Tag Archives: election 2012

East Bay Democracy for America chooses an AD18 candidate!

Remember Howard Dean?


Well he may not have been able to become President, but his progressive energy lives on in Democracy for America, a “grassroots powerhouse working to change our country!”

The East Bay DFA Meet-Up Group, had a gathering this past Tuesday in order to discuss current events (WHY are Republicans attacking contraception?) learn about progressive initiatives ( Move to Amend: corporations are NOT people!) and to hold a forum in order to choose a candidate for the hotly contested California Assembly District 18 seat!

The candidates for #AD18 (Oakland, Alameda and San Leandro) are Rob Bonta, Vice Mayor of Alameda City Council; Abel Guillien, Peralta Community College Trustee and Joel Young, AC Transit Director-At-Large.

Your friendly neighborhood blogger was able to crash this event in order to obtain some free $5 donation pizza, witness a contentious and heated debate and to participate in a straw poll! (I’ve never done one .. and it’s on my bucket list. I mean who really wants to go sky diving? Pfft!!)

To my utter disappointment, a contentious and heated debate was not to be had. None of the candidates showed up! Bonta had to attend an Alameda City Council Meeting, Guillen was sick with the flu ..and Young, unfortunately, just wasn’t present.

Rob Bonta and Abel Guillen did send some representatives on their behalf. So instead being on hand to witness a fist cat fight, I was able to obtain some information to share with you all.

Jim Oddie and Jessica Reynolds for Rob Bonta.

Rob Bonta sent Jessica Reynolds and Jim Oddie. I don’t really know either of them and I wasn’t able to catch what role they play in Bonta’s campaign. However they seemed very knowledgeable about their candidate and what’s happening in Sacramento. …. and I give Jessica points for the awesome red hair that matched her outfit.

Winnie Anderson, for Abel Guillen

Abel Guillen sent his campaign manager Winnie Anderson from Inkwell World Tattoo, my best friend er..the lady I met while visiting the studio a couple of blog posts ago. Not only is she associated with an awesome local business, but she is a very dynamic and engaging speaker!

Each representative gave general introductions on their candidate, of which you can read more details on their website. Essentially..

  • Rob Bonta is all about education, economic development and public safety (http://www.robbonta.com)
  • Abel Guillen wants to increase revenue by taxing big corporations and improving education (http://abelforassembly.com)
  • From submitted summary.. Joel Young is about bringing in new jobs into the community, in particular those involving green (clean energy) and informational technology. (http://youngforassembly.com)

Afterwards, the audience asked some probing questions, the answers of which I will summarize for you below.

What can you do about the foreclosures happening in our community?

Team Bonta: One of the most horrible aspects of the foreclosure crisis is the dissolution of the social service network. Due to our state budget crisis, may social service programs have been cut. If someone is in jeopardy of losing their home, where can they go for advice or services? Who can they run to? He may not be able to affect what is going on nationally, but Bonta wants to create a better social services network in California by bringing in more revenue and reduce cuts to important programs.

Guillen Manager: Banks are not dedicated towards re-investing into our community. Re-investing means caring about it’s customers enough to work with them and help them keep their homes. Winnie Anderson spoke to the audience about a family member who was in danger of losing their home, so she knows what it is like. Guillen is determined to get banks to reinvest to the community. He has experience in working with banks for the benefit of the community. Did you know that he was instrumental in the Peralta College divesting a large amount of money (140 million) from big banks and reinvesting into community banks and credit unions? He is interested in getting banks to work with us, and not against us.

Jessica Reynolds also let us know that there is legislation in California to fight dual tracking. Dual tracking is when the banks starts working with you to renegotiate your loan, but at the same they start the foreclosure process. (SHADY!!) There is also some federal legislation in the works.

Can you share with us 2 or 3 of your most important endorsements?

Team Bonta: Rob Bonta has more labor support than any other candidate. Professional Firefighters, Bay Area Police officers, and the United Farm Workers. He is most proud of this endorsement because his parents were active members of the United Farm Workers. That is where he got his life mission to fight for social economic justice. (Check out more endorsements here)

Guillen Manager: Guillen has the endorsement of the National Democracy for America. The most important endorsement is the support of the community. Guillen’s camp is proud to say that the majority of their donations comes from residents who have given $100 or less. California Nurses Association, California Teachers Association and the American Federation of Teachers. (Check out more endorsements here)

Incidentally, Joel Young has the endorsement of the Bay Area Business Roundtable, the American Nurses Association and the California Black Congressional Caucus. (Check out more endorsements here)

What are the candidates positions on Single Payer?

[ What? According to our friend WIKI, single payer health care is medicare funded by a single insurance pool run by the state. Apparently California legislature has passed a single payer bill twice. Governor Schwarzenegger then vetoed both bills. (swell!..not really) There is currently another bill being introduced.]

Team Bonta: in favor.. Served on the Alameda Health Care District Board as Director and helped keep the hospital open. The hospital serves a lot of senior and Medicare patients. It’s a critical resource for health care in the East Bay. He helped put together a Wound Care Center that is going to open this summer.

Guillen Manager: in favor..and of universal health care for all. He established a Peralta Wellness Center at the college. For those that don’t have insurance or qualify for Medicare can have access to health care.

It’s hard to get things done in Sacramento. Share a story that will demonstrate your ability to be successful?

Team Bonta: Rob Bonta has the ability to get people to work together in order to get things done. When he was in private practice he worked on a class action suit against Cal Highway Patrol to end racial profiling. Donated a lot of pro-bono time to get that accomplished. Just another example of his work in social justice… [this is one story of many..but I’m already typing too much]

Guillen Manager: Abel Guillen has a reputation of being respected. He established himself as someone they can go to. He did his research and proved his credibility. When he became a trustee he was able to build consensus through communication. He’s not afraid to have difficult conversations. Communication is very important in order to get things done. He has a relationship and the respect of a lot of legislature (including Republicans) already through his work as a trustee.

Straw Poll with no straws?? That’s just crazy.

After the debate portion ended a straw poll was cast and who won?


Good job, guy.. or rather good job Winnie Anderson!

However, I would like to hear from the candidates themselves before I make my final decision. How about you?

Would you like to see a debate with all three candidates? Do you know of when they are going to get together? What are YOUR opinions on the AD18 candidates?

Share! Inquiring minds wanna know.. (okay..I just wanna know.)

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Filed under Election 2012, Oakland, Politics

Bay Area minorities “Get Active”

If you are a frequent reader of my blog (or have spoken to me for a couple of minutes) you would know that my goal is to see more of my peers, young minorities, participate in local politics or have a more active interest in making Oakland a better place.

But don’t think that there isn’t anything like that going on, already. Au contraire! ..There are a lot of individuals and organizations doing awesome things for our great city, state and country.

Here are some examples that have occurred over the past week and an event that is happening pretty soon that you might want to participate in.

A young man doing great things.

A guy I follow on twitter often tweets: “get active,” presumably to encourage his followers to be more involved in their community. Pendarvis Harshaw (@ogpenn) practices what he preaches. A recent Howard graduate, this Oakland writer and educator teaches teens about political activism and you can find articles of his about local Oakland happenings at OaklandLocal.com. I am greatly inspired by him and look forward to watching him grow into a future Oakland leader. (Not that he isn’t doing a good job already.)

Check out this video by New America Media featuring Mr. Harshaw and young people in Oakland participating in workshops at the Oakland Art Museum

BMOC Mic Check. January 14th, 2012 from New America Media on Vimeo.

Status of Young Men of Color

Harshaw was training young people to testify at a Congressional Committee hearing held in Oakland last Friday on The Status of Young Men of Color. Growing up as a young minority male is not easy, especially not in Oakland or the state of California. Our young men are tempted by drugs, violence and crime as an alternative to contributing to a community that doesn’t seem care enough to give them a quality education or provide jobs.

CA Assemblyman Sandre Swanson and other minority Assembly members are seeking a solution. On Friday, the Young Men of Color committee heard from elected officials, local organizations, residents and young students addressing such issues as health, education, violence prevention and youth employment.

“This is a rescue mission,” said Assemblyman Sandre Swanson, D-Alameda, who worked for more than a year-and-a-half to help create the committee and now serves as its chairman. “We were walking by this problem and not paying attention to it. We took it for granted that it had to be that way, and it didn’t.”

Committee addresses quality of life issues for young Latino Men” Oakland Tribune, Jan. 20, 2012

The committee heard ideas such as creating safer environments to walk to school, access to quality health care and increasing job opportunities for youth. This hearing is the first of many to be held in cities across California, like Los Angeles and Fresno. The hearings are supposed to help provide ideas for future policy to help improve the status of young men of color. However, with the current CA budget crisis, it seems like funding for education and other social programs are the first to be cut. Will having hearings like these make a difference if we don’t have a budget, governor or state legislature to support proposed policies?….

East Bay Black Young Democrats

…It’s possible to fix many of the problems facing minorities, if we place people in elected positions that care about these issues and will fight when important programs are threatened. Orgs like the California Young Democrats – Black Caucus is trying to do just that!

Last week I joined the California Young Democrats- Black Caucus in their Northern California leg of their “Progressing

SF Board of Supervisor Malia Cohen speaks on the importance of all of us working together to re-elect President Obama

Together Tour”. At The Press Club in San Francisco last week, local minority elected officials and supporters gathered to celebrate accomplishments for the year, support Bay Area candidates and to fundraise in support of a new chapter: The East Bay Black Young Democrats, to be headed by Mark Williams, a 25 – year old African American AC Transit Director.

Part of the EBBYD Mission is to (among other things) “Contribute to the growth and influence of young Black/African American people by educating and registering voters, developing leadership, contributing to the development of the EBBYD platform and in other ways as supported by the EBBYD membership.”

Pretty cool!

The California Young Democrats-Black Caucus want to reach 10, 000 young black democrats (14-36) across the state of California to support 15 black candidates who are seeking election in 2012. As of last week, they were only $200 short of their fundraising goal. For more information about how to contribute or to how to join EBBYD contact:

  • East Bay Black Young Democrats: ebbyd@gmail.com ,(510) 589-0975
  • California Young Democrats Black Caucus: blackcaucus@youngdems.org

I donated a little and got this nifty pin!

Future event? State of the Union, Tuesday Jan. 24th

Okay, President Obama isn’t from the Bay, however there are plenty of Bay Area residents who want to see him re-elected.

The Obama for America Oakland chapter will be hosting a State of the Union watch party at Everett and Jones, Jan 24th at 5 pm! RSVP here: CD9 OAKLAND ALAMEDA COUNTY STATE OF THE UNION WATCH PARTY

Why should we watch the State of the Union? Some say this is the first official ‘kick-off’ to the general election. Obama is expected to outline his plans for the year (including getting more jobs) in the hopes of convincing us why it is so important to keep him office.

Why should we watch it at Everett and Jones? ‘Cause it’s Everett and Jones!! Also OFA will outline their plans for the campaign this year. If you are interested in helping in that effort, you should come and get more information.


End note:

I’m a Democrat for the most part. So, I tend to talk about democratic things.

However you don’t have to be Democrat to be active in the community or in political elections. There are “the others”.. The Republicans. The Green Party, the Independents and ..and even the anti-political groups like Occupy Oakland.

Whatever your preference, I urge you to participate ..instead of just letting things happen. Change comes through active participation from everyone. Not just the President, Governor, Mayor or City Council.

We all need to be active.

So good people..what are you doing to ‘be active?’ What organizations do you feel need to be highlighted? Are you going to watch the State of the Union? What would you like President Obama to say?


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Filed under Advocacy, Election 2012, Oakland

Emerge California celebrates women at Make Westing!

Another great night in Oakland that I can’t wait to share.

Emerge California East Bay hosted a fundraiser celebration last night at Make Westing and I was very fortunate to be able to attend.  I had a ball! I want to share the good times with you..so here we go!

Make Westing is packed with Emerge California celebrants

Emerge California is part of a national movement that trains women to run for Democratic elected office at the local, state and federal level. So far, Emerge has trained over 600 women across the United States, and at least 40% go on to run for office.  Half of those were successful. As SNL’s Miley Cyrus would stay: “That’s pretty cool!”

Last night, Emerge California wanted to celebrate graduates who were running for elected office in 2012, as well as raise a little money for their campaigns. These awesome women are running for offices in the City Council, School Board..all the way up to State and Federal government.

Alumni and the current Emerge California classmates were on-hand to have some drinks and network with the likes of  Oakland City Councilmembers Libby Schaaf and Pat Kernighan, Mayor Jean Quan and City Attorney Barbara Parker.  However, the party wasn’t just for women. There plenty of men on hand, some of whom were running for local office as well, like Mario Juarez running for Oakland City Council District 4 and Joel Young  and Abel Guillen both of whom are running for State Assembly in the 18th District.

Emerge California Executive Director Kimberly Ellis was ecstatic as she applauded all the candidates for 2012. She said Emerge California is about leveling the playing field and addressing the lack of diversity in elected positions. She also appreciated the men who were present for their support and recognizing the value of having more women represented in government.

Ellis also thanked Make Westing, for being such gracious hosts!

Make Westing is a local bar found in the Uptown District of Oakland (17th and Telegraph) that serves cocktails, beer, wine, gourmet snacks..AND delicious (plus nutritious!) cucumber water. The venue is spacious, the bartenders are nice and the owners Bay Area natives. Yes, sports fans, there is a flat-screen TV to watch the latest game while having a beer with friends.

I’m not a huge drinker or sports fan.. so the most compelling feature of the bar is the Bocce Ball Court.

Bocce Ball..what the heck is that?

It’s an Italian ball game, that consists of throwing balls in a dirt lane with the hope that they land closest to the game ball

Make Westing's Bocce Court

(or the Pallino). Does that make sense to you? It didn’t to me either (read more about Bocce here ). Yet, when challenged to a friendly “girls vs boys” competition between random strangers, I was down for a little ball throwing action.

Three games later, my teammate (the girlfriend of one of the bartenders) and I emerged as the undisputed winners! I left the bar in good spirits, with lots of contacts, new friends and a promise to play Bocce again.

What a night!

Take home message? Women make up only 17% of elected officials in the United States. That’s really sad considering that the rest of the world is much more enlightened (we rank 84 in women representation, behind Mexico and Pakistan!). We need to support women running for office and demonstrate that America is the liberated country that we say we are!

Besides women are natural born winners.. (my Bocce ball experience is a prime example).

Support local business.  Oakland, Make Westing is an awesome place to be. I am sure you will have as great a time there as I did. Go have a drink there some time. Play a little Bocce. Watch some football. Drink the water. It’s tasty!

Have a great weekend!

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Filed under Election 2012, Oakland, Politics

Sean is for Oakland, small business and local artists.

Inkwell Tatoo, Piercing and Gallery

It’s 2012, THE most important election year since the last election!

Tonight I was fortunate to be able to attend an event hosted by one of the many people running for office in Oakland.

Sean Sullivan (@seanforoakland) is hoping to be a member of the Oakland City Council, representing District 3 which includes West Oakland, Downtown, Adam’s Point and Lake Merritt.  In an effort to get to know potential voters, he had an informational session at Inkwell, while showcasing local artists and helping to support an upcoming event for black nurses.

Sean Sullivan and Leslie Silket at Inkwell

Sean has been an activist in Oakland for over 10 years.  He is a member of the Community Block Grant Board,  a board member of Khadafy Washington Foundation for non-violence, and Oakland’s Community Action Partnership an organization dedicated towards reducing poverty. He also worked as an environmental health activist, advocating for such things as getting rid of BPA in sippy cups. He is all about supporting small business, which he demonstrates by having tonight’s meet and greet at Inkwell.

Inkwell Studio is a local tattoo, piercing and art gallery, located on the corner of 24th and Broadway in Downtown Oakland. Not only do they offer custom tattoos and with exceptional customer service, they display art by local artists.

Tonight they showcased a father and son team: Buggsy  and Wade Malone.  Buggsy is a Marine veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. On display were some beautiful wood work of  musical artists such as Tupac and Micheal Jackson. There even was a piece of work depicting Frida Khalo.

Tupac, by Buggsy Malone

His son Wade is a student at the Oakland School of the Arts. I didn’t see any wood art from him, but his drawings show great promise. I’m definitely thinking about buying the flowers, if someone else doesn’t snatch them up. (We need to support the kids, ya’ll!)

Also on hand was a bay area nurse named Leslie Silket, RN, BSN. She was there to share information about the 2nd Annual Black Nurses Event. This is a special occasion to celebrate ‘unsung heroes’. Nurses, for little pay and sometimes no benefits, dedicate their lives towards taking care of patients. It’s not an easy job, and it’s sadly unappreciated. Silket says that this is a opportunity for local African-American nurses to get together and share their stories,  celebrate triumphs and get a good meal!

The Black Nurses event will be Z Cafe Feb. 16 at 5 pm. Tickets are $40, but if you are a student nurse you can get in for free. Email Leslie Silket, nuselove67@aol.com for more information.

Flower Art by Wade Malone

Sean Sullivan says that it is important to support local businesses because they provide employment to Oakland residents, and bring revenues back to the city. He is a huge supporter of risk takers and dream makers, and feels that small businesses like Inkwell and artists like Buggsy and Wade Malone are “hella cool!”.

I agree.

Visit Inkwell Studio all this month to see more work from Buggsy Malone and his son Wade.

Support small business, local artists ..and don’t forget to vote!


Filed under Advocacy, City Council, Election 2012, Healthcare, Oakland

Donald Trump to skip 2012 presidential race – USATODAY.com

This is not surprising, but sad news. I was highly looking forward to Obama kicking his tail for the election!! Cest la vie

In tribute I give you a replay of Seth Meyer’s trouncing of Donald Trump at the White House Correspondents Dinner. Trump says he will continue to voice his opinions. Let’s hope this generates more comedy during this tough election.

Warning..this is 20 min. But well worth it. He starts ripping the Republicans at 10:30.

Donald Trump to skip 2012 presidential race – On Politics: Covering the US Congress, Governors, and the 2010 Election – USATODAY.com.

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Filed under humor, Politics