Because this is such an important meeting, we hold it on a Saturday (this year on SATURDAY, AUGUST 27), and in a bigger venue: The cafeteria of El Cerrito High School.

Here 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 questions.

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.  (Anyone who was a member by July 13 (joined by mail) or July 15 (joined on line) will be eligible to vote.)  Members will sign in and pick up a ballot.  The voting card for each member who signs in will be moved from the pending group to the registered group.  In this way, we will insure that no one receives more than one ballot.

Ballots will be pre-numbered to make sure that each voter receives only one ballot; in order to preserve the confidentiality of the vote, we will NOT KEEP RECORDS of which number a member receives.  We will use the numbered ballots to cross reference the total number of ballots released 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 the presentations.  We anticipate that the close of presentations will be about 3:30 pm.

Craig Cheslog, the Regional Director for Region 2 (Assembly district 4, 11, 14 and 16) has graciously agreed to serve as our Elections Judge.  In that capacity 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 the results at that time.  If there is a challenge, our election judge will recount the votes in the challenged race.  Only challenges submitted immediately after the results announcement will be accepted.


We will vote on several propositions and measures, including Propositions 57 and 58 as well as a bond measure for California Parks (AB 2444) if it is finalized in time to be included in our ballots, and measures for AC Transit, West County Transportation Authority, West Contra Costa School District, and the El Cerrito Library.

Here is a list of the positions and candidates who had filed by August 12, and the times of each panel. This schedule is tentative:

AC Transit At-Large, 11:00 – 11:20
Chris Peeples
Dollene Jones
BART Districts 3 and 7, 11:20 – 12:20
Ken Chew
Rebecca Saltzman
Lateefah Simon
Roland Emerson **
Will Roscoe
Zachary Mallett
Board of Education District 1 12:20 – 1:05
Elaine Merriweather *
Fatima Sierre Alleyne
Pam Mirabella
Talya Huntley *
West Contra Costa School Board, 1:05 – 2:05
Antonio Medrano
Ayana Young
Carlos Taboada
Don Gosney
Miriam S Sequeira *
Mister Phillips
Tom Panas
Kensington Police Protection & Community Services, 2:05 – 2:50
Chuck Toombs
David Spath
Eileen Nottoli *
Simon Brafman
Sylvia Hacaj
El Cerrito City Council, 2:50 – 3:30
Greg Lyman
James Shirazi ***
Nicholas Arzio
Paul Fadelli
Rochelle Okimoto

Candidate statements follow this article except as noted below:

* – We were unable to connect with these candidates in time for them to submit articles by our newsletter deadline

** The candidate chose not to submit a statement

*** The candidate is not a registered Democrat

As we have in the past, the ECDC will provide coffee, tea, and water.  We will invite the candidates to bring finger foods.

Although the description makes it sound complicated, the endorsement meetings have generally been informative and even fun.  This is local retail politics in action, and will be an experience you will want to enjoy.