July Newsletter


  1. Upcoming Meeting Preview for July 23, 2019
    1. Agenda – from Janet Abelson
    2. Program –   Diana Becton, 25th District Attorney for Contra Costa County
  2. Recap of June Membership Meeting – from Glen Nethercut


July 23, 2019

Upcoming regular Membership Meeting will be held on July 23, 2019 at the Presbyterian Church at 545 Ashbury Ave, Back Building, El Cerrito 94530. Meeting will start at 6:30 pm

Agenda submitted by Janet Abelson

6:00 Doors Open:  Pizza available ($5)

6:30 Call to Order

6:35 Minutes

6:40 Treasurer’s Report

6:45 Report from Club Representative to Central Committee

6:55 4th of July Recap

7:00 Report on Selection of Club Representatives to the CDP process

7:05 Upcoming ECDC Speakers

August and September

7:15 Announcements

Date of Next Climate Committee Meeting


7:45 Program – Diana Becton

8:29 Good of the Order

8:30 Adjourn

Recap ECDC Membership General Meeting – June 25, 2019

  • Call to Order

President Janet Abelson began the meeting of the El Cerrito Democratic Club (Club) at 6:30 p.m.

  • Minutes

A motion to approve the minutes of the May 27, 2018 meeting was seconded, and approved unanimously with no abstentions.

  • Treasurer’s Report

The report was postponed in the absence of the Treasurer.

  • Report from Club Representative to the DPCCC

With Rochelle Pardue-Okimoto’s absent, Hari Lamba made the report on the Democratic Party of Contra Costa County’s (DPCCC) recent meeting:

  • Proposal for split tax role under Proposition 13 for commercial property
  • Election of Executive Board members Michael Nye, Joey Smith, Harpreet Sandhu, Maria Alegria
  • Democratic Party Convention in San Francisco

Janet Abelson said that the Democratic Party Convention in San Francisco, which ran May 31 to June 2, attracted a sizable number of Democratic presidential candidates.  She added that she was reelected Vice Chairperson of the Disabilities Caucus.

  • Booth at El Cerrito’s July 4thFestival

Janet asked for volunteers for the Club’s booth at the El Cerrito July 4thFestival.

  • Program for Club’s July 23 meeting

The Club’s July 23 meeting program will include a presentation by Contra Costa County District Attorney Diana Becton.  The August meeting will examine the split tax role proposal for commercial property under Proposition 13.

  • Announcements
  • Presentation – Rebecca Saltzman, Bart Board District 3 Representative

Rebecca Saltzman, Bart Board District 3 Representative, discussed the following in regards to the transit system:

  • Measure RR bond measure to renew Bart’s aging infrastructure
  • 200 of the new Bart cars have been delivered, of a total of 775 due by the end of 2023; Canada-based Bombardier Inc. will soon be assembling these cars in Pittsburg CA.
  • AB2923 was signed by the Governor giving Bart greater negotiating power to set standards for housing built on Bart-owned property.
  • Bart’s El Cerrito Plaza may see housing between 5 and 7 floors
  • El Cerrito Del Norte Bart station rehabilitation and expansion, a $52 million project, should be completed next year
  • Bart has created 20% discount fares based upon income
  • Fare evasion remains a serious problem.  Proof of payment enforcement is symbolic, with only one fine paid of the thousands issued.  Barriers remain the only solution.
  • Bart is collaborating with counties to provide homeless outreach at end-of-the line stations as the homeless seek shelter on trains and stations.
  • Safety and security is a serious concern of Bart patrons, and Bart has made it easier to hire new officers.
  • Bart has actively worked to improve relations with labor
  • Adjourn

The Club adjourned at 7:45 pm.


Article – Program – Diana Becton

District Attorney Diana Becton is the 25th District Attorney for Contra Costa County.  She was sworn in to her current position in September of 2017. She is the first woman and first person of color ever to serve in this position.  District Attorney Becton currently leads an office of approximately 200 lawyers, investigators, and staff.  She sets policy and priorities for the office, works with police chiefs to solve law enforcement challenges, and develops programs to break the cycle of crime in our community.  She is responsible for a budget of over $40 million.

Prior to this position, Judge Becton presided over criminal, civil and environmental prosecutions and lawsuits, as well as cases in the juvenile justice system for twenty-two years.  Elected Presiding Judge of Contra Costa courts by her peers, she managed a budget of over $50 million.

District Attorney Becton is a native of the bay area.  She is graduate of the Oakland Public schools, San Francisco State University and in 1985, Golden Gate University School of Law.  District Attorney Becton also received a Masters of Theological Studies at Pacific School of Religion in 2015.