This weekend, I went to the endorsement meeting for the National Women’s Political Caucus (NWPC). I have to admit that before this meeting, I knew very little about most of the local candidates running for office in June.
Though moving the Oakland, Berkeley, and San Leandro city elections is likely to increase turnout in those races, it seems to be having the negative effect of decreasing turnout and interest in the June elections. Some people might even be under the impression that the June election has been canceled.
But the June election is still happening, and there are some very important and competitive races on the ballot. June 8th might seem far away, but now’s a great time to start learning about the candidates and races, if you haven’t already.
There’s an easy and fun way to do that, tonight, at the East Bay Young Democrats endorsement meeting. Sure, I’m a bit biased because I’m president of the club, but even before I was, I always enjoyed the EBYD endorsement meetings.
Tonight we’ll be discussing local candidates, statewide candidates, and statewide initiatives. These are the races we will consider:
Statewide Candidates: Senator, Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Treasurer, Secretary of State, Controller, Insurance Commissioner, and Superintendent of Public Instruction.
Statewide Initiatives: Propositions 14, 15, 16 and 17.
County Races: Alameda County Board of Supervisors District 3, Alameda County Superior Court Judge, Alameda County Board of Education, and Alameda County Democratic Central Committee.
Candidates from all of the county races have confirmed their attendance, and you might be surprised at what you’ll learn from hearing them speak and asking them questions. At the NWPC meeting, AC Transit Director Chris Peeples asked candidates for supervisor, Wilma Chan and Beverly Johnson, what they thought about the Oakland Airport Connector. Wilma Chan seemed unfamiliar with the project and dodged the question. Beverly Johnson went on and on about how great the OAC is, which she had been convinced of because BART Director Carole Ward Allen came to her in tears and told her the project was needed and would be improved. Johnson also said it was a shame that we “lost” the $70 million stimulus funds and that we didn’t know where the funds would go to. That’s an outright lie, as Johnson is a member of ACTIA and full well knows that the funds were redistributed to the regional transit agencies.
I was undecided in that race even before I heard those awful answers, but now I’m even more undecided and hopefully will figure out my position tonight.
Whether you’re an EBYD member or not, you’re welcome to attend and participate in the Q&As and discussions and to learn about these races. EBYD will be providing free food and you can grab a drink at the bar before sitting down for the meeting.
Here are the details. I hope to see you tonight!
Monday, March 29th at 6pm
6-8pm: Candidates Speeches & Q&A
8-9pm: Discussion & Voting
The Washington Inn, 495 10th Street
RSVP on Facebook
If you can’t make it tonight, but still want to learn about the candidates, take a look at the candidate questionnaires on EBYD’s website.