Our next meeting is probably our most important of this election cycle – the meeting when we vote on our Club endorsements in local races.
Because this is such an important meeting, we hold it on a Saturday (this year on SATURDAY, AUGUST 27), and in a bigger venue. These are the particulars:
TIME: 10 AM – 3 PM
LOCATION: El Cerrito High School Cafeteria (fully accessible, great location, lots of free, on-street parking)
FORMAT: Each candidate will have 2 minutes for an opening statement; we will provide cards and pencils for the audience members to pose questions which our moderator will read. Candidates will have 30 seconds to a minute to respond to each question. We will group the presentations so all candidates for any given seat will present as a group.
VOTING: We have voting cards for all members eligible to vote, comprising anyone who was a member by July 13 (mail-in membership) or July 15 (online membership). Members will sign in and, if eligible, pick up a ballot. The voting card for each member who signs in will be moved from the “pending” group to the “registered” group. We will thus insure that no one receives more than one ballot, which will be pre-numbered with a unique number. To preserve the confidentiality of the vote, we will NOT RECORD which number a member receives. We will use the numbered ballots to cross-reference the total number of ballots issued to the total number of voting cards retained.
Members may complete and submit their ballots at any time during the meeting. In order to be counted, ballots must be submitted within 5 minutes of the close of all presentations.
Craig Cheslog, CDP Regional Director for Region 2 (Assembly district 4, 11, 14 and 16) has graciously agreed to serve as our Elections Judge. He will monitor the registration and ballot distribution and oversee the ballot counting. Per our newly amended standing rules, once the results are announced, any member may challenge to the results. If there is a challenge, our election judge will recount the votes in the challenged race.
We will vote on several propositions and measures, including Propositions 57 and 58, as well as a bond measure for California Parks (AB 2444) which were not finalized by our July meeting, and measures for AC Transit, West Contra Costa School District, and the El Cerrito Library,
As of today (July 29), there are candidates running in the following districts:
West Contra Costa Unified School District Board – 3 candidates for 2 seats
El Cerrito City Council – 4 candidates for 3 seats
AC Transit At Large – 2 candidates for 1 seat
AC Transit Ward 1 – 1 candidate for 1 seat
East Bay Regional Parks – 1 candidate for 1 seat
Contra Costa Board of Education District 1 – 1 candidate for 1 seat
BART District 3 – 2 candidates for 1 seat
BART District 7 – 2 candidates for 1 seat
Kensington Police Protection Community Services – 1 candidate for 2 seats
Kensington Fire Protection – 1 candidate for 2 seats
West Contra Costa County Health District – No candidates for 2 seats
We will only have presentations and votes to endorse in races where there are more candidates running than vacant seats. We will ask candidates in uncontested races to present at a later “Meet the Electeds” meeting.
As we have in the past, the ECDC will provide coffee, tea, and water. We will invite the candidates to bring finger foods.
Although this description makes it sound complicated, our annual endorsement meeting has generally been informative and even fun. This is local retail politics in action, and an experience you will want to enjoy.