Archive for the ‘Politics & Elections’ Category

Poll workers needed for Special State Senate Election

Monday, January 26th, 2015

Any eligible Contra Costa resident can volunteer

Contra Costa County is in need of civic-minded men and women ages 16 and older to serve as poll workers for the March 17, 2015 Special Primary Election and May 19, 2015 Special General Election.

The election for the vacant seat in the 7th Senatorial District includes much of Contra Costa County, including Antioch and the rest of East Contra Costa, Lamorinda and San Ramon Valley areas, Concord, Walnut Creek and Clayton. Although the election is not countywide, poll workers may live in any part of the county. Bilingual poll workers (English/Spanish, English/Japanese, English/Korean, English/Tagalog, English/Chinese, English/Vietnamese and English/Hindi) are especially needed.

There is no better way to serve your community, nor a more important part you can play on Election Day, than to be a poll worker,” said Joe Canciamilla, Contra Costa Registrar of Voters. “It is our poll workers who serve to keep our voting process open, accessible, and fair.”

No prior experience is necessary and training is provided. Poll workers receive a stipend of at least $125 for their service, which includes attending a two-hour required training and working from 6:00 am to 9:00 pm on Election Day.

Serving as a poll worker does not have any bearing on Social Security or unemployment status, according to state law.

Poll workers don’t have to be politically active or belong to a political party. Poll workers are required to remain neutral while working on Election Day.

Those interested in being a poll worker must be registered to vote in California, or a permanent resident in the United States, according to state election law.

For more information, visit www.cocovote.us. To apply, email eo@vote.cccounty.us or call the Elections Division at (925) 335-7873.

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One week left for candidates to file nomination papers to run in special State Senate election

Saturday, January 17th, 2015

Vacant State Senate seat includes Antioch and most of Contra Costa County

Joseph E. Canciamilla, the County Clerk-Recorder and Registrar of Voters, reminds all residents in the state’s 7th Senatorial District that Friday, January 23, 2015 is the filing deadline to run in the May 19, 2015 Special Election.

If more than two candidates file, a Primary Election will be held on March 17, 2015. If no candidate receives over 50 percent of the vote in the Primary, the top two vote-getters will go to the ballot in May’s General Election.

Candidates for the 7th Senatorial District contest must file by 5:00 pm at the Elections Division, located at 555 Escobar Street, Martinez.

The office is open between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday. It will be closed on Monday, January 19th, in observance of Martin Luther King Day.

To qualify to run, a candidate must have been a U.S. citizen and California resident for at least 3 years and a registered voter in the 7th Senatorial District for at least a year. Candidates may not have been convicted of a felony involving certain public trust crimes, and must meet the term limit requirements of the office. They must present 40 valid nomination signatures and pay a filing fee of $971.97 at the time of filing.

District 7 includes much of Contra Costa County, including Antioch and the rest of East County, Lamorinda and San Ramon Valley areas, Concord, Walnut Creek and Clayton. Eastern Alameda County is also in the district.

To view a map of the 7th Senatorial District, go to http://sd07.senate.ca.gov/district-map.

More information regarding the “Top-Two Open Primary” rules, voter registration, poll worker signups, and polling place locations is available at www.cocovote.us.

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County Elections Office provides details for candidates wishing to run to fill vacant State Senate seat

Thursday, January 15th, 2015

Following is an official press release from the Contra Costa County Elections Office.

Governor Jerry Brown announced Tuesday that a special election has been scheduled for May 19, 2015 to fill the 7th District Senate seat vacated by the resignation of Mark DeSaulnier, who was elected to the U.S. Congress in the November 4, 2014 Gubernatorial General Election.

District 7 includes most of Contra Costa County, including Antioch. District 7 also includes Eastern Alameda County.  To view a map of the 7th Senatorial District, go to http://sd07.senate.ca.gov/district-map .

Candidates may file for the position beginning Tuesday, January 13th at the Contra Costa Clerk-Recorder-Elections Office at 555 Escobar St., Martinez. The office is open between 8 am and 5 pm Monday through Friday. The office will be closed on Monday, January 19, in observance of Martin Luther King Day.

If more than two candidates file, a Special Primary Election will be held on March 17, 2015. If no candidate receives over 50 percent of the vote in the Primary Election, the top two vote-getters will go to the ballot in a Special General Election to be held May 19, 2015.

The last day to submit signatures in-lieu of the filing fee is Friday, January 16, 2015. The last day for candidates to apply is Friday, January 23rd.

The filing fee, which is due at the time of submitting of documents, had not been determined as of Tuesday afternoon. Updates on the fee will be posted on our Website www.cocovote.us.

More information regarding the “Top-Two Primary” rules, voter registration, poll worker signups and polling place locations, is also available on the website.

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Antioch Mayor Harper served with recall papers, again

Thursday, January 15th, 2015

By Allen Payton

At Tuesday night’s Antioch City Council meeting, Mayor Wade Harper was served with recall papers by a group of Antioch residents, for the second time in months.

You are being recalled,” said Antioch resident Laura Stewart, one of the recall proponents, who presented the Notice of Intention to Circulate Recall Papers during public comments.

The last time they served Harper, the proponents missed by one day a required deadline for publishing the Notice in a local newspaper. So, they had to start over.

The mayor has seven days from when the forms are officially submitted to the City Clerk, to provide his official response. The proponents will then have 180 days to gather the signatures of approximately 8,900 registered Antioch voters to place the recall on the ballot.

Following is the statement by the proponents of the recall on the Notice of Intention as to why they’re recalling Harper:

Mayor Harper tells us that crime is decreasing. The citizens of Antioch know this is not the case. The bullet casings are piling up along with the excuses. Antioch is now the fifth most dangerous city in the Bay Area. Nationally, we are rated 6 on the crime index of violent crimes. At 17, the city of Compton is safer.

Mayor Harper promised Measure C would immediately hire 22 police officers. He also promised to be tough on crime and have zero tolerance for criminal behavior. This has proven to be untrue. Meanwhile, our crime rate has increased 22.8% during his terms in Antioch. Mayor Harper stated we needed to clean up Antioch, but was absent for the annual Sycamore cleanup. The police are understaffed. Instead of hiring 40 additional cops, Mayor Harper wasted $4.4 million on police overtime. Businesses are closing early due to unruly mobs of teenagers. Promises of more jobs and economic growth have not materialized.

Antioch has big city problems that need big city solutions. Mayor Harper has failed to deliver solutions to these problems. The citizens of Antioch are fed up and need a mayor that will deliver results to solving our serious crime problem.”

Below are copies of the recall papers served on the mayor, including the list of all 30 residents who signed them, as provided by Rich Buongiorno, the leading recall proponent.

INTENTION p1 727x1024 Antioch Mayor Harper served with recall papers, again

INTENTION p2 797x1024 Antioch Mayor Harper served with recall papers, again

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Governor calls special State Senate election for May 19, possible March 17 Primary

Wednesday, January 14th, 2015

By Allen Payton

On Tuesday, a special election was called by Governor Jerry Brown to occur on May 19, 2015 for California State Senate District 7, which includes all of Antioch. The vacancy is due to former State Senator Mark DeSaulnier being sworn into Congress, this past week, leaving the position vacant midway through his term.

If more than two candidates file to run, then a Primary Election will be held on Tuesday, March 17.  If none of the candidates receive a majority of votes in the March election, the top two candidates will face each other during a run-off in the May.

Four candidates have announced campaigns in the race, including State Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla of Concord, former State Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan of Alamo and college lecturer Dr. Terry Kremin of Concord, all Democrats and attorney Mark Meuser of Walnut Creek, a Republican.

All four candidates have either public office or some campaign experience. Bonilla is a former Concord Councilwoman, County Supervisor and is serving her third term in the State Assembly, Buchanan was termed out this past year, after serving six years in the Assembly, Kremin ran unsuccessfully for the Concord City Council in both 2012 and 2014, and Meuser was the Republican nominee against DeSaulnier in 2012 for the same State Senate District.

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Former Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan launches positive campaign for State Senate

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014
Joan Buchanan Former Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan launches positive campaign for State Senate

Joan Buchanan

Campaign will reject all negative campaign tactics

On Thursday, December 11, 2014, Democrat former Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan officially launched her “Positively for Us” campaign in her bid for California’s 7th Senate District (SD7). Buchanan and her campaign have taken the unusual step of committing to run a strictly positive race, and have promised to reject all negative tactics.

The Governor will call a special election for the SD7 seat when Senator Mark DeSaulnier resigns to be sworn into Congress in January. That election is expected to be held in March, 2015.

Buchanan said “I firmly believe that our democracy is harmed by the level of negativity that has become the standard in political campaigns. This was amplified last November when we were overwhelmed with endless negative TV, radio ads and mailers that did little more than anger voters of all political persuasions. I’ve heard from our community time and time again, that they are tired of these tactics and are reluctant to participate in such a destructive process.

My ‘Positively for Us’ campaign will focus on my record of accomplishments and my goals for the State Senate, and will address voters’ concerns by making real progress on issues that matter to us all.  No attacks or ‘comparisons’ – which are merely attacks in disguise – will be made by me or my campaign. With such a short window to communicate with voters, it is important that we focus on the issues, and not waste valuable time with attacks and negativity that do nothing more than keep voters from the polls.

I am not asking my opponents to take any kind of pledge, or to follow my lead, and I cannot control or direct independent expenditure committees. I am simply making a promise to voters so they know what they can expect from me and my campaign. My hope is that this type of campaign will foster a positive and constructive dialogue about what’s best for our future as a region.”

Nearly 60 local leaders are already backing Buchanan’s candidacy, and are encouraged by her positive approach. Livermore Mayor John Marchand, Former Antioch Mayor and current Councilmember Mary Rocha, Walnut Creek Mayor Bob Simmons, Danville Mayor Mike Doyle, Orinda Vice Mayor Victoria Smith and Brentwood Mayor Bob Taylor are just a few who have already joined the groundswell of grassroots support for Buchanan.

Buchanan was first elected to the California State Assembly in 2008 and just completed a successful six year term, serving California’s 16th Assembly District (formerly 15th) which includes the cities of Orinda, Moraga, Lafayette, Walnut Creek, Danville, San Ramon, Dublin, Pleasanton, and Livermore. Prior to her service in the State Assembly, Buchanan served on the San Ramon Valley School board for 18 years, including four terms as president.

Prior to her years of public service, Joan was an analyst with Delta Dental and quickly became one of the fastest rising women in the company and was promoted to Director of Commercial Operations before the age of 30. She left the private sector to raise her five children and in the process became one of the San Ramon Valley’s most effective community activists and education advocates.

Joan is a 36-year resident of Alamo and a native Californian. She holds a B.A. in Economics from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

The 7th State Senate District contains 100% of Buchanan’s former seat of AD 16, and portions of three other Assembly Districts and 56.4% of the Senate District’s registered voters reside in AD 16 and have been represented by Buchanan. Of the remaining voters, 21.2% reside in AD 11 (represented by Jim Frazier), 22.1% reside in AD 14 (Susan Bonilla), and 0.3% reside in AD 20 (represented by Bill Quirk).

To learn more about the campaign, please visit www.JoanBuchanan.com. A complete list of current endorsements is below.

ENDORSEMENT LIST (as of December 10, 2014)

Brentwood Mayor Bob Taylor, Danville Mayor Mike Doyle, Livermore Mayor John Marchand, Walnut Creek Mayor Bob Simmons, Former Dublin Mayor Janet Lockhart, Antioch Councilmember and former Mayor Mary Rocha, Dublin City Councilmembers Don Biddle and Kevin Hart, Danville Town Councilmember Renee Morgan and Former Councilmember Susanna Schlendorf, Lafayette City Councilmember Mike Anderson, Livermore City Vice-Mayor Laureen Turner and Councilmembers Stewart Gary, Doug Horner and Bob Woerner, and Former Mayor Marshall Kamena, Orinda Vice Mayor Victoria Smith and Councilmember Amy Worth, San Ramon City Councilmember Philip O’Loane, Former Pleasanton City Councilmember Cheryl Cook-Kallio, Former Walnut Creek City Councilmembers Charlie Abrams and Gwen Regalia, Acalanes Union High School District President Kathy Coppersmith, Antioch Unified School District Board Vice President Diane Gibson-Gray, Byron Unified School District Member Jill Sprenkel, Chabot Las Positas Community College District Board Members Isobel Dvorsky and Carol Vecchiarelli, Contra Costa Community College District Board Member Vicki Gordon, Dublin Unified School District Vice President Amy Miller and Board Member Dan Cunningham, Dublin Unified School District Board Members Megan Rouse and Greg Tomlinson, Lafayette School District President Teresa Gerringer, Liberty Union High School District Board Members Pauline Allred and Joanne Byer, Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District Board Members Craig Bueno and Kate Runyon, Orinda Union School District Board Members Carol Brown and Sarah Butler, Pleasanton Unified School District President Valerie Arkin, Members Chris Grant, Jim Ott, Jamie Yee Hintzke and Joan Laursen, and Former Member Jeff Bowser, Former Lafayette School District Board Member Shayne Silva, Walnut Creek School District Board Members Aimee Moss, Katie Pena and Barbara Pennington, San Ramon Valley Unified School District President Rachel Hurd and Vice President Denise Jennison, Former San Ramon Valley Education Association Presidents Darren Day and Mary Jane Keogh, Former San Ramon Valley Unified School District Board Members Marianne Gagen, Stuart Goldware, Chris Kenber, Allen Leck, Linda Wurzbach, Former Walnut Creek School District Board Member Arthur Clark, and East Bay Regional Parks District Board Members Bev Lane, Diane Burgis and Ayn Wieskamp.

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Assemblyman Frazier endorses Bonilla for State Senate

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014

Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla announced that her campaign for State Senate has earned the support of Assemblyman Jim Frazier, who represents the 11th Assembly District. That includes portions of Contra Costa, Solano, and Sacramento counties – including the cities of Antioch, Brentwood, Oakley, and portions of Pittsburg, all of which are part of the 7th State Senate District.

I’m incredibly honored to have the support of my colleague Assemblymember Jim Frazier,” Bonilla said. “Jim’s leadership in Sacramento has been key to improving our state’s transportation system, protecting the Sacramento-San Joaquin Bay Delta, and supporting worker safety. His endorsement provides my campaign with a crucial boost of support.”

Frazier’s support adds to the growing momentum of support for Bonilla. Since announcing her campaign for State Senate, she has already quickly earned the support of the following:

Contra Costa County Deputy Sheriffs Association, United Professional Firefighters of Contra Costa County, Local 1230, Concord Police Association, Livermore Police Officer’s Association, Contra Costa County Supervisor Federal Glover, Antioch Mayor Wade Harper and Councilmembers Monica Wilson and Tony Tiscareno, Concord Mayor Tim Grayson and Councilmembers Dan Helix and Laura Hoffmeister, Concord Treasurer Thomas Wentling, Danville Mayor Robert Storer and Councilmember Newell Arnerich, Pittsburg Mayor Sal Evola and Councilmembers Pete Longmire, Ben Johnson and Nancy Parent.

To learn more about Bonilla’s campaign, please visit www.susanbonilla.com.

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Ogorchock joins Tiscareno on the Antioch City Council following oath of office ceremonies, Tuesday night

Sunday, December 14th, 2014
Ogorchock oath 1024x768 Ogorchock joins Tiscareno on the Antioch City Council following oath of office ceremonies, Tuesday night

New Antioch Council Member Lori Ogorchock, with her husband DJ, is congratulated by County Supervisor Mary Piepho who just finished adminstering the oath of office to her, while family members look on, Tuesday night, December 9, 2014.

Tiscareno oath 1024x768 Ogorchock joins Tiscareno on the Antioch City Council following oath of office ceremonies, Tuesday night

Mayor Wade Harper gives Councilman Tony Tiscareno the oath of office, while his wife Olivia holds the family Bible and his family members look on, Tuesday night, December 9, 2014.

 

Mayor Pro Tem Ogorchock on dais 1024x768 Ogorchock joins Tiscareno on the Antioch City Council following oath of office ceremonies, Tuesday night

As the candidate with the most votes in the November election, Ogorchock was voted in as Mayor Pro Tem by the Antioch City Council on Tuesday, December 9, 2014.

Ovation for Ogorchock 1024x768 Ogorchock joins Tiscareno on the Antioch City Council following oath of office ceremonies, Tuesday night

The audience at the Antioch City Council oath of office ceremonies, gave standing ovations to both Ogorchock and Tiscareno, on Tuesday night, December 9, 2014. photos by Allen Payton

By John Crowder

During the December 9 meeting of the Antioch City Council, Lori Ogorchock and Tony Tiscareno, the two candidates who received the most votes in the November 4 election, were given the oath of office as Antioch City Council Members. Because she received the most votes in the election, Ogorchock became Mayor Pro Tem.

Tiscareno was sworn in first by Mayor Wade Harper, and Ogorchock was then sworn in by Contra Costa County District III Supervisor Mary Nejedly Piepho.

Both Tiscareno and Ogorchock addressed the audience, comprised in large part of their supporters, following the brief ceremony.

Tiscareno began by saying, “I can finally say elected Council Member Tiscareno.” Having previously been appointed to the position, he expressed appreciation to the council for allowing him to serve for the last two years. Noting he had to run a hard campaign, he also said the campaign among the candidates was, “clean and ethical,” although, “there were some things in the press.” He thanked his wife and family, and the supporters who worked on his campaign. “My primary focus is public safety,” he said. He also expressed thankfulness that the city council does not get involved in infighting. He concluded by saying, “I’m looking forward to representing all of you.”

Ogorchock said, “Thank you to the citizens of Antioch for electing me to the city council…I’m here to represent you, and to improve this city, for all our benefit.” She introduced her family, and thanked them and her campaign workers for their support. “As you know, my top priority is community safety,” she said. She spoke about redirecting funds from the budget to increase the number of police officers and code enforcement officers. She also spoke about bringing well-paying jobs and businesses to Antioch, and about downtown redevelopment. She said that the residents of Antioch had spoken, “and I have listened.”

Several others addressed the newly appointed council members, and the council as a whole, during the meeting.

Supervisor Piepho prior to administering the oath to Ogorchock, congratulated her and offered advice. She told her, “It’s okay to disagree, but it’s not okay to be disagreeable.”

Diane Gibson-Gray who came in third in the city council race, but retains her seat on the Antioch School Board, said, “As a candidate in the last election, it was a pleasure to work with both of you.” She said that both Ogorchock and Tiscareno were, “upstanding and ethical.”

While each of the sitting council members, Monica Wilson and Mary Rocha, both congratulated Tiscareno and Ogorchock, Mayor Harper had extensive remarks. Speaking of the two new council members Harper said, “They both ran on campaigns of making our city safer.” He said that reducing crime and increasing public safety was the top priority for each of them during their campaigns, and was also the top priority of the entire city council.

Harper also said that the new council members had already begun to work, and that he hoped the new council would be able to attend a team building workshop together.

My advice to this council is, let’s continue to have a listening ear to what the community is saying, and continue to be out there in the community talking to people,” he added. “Always put the city first, not our personal philosophies or political ideas. Always be prepared to make decisions by studying the material, by getting out there into the community, talking to people, getting to talk to staff, asking questions of staff, so that when we come forward, we’re ready to make those decisions.”

He also said that it was important to make sure the people in the city understood the reasoning behind their decisions. Harper then thanked the residents of the city for getting “two measures passed to improve our city.” He thanked the city manager for his leadership, the police chief and all department heads, and the city staff, at every level, for all their work. He expressed satisfaction with being able to put all city workers back on a full workweek. His concluding comment, was a request of the city council to, “always put this city first.”

Members of the public also spoke offering their advice to the newly elected council members.

Former Antioch Mayor Pro Tem Allen Payton congratulated both Ogorchock and Tiscareno and then paraphrased two Bible verses from the book of Proverbs. Referencing Proverbs 18:17, he said, “One person seems right, until another comes forward and questions him,” and admonished the council members to hear all sides of an issue before coming to a decision. He also referenced Proverbs 12:16b, saying, “It profits a person to overlook an insult.” Payton said it was necessary, as an elected official, to, have “an open mind, soft heart and thick skin.” Payton concluded his remarks by telling the council that it was important to remember that this is the people’s government, and “our money you’re spending” and that, though they were in leadership, it was servant leadership. “Together we can make a difference,” he said. “God bless you.”

Willie Mims, representing the NAACP East County Branch, congratulated both new members on their election. He asked them to remember that they were elected to serve the total community, “Keep the total community…in back of your mind,” he said.

During the proceedings, Mayor Harper also paid tribute to former Council Member Gary Agopian. He said, “If he was healthy, he would have run in this election, and probably would have beat both of you.” Tiscareno responded, “Not probably, but likely.” Harper continued, noting that Agopian did not give up, saying, “He served until his dying breath, and we appreciate all he did.”

With the conclusion of all business listed on the agenda, the meeting of the was adjourned to a reception in the back of the chambers, and to the next regular meeting, December 16, 2014, at 7:00 p.m. Meetings are held in the council chambers at City Hall or can be viewed online via live stream at www.ci.antioch.ca.us.

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