ECDC Member Denounces West County Wasterwater District Director

By Mister Phillips

 I first registered as a Democrat in 1996. I was 18 years old then. Now I am a deacon, husband, father, veteran, attorney, and Democratic Party official. I have the honor and privilege of representing the people of West Contra Costa County, including Richmond, California, on the Democratic Party County Central Committee and the Democratic Party State Central Committee.

 Overall, my experience with the Democratic Party has been positive. As a political party, “[w]e [Democrats] take pride in and celebrate our diversity and work to foster the common values and commitments that unite all people regardless of their age, cultural heritage, national origin, disability, socio-economic status, gender, race, sexual orientation or views on religion.”

 That is why I was saddened by the recent comments of my fellow Democrat, West County Wastewater District Director Leonard Battaglia. According to the article,

$1,100 an hour? Part-time service at little agencies means big bucks and benefits for politicians” in the San Jose Mercury News:

 [Mr. Battaglia] repeatedly used slurs during an interview to describe Asian people. He was also critical of African Americans, who make up a large part of his Richmond [California] constituency.”I flew with black pilots [in the Korean War]. I’d say ‘break’ (suddenly turn right or left) and they’d hesitate. They’d miss it because they think slower. They have an African-American mentality. They can’t help it. It’s the way God made them,” he said. “Like in Richmond. It’s a mess.” When a reporter later asked Battaglia about those remarks, he said, “I am not a prejudiced person.”

 He said he intends to seek another term on the board next year and insisted his constituents should not be offended by his comments because he is only saying “how things are.”

 That kind of language has no place in today’s Democratic Party. We have come too far as Democrats, and more importantly as Americans, to allow anyone to turn back the clock on racial progress.

 Therefore, while I thank Mr. Battaglia for his many years of service, I will be working with like-minded individuals to identify a more respectful and more progressive candidate to support in the upcoming West County Wastewater District election.

Successful Fundrasier for Betty Yee

The Club’s immediate past President and California Democratic Party Controller Hilary Crosby hosted a fundraiser on Sunday, November 17 in El Cerrito for Betty Yee who is running for State Controller. For those who are poltically engaged, this was the place to mingle, eat and drink on a Sunday morning. Sixty people attended including many of our Club members, local candidates and electeds.

To name a few:   

El Cerrito City Council members- Rebecca Benassini and Janet Abelson

Stege Sanitary District Board member-Al Miller

West Contra Costa County School District board member-Todd Groves

Senator-Ellen Corbet

Oakland City Council members-Dan Kalb and Libby Schaaf 

Oakland School Board member-Jody London

Antioch City Council member-Monica Wilson

Solano County Board of Education member-Dana Dean

Solano County Supervisor-Linda Siefert

Candidate for AD 15 and EBMUD board member-Andy Katz

Peralta Community College District-Meredith Brown and Abel Guillen

California Democratic Party Regional Directors-Martha Gamez and Hene Kelly

Also in attendance were members of the CDP Women’s caucus, National Women’s Political Caucus and Emerge graduates.

Betty Yee thanked all attendees and  spoke about how she’s the most qualified candidate in the race. The event was a huge sucesss and raised several thousand dollars for Betty’s campaign.

 Betty Yee 8 Betty Yee 7 Betty Yee 6 Betty Yee 5 Betty Yee 4 Betty Yee 3 Betty Yee 2 Betty Yee 1 Betty Yee 9

All photos curtousey of Betty Yee for Controller 2014 Facebook page.