by Igor Tregub

At the upcoming March 22 meeting, we will consider endorsements of the following legislation. I urge your vote to support all of these!

ABX2-9 (Asm. Thurmond) – Will expand eligibility for funding for a state tobacco use prevention program to include charter schools and require that all school districts, charter schools, and county offices of education receiving funding under the program adopt and enforce a tobacco-free campus policy. ABX2-9 info

AB2406 (Asm. Thurmond) – Will incentivize the creations of and provide standards for regulation of junior accessory dwelling units in municipalities as part of a strategy to address the housing crisis. AB 2406 info

AB 2756 (Asm. Thurmond, Williams) – Will make several changes to tighten enforcement actions governing oil and gas operations, and give local authorities additional jurisdiction to increase fines when violations are not cured. AB 2756 info

AB 2824 (Asm. Thurmond) – Will require Registrars of Voters whose elections systems have the technical capacity to do so to post on their websites starting on election night a downloadable spreadsheet-format detail file by precinct of totals for all races in the election. This is exactly the data stakeholders need in extremely close contests.

SB 1277 (Sen. Hancock): Declares that the transportation of coal through West Oakland would present a clear and present danger to the health and safety of Oakland residents as well as the workers handling the coal. This bill also prohibits the shipment of coal through any Oakland facility that has been paid for in part with state funds.

SB 1278 (Sen. Hancock): Would require an environmental impact review from any public agency authorized to approve any portion of a project relating to the shipment of coal through Oakland.

SB 1279 (Sen. Hancock):Would prohibit the use of public funds to build or operate any port that exports coal from California. Also applies to any port near disadvantaged communities.

SB 1280 (Sen. Hancock): Requires ports that ship bulk commodities and receive state funds to prohibit coal shipments or to fully mitigate the greenhouse gas emissions associated with combustion of the coal. SB 1277-80 info

AB 700, DISCLOSE Act (Asm. Gomez, Levine) – Requires the top three funders of ballot measure ads to be shown clearly on the ads, and funders disclosed on ads to be the original sources of the contributions to the committee that paid for the ad. AB 700 info

AB 2002, Coastal Commission Lobbying Transparency Act (Asm. Stone, Atkins) – Would require those lobbying Coastal Commissioners to register as lobbyists and be subject to public disclosure laws. AB 2002 info


by Greg Lyman

El Cerrito is a small step closer to a safe and modern library. On Tuesday, March 1, our City Council unanimously authorized the City Manager and Mayor to start negotiating with West Contra Costa Unified School District (WCCUSD) to secure the western portion of the temporary Korematsu middle school campus for a future library with more space for the types of programs residents demand. Five alternatives were evaluated for location, cost and timeliness. Alternatives that required purchase of land along San Pablo Avenue, although creative, had the most substantial unknowns of timeline and cost. The alternative that utilized the site of the Contra Costa Civic Theater, owned by the City, would invest a significant amount in a new theater and change circulation near Cerrito Vista Park. The selected alternative proposes to move both the library and the senior services from aging buildings at Stockton and the Ohlone Greenway to a portion of the area used by current Korematsu portable classrooms. Centrally located, near the Community Center, on public land, and freeing significant area adjacent to Fairmont Elementary School were compelling factors cited during selection. Public criticism included preference for building a public safety building first, and concerns about exposure of Fairmont students to construction noise and dust. Although these are meaningful reservations, the Library – visited by 500 El Cerrito residents per day and gaining in popularity – consistently ranks as the most popular choice for public investment in polls. City officials vowed to push WCCUSD, responsible for the Fairmont reconstruction schedule, to rebuild as rapidly as possible. The chosen $30 million alternative presupposes passage of a funding measure in the November 2016 election, completion of environmental review in June 2017, selection of a design-build contractor in September 2017, groundbreaking July 2018, and the grand opening in December 2019. More information will be available this summer.


by Mollie Hazen

Save these Dates! As President-Elect of the Kensington Symphony Orchestra (KSO) I invite ECDC members to enjoy our upcoming Spring concerts, conducted by esteemed music director and conductor Geoffrey Gallegos at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Berkeley in the Kensington Hills. 1 Lawson Road, Kensington. KSO is a community-based orchestra consisting of seasoned professionals, committed amateur musicians, music educators and students from the entire Bay Area. Tickets, at the door or from www.kensingtonsymphonyorchestra.org, are $20 adults, $15 seniors & students. children under 12 free. I look forward to seeing you there!

 Saturday, April 16 @ 8 p.m. – All French Program!

KSO joins UUCB Luminescence and SF Unitarian Choruses in an all-French program featuring Poulenc’s Gloria, Saint-Saëns’ Carnival of the Animals, and more. Home-made desserts! For info: (510) 525-0302 x309

Sunday, May 22 @ 3 p.m. – Special Benefit Recital with Jason Totzke!

 KSO Benefit Recital with acclaimed Concertmaster Jason Totzke, violin, and Lois Karre, piano, in music of Beethoven, Messiaen, Piazzolla and Franck. Reception to follow. For more info: gbgalleg@pacbell.net

[Member’s Corner is a feature from the Newsletter’s younger years and now being restored, that is if the esteemed Membership cares to jot down a few notes about your recent activities. You notice that almost every article here has been written by an ECDC officer? You’ve joined the Club, now do the right thing and join the Newsletter too! Send us your items at ecdc.pubs@gmail.com.]