EAST BAY POLITICAL BENCH On some levels, the future of the East Bay when it comes to cultivating new talent looked bleak, but there were positives to be taken away from the open primary system where it rests in the area’s two internecine fights for the Assembly. Not only did the process elect two highly-qualified people—Rob Bonta and Bill Quirk—it also attracted and created an additional duo of candidate who were not as lucky last Tuesday, but have very bright futures. If you can’t win a race, then the best consolation prize is positioning yourself on a steep upwards trajectory for the next time. Both Abel Guillen and Dr. Jennifer Ong did just that and have nothing but greener pastures in their future. In fact, all four of the general election candidates in the Assembly are barely recognizable with the hesitant, bland politicians I watched just nine months ago in the primary. We have not heard the last from Guillen and Ong. In addition, Oakland's city council races also showed signs of strength in the future even though Richard Raya, Sean Sullivan, Nyeisha DeWitt and Mario Juarez fell short.
ORGANIZED LABOR This group is here not for its exemplary work, but for averting what could have been a disastrous Election Night. Start off with Richard Valle. The Alameda County Labor Council put all their eggs in Valle’s basket last June by getting him the appointment at the Board of Supervisors. Even though Richard Valium seemed unenthusiastic and downright unimpressive, labor came through for him and avoided the ignominy of losing to Hayashi. And, despite labor’s own attempts to shoot themselves in the foot in San Leandro after endorsing two candidates for the city’s City Council who backed pension reform at the behest of crusader Mayor Stephen Cassidy, all three candidate’s look like they will fail. Labor also dodged a bullet with Bill Quirk’s win the Assembly, even as Dr. Jennifer Ong eventually made it a very tough race. Let’s hope next time, labor takes fewer risks with the movement’s future.