Archive for the ‘Politics & Elections’ Category

Register to vote by March 2 to vote in March 17 special State Senate election

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

County Clerk-Recorder and Registrar of Voters, Joseph E. Canciamilla, announces that Monday, March 2, 2015 is the voter registration deadline for the March 17, 2015 7th State Senatorial District Special Primary Election. New voters must register and anyone who has moved or has had a name change must re-register.

Voters may register online at https://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/register-to-vote/. Voters may also obtain registration forms at government offices including City or County Offices and DMV locations. The completed form must be delivered to the Contra Costa County Elections Office at 555 Escobar Street in Martinez no later than 5:00 pm on March 2, 2015, or be postmarked by March 2, 2015.

To be eligible to vote, a person must be a U.S. citizen who will be at least 18 years old by March 17, 2015 and not imprisoned or on parole for the conviction of a felony. Anyone who becomes a newly naturalized citizen after the March 2, 2015 deadline may register and vote between March 3 and March 17, 2015. New citizens may register at the Contra Costa County Elections Office at 555 Escobar Street in Martinez and must present his or her Certificate of Naturalization.

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Letter writer questions power of State Democratic Party versus local club endorsements

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

Dear Editor:

The conundrum of the California Democratic Party versus the local Democratic club endorsements. The California Democratic Party endorsement of Susan Bonilla in the State Senate District 7 race was based on the outcome of a vote of 75 local people authorized to vote in this internal party process. A total of 44 additional votes were gathered by Bonilla thanks to a greatly discredited rule that allowed any state legislator currently in office to get ‘proxy’ votes from anywhere in the state. Advantage Incumbents. (The rule’s been removed from the Party By-Laws, but not officially until May, so it was still ‘legal’ to use this procedure).

The Democratic clubs within Senate District 7 that have chosen to make endorsements represent a larger group of people.

Joan Buchanan endorsements:

Rossmoor Democratic Club – 600+ members

Diablo Valley Democratic Club -  70 members

Tri-Valley Democratic Club – 60 members

San Ramon Democratic Club – 73 members

Susan Bonilla endorsements:

Concord Democratic Club – approximately 20 members

Do the math.

Sue Hamill, Walnut Creek

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Congressman Jerry McNerney endorses Bonilla for State Senate

Sunday, February 22nd, 2015

Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla announced today that her campaign for State Senate has earned the endorsement of Congressman Jerry McNerney, whose congressional district includes portions of eastern Contra Costa County that are within the 7th State Senate District. McNerney is a widely respected local leader in the region, and has played a crucial role in the protection of the Sacramento–San Joaquin River Delta.

Susan Bonilla has the trust and respect of her colleagues. She is known for her leadership and as someone who can work with fellow lawmakers to achieve results in Sacramento. I look forward to working with her as a State Senator, especially in protecting our Delta, providing the best education for our children, and fostering small business invocation and growth in our economy.” McNerney said. “I’m proud to endorse Susan Bonilla’s campaign for State Senate.”

I’m honored to have the support of Congressman Jerry McNerney in my campaign for State Senate. Congressman McNerney is nationally recognized as a champion of veterans, for building a stronger economy, and for protecting the Delta,” Bonilla said. “We both share a strong commitment to preserving this great natural resource. In the State Senate, I will continue to voice my strong opposition to the Delta twin tunnel proposal, which would recklessly divert water out of our region.”

Bonilla has built a strong base of support and strong momentum. In addition to the receiving the Democratic Party endorsement, She’s recently earned the support of Congressman Mark DeSaulnier – who represented this district before being elected to Congress this fall, Congressman Mike Thompson, former Congresswoman and Undersecretary of State Ellen Tauscher, PORAC, AFSCME, the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, and the California Professional Firefighters.

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Watch State Senate special election forums on CCTV and online

Saturday, February 21st, 2015
Election Forum participants 2.17.15 1024x768 Watch State Senate special election forums on CCTV and online

Candidates in the 7th State Senate District special election, from left, Steve Glazer, Susan Bonilla, Joan Buchanan (in blue) and Terry Kremin, discuss the issues during a recent forum.

If you live within the boundaries of the 7th State Senate District, your mailbox has likely been overflowing with campaign materials over the past few weeks.  Now you can find out firsthand from the candidates themselves where they stand on the issues, with Contra Costa Television (CCTV) broadcasting a pair of election forums through March 16.

One candidate forum was held at an East Bay Leadership Council event on February 11, and the second roundtable, moderated by columnist Tom Barnidge of the Contra Costa Times, was recorded at CCTV on February 17.  The League of Women Voters of Diablo Valley and Contra Costa County Elections co-sponsored both events.

Four candidates are seeking to fill the spot vacated by former State Senator/current Congressman Mark DeSaulnier.  Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla, former Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan, Orinda City Councilman Steve Glazer and teacher Dr. Terry Kremin are vying for the seat.  A fifth candidate, the only Republican to enter the race, Michaela Hertle, dropped out too late for her name to be removed from ballots.  Vote by Mail ballots have already been sent to voters registered to receive them, with Election Day taking place on Tuesday, March 17. 

Airdates on Contra Costa Television for the CCTV forum are: Saturday, February 21, 7:00 p.m.; Sunday, February 22, 7:00 p.m.; Monday, February 23, 8:00 p.m.; Thursday, February 26, 6:00 p.m.; Saturday, February 28, 7:00 p.m.; Sunday, March 1, 7:00 p.m.; Monday, March 2, 8:00 p.m.; Saturday, March 7, 8:00 p.m.; Sunday, March 8, 7:00 p.m.; Saturday, March 14, 7:00 p.m.; Sunday, March 15, 7:00 p.m.; and Monday, March 16, 8:00 p.m.

Airdates on Contra Costa Television for the East Bay Leadership Council’s forum are:  Saturday, February 21, 8:00 p.m.; Sunday, February 22, 8:00 p.m.; Tuesday, February 24, 10:00 p.m.; Sunday, March 1, 9:00 p.m.; Monday, March 2, 9:00 p.m.; Saturday, March 7, 9:00 p.m.; Sunday, March 8, 8:00 p.m.; Saturday, March 14, 8:00 p.m.; Sunday, March 15, 8:00 p.m.; and Monday, March 16, 9:00 p.m.

CCTV is found on Comcast channel 27, Astound channel 32, and AT&T U-verse channel 99.  You can also watch the forums online, by visiting the Video on Demand page of the CCTV website at www.contracostatv.org.

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Drop-off box at Antioch City Hall for March 17 special State Senate election ballots beginning Feb 23

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

Residents will be able to save postage and time with expanding vote-by-mail program

Contra Costa residents residing in the 7th Senatorial District will find it easier to vote during the upcoming March 17th Special Primary Election, as the County Elections Office and City Clerks are again teaming up to provide convenient “CoCo Vote-N-Go” drop off locations prior to and on Election Day.

Antioch, Brentwood, Concord, Danville, Lafayette, Moraga, Oakley, Orinda, Pittsburg, San Ramon and Walnut Creek are participating for the March 17th Election (these are all the cities that are in the 7th Senatorial District). The secure, steel drop-off boxes will be in place at the listed city halls, starting the week of February 23rd – one week after permanent vote-by-mail ballots are mailed. Days and hours of availability will vary by city.

We are excited to continue working with our city partners to be able to offer voters the opportunity to cast vote-by-mail ballots in their local communities,” said Joe Canciamilla, Contra Costa Registrar of Voters. “We urge voters to take advantage of this service for this Special Election.”

The distinguishable red boxes will be available during normal city business hours. City staff members will also have the popular “I Voted” stickers upon request for those who drop off their ballots. Contra Costa voters can drop their ballot at any city hall, regardless of where they live. County elections officials will regularly pick up collected ballots.

Ballots may also be dropped off between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm at the County Elections Office in Martinez, located at 555 Escobar Street, or at any polling place on Election Day.

For more information about voting by mail, call 925-335-7800 or visit the County Elections website at www.cocovote.us.

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State Superintendent of Public Instruction Torlakson endorses Bonilla for State Senate

Sunday, February 15th, 2015

Endorsement adds to growing support for Bonilla among education leaders

Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla announced this week that her campaign for State Senate has earned the endorsement of State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson. Torlakson currently holds the highest education post in California, and previously served in the State Assembly – as well as holding the Senate seat that Bonilla is currently contesting. He started his political career as a member of the Antioch City Council, then was elected to the County Board of Supervisors. He was also a teacher and cross country coach.

As a classroom teacher and State Assemblywoman, Susan Bonilla has dedicated her life to California’s children and our public schools.  She has been an important and irreplaceable voice for improving academic standards, putting more students on the path to college, and ensuring every child has the opportunity to succeed” Torlakson said.  “I’m proud to endorse my good friend and fellow teacher, Susan Bonilla, for State Senate.”

Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson has been a consistent and dedicated champion for public education,” Assemblywoman Bonilla said.  “Our students and our state have benefited tremendously from his leadership and I’m honored to have his support.”

Bonilla has built a strong base of support and strong momentum – especially in the education community. Earlier this week, the Mt. Diablo Education Association (MDEA) announced their endorsement of Bonilla. MDEA is the largest teacher’s association in the senate district.

Bonilla has recently earned the endorsement of the California Democratic Party, Congressman Mark DeSaulnier – who represented this district before being elected to Congress last fall, Congressman Mike Thompson, former Congresswoman and Undersecretary of State Ellen Tauscher, PORAC, AFSCME, and the California Professional Firefighters.

To learn more, please visit www.susanbonilla.com.

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Congressman DeSaulnier endorses Bonilla in special election to fill his vacant State Senate seat

Saturday, February 14th, 2015

Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla announced on Tuesday that her special election campaign for State Senate has received the endorsement of Congressman Mark DeSaulnier, whose election to Congress in November triggered the special election to fill his seat.

Throughout her service to our community – as a teacher, Mayor, County Supervisor, and State Assemblymember – Susan has shown an unmatched ability to bring people together, create common-sense solutions, tackle the toughest issues, and deliver results,” said DeSaulnier.  “Susan Bonilla is the best candidate to represent us in the State Senate.  Our communities and the state will benefit greatly from her leadership.”

DeSaulnier held the 7th State Senate seat since 2008.

I’m deeply honored to have Congressman DeSaulnier’s support,” Bonilla said. “He is an outstanding public servant who has set a high standard and has already become a dynamic new member of Congress. In the 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.

His endorsement continues the growing list of endorsements that have gone to Bonilla over the course of recent weeks, including former U.S. Representative and Undersecretary of State Ellen Tauscher, California Department of Forestry Firefighters, Dublin Mayor David Haubert, and Contra Costa Sheriff David Livingston. Since announcing for State Senate in November, Bonilla has earned the support of:

CALFIRE Local 2881

Contra Costa County Deputy Sheriffs Association

Contra Costa County Deputy District Attorney’s Association

Deputy Sheriffs Association of Alameda County

United Professional Firefighters of Contra Costa County, Local 1230

Concord Police Association

Livermore Police Officer’s Association

Heat & Frost Insulators and Allied Trades Local 16

Ironworkers Local 378

Probation Peace Officers Association of Contra Costa County

Congresswoman and Undersecretary of State Ellen Tauscher (ret.)

Assemblymember Jim Frazier

Assemblymember Tony Thurmond

Assemblymember Jimmy Gomez

Assemblymember Richard Bloom

Assemblymember Roger Hernandez

Assemblymember Freddie Rodriguez

Contra Costa County Sheriff David Livingston

Contra Costa County Assessor Gus Kramer

Antioch Mayor Wade Harper

Antioch Councilmember Monica Wilson

Antioch Councilmember Tony Tiscareno

Clayton Councilmember Julie Pierce

Concord Mayor Tim Grayson

Concord Treasurer Thomas Wentling

Concord Councilmember Dan Helix

Concord Councilmember Laura Hoffmeister

Danville Mayor Robert Storer

Danville Councilmember Newell Arnerich

Dublin Mayor David Haubert

Dublin Councilmember Abe Gupta

Pittsburg Mayor Sal Evola

Pittsburg Councilmember Pete Longmire

Pittsburg Councilmember Ben Johnson

Pittsburg Councilmember Nancy Parent

Ambrose Parks Board Chair Mae Cendaña Torlakson

Ambrose Parks Board Member Judy Dawson

Ambrose Parks Board Member Eva Garcia

Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla is a former high school teacher, mayor and county supervisor, who has worked to strengthen neighborhood schools and protect public safety services, while successfully working to balance the state budget.

Prior to her election to the State Assembly in 2010, Bonilla served as a Contra Costa County Supervisor and as the Mayor of Concord – the largest community in the State Senate District. While serving her local community, Bonilla built and expanded job-training programs and job creation efforts that successfully helped residents get back to work during the recession.

In the State Assembly, she has consistently worked to invest in public education, strengthen neighborhood schools, and improve access to college and job-training programs for local students. 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.

Susan Bonilla has shown steadfast leadership in protecting early childhood education programs – saving transitional kindergarten, which gives young learners the foundations they need for success. Bonilla was the author of legislation that: expanded health care access for women, created the highest safety standards for California industrial sites while protecting manufacturing jobs, and provided more tools for law enforcement to keep our communities safe.

In her most recent term in office, Bonilla led legislative efforts to streamline education funding, giving local schools more control, make college more affordable, improve academic standards, modernize school curriculums, and secure $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, Susan 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. Susan resides in Concord with her husband, John. They have four daughters and three grandchildren.

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

To learn more, please visit www.susanbonilla.com.

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Antioch Mayor Harper responds to revived recall attempt, supporters can begin gathering signatures

Saturday, February 14th, 2015

By Allen Payton

As part of the recall process, Antioch Mayor Wade Harper had the opportunity to respond to the claims of the recall supporters.

Following is his official response to the Notice of Intention to Circulate Recall Petition, with which he was served at the City Council meeting on January 13, 2015.

As your Mayor and retired Police Lieutenant, reducing crime continues to be my top priority. Our families deserve to feel safe, that’s why I led the effort to approve Measure C – so Antioch would have the funds to hire more police officers. Our community united and we hired 10 new officers, which I personally swore in (Officers Mike Perez, Kyle Smith, J.B. Hulleman, Marcos Torres, Kenneth Krein, Scott Duggar, Amel Sahnic, Trak Keo-Vann, Ben Padilla and Matt Allendorph). We take pride in hiring the finest crime fighting officers. Aggressive hiring will continue. The cost of this recall may be up to $198,994.50 which could fund another 2 police officers. Under my leadership, Antioch has secured another $625,000 to hire 5 additional officers and our Police Department conducts weekly crime suppression operations – one of which resulted in 87 arrests in just a five-day period. Nothing is more important than keeping our neighborhoods and children safe. But to achieve that goal, it’s going to take all of us working together. We ended work furloughs city-wide and I believe great days are ahead. I respectfully ask that we unite as one community, to reject this recall, so we can continue this fight together.”

According to recall leader Rich Buongiorno, recall supporters were given the green light on Monday, February 9 to begin gathering the needed approximate 8,900 valid signatures of Antioch voters. They have 120 days to do so, in order to place the recall on the ballot. Should that occur, the election will be held some time later, this year.

The election will have two parts. The first will be a yes or no vote on recalling Harper. The second will be an election for a replacement candidate. Should Harper be recalled, the top vote-getter in the second part of the election will take his place as Mayor for the remainder of the term, through 2016.

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