Tag Archives: Abel Guillen

Celebrate Blue & Green this Thursday with East Bay Young Dems

28 Jun

You might have noticed that posting here has been a bit lighter than usual for the past couple of weeks. Part of the reason for that is that I’ve been spending a lot of time planning Blue & Green: East Bay Young Democrats’ Third Annual Awards Gala. Each year, EBYD honors an elected official and a youth advocate at our annual gala. Being the president of EBYD, I’m a bit biased, but I think our events are a lot of fun, and I’m really excited about this year’s honorees.

Elected Official of the Year: Abel Guillen

Since I’ve gotten to know him, I’ve developed a deep respect for Peralta Community Colleges Trustee Abel Guillen. Continue reading

Abel Guillen: Reflections from Berkeley City College

18 Mar

This guest post was written by Abel Guillen who was first elected to serve on the Peralta Community College Board in 2006 and is immediate past president of the board. Guillén, who represents Oakland’s Temescal, West Oakland, Chinatown, Downtown and Adam’s Point neighborhoods, is vice president of Caldwell Flores Winters Inc., where he has helped raise more than $2 billion in bond funding for public schools and colleges throughout California over the past 10 years. The first in his family to graduate from college, he has a Masters of Public Policy from the Goldman School of Public Policy at UC Berkeley and a B.A. in Sociology, also from Cal.

At this evening’s Board of Trustees meeting, I heard powerful testimony from our students.

A student who grew up in East Oakland passionately described his childhood.  He told us he would wander the streets because he would fear going home.  He dropped out of school and had run-ins with the law and got caught up in some drug cases.  He tried Merritt College – “just to give a shot” – after his last arrest.  As a result of the Disabled Students Program & Services, he was tested and qualified for services.  He is now achieving in his studies, and last semester achieved 4.0 GPA.  He also proudly told us that he serves as president of Merritt College’s honor society. Continue reading

Open thread events listing

28 Jun

Between wedding planning, packing for our move, planning the East Bay Young Dems annual gala (which is next week and you should plan to go!), work, and everything else in life, I didn’t have time this weekend even to do a short version of the weekly events listing.

But I realized that maybe for a couple of weeks, at least until I’m fully moved, Living in the O readers could help me out. Many of you have helped me recently remember events that slipped past me so please help out by leaving comments below about events that are happening in Oakland this week.

I’ll get it started by mentioning two events I’m co-hosting on Wednesday evening (they’re close by so it’s possible to go to both). One is a re-election happy hour for Abel Guillen, Peralta Community College Board Trustee, at Arsimona from 6-8pm. The other is a summer celebration with Rebecca Kaplan, at Era from 6:30-8:30pm. I hope you’ll join me in Uptown on Wednesday to support both of these dedicated and talented elected officials.

Please share below info about other events and meetings happening this week.

An easy way to get involved with the California Democratic Party

7 Jan

UPDATE: Here are the results for the 16th AD election. Thanks to everyone who came out to vote!


Abel Guillen
Joel Freid
Wayne Nishioka (i)
Mark Briggs (i)
Dan Rush
Jakadi Imani


Sumi Marie Paranjape
Ronnie Caplane
Frieda Edgette
Alice Fried
Esperanza Tervalon-Daumont
Tara Marchant (i)

Cal. Dem. Party E-Board Rep.:
Mark Briggs (i)

(i) = incumbent

You may not have heard, but this Saturday, there’s a very important election being held. I know, you voted three times last year and were hoping for a bit of a break, but this election’s a bit different than the primaries and general election held last year. This is an election that could come down to just a few votes, and one of those votes could be yours.

What is this election? It’s the election for delegates to the California Democratic Party (CDP). Even if you’re not a hard core Democratic activist, as long as you’re a registered Democrat, I strongly recommend attending and making your voice heard. Though these elections are generally sparsely attended (relative to other elections), they’re extremely important. The delegates that are elected this Saturday will be voting on new party leadership, including a new Chair of the CDP. Delegates also vote on endorsements for ballot initiatives and candidates for state office.

All you have to do is arrive at Alameda Hospital on Saturday between noon and 2:00 to cast a vote. You can then leave immediately or wait around to hear the results. That’s it. It will take a couple hours of your time, and you’ll get to ride the bus through Oakland and see areas you probably often don’t visit.

If you’re still not convinced that this is the best way to spend your Saturday afternoon, let me tell you a little story about the importance and power of CDP delegates. Last year, at the CDP convention, there was a high profile fight between Senator Carole Migden and Assemblymember Mark Leno to get the CDP endorsement. Leno was doing what is seldom done – challenging a fellow Democratic incumbent for her Senate seat (he was termed out of the Assembly). Well, Migden won the endorsement vote among the delegates from her Senate district, but then Leno’s supporters went around the convention that evening and collected enough signatures (actually, double the amount they needed) to challenge Migden to a full convention vote among all CDP delegates. In the full convention vote, Migden did not receive enough votes to get the endorsement. Neither did Leno, which meant the Democratic Party did not endorse either candidate.

I believe that this vote sealed the deal for Leno. Though there’s a good chance he would have won against Migden anyway, without the official support of the CDP, there was no way for Migden to win. This is just one of many stories that demonstrate how important the delegate positions are and why it’s so important for the 16th Assembly district to elect delegates that support our values.

I hope you’ll join me on Saturday to vote and will support the following four candidates (you can vote for up to six women and six men):

  • Abel Guillen: Over the last two years, Abel has served as a Trustee for the Peralta Community College District. During this time it has become clear to him that we need to have a unified progressive voice that is grounded in the realities of working men, women, students and senior citizens. He is running for this position because he believes he can help champion these causes and continue to be an advocate for education.
  • Frieda Edgette: As President to East Bay Young Dems and a health policy strategist to more than 100 worker health campaigns, Frieda has diverse experience in local politics and strategic organizing skills that she will leverage to build a more inclusive and cohesive CDP. If elected, she will ensure that the CDP takes a committed and proactive approach to California’s progressive “bread ‘n butter” issues, such as restoring the Golden State’s promise for equitably funded education, clean energy alternatives, single payer healthcare, and marriage equality.
  • Richard Fuentes: As a Gay Progressive Latino, Richard is committed to ensuring that all those who cannot speak are given a voice to speak for them.  With more than 5 years of public service, advocate, volunteer, PTA member, School Site Council member, Neighborhood Association member, and loyal Democrat he stands steadfast to assure our democratic values and interest are the focus of our progressive agenda.
  • Sean Sullivan: As an LGBT Leader, Prop. 8’s passage, Sean is running to ensure our State Democratic Party leads in the fight to overturn this injustice. As former executive staff with Covenant House, he has advocated and will continue to stand for the homeless, youth, those disenfranchised and living at the margins.  During this difficult time our party must have more than a focus not on simply getting through but by building a sustainable state through transit oriented growth, green sector employment development, single earner jobs  and world class education.

If you want to meet many of the delegate candidates, stop by Mix It Up East Bay tomorrow (Thursday) night at its new location, Shashame on Broadway. Check the events page for details.

I hope to see you on Saturday:

When: Saturday, January 10th, 2009 from 12:00-2:00 pm
Where: Alameda Hospital – 2nd Floor, Meeting Room A, 2070 Clinton Avenue, Alameda, CA
More Info: http://www.cadem.org
Accessible by AC Transit lines 51, 50, and 63.