A Progressive Alamedan

Various writings from a resident of Alameda regarding the political scene. The local perspective of local, state and national politics and a few other odds and ends of local concern. May not be particularly interesting to people outside of the Alameda area.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Come Meet Jerry McNerney in Alameda!

Richard Pombo is the worst member of congress today. Corrupt like Tom Delay, in the pocket of the oil companies, the most anti-environmentalist representative in the country. And he's from our area -- the congressional district that includes Pleasanton, Morgan Hill, Stockton, and Tracy.

The guy who will take down Pombo in 2006, with our help, is Jerry McNerney. I mentioned that I was planning on a house party to benefit his campaign here in Alameda ... well, it's a "go" and it's less than two weeks away! And what's the coolest is that McNerney himself will be here at the party.

Readers of this weblog, consider yourselves invited. It's September 10, 2:30-5 PM, at my house in Alameda. RSVP by emailing me at JerryParty@karelia.com; I'll reply with directions to my house.

Come to meet Jerry McNerney, share with him your concerns and listen to his plans to guarantee a brighter future for America. Please come and enjoy refreshments, great conversation, and help make a difference "Right in Our Own Backyard."

If you have a local blog, or have friends and associates who might also like to see Pombo get ousted, feel free to mention this even to them as well. The more the merrier!

If you can't make it, feel free to make a bit of a donation on Jerry's website or using my ActBlue page.

Alameda City Council Race: a first look

I was hoping to write something up about the upcoming city council/mayoral race before my vacation, but it didn't happen. So a bit late, here is my initial take on things.

According to this report, we have the following candidates for Mayor:

  • Doug deHaan
  • Beverly Johnson, incumbent
  • Kenneth Kahn

For City Council:
  • Pat Bail
  • Ashley Jones
  • Frank Matarrese
  • Michael Rich
  • Eugenie Thomson
  • Lena Tam

One thing that is interesting is that Doug deHaan, Pat Bail, and Eugenie Thomson have banded together as a slate. What an odd trio! Pat Bail, you may recall, unsuccessfully spent almost $100K of her own money (hugely outspending her opponents) in the last CC race, and thankfully failed. So now she's at it again, and I'm guessing that she is enticing the other candidates to share in her riches if they join her team. Although deHaan has been a bit too conservative for me, he's at least a Democrat, so what is he doing with this right-winger? And what I've heard about Thompson has been quite positive in the past, so again, why is she teaming up with Bail? I'd be inclined to give Thomson my vote in spite of this, but I certainly wouldn't give her slate a nickel of support.

On the Mayoral race, then, I'd like to know more about Kenneth Kahn. Will his campaign get started soon, or is this just a no-budget, what-the-heck candidate? I'm not particularly a fan of Johnson's development-no-matter-what approach, but she would probably be preferable to deHaan.

The Council lineup is of course bigger. It looks like Lena Tam of the Hospital board is already actively campaigning, and she seems to have a lot of support from mainstream democrats. Her race is one to watch. My neighbor Michael Rich is running as well; he works for the Air Quality district if I recall, so he is certainly going to have an environmental background. I haven't talked with him too much about the issues, though, so I'm not ready for any kind of endorsement at this time. Incumbent Frank Mataresse is running again, and he certainly has my support; he's been consistenly on-board with progressive issues. I'm hoping that the controversy regarding his son won't bring down his candidacy; certainly Don Roberts is taking every chance he gets.

I don't know much more about the candidates, but I'm hoping to learn more. This posting from Lauren Do, whose blog I just discovered, has a bit of analysis of a recent Don Roberts show that might be interesting.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Phil and Howard in San Francisco; Upcoming Propositions

I was in San Francisco last week for a conference so I stopped by the rally featuring Governor Howard Dean and Gubernatorial candidate Phil Angelides. Other local politicians were there. It was a great gathering; I saw a number of the usual active citizens from the Bay Area and got to chat with Ralph from Latinos for America as we waited for the main event. After the speechifying, I got a chance to thank Angelides for his bold endorsement of Proposition 89, the clean-money initiative, which the California Democratic Party wouldn't take a stand on.

(At least the California Dem's stances are otherwise reasonable, though I haven't looked into the details of all of them. (Please leave any insights in the comments!)

It occurred to me that Proposition 85 is just Proposition 73, but 12 months later. 73 + 12 = 85 and the answer is still NO!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Walk/Bike to see An Inconvenient Truth

Now Alamedans can see An Inconvenient Truth without leaving the island, and without getting in their cars!

It will be playing at Central Cinema, 842 Central Ave., starting August 11, at 8:45 PM. There will be free popcorn refills to those who walk or bike to the theatre! (And from personal experience, they will generally let you bring in your bike and park it indoors!)

Wine and Poltics

I don't have any connection with this event; I just stumbled upon it today. But it looks pretty cool: a wine tasting party next Friday in Oakland "to support a critical Democratic victory in the House of Representatives"

I'm all for good wine, and I'm all for good representation in Congress. Too bad I won't be in town that evening....

Friday, August 04, 2006

Phil Makes a Bold Move

I've supported Phil Angelides in his run for Governor halfheartedly so far. I certainly preferred him over Steve Westly in the primary race (in spite of Steve coming up to me and talking for a couple of minutes). Phil's message is great, and right on track with my values and the values of, I'd hope, the majority of Californians. But his campaign really hasn't inspired me.

Until now. Phil took a bold step and endorsed the upcoming Proposition 89, the clean money initiative that would decimate corporate purchasing of politicians in California. Conventional wisdom was that mainstream Democrats would oppose this because it would shift the balance of power. (Naturally, Republicans all line up to oppose this concept, even though many Republicans in states where Clean Money has already passed have stated that they like the results.)

Publically endorsing Proposition 89 is good for two reasons: It will help the proposition, I think, and get more Democrat candidates and pundits to come on-board, and help influence the vote come November. And perhaps more important, it shows that Phil is taking a stand, and not just being the Anti-Arnold.

Go Phil Go!