Review of Members Meeting – March 27, 2018

Meeting Commenced at 6:30 pm


  • Maria Allegria, of the Contra Costa Democratic Club showed CADEM’s (California Democratic Party’s) announcement to honor ECDC, for Volunteer of the year award
  • Moved Crosby, seconded E. Brown to Waive 10-day notice rule to permit vote on Roosevelt Dinner advertisement – approved
  • Motion moved and seconded (Alegria/O’Connor) to take out a quarter page advertisement for the Roosevelt awards dinner, April 21, 2018, 6-9 pm, Concord Democratic Party of Contra Costa County ( approved
  • Al Miller Announcement: El Cerrito Library Foundation – For the first time the library will be open on Wednesdays. The First Wednesday Celebration will be on April 4, 2018 (4-6 pm). There will be a party at the Library – food, music and entertainment.
  • Joan Carpenter Announcement: The League of Women Voters West Contra Costa County is co-sponsoring with the County Library system an AD15 delegates candidates forum at San Pablo Library on April 23, 6:00 pm.
  • Ayore Riaunda running for Contra Costa County Auditor-Controller spoke – fight for good decent wages

ECDC Business

  • Minutes of Feb. 27, 2018 meeting moved/seconded (Allegria/Quinto) to approve– approved
  • Treasurer’s Report: Have a balance of $ 11,000. The club is financially stable. If members have not paid dues, please do so – Treasurers’ report approved
  • Ratification of Janet Abelson’s appointment of Hari Lamba as VP of Publications – moved/seconded (Miller/Lyman) to approve – approved

 6:45 Program Presentations

Lisa Tucker spoke on Regional Measure 3 (RM3) to be voted on by all nine Bay Area Counties in June.  Purpose is to help solve the Bay Area’s growing congestion problems.  The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) worked with the state Legislature to authorize this ballot measure to finance a comprehensive list of highway and transit improvements through an increase of bridge tolls over time on the region’s seven state-owned toll bridges. A handout brochure described transit, road and bridge projects that will benefit Contra Costa County, if approved. Question: Reduced fare for lower income folks? Answer: Transit will have lower cost, but toll will have to be fully paid. A number of RM3 projects were described by Lisa. Senate Bill 595 (authored by Sen. Jim Beall of San Jose) was passed by the Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Brown in fall 2017.  If approved by a majority of voters in Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano and Sonoma counties, toll revenues would be used to finance a $4.45 billion slate of highway and transit improvements in the toll bridge corridors and their approach routes.

Presentations by the East Bay Regional Parks: Erick Pfuehler, Government Affairs Manager, and Lisa Baldinger, Legislative Assistant, presented and discussed the proposition on the June 5 statewide ballot – Proposition 68.  A “yes” vote would authorize $4 billion in general obligation bonds for state and local parks, environmental protection projects, water infrastructure projects, and flood protection projects. $200 m for park districts, $21.25 m for SF Bay coastal conservancy, and $ 20 m for Measure AA. $ 725 m for parks for park poor neighborhoods. A number of other funding opportunities were presented.

Extension of East Bay CC Measure (2018 California Park and Water Bond & Measure CC Extension). This was adopted in 2004. There is a funding proposal for 11.5 added positions. 2004 allocations were $ 46m, and 2018 Final proposed allocations are $ 49m. Motion considered to consider in support of proposition 68 – Motion passed with one no vote. Motion to support other one – approved – 3 abstentions.

Rebecca Saltzman, El Cerrito art Director spoke on El Cerrito BART issues/SB 1 Repeal efforts and provided a brief update on issues impacting El Cerrito BART riders and stations.  Video shown – We’re Rebuilding. Showed track upgrades and replacements based on funding Measure RR Bonds issued $ 3.5 b. Independent oversight committee oversees the activity. She also provided information on efforts to place a proposition on the November ballot to repeal recently passed SB 1 (Beall) which raised the gas tax and will provide funding for a variety of road, transportation and transit programs and projects in the state. SB 1 funding projects were discussed – this money is needed for variety of improvements. New Train cars – they have ordered 775 cars. El Cerrito del Norte station will be modernized – expanded Paid Area and adding escalators. A new focus on fare evasion enforcement, higher barriers, etc. Cleaner stations, with 15 new cleaners, and deep cleaning nightly. Safety and security – hire more officers, increase visibility, and connect homeless to services. Get a Clipper Card Online. New youth fares. The noise reduction will focus on new wheel profiles and regular grinding of the track. New cars should reduce the noise. A number of questions were asked and answered. When they get a new train control system, they will be able to run more cars, so added funding in RM3 will help fund added cars.

Mister Phillips spoke about the 2nd Annual Building & Construction Trades Career Fair for middle and high school students, that will be held on Saturday, April 21, 11 am – 2 pm, at the Lavonya DeJean Middle School, 3400 McDonald Avenue, Richmond.  For more info contact Mister Phillips at (510) 307-7872, or at

County Candidates and Measure for ECDC Endorsement

The El Cerrito Democratic Club sought endorsement by its members of the following candidates and measures at the meeting on March 27, 2018.

The candidates included here are (1) Democrats running for positions in Contra Costa County and (2) the State Superintendent of Public Instruction — a non-partisan post where a majority vote on the June primary election will elect that candidate without a General Election campaign.

More information on Contra Costa County elections can be obtained at:

Ballots: Votes received for each candidate


  1. State Superintendent of Public Instruction
    • Tony Thurmond – 21 (Endorsed)
    • Marshall Tuck – 1
    • No Endorsement – 1

Contra Costa County:

  1. Contra Costa District Attorney
    • Diana Becton – 21 (Endorsed)
    • No Endorsement – 1
  2. Contra Costa County Superintendent of Schools
    • Lynn Mackey – 20 (Endorsed)
    • No Endorsement – 1
  3. Contra Costa County Assessor
    • Gus Kramer – 8 (No Decision)                                                  
    • Geoffrey William Steele – 4
    • No Endorsement – 8
  4. Contra Costa County Auditor-Controller
    1. Ayore Riaunda – 21 (Endorsed)
    2. No Endorsement – 2


  1. Regional Measure 3
    • Support – 19 (Endorsed)
    • Oppose – 2
    • No Endorsement – 1

Meeting adjourned around 8:15 pm

April Meeting Preview

Meeting will be held on April 24, 2018 at the Presbyterian Church at 545 Ashbury Ave, El Cerrito 94530.

Meeting begins at 6:30 PM. Arrive at 6 PM to enjoy Pizza for $5/ slice.

Agenda for the Business Meeting

  1. Minutes of March 27, 2018 Meeting
  2. Treasurer’s Report
  3. Consideration of Club Endorsements
  4. Program

Consideration of endorsement for the Peace Pledge

Background of Peace Pledge

Ann Schwartz of the Peace Committee of the Wellstone Democratic Renewal Club will discuss the “Peace Pledge” (below) which her Club is hoping legislators will sign and other political clubs will endorse:

As a candidate for a U.S. public office in 2018 — or as someone currently occupying a U.S. public office, as the case may be — I pledge to support and advance these four aims:

  1. Ample funding for community-based violence prevention programs and effective regulation of the manufacture, sale, transfer, and use of firearms.
  2. The non-violent resolution of international conflict and the abolition of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons.
  3. The sharp reduction of government military spending, and conversion from a military and fossil-fuel based economy to a sustainable economy that meets such civilian needs as health care, education, housing, mass transportation, renewable energy, and ending poverty.
  4. The provision of re-training and alternative employment for soldiers and military industry workers, enabling them to apply their experience and skills to civilian production.

In keeping with the above aims, I will not knowingly accept any campaign donations from military contractors or fossil fuel corporations.

Consideration of endorsement for the 11th Congressional District.

Background Regarding the candidates

Congressman Mark DeSaulnier is the incumbent that represents El Cerrito in California’s 11th Congressional District which includes a majority of Contra Costa County.  For more information on the congressman, go to:

His opponent is a Democratic candidate, Dennis Lytton, who is a union rep (AFSCME) for BART. Here is the link for Dennis’s campaign website:


Recent reports of federal agents working with ICE to gather undocumented citizens in Northern California for possible deportation have raised many local concerns.  Even though the El Cerrito City Council voted last year to make El Cerrito a “Sanctuary City” questions remain as to how local residents may be treated when harsh federal policies are implemented.

The speaking guests for the April 24th El Cerrito Democratic Club will provide a timely review of what our county and city are doing to support safety and justice for immigrant families and individuals in Contra Costa County:

  • Ali Saidi, Contra Costa County Public Defender will discuss the pilot program approved by the County Board of Supervisors, Stand Together Coco, which seeks to assure that all people in the county, regardless of citizenship or immigration status, are afforded their constitutional rights and protected from any actions or policies that result in discriminatory or unlawful treatment. Stand Together CoCo is a rapid response program that seeks to provide legal, educational and training services to those impacted by anti-immigrant policies or actions in Contra Costa County.
  • Paul Keith, City of El Cerrito Police Chief will discuss the police department’s approach to being a Sanctuary City and how it hopes to assure that residents are protected from any actions which unduly impact undocumented residents living among us.  Chief Keith was instrumental in supporting efforts helping to designate El Cerrito as a Sanctuary City.

Jobs & Economy Resolution Approved and Issued

The following resolution was approved at the February 27, 2018, membership meeting:

“A Pro-Employment & Pro-Environment Industrial Policy

WHEREAS, Republican strategies on jobs and economy aiming at tax cuts, trade agreement changes, and reduced regulations will fail to create the claimed number of jobs, although they claim to be the party of jobs, business and economic development.

WHEREAS, the Democratic Party needs to strengthen its rhetoric in this area by proposing a bold and courageous plan of its own, so that it can regain advantage by claiming to be THE party that knows better how to create sustainable and manufacturing jobs.

WHEREAS, in the last election, the Democratic Party lost many working class voters that had traditionally voted for the Democratic Party, and we face the need to win these voters back, besides motivating new and young voters to vote with us on candidates and issues

BE IT RESOLVED, that we propose a four-point strategy on jobs and economy that will pose a strong counter point to the proposals so far trotted out by the Republican Party, namely

  1. Encourage pro-employment tax reform that will allow depreciation of Human Capital like training and other forms of education.
  2. Encourage a pro-employment re-industrialization policy that systematically creates new industries and businesses that favor greater employment per unit of finance, supporting the process all the way from R&D to production, and from financing to marketing.
  3. To help depressed communities, favor local production for local use, that would encourage R&D and the development of industries that develop capital equipment for the processing of agricultural, forestry and fishery products – food and non-food, from a wide variety of local sources.
  4. Favor the Transforming of All Activities – Making them Sustainable, Pro-Environment & Climate Friendly: By transforming activities leading to Sustainable Energy, eco-Cities and Townships, Sustainable Industry (using clean energy and recycling all products), sustainable Transportation (low carbon, low noise and low pollution), sustainable Agriculture, Forestry & Fisheries

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we recommend the Democratic Party adopt this as a Resolution at higher levels of the Party and that all candidates, local, state or national, be encouraged to adopt such jobs and economy rhetoric as part of their election campaigns to counteract the strategies on this front by the Republicans, and in their subsequent work if elected.”

Contact: Hari Lamba, member El Cerrito Democratic Club,