Jeff BellePatrick McCarram

Latest election results leave all races affecting Antioch, the same

Posted in: News, Politics & Elections | Comments (0)

Following are the election results from the Contra Costa County Elections Office, as of 
5:00 p.m.on Friday, November 21, 2014.

The next and final update is expected on November 25.

There were 253,847 ballots cast out of 527,521 registered voters in the county for a
48.12% voter turnout.

For complete election results in the county, click here.

Antioch City Council
LORI OGORCHOCK 6,280  23.40%
TONY G TISCARENO (I) 5,933 22.11%
DIANE GIBSON-GRAY 5,462  20.35%
LAMAR THORPE 4,687  17.47%
ANTHONY SEGOVIA 1,978  7.37%
KARL DIETZEL 872  3.25%
JEFFREY HALL-COTTRELL 804  3.00%
STEVEN BADO 671  2.50%
WRITE-IN 148 0.55%
Total 26,835

Antioch School Board
WALTER RUEHLIG 7,937  29.98%
DEBRA VINSON 7,524  28.42%
JOY MOTTS (I) 5,590  21.11%
GARY A. HACK (I) 5,290 19.98%
WRITE-IN  136  0.51%
Total  26,477

Measure O
Yes 8,496  51.53%
No 7,990  48.47%
Total  16,486

County Board of Education – Area 5
JEFF BELLE 13,983 50.28%
CYNTHIA TEVES RUEHLIG 13,612  48.94%
WRITE-IN 217  0.78%
Total  27,812

County Board of Education – Area 4
MIKE MAXWELL 23,041  52.41%
RICHARD ASADOORIAN (I) 20,697 47.08%
WRITE-IN 225 0.51%
Total 43,963

East Bay Regional Parks District – Ward 7
DIANE BURGIS 34,693 56.33%
MARK FOLEY 26,586  43.17%
WRITE-IN 306 0.50%
Total 61,585
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Publisher @ November 22, 2014

Ruehlig says thank you for election, offers his thoughts, approach to serving

Posted in: Opinion, Letters to the Editor, Opinion | Comments (1)

Editor:

I am truly humbled by the vote of confidence for my rejoining the Antioch School Board. The public charge brings great gravity and I promise my all to meet expectations. As for those who didn’t vote for me, I respect your exercising the ballot box.

Communication motivates me, be it listening, talking or writing. Trust that you won’t be kept in the dark guessing what’s happening in our schools and whether a spade is being called a spade. I value straightforwardness and have always answered every constituent e-mail and phone message. That practice and an open door remains.

Balance and inclusiveness will be prized. That means dialogue and partnership with yeasayers and naysayers, liberals and conservatives, blacks and whites, Common Core enthusiasts and detractors, students, teachers and parents. We will choose bridges over moats.

I stand on the shoulders of my predecessors and know that much good has happened in our district, on my watch, I hope, and on others. It is imperative, though, to call out not only the good, but the bad and the ugly. We don’t want to dwell on negatives, but we are not about denial.

After the year-end holidays, I will be kicking off a monthly community-wide coffee meeting for input. I’ll also be looking into starting a web site as a community sounding board on current issues and ideas for best practices on pressing subjects like campus safety, increasing parental involvement, rebuilding our reserves, addressing the achievement gap and raising overall test scores,

I’ve been asked what it feels like to rejoin the A.U.S.D. after a two year hiatus. Obviously, sobering, as these turbulent times present formidable challenges, Invigorating, as well, as the batteries are super-charged and having had distance from the District proved enlightening, Much the same, I imagine, as someone reentering school after work or military experience. I come now with newfound degrees of appreciation and, hopefully, wisdom. There are no surprises for me about the economic, labor, legal, bureaucratic, societal and demographic components entangled in all we do. For better or for worse. it’s not just about the kids.

I have always believed that good leadership stirs. It is all too tempting to fall into the cozy and comfortable and become part of the ‘Club’. My break has redoubled my resolve to keep professional distance and to work even harder at being a necessary gadfly. You can get along without always going along.

Like with parenting, our foremost objective as a Trustee is not to be friends, but to do our stewarding job. Granted, we don’t profit anybody by being in-your-face confrontational. Congenial can coexist with needed tough love. Part of that is asking the hard questions. Civility, respect and support are expected, and, when due, we lavish praise generously; but, when appropriate, we also prod and poke and hold toes to the fire.

As adults we can afford taking a little heat if it means we are holding ourselves accountable for the good of our kids. After all, we owe the future generation the best possible educational system that we can deliver.

Walter Ruehlig

Antioch School Board Trustee-Elect

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Publisher @ November 22, 2014

Planning consultant says Antioch’s crime, schools, homeless are deterrents to employers locating here

Posted in: News | Comments (3)

By John Crowder

A second meeting regarding was held in the Council Chambers at City Hall on Wednesday, November 19, regarding the Downtown Specific Plan and City-wide General Plan Land Use and Zoning Ordinance Update. The session included a joint meeting of the Antioch Planning and Economic Development Commissions. Besides the community members in the audience, the meeting was also attended by Mayor Wade Harper, City Manager Steve Duran, and Councilwoman-elect Lori Ogorchock.

After a couple of comments from the public, consultant Dick Loewke once again gave a presentation, this time detailing opportunities and constraints to development in the city.

Loewke began by identifying land resources that he said were either not utilized, or, in the case of the fairgrounds, were underutilized. He listed a number of parcels that he said could be developed.

Loewke then listed numerous constraints to development. The first of these, he stated as, “The high level of actual crime and perceived crime risk are viewed as substantial obstacles to investment in Antioch, both Downtown and City-wide, and as contributing directly to a reduced quality of life.” He contrasted this perception with that of downtown areas in neighboring cities, which are viewed as having a, “relative absence of crime.” He also noted, later in his presentation, that Antioch’s crime rates are substantially higher than its neighbors, with the violent crime rate being five times higher in Antioch than it is in Brentwood, Oakley, or Pittsburg.

Another major impediment to development was the perception of the Antioch public schools. Loewke said that, “Employers and employees with children who can afford to do so tend to look outside of Antioch in order to gain access to better performing public schools.” He qualified his remarks, however, by saying that this is a result of, “perception,” and that, “What AUSD schools are doing is excellent.”

Loewke mentioned several other constraints, including the large number of homeless people in the downtown area, the lack of places downtown where people would normally gather to socialize (i.e., restaurants and coffee shops), the lack of themed festivals and public events, current zoning regulations which prevent good businesses from moving downtown, and congestion on highway 4. He also noted that only 10% of Antioch’s employed residents work within the city.

Even given the numerous constraints identified by Loewke, he said there existed opportunities as well. He said that Antioch might be able to take advantage of a demand for medical office and service industrial space. Downtown, Loewke said that Antioch could accommodate additional small office users and artisan retailers.

Following the presentation, both the public, and members of the two commissions present, commented on what they had heard. Some of the ideas presented included the creation of a youth center, to include computers and wi-fi access, and a River Walk. Many of those speaking opposed bringing additional housing projects to Antioch as a solution to revitalizing the economy.

Several of the speakers were in favor of the creation of an event plaza, as opposed to construction of additional housing, downtown. Lee Ballesteros, representing Citizens for Responsible Antioch Waterfront Development, spoke about a proposal her group had submitted to the city advocating just such an idea. “Our vision for Downtown is for an active, vibrant, event plaza, as opposed to selling it and putting up homes. Events and quality of life is something that is very important to people,” she said.

Kerry Motts, Vice Chair of the Planning Commission, agreed with Ballesteros. He referenced the Todos Santos Plaza in Concord as illustrative of what Antioch could accomplish.

The planning process is expected to continue for another 16 months, according to Loewke. The slide presentation from the November 19 meeting can be found on the City of Antioch website, under the tabs for ‘community’ and ‘downtown-plan.’

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Publisher @ November 22, 2014

10th Annual Local Artist Collection in Antioch November and December

Posted in: Arts & Entertainment | Comments (0)

10th Annual Local Artists Collection 1024x680 10th Annual Local Artist Collection in Antioch November and December

By Vicki Dendy

The Arts & Cultural Foundation of Antioch is proud to present The 10th Annual Local Artist Collection, featuring 35+ local artists at the Lynn House Gallery from November 22nd – December 13th. The exhibit is a diverse, non-themed mixed media exhibit of artworks featuring paintings, photographs and more. In its 10th year, the show is a local favorite and provides the community an opportunity to view and purchase local art during the holiday season.

The Contra Costa Open Studio event will be held Saturday & Sunday, November 22nd & 23rd (same day as the Local Artist Exhibit opening and artist reception). ACFA will be promoting their event and they will be promoting ours. It will be a great artistic weekend for participating artists and artist supporters. Our hours for the weekend will be 11-5 PM both Saturday and Sunday. This is a great opportunity for those artists who do not have a studio to be part of the annual tour.

ACFA will still celebrate the opening of the Local Artist Collection exhibit with our standard artist reception from 2-4 PM on Saturday, November 22nd. This is the chance for artists to bring their friends and family and meet other participating artists.Participating artists are: Amy Schmidt, Angela Denise Allen Simms, Betty Espindola, Beverly Knight, Beverly Turner, Carol Jurczak, Dan Kennedy, Easy Gonzalez, Gloria Cannon, Joel Summerhill, Julia Starr, Kay Kirby, Michele Eakin, Paul Schorr, Shirley DiMercurio, Richard Meyer, Sandy Gangwer, Anna Chunn, Ron Kronewitter, Sherry Cullison, Milian Correa, Richard Edwin Meyer, Jessica Boriack, Arturo Garcia, Clyde Cox, D.D. Chabot, Mary Negrete, Prudence Capelle, Elizabeth Westfall, Michele Brady, Adele Boyer, Karen Nelson Kelly and Paul Yang.

The Lynn House Gallery is located at 809 West First, in downtown Antioch. For more information, visit http://art4antioch.org/Local-Artist-Collection.asp, or contact Diane Gibson-Gray at the Arts & Cultural Foundationat (925) 325-9897 or e-mail Diane@art4antioch.org

The Lynn House Gallery is located at 809 W. 1st Street in Antioch (across from the Amtrak Train Station) and is open Wednesdays and Saturdays during exhibits from 1-4 PM.

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Publisher @ November 21, 2014

Artists open East County studios to public, November 22 and 23

Posted in: Arts & Entertainment | Comments (1)

Delta Blue by Robin Mayoff Artists open East County studios to public, November 22 and 23

Delta Blue by Robin Mayoff

Adamina by Rosalinda Grejsen 125x300 Artists open East County studios to public, November 22 and 23

Adamina by Rosalinda Grejsen

Local artists welcome the public into their studios and galleries the weekend of November 22 and 23 during the popular Contra Costa Open Studios event. Visitors are invited to meet the artists, enjoy a wide variety of original fine art and shop for unique, creative gifts. Many of the artists will be demonstrating their techniques and some will offer hands-on art activities.

Five studio groups and two galleries are participating, with locations in Antioch, Brentwood, Oakley and Discovery Bay. The Lynn House Gallery will be open special hours, November 22 and 23, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., to showcase its 10th Annual Local Artist Collection. The public can meet those artists at a free reception Saturday, November 22, 2 to 4 p.m. at the Lynn House Gallery, 809 West First Street in downtown Antioch.

Each location will have its own unique personality, so visitors are encouraged to plan a fun weekend of studio-hopping. All locations will be open Saturday and Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free. For a complete guide to the artists and a studio map visit www.contracostaopenstudios.com.

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Publisher @ November 21, 2014

Antioch Council eliminates “furlough Fridays,” gives management staff, others 13% pay raise

Posted in: News | Comments (6)

By John Crowder

The elimination of “furlough Fridays” by the Antioch City Council at their November 13, 2014 meeting, the first meeting held since the passage of Measure O in the November 4 election, has left some residents who worked in support of the measure feeling betrayed and deceived.

Placed on the Consent Calendar at the meeting were three resolutions which, together, eliminated the furloughs negotiated with city employees and, in addition, provided them with 3% raises. The furloughs had been put in place while Antioch struggled to stave off bankruptcy during the housing crisis when property tax revenues plummeted. While the furloughs were in effect, many city employees worked a four-day, 36 hour work week, rather than a 40 hour work week, amounting to a 10% savings in salary expense for the city. Management employees continued to work 40 hours, but still had their wages cut 10%.

The first of the resolutions, Item 2G on the agenda, was to approve the Benefit Document between the city of Antioch and the Management Bargaining Unit. Item 2H was for approval of the Amended Benefit Document between the city and the Confidential Employees Bargaining Unit. Item 2I rescinded a resolution from 2010 regarding salary differentials.

A handful of residents had asked that the three items, G, H, and I, be pulled from the Consent Calendar in order to give them an opportunity to comment on the proposed actions. Some also spoke in opposition to the resolutions in the earlier public comments portion of the meeting.

Public Comments

Rich Buongiorno, who has been leading the effort to recall Mayor Wade Harper, said that the elimination of ‘furlough Fridays’ increased expenses at a time when the city was just made aware that they would be losing over $800,000 per year in revenue. This was due to the fact that the Brentwood City Council had just voted to end their contract with Antioch to provide them with police dispatch services.

Council Member-elect Lori Ogorchock also expressed concern about the elimination of ‘furlough Friday’s.’ She said the $400,000 in increased expenses that would result could be better used to hire more police and code enforcement officers. “Let’s get crime under control,” she said. She said that city offices could be kept open five days per week in other ways (by redistributing work hours). “I respectfully request that you hold off on the vote until I am seated,” she said.

Sandra McKee said, “I think building up our police department and getting a better handle on crime is much more important,” and that this was her intention when she voted for Measure C and Prop. O.

Robin Agopian, the widow of former Councilman Gary Agopian, said that, as a matter of fairness, newly elected councilwoman Lori Ogorchock should be seated prior to voting on the issues before them.

Mark Jordan said he wanted to postpone the votes because he doesn’t believe the public has enough information. Referring to Measure O, he said, “Not a penny of that money has come in yet.”

Former Councilman Manny Soliz also wanted to postpone the votes on the resolutions from both a budgetary and a philosophical standpoint. He expressed concern about the impending termination of the police dispatch contract between Antioch and Brentwood. “We’re going to have a hole in our budget, where there had been some funds coming in…which we’re not going to have any longer,” he said. On a philosophical basis, Soliz said, “Measure O was presented as a measure to try to address neighborhood improvement, and blighted properties.” He said that supporters of Measure O would see this action as a diversion of funds, and, “it seems to me just a little bit disingenuous.”

With the conclusion of public comments on G, Mayor Harper asked City Manager Steve Duran to speak to the issue.

“The council gave a clear direction to get people off furlough as soon as we reasonably could,” he said. “The Council approved spending priorities for Measure O on September 23rd, 2014.”

He then listed those priorities (See Antioch Herald article on September 23 council meeting, here.)

“The stated priorities of the council, before the election, did include getting off the furlough,” Duran said. “In terms of keeping your word, I just think people need to understand that’s what your word was.”

He continued, “Come January, we’ll now have had the employees on furlough for five-and-a-half years since they took a ten percent cut.” He also said that the $1.277 million in additional property tax revenue triggered contract language providing that, “the management bargaining unit was entitled to get off furlough right then, and they’ve agreed to delay that until…January 11th.” In closing, Duran said, “We can’t not do the trigger, because that’s a binding contract. And, second, the money is there, and the reasons the triggers hit is because the money’s there.”

Asked by Duran to comment, Michelle Fitzer, Administrative Services Director, addressed the idea that the Council delay the decision by saying “once the bargaining unit takes action to ratify a tentative agreement, the governing body has to take action within 30 days of that, and we do not have 30 days to wait to December 16th.” She continued, “If we do not take action, the council places the city in liability for a PERB charge of unfair labor practices.”

Following Fitzer’s statement, Harper asked for Council comments. Council Member Tony Tiscareno gave a defense of the vote he was about to make.

Tiscareno said, “the last three, four months I’ve been out there talking to the citizens, knocking on doors and asking them, what they expect from us, and what their issues are. And yes, they were frustrated with the crime, but for the most part in their neighborhoods they were very happy where they lived, they felt safe in their community, that particular area. But one of the things they kept mentioning was that, you know, our streets can be repaired, we need to make sure that we have availability within our services so we can be serviced. And I heard that quite a bit. So one of the things I promised not only our staff was, I promised our community that we were going to be a full service city.”

Mayor Pro Tem Mary Rocha said that in light of the information provided by Fitzer regarding a potential unfair labor practices challenge, it was important to take action. She also said, “You have to remember, we asked these employees to take time off…they gave a lot, in order for us to keep the doors open.” She also noted, “We couldn’t afford bankruptcy…the employees were the ones who saved us.” She concluded, “I feel comfortable, knowing the money was there.”

In response to a question from Wilson, Fitzer responded, “In the management benefit agreement, there was trigger language. When the property tax in particular came in, in July, at over a million dollars more than was anticipated, we reached…the trigger.” She also addressed the question of whether or not the trigger had expired. She said, “under the labor laws, the contract provisions remain in effect until a new contract is negotiated or imposed…” She continued, “if the city had tried to argue that the trigger had expired, the employee group could then have come back and argued, well then the furlough language expired as well, because they’re tied together.”

Mayor Harper said, “I think we need to realize, that the employees saved us from bankruptcy years ago.” He spoke about them sacrificing for five and a half years. “Now that we have the money, we can’t say, we have it, but we’re not giving it to you.” He also reiterated the previous comments about being a full service city. He concluded, “I believe the employees saved us, I believe we have to do right by the employees.” He also noted, “We didn’t just hear about this trigger today,” and spoke about closed session meetings, where he said, “we’ve talked about this trigger, over and over.”

Following Harper’s statement, the council voted 4-0 in favor of Item G, and speakers came forward to address Item H.

Jordan returned to the microphone to say, “While you have been informed of the information regarding the trigger and the reinstatement of the employees, and that should occur, from the perspective of the public, this is being dropped very quickly. He added, “the communication that we’re receiving at our end, relative to the trigger, why it’s occurring, the contractual obligations, I don’t believe was communicated well, to us.” Soliz also spoke again, saying what they were doing, “sends the wrong message to the public.” He wondered if the outcome of the Measure O vote would have been different, “if people had understood that the funds were going to be going to something other than neighborhood improvement, and police infrastructure.”

Ken Turnage said, “I just don’t understand, exactly, what is going on here.” “You folks have had to know for a while, this was going to happen right about now. Why wasn’t it said before the election?” “He said the perception was, “like having a blanket pulled over your head.” “The perception is, we were deceived,” he concluded.

After public comments, Harper asked Duran to repeat the information from September 23, and Duran again listed all the priorities, including ending the furloughs.

Each of the council members then made statements emphasizing that the money for getting the employees back to a 40 hour work week was coming from property tax, and had nothing to do with Measure O. Tiscareno said, “This is, to me, a positive thing for the city of Antioch.” Rocha, referring to city employees said, “It’s true, they did help us.”

Item H was then passed, 4-0, and public comments for Item I began.

Marty Fernandez, visibly upset by the proceedings, said, “This has been very interesting. You’re right. A lot of people busted their butts to get Measure O passed. And this just isn’t right.” “There comes a time when you have to stop. I don’t agree with these secret negotiations for the contracts. This has to be done in public.” He went on to complain that, “You have city workers negotiating with city workers. They stand to gain, everybody gains.”

After Fernandez spoke, the council voted and passed item I, also on a 4-0 vote.

Following a short break, Dawn Merchant, Antioch’s Finance Director, spoke on budget matters which, according to staff and council member statements, related directly to the contentious votes just taken.

Merchant said that, while they had been projecting a 5% increase in property tax, they had actually received a 17.81% increase. She said this was the first year Antioch has received an increase in property tax since 2008.

We’re requesting the budget to be amended” by about $1.3 million, she said. She also spoke about annexation money coming in of about $300,000, and over $100,000 for state mandated reimbursements.

Following Merchant’s presentation, Rocha lamented the fact that many who complained about the furlough vote were no longer in the audience, as she felt the presentation by Merchant explained that the money for ending the furloughs was coming from increased property tax revenue, not Measure O funds

The next city council meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, November 25, at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers, 3rd & H Streets in downtown Antioch. It can also be viewed online via live streaming video at www.ci.antioch.ca.us/CityGov/citycouncilmeetings.htm.

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Publisher @ November 21, 2014

Schooner’s to hold Grand Reopening on Saturday, November 22

Posted in: Arts & Entertainment, Dining | Comments (1)

grandReopening flyer lettersize Schooners to hold Grand Reopening on Saturday, November 22

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Publisher @ November 20, 2014

Assemblywoman Bonilla announces bid for State Senate seat, Piepho won’t yet commit

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Susan Bonilla Assemblywoman Bonilla announces bid for State Senate seat, Piepho wont yet commit

Susan Bonilla

Deputy Sheriffs, firefighters quickly endorse

By Allen Payton

On Tuesday, Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla, a Democrat, announced her intention to enter the special election contest to succeed State Senator Mark DeSaulnier in California’s 7th State Senate district. A special election is expected to take place in early 2015 after DeSaulnier, who was elected to Congress this year, resigns the seat.

Bonilla currently represents California’s 14th State Assembly District, which had included Antioch until the 2011 redistricting, and has previously served as a Contra Costa County Supervisor and as the Mayor and a Council Member in Concord, the largest city in the State Senate district.

I’m running for Senate to continue working for Contra Costa and Alameda residents, families, and small business owners in the Legislature. Working with a broad, diverse coalition, I am proud of what we have accomplished; turning a historic budget deficit into a balanced budget with a rainy day fund; revitalizing our economy through job creation and economic development; and reinvesting in our schools. I will continue focusing on these efforts in the State Senate, building coalitions to deliver results for my constituents,” Bonilla said. “Senator DeSaulnier is an outstanding public servant who has set a high standard and will be a dynamic member of Congress. As I begin my campaign for State Senate, I will look to his example and continue his fight to improve our transportation system and protect our environment, while always putting middle-class and working families first.”

Bonilla had already planned to run for State Senate in 2016, but DeSaulnier’s election to Congress in the middle of his term moved up the schedule on her.

The process will be triggered by DeSaulnier’s resignation, which is expected before January 5, that day he is scheduled to take the oath of office as a new Congressman.

The governor will then have two weeks to announce the date of the election, which is expected to be in mid- to late-March for the Primary. In a special election a candidate wins if they receive a majority of votes. If not the top two candidates with the most votes in the Primary will face off in the General Election in June.

A state senate district includes roughly 800,000 people, which is larger than a Congressional seat and Senators are elected for four-year terms. With the new term limits, state legislators in California can serve a maximum of 12 years, regardless of whether they serve in the Assembly or State Senate. However, because Bonilla was elected before June 5, 2012 she is restricted by the previous term limits, approved in 1990, which limits legislators to three terms in the State Assembly and two terms in the State Senate. Since the election will be past the half-way point in DeSaulnier’s term, if elected, she will serve less than two years, allowing her two more full terms for a total of close to 10 years. The same would apply to fellow Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan, also a Democrat, who is termed out this year, and is rumored to be considering a run for the Senate seat. She has not responded to phone calls about a possible run.

Another rumored candidate, Supervisor Mary Piepho, a Republican, did respond through her spokesperson Tomi Riley who only stated the following regarding a possible State Senate run: “Many people have encouraged Mary to consider it.”

The other Assembly Member in the area, Democrat Jim Frazier, has stated previously that he is not considering running in the special State Senate election.

According to her campaign’s press release, “Bonilla is a former high school teacher who has worked to invest in public education, strengthen neighborhood schools, and improve access to college and job-training programs for local students.” It further states “Bonilla balanced budgets by not spending what we don’t have, remaining committed to reducing our debt burden, while protecting vital services like education and public safety from drastic budget cuts.”

On Wednesday, the campaign also announced that both the Contra Costa Deputy Sheriffs Association and The United Professional Firefighters of Contra Costa County Local 1230 have endorsed Bonilla in the race.

Assemblywoman Bonilla is a proven leader who has a strong track record of supporting public safety,” said Contra Costa County Deputy Sheriffs Association President Ken Westermann. “As an Assemblymember, former mayor, and former Contra Costa County Supervisor, Susan Bonilla has been a key partner in keeping Contra Costa families safe. The Contra Costa County Deputy Sheriffs Association is happy to endorse Assemblywoman Bonilla for State Senate.”

Contra Costa families are kept safe by the dedicated service of our Deputy Sheriffs. In many of our communities, they are the front line of law enforcement and public safety,” Assemblywoman Bonilla said. “I’m honored to have the support of these brave men and women. In the State Senate, I will continue to fight diligently to ensure that they have the resources and support they need to keep our communities safe.”

The firefighters Local 1230 is the region’s largest firefighters association.

Assemblywoman Bonilla has consistently worked to support public safety and public safety workers. She is a proven leader who has worked tirelessly to ensure that we have the resources to keep Contra Costa families safe,” United Professional Fire Fighters of Contra Costa County President Vince Wells said. “We’re pleased that Assemblywoman Bonilla is running for State Senate and enthusiastically offer her our endorsement and support.”

Local1230 represents over 450 firefighters from four different districts and two cities including: Contra Costa County Fire Protection District, East Contra Costa Fire Protection District, El Cerrito Fire Department, Moraga-Orina Fire District, Pinole Fire Department, and Rodeo-Hercules Fire District.

I’m deeply honored to have the support of Contra Costa County’s Professional Firefighters,” Assemblywoman Bonilla said. “These brave men and women keep our families and homes safe, while putting themselves at real risk. In the Senate I will continue to work to ensure that they always have the resources to keep our communities safe.”

As a former chair of the Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Education Finance, the release states “Bonilla led the legislative effort to streamline education funding, giving local schools more control, made college more affordable for local students, and secured $1 billion for training and technology to prepare students to succeed in a job market that demands problem solving and critical thinking skills.”

Prior to serving in public office, she was an English teacher in the Mt. Diablo Unified School District. She has a B.A. in English from Azusa Pacific University and teaching credentials from CSU Los Angeles. Bonilla lives in Concord with her husband, John. They have four daughters and three grandchildren.

State Senate District 7 includes the cities of Antioch, Brentwood, Concord, Walnut Creek and Danville, and other communities in Contra Costa County, as well as Dublin, Livermore and Pleasanton in Alameda County.

There are now two announced candidates in the race, including attorney Mark Meuser, a Republican.

To learn more or to sign up for updates for Bonilla’s campaign, please visit www.susanbonilla.com.

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Publisher @ November 20, 2014