As well as the excellent presentation on Measure AA by our County Supervisor John GIoia, several of our members provided information about upcoming events, and our Vice President of Membership Igor Tregub presented legislation sponsored by our Assemblymember Tony Thurmond and our State Senator Loni Hancock.

Jonee Grassi announced the May 16 lobbying day for healthcare as announced elsewhere in the newsletter.

Al Miller announced the April 2 candidates’ roundup for SD 9 presented by the NAACP.

Rita Xavier is a Member of Senior Legislators working on senior related legislation.  Unfortunately, this group may be disbanded due to lack of funding.  It’s funded through a check box on tax return.  

Gabe Quinto announced the Contra Costa Democratic Central Committee Third Annual Roosevelt Dinner on April 23 at the Concord Crowne Plaza Hotel.  Our own Hilary Crosby will receive the Volunteer of the Year Award, and several other luminaries will receive awards.  See complete information at

Kiev Smith announced a disco dance party Fundraiser for Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Igor Tregub discussed the Young Dems Convention and its endorsement of Kamala Harris.

Betty Brown announced a reading in 17 parts of Martin Luther King’s Beyond Vietnam speech, by a coalition of antiwar groups, on April 5 at Oakland’s Frank Ogawa Plaza.

Paul Fadelli delivered several pieces of information about ongoing security at BART, the track closure, and the collaboration between BART and the Arts Commission plans for the Del Norte Station.

Rochelle Pardue-Okimoto informed us that the El Cerrito Human Rights Commission is working on ways to address the recent hate Crime in El Cerrito, and that the NAACP Chapter has a subcommittee to move to respond to this as well.  

Igor Tregub presented information on the following legislation which our club then voted unanimously to support:

Assemblymember Tony Thurmond’s bills ABX 2-9; AB2406; AB 2756; AB 2824 and Senator Loni Hancock’s Senate bills SB 1277; SB 1278; SB 1279; SB 1280 which were more fully described in our March, 2016 newsletter article which you can read at


Our April 26 meeting, in two parts, will begin promptly at 6:30 in order to prepare for and vote for endorsements.  After our votes have been cast, we will welcome Aimee Allison, Co-Director of the Democracy in Color campaign at PowerPAC+, who will present material from Brown is the New White, How the Demographic Revolution Has Created a New American Majority.  

The book by Steven Phillips, co-founder of PowerPAC+, presents a compelling description of the changing demographics of the American electorate, and how important grassroots Democratic activists will be in updating our party’s approach to reaching out to voters.

PowerPAC+ is building the political power of the multiracial majority in America in order to elect progressive leaders to public office simply because America’s politics should evolve as people of color become the majority.

Aimee Allison is a journalist, organizer, and author; her book Army of None exposed deceptive recruitment practices of the US armed forces and presented a strategy to counter military recruitment and build a better world.

Brown is the New White is an engrossing book.  Even while I was engrossed in the material, I wanted to throw the book aside and get busy working to put its ideas into practice.  I think this will be an inspiring way for us to begin our 2016 voter outreach.  We will have copies of the book for sale at our meeting.


We will be casting endorsement votes in the following races:

  • President of the United States (POTUS)
  • California Senate District 9 (SD 9)
  • Contra Costa County Democratic Party Central Committee (DPCC) Supervisorial District 1

Since the candidates for POTUS will not be available to address our club, and all three candidates for SD 9 spoke at our January meeting, representatives of their campaigns will speak for 2-3 minutes on their behalf.  

There are 8 candidates for DPCC; and each candidate will speak for 2 minutes.  

To insure that we have adequate time for our main presentation, there will be NO time allotted to ask questions of any candidates or their representatives.  

New club members who joined by March 12, and current members, will be eligible to receive a ballot.  Any member now lapsed who was in good standing as of December 31, 2015 may pay their 2016 dues and receive a ballot as well.  Ballots may be filled in and submitted for counting at any time up to the beginning of the evening’s main presentation by Aimee Allison.  

What Is the Contra Costa County Central Committee…

…and Why Are We Endorsing Candidates for Supervisorial District 1?

Before we get into the gist of this article, CONGRATULATIONS are in order to our Executive Vice President Mister Phillips on the birth of his third child on Sunday, April 10.  He was going to write this article, but I’m sure we can all understand that family matters took precedence.

Since we have not endorsed in the Central Committee election for a long time, if ever, and since we have many new members since last year when Contra Costa County Democratic Party Central Committee (CCCDPCC) Chair Jeff Koertzen made a presentation, our club officers believe it would be beneficial to provide some information about what the partisan central committees are in California, and what they do.

Under the California Elections Code, partisan central committees in each county serve as the official party organization for that county.  With certain exceptions (counties with more than 5 assembly districts, as well as San Francisco, Alameda and Sacramento), representatives to the county central committees are elected by Supervisorial District.  

Party Central Committees have the authority to charter organizations, such as clubs, within the county that will use the party’s official name or designation (e.g. Democrat, Democratic) in their name, make official party endorsements, arrange for campaign headquarters, and other partisan activities.

Seats are assigned to each supervisorial district based on the number of voters for each party’s gubernatorial candidate in the most recent election.  In Contra Costa, we have 23 seats as follows:

  • District 1: 5 Seats
  • District 2: 6 Seats
  • District 3: 3 Seats
  • District 4: 5 Seats
  • District 5: 4 Seats

Per our bylaws, the CCCDPCC members are elected every four years during the Presidential primary (June 7, 2016).  As well as the 23 members elected by registered Democrats, our voting members include as ex officio members the elected Democrats or, where no Democrat won, the endorsed Democratic candidates for state and federal office who reside in Contra Costa County, and any individuals who serve as elected officers of the California Democratic Party who reside in or represent a portion of Contra Costa County.  For example, both Hilary Crosby, a Contra Costa resident and the statewide Controller of the CDP, and Royce Kelley, an Alameda County resident and regional director for the CDP region that includes Assembly District 15, are ex officio members, as is State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson.

Each elected and each ex officio member is entitled and encouraged to appoint an alternate who can vote in that member’s absence.  The alternates, as well as other Democrats registered in Contra Costa County can become associate members.  Associate members cannot vote on official CCCDPCC matters, but can serve on subcommittees and vote on subcommittee recommendations to the official body.

The endorsement function of the CCCDPCC is especially important because the CDP provides door hangers to every county committee.  These door hangers come with the statewide, endorsed candidates pre-printed on them, and there is room for the County Committees to print the names of the Congressional, State Senate, Assembly, and local endorsed candidates as well.  These door hangers are distributed to hundreds of thousands of registered Democrats throughout the County.

If County committees endorse against the CDP’s endorsements in the partisan races (statewide, congress, state senate, and Assembly), the CDP may refuse to seat the County Committee’s delegates to the annual state party convention.  However, the county committee has total control over which candidates it endorses, and publically supports on its doorhangers, for the non-partisan races for county, municipal, regional and special district offices.

Historically, the county central committee members have been very interested in the opinions of elected members who live in specific municipalities and districts when considering endorsements for local races.

In addition to endorsements, the CCCDPCC hosts an annual dinner, an annual summer barbecue and an annual holiday party which are all well attended.  These events offer excellent opportunities to meet and talk personally with our elected officials, as well as labor union members and local activists from all across the county.

For more information about our central committee, you can look at the website:

Hilary Crosby