My Quick and Dirty-March 3rd Primary Guide!

I’ve been working on a explanation for my recommendations for this, our first Super Tuesday, California Primary, but they may not get done in time so, here’s the shortened version:

President–No. 1 Elizabeth Warren, No. 2, Bernie

I was a Bernie supporter last time but this time I’ve found a candidate, who while still being good on bottom line economic issues, also speaks to systemic racism [no, I haven’t heard Bernie do that but she has taken on reparations, Black maternal health, etc] and patriarchal hegemony. I like the way Ayanna Pressley, a Warren surrogate described her, “I’m not interested in a savior, I want a partner,” Pressley said to a packed auditorium at the historically black Benedict College. “And that is who Elizabeth is.” But if she doesn’t get it, I’ll gladly take Bernie.

Here’s the rub. Neither of these candidates has yet lit a fire under Black voters in large enough numbers to beat #45. Some African American pundits even say that if Biden is out, then Bloomberg, as someone who can fight Trump on an equal playing field, is the one to do it.

Of course, we must also remember that Black voters were not early supporters of Obama until he had proven to have electoral strength. But Bernie is doing well with the Latino community, so just remember, electability is ours to decide.

Oakland Measures

Measure Q-Yes, Yes, Yes

Our wonderful Oakland Parks and Rec Dept has not had an increase in dedicated funding since 2008. We have 2 arborists and one restroom cleaning crew for all our open spaces including 140 parks, 9 community gardens, and more in over 2500 acres.

[64% of the parcel tax will go to the parks and recreation centers, 30% to homeless services. It requires a 2/3 vote and a small percentage goes to keeping our waterways clean.]

We have to increase the funding for these wonderful neighborhood resources and come up with a new supply of dedicated funding for the thousands of folks living curbside, an emergency for which our city was ill-prepared and for which we have gotten limited help from the state and almost none from the Feds.

Councilmember Nikki Bas gives a house sign to a supporter

As to the thirty percent provided in Q for homeless needs, Councilmember Nikki Bas says, “We have established a Homeless Commission which will oversee how these funds are spent to provide for our curbside community.” Endorsed by the Oakland Tenants Union, the League of Women Voters of Oakland, Outdoor Afro, and the Oakland Chamber of Commerce

Alameda County Measure C-Yes!

You may remember a recent spirited campaign to increase the county’s sales tax to provide for childcare services for the many moms and dads who cannot afford quality childcare when they go to work or school. It missed passing by a small margin and they are trying again because the need has only gotten greater.

FromFirst 5 Alameda County

It’s half cent sales tax for our county, not something most people like but it is needed for an important community good. Our kids need to be raised in quality facilities where their teachers are well-qualified AND well paid. 20% of this tax will go to maintaining, upgrading and expanding our pediatric trauma center at Children’s Hospital. Endorsed by the United Seniors of Oakland Tasha Henneman, Pediatric Specialists, and Clarissa Doutherd of Parent Voices

Measure R-Yes

When we had a local paper of record, all city notices were required to be printed in it but that no longer exists so this ordinance allows the city to find ways to publish these which conform with our current situation.

Measure S-Yes

This measure allows to the city to expend revenues from taxes previously approved, it doesn’t raise any taxes. It’s the local version of raising the federal debt limit.

State Prop 13-Yes, it’s not the 1978 one!

This is a bond measure that allows the state to sell general obligation bonds totaling $15 billion—of which $9 billion is for public schools and $6 billion is for higher education facilities. Here’s some deeper info about this bond measure-

County Board of Ed, District 2-Angela Normand

Our county boards of education have very little reason to exist. Their main job is to decide whether to sanction charter schools, many of which have already been turned down in local districts. In Oakland the charter school movement is on pace to kill our public school system (something our president and his so-called secretary of ed would love) so we cannot afford any trustees who are generally favorable to more charter schools. Angela has been endorsed by our teachers union and will fight to stem the tide of charterization.

Superior Court Judge- Elena Condes

While both candidates are good, experienced attorneys, one stands out as having a better judicial temperament-she is endorsed by the retiring judge and many more judges in our county- and looks more like the people she will sit in judgement of. Ms. Condes is a Latinx defense attorney, a Lesbian of Mexican heritage and someone who really understands the needs of the people who will appear before her. She is emminently qualified but not a politician-this is just the kind of person we want for this particular job.

Alameda County Democratic Central Committee

Community First AD 18th Slate

If you got an official Democratic Party ballot on the back of your your presidential ballot, you’ll see a long list of folks running to be on this Committee which despite lengthy, often boring meetins, is important. This is your local level Democratic Party. We (I’m an incumbent who’s hoping to be re-elected) make local party endorsements and send resolutions to the state party about the things we believe should be included in our platform.

Each Assembly District gets its own allotment of delegates to the local/state Democratic Party based on its population. The 18th AD (Rob Bonta’s district) gets 11 and the 15th (Buffy Wicks district) gets 8. There are dozens of people running for these positions and lots of them are good. Here is a link to the other folks on my slate, experienced community activists- And here is a link to my recommended slate for the 15th Ad.

My Voters’ Edge listing-

Federal, State, and Local Incumbents:

Barbara Lee-Yes, because of course. Nancy Skinner, State Senate-Yes, is doing great work that many of us have not heard about-police accountability, housing protections, proposing a bill to tax CEOs, State Assembly- Rob Bonta– ending private prisons and money bail, The California Green New Deal and renter protections and Buffy Wicks-regulating charter schools.

A final word on taxes. Many residents ask why we need so much new income when our housing is so expensive. It’s a long complex discussion but the-quick and dirty version is- 1) the Great Recession of 2008 damaged California considerably, 2) we continue to experience the long term damage that the old Prop 13 of 1978 caused, 3) new residents bring new money but they also need more services and some of our systems are not up to the task. In the fall you will be able to reform some of the ill effects of Prop 13 without raising your residential property taxes.

2 Comments on "My Quick and Dirty-March 3rd Primary Guide!"

  1. Thanks for doing all this work. And especially thanks for the district 18 recommendations. I’ve got to say that slate is mighty white, though.

  2. Pam, thanks a lot for your thoughtful insight. I’m also anxious to see the “Schools and Communities First” initiative get on the ballot! Deadline for signatures is coming up, I believe.

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