Action Alert: El Cerrito City Council Discusses Increasing Minimum Wage Tuesday Night

The El Cerrito City Council discusses increasing the minimum wage in El Cerrito on Tuesday, August 18 at 7:00 p.m.  We need Club members to show up and express their support for a higher minimum wage in the City.  Let’s show our electeds and the community the ECDC is a force to be reckoned with!

The Club passed a resolution in May supporting a higher minimum wage in El Cerrito because a person who works full time should earn enough to pay for her or his basic living expenses.

Working households can’t survive on the current minimum wage while struggling to afford the high cost of living in our City and throughout the Bay Area.

A higher minimum wage rate helps households become more economically stable, protects public safety/health, reduces employee turnover within businesses and provides a boost for the local economy.

Since passing the resolution,  our Club gained the support of local businesses, community groups, residents, other Democratic Clubs and elected officials.

Here’s the list of supporters:

El Cerrito business owners, community groups and residents.
Martin Kaliski, Owner, Marty’s Motors
John Stashik, Owner, Premier Graphics
Gerald Sandlin, Owner, Grand Barber Shop
Eddie and Julie Pledger, Owners, Velocity Lock and Key
Otis Timmons, Owner, Raphael’s Shutter Cafe
El Cerrito Democratic Club
NAACP El Cerrito Chapter
El Cerrito Committee on Aging
El Cerrito Crime Prevention Committee
Todd Groves, WCCUSD School Board President*
Pamela Mirabella, Area 1 Trustee/President, CCC Board of Education*
Rochelle Pardue Okimoto, CADEM AD15 Delegate and DPCCC Alternate
Dave Weinstein, Freelance Journalist
Nicholas Galloro, Community Activist
Ronnie Polonski, Community Activist
Helen Dickey, Community Activist
Ruth Breech, Community Activist
Al Miller, Community Activist

2. Officials, clubs and committees serving El Cerrito and the greater area.
Asm. Tony Thurmond AD15
John Gioia, Contra Costa County Supervisor*
Valerie Cuevas, WCCUSD School Board Member*
Rebecca Saltzman, BART District 3 Director*
Vincent Casalaina, Vice Chair, CADEM Progressive Caucus*
Democratic Party of Contra Costa County
East Bay Young Democrats

3. Other Supporters.
Jesse Arreguin, Berkeley City Councilmember*
James Chang, Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board Member*
Yvonne Steffen, Community Activist

*Titles of endorsers are for reference only

We want the City Council to enact a minimum wage ordinance by January 1, 2016 with amount and annual adjustments no less than those set forth in the City of Richmond.

A higher rate can’t wait.  See you Tuesday night.

-Carla Hansen, El Cerrito Democratic Club President

Meeting Preview

Tuesday, July 28 6:00 p.m

Zion Presbyterian Church 545 Ashbury Ave.

The next Club meeting will be on Tuesday, July 28.

Our guest speaker will be Joshua Simon, who is going to speak on affordable housing issues and a presentation from the Writers Coach Connection. The Club will also be considering a resolution to support closing the commercial property tax loophole created by Prop 13.

About our speaker:

Joshua Simon leads the East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation (EBALDC) to build healthy, vibrant neighborhoods by working in coalition with other organizations to coordinate efforts and build community assets. He served as EBALDC’s Senior Project Manager and Director of Real Estate

Development from 1994 to 2006 and has been Executive Director since April 2013, where he developed mixed use affordable housing complexes and nonprofit community complexes.

His past work includes seven years as Director of Real Estate Consulting at the Northern California Community Loan Fund (NCCLF), where he worked with community organizations throughout Northern California to provide strategic planning for their facility needs. One of his consulting assignments was to facilitate the formation of the Community Arts Stabilization Trust (CAST). He has continued to work with CAST as Treasurer of the Board. His past work includes the development of co-housing, community facilities for arts and social service organizations, artists’ live/work studios and community projects that achieved historic preservation goal.

Throughout his career, he has been an active civic leader, serving for over 12 years as an elected school board member for the Emery Unified School District in Emeryville, California. His involvement has continued as a member of the Bond Oversight Committee for Emeryville’s Center for Community Life.

Joshua holds a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture from the University of California, Berkeley and a Master of Science in Real Estate Development from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Babysitters are available free to parents for ECDC meetings, if we are given notice that they are needed.

Message from the President

Happy summer to all. The Club was well represented at the July 4th World One Celebration in El Cerrito. Thank you to all the volunteers who set up and took down as well as staffed the booth. We had many visitors and folks interested in the Club.

The Club’s annual dinner and fundraiser is scheduled for October 10. We are excited to announce former State Assemblyman Tom Ammiano as our keynote speaker! A big thank you to VP of Programs Gabe Quinto.

Tickets are available to purchase online at . More details will follow as the date gets closer. If you would like to volunteer at the dinner please contact

The Club’s minimum wage campaign is successfully moving forward. The minimum wage committee (Nick Arzio, Nick Galloro, Carla Hansen Al Miller, Ronnie Polonsky, Arlin Robins) has gained the support of many business owners, community groups, boards and commissions within El Cerrito as well as a number of elected representatives. Check out the Club’s facebook page for updates on endorsements from Nick Arzio.

The Committee and many Club members have lobbied at City Council meetings and Board and Commission meetings. Our active engagement on this issue  has not gone unnoticed. The City Council put a work session/discussion of a local minimum wage on the agenda for Tuesday. August 18 at 7:00 p.m. The minimum wage committee asks Club members to join us at that meeting to show support for this important issue.


July 4th Booth 1 July 4th Booth 2 July 4th Booth 3 July 4th Booth 4 July 4th Booth 5