Governor Brown Appoints Supervisor John Gioia to CARB

By Carla Hansen

On August 29th, residents of El Cerrito and greater West County plus a number of elected and candidates celebrated Supervisor John Gioia’s appointment to the California Air Resources Board (CARB) at outside El Cerrito’s City Hall. 

With a few jokes and warm words, Senators Loni Hancock and Mark DeSaulnier introduced the newly appointed Supervisor Gioia who thanked attendees and sponsors-American Lung Association, Sierra Club, TransForm, League of Conservation Voters, and the City of El Cerrito. CARB’s mission is promote and protect public health, welfare and ecological resources through the effective and efficient reduction of air pollutants while recognizing and considering effects on the economy of the State. Because of CARB, cars and diesel trucks run 98% cleaner than they did 50 years ago (thank you smog checks and emission standards). CARB’s policies are used as model of success for other agencies throughout the country. It’s great to have a representative on the board who is passionate and dedicated to ensuring our environment is safe, clean and sustainable now and into the future. Plus he’s an El Cerrito High School graduate.

We All Can Help

By Al Miller
The following article is from an email to all DEM2014 members from ECDC Immediate Past President Hilary Crosby in her roll as Controller of the California Democratic Party.

“When the vote counts were finalized after the 2012 elections, California Democrats had gained four new seats in the state’s delegation to Congress—but we won those seats before November. “Every seat we won last year we won every month. We won them with phone calls, voter registration drives, visibility events, door knocks, and more throughout the year. 

“As a member of DEM2014, you’re already helping us continue to rack up wins, helping national Democrats get even closer to winning back the House so Nancy Pelosi can pick up the speaker’s gavel once more. 

“But you can multiply your impact with each friend or family member you ask to join you as a member of DEM2014. 

“Multiply your impact today. Invite three friends to join you as members of DEM2014. Send your friends to now.

“Even though 2014 isn’t yet here, we’ve already started winning seats for next year. This month, your contribution helped us make a difference in Congressional Districts 10 and 21, both in the Central Valley. 

“On the 78th anniversary of Social Security, the California Democratic Party helped seniors confront the Republican representative in District 10 on his record of attacking this important middle-class program—and our country’s most successful antipoverty program ever. 

“With news coverage in local outlets, we were able to shine a bright light on the incumbent’s support for privatizing Social Security. 

“We also held a similar event in District 21, with seniors confronting the freshman Republican representative and calling on him “to start supporting Social Security and stop standing with those who attack seniors’ retirement.” The local press covered the event, so now it’s going to be even harder for the incumbent to hide his record from voters.

“These were two successful recent events, but if we don’t keep up the drumbeat and maintain the pressure month after month, we won’t win these seats.

“As one of the most important supporters of California Democrats in the state, we need your help. Send three friends or family members to today and ask them to sign up.

“Thank you for being a California Democrat, Hilary Crosby, Controller, California Democratic Party”

So, instead of asking only “three friends or family members” to sign up for DEM2014, I am asking all of you reading this issue of the ECDC News who haven’t already done so, to join in the DEM2014 program. DEM2014 accepts monthly donations from as low as $5.00 to whatever amount you are comfortable with. Do the math—100,000 Californians donating $5 per month are as important as 10,000 donating $50 per month. Being a member is more important than the amount you choose to give.

Please sign up today!

The Real Fix for Social Security

A Social Security Works email of July 24th provided information for this article.

While many in Washington are talking about cutting Social Security benefits, there are at least two Senators who are taking steps to increase benefits for seniors.

“Senators Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Mark Begich (D-AK) have proposed legislation that would:

  • Increase cost of living adjustments (COLAs), not decrease them. Instead of cutting benefits through a Chained CPI formula, Senators Harkin and Begich have proposed using a benefit formula designed specifically to take into account seniors’ rising living expenses such as healthcare, food, and housing.
  • Ensure that the wealthy are paying their fair share into Social Security. Currently, Americans are only paying Social Security payroll taxes on their first $113,700. That means that many Wall Street workers would pay a far lower share of their earnings than most other workers. By lifting the payroll tax cap on Social Security, we can extend the life of Social Security for at least the next 75 years.
  • Increase Social Security benefits for all recipients by approximately $70 per month, or $800 a year. Senator Harkin’s bill would reform the benefit formula for all beneficiaries, but target those most in need. This would result in an across the board benefit increase, with the most going to those in the lower and middle classes.

“Social Security is the most successful anti-poverty program in our country’s history and has never contributed a single penny to the deficit. We now the right wing’s game plan is to try to force cuts to Social Security and Medicare as concessions in upcoming budget fights. It is time for us to strengthen, not cut Social Security, and the Harkin and Begich bills are our chance.”

You can sign the Social Security Works/Democracy for America petition calling on the U.S. Senate to support of these bills at

“Thanks to declining wages and the Great Recession, more than half of all American households can’t retain the same basic living standards in retirement that we know our grandparents and veterans deserve.

“Help Democracy for America and Social Security Works combat this growing retirement security crisis and tell Congress that Americans support expanding Social Security—not cutting it.” Please show your support today.