November Newsletter

Meeting Location: 545 Ashbury Ave, Back Building, El Cerrito

Agenda submitted by Janet Abelson

AGENDA – November 26, 2019

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

6:30 Call to Order

6:31 Minutes

6:35 Treasurer’s Report

6:39 Other Officer Reports

6:44 Report from Club Representative to Central Committee

6:52 Upcoming ECDC Meetings and Events

December 6, 2019  6:30 PM   Holiday Party – It’s Taco Time

        at President Janet’s House,      7 Pomona Ave., El Cerrito

Bring Dessert or Salad to share, RSVP 510-693-8115 or                            

            January 28, 2019                     First Meeting of 2020         

7:00 Program November 26, 2019

            Speaker – Dave Gibson, El Cerrito Fire, on Recent PGE Shutoffs, Wind Storms and Fires

            Alternative – Prepare draft of desired programs for 2020

8:15 Announcements and Good of the Order

8:30 Adjourn

ECDC Membership General Meeting – October 26, 2019

Brief business meeting during ECDC Annual Dinner

  • Welcomes & introduction of Club Offices & elected officials
  • Designation of one or more representatives to cast approximately seven votes for officers of the California Democratic Council (CDC)

Janet Abelson discussed the designation of one or more representatives to cast approximately seven votes for officers of the California Democratic Council (CDC).  Representatives must be present at the convention to cast votes, but one representative can cast all votes.  Janet, who is attending the November event in Long Beach, was nominated to act in this capacity on behalf of the Club.  The nomination was seconded, and unanimously approved, with Michael Nye abstaining.  

Speaker – State Senator Nancy Skinner (SD 9)

Nancy Skinner Talk October 26, 2019

El Cerrito Democratic Club Annual Dinner, El Cerrito, California

  • The International Association of ICLEI was formed in 1990, at the time just before the Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit, where the first UNFCCC or Global Warming treaty was signed. At a UN meeting, someone had said that 50% of the world’s nations are smaller than you, and most of the world will be urbanized.  She was also involved in the formation of the Center for Climate Studies, a way for people to calculate their carbon footprint. That’s when we learned that the fossil fuels were the problem. We can get off fossil fuels if we electrify everything. 
  • We are 129 days from the March Primary. But you have an election in November. The ECDC is very active for many decades. Get voters to register and vote. We know that you will be involved in presidential, US senate and California State. Republicans realized that they could control things if they captured State Attorney General, Secretary of State, and state legislatures. It is now realized that ALL the state offices are very important. 
  • The wildfires are very scary. We cannot afford to avert a crisis and instead cause a crisis. We are now seeing what the Power Shut offs are causing, and we are trying to see what the effects have been. We are trying to see what can be done to make the grid more resilient, so that they do not cause fires when there are hot and dry and windy conditions. 
  • In regard to electric vehicles, Information is being provided, as to when there are electric charging locations – information provided on websites.
  • So, the number of homeless people is up.  Wildfires and the power shut offs are very disruptive. She said that she has been around the world, Johannesburg, etc. As the fifth largest economy in the world. We have to put more money for emergency services that keep people from becoming homeless. 
  • In the last ear of legislative period, the Legislative session ended Sep13 and the Governor had until Oct 23 to sign them.
  • She has been involved in leading legislation and funding of how we help people that are just released from prison. Example was given of a woman released at 1:30 am and was found dead at the BART station. Governor thinks that counties would overcharge for this activity and so the funding aspects need to be worked out. She worked on another bill to establish money for emergency mental health assistance, that had language for mental health funding.
  •  Housing: Many more jobs are available than housing. California has a housing shortage of 4 million units. So, state told local governments that they must make the allocations for the needed housing. To make sure that housing is made, it said that if person or developer has satisfied zoning law, then project must be approved and the housing development proceeds. There was another bill regarding the right of Olympic athletes – Gymnast girl had 100 million viewers – Governor signed bill.
  • She was also the Chair of the Public Safety committee and prison committee. California has too many people in prison for way too long. The prison healthcare costs went up by $ 3 billion last year, because most people are over 45 years old. We have to reduce the time spent in unnecessary imprisonment. What do Martha Stewart, Larry King and many black men have in common?
  • Answer: They were all felons and they would never have the ability to serve on a Jury.  So 45% of the black men could never be on a jury.  So, she initiated and passed a bill on this. Also, for foster care it is important that children stay in the custody of their care giver.
  • Willful Defiance (WD) – It was found that most of the kids that were affected by this were kids of color and LGBTQ, and so were the most of those who got suspended for WD – a legislation ended that and was signed by Gov. Jerry Brown.
  • Question: Why are Sheriffs elected? Answer: They should be hired. They defined the criteria of what a person must satisfy to be a Sheriff. 
  • Question: Grid reformation – why can’t we have microgrids? Governor is all for restructuring our utilities.
  • Qn: Carbon emissions from Transportation. Answer: ARB is going to have the ability to require Uber and Lyft to go to zero emission vehicles. Don’t need a car every day – so cars that are shared be all zero-emission vehicles. ARB (Air Resources Board) – there needs to be an ability to go after medium and heavy-duty delivery vehicles. Many of these can be all electric vehicles
  • Qn: WD Bill – Is there an oversight way to make sure that that guidelines are being followed.
  • Answer: Yes
  • Qn: Is Clean Diesel good? Answer: Diesel has the most emissions – clean diesel reduces that bad pollution. Can clean diesel be used – yes, but it still has carbon emissions. So, we are looking at Electric vehicles. Another real possibility is Hydrogen. With Solar PV electric power generation, in California we are producing so much Solar energy that are having to dump the excess – we can use the surplus that we are dumping it produce Hydrogen by electrolysis, which can then be reused for vehicles and other energy uses.
  • Notes of Talk taken by Hari Lamba, VP of Pubs, ECDC
  • Qn: Housing Subsidy was designed knowing what the rule was – based on Section 8. 

ECDC Membership General Meeting – September 24, 2019

  • Call to Order

President Janet Abelson began the meeting of the El Cerrito Democratic Club (Club) at 6.30pm. 

  • Minutes

A motion to approve minutes of the June 25, 2019 and August 27, 2019 meetings was seconded, and unanimously approved. 

  • Other Officers’ Reports

Greg Lyman briefly discussed membership and renewals. 

  • Treasurer’s Report

Treasurer Kathy Flemming reported a balance of $9,394.04. 

  • Report from Club Representative to the DPCCC

The Democratic Party of Contra Costa County’s (DPCCC) Annual Roosevelt Dinner is October 5 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Concord, said Rochelle Pardue-Okimoto.  The DPCCC is seeking individuals interested in running for seats on the Executive Committee for 2021. 

  • Report on selection of Club Representatives to the CDP process
  • Upcoming ECDC meetings/speakers

The ECDC Annual Dinner with California State Senator Nancy Skinner is set for October 26, 6pm.  Volunteers are needed. 

  • Announcements
  • Next meeting of the Climate Committee is October 10 at Janet’s house. 
  • Cerrito Vista Sip & Savor, sponsored by the El Cerrito Rotary, happens October 13 at the Berkeley Country Club. 
  • Program – John Gioia, Supervisor – Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors

Janet introduced John Gioia, now serving his sixth term as a Contra Costa County Supervisor, as “the hardest working elected official I have ever met.”  

John discussed county efforts to counter disruptions caused by the Trump administration, including support for immigrant rights, and to maintain California’s power to establish and enforce vehicle emission standards under a Federal waiver granted in the 1960s. 

Contra Costa County is considering a half-cent sales tax to support health services, which could generate $80-$90 million.  Alameda County already has such a tax. 

Wildfires and fire prevention are a big initiative and include collaboration among various agencies.  Additional funding is being sought for firebreaks, etc. 

During questions and answers session, John noted he is often on the losing side of votes by the 5-member Board of Supervisors, which frequently splits 3-2. 

  • Adjourn

The Club adjourned at 8.15pm.