Archive for the ‘Politics & Elections’ Category

Initiative proposed to make it easier to fire bad teachers in California

Friday, January 3rd, 2014

Sacramento- StudentsFirst recently filed for an initiative to increase the firing of bad performing teachers in California school districts.

Michelle Rhee founded StudentsFirst that is based in Sacramento, CA. Rhee is married to Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson. She is the ex-Washington DC Chancellor for Public Schools (2007-2010).

Rhee came into a broken public education system in Washington DC. Washington DC has one of the top spending per pupil, but had the lowest ratings in its schools. The situation was so dire that parents sent their kids to private schools, if they could afford it. School buildings were not properly maintained.

Rhee enacted basic reform such as easy firing bad performing teachers, principals, and administration. Rhee saved Washington DC taxpayer money by enacting efficiencies in the Washington DC public school system. The process to fire a bad performing teacher, or an administrator takes months, if not years. In the private sector, it occurs fast and at moment’s notice if performance is poor.

To learn more about StudentsFirst visit www.studentsfirst.org.

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Two-man opposition campaign to Measure C

Thursday, October 24th, 2013
Karl Dietzel with No on C sign 1024x768 Two man opposition campaign to Measure C

Antioch resident Karl Dietzel holds a No on Measure C campaign sign at the entrance of In-Shape on Lone Tree Way, on Friday morning, October 11.

By Allen Payton

Antioch residents Karl Dietzel and Fred Hoskins have mounted a grassroots campaign to oppose Measure C, the half-cent sale tax increase measure on Antioch’s November ballot. Dietzel recently held a sign made by Hoskins at the entrance to the In-Shape City health club on Lone Tree way, one morning.

Their effort is juxtaposed to the well-financed yes on Measure C campaign, led by Antioch Mayor Wade Harper, that’s raised over $44,000 as of October 19th and has signs throughout the city, as well as newspaper ads and mailers.

The election is Tuesday, November 5.

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Yes on Measure C campaign funded by out of town interests, spends money outside Antioch, too

Thursday, October 24th, 2013

By Allen Payton

The financial reports of the yes on Measure C campaign, officially known as Citizens for a Safe Antioch in Support of Measure C, campaigning to get voters to approve a half-cent sales tax increase in Antioch, disclose that the $44,170 that’s been raised to date has predominantly come from outside of the community. The latest reports are dated October 19.

The largest contributions include $10,000 from the Building Industry Association of Northern California, $5,000 from Allied Waste, $5,000 from the California Association of Realtors PAC, and the most, $13,650 came from the California Apartment Association, which opposed the landlord fee the council majority chose to not put on the ballot.

Only $1,350 of reported contributions came from Antioch-based interests or individuals, including Roddy Ranch Golf Management and Gloria Martin

As for where the committee spent their money, they bought signs from a company in Oakdale, paid for someone in Chico to design the signs, printers in San Francisco and the consultant (the same one who ran Harper’s, Rocha’s and Tiscareno’s campaigns, last year), who is based in Concord. So much for shopping local.

Wade Harper signed the forms as the Principal Officer and Martha Parsons as the Committee Treasurer.

The campaign finance reports are public documents available for anyone to read and obtain a copy of at the Antioch City Clerk’s office on the first floor of City Hall, 3rd and H Streets.

No formal opposition has developed, although two men have made and displayed No on Measure C signs, including Fred Hoskins and Karl Dietzel.

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Frazier, DeSaulnier vote to allow non-citizen poll workers for elections

Thursday, July 11th, 2013

By Allen Payton, Publisher

According to an article on Breitbart.com, on Monday, July 8, 2013, “the California State Senate passed legislation AB817 that would allow non-citizens to help voters when they cast their ballots. Assemblyman Rob Bonta, D-Alameda sponsored the bill, which would permit as many as five permanent residents who entered the U.S. legally to help voters at polling places.”

According to the LegiScan website, State Senator Mark DeSaulnier, who represents Antioch, voted in favor or the bill and when the State Assembly passed the bill on May 23, Assemblyman Jim Frazier, who also represents Antioch, voted in favor, as well.

It is illegal for non-citizens to vote in American elections.

Now the bill goes back to the Assembly for a final vote, with the changes made by the Senate.

To track the bill and for more information on the bill, click here.

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East County Republican Women to hold monthly meeting

Friday, May 31st, 2013

Republican Logo East County Republican Women to hold monthly meetingEast Contra Costa Republican Women will meet on Thursday, June 13, 11:30 a.m. Location: Caps Oak Street Bar And Grill, 144 Oak Street in Brentwood. For reservations call (925) 286-7674. Price is $20 per person. Guests are always welcome.

For more information, please contact Michele White at (253) 426-0843.

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Frazier secures Assembly Transportation and Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee assignments

Friday, January 11th, 2013

Antioch’s new representative in Sacramento has secured positions on two key California State Assembly committees that will benefit the community.

Assembly Speaker John Pérez assigned Assemblyman Jim Frazier to three standing committees for the 2013-2014 legislative session: Insurance Committee, Transportation Committee and Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee.  As previously announced by Pérez, Frazier will also serve as Chair of the Assembly Accountability and Administrative Review Committee.

In addition, Frazier announced the selection of his Sacramento Chief of Staff, Debra Gravert, as well as his District Director, Jennifer Barton.

Gravert has over 25 years of experience working in the State Capitol and brings vast expertise to the position. She formerly served as Chief of Staff to Assemblymember Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael) and Assemblymember Fran Pavley (D-Agoura Hills).  Gravert will manage all staff and operations for Frazier’s District and Capitol offices and serve as his principal staff advisor on legislative issues.

As District Director, Jennifer will direct the staff in the two local offices of Assemblyman Frazier, overseeing District operations such as constituent services, community outreach, town hall meetings and events.  Barton is a seasoned District Director having served as the District Director for former Assemblywoman Helen Thomson, Senator Lois Wolk, and Congresswoman Ellen Tauscher.

In addition to Gravert and Barton, the Frazier team also includes Lawrence Cooper, Legislative Director; Tisha Simpson, Scheduler; Zachary Leary, Legislative Assistant; and Brandon King, Field Representative.

“I am excited and honored to serve the residents and communities in the 11th Assembly District,” said Frazier.  “Having talented professionals on my team will help me to do just that.”

Assemblymember Frazier’s Sacramento office is located at:

State Capitol, Room 3091

Sacramento, CA 95814

916/319-2011 (phone)

916/319-2111 (fax)

A Contra Costa County District office will open as soon as office space is found.

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Former labor leader, retired steelworker Tony Tiscareno appointed to the Antioch City Council

Tuesday, December 18th, 2012
Simonsen administers Oath to Tiscareno 1024x768 Former labor leader, retired steelworker Tony Tiscareno appointed to the Antioch City Council

New Antioch City Clerk Arne Simonsen administers the Oath of Office to Tony Tiscareno, following his appointment by the City Council to fill Mayor Harper’s unexpired term on, Tuesday, December 18, 2012.

By Allen Payton, Publisher

Antioch Mayor Harper and the Council majority made their decision, tonight and appointed Tony Tiscareno, a retired steelworker, former labor union leader, and 42-year Antioch resident to the vacant City Council seat.

The seat is the unexpired term of Harper, who stepped down mid-way through his first term on the Council after being elected Mayor.

Tiscareno was one of nine applicants, including former Mayors Jim Davis and Don Freitas, as well as former Mayor Pro Tem Manny Soliz, Jr. who sought the appointment.

Following three-minute presentations by each of the candidates, and comments from the public, the council deliberated, with the guidance of City Attorney Lynn Tracy Nerland, on how to proceed with the appointment process.

After three rounds of votes to advance or eliminate applicants, only two candidates emerged with at least three votes of the council members: Freitas and Tiscareno.

Recently rumored to be a favorite, along with Antioch Planning Commissioner Vincent Manuel, the 56 year-old Tiscareno was chosen on a 3-1 vote, with Councilman Gary Agopian dissenting. Following the vote, Agopian asked that he be allowed to make it unanimous to show solidarity on the council and support for the newly appointed councilman. The official vote was changed to 4-0 in favor of Tiscareno.

He was then given the Oath of Office by City Clerk Arne Simonsen.

Tiscareno worked for 33 years as a steelworker, and served as the Political Director for the Contra Costa Labor Council, until March of last year. He then served as Campaign Director, this year, for newly elected Assemblyman Jim Frazier, who was in attendance during tonight’s council meeting. Tiscareno also used to own a small business in Antioch, in the 1990′s, trading sports cards. He stated he had coached youth sports in Antioch, as well. He is married and has a daughter and a son.

In his appointment application statement, Tiscareno said he will focus on public safety, youth, economic development and public works.

Congratulations to Antioch’s newest council member, Tony Tiscareno. Good luck, God bless and do well.

 

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Simonsen takes Oath of Office as Antioch’s new City Clerk

Friday, December 14th, 2012
Arne Simonsen oath 1024x768 Simonsen takes Oath of Office as Antiochs new City Clerk

Outgoing City Clerk Denise Skaggs administers the Oath of Office to new Antioch City Clerk Arne Simonsen, as his parents Otis and Betty Simonsen hold his grandfather’s Bible.

By Allen Payton, Publisher

Newly elected Antioch City Clerk returned from Scotland, this week and was sworn in on Thursday, December 13 in the City Council Chambers by outgoing Clerk Denise Skaggs, before a small group of family, friends and supporters.

His parents Otis and Betty Simonsen held his grandfather’s Bible upon which he took the oath.

Before taking his oath, Simonsen joked “I just hope the Mayor won’t call me Madame Clerk.”

Following the brief ceremony, Simonsen offered treats from Scotland to those in attendance. One humorous moment occurred when he was questioned whether it was appropriate for an elected official to give out “Flake” chocolate candy bars. (They’re made by Cadbury and are tasty). Former Mayor Don Freitas, who was in attendance, said “It only matters if you eat one.”

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