What a Swell Party This Was!

by Al Miller and Chuck Carpenter

Photos by Al Miller

It was a “wonderful day in the neighborhood” for Contra Costa County Democrats as the DPCCC hosted its 82nd Annual BBQ in West County this year at the Kennedy Grove Recreational Area near the San Pablo Dam Reservoir.

We enjoyed wonderful company on a wonderful day with great food and most all of the Democratic candidates and community leaders you could hope to find in one spot. Over 150 activist Democrats attended this event. 

DPCCC Chair Chuck Carpenter, center, and fellow Democrats at the DPCCC 82nd Annual BBQ.

DPCCC Chair Chuck Carpenter presided over the event introducing the various office holders, candidates, and party officials attending while ensuring they did not speak too long! 

We heard from Betty Yee, candidate for State Controller, State Senators Mark DeSaulnier, Ellen Corbett and three of the seven probable candidates for State Assemblymember in AD15—Elizabeth Echols, (D) Regional Administrator, Small Business Administration; Tony Thurmond, (D) Former trustee, West Contra Costa USD and former Richmond City Councilmember; and Cecilia Valdez, (D) Councilmember, San Pablo.

The only AD 15 candidate/probable candidate that did not attend Sam Kang (D) Attorney who called, explaining he had a former obligation, Andy Katz (D) Director and East Bay Municipal Utility District, Peggy Moore (D) Community Organizer arrived after the speeches and spent the afternoon with the Democrats at the event.

Assembly members Nancy Skinner(15) and Joan Buchanan(16) also spent the afternoon with us.

BART Directors Joel Keller and Zachary Mallett also attended. A very diverse group of Democrat City Council Members from Concord, Antioch, El Cerrito, Richmond, San Pablo and Hercules. The Democratic National Committee was represented by Shawn Bagley(Salinas) as well as CDP Regional Directors Cheslog and Kelly.

AD15 candidate Tony Thurmond addresses fellow Democrats at the DPCCC 82nd Annual BBQ. Other AD15 candidates who spoke are San Pablo City Councilmember Cecilia Valdez, to his right, and Elizabeth Echols, Regional Administrator, Small Business Administration, to her right.

Congressmen Thompson and Miller were both out of the area, but sent representatives and contributions.

ECDC was well represented by the following members: (Please let me know if I missed you!) El Cerrito City Councilmembers Janet Abelson and Rebecca Benassini, Immediate Past President & CDP Controller Hilary Crosby, VP-Publications Carla Hansen, Nancy Klein, Joe Lifschutz & Jean Niehaus, President Scott Lyons (with Katie), Gloria and Dwight Merrill, Barbara and Al Miller, Rochelle PardueOkimoto, VP-Programs Gabe Quinto, and Ciony & Bob Weinberg.

Hope to see more of you at the future DPCCC events, especially as we all prepare for the 2014 elections. If we are to continue to ensure that Democratic values are expressed in our local, county, and state communities and our country, all Democrats need to roll up our sleeves and get to work.

Each of us can do something—we just need to figure out what that something is, and do it! One thing we all can do is carry voter registration forms with us and register new Democrats.