Every election, Margarita Lacabe, my friend and colleague on the Alameda County Democratic Party Central Committee (acdems.org) publishes a Voter Guide. Her goal is to identify the most progressive candidates running for office in Alameda County. Marga does a fabulous job researching credentials, evaluating questionnaires and answers on important issues, and interviewing the candidates whenever possible. This election, Marga has produced two extensive Voter Guides. One Voter Guide talks about the candidates throughout the Bay (not just San Leandro). The other Voter Guide looks at our many state propositions. This week, I am honored to feature Marga as my first guest blogger. Check out Marga’s Voter Guide with her views and news on candidates in Alameda County in the November 2016 Election.
Highlights from the Progressive Voter Guide
Marga’s thoughtful Voter Guide includes dozens of candidates from Berkeley to Pleasanton. In the hotly contested District 7 Bart Board race, she plainly states “Don’t vote for incumbent Zakhari Mallett.” Marga concludes (rightfully so) that she would “probably vote for [Lateefah] Simon as she’s the most viable candidate against Mallett.” Marga’s dead on right about this race. Lateefah is a dynamic and effective community advocate, MacArthur Genius Award recipient, Bart “speedracer” and an inspiring leader in our community. I have supported Lateefah since she became the first non-lawyer to serve as Executive Director of the San Francisco Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights.
In the Castro Valley Sanitary District Board, Marga recommends John Maher. She describes John as a super progressive retired union worker who serves with us on the ACDCC. She points out that while John may not have the expertise of the incumbent board members, “there is something to be said about having good, decent human beings in positions of power.” Something to be said indeed.
Local School Board Races
In the Hayward School Board race, Marga correctly points out that the “Hayward School Board is a big mess.” There is a slate with candidates Daniel Goldstein, Robert Carlson and Todd E. Davis. Of the three, Todd Davis is the only one to get Marga’s approval. Todd is the son of longtime Hayward community activists, Freddie and Al Davis, and has worked tirelessly with young people in Hayward and beyond. I know that Todd is thoughtful, diligent and patient.
Full Disclosure: Todd Davis worked on my successful campaign for a seat on the ACDCC.
In the Oakland School Board race, Marga supports Mike Hutchinson and Chris Jackson. Marga describes Mike as “an extremely knowledgeable and committed education activist who has become a rally force behind the anti-charter school forces in Oakland. He knows the school district better than Board members, has gone to every single School Board meeting and has fought to keep public schools open. Mike is also a strong progressive, who understands how a society can be broken by providing substandard education to the disadvantaged.” It sounds like we should elect Mike Hutchinson.
Full Disclosure: I served for several years with Mike’s brother, Daniel Hutchinson, on the Board of Directors for the San Francisco Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights.
Marga strongly endorses Chris Jackson. She labels him “a young African-American version of Bernie Sanders.” Marga spent hours talking to him and concluded that Chris Jackson is “a man with a clear vision and political astuteness who can really make a difference.”
Hotly Contested City Council Races
Everywhere you look, there are “hotly contested” City Council races. Marga covers them all. In Oakland, Marga says “if you heed just one of my recommendations . . . this year, vote for [Noni] Sessions. Marga describes Noni Sessions as “a strong progressive, who registered as a Democrat to vote for Bernie Sanders,” and “will be a true champion for social justice and human rights in the Council . . .” According to Marga, Noni grew up in West Oakland and was recruited by other neighborhood activists to run because they felt that the incumbent Lynette Gibson McElhaney was not responsive to their needs.
Finally, in San Leandro, Marga highlights newcomer Bryan Azevedo. “He’s a sheet metal worker, from a humble background, who understands first hand the importance of having a livable wage and affordable housing. Bryan is extremely green, both new to the practice and concept of politics, but he’s a good guy at heart and he seems willing to learn and listen.” Bryan sounds like a good guy to have on the San Leandro City Council.
Check out all of Marga’s recommendations and musings at San Leandro Talk. Check out her reviews of the State propositions as well. Please be sure to send Marga a “thank you” for all of her hard work!