When Richmond Assemblymember Tony Thurmond officially (finally!) threw his hat into the ring for state superintendent of instruction this week, he basically informally set in motion the 2018 election cycle in the East Bay. Thurmond's announcement was no surprise. He had basically been telling people he was going to run for Tom Torlakson's termed out seat even before the New Year. With this in mind, though, some East Bay politicos began wondering when Thurmond would make his candidacy official as the weeks went by after 2014 runner-up for state superintendent Marshall Tuck's announced another run three weeks ago and subsequently made headlines by receiving a quick $200,000 in campaign contributions. But who cares about the state superintendent race!? Instead, who is going to try and replace Thurmond in the 15th Assembly District that covers primarily Richmond, Berkeley, and North Oakland?
Quite obviously, Oakland Councilmember Dan Kalb was attempting to get a heads up on the competition by opening a campaign committee last month. However clumsy the response that he was merely filing for the seat in case its opened up, Kalb should be a strong candidate. In an assembly district with a very high political I.Q., Kalb's propensity for wonkiness is a good thing. He can also portray himself as a champion of government accountability from his time in Oakland advocating for citizen oversight of the police department and giving teeth to the Oakland Public Ethics Commission. But who else might be in the race?
Remember, these seats don't come open too often, so some names might not make an sense like Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin and Oakland Councilmember Abel Guillen. Both, though, vehemently deny interest for running in AD15. If recent political exuberance is any indication, newly-elected Berkeley Councilmember Ben Bartlett is acting like a potential candidate. Another name routinely mentioned for AD15 is Richmond Councilmember Jael Myrick. But quite frankly, any member of the Berkeley or Richmond City Council is a potential candidate, as is Oakland Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan.
--Meanwhile, it's a busy week all over the East Bay political scene. Here's your highlights:
➤Alameda County begins budget talks on Monday; county sheriff to face opponents of Urban Shield on Tuesday over funding.
➤Oakland City Council committees delve into a number of pressing issue all surrounding gentrification.
➤Hayward tackles improving its moribund, but potential-laden Tennyson Corridor.
➤Whither the Eden Health District? LAFCO takes up its future this week
➤Candidates hoping to lead the California Democratic Party face-off Wednesday night at a debate in Alameda.
*****ALAMEDA COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS - Budget overview hearings, Monday, April 10; Tuesday, April 11; 1:30 p.m. -- [ENTIRE AGENDA HERE]
--HOW MUCH IN THE RED WILL ALCO BE?-- The intensely laborious county budget hearings begin Monday. Alameda County Administrator Susan Muranishi will likely reveal its budget projections, almost assuredly including a large shortfall, but how much? Don't bother taking Ambien after eight county departments make their case later for escaping cuts to their budgets.
Regular meeting, Tuesday, April 11, 10:30 a.m. - [ENTIRE AGENDA HERE]
--URBAN SHIELD FUNDING-- East Bay progressives are definitely not enamored with the county sheriff hosting the annual emergency preparedness and anti-terrorism training event held in Pleasanton that is funded by U.S. Homeland Security Department grants through the Urban Areas Securities Initiative (UASI). Now the Board of Supervisors are being asked to approve allocating another $1.7 million in grants for Urban Shield, raising the total to $5.7 million. Expect opponents of Urban Shield to voice their opinions Tuesday morning.
--TREASURER-TAX COLLECTOR INTERVIEWS-- Five applicants to replace retiring Alameda County Treasurer-Tax Collector Donald White will be interviewed. [Former Fremont mayor is a candidate to be Alameda County's next treasurer-tax collector]
*****OAKLAND - City Council committee meetings, Tuesday, April 11, start at 9:30 a.m.
Community and Economic Development Committee, 1 p.m. [ENTIRE AGENDA HERE]
--REPORT: HIGH RENTS ARE DRIVING NON-PROFITS OUT OF OAKLAND-- "Due to rising office rents, some local nonprofits have been forced to relocate or are facing displacement pressure. This is true in the Downtown area, where office rent growth has been the most dramatic, but is also occurring in other Oakland neighborhoods. At the same time, the nonprofit sector is growing overall and a number of nonprofits have relocated to Oakland from other jurisdictions."
--PILOT PROGRAM FOR LEAD INSPECTIONS IN RENTAL HOUSING-- Perhaps shot into action by a Reuters on the high levels of lead in Oakland, especially the Fruitvale District, the city administrator is proposing a pilot program to help identify lead in its rental housing stock. Similar "layers" of inspection are used in San Jose, Sacramento, and Los Angeles, according to the city staff report.
--ALSO ON THE AGENDA-- Discussion of zoning changes proposed for additional retail, senior and affordable housing and industry in West Oakland, around Mandela Parkway and 3rd, 5th 7th and 8th Street / Approval of $5 million in loans to various affordable housing projects.
Life Enrichment Committee - 4 p.m. - [ENTIRE AGENDA HERE]
--DEPARTMENT OF VIOLENCE PREVENTION -- "It is past time for Oakland to take radical action to reduce violence. Generations of Oaklanders have suffered violence in California's most dangerous large city. In fact, Oakland is consistently identified as one of the ten most dangerous major cities in the country. Over the past 20 years, each year Oakland will lose at least 85 residents to homicide and handle nearly 900 domestic violence calls."
--"The mission of the DPV is to work to dramatically reduce violent crime and to serve communities impacted by violence to end cycles of trauma. The first initiative of the DVP will be the implementation of the 80-80-3 initiative--the Council's call to realize an 80% reduction in homicides and shootings and an 80% homicide clearance rate within the next 3 years."
--LOVE LIFE--Councilmember Lynette Gibson McElhaney offers an oral report on implementation of the "Love Life" slogan approved last year by the council.
Finance Committee - 9:30 a.m. - [ENTIRE AGENDA HERE]
-BUDGET REORGANIZATION-- The City's budget operations is proposed to be reorganized to combine the Budget Office function currently under the City Administrator's Office and the budget analysis and operations in the Controller's Office to create a new Budget Bureau under the Finance Department.
*****GATHERINGS --CA DEMS FUTURE-- California Democratic Party Chair debate comes to Alameda, Wednesday, April 12, 7 p.m., Elks Lodge, 2255 Santa Clara Avenue (next door to City Hall). It's a North-South battle with Richmond's Kimberly Ellis and Los Angeles County Democratic Party Chair Eric Bauman. The event is sponsored by the Alameda Democratic Club and East Bay Young Democrats Club.
*****ALAMEDA - Continuation of April 4 meeting to Friday, April 7, 5:30 p.m. - An Alameda City Council meeting that suddenly became contentious after midnight, continues to Friday evening when the council resumes possibly making changes to its year-old rent stabilization ordinance. The rancor that occurred early Wednesday morning included a push by two councilmembers to add "just cause" protections for renters.
*****SAN LEANDRO - City Council work session, Monday, April 10, 7 p.m. -- [ENTIRE AGENDA HERE]
--TWO-BUDGET TALKS STARTS-- San Leandro Finance Director David Baum lays out the two-year budget forecast starting with Fiscal Year 2017-18.
--CLOSED SESSION-- City Council give performance reviews for City Manager Chris Zapata and City Attorney Richard Pio Roda.
*****HAYWARD -- City Council meeting, Tuesday, April 11, 7 p.m. -- [ENTIRE AGENDA HERE]
--TENNYSON CORRIDOR-- Hayward's Tennyson Road is one of the city's toughest neighborhoods, but also perhaps one with the greatest potential for renewal. But before the Hayward City Council begins rejuvenating the area that features the South Hayward BART station and a Latino neighborhood with possibilities, it must first define exactly where the Tennyson Corridor begins and ends and where to focus the city's efforts first.
*****FREMONT -- City Council meeting, Tuesday, April 11, 7 p.m. -- [ENTIRE AGENDA HERE]
--CALIFORNIA NURSERY HISTORICAL PARK MASTER PLAN-- "The 20.1 acre City-owned property, located at 36501 Niles Boulevard, is the last remnant of the original 400 plus acre California Nursery Company, a once grand nursery operation that brought national attention to the East Bay and was significantly associated with the evolution of the nursery industry on a statewide level. The California Nursery Historical Park Master Plan is the culmination of 2.5 years of community meetings, design and financial analysis, and an Environmental Impact Report."
--"The proposed Master Plan provides for additional community building spaces, yet the park will remain primarily as a passive recreation park that is not dramatically different from what exists today. Primary changes proposed by the Plan include a future addition of an interpretive center, an information center/café, an expanded interpretive program, and expanded use of the site for intermittent special events."
*****LAFCO -- Special meeting, April 11, 6 p.m., Castro Valley Library -- [ENTIRE AGENDA HERE]
--DISSOLUTION OF EDEN HEALTH DISTRICT-- Alameda County supervisors, mayors in Hayward and San Leandro, along with Assemblymembers Rob Bonta and Bill Quirk want the Eden Health District to flatline. The findings of a special study by the Alameda County Local Agency Formation Commission, which oversees the boundaries of jurisdictions, disagrees. "Dissolution of the district without continuing its services is unwarranted," the report concluded. Now it's up to LAFCO, which includes Alameda County Supervisors Scott Haggerty and Nate Miley, to decide whether to take steps toward dissolution or the let the elected Eden Health District continue, even though it no longer oversees a hospital.
--Castro Valley Municipal Advisory Committee, the unincorporated area's de-facto government, is also holding a special meeting, Monday, April 10, 6 p.m. at the Castro Valley Library to take public comment on the Eden Health District matter.
*****AC TRANSIT BOARD OF DIRECTORS -- Regular meeting, Wednesday, April 12, 5 p.m. -- [ENTIRE AGENDA HERE]
--CAPITAL BUDGET OVERRUNS-- "When staff looked at the status of FY 2016-17 District Capital funds spending and the bus purchases planned for FY 2017-18 and FY 2018-19, it became clear that spending was going to outstrip the budget and continue to do so for several years. This led staff to rethink projected spending in order to more accurately match the annual budgeted amount."
--In FY 2017-18, the two projects projected to spend the most District Capital funds are the East Bay Bus Rapid Transit bus purchase at $5 million (of a$32.5 million total budget) and the ten double-decker bus purchase at$3.2 million(of a$10.1 million total budget). Similarly, in FY 2018-19 there are three bus purchases that are projected to spend nearly$12 million in District Capital."
--POSSIBLE CUTS TO OAKLAND SCHOOL SERVICES-- "Consider the options for receiving public input regarding the possible elimination of Supplementary Service to Montera Middle School, Skyline High School, and Community Day School within the Oakland Unified School District."
BART BOARD OF DIRECTORS -- Regular meeting, Thursday, April 13, 9 a.m. [ENTIRE AGENDA HERE]
EAST BAY MUD BOARD OF DIRECTORS -- Regular meeting, Tuesday, April 11, 1:15 p.m. -- [ENTIRE AGENDA HERE]
*****LEGISLATURE -- On recess until April 17.