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Wednesday, December 21, 2016

2016 EAST BAY POLITICAL YEAR-IN-REVIEW, PART 1 - Primary races begin to heat up; Ray McDonald fiasco blows up in Hayward; rents continue to rise

JANUARY
>>>During a frigid Alameda City Council meeting that lasted until 4 a.m., struggling renters win an extension for a moratorium on rent increases that will lead the way to an ordinance approved in March.

“If the NRA wants guns to be easily stolen, then they don't care about safety--just about selling more guns--even if people die.”
-Oakland Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan on city legislation she proposed in January in response to reports of law enforcement weapons being stolen from official vehicles, along with strong pushback by the National Rifle Association over her resolution.


Rep. Eric Swalwell
>>>As his guest, Rep. Swalwell brings Fremont Police Chief Richard Lucero, an advocate of police surveillance, to President Barack Obama’s last State of the Union address.


>>>State Sen. Steve Glazer and his daughter have a public conversation on Twitter about tampons and an Assembly bill to remove the sales tax on feminine hygiene products. The bill is ultimately stymied and its author SoCal Assemblymember Cristina Garcia vows to reintroduce it in 2017. 

>>>As Alameda’s rent discussion heats up it is learned local law enforcement dressed in plainclothes were monitoring residents during a city council meeting on Jan. 5.

Nate Miley and Bryan Parker
>>>Bryan Parker, a candidate for Alameda County supervisor, gets his opponent Supervisor Nate Miley’s attention by raising $117,000 in campaign finance. At this point, Miley’s early campaign coffers are basically empty.

>>>SEIU Local 1021 warns the Hayward City Council not to “rip the scab” and vote to challenge a state finding that the city illegally imposed a 2014 wage cut on some city workers. Nevertheless, the city appeals the decision.

>>>Alameda County bigwigs meet for a pre-endorsement meeting in Oakland and take a pass on endorsing either of the prominent Dems in the Ninth State Senate race with Nancy Skinner and Sandre Swanson. Rep. Mike Honda fails by two votes to win the early endorsement.

>>>Alameda names Jill Keimach as its next city manager, but its Mayor Trish Spencer votes no.

FEBRUARY
>>>Some in unincorporated Castro Valley want a tad more representation than just an advisory committee hand-picked by its Supervisor Nate Miley, but the Alameda County Board of Supervisors nixes the idea for an elected Castro Valley Municipal Advisory Committee including this exchange...

“You’re some of the most unappreciative people I’ve seen in my entire life.” 
-Alameda County Supervisor Scott Haggerty told Castro Valley residents who asserted county leaders don’t sufficiently represent their interests.

>>>After losing the Los Angeles sweepstakes, the Raiders, Oakland and Alameda County leaders agree to a one-year lease for the team to play the 2016 season at the Coliseum, with options for 2017 and 2018.

>>>South Bay Assemblymember Kansen Chu proposes to literally alter time with legislation to eliminate daylight savings time in the state. The bill languishes in committee for the year.

>>>President Barack Obama decides against making an endorsement in the CA-17 race between Democrats Rep. Mike Honda and Ro Khanna. He had backed Honda in 2014.

“You know, Rebecca has always been kind of a lazy legislator."
-Former Oakland Mayor Jean Quan responding to a hot rumor that she is looking to challenge for Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan’s at-large seat in November. Quan does not commit, but slams her former council colleague.

>>>At the state Democratic Party convention in San Jose, Rep. Mike Honda wins the party’s exclusive endorsement, but not without the sighting of a controversial mailer circulating that depicts Ro Khanna as a puppet of the Republican Party. The creators of the mailer are still unknown.

MARCH
Ray McDonald
>>>Former 49er Ray McDonald, due to stand trial for rape in April, is allowed to speak to underprivileged students at Hayward’s Tennyson High School, igniting a national stir and finger-pointing among Hayward school administrators.

>>>The Alameda Renters Coalition, the grassroots group leading the push for rent control on the island, officially files its rent control ballot measure with the city, but not before the interim city manager calls the cops on about 15 activists inside City Hall.

>>>East Bay Assemblymember Rob Bonta attempts a bid for the powerful state speaker’s post, but falls short to SoCal Assemblymember Anthony Rendon.

“It wasn’t just the tanks and the national guard on the streets of my community when I was much younger in the 1960s. But I look at his presidency as a time when the nation turned in a profoundly wrong direction.”
-State Sen. Loni Hancock with no fond memories of Ronald Reagan following former First Lady Nancy Reagan's passing in March.

>>>While the state is still parched during the on-going drought, Assemblymember Rob Bonta and State Sen. Bob Wieckowski travel to Australia on an all-expense paid trip to study the continent’s solutions to their own drought. Of course, the trip is courtesy of lobbyists and Sacramento special interests.

>>>After numerous delays on BART in Contra Costa County, State Sen. Steve Glazer enters a days-longTwitter war with the person who runs BART’s social media feed. After Glazer’s claims BART workers make too much money, Taylor Huckaby tells him, “You should ask @realDonaldTrump for an endorsement - he thinks American workers are paid too much too.”

>>>Well-know civil rights attorney Gloria Allred calls Hayward superintendent Stan “Data” Dobbs’s decision to allow the embattled Ray McDonald to speak at Tennyson High, “highly inappropriate.”

APRIL
>>>SEIU Local 1021 spends $140,000 to place a measure on the June ballot in Hayward that strikes at the heart of political entrenchment on the city council by moving its municipal elections from June to November. Measure C is easily approved by voters and will start in November 2018.

“He should be ashamed of himself for running.”
-Then-Alameda County Democratic Party Central Committee member Howard Egerman on county supervisorial challenger Bryan Parker during an endorsement meeting in April. The group overwhelmingly backed Supervisor Nate Miley for re-election.

Mike Honda
Rep. Mike Honda gets into Twitter war with ESPN analyst Curt Schilling after the congressman calls on the sports network to fire the former major league pitcher for comments made about North Carolina’s controversial bathroom bill. Schilling then called Honda a “coward.”

>>>The Oakland Tribune is no more, at least, as a masthead in the East Bay. The Bay Area News Group, in a reshuffling, rebrands the 142-year-old paper as the East Bay Times. Hayward’s Daily Review title is also axed.

>>>Rep. Eric Swalwell hopes to help Alameda County supervisorial candidate Bryan Parker make a splash in his bid to unseat Supervisor Nate Miley when he offers an endorsement of the challenger’s campaign.

"I would love to see the day Libby Schaaf puts her white privilege aside.”
-Oakland Councilmember Desley Brooks said during a committee meeting in April after the mayor’s office acknowledges an error that could have resulted in the loss of up to $2 million in grant funding for youth job training.
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2016 YEAR-IN-REVIEW
PART 1 - Primary races begin to heat up; Ray McDonald fiasco blows up in Hayward; rents continue to rise

PART 2 - Oakland police scandal erupts, coal shipments banned; June election brings few surprises

PART 3 - Khanna heads to Congress; Oakland moves to keep the Raiders; Ghost Ship tragedy; East Bay responds to Trump

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