had $422 in his campaign account and $695.73 in outstanding debt.

At-Large candidates for the San Leandro School Board Davis, Don Grundmann and Mark Tichy all filed paperwork indicating that they would neither raise nor spend more than $1,000. Tichy and Grundmann did not file financial disclosures since they have remained under the $1,000 limit.

The four candidates for the At-Large school board seat are vying to replace Stephen Cassidy, who is not seeking re-election. Cassidy has endorsed Mack-Rose to replace him.

The election will be held on November 4, 2008. The deadline to register to vote is October 20, 2008.

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October 14, 2008

Forum for San Leandro City Council and School Board on October 19, 2008

All Saints Episcopal Church will hold a candidate forum on Sunday, October 19, 2008, for San Leandro City Council and San Leandro School Board candidates. The candidates for San Leandro City Council District 2 are Linda Perry and Ursula Reed and the San Leandro School Board candidates are Hermy Almonte and Rick Richards for the Area 1 seat and Ray Davis, Don Grundmann, Morgan Mack-Rose, and Mark Tichy for the At-Large seat.

The forum will start with City Council candidates Reed and Perry, followed by the School Board candidates for the At-Large and Area 1 seats. Candidates will have an opportunity to make an opening statement, answer questions from the audience, and make a closing statement.

Although the Hayward Demos Democratic Club held a candidate forum for Democratic School Board candidates on September 20, 2008, this will be the first forum at which voters will have the opportunity to question all candidates for the San Leandro School Board and City Council.

The forum begins at 6pm. All Saints Episcopal Church is located at 911 Dowling Blvd. in San Leandro, CA, across the street from Roosevelt Elementary.

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Reed Files Amended Financial Disclosure

San Leandro City Council District 2 candidate Ursula Reed was asked by San Leandro City Clerk Marian Handa to refile her financial disclosure because of missing information when it was originally submitted on October 6, 2008. That missing information included the addresses, occupations, and employers of people who had contributed $100 or more to her campaign.

Reed submitted an amended disclosure form on October 13, 2008, showing that her campaign raised $8,168 between July 1 and September 30, 2008, an increase of $1,300 from what was originally reported. Additional contributions to Reed's campaign included $500 each from Bayfair Center owner Madison Marquette and the Quadric Group, and $100 each from Carla Butler, Mynette Theard, and Friends of Shelia Young.

Reed's campaign spent a total of $4,323 during the reporting period, which was unchanged from the amount previously reported.

As of September 30, 2008, Reed had $6,062 in her campaign account, a decrease of $3,077 from the amount previously reported. Reed has raised a total of $19,762 in her bid for the District 2 San Leandro City Council seat since January 1, 2008.

Click here to download Reed's amended disclosure for the reporting period from July 1 to September 30, 2008.

The election will be held on November 4, 2008. The deadline to register to vote is October 20, 2008.

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October 7, 2008

Reed Brings in Most Money for District 2 City Council Race

According to financial disclosures filed on October 6, 2008, District 2 San Leandro City Council candidate Ursula Reed raised $6,868 between July 1 and September 30, 2008. Contributions to Reed's campaign included $2,000 from the Firefighters Local 55 Union, $500 from Laython "Judge" Landis, and $400 from Vernell Reed. Reed also had a non-monetary contribution of $1,494 from American Litho in Hayward for campaign flyers.

Reed's campaign spent $2,500 on campaign consultants The Next Generation, $1200 on a filing fee to the City of San Leandro, and $300 to Project Literacy for the Trivia Bee.

As of September 30, 2008, Reed had $9,139 in her campaign account.

Click here to download Reed's disclosure for the reporting period from July 1 to September 30, 2008.

Linda Perry raised $5,345 between July 1 and September 30, 2008. Contributions to Perry's campaign included a $5,000 loan from Jeanne Perry (her mother) and $200 from former School Board trustee Esther Collier.

Perry's campaign spent $1,200 on a filing fee to the City of San Leandro and $150 to the Washington Homeowner's Association for a print ad.

As of September 30, 2008, Perry had $5,004 in her campaign account and $11,250 in outstanding debt.

Click here to download Perry's disclosure for the reporting period from July 1 to September 30, 2008.

Perry and Reed are vying to replace Surlene Grant who cannot for re-election because of term limits. Grant has endorsed Reed to replace her.

In the June 2008 election, Perry received 41.52% of the vote, Reed received 31.12% of the vote and Charles Gilcrest received 26.82% of the vote. A run-off election is being held in November because no candidate received more than 50% of the vote. The November election is expected to bring out many more voters than the 10,587 who voted in June.

The election will be held on November 4, 2008. The deadline to register to vote is October 20, 2008.

Click here to see coverage in the Daily Review.

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October 6, 2008

Local Election Endorsement Wrap-Up

With less than a month to go, candidates for the San Leandro City Council and San Leandro School Board have been working to obtain the endorsements of local groups to enhance their chances of success on election day.

In the run-off for the District 2 City Council seat, Ursula Reed has picked up endorsements from the San Leandro Community Action Network (SLCAN), Alameda County Firefighters, San Leandro Police Officer's Association, and the Sierra Club. Linda Perry has the Alameda County Democratic Party endorsement, but it came only after a second meeting when a vote at the initial meeting failed to produce an endorsement. The Alameda County Central Labor Council, a prized endorsement for most local candidates, did not endorse either candidate.

The race for the Area 1 San Leandro School Board seat is between incumbent Rick Richards and Hermy Almonte. The San Leandro Teachers' Association and the local chapter of the California State Employees Association endorsed Almonte while the Alameda County Central Labor Council endorsed both candidates. The Hayward Demos endorsed Almonte, but the Alameda County Democratic Party didn't endorse either candidate. SLCAN recommended Almonte in the Area 1 race.

While there are four candidates for the At-Large San Leandro School Board seat, only Ray Davis and Morgan Mack-Rose seem to be actively campaigning. Mack-Rose has the endorsements of the San Leandro Teachers' Association, the local chapter of the California State Employees Association, the Alameda County Democratic Party, the Hayward Demos, the Alameda County Central Labor Council, and SLCAN. The Sentinels did not endorse either candidate. San Leandro Bytes was unable to find any organizations that endorsed Davis or the other two candidates.

Absentee ballots will start arriving in the next few days, along with a flood of campaign mail. The deadline to register to vote is Monday, October 20, 2008. Voter registration forms are available from the City Clerk at San Leandro City Hall, public libraries, post offices, and DMV offices. Forms can be mailed directly to you by calling the Registrar of Voters at 510-267-8683 or the Secretary of State at 1-800-345-VOTE.

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September 30, 2008

San Leandro School Board At-Large Candidates in Their Own Words

These are the statements from San Leandro School Board At-Large candidates Morgan Mack-Rose, Don Grundmann, Ray Davis, and Mark Tichy that appear in the voter information pamphlet:

MORGAN MACK-ROSE
Occupation: Home maker
Age: 37
My education and qualifications are: I am running for the School Board because it's time for a change in priorities. We need to focus on our high drop out rate, end the contentious relationship between our teachers and the School District leadership, and restore the community's trust in our school system. My daughter attends San Leandro public school, where I am a PTA President, and I serve on the District's Budget Advisory Committee. I was an active member of the campaign committee for Measure B, which provides $109 million in construction projects for our schools. San Leandro has one of the highest drop out rates in Alameda County. This must be addressed immediately through intervention programs at early grades before students fall behind. Our schools must reach out to parents as partners in education. We must prepare our students to excel at college and in today's competitive workforce. San Leandro's teachers are our greatest strength and the School Board must be open to their advice. I will insist the leadership truly engage with the community in open, honest dialogue. This is the way to restore trust In our schools and ensure our children receive a quality education. I would be honored to have your vote.

DON J. GRUNDMANN
Occupation: Doctor of Chiropractic
My education and qualifications are: Many sources johntaylorgatto com; deliberateddumbingdown.com; howtotudor.com; schoolandstate.org have recognized that our public schools are dismal failures. Parents flee from the public schools since home school students outscore their public school counterparts In all categories. The reason for this is that the political and educational elites "teaching" purpose is "social engineering" - reforming the intellectual and, especially, social development of the child to create a docile member of "the hive," - the elite terminology for dumbing down children like lab rats Instead of educating them. The completely outrageous introduction within the SLUSD of homosexual literature and discussion beginning in kindergarten and extending to homosexual clubs in elementary schools proves that the elites are dedicated to a social engineering war against children rather than true education. Our schools are notorious for graduating students who then need remedial courses to enter higher education facilities. The physical safety of children in our schools is compromised as never before. Citizens must give no money to the SLUSD until the elites surrender in their war against the children. We must demand a return to true education and the end of social engineering. Until and unless the elites surrender parents must save their children by abandoning the public schools.

RAY DAVIS
Occupation: Current School Board Member
My education and qualifications are: Thank you for the privilege of serving you as School Board President and Trustee over the past four years. We have made historic and unprecedented improvements to the education, health and safety of our children. I now ask you to vote for me so that I may continue working on your behalf. Our test scores across all ethnic groups continue to rise with the overall Academic Performance Index exceeding 700 for the first time. We achieved the highest gains in Alameda County. Our equity programs are second to none. We exceed the State's requirements for healthy foods. We embrace diversity. We demand providing a safe environment for all of our students. We successfully passed Measure B that addressed the overcrowding and will create a flagship High School with a Career Technology Center, Arts Education Center with theater, new 9th grade campus and modernize all of our schools. We insured all this will be built with Union Labor. We must now focus on maximizing all of the district's resources to address the pay of our teachers, union members, and other employees. This needs to be accomplished before extending our hands to the Community for continued support of our Schools.

MARK TICHY
My education and qualifications are: Mark Tichy has been a resident of San Leandro for over 15 years. He is married and has a two year old daughter; therefore, he has a vested interest in the San Leandro School District. Tichy has been involved in City elections for over 10 years; running for City Council and Mayor. Tichy would like to see local businesses support San Leandro schools. Each business would "Adopt a School" in their area. Tichy envisions a City in which teachers and residents opinions count. He doesn't understand how a school board superintendant who is clearly disliked by 90% of teachers can have their contract renewed year after year. Its time to show our school board that we are tired of their old politics and games. Tichy asks that he have the honor and privilege to represent the citizens of San Leandro. Elect a new voice who doesn't play by the old rules.

The At-Large School Board seat is currently held by Stephen Cassidy, who decided not to run for re-election. Cassidy has endorsed Mack-Rose to replace him.

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San Leandro School Board Area 1 Candidates in Their Own Words

These are the statements from San Leandro School Board Area 1 candidates Rick Richards and Hermy Almonte that appear in the voter information pamphlet:

T. W. "RICK" RICHARDS
Occupation: Incumbent
My education and qualifications are: More than 38 years ago I called San Leandro home and for the past 8 years I have worked hard on San Leandro's Board of Education to make our schools the best that they can be. Much has been accomplished. Much more still needs to be done. I am running for re-election to continue the work and improvements that have been started for our children and community. We must continue modernizing our school facilities. Increasing the achievement of all students. reducing the achievement gap, improving the communications with parents, staff and community, controlling expenses, while enhancing revenues, to assist us in the hiring and the retaining of quality teachers and staff, maintaining a safe, clean and positive learning environment for students and staff, enriching the learning experiences of students with more college or career pathway opportunities and working with community leaders for the betterment of San Leandro. For a brighter educational future for our children in quality schools. Join the many parents, educators, and community and business leaders supporting my re-election. Together we can make San Leandro schools the best in the state for our children, their future, and our community!

HERMY B. ALMONTE
Occupation: Property Manager
My education and qualifications are: I am running for School Board to bring positive change and restore trust In our schools. We must value parent participation, respect teachers and staff and unite the community In support of our schools. As a manager at a non-profit developer of affordable housing, I have assisted families of all cultural backgrounds find safe, affordable shelter. I will bring this experience and skill set to the School Board to promote fair and balanced leadership. My son attends San Leandro High School and my daughter graduated last June. I serve as president of the English Learner Advisory Committee. I understand the challenges our students face. School safety will be one of my highest priorities. We need to keep kids off drugs and away from gangs and violence. This means having students know there will be zero tolerance for unacceptable behavior, and it means supporting effective prevention programs that help kids stay on the right track. The high school is critically overcrowded. That is why I will vote to reverse the decision to weaken residency verification. I am committed to enhancing the education of our kids by Investing in art, music and vocational education programs. I would appreciate your vote. Thank you.

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City Council Candidates in Their Own Words

These are the statements from San Leandro City Council candidates Ursula Reed and Linda Perry that appear in the voter information pamphlet:

URSULA REED
Occupation: Educator Age: 44
My education and qualifications are: San Leandro faces big challenges: local businesses moving away, declining property values, a budget deficit, an understaffed police force, and a City Council and School Board struggling to work together. We can overcome these challenges, with a new generation of leadership, that has new energy, and fresh ideas and solutions. I haven't been a politician before, but I've been an active community leader for 14 years. I've been a teacher, school principal, Library Commissioner, member of Citizens for a Safe San Leandro, church volunteer, and non-profit leader, keeping kids in school and off the streets. I know how to listen, build consensus among diverse communities, and find solutions that work. As your Councilmember, I'll find the resources to hire more police, and give them the tools they need to make our city safer. I'll help repair the relationship between the Council and the School Board, to get our schools and city back on track. I'll work with local businesses towards community-oriented economic development. I'll make sure youth and senior services are a priority. I'm supported by San Leandro Police Officer's Association, Firefighters Local 55, San Leandro Teacher's Association President, Jonathan Sherr, and the current Council Two member, Surlene Grant. www.ReedforSanLeandro.com

LINDA PERRY
Occupation: Public Policy Consultant
My education and qualifications are: Involvement, experience, leadership and vision. I know the job. I was Councilmember and Vice-Mayor from 1988-1996, representing San Leandro on numerous local and regional committees. I have been involved in improving San Leandro for 39 years, appointed to the first San Leandro Youth Advisory Committee at age 16. First elected in 1996, I currently serve on the San Leandro Unified School Board and Alameda County School Boards Association I see first-hand the diverse needs of our young families and children. As Halcyon-Foothill Neighborhood Association President, I am a vocal advocate for my neighborhood. I served on the South Area Corridor Plan. Upcoming District Issues include BART Transit-Oriented Development; Senior Center; San Leandro Hospital's future; 9th Grade Campus; sound-walls. The next Council will decide on revitalizing Downtown, the Marina/Shoreline and Kaiser developments. Impacts must be addressed. I will demand neighborhood input. I listen. I am an independent voice. My priorities are increasing economic development and jobs; working closely with schools: expanding public safety/crime prevention; improving quality of life and neighborhoods: affordable housing, childcare, senior needs, green space, recreation opportunities, transportation; fixing infrastructure, and government responsiveness. Visit www.lindaperry4council.com. Together we can make a better San Leandro. I ask for your support.

Reed's campaign kickoff is Tuesday, September 30, 2008, at Ricky's Sports Theatre & Grill, 15028 Hesperian Boulevard in San Leandro.

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September 25, 2008

San Leandro School Board Candidates at Hayward Demos Forum

The Hayward Demos endorsed San Leandro School Board candidates Hermy Almonte and Morgan Mack-Rose after a Hayward Demos forum on Saturday, September 20, 2008. Area 1 candidates Almonte and Rick Richards and At-Large candidate Mack-Rose spoke to the Hayward Demos and answered questions as they sought the group's endorsement. Ray Davis, also a candidate for the At-Large seat, did not attend the event. Other candidates for the At-Large seat were not invited because they were not registered Democrats.

The Hayward Demos are the local Democratic club covering San Leandro and previously co-sponsored a San Leandro City Council candidate forum with the San Leandro Community Action Network in April 2008.

Videos of the opening statements:

See below for more video.

On Safe Schools:

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September 24, 2008

Jon Voight to Rally Support for McCain in San Leandro

Alameda County GOP HQ

Actor Jon Voight will visit Alameda County Republican headquarters tomorrow to rally support for GOP presidential candidate John McCain. The San Leandro visit is part of a long day for Voight, which starts with Burbank and Sacramento before visiting San Leandro and Fresno and Santa Monica later in the day.

Voight is the second Hollywood star to visit San Leandro during this year's elections. Danny Glover was featured at City Council candidate Ursula Reed's campaign kickoff event in May 2008.

Since protesting against the Vietnam War in the 1970s, Voight has become more conservative and endorsed Rudy Guiliani for President before it became clear that Guiliani's one-state campaign strategy had failed.

The Alameda County GOP office is located at 1039 MacArthur Boulevard in San Leandro. Voight is expected to join the afternoon phone bank from 2pm to 4pm.

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August 26, 2008

Teachers Union Endorses Almonte and Mack-Rose for San Leandro School Board

In a press release dated August 25, 2008, the San Leandro Teachers Association (SLTA) endorsed San Leandro School Board candidates Morgan Mack-Rose for the At-Large seat and Hermy Almonte for the Area 1 seat.

Mack-Rose is President of the PTA at Washington Elementary School, where one of her daughters goes to school. She is running against perennial candidate Mark Tichy, Don Grundmann, and current School Board President Ray Davis, who decided not to run for re-election for the Area 5 seat that he currently holds. Mack-Rose has not previously run for office. Davis previously considered a run for San Leandro City Council and sought an appointment to the San Leandro City Council in February 2007. Davis has been on the School Board since 2004.

Almonte is active with the United Parents group at San Leandro High School, where his son goes to school. Almonte is running against Rick Richards, who currently holds the Area 1 School Board seat. Almonte ran for the District 6 San Leandro City Council seat in June 2008. Richards ran for the District 5 San Leandro City Council seat in 1994 and has been on the School Board since 2000.

The SLTA also endorsed Diana Prola and Carmen Sullivan, who were unopposed and will not appear on the ballot.

Editor's note: In the interest of full disclosure, readers should know that I have endorsed Mack-Rose and Almonte.

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August 17, 2008

Clemons Files Campaign Finance Disclosures for June City Council Election

On August 6, 2008, Estelle Clemons, one of the candidates for the District 6 seat of the San Leandro City Council, filed her campaign statement for the last two weeks of the campaign, nearly a week after the July 31 deadline.

Clemons spent a total of $10,105.27 during the campaign and came in second behind incumbent Jim Prola.

During the last two weeks of the campaign, Clemons reported $1,359 in contributions, including $500 from Madison Marquette Property Investment and $200 from Elizabeth Gomez, Program Manager for the Alameda Food Bank.

Expenses included $2,122 to In & Out Printing for production, postage and mailing of her mailer, $674 to In & Out Printing for design and production of her walking piece, and $300 to California VoterConnect, a voter data service.

As of August 15, 2008, Wafaa Aborashed had not filed her campaign statement for the last two weeks of the campaign.

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August 11, 2008

San Leandro School Board At-Large Race Goes From Five to Three Candidates

While current San Leandro School Board President Ray Davis is running for the School Board again, it won't be for his current seat as the Area 5 Trustee. Instead of running against newcomer Diana Prola, Davis has chosen to run against a potential field of two candidates for the At-Large seat being vacated by Stephen Cassidy.

After the filing period opened, Prola and Davis each pulled papers for the Area 5 seat and the At-Large seat. They appeared to be trying to avoid running against each other - or at least trying to keep the other guessing for a while.

Former School Board Trustee Ken Pon told San Leandro Bytes today that he has decided against running for election. Pon said that he may consider a future run for the School Board, but he's too busy right now and not willing to give up the things that are keeping him busy. Pon is active in the San Leandro Chamber of Commerce, San Leandro Downtown Business Association, San Leandro Rotary, Asian Pacific American Democratic Caucus, and Bay O Vista Improvement Association.

With Pon pulling out, that leaves Davis to face Mark Tichy and Don Grundmann. Tichy ran unsuccessfully for the School Board in 2002, for the City Council in 1996, 2000, 2004, and 2008 and for Mayor in 2002. Grundmann hasn't run for local office before, but did run unsuccessfully for Congress in 2000 and 2002, and the U.S. Senate in 2004 and 2006. Grundmann also unsuccessfully campaigned to be the Constitution Party's nominee for President in 2008.

Davis is the only official candidate for the At-Large seat so far. Wednesday, August 13, 2008, is the deadline for candidates to file papers in races where the incumbent is not running.

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August 2, 2008

Prola Top Spender in June 2008 City Council Campaign

San Leandro District 6 Councilmember Jim Prola was the biggest spender in the recent City Council elections, according to campaign finance disclosures that were due on July 31, 2008.

Prola spent a total of $34,787 for his City Council campaign and managed to avoid a runoff election, despite four other opponents in the race. Estelle Clemons, his closest competitor, received less than 18% of the vote, and was likely outspent by about five to one.

In District 2, newcomer Ursula Reed spent $18,000 but until Charles Gilcrest files his disclosure, it's a toss-up as to which of them spent the most money in that race. Although Reed and Gilcrest each outspent Linda Perry, neither could overcome Perry's name recognition. Perry was held to 41.52% of the vote and now faces a runoff against Reed on November 4, 2008.

District 4 incumbent Joyce Starosciak faced no serious opposition from perennial candidate Lou Filipovich and still spent more than $10,000 to defend her seat.

As of June 30, Prola reported $3,849.55 in his campaign account and a campaign debt of $8,000. Recent expenditures include $4,254.87 to Handled With Care for campaign mailings, $2,772.98 to Alliance Campaign Strategies for campaign consulting, $2,469.60 to Autumn Press for campaign literature, and $1,903.65 to Ken Pon for campaign consulting.

Recent contributions to Prola's campaign include $500 from AFSCME Local 2428 and $250 from Teamsters Local 853.

Hermy Almonte, who campaigned for the District 6 City Council seat, reported an expenditure of $400 to Vo's Vietnamese Restaurant. As of June 30, 2008, Almonte reported a zero campaign account balance with an outstanding campaign debt of $2,631.72.

District 6 candidates Clemons and Wafaa Aborashed had not submitted their campaign disclosures by the July 31, 2008, deadline. Mark Tichy stated that he would not spend or raise more than $1,000 and was exempt from campaign finance disclosure requirements.

In District 2, Reed reported a campaign account balance $2,271 as of June 30. Reed listed no recent expenditures and a recent contribution of $500 from John Gooding of the Quadric Group.

Perry reported spending $6,810.18 from January to June 30, 2008, and ended with a campaign balance of $1,009.82. Perry listed an expenditure of $264 for a print ad in the San Leandro Times. There were no recent campaign contributions and Perry reported an outstanding campaign debt of $6,250.

Gilcrest did not submit his campaign disclosures by the July 31, 2008, deadline.

In District 4, Starosciak reported a campaign account balance of $21,278 as of June 30, 2008. Starosciak spent $10,600 from January through June 30, 2008, including $1,000 to Luke's Grill for a fundraiser and $911 to herself for postage and campaign paraphernalia.

Recent contributions to Starosciak's campaign included $750 from Operating Engineers Local 3, $500 from Teamsters Local 853, $500 from the Teamster DRIVE Committee, $500 from Sheet Metal Workers Local 104, and $500 from Madison Marquette, the owners of Bayfair Center.

Filipovich, Starosciak's opponent stated that he would not raise nor spend more than $1,000 and was exempt from campaign finance disclosure requirements. Filipovich is running for the California State Assembly and for a seat on the Board of the Oro Loma Sanitary District in the November 2008 election.

Other City Council members who did not run for election in June 2008 but still have open campaign committees are also required to file disclosures.

Mayor Tony Santos reported a campaign account balance of $5,415 as of June 30, 2008, and an outstanding campaign debt of $25,084. Santos reported a contribution of $1,000 from the Rental Housing Owners Association of Southern Alameda County. Expenditures included $300 for the Alameda Labor Council Awards dinner and $100 to San Leandro Teachers Advocating New Directions (STAND).

Councilmember Michael Gregory reported no campaign activity. As of June 30, 2008, Gregory had $1,613 in his campaign account and an outstanding debt of $7,222.94.

Councilmember Surlene Grant reported expenditures of $500 to Barbara Lee for Congress and $200 to Black Elected Officials of the East Bay. Grant ended June 30, 2008, with a campaign account balance of $1,328.07. Grant reported no contributions.

Former Mayor Shelia Young had a campaign account balance of $9,989 as of June 30, 2008, and reported expenditures of $135 to PACE, and contributions of $300 to Davis Street Family Resource Center, $200 to United Parents of San Leandro High School and $100 each to San Leandro Boys & Girls Club and San Leandro Players. Young reported no contributions.

Councilmember Bill Stephens ended June 30, 2008, with a campaign account balance of $2,707.42. Expenditures included a contribution of $200 to the San Leandro Boys & Girls Club, a $150 contribution to Martin C. Kauffman 100 Club of Alameda County and $125 for an office expense to the San Leandro Chamber of Commerce.

See below for the original documents:

Recipient Committe Campaign Statements:

Jim Prola
Hermy Almonte
Ursula Reed
Linda Perry
Joyce Starosciak

Tony Santos
Michael Gregory
Bill Stephens
Surlene Grant
Shelia Young

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August 1, 2008

Five Possible Candidates for San Leandro School Board At-Large Seat

The field of candidates for the At-Large seat on the San Leandro School Board grew by three candidates this week when Ken Pon, Mark Tichy, and Don Grundmann pulled papers for the race. Together with Diana Prola and Ray Davis, a total of five people may be competing for this seat in the November 2008 election.

Ken Pon Pon, who has his own accounting practice, held the At-Large seat from 1996 until 2004, when he lost to Stephen Cassidy. Cassidy has announced that he will not seek re-election.

Mark TichyTichy works at Chicago Blues Cafe in San Leandro and campaigned unsuccessfully for the District 6 San Leandro City Council in June 2008. Tichy was also one of 12 applicants for the appointment to the District 6 City Council seat when Tony Santos was elected Mayor in November 2006 but he was not one of the six finalists interviewed by the City Council. Tichy ran for the District 6 seat unsuccessfully in 1996, 2000, and 2004. Tichy also lost his run for Mayor of San Leandro and the Area 5 seat on the San Leandro School Board in 2002.

Don GrundmannGrundmann is a local chiropractor and herbalist who unsuccessfully ran for the 13th Congressional seat held by Pete Stark in 2000 and 2002, and the U.S. Senate in 2004 and 2006. He also unsuccessfully campaigned to be the Constitution Party's nominee for President in 2008.

As of August 1, 2008, none of the five candidates had submitted completed papers to become an official candidate. Any resident of the San Leandro Unified School District (which includes Oakland's Sheffield Village) who is a registered voter is eligible for the At-Large position. The deadline for submitting nomination papers, which includes the signatures of 20 registered voters who live within the SLUSD, is Wednesday, August 13, 2008.

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July 27, 2008

School Board Candidates So Far

Four of the San Leandro School Board seats come up for re-election in 2008 and just four candidates have stepped forward so far. Incumbent T.W. "Rick" Richards is the sole candidate for Area 1 and Carmen Sullivan is the sole candidate for Area 3, the seat being vacated by Linda Perry. Incumbent Ray Davis and Diana Prola have both pulled papers for Area 5, Davis' current seat, and the At-Large seat being vacated by Stephen Cassidy.

The filing period for most seats ends on August 8, 2008, but will be extended to August 13, 2008, for the At-Large seat and the Area 3 seat, since the incumbents will not be in those races.

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June 5, 2008

Updated June 2008 Election Numbers

Updated vote counts were published by the Alameda County Registrar of Voters at 5:40pm on Thursday, June 5, 2008.

In District 2, the gap between Linda Perry and Ursula Reed narrowed slightly with Perry now at 41.68% of the vote to Reed's 30.63% of the vote. Charles Gilcrest had 300 votes less than Reed at 27.15%.

In District 4, incumbent Joyce Starosciak received 63.06% of vote with Paul Gonzales, who had withdrawn from the race, at 18.43% and Lou Filipovich at 17.96%.

Incumbent Jim Prola was shown with 57.44% of the vote and Estelle Clemons was a distant second at 17.82%. Mark Tichy had 9.36% of the vote, Hermy Almote had 8.4% and Wafaa Aborashed had 6.49%.

Vote totals will continue to change for the next few weeks as absentee and provisional ballots are counted, but the results of the election are not expected to change.

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June 4, 2008

Jim Prola and Joyce Starosciak win; Linda Perry and Ursula Reed in Run-off

While the presidential candidates talk about change, San Leandro's City Council election results suggest that local voters prefer to stay the course. Voters returned two incumbents to City Council and a former City Councilmember will face a run-off election against a candidate who campaigned as a "fresh voice."

Jim ProlaIn the race for San Leandro City Council District 6, Jim Prola defied expectations and won outright over four opponents with 57.52% of the vote with all 58 precincts reporting at 1:16am. Estelle Clemons was a distant second with 17.78% of the vote. None of the other candidates, Mark Tichy, Hermy Almonte, and Wafaa Aborashed, managed to get more than 10% of the vote. Prola celebrated his victory at Zocalo Coffeehouse and watched the election results with District 2 candidate Ursula Reed, former California Assemblymember Johan Klehs and San Leandro City Councilmember Surlene Grant.

According to campaign finance disclosures Prola outspent his nearest rival, Clemons, by nearly four to one ($22,243 to $5,659).

Prola said he had been worried that he would face a run-off election against so many opponents, so he and his campaign volunteers walked door-to-door in nearly 38 of the city's 58 precincts. Instead of resting on election day, he handed out about 400 flyers at the San Leandro BART station.

In District 2, San Leandro School Board Trustee Linda Perry will face a run-off election in November against Ursula Reed. With all precincts reporting, Perry had 42.08% of the vote with Reed a distant 30.11% and Gilcrest close behind at 27.29%. As of the most recent campaign finance disclosures, Perry spent the least amount of money during the campaign, $6,508, compared to $9,573 for Reed and $13,623 for Gilcrest.

Unless a candidate receives 50% plus one of the votes cast for that office, a run-off election must be held. This comes as a result of Measure F, which was passed in 2000.

Perry previously served on the San Leandro City Council from 1988 to 1996.

Gilcrest had more success as the consultant for a school bond in Hayward, which passed with 71.94% of the vote and only needed 55% to win.

Perry handily won re-election to the Alameda County Democratic Central Committee, where she was the top vote-getter of the seven candidates for the six seats.

Joyce Starosciak District 4 incumbent Joyce Starosciak easily won re-election over perennial candidate (and Republican nominee for 18th District State Assembly) Lou Filipovich with 62.58% of the vote. Despite having pulled out of the election, Paul Gonzales garnered more votes than Filipovich.

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June 2, 2008

Three City Council Candidates Receive Thousands in Last Minute Contributions

According to financial disclosures filed on June 2, 2008, San Leandro District 2 City Council candidates Charles Gilcrest and Ursula Reed received contributions of $4,000 and $1,000 respectively. District 4 candidate Joyce Starosciak received a contribution of $1,300.

Gilcrest received the $4,000 contribution from Alberto Torrico's campaign committee. Torrico is running unopposed for the California State Assembly and is the Majority Floor Leader.

Click here for Gilcrest's late contribution report.

Reed received $1,000 from Security Pro Corp. of Rohnert Park, an alarm and security access control systems contractor.

Click here for Reed's late contribution report.

Starosciak received $1,300 from Construction and General Laborers Local Union 304.

Click here for Starosciak's late contribution report.

During the period between May 18 and the election (June 3, 2008), candidates are required to disclose contributions of $1,000 or more within 24 hours. There are no campaign contribution limits for San Leandro City Council elections.

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Late Campaign Filing by District 6 Candidate Aborashed

In late campaign finance disclosures filed by San Leandro City Council District 6 candidate Wafaa Aborashed on May 30, 2008, Aborashed closed her previous campaign account (FPPC ID # 1265613) and disposed of the account balance of $2,043.56. San Leandro Bytes attempted to contact Aborashed to find out where the balance went, but was unable to reach her.

In a filing for her new campaign account (FPPC ID # 1307344), Aborashed had $1,157 in her campaign account as of May 17, 2008.

During the period from March 18 to May 17, 2008, Aborashed raised a total of $3,119, including a personal loan to her own campaign of $2,000 and contributions of $500 from Anthony Batarse, Jr., chief executive officer of automobile dealer Lloyd A. Wise, $180 from Eva Konigsberg, and $120 from Family Music Circle.

Aborashed spent $1,961 during the reporting period, including $1,200 for her candidate filing and ballot statement, $195 for a list of registered voters, $166 to Site 5 SolusanRoman for web site and email and $114 to Vista Printing for campaign literature.

Click here to see Aborashed's filing.

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May 31, 2008

Last Minute Campaigning at Cherry Festival

San Leandro City Council candidates were out in force for last-minute campaigning at the Cherry Festival on May 31, 2008.

gilcrest_cherry_fest.jpg
District 2 candidate Charles Gilcrest was prepared to hand out hundreds of bottles of water, but the cool weather lessened the effectiveness of this approach.

reed_cherry_fest.jpg
Ursula Reed, one of Gilcrest's opponents, had a group of supporters with t-shirts walking around the Cherry Festival.

clemons_cherry_fest.jpg
District 6 candidate Estelle Clemons was handing out literature with a group of enthusiastic supporters.

Jim Prola, the District 6 incumbent, was also at the Cherry Festival handing out literature. Other candidates spotted at the Cherry Festival include District 2 candidate Linda Perry, Superior Court judge candidate Phil Daly, and State Assembly candidate Jason Teramoto.

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May 30, 2008

Perry's Campaign Gets a $1,000 Late Contribution

According to a financial disclosure filed on May 30, 2008, San Leandro District 2 City Council candidate Linda Perry received a late contribution of $1,000 from the Northern California Carpenters Regional Council.

During the period between May 18 and the election (June 3, 2008), candidates are required to disclose contributions of $1,000 or more within 24 hours.

Click here for Perry's late contribution report.

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May 29, 2008

Union Makes $1,000 Late Contribution to Prola's Campaign

According to a financial disclosure filed on May 29, 2008, San Leandro District 6 City Council candidate Jim Prola received a late contribution of $1,000 from Service Employees International Union Local 1021.

During the period between May 18 and the election (June 3, 2008), candidates are required to disclose contributions of $1,000 or more within 24 hours. Prola also reported an in-kind contribution of $2,650 from AFSCME on May 21, 2008.

Click here for Prola's late contribution report.

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Starosciak Gets $2,000 in Late Contributions

On May 29, 2008, San Leandro District 4 City Council candidate Joyce Starosciak reported $2,000 in late contributions. Starosciak received $1,000 each from The Sentinels and the Deputy Sheriffs Association of Alameda County PAC.

The Sentinels are a group of mostly local businessment that make financial contributions to local candidates. Starosciak's husband, Allan Starosciak, is an Alameda County Deputy Sherrif.

During the period between May 18 and the election (June 3, 2008), candidates are required to disclose contributions of $1,000 or more within 24 hours. Starosciak has received a total of $4,000 in contributions of $1,000 or more since May 18, 2008.

Click here for Starosciak's late contribution report.

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Gilcrest Gets $7,000 in Late Contributions

According to a financial disclosure filing, San Leandro District 2 City Council candidate Charles Gilcrest received a total of $7,000 in contributions on May 27, 2008. Gilcrest received $5,000 from the Committee to Re-Elect Scott Haggerty and $2,000 from The Sentinels.

Scott Haggerty is running unopposed for a fourth term as District 1 Alameda County Supervisor. The Sentinels are a group of mostly local businessment that make financial contributions to local candidates.

During the period between May 18 and the election (June 3, 2008), candidates are required to disclose contributions of $1,000 or more within 24 hours.

Click here for Gilcrest's late contribution report.

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May 27, 2008

City Council Election One Week Away

Ursula Reed campaign signCharlie Gilcrest campaign sign.jpgLinda Perry campaign sign
Estelle Clemons campaign signJim Prola campaign sign

In case you have missed the influx of campaign mail and sprouting of campaign signs, San Leandro voters will elect three Councilmembers on June 3, 2008. The field of candidates includes just two incumbents, because Surlene Grant is being forced out by term limits. San Leandro is unique because although each Councilmember represents a certain district, the entire city votes for one candidate in each district.

District 2 candidates Ursula Reed and Charles Gilcrest held fundraisers on May 10 and May 12, respectively, that featured high-profile guests. For Reed, it was actor Danny Glover while Assemblymember Alberto Torrico was a speaker at Gilcrest's fundraiser.

San Leandro City Council candidate Ursula Reed with Danny Glover on May 10, 2008Alberto Torrico at San Leandro City Council candidate Charles Gilcrest's fundraiser on May 12, 2008

All District 2 candidates and District 6 candidates Jim Prola and Estelle Clemons have sent out the first round of mail directed at absentee voters. Consistent or newly registered voters can expect more mail to arrive this week.

If you're unsatisfied with the information provided by the candidates' flyers, you can check out the candidates' answers (except for Wafaa Aborashed) to questions asked by the San Leandro Community Action Network. The candidate's web sites for Charles Gilcrest, Linda Perry, Ursula Reed, Joyce Starosciak, Wafaa Aborashed, Hermy Almonte, Estelle Clemons, and Jim Prola are generally light on specifics. Even less information is generally provided by the candidates at the respective sites for Ursula Reed, Joyce Starosciak, Hermy Almonte, and Jim Prola at SmartVoter.org.

Previous articles showed the candidates describing their vision for San Leandro, what the candidates will do about the Marina, and the candidates describing specific issues on which the voters may base their decisions.

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May 23, 2008

Incumbents Raise Most Money for San Leandro City Council Election

The latest campaign finance disclosure filings for candidates for San Leandro City Council are in and incumbent Jim Prola continues to lead the field in campaign contributions and expenditures.

District 6

During the most recent reporting period from March 18 to May 17, 2008, District 6 candidate Prola spent $16,545 including $6,773 to Autumn Press for campaign literature, $3,500 to Alliance Campaign Strategies for campaign consulting, $2,605 to Handled With Care for mailings, $1,859 to Prime Signs for lawn signs, and $665 for the Voter Information Guide slate mailer.

Prola received contributions of $1,000 from the Rental Housing Owners Association of Southern Alameda County, $1,000 from The Sentinels, and $500 from Assemblyman Alberto Torrico's campaign, . Unions gave $10,500 to Prola's campaign, with $1,500 from Operating Engineers Local #3, $1,000 from American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), $1,000 from the Teamsters DRIVE Committee, $1,000 from AFSCME Local 2019, $1,000 from Good Jobs JAC, Unite Here Local 2850, $1,000 from the California Nurses Association, $650 from International Association of Firefighters Local 55, $500 from United Food & Commercial Workers, Local 5, $500 from AFSCME Local 444, $500 from Sheet Metal Workers Local 104, and $500 from International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers Local 21.

At the end of the reporting period, Prola had $14,153 in his campaign account and $8,000 in outstanding loans.

In a late filing dated May 21, 2008, Prola reported an in-kind contribution of $2,650 from AFSCME.

Prola's Campaign Statement for March 18 to May 17, 2008.

Prola raised more than three times his closest District 6 competitor, Estelle Clemons. Clemons raised $4,400, including contributions of $999 from the Political Action Committee for Excellence (PACE), $600 from Dover Investments Corp., and $500 from California Real Estate Political Action Committee.

Clemons spent $4,459 during the reporting period, including $4,195 to In & Out Printing for campaign literature and lawn signs.

At the end of the reporting period, Clemons had $4,690 in her campaign account and $4,000 in outstanding loans.

Clemons' Campaign Statement for March 18 to May 17, 2008.

District 6 candidate Hermy Almonte reported $2,956 in campaign contributions, consisting largely of a $2,631 loan to his campaign. Almonte spent $2,558 during the reporting period, including $1,200 to repay a loan and $431 to Vista Print for campaign paraphernalia.

At the end of the reporting period, Almonte had $653 in his campaign account and $2,631 in outstanding loans.

Almonte's Campaign Statement for March 18 to May 17, 2008.

Wafaa Aborashed failed to submit her paperwork on time and Mark Tichy has indicated he will not raise or spend more than $1,000 and is not required to file a campaign finance campaign disclosure.

District 2

In District 2, Charles Gilcrest was the lead fundraiser with $7,413, including contributions of $1,500 from Rental Housing Owners of Southern Alameda County, $1,000 from The Sentinels, $650 from Alameda County Firefighters Local 55, and $500 from Louis Pelligrini of Alameda County Industries. Assemblyman Alberto Torrico, who was the keynote speaker at Gilcrest's fundraiser on May 12, 2008, gave $1,000 from his campaign fund. Former San Leandro Chamber of Commerce CEO Heidi Finberg was listed as providing a non-monetary contribution of food for a fundraiser.

Gilcrest spent $11,054 during the reporting period, including $3,141 to Autumn Press for campaign literature, $2,693 to Prime Signs for lawn signs, $2,442 to Handled With Care for mailing, and $813 to Trident Communication for automated campaign calls known as robocalls.

At the end of the reporting period, Gilcrest had $1,064 in his campaign account. Gilcrest failed to report outstanding loans totaling $5,250.

Gilcrest's Campaign Statement for March 18 to May 17, 2008.

Ursula Reed raised $6,614 during the reporting period and reported $8,427 in non-monetary contributions. Substantial contributions included $999 from PACE, $500 from Eric Hoffman of Madison Marquette (owners of Bayfair Center), $500 from Dr. James Perry of Oakland, $500 from Monica Walker, an investment advisor in Chicago, and $200 from San Leandro Councilmember Surlene Grant. Non-monetary contributions included $5,000 in catered food from Manor Delicatessen and $2,988 in campaign flyers from American Lithographers.

Reed spent $9,573 during the reporting period, including $4,461 to The Everhart Co. for campaign consulting, $1,500 to The Howard Agency for data analysis services, $1,345 to Kirk Briggs Signs for lawn signs, and $924 to Computerized Political Services for data analysis services.

At the end of the reporting period, Reed had $2,271 in her campaign account. Reed failed to report an outstanding loan of $3,000.

Reed's Campaign Statement for March 18 to May 17, 2008.

Linda Perry raised $5,350 during the reporting period, including a $5,050 personal loan to her campaign and a $250 contribution from Ken Pon, a former member of the San Leandro School Board.

Perry spent $5,308 during the reporting period, including $3,503 to Autumn Press for campaign literature and postage, $802 to Bel Aire Displays for lawn signs, and $665 for the Voter Information Guide slate mailer.

Perry had $191 in her campaign account at the end of the reporting period and $6,250 in outstanding loans.

Perry's Campaign Statement for March 18 to May 17, 2008.

District 4

Incumbent Joyce Starosciak raised $8,899 during the reporting period, despite the lack of any campaign by her opponent Lou Filipovich. Substantial contributions included $1,000 from the California Apartment Association PAC, $1,000 from the Northern California Carpenters Regional Council, $1,000 from International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT), $1,000 from Electrical Workers Local 595, $999 from PACE, $500 from the Peace Officers Research Association of California, $500 from the Economic Development Alliance, $500 from James Hussey, a contractor with Vanesco Consulting, $500 from former San Leandro City Councilmember Gordon Galvan, and $100 from Hayward Councilmember Bill Quirk.

Starosciak spent $6,834 during the reporting period, including $5,015 to Integrity IBS for campaign literature and $665 for the Voter Information Guide slate mailer

At the end of the reporting period, Starosciak had $12,941 in her campaign account and no outstanding debts.

Starosciak's Campaign Statement for March 18 to May 17, 2008.

In a late filing dated May 23, 2008, Starosciak reported contributions of $1,000 each from Sprinkler Fitters & Apprentices Local 483 and Good Jobs JAC Sponsored Committee of Unite Here Local 2850.

Lou Filipovich has stated he will not raise nor spend more than $1,000 and is not required to file campaign finance disclosures.

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May 6, 2008

Meet City Council Candidates Prola and Reed at Zocalo on May 13, 2008

The San Leandro Community Action Network (SLCAN) is offering interested voters an opportunity to have coffee with San Leandro City Council candidates Jim Prola and Ursula Reed on May 13, 2008, from 5:30pm to 7:30pm. The group recently endorsed Prola in District 6 and Reed in District 2 for the June 3, 2008, election.

Prola was appointed in February 2007 to replace Tony Santos. Reed has been a member of the Library-Historical Commission since February 2006.

The free event will be held at Zocalo Coffeehouse, located at 645 Bancroft Avenue in San Leandro. Complimentary coffee and food will be available.

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April 28, 2008

Sierra Club Endores Prola for San Leandro City Council

According to the latest edition of the Sierra Club Yodeler, Jim Prola is the only candidate for San Leandro City Council to earn the group's endorsement. In its endorsement, the Sierra Club called Prola "perhaps the greenest councilmember San Leandro has ever seen."

The only other local race in which the Sierra Club endorsed candidates was Alameda County Superior Court Judge, in which the group made a dual endorsement of Dennis Hayashi and Victoria Kolakowski.

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City Council Candidates on Their Vision for San Leandro

SLCAN Candidate Forum - photo by Tim Holmes
On April 4, 2008, the San Leandro Community Action Network (SLCAN) held a candidate forum at McKinley Elementary with all of the candidates for the San Leandro City Council in the June 3, 2008, election. Over the next few days, San Leandro Bytes will post videos of the candidates answering questions at that forum. The first of those questions: "Please summarize your vision for San Leandro, how you can contribute to that vision, and your top three to five priorities."

You can see their reponses by clicking on the links, which will take you to YouTube:

District 2:

Charles Gilcrest
Ursula Reed
Linda Perry

District 4:

Joyce Starosciak
Lou Filipovich

District 6:

Hermy Almonte
Mark Tichy
Jim Prola
Wafaa Aborashed
Estelle Clemons

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April 23, 2008

PACE Endorses Reed, Starosciak, and Clemons for San Leandro City Council

Last week, the Political Action Committee for Excellence (PACE) made its endorsements for San Leandro City Council: Ursula Reed in District 2, Joyce Starosciak in District 4, and Estelle Clemons in District 6. PACE also endorsed Victoria Kolakowski for Alameda County Superior Court Judge. In addition to her endorsement by PACE, Starosciak is also a member of the group.

As noted in a previous story, PACE membership is entirely female and has only contributed to female candidates for local office. [Editor: This story has been edited to correct inaccurate information about the group's bylaws.] The purpose of the group is to get more women elected and involved in civic activities.

In District 4, Starosciak is the only woman running and Kolakowski is the only woman candidate for Superior Court Judge. However, just because there is one woman candidate doesn't guarantee a PACE endorsement. In the 2006 campaign for the District 3 City Council seat, PACE did not endorse the only female candidate, Diana Souza, who went on to win.

The endorsement comes with a financial contribution of $999 to each of the candidate's campaigns.

As of December 31, 2007, PACE had $7,124 in its account. Members of PACE were determined from reviewing its financial disclosures and are listed below. Note that membership may have changed since the most recent financial disclosure in December 2007.

  • Anna Brannan, San Leandro Planning Commissioner
  • Esther Collier, San Leandro Planning Commissioner and former San Leandro School Board Trustee
  • Peggy Combs, Recreation and Parks Commissioner, Development Director for Building Futures with Women and Children
  • Deborah Cox, President of Estudillo Estates Homeowner Assocation, Human Services Commissioner, and Co-Chair of Citizens for San Leandro Schools
  • Isobel Dvorsky, Chabot-Las Positas Community College District Trustee
  • Harriet Engberg, retired
  • Heidi Finberg, former CEO of the San Leandro Chamber of Commerce and Planning Commissioner
  • Katherine Frates, Director of Clinical Services at San Leandro Surgery Center
  • Faith Frazier, Former City Councilmember
  • Surlene Grant, San Leandro City Councilmember
  • Dale Gregory, Director of Broadmoor Preschool and Board Member of Drowning Darryl's
  • Rose Johnson, Executive Director of the Davis Street Family Resource Center and President of the San Leandro Chamber of Commerce
  • Denise Bownds Kaplan, San Leandro Library Historical Commissioner
  • Susan Kleebauer, attorney and former San Leandro Planning Commissioner
  • Alexandra Matteucci-Perkins, Executive Director of the Joseph Matteucci Foundation for Youth Non-Violence
  • Janet Plankenhorn, Former San Leandro School Board Trustee
  • Isabel Polvorosa, computer operator and San Lorenzo School Board Trustee
  • Nancy Pretto, Retired
  • Catherine Ralph, a field work consultant and lecturer at UC Berkeley
  • Pat Raposo, former owner of Broadmoor Electric
  • Diana Souza, San Leandro City Councilmember
  • Joyce Starosciak, San Leandro City Councilmember and former San Leandro School Board Trustee
  • Marie Underwood
  • Dawn Valadez, Development Director for Davis Street Family Resource Center
  • Shelia Young, former San Leandro Mayor
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April 16, 2008

SLCAN Endorses Reed in District 2 and Prola in District 6

The San Leandro Community Action Network (SLCAN) announced late last night that it is endorsing Ursula Reed for San Leandro City Council District 2 and Jim Prola for District 6. In District 4, SLCAN stated that it recommended, but did not endorse, Joyce Starosciak.

The endorsement of Prola was expected as SLCAN endorsed Prola for the District 6 appointment in February 2007 and Prola was a big supporter of the living wage ordinance and affordable housing, which SLCAN also supports.

SLCAN passed over more experienced candidates Charles Gilcrest and Linda Perry to endorse Reed, who has served on the Library-Historical Commission since February 2006. In its endorsement, SLCAN said that "Reed shares our progressive ideals" and described her as "passionate."

In District 4, with Paul Gonzales having pulled out and Lou Filipovich not taken seriously as a candidate, incumbent Starosciak is the only real option. SLCAN expressed concerns about Starosciak's judgment in recommending rather than endorsing her.

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April 15, 2008

City Council Candidates on What to do About the Marina

At the San Leandro Chamber of Commerce Candidate forum on April 10, 2008, the City Council candidates were asked what they would do about the marina. Here are their responses.

District 2:

District 4:

District 6:

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Democrats Endorse Linda Perry for San Leandro City Council District 2

A second try was what Linda Perry needed to secure the endorsement of the Democratic Party over the weekend. At an earlier meeting, the Democrats had been unable to decide on which of the three candidates to endorse. Perry, Charles Gilcrest, and Ursula Reed are all Democrats, but Perry has been on the Alameda County Democratic Party Central Committee, Assembly District 18, since 1980. The Central Committee is the group that decides on which candidates to endorse in local races.

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April 14, 2008

City Council Candidates Answer a Question at the Chamber Forum

Here are the San Leandro City Council candidates responding to a question at the San Leandro Chamber of Commerce Candidate forum on April 10, 2008. The question was: Name some specific issues on which the voters may base their decisions to vote for you versus your opponents.

District 2:

District 4:

District 6:

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April 11, 2008

Opening Statements of District 6 City Council Candidates at San Leandro Chamber Forum

District 6 San Leandro City Council candidates Estelle Clemons, Wafaa Aborashed, Mark Tichy, and Jim Prola were on hand for a forum at the San Leandro Chamber of Commerce's monthly luncheon on April 10, 2008. Hermy Almonte was not present at the forum.

These are the opening statements of the District 6 City Council candidates:

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Opening Statements of District 4 City Council Candidates at San Leandro Chamber Forum

District 4 San Leandro City Council candidates Joyce Starosciak and Lou Filipovich were on hand for a forum at the San Leandro Chamber of Commerce's monthly luncheon on April 10, 2008.

These are the opening statements of the District 4 City Council candidates:

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April 10, 2008

Opening Statements of District 2 Candidates at San Leandro Chamber Forum

Less than a week after the candidates for San Leandro City Council appeared at a forum sponsored by the San Leandro Community Action Network, nine of the candidates were on hand for a forum at the San Leandro Chamber of Commerce's monthly luncheon on April 10, 2008.

These are the opening statements of the District 2 City Council candidates:

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Sentinels Endorse Gilcrest, Starosciak, and Prola for 2008 City Council

The Sentinels have endorsed Joyce Starosciak for the San Leandro City Council District 4 seat, Charles Gilcrest for District 2, and Jim Prola for District 6. The endorsement of Gilcrest is no surprise since he has been a member of The Sentinels since 2001. More surprising is the endorsement of Prola, who has also been endorsed by the Alameda County Central Labor Council and has been quite active in unions. Philip Daly also received the group's endorsement for District 9 Alameda County Superior Court Judge. The endorsements come with a $1,000 contribution to each of the endorsed candidates.

The Sentinels are a local group of mostly business people that meet on a regular basis and contribute money to candidates that they decide to support. For more information, see Who are The Sentinels?

Only three of the candidates for the District 6 City Council race were interviewed at the group's meeting on April 9, 2008: Jim Prola, Hermy Almonte, and Estelle Clemons. When asked about her absence from the meeting, Wafaa Aborashed said that she had not been invited. Philip Daly, a candidate for Alameda County judge was also interviewed at the same meeting. District 2 City Council candidates Linda Perry, Ursula Reed, and Charles Gilcrest and District 4 City Council candidate Joyce Starosciak were interviewed at an earlier meeting in March 2008.

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April 6, 2008

Democrats Endorse Prola and Starosciak

The Democratic Party endorsed San Leandro City Council candidates Joyce Starosciak (District 4) and Jim Prola (District 6) at its meeting on April 2, 2008. According to the Alameda County Democratic Party web site, the endorsements are "an effort to encourage and support good local candidates." Although the City Council is non-partisan, former City Councilmembers such as Johan Klehs and Ellen Corbett have subsequently been elected to the California State Assembly and Senate.

As with the Alameda County Central Labor Council, there was no endorsement in the District 2 City Council race, where Linda Perry, Ursula Reed, and Charlie Gilcrest are competing. Perry is a member of the Alameda County Democratic Party Central Committee for the 18th Assembly District, which makes the endorsements under authority granted by the by the California Democratic Party. The Democrats will meet again and attempt to reach an agreement on an endorsement in the Distict 2 City Council race.

In 2004, the Democratic Party endorsed Surlene Grant in District 2, Joyce Starosciak in District 4, and Tony Santos in District 6.

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March 31, 2008

City Council Candidate Forum on Friday, April 4, 2008

On June 3, 2008, San Leandro will elect City Councilmembers for District 2, District 4, and District 6. The San Leandro Community Action Network (SLCAN) will hold a candidate forum on April 4, 2008, featuring all 10 candidates vying for the three City Council seats. The forum is being held with the support of the Hayward Democratic Club.

Questions from audience members for the candidates will be asked by a moderator. There will be note cards on which audience members can submit questions or they can be emailed in advance to elist@slcan.org.

Surlene Grant, the current District 2 City Councilmember is being termed out after serving two consecutive terms. Current District 4 City Councilmember Joyce Starosciak is running for re-election, as is District 6 City Councilmember Jim Prola, who was appointed to replace Tony Santos in February 2007.
All of the candidates, except for Wafaa Aborashed, have answered a list of 29 questions prepared by SLCAN and the answers are posted on the SLCAN web site:

District 2
Charles Gilcrest
Linda Perry
Ursula Reed

District 4
Lou Filipovich
Joyce Starosciak

District 6
Wafaa Aborashed
Hermy Almonte
Estelle Clemons
Jim Prola
Mark Tichy

The forum will be held in the multi-purpose room of McKinley Elementary School from 6:30 to 9:30pm on April 4, 2008. McKinley Elementary is located at 2150 E. 14th Street in San Leandro.

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March 27, 2008

Nardine Not the Only Appointee With Problematic Attendance

As detailed previously, Marcene Nardine was removed from the San Leandro Planning Commission on March 3, 2008. According to City Spokeswoman Jane McCrea in the Daily Review, Nardine was removed because she had missed five of the 12 Planning Commission meetings since she was appointed by Mayor Tony Santos in March 2007.

According to the section on Boards and Commissions in the City Council Handbook, commissioners are required to attend not less than 75% of all regular meetings. Nardine's attendance record was 58%.

In her defense, Nardine stated that she knew that other commissioners have missed meetings as well. But during the same time period, no other Planning Commissioner missed more than three meetings, which is equivalent to an attendance rate of 75%.

On the Board of Zoning Adjustments, Melody Marr, who represents District 2, has missed nine out of 21 meetings held since January 2007, or an attendance rate of 52%, well below the 75% attendance rate required of commissioners and board members. However, attendance records are reviewed annually by the City Council in June for the previous 12 months from June 1 to May 31, and during this time from 2006 to 2007, Marr's attendance rate was 81%. When asked about Marr's subsequent attendance rate, District 2 Councilmember Surlene Grant said that she did make a previous attempt to replace Marr, but the applicant for the position withdrew, so Grant reappointed Marr, and no one else has applied for the position.

Fellow BZA member Amanda Goldt, who represents District 6, missed three meetings in a row from March to May 2007. The City Council Handbook states, "Failure by a member to attend three consecutive regular meetings of a board or commission will be cause for Council declaring the member’s position vacant." However that wasn't done, likely in part to Councilmember Jim Prola having just been appointed to the City Council in February 2007. When asked about Goldt's attendance, Prola said that he wasn't familiar with the attendance policy at the time, but noted that Goldt has had a good attendance record since then.

Each Councilmember and the Mayor can appoint one person each to the Board of Zoning Adjustments and the Planning Commission. These commissioners and board members serve at the pleasure of the Councilmembers and Mayor and can be removed, in theory, at any time. Whether or not a commissioner or board member is removed depends on a number of factors, including whether the Councilmember or Mayor is vigilant and whether there are applicants that could replace the commissioner or board member.

Councilmembers frequently complain about the lack of applicants for these appointments, which is partly why some commissioners have served for more than 20 years. If you are interested in serving the City of San Leandro, descriptions of these boards and commissions and an application to be appointed to them are available here.

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March 25, 2008

City Council Incumbents Have Campaign Cash Lead for 2008 Election

The first of two semi-annual campaign finance disclosures for candidates running in the June 3, 2008, election for San Leandro City Council were due on March 24, 2008. District 6 incumbent Jim Prola was the top fundraiser with $7,849 and the top spender at $5,698.37 for the filing period, which covers from January 1, 2008, to March 17, 2008. Incumbents Prola and Joyce Starosciak had the largest campaign accounts with $12,214.25 and $10,876, respectively, at the end of the filing period.

Inexperience reveals itself in some of the campaign filings, with District 6 candidate Hermy Almonte failing to include his identification number (1305198) on any of his paperwork. Almonte and District 2 candidate Ursula Reed also listed the name, address, and employment information for people who contributed less than $100, despite no requirement to do so. Contributors to political campaigns frequently give less than $100 in order to avoid disclosure of their name and political preferences.

District 2

During the filing period, Charles Gilcrest spent $2,569, including expenditures of $1,200 for his ballot statement, $924 for an advertisement in the San Leandro Times, and $162 to AT&T for campaign phones. Gilcrest raised $7,274, including contributions of $1,000 from Eden Realty and $500 from Galvan & Associates. Gilcrest loaned his campaign $5,000 and James Christopher Gray, the Chief of Staff for Alameda County Supervisor Scott Haggerty, loaned Gilcrest's campaign $250. As of March 17, 2008, Gilcrest had $4,705 in his campaign account.

Gilcrest's Campaign Statement for January 1 to March 17, 2008.

Linda Perry spent $1,200 during the filing period for her ballot statement. Perry raised $1,350, including a loan of $1,200 from herself to her campaign and a contribution of $100 from San Leandro School Board Trustee Ray Davis. As of March 17, 2008, Perry had $150 in her campaign account.

Perry's Campaign Statement for January 1 to March 17, 2008.

Ursula Reed reported no expenditures during the filing period, despite the $1,200 required for her ballot statement. Candidates are permitted to use their personal funds to pay for a ballot statement. Reed raised a total of $5,230, including a loan of $3,000 from her fiance Terrell Santiago and contributions of $500 each from Rodney Reed and Vernell Reed, and $200 from David Lozada. Former San Leandro Unified School District Assistant Superintendent of Business Leon Glaster (now at Oakland Unified) and District 6 candidate Estelle Clemons also contributed to Reed's campaign. As of March 17, 2008, Reed had $5,230 in her campaign account.

Reed's Campaign Statement for January 1 to March 17, 2008.

District 4

Incumbent Joyce Starosciak spent $1,625 during the filing period, including $1,200 for her ballot statement, $200 to CITIPAC, a political action committee of the League of California Cities, $150 to UnityPAC for a fundraising event, $100 to the Lighthouse Community Center for a fundraising event, and a $100 civic donation to the Bancroft PTA. Starosciak raised a total of $300, including $250 from Eden Realty. As of March 17, 2008, Starosciak had $10,876 in her campaign account.

Starosciak's Campaign Statement for January 1 to March 17, 2008.

Starosciak's sole opponent, Lou Filipovich does not plan to spend or raise any money for his campaign. Filipovich is also running as the sole Republican for the State Assembly.

Paul Gonzales notified the San Leandro City Clerk on March 24, 2008, of his desire to withdraw from the race, but it's unclear whether he will be able to remove his name from the ballot.

District 6

Wafaa Aborashed didn't spend or raise any money during the filing period. Aborashed had $2,043.56 in her campaign account as of March 17, 2008.

Aborashed's Campaign Statement for January 1 to March 17, 2008.

Hermy Almonte spent $1,200 during the filing period for his ballot statement. Almonte raised a total of $1,455, including a loan of $1,300 from Paraluman Almonte and contributions from Annette Herce and Ireneo Sy Su. As of March 17, 2008, Almonte had $255 in his campaign account.

Almonte's Campaign Statement for January 1 to March 17, 2008.

Estelle Clemons spent $1,200 during the filing period for her ballot statement. Clemons raised a total of $4,750, including a loan of $4,000 from herself to her campaign and contributions of $500 from Jessica Bartholow and $250 from Gilda Gonzales. As of March 17, 2008, Clemons had $3,550 in her campaign account.

Clemons' Campaign Statement for January 1 to March 17, 2008.

Incumbent Jim Prola spent a total $5,698.37 during the filing period, including $1,750 to Alliance Campaign Strategies for campaign consulting, $1,644 to Golden Gate Litho for campaign literature, $1,200 for a ballot statement, $671.62 to Wedges for a campaign fundraiser, and $282.75 to In & Out Printing for campaign literature. Prola raised $7,849, including contributions of $1,000 each from AC Transit AFSCME Local 3916 and the Teamsters, $500 each from the Amalgamated Transit Union, Electrical Workers Local 595 PAC, and former San Leandro City Councilmember Laython "Judge" Landis, $350 from Local 342 PAC, and $250 each from Peter Hendley, East Bay Automotive Machinists Local 1546, Tom Silva of Eden Realty, John Manuel, and Harry Walters III. As of March 17, 2008, Prola had $12,214.25 in his campaign account.

Prola's Campaign Statement for January 1 to March 17, 2008.

Mark Tichy has requested a waiver of the estimated $1,200 cost for the ballot statement and he is not expected to raise or spend or any money for his campaign.

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March 24, 2008

Paul Gonzales Withdraws from Race for District 4 City Council Seat

Paul Gonzales, a candidate for the District 4 City Council seat, formally withdrew from the race on Monday, March 24, 2008. Gonzales expressed disappointment about withdrawing from the race, citing possible issues with the Hatch Act, which regulates the political activities of government employees. Gonzales is a Human Resources Staffing Director at the General Services Adminstration, a federal agency.

With Gonzales out, that leaves incumbent Joyce Starosciak to face perennial candidate Lou Filipovich in the June 3, 2008, election. In 2004, Starosciak prevailed against Filipovich and challenger Mike Mahoney, with Filipovich earning 12.3 percent of the vote.

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March 21, 2008

San Leandro City Council Candidate Web Sites for June 2008

Seven of the candidates for San Leandro City Council in 2008 have registered domain names for their campaign web sites. However, only Jim Prola, Joyce Starosciak, and Estelle Clemons have any content so far, so if you want more information about most of the candidates, you'll have to wait.

District 2:

District 4:

District 6:

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March 19, 2008

Ballot Statements for District 4 Candidates June 2008

San Leandro City Council candidates for District 4 Paul Gonzales and Joyce Starosciak submitted statements that will appear in printed material for the June 3, 2008, election. Lou Filipovich did not submit a candidate statement. San Leandro Bytes scanned in copies obtained from the San Leandro City Clerk. Any typographical errors in the statements are likely from optical character recognition used to convert the statements to text.

See below for the complete statements for each candidate.

Paul Gonzales

My education and qualifications are: I received my Army Commission in 1981 and served on Active Duty until 2005, retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel. I returned to San Leandro in 2000 and noticed many changes, some good, some bad. My neighbors are concerned about the declining education of our School Districts and the rising crime. Citizens want to keep out the influx of juvenile delinquents in our community. Let's insist that developing parts of San Leandro follow through with demolitions to eliminate urban blight and make a decision on dredging the Marina, then make it happen. Our senior citizens want and deserve a safe and friendly environment and our young families deserve great schools and recreational activities that keep them here in San Leandro. I was on the Board of Directors for the First San Leandro Charter School and am on the Board of Directors for A.C.T. for Mental Health, San Jose. I have a BA in Political Science and a Masters in Public Administration. I will get results, bring fiscal responsibility and common sense decision making to the City Council. I am married and have 3 grown children and 1 Grandson. I would appreciate your vote and support on Election Day. Thank You.

---------------------------

Joyce Starosciak

My education and qualifications are: Graduation from San Leandro High School at the top of my class. I hold a BS in engineering with Honors from Harvey Mudd College and a Master of Science degree in mechanical engineering from Georgia Tech. I've done my homework and am honored to serve you as the City of San Leandro District 4 Councilmember. In my time on the Council, the City has fully recovered from a $3M budget deficit, returning 8 police officer positions, Sunday Library hours, the Cherry Festival, and a fully funded reserve account.

In District 4, the City saw the opening of the Manor Branch Library and the San Leandro Family Aquatics Center at Washington Manor Park. Through my personal efforts, the Manor Branch Library received over $12,000 in private donations to fill the shelves with new books.

Over my term I have worked to improve communication in District 4 with an email news update, an annual Security Summit, and the revitalization of the Washington Manor Homeowners Association.

My vision for San Leandro includes a revitalized Marina Shoreline, improving public safety, attracting more business, and creating safe destinations for youth, seniors, residents and guests. Please cast your vote for Joyce Rutledge Starosciak, District 4 City Councilmember.

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Ballot Statements for District 2 Candidates June 2008

San Leandro City Council candidates for District 2 Charles Gilcrest, Linda Perry, and Ursula Reed all submitted statements that will appear in printed material for the June 3, 2008, election. San Leandro Bytes scanned in copies obtained from the San Leandro City Clerk. Any typographical errors in the statements are likely from errors in optical character recognition used to convert the statements to text.

See below for the complete statements for each candidate.

Charles Gilcrest

I am seeking the opportunity to work for you to help create a better future for San Leandro. I was born and raised here, and deeply care about our city. We need to fix our roads. Too often neighborhood streets are ignored, while pavements continue to deteriorate. Together we can create a safer community. More Neighborhood Watch, but also better and interactive crime updates, more community policing, enhanced real-time communication with neighboring forces, and comparable staffing ratios. Downtown BART parking should be increased, not decreased, as we build the Transit Oriented Development. We need to complete the Senior Center and Aquatics Center, and expand Transit to reduce traffic. We need to attract and support new and local business, create a stable and self-sustaining Shoreline and Marina, and Partner with the Schools, improving both Education and Recreational Opportunities. My service on the Halcyon-Foothill Neighborhood Association Board, San Leandro's Board of Zoning Adjustments and Redevelopment Advisory Committee, SLUSD Bond Oversight Committee, Chamber Board, Davis Street Volunteer, and formerly Human Services Commissioner prepared me to serve as your Councilmember, so I can help make our City a better home for us all. Please vote Charles Gilcrest for City Council District 2. Thank You.


Linda Perry

My education and qualifications are: involvement, experience, leadership and vision. I know the job. I was Councilmember and Vice-Mayor from 1988-1996, representing San Leandro on numerous local and regional committees. I have been involved in improving San Leandro for 39 years, appointed to the first San Leandro Youth Advisory Committee at age 16.

As a graduate of San Leandro High and California State University, Hayward, I value education. First elected in 1996, I currently serve on the San Leandro Unified School Board and Alameda County School Boards Association. I see first-hand the diverse needs of our young families and children not being addressed by the City.

As Halcyon-Foothill Neighborhood Association President, I am a vocal advocate for my neighborhood. I served on the South Area Corridor and Downtown Plan Committees. Upcoming District issues include Bayfair Center expansion; BART Transit-Oriented Development; Senior Center; San Leandro Hospital's future; 9th Grade Campus; 580 soundwalls. I will demand neighborhood input.

My priorities are economic development and jobs; working closely with schools; expanding public safety; affordable housing; neighborhood vitality; quality of life: childcare, available healthcare, senior needs, green space, recreation opportunities; transportation; fixing infrastructure; and government responsiveness. Visit lindaperry4council.com/.

Together we can make a better San Leandro. I ask for your support.


Ursula Reed

My education and qualifications are:

I will bring a fresh voice to the San Leandro City Council. I respectfully ask for your vote because I believe in the future of our city and I've worked hard to achieve the qualifications, knowledge and abilities to make San Leandro better.

As an educator and former school principal, I know how to work with people to accomplish mutual goals. I listen. I bring diverse points of view together to achieve consensus and solve problems. I know how to bring out the best in people.

I do not have a hidden or political agenda. I am running for the City Council because I want to make our city a better place to live for my young son, my family and our neighbors.

I plan to focus on helping our police department prevent and fight crime, keeping fees and taxes low, working for community-oriented economic development, providing increased services for youth and seniors, and helping improve the quality of life in our neighborhoods.

Your vote for me will add a fresh and new voice to our civic deliberations.

I pledge to serve with honesty, integrity and a commitment to quality public service.

I would be honored to have your support.

www.ReedforSanLeandro.com

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March 11, 2008

Financial Disclosure for 2008 City Council Candidates

At the end of the filing period on March 7, 2008, there were 11 candidates for three City Council seats: Three each in Districts 2 and 4, and five in District 6. Each of these candidates submitted a Statement of Economic Interests, which lists their personal economic interests. This form is required so that elected officials can disqualify themselves from making decisions that may affect their own economic interests.

Here are the Statement of Economic Interests for each of the 2008 City Council candidates:

The only item of note seems to be Tichy's failure to list his business, the Chicago Blues Cafe, as a business entity or trust on Schedule A-2, as Starosciak did for her business, Starotech.

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March 4, 2008

Labor Endorses Starosciak and Prola for San Leandro City Council

On March 4, 2008, the Alameda Labor Council announced that it endorses Joyce Starosciak and Jim Prola for San Leandro City Council in the June 3, 2008, election. Starosciak is the incumbent running in District 4 and Prola is the incumbent running in District 6. No endorsement was made for District 2, where Charles Gilcrest, Linda Perry and Ursula Reed are competing for the City Council seat held by Surlene Grant, who will be termed out this year.

Starosciak was the first to officially qualify as a candidate on February 28, 2008. As of March 4, 2008, District 6 candidate Hermy Almonte was the only other candidate to qualify as a candidate. The deadline for filing nomination papers is March 7, 2008.

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February 26, 2008

Tichy Brings District 6 City Council Race to Five

The field for the San Leandro District 6 City Council seat appears to have grown by one as perennial candidate Mark Tichy pulled papers for the seat on February 25, 2008.

Tichy was one of 12 applicants for the appointment to the District 6 City Council seat when Tony Santos was elected Mayor in November 2006. Despite Tichy's assertion at the February 5, 2007, City Council meeting that he was "here to claim this seat as is my right," he was not one of the six finalists interviewed by the City Council. Tichy ran for the seat unsuccessfully in 1996, 2000, and 2004. Tichy also lost his run for Mayor of San Leandro and a seat on the San Leandro School Board in 2002.

Other candidates who aspire to represent District 6 on the City Council include incumbent Jim Prola, Wafaa Aborashed, Estelle Clemons, and Hermy Almonte.

Prola was appointed to the District 6 City Council seat in February 2007 after Tony Santos cut short his term as Councilmember to become Mayor of San Leandro.

The filing period for candidates ends on March 7, 2008.

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February 22, 2008

District 4 Race Gets Two Challengers

On February 21, 2008, Paul Gonzales pulled papers to run for the District 4 City Council seat currently held by Joyce Starosciak. The following day, perennial candidate Lou Filipovich also pulled papers for the District 4 seat. Filipovich has been a candidate for this seat in every election since 1992 and also runs for Mayor, the San Lorenzo School, the Oro Loma Sanitary District, and even the California State Senate. In 2006, Filipovich edged out Laura Riffle to become the Republican nominee for the California State Senate, which he lost to former San Leandro Mayor Ellen Corbett.

Starociak was elected in 2005 after a run-off with Mike Mahoney and is running for re-election.

The filing period for candidates ends on March 7, 2008.

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February 12, 2008

2008 City Council Race Update

On the first day of the filing period, February 11, 2008, incumbent Jim Prola and challenger Estelle Clemons pulled papers for the District 6 City Council seat. In District 2, San Leandro School Board Trustee Linda Perry and Library-Historical Commissioner Ursula Reed pulled papers.

District 4 incumbent Joyce Starosciak, District 6 challengers Wafaa Aborashed and Hermy Almonte, and District 2 challenger Charles Gilcrest pulled papers on February 13, 2008.

Candidates must file their completed papers by March 7, 2008.

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February 5, 2008

District 6 Race Grows to Four Possible Candidates

Estelle Clemons took the first step towards running for the District 6 City Council seat currently held by Jim Prola by filing a Candidate Intention Statement today. The Candidate Intention Statement is needed before Clemons can begin fundraising or paying candidate-related expenses. A quick phone call confirmed that Clemons is throwing her hat in the ring.

Clemons manages the Community Action Agency with the City of Oakland and competed against Prola in early 2007 for the appointment to the District 6 seat vacated when Tony Santos was elected Mayor. In that process, Clemons was one of six candidates interviewed for the appointment and she was one of the final four candidates. All six candidates who were interviewed said that they would run for the District 6 City Council seat in a contested election. So far, only three of those have taken steps towards becoming candidates.

Clemons joins incumbent Jim Prola, Hermy Almonte, and Wafaa Aborashed as the list of potential candidates for the District 6 City Council seat grows. The filing period begins on February 11, 2008 and closes on March 7, 2008. The election will be held on June 3, 2008.

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February 1, 2008

Councilmember Starosciak Top Fundraiser in Second Half of 2007

The latest campaign finance disclosures were filed yesterday by candidates for the period from July 1 to December 31, 2007. Councilmember Joyce Starosciak was the top fundraiser with $14,405, followed by Councilmember Jim Prola with $10,100, and Mayor Tony Santos with $5,341. Starosciak is running for re-election to the District 2 City Council seat and Prola is running for the District 6 City Council seat to which he was appointed in February 2007. Santos is still paying off debt from his 2006 Mayoral campaign.

Prola had $10,063 in campaign funds as of December 31, 2007. Prola raised $10,100 and spent $36 during the reporting period. Significant contributions included $8,000 in loans to himself, $1,000 from the Northern California Carpenters Regional Council and $500 each from the International Union Painters and Allied Trades and the District Council of Iron Workers. Click here to see Prola's complete campaign finance disclosures for this period.

Wafaa Aborashed, a candidate for the District 6 City Council seat, had $2,043 in campaign funds at the end of 2007. Aborashed reported no contributions or expenses for the reporting period. Click here to see Aborashed's complete campaign finance disclosures for this period.

Starosciak had $12,201 in campaign funds as of December 31, 2007. Starosciak raised $14,405 and spent $3,027 during the reporting period. Significant contributions included $500 each from Laython "Judge" Landis, JB East Bay Development Corporation, Vasona Management, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 595, Galvan & Associates, Sprinkler Fitters Local 483, United Food & Commercial Workers Local 5, Tom Dlugosh, Deputy Sheriffs Association, the Teamster DRIVE Committee, and the California Real Estate Political Action Committee. Significant expenses included $1,532 to the Hilton Garden Inn for a fundraising event and $375 to Project Literacy for the Trivia Bee. Click here to see Starosciak's complete campaign finance disclosures for this period.

Santos reported $4,815 in campaign funds at the end of 2007. Santos raised $5,341 and spent $3,460 during the reporting period. Santos received contributions of $500 each from The Sentinels, Eden Realty, Gordon Galvan, Kent Myers, Bob Molinaro, and the Teamsters Campaign Committee. Expenditures included $2,100 for campaign consulting and $400 for a fundraising event to Charles Gilcrest, and $200 each to the Alameda County Labour Council for a candidate dinner and the United Democratic Election Committee for a dinner. Click here to see Santos' complete campaign finance disclosures for this period.

District 1 Councilmember Michael Gregory reported $1,613 in campaign funds as of December 31, 2007. Gregory reported no contributions and $50 in expenses for the reporting period. Click here to see Gregory's complete campaign finance disclosures for this period.

Bill Stephens, who is serving his last term as Councilmember for District 5, had $3,302 in his campaign account as of December 31, 2007, and received no contributions during the reporting period. Stephens spent $1,600 on "candidate" travel, $1,500 of which was to the San Leandro Chamber of Commerce for a visit to Yangchun, China. Click here to see Stephens' complete campaign finance disclosures for this period.

Surlene Grant, who will be termed out of her District 2 City Council seat this year, had $2,329 in campaign funds at the end of 2007. Grant reported no contributions and $41 in expenses for the reporting period. Click here to see Grant's complete campaign finance disclosures for this period.

Former Mayor Shelia Young had $11,174 in campaign funds as of December 31, 2007. Young reported no contributions and $715 in expenses during the reporting period. Expenses included contributions of $200 to Meals on Meals and $125 to the Chabot College Foundation and $140 to J&P Video Productions for photographic services. Click here to see Young's complete campaign finance disclosures for this period.

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January 27, 2008

Ursula Reed Enters the Race for the District 2 City Council Seat

On January 24, 2008, Ursula Reed submitted paperwork to the San Leandro City Clerk indicating her intention to run for the District 2 City Council seat currently held by Surlene Grant. Grant is being termed out after nearly 10 years in office.

Although the filing period doesn't open until February 11, 2008, the Candidate Intention Statement (FPPC Form 501) is needed before a candidate can begin fundraising.

Reed has been a member of the San Leandro Library-Historical Commission since February 2006 and works for the Oakland Unified School District as the Coordinator of the Truancy Attendance Program. Reed has also been a teacher and a principal at Markham Elementary in Hayward.

Other possible candidates include Board of Zoning Adjustments member Charles Gilcrest, who is already seeking endorsements, and San Leandro School Board Trustee, Linda Perry, who hasn't decided yet whether to enter the race.

Reed, Gilcrest, and Perry all attended a recent event for candidates, which seems to indicate there will be at least a three-way race for the District 2 City Council seat.

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January 20, 2008

Want to Run for City Council?

At its January 22, 2008, meeting, the San Leandro City Council will vote on whether to hold the next election for City Council districts 2, 4, and 6 on June 3, 2008.

Since the item is on the Consent Calendar, it is considered routine, and will likely be passed and the election will be held on June 3, 2008. If you're considering whether to run, this is what you need to know. First, take a look at these maps and see if you live in District 2, District 4, or District 6. Not knowing which district you reside in is a mistake made by one of the candidates in the 2006 election.

Second, if the election is held on June 3, 2008, the filing period begins on February 11, 2008, and ends on March 7, 2008. If an eligible incumbent fails to file nomination papers by the end of the filing period, the nomination period will be extended by five days until March 14, 2008. For District 2, there is no eligible incumbent, so the nomination period cannot be extended.

Third, any candidate who wants to run for the City Council must have been residing in the district for 30 days prior to filing their nomination papers. The candidate must also submit the signatures of 20 registered voters who reside in the district. Most candidates submit more than 20 signatures, because some are invalidated upon review by the City Clerk and Alameda County Registrar of Voters.

Each of the candidates will also be permitted an optional candidate statement, probably about 200 words long. In 2006, the filing fee was $900 for City Council candidates.

Until instant runoff voting (IRV) becomes a reality, City Council candidates face the possibility of run-off elections when no candidate receives greater than 50% of the votes. This occurred most recently in 2006, when Mayoral candidates Tony Santos and Orval "OB" Badger faced a runoff election.

Lastly, remember that although City Council candidates must reside in a specific district, the entire City of San Leandro votes for a candidate from each district.

Update: On January 22, 2008, the City Council decided to hold the election on June 3, 2008, and a runoff election, if needed, will be held on November 4, 2008.

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November 16, 2007

Jim Prola Files to Run For District 6 Council Seat

Jim ProlaDistrict 6 City Councilmember Jim Prola filed his Candidate Intention Statement on November 15, 2007, with the San Leandro City Clerk. Last month, Hermy Almonte filed his Candidate Intention Statement to run for District 6 City Council. Filing of the Candidate Intention Statement is required before raising or spending any money for an election.

Prola was appointed to the City Council in February 2007 after Tony Santos was elected as Mayor of San Leandro in November 2006. Prola was selected from a field of 12 applicants, half of whom were interviewed for the position. Prola's application can be seen here.

Election day is June 8, 2008, just seven and a half months away. Expect more of these filings in the upcoming months.

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October 17, 2007

Hermy Almonte Enters Race for District 6 Council Seat

Hermy Almonte has taken the first step to compete for the San Leandro City Council District 6 seat currently held by Jim Prola. Almonte recently filed a Candidate Intention Statement (Form 501) with the San Leandro City Clerk, which is required before raising or spending any money for the election.

Almonte previously submitted an application in January 2007 seeking the appointment to the District 6 seat. During that process, twelve people applied for the appointment and Almonte was not among the six candidates selected to be interviewed by the City Council.

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September 16, 2007

Elizabeth Edwards to visit San Leandro's George Mark Children's House

Elizabeth Edwards, the wife of Democratic Presidential candidate John Edwards, will be the featured speaker at the Fourth Annual Autumn Celebration at George Mark Children's House on September 29, 2007. Edwards lost her son when was 16 years old.

The celebration features a cocktail reception, tours of the House, a three-course meal from Napa’s Melissa Teaff, and a silent auction.

According to its website, George Mark Children's House is the "First children's hospice house in the US providing medical, emotional and practical support to families with children that have life-threatening and terminal illnesses."

The Fourth Annual Autumn Celebration will be held from 5pm to 9pm on September 29, 2007. George Mark Children's House is located at 2121 George Mark Lane in San Leandro.

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August 8, 2007

The Race for 2008 City Council Begins

In the latest campaign finance disclosures by local candidates, Councilmember Joyce Starosciak appears to be gearing up for a re-election campaign in 2008. Starosciak has raised more than $4,000, nearly a year before the June 2008 election. Former Mayor Shelia Young's expenditures seem to indicate she's going to run again in 2008 as well. Young was termed out of office in 2006 and ran unsuccessfully for Alameda County Supervisor. The current Councilmember for Young's district, Surlene Grant, will be termed out and cannot run for re-election in 2008. Councilmember Jim Prola, who was appointed in February 2007, is expected to seek re-election.

During the first six months of 2007, Starosciak spent $636, including expenditures of $120 to CITIPAC, a political action committee of the League of California Cities, and $100 to the California List, a political fundraising network to elect pro-choice women to California state government. Starosciak also raised $4,430, including contributions of $1,000 from the Northern California Carpenters Regional Council and $500 each from Madison Marquette (owner of Bayfair Center), Eden Realty, Quadric Group, and United Association Local Union 342. As of June 30, 2007, Starosciak had $4,617 in her campaign account.

Starosciak's Campaign Statement for January 1 to June 30, 2007.

Mayor Tony Santos spent $7,469 during the first six months of 2007, including expenditures of $6,500 to Charles Gilcrest and $270 to the Central Labor Council for its annual dinner. Santos also raised $8,856, including contributions of $1,000 from the Rental Housing Owners Association and $500 each from Tom Silva of Eden Realty, Applied Fusion, Eden Realty, Madison Marquette, Quadric Group, The Sentinels, and Sheet Metal Workers Local 104. As of June 30, 2007, Santos had $3,934 in his campaign account and more than $25,000 in outstanding campaign debt.

Santos' Campaign Statement for January 1 to June 30, 2007.

Councilmember Bill Stephens spent $795 during the first six months of 2007, including expenditures of $200 to the San Leandro Boys and Girls Club, $150 to the San Leandro Scholarship Foundation, and $150 to the California State University East Bay Education Foundation. Despite not raising any money so far this year, Stephens still has $4,977 in his campaign account. Stephens' current term expires in 2010 and he cannot run for re-election because of term limits.

Stephens' Campaign Statement for January 1 to June 30, 2007.

Councilmember Surlene Grant spent $175 on postage for a Business Association of South San Leandro mailing but didn't raise any money during the first six months of 2007. As of June 30, 2007, Grant had $2,370 in her campaign account. Grant's current term expires in 2008 and she cannot run for re-election because of term limits.

Grant's Campaign Statement for January 1 to June 30, 2007.

Councilmember Michael Gregory didn't spend or raise any money during the first six months of 2007. Gregory had $1,663 in his campaign account and $7,222 in outstanding campaign debt.

Gregory's Campaign Statement for January 1 to June 30, 2007.

Councilmember Diana Souza spent $388 during the first six months of 2007, including an expenditure of $104 to the Washington Manor Swim Team. Souza didn't raise any money and terminated her campaign account as of July 10, 2007, with almost $8,500 in outstanding campaign debt.

Souza's Campaign Statement for January 1 to June 30, 2007.

Julian Polvorosa, Souza's opponent in 2006, had no expenditures or contributions during the first six months of 2007 and as of June 30, 2007, had $17 in his campaign account. With this amount of money in his account, Polvorosa is likely to close his campaign account by the end of the year.

Polvorosa's Campaign Statement for January 1 to June 30, 2007.

Former Mayor Shelia Young spent $560 during the first six months of the year, including $300 to Patrick Tracy for photographic services and $120 to the San Leandro Chamber of Commerce for annual dues. As of June 30, 2007, Young had $11,889 in her campaign account.

Young's Campaign Statement for January 1 to June 30, 2007.

Financial disclosures for former City Councilmember Orval "OB" Badger weren't available but The Sentinels reported contributing $500 to his campaign during the first half of 2007.

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August 3, 2007

Who are The Sentinels?

The Sentinels logoThe oldest recipient committee (similar to a political action committee) in San Leandro is a group called The Sentinels (ID #782563) that most local residents know little or nothing about. The Sentinels are largely a group that exists to exert its influence on local politics by contributing financially to political campaigns.

While the name of the group may seem somewhat ominous, it was formed in October 1978 by former San Leandro Mayors Jack Maltester, John Faria (Faria Bros. ACE Hardware), and others as a way to be politically active and influential after Maltester was forced out of office by term limits.

It is just one of a number of similar groups that are focused on San Leandro politics. Other active groups include the Political Action Committee for Excellence (P.A.C.E.), San Leandro Teachers Advocating New Directions (S.T.A.N.D.), and Citizens for San Leandro Schools.

Until recently, The Sentinels were probably one of the most influential political groups in San Leandro. For example, after Gordon Galvan, a member of The Sentinels, resigned from the City Council in June 2001, the final choices to replace him were Orval 'OB' Badger and Dale Reed, both members of The Sentinels. OB Badger was appointed to replace Galvan by a vote of five to one. Although it remains one of the single largest sources of local campaign contributions, many of the candidates it endorsed in 2006 failed to win, including Shelia Young, OB Badger, Jill Buck, Julian Polvorosa, and Pete Lismer. Its $4,000 contribution to Julian Polvorosa's 2006 City Council campaign and $2,000 contribution to Pete Lismer's 2006 School Board campaign were the largest contributions to each campaign.

Pat Raposo of Broadmoor Electric appears to have been the first female member of The Sentinels in 1998, based on records reviewed at the Alameda County Registrar of Voters.

Those same records indicate that each member of The Sentinels contributes $125 per quarter or $500 per year to the group. All of the group's funds appear to come from member dues, although Pacific Union Ventures contributed $1,000 to the group on one occasion in 1998. Meetings are held at Vila Cereja restaurant (formerly Jake's Lion). Some of the group's meetings have included speakers such as Chronicle columnist Phil Matier, former Alameda County Sheriff Charles Plummer and Alameda County Supervisor Alice Lai-Bitker.

Despite attending meetings of The Sentinels and being listed as a member in a City of San Leandro press release, former San Leandro Chamber of Commerce CEO Heidi Finberg hasn't been listed on the group's financial disclosures since 2001. Current CEO Diana Gentry does not appear in any of the group's financial disclosures.

During each election cycle, The Sentinels invite each candidate for contested local offices to a meeting where the members can ask questions and the candidate has an opportunity to make their case for The Sentinels' endorsement and financial support. During the June 6, 2006, election, The Sentinels contributed $2,500 to Sheila Young for District 3 County Supervisor, $2,000 each to Tony Santos and Orval "OB" Badger for San Leandro Mayor, and $1,500 to Michael Gregory for District 1 City Council. During the November 2006 election, The Sentinels contributed $4,000 to Julian Polvorosa for District 3 City Council, $2,000 to Jill Buck for the California State Assembly, $2,000 to Pete Lismer for San Leandro School Board, and $1,000 to Measure B, the school facilities bond. After the election, The Sentinels contributed $500 to help OB Badger and Tony Santos to pay down their campaign debts. As of June 30, 2007, The Sentinels had more than $26,000 in their account.

The members of The Sentinels consist of mainly former elected officials and business people. Approximately 75% of the members are San Leandro residents. Former mayoral candidate OB Badger was a member of The Sentinels until he was appointed to the City Council in 2001. Badger attended meetings as an honorary member while he was on the City Council. The most recent financial disclosures for the group are from October 1 to December 31, 2006 and January 1 to June 30, 2007. Members of the group were determined from these most recent financial disclosures and are listed below:

  • Mike Betts, President of Betts Spring Co. and a member of the 2006 Board of the San Leandro Chamber of Commerce.
  • George Bischalaney, CEO of Eden Medical Center
  • Burt F. Boltuch, a lawyer who serves as VP of Legal Compliance for the San Leandro Chamber of Commerce.
  • Robert Brannan, General Manager of Marina Mediavision, President of the San Leandro Chamber of Commerce, and a San Leandro Recreation and Parks Commissioner since 2005. Marina Mediavision is owned by Anthony Batarse.
  • Charles Bray, a consultant
  • David D. Davini, a CPA and treasurer for The Sentinels
  • Henry P. Deadrich, owner of Deadrich Realty.
  • Tom Dlugosh, owner of Dlugosh Cabinet. Dlugosh has also served on the San Leandro Planning Commission since 2005.
  • John Faria, former San Leandro Mayor and former owner of Faria Bros. Ace Hardware. He ran unsuccessfully for the Board of the Oro Loma Sanitary District in 2006.
  • Joe Flynn served on the Human Services Commission from 2001 until early 2007 and served as campaign manager for OB Badger's 2006 mayoral campaign.
  • Gordon Galvan, President of San Leandro Transportation Management Organization and former San Leandro councilmember. Galvan has also worked as a lobbyist for Eastshore Energy a subsidiary of Tierra Energy, a Texas-based energy company that has been trying to site a power plant in Hayward.
  • Charles Gilcrest, campaign consultant. Gilcrest is on the San Leandro Board of Zoning Adjustments and served on the Human Services Commission from 2002 until 2006. He is also a director for the San Leandro Chamber of Commerce and was Tony Santos' campaign manager.
  • Dan Gray, co-owner of developer Gray & Reynolds
  • William Howard, owner of Berkeley Asphalt/Ready Mix
  • Robert Jones, owner of Robert Jones & Associates.
  • Laython Landis, former San Leandro Councilmember, Ora Loma Sanitary District board member
  • Don Lee, owner of San Leandro Electric Supply.
  • Jack Maltester, former San Leandro Mayor
  • Milton Murray, a self-employed engineer
  • Ron Musgrove, owner of Applied Fusion
  • Kent Myers, controller at D.W. Nicholson. Myers is a former San Leandro Councilmember. Myers has also served on the San Leandro Personnel Relations Board since 2001.
  • Gary Naman, owner of Gans-Trans Trucking and former Port Captain for the Half Moon Bay Yacht Club
  • Louie Pellegrini, Alameda County Industries
  • Pat Raposo, owner of Broadmoor Electric. Her husband, Gil Raposo, served on the Board of Zoning Adjustments from 2001 until early 2007.
  • Dale Reed, owner of Acme Scale. Reed has also served on the San Leandro Planning Commission since 1987. He is part of the Executive Board of the San Leandro Chamber of Commerce. His wife has served on the Library-Historical Commission since 1986.
  • Jon Reynolds, co-owner of Reynolds & Brown
  • Robert Smith, a consultant
  • Dan Walters, Copper Harbor and Past President of the San Leandro Chamber of Commerce.

Former members, based on the group's filings dating back to 1997, include:

  • Jeff Abramson, a project manager with Pacific Union Ventures

  • Herman Alexander, Santos Linguisa

  • Orval Badger, former member of the San Leandro City Council

  • Joseph Bellini

  • William Biggs

  • Leland Bruner, owner of Bruner & Nash

  • John Chovanes, former owner of Chovanes Ford

  • Gerald Cockrill, owner of Cockrill & Low

  • Ed Cryer, Manager at Peterson Tractor

  • Timothy Dam, President of Saags Products

  • Bob DeBorba, Cooper & Cook

  • Frank Denevi, Denevi Cameras

  • Oliver DeSilva

  • Bill Dobert, Treasurer of San Leandro Disposal

  • Heidi Finberg, San Leandro Planning Commissioner and former CEO of San Leandro Chamber of Commerce. Finberg pulled papers in 2002 to run for City Council against Bill Stephens and in 2006 to run for the School Board against Pauline Cutter, but in both races did not complete the paperwork to become a candidate.

  • Richard Gorkosky, Merritt Tire & Brake

  • Donald Kane of Mark Container Corp.

  • Richard Karn, Bissell & Karn

  • J. Dudley Knapp

  • Kati Knox, Owner/CEO Senior Assisted Living and Transportation and KMJ Associates

  • Lawrence E. Martin, General Manager of Martin Land Co.

  • Ben Moal of Ben Moal Investors

  • Rene Moal

  • Dale Munson, Manager at Peterson Tractor

  • Ken Papierniak, Bridgeport Associates

  • William Peluso, President of Pel-Mar, Inc.

  • Meryl Pethan, Realtor

  • Albert P. Russello, Pacific Electric Supply

  • George Samson, Samson Construction

  • Cliff Sherwood

  • Joseph Smith

  • James Strauch

  • Karen Thompson, Project Manager for Pacific Union Ventures

  • Terry Tinsley, self-employed with Howe Insurance

  • Raymond Ward, Oakland Coliseum

  • Gerald Wen, a manager for San Leandro Disposal

  • Jim Wilburn, Sr., Orlando Homes, Inc.

  • Jim Wilburn, Jr., Orlando Homes, Inc.

  • Gil Zaballos, a general contractor and developer

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July 30, 2007

Assemblymember Hayashi Brings District Office to San Leandro July 31

Assemblymember Mary HayashiAssemblymember Mary Hayashi will bring her "mobile district office" to the Marina Community Center from 12 to 1 pm on Tuesday, July 31, 2007.

According to the email from Hayashi, "Assembly staff will be available to answer questions and address any concerns the community may have regarding state agencies. Seniors will receive complimentary copies of the 2007-2008 Senior Community Resource Guide. The guide provides listings of federal, state, and local community and non-profit services available to seniors. The guide also includes a section on senior scams and tips to avoid becoming a victim of fraud and theft. Other informational literature will be available on topics such as stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure, identity theft prevention, and earthquake preparedness."

For more confirmation contact Assemblymember Hayashi's office at (510) 583-8818 or go to http://www.assembly.ca.gov/hayashi/.

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June 19, 2007

Rep. Pete Stark on List of House Members With Family on Payroll

According to a report released on June 18, 2007, by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), Congressman Pete Stark paid his wife Deborah $176,800 during the last three campaigns.

From the report:

"On his 2002-2005 personal financial disclosure statements, Rep. Stark reported that his wife received a salary from the Pete Stark Re-Election Committee. Deborah Stark is listed as the campaign committee’s treasurer.

In a San Francisco Chronicle article, Stark said he saved money by having his wife as the only paid campaign staffer, but also said that his wife has now quit to spend more time with their children. Stark was quoted as saying, "Certainly, the attendant publicity was unpleasant -- that was part of it..."

Other Bay Area lawmakers also paid family members, including Tom Lantos ($56,000 to two grandchildren), and Zoe Lofgren ($350,000 to her husband's law firm).

The report lists 64 Congressional representatives (26 Democrats and 38 Republicans) that paid family members through their campaign committees or political action committees.

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April 16, 2007

Pete Stark Town Hall Meetings in April and May 2007

Pete Stark, the Member of Congress for San Leandro, will be having a few town hall meetings in the upcoming months. The dates for San Lorenzo/San Leandro are:

SAN LORENZO
Sat. April 21st
10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
San Lorenzo
Adult School Auditorium
820 Bockman Road

SAN LEANDRO
Sun. May 12th
10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
San Leandro Library
Dave Karp Senior Facility
300 Estudillo Avenue

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April 2, 2007

Stephens' Nominations for City Boards and Commissions

District 5 Councilmember Bill Stephens put forward his nominations for city boards and commissions at the April 2, 2007, City Council meeting. These appointed positions allow Councilmembers to extend their influence and repay campaign donors and supporters. Stephens was unopposed for re-election in November 2006 and he is making few changes to his appointees.

Neal Pearson was re-nominated to serve as the District 5 Member of the Board of Zoning Adjustments (BZA). Pearson has served on the BZA since May 2004. Pearson has his own dental practice in San Leandro.

Sabrina Almazan was re-nominated as the District 5 Member of the Human Services Commission. Almazan has served since December 2005, is the owner of Aloha Pet Services, and serves as an Ambassador for the San Leandro Chamber of Commerce.

Denise Bownds Kaplan was re-nominated as the District 5 Member of the Library-Historical Commission. Kaplan has served on the Commission since May 1995 and is also president of the Political Action Committee for Excellence (P.A.C.E.). Kaplan also pens a column for the San Leandro Times.

Heidi B. Finberg was nominated to replace James R. Wohltmann as the District 5 Member of the Planning Commission. Wohltmann had served on the Commission since April 2005. Finberg is the former CEO of the San Leandro Chamber of Commerce and a member of P.A.C.E. and the Sentinels. Finberg was recently hired as the Assistant Director of the Chabot College Foundation.

Peggy Combs was nominated to replace Finberg as the District 5 Member of the Recreation and Parks Commission. Finberg had served on the Commission since December 2005 and is moving to the Planning Commission. Combs is the Director of Development & Operations for Building Futures with Women and Children and is also a member of the San Leandro Community Action Network.

Elinor “Pat” Free was renominated as the District 5 Member of the Senior Commission. Free has served on the Commission since February 2002.

These nominations were unanimously approved by the City Council at its April 2, 2007, meeting and the appointments will be on the April 16, 2007, City Council agenda.

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March 5, 2007

Souza's Nominations for City Boards and Commissions

District 3 Councilmember Diana Souza put forward her nominations for city boards and commissions at the March 5, 2007, City Council meeting. These appointed positions allow a Councilmember to extend their influence and repay campaign donors and supporters.

Darryl Shields was nominated to replace Alice Chin as the District 3 Member of the Board of Zoning Adjustments. Chin has served since March 2003 and previously served on the Planning Commission. Shields served on the Personnel Relations Board since April 2003 and was a member of the Board of Zoning Adjustments prior to that.

Debra Vandiver was nominated to replace Dennis Chin as the District 3 Member of the Human Services Commission. Chin has served since September 2005 and previously served on the San Leandro School Board. Dennis Chin is Alice Chin's brother. Vandiver is the Marketing & Events Director for the San Leandro Chamber of Commerce.

Renee Souza was nominated to replace Caryl Ann Symons as the District 3 Member of the Library-Historical Commission. Symons has served on the Commission since March 1993 and was previously on the Human Services Commission. Symons also served as the Treasurer for Julian Polvorosa, whom Diana Souza defeated in the November 2006 election. Souza is not related to Councilmember Diana Souza.

Anna Brannan was nominated and Shirley McManus was renominated as At-Large Members of the Personnel Relations Board. Brannan is an attorney and a member of the Citizen Advisory Committee for the Downtown Transit-Oriented Development Strategy. Brannan is married to Robert Brannan, President of the San Leandro Chamber of Commerce and a member of the Recreation and Parks Commission. McManus has served on the Personnel Relations Board since November 1998.

Denise Abero was nominated to replace William Perras as the District 3 Member of the Planning Commission. Perras had served on the Commission since March 2003. Abero has been active in Toastmasters and served as a District Governor.

Kimberly Wilson was nominated as the District 3 Member of the Recreation and Parks Commission. Wilson previously served on the San Leandro School Board and was removed from her seat in November 2004 because she did not live in the district that she represented.

Robert Kvam was renominated as the District 3 Member of the Senior Commission. Kvam has served on the Commission since February 2002.

These nominations were unanimously approved by the City Council and the appointments will be on the March 19, 2007, City Council agenda.

Posted by mike at 9:45 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 22, 2007

Local money and politics - the Political Action Committee for Excellence (PACE)

Money fuels politics at the local level as much or more as it does at the state and national level. A City Council race can cost next to nothing for those who run unopposed (as Bill Stephens did in the most recent election) or almost $80,000 (the amount spent by Joyce Starosciak to win her seat on the City Council in 2004). The most recent mayoral campaign between Tony Santos and OB Badger saw Badger spend nearly $100,000 while Santos, who won the election, spent nearly $60,000.

In San Leandro, there are no limits on how much a person or organization can contribute to a campaign. In the 2006 mayoral election, OB Badger received two contributions of $5,000 from two individuals. Santos received $6,500 from one contributor. This is one of a series of articles about groups that fund campaigns in San Leandro.

While there are numerous political action committees at the state and national level, there are just a few similar groups at the local level.

One of these groups is the Political Action Committee for Excellence (P.A.C.E.). PACE's first incarnation officially ended in December 1990 (ID #841585). It is known as a recipient committee, which means that it makes financial contributions to political candidates (and their recipient committees) and is regulated by the California Fair Practices Political Commission.

PACE (ID #982793) was restarted in 1998 or 1999 by Faith Frazier, who served on the San Leandro City Council from 1974 to 1982. PACE is unique in that its bylaws mandate that only females may be members and it only contributes to females candidates for local office. The bylaws, however, do permit the group to endorse male candidates. The purpose of the group is to get more women elected and involved in civic activities.

Members of PACE pay dues of $15 per month ($180 per year), which is used for contributions to political candidates.

Recent contributions by PACE include $500 to Joyce Starosciak for her City Council Runoff in January 2005, $1,000 to Esther Holcomb for County Board of Education in May 2006, $750 to Ellen Corbett for State Senate in May 2006, $1,000 to Shelia Young for County Supervisor in May 2006, $750 to Mary Hayashi for State Assembly in May 2006, and $750 to Sandra K. Bean for Superior Court Judge in May 2006. Later contributions of $500 to Isabel Polvorosa for San Lorenzo School Board, $200 to Alexandra Matteuci for Eden Township Healthcare District Director, and another $1,000 to Sandra K. Bean were made in September 2006.

Members of PACE include many local politicians, officials, and well-known local residents:

  • Shelia Young, former San Leandro Mayor
  • Surlene Grant, San Leandro City Councilmember
  • Joyce Starosciak, San Leandro City Councilmember
  • Glenda Nardine, former San Leandro City Councilmember
  • Isobel Dvorsky, Chabot-Las Positas Community College District Trustee
  • Virginia Boepple, former and future member of San Leandro Human Services Commission and President of Bonaire Civic League
  • Denise Bownds Kaplan, San Leandro Library Historical Commissioner
  • Faith Frazier, Former City Councilmember
  • Janet Plankenhorn, Former School Board Trustee
  • Esther Collier, San Leandro Planning Commissioner and former San Leandro School Board Trustee
  • Susan Kleebauer, San Leandro Planning Commissioner
  • Pat Raposo, owner of Broadmoor Electric
  • Rose Johnson, Executive Director of the Davis Street Family Resource Center
  • Sheryl Algee, a Division Chief at the U.S. Department of Labor
  • Catharine Ralph, a field work consultant and lecturer at UC Berkeley
  • Jacquelyn Diaz, Asst. to City Manager, City of Pleasanton
  • Katherine Frates, Director of Clinical Services at San Leandro Surgery Center
  • Harriet Engberg, retired
  • Heidi Finberg, former CEO of the San Leandro Chamber of Commerce and Recreation and Parks Commissioner
  • Deborah Cox, President of Estudillo Estates Homeowner Assocation, future Human Services Commissioner, and Co-Chair of Citizens for San Leandro Schools

Heidi Finberg and Pat Raposo are also members of The Sentinels, another local group that gives money to local candidates.

As of December 31, 2006, PACE had more than $3,000 on hand after spending $6,610 in 2006.

PACE Financial Disclosure Statement for January 1 to June 30, 2006
PACE Financial Disclosure Statement for July 1 to December 31, 2006

Posted by mike at 10:07 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 20, 2007

City Council Begins Process of Appointing New Commission Members

Commission appointments are one way that the City Councilmembers can extend their influence and repay campaign donors and supporters. Newly elected Mayor Tony Santos and District 1 Councilmember Michael Gregory are the first to make their appointments, and District 3 Councilmember Diana Souza and newly appointed District 6 Councilmember Jim Prola can be expected to make their appointments in the next few weeks.

With the exception of the Personnel Relations Board and Rent Review Board, each Councilmember can submit the name of the person that they want to appoint to the City Clerk. The City Clerk circulates the name to the City Council and if there are no objections, that person's nomination goes on the City Council agenda for a vote. This is done to avoid a situation in which the City Council might vote against a person's nomination and cause embarrassment for that person. After the City Council approves a nomination, the appointment is placed on a subsequent agenda for City Council approval. Once a nomination makes it on to the City Council agenda, it will likely be approved.

Commission and board members often serve far longer than those who appointed them. Alice Sarafian has served on the Human Services Commission since 1984, Library-Historical Commissioner Donna Reed and BZA member Frank Sidari have served since 1986, and Planning Commissioner Dale Reed has served since 1987. Term limits were briefly implemented in the 1970s when term limits were also enacted for the Mayor and Councilmembers but were subsequently eliminated.

The Board of Zoning Adjustments and the Planning Commission are the most powerful of the boards and commissions and these are generally seen as "plum" appointments. We have included relevant campaign contributions when available.

Board of Zoning Adjustments:

Philip Daly was nominated to replace Gil Raposo as District 1 member. Raposo has served since Oct. 15, 2001, and is the husband of Pat Raposo, owner of Broadmoor Electric. Daly works in the Alameda County District Attorney's office and ran Johan Klehs' first campaign in the 1970s.

Charles Gilcrest was nominated to replace Cynthia Eliason as the At Large Member. Eliason has served since May 1, 1995. Gilcrest served as campaign manager for Tony Santos and served on the Human Services Commission from 2002 to 2006.

Planning Commission:

Dale Reed was renominated as the District 1 Member. Reed has served since May 18, 1987, and is President of The Sentinels, which contributed $2,000 to Santos' campaign and $1,500 to Gregory's campaign.

Marcene Nardine was nominated to replace Susan Kleebauer as At Large Member. Kleebauer has served since March 17, 2003, and previously served on the Library-Historical Commission. Nardine ran for Mayor and lost in the June 2006 election. After the loss, she endorsed Santos. Nardine also contributed $100 to Santos' campaign.

Human Services Commission:

Alice Sarafian's nomination to the Human Services Commission was approved on February 5, 2007, but as one of the At Large positions. Sarafian has served since April 30, 1984, as the District 1 member.

Virginia Boepple is set to replace Joseph Flynn as At Large Member. Flynn had served since November 19, 2001. Boepple is president of the Bonaire Civic League and previously served on the Human Services Commission.

Deborah Cox has been nominated to replace Alice Sarafian as the District 1 member. Cox was co-chair of the Measure A and Measure B committees and is President of the Estudillo Estates Homeowner's Association.

Library-Historical Commission:

Donna Reed has been renominated as District 1 Member. Reed has served since May 5, 1986, and is the wife of Dale Reed (on the Planning Commission).

Frederick A. Reicker's nomination to be re-appointed as the At Large member of the Library-Historical Commission was approved on February 5, 2007. Reicker has served since March 17, 2003.

Personnel Relations Board:

The nominations of William F. Jardin, Michael Munoz and Kent W. Myers were approved on February 5, 2007. Jardin has served since April 17, 2006, Munoz has served since March 1, 1993, and Myers has served since February 20, 2001. Myers contributed $950 to Tony Santos' campaign.

Recreation and Parks Commission:

Ed Shapiro was renominated as the District 1 Member. Shapiro has served since June 3, 1996.

Benny Lee was nominated to replace Elmer Costa as the At Large Member. Costa has served since October 28, 1985.

Senior Commission:

The nominations of George Tucker and Keith Peterson as At Large Members to the Senior Commission were approved on February 5, 2007.

Sandi Forese was renominated as the District 1 Member. Forese has served since March 17, 2003. Forese is the Vice Presient of the Bay-O-Vista Improvement Association.

Barbara Hamrick was renominated as an At Large Member. Hamrick has served since February 19, 2002, and founded Nightingale Nursing in 1987.

Posted by mike at 3:57 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 16, 2007

Former San Leandro Mayor Ellen Corbett Takes Oath of Office Locally

Former San Leandro Mayor Ellen Corbett was ceremonially sworn into her new position as California State Senator Thursday night February 15, 2007, by friend and California Secretary of State Debra Bowen. The room at the San Leandro Library was packed with family, friends, and supporters, including Alameda County Supervisors Alice Lai-Bitker and Gail Steele, former California State Assemblymember Johan Klehs, and most of the San Leandro City Council and San Leandro School Board. Members of the Hayward City Council, Newark City Council and San Lorenzo School Board were also present.

Former San Leandro Police Chief Bob Maginnis served as host while California State Treasurer and former San Leandro School Board member Bill Lockyer and Fremont City Councilmember Anu Natarajan were among the speakers honoring and congratulating Corbett on her election and appointment as chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Posted by mike at 9:14 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 9, 2007

Pete Stark wants your opinions

Congressman Pete Stark has posted a survey on his website to ask for your opinions of what his positions should be on some of the most important issues that our nation is facing. You can find the survey at:

http://www.house.gov/stark/survey/

Posted by marga at 8:17 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

February 7, 2007

Alameda County Democratic Party Endorses Jim Prola

In a meeting held on Wednesday, February 7, 2007, the Alameda County Democratic Party endorsed Jim Prola for the District 6 City Council seat vacated by Tony Santos when he was elected Mayor in November 2006.

The unanimous Alameda County Democratic Party endorsement noted that Prola was a "community activist, senior advocate, labor leader, and environmentalist...." Prior to the vote, Chair Robin Torello noted that two of the candidates were not Democrats and could not be endorsed.

Posted by mike at 10:23 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Voting Records of the District 6 City Council Candidates

A review of voting records for the six elections preceding the November 2006 election show that four of the six candidates for the District 6 City Council seat have voted in all of those elections. The results of the review are shown in the table below:

6/20064/200611/20052/200511/20043/2004
AlonzoXXXXXX
ClemonsXXXX
CollierXXXXXX
DavisXXXXXX
FewlessXX
ProlaXXXXXX

Posted by mike at 10:08 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 2, 2007

Final 2006 Campaign Disclosures for San Leandro Mayor and City Council Races

The final campaign finance disclosures have been filed and Mayoral candidates Tony Santos and OB Badger together spent more than $176,000 during their 2006 campaign. The campaign finance disclosures cover the period from October 22 to December 31, 2006.

Badger's campaign spent $1,740 during the reporting period, bringing his total expenditures for the year to $97,240. Expenditures included $5,142 to Handled With Care, $1,620 to Suzanne Pershing, and $4,526 to Linda Kitlitz & Associates for campaign literature and mailings. Sizable campaign contributions included forgiveness of a $5,000 loan from Jeanne Souchak, $2,004 in loan forgiveness from Joseph Flynn, $500 from former San Leandro Mayor Jack Maltester, $500 from Charles Bray, and $500 from Creekside Associates.

Click here for a copy of Badger's disclosure form.

Santos' campaign spent $21,131 during the reporting period, bringing his total expenditures for the year to $79,157. Expenditures included $7,000 to Charles Gilcrest for campaign consulting, $1,486 to Handled With Care for postage, $960 for an ad in the San Leandro Times, $735 for the Voter Information Guide slate mailers, $650 to the Eden Area United Democratic Campaign for a slate mailer, and $600 to Political Calling for "robocalls." Sizable campaign contributions included $1,000 from Laborers Local 304, $500 from the DRIVE Committee (Teamsters).

Click here for a copy of Santos' disclosure form.

PG&E and Pete Stark's Reelection Committee hedged their bets and gave $200 to both Santos and Badger.

In the race for the District 3 City Council seat, Julian Polvorosa's campaign spent $9,796 during the reporting period and $36,255 for the year. Expenses included $5,000 to Shawn Wilson for campaign consulting, $1,757 to Autumn Press for campaign literature, and $1,486 to Handled With Care for campaign literature and mailings. Sizable campaign contributions included $500 from Firefighters Local 55, $500 from Ellen Corbett, and $250 from Madison Marquette.

Click here for a copy of Polvorosa's disclosure form.

Newly-elected District 3 Councilmember Diana Souza spent $3,639 during the reporting period and $17,188 for the year. Expenditures included $1,421 to Handled With Care for campaign literature and mailings and $700 to Charles Gilcrest for campaign consulting. Sizable campaign contributions included $500 from Ronald Ivaldi and $500 from the DRIVE Committee (Teamsters).

Click here for a copy of Souza's disclosure form.

Michael Gregory's opponent moved out of District 1 just before the election, handing Gregory an easy victory for the District 1 City Council seat. Gregory's campaign spent a total of $2,200 during the reporting period and a total of $8,607 for the year, including $2,000 to Charles Gilcrest for campaign consulting and a $200 contribution to Tony Santos' mayoral campaign. The only contribution listed in the most recent reporting period was $1,500 from The Sentinels.

Click here for a copy of Gregory's disclosure form.

Although he ran unopposed, District 5 Councilmember Bill Stephens spent $2,264 during the reporting period and $7,326 for the year, including $741 to A.G. Ferrari Foods for office expenses and $291 to Charles Gilcrest for office expenses.

Click here for a copy of Stephens' disclosure form.

Other candidates with campaign accounts still open include Larry Norry, who has $1815 in his account, Councilmember Joyce Starosciak with $823, and former Mayor Shelia Young with $12,449.

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January 30, 2007

More on the District 6 City Council Applicants

Twelve people have applied for the District 6 City Council seat vacated by current San Leandro Mayor Tony Santos. On February 5, 2007, the six members of the San Leandro City Council will choose which candidates will get one step closer to an appointment. Since the public won't get much of a chance to learn about most of the candidates prior to that meeting, here are the completed applications:

Posted by mike at 8:46 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 27, 2007

The Applications are in for the Vacant City Council Seat

On Friday, January 26, 2007, the deadline passed for the submission of applications to fill the District 6 City Council seat vacated when Tony Santos was elected San Leandro Mayor in the November 2006 election.

Twelve residents of District 6 have completed applications for the vacant seat. They are:

  • Wafaa Aborashed
  • Hermy Almonte
  • Adan Alonzo
  • Estelle Clemons
  • Esther Collier
  • Ray Davis
  • Carmen Fewless
  • Luster Knight
  • Jean Morris
  • Bo Panoringan
  • Jim Prola
  • Mark Tichy

Esther Collier formerly served as a trustee on the San Leandro School Board and Ray Davis currently serves on the San Leandro School Board. Carmen Fewless has served on the Human Services Commission since June 2005, Luster Knight has served on the Recreation and Parks Commission since 1998, and Collier has served on the Planning Commission since 2001.

Mark Tichy and Wafaa Aborashed both campaigned for the City Council seat in 2004 and Tichy also lost out in 2000.

Jim Prola has served on the Alameda County Central Labor Council Executive Board and has been a labor activist.

At this time, little is known about the other applicants.

The current City Council members will meet on February 5, 2007, to narrow down the list of candidates prior to interviews on February 13, 2007. The new Councilmember for District 6 will be appointed at the February 20, 2007, meeting of the City Council.

Posted by mike at 1:13 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

January 25, 2007

Corbett Assigned to Senate Ethics Committee

State Senator Ellen Corbett was assigned to the recently revived Senate Ethics Committee. Corbett is the Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee and only the second freshman senator to chair the Senate Judiciary Committee (the first was John Burton.) Corbett was also appointed to the Senate Appropriations Committee and the Senate Transportation & Housing Committee.

According to Capitol Weekly, the members of the Ethics Committee "enjoy reputations as the goody-goodies of the Senate." The other members are Chair Alan Lowenthal, D-Long Beach, Vice-Chair Dick Ackerman, R-Irvine, and Tom McClintock, R-Thousand Oaks.

Ellen Corbett was elected to the San Leandro City Council in 1990, was elected Mayor of San Leandro in 1994, and went on to serve in the California State Assembly from 1998 until she was termed out in 2004.

Posted by mike at 1:51 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 24, 2007

Pete Stark's response to the State of the Union

WASHINGTON – Representative Pete Stark (D-CA), Chairman of the Ways and Means Health Subcommittee, issued the following statement in response to President Bush’s State of the Union:

“Tonight, President Bush missed a historic opportunity,” said Stark. “Rather than accept the will of the American people and announce the phased withdrawal of American troops from Iraq, President Bush again pledged to escalate the war. But endangering the lives of 20,000 more soldiers won’t make us more secure. Instead, the ‘surge’ will make an already terrible situation worse, and cost America more lives and more money.”

“Much like his plan for Iraq, the President’s domestic policy proposals are based on incorrect assumptions and dangerous logic.” Stark continued. “There is no crisis in either Social Security or Medicare that a Congress dedicated to preserving these vital entitlements couldn’t easily solve. Our health care system is broken, but not because we provide too much health care to our people. Our system is broken because we provide too little.”

“Bush’s new tax proposal would shift health care costs to working families,” said Stark. “It would eliminate employer-provided coverage, through which 160 million Americans are covered today, and force people into an individual insurance market that regularly denies coverage because of family history, existing illnesses, or genetic makeup. And like the trillion-dollar tax breaks that turned Clinton’s budget surpluses into Bush’s budget deficits, it would benefit the wealthiest among us significantly more than low- and middle-income Americans.”

“Every individual should have quality health care,” continued Stark. “States that attempt to cover the uninsured should receive financial incentives to do so, but not at the expense of existing programs that provide coverage to poor children and senior citizens.”

“Not all of the President’s suggestions are without merit,” said Stark. “But those that have value may not have teeth. Increasing fuel economy standards and the use of renewable and alternative fuels, for example, would protect our environment for future generations. A guest worker program would similarly improve our immigration policy. But this President has time and time again spoken about energy independence and comprehensive immigration reform. I’ll believe his commitment when I see him persuading Republican Members of Congress to go along.”

“For the most part, President Bush delivered tonight’s State of the Union in a state of denial. I’m glad it’s his second-to-last,” Stark concluded.

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January 9, 2007

Lai-Bitker Elected Vice-President of Board of Supervisors

County Supervisor Alice Lai-Bitker was unanimously elected as Vice President of the Alameda County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, January 9, 2007. Scott Haggerty was unanimously elected President.

Lai-Bitker was first elected in 2002 and was re-elected in June 2006. She represents San Leandro, Alameda, San Lorenzo, Ashland, Hillcrest Knolls and the Fruitvale, San Antonio, and Chinatown portions of Oakland.

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November 8, 2006

Measure B Passes with 68% of the Vote; Cutter and Katz Elected to School Board

With all precincts reporting, Measure B, the $109 million school facilities bond passed with 8601 votes or 67.66% of the vote. Updated results as of November 20 show that Measure B passed with 11,389 votes or 68.65% of the vote. The final vote count on November 30, 2006, showed that Measure B passed with 11,398 votes or 68.66% of the vote.

Click here for Daily Review coverage or here for official Alameda County Registrar of Voters results.</