Friday, June 30, 2017

EBC AGENDA | JUNE 30-JULY 6 | Tenant relocation payments return to SAN LEANDRO; ALAMEDA Point Site A; Sheriff AHERN in HAYWARD; 'MERICA!

Every week the EBC AGENDA describes a "very busy week in East Bay government." Unless White House press secretary Sean Spicer is offering the agenda this week, using this phrase would be a total lie! City Councils in San Leandro and Alameda bookend the Fourth of July holiday. Important issues, nonetheless, highlight both meetings. Here's your guide. 'Merica!

SAN LEANDRO -- Regular council meeting, Monday, July 3, 7 p.m. [ENTIRE AGENDA HERE]
--TENANT RELOCATION FEES-- Two weeks ago, this item came before the San Leandro City Council, but a number of amendments approved on June 19 forced the proposed ordinance to return for another first reading.

--Among the amendments, approved, 6-1, by the council is an exemption for landlords with properties of 1-4 units from paying relocation payments to tenants. The amendments were literally read into the motion that night by David Stark of the East Bay Association of Realtors and Tom Silva of the Rental Housing Authority. Silva is also a member of the California Apartment Association and San Leandro Rent Review Board.

--POLICE HQ EXPANSION-- Most accept the San Leandro Police Department's headquarters adjacent to City Hall is inadequate. The council originally approved a $648,000 contract with consultants Indigo/Hammond & Playle Architects to study a planned $8.4 million expansion of the building and South Offices.

--Another $158,000 is being asked of the council to expand the scope of the consultant's service contract, bringing the total to $806,000. According to the staff report, more than $6 million for the total projects is earmarked in the 2018-19 fiscal year budget.

ALAMEDA -- Regular council meeting, Wednesday, July 5, 7 p.m. [ENTIRE AGENDA HERE]
--ALAMEDA POINT SITE A-- The 800-unit large-scale development (including 200 units dedicated for affordable housing) at the former Alameda Naval Air Station, that includes 600,000 sq. ft of retail, ran into a stumbling block in April when the developer Alameda Point Partners defaulted on a financing plan for the project. The group said a spike in construction costs meant the project's finances did not pencil out. But the developer is back Wednesday night with amendments to the Disposition and Development Agreement with the city. Read the city's extensive cache of documents related to the project HERE.

GATHERINGS --SHERIFF AHERN IN HAYWARD-- Alameda County Sheriff Gregory Ahern town hall organized by grassroots organization People Power, Friday, June 30, 5 p.m., Hayward Adult School, 22100 Princeton St, Hayward.

--SF IMPEACHMENT MARCH-- A number of Bay Area councils have voted to investigate and impeach President Trump. They will meet Sunday, July 2, 1 p.m. Justin Herman Plaza - Embarcadero, San Francisco,

-- ALAMEDA MAYOR'S FOURTH OF JULY PARADE-- Tuesday, July 4, 10 a.m.begins at Park Street and Lincoln Avenue. Coast Guard Festival begins, 1 p.m. at Pier 3 on Alameda Point (near USS Hornet).

--BERKELEY STATE OF THE CITY-- Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin delivers his first State of the City address, Monday, July 10, 6 p.m.Berkeley Repertory Theatre, 2025 Addison St, Berkeley.

Swalwell voted for House bill that seeks stronger sentences for undocumented immigrants

Rep. Eric Swalwell
A House bill backed by President Donald Trump that would increase minimum prison sentences for repeat offenders of U.S. immigration law was supported Thursday by East Bay Rep. Eric Swalwell.

The bill is inspired by the tragic 2015 murder of Kate Steinle in San Francisco by an undocumented immigrant who had been arrested and deported five times for various crimes before the killing.

With patience and time running out, Oakland finds a way to approve $2.5bn two-year budget

Oakland Councilmember Abel Guillen's motion
allowed the city approve its two-year budget
just under the wire before a Friday deadline.
For a budget battle in Oakland that resulted earlier in the week with an abrupt adjournment in response to civil disobedience, it didn’t take much to inflame what became another wild night inside the council’s chambers.

The Oakland City Council approved, through a bit of parliamentary sleight-of-hand, a $2.5 billion biennial budget late Thursday night. But chanting and angry shouting directed at various councilmembers highlighted an upset audience that had previously advocated for defunding the city’s police department following its on-going police sexual misconduct scandal involving an under-aged girl.

Competing budget proposals from Mayor Libby Schaaf, Council President Larry Reid, and a coalition of other members of the council and disagreements posed a dilemma. The use of one-time expenditures, said City Attorney Barbara Parker, meant the already fractious debate would require six of the eight council votes for passage, rather than five. Furthermore, the city is required by state law to pass a balanced budget for the upcoming fiscal year by June 30.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

'Whoa!' 16 years later, Barbara Lee's famous stand against 'endless war' moves forward

After the House Appropriations Committee approved 
Rep. Barbara Lee's AUMF repeal amendment, 
she tweeted, "Whoa."
Rep. Barbara Lee's lone stand against the authorization of war in the Middle East in 2001 is legendary in the East Bay and across the progressive movement for its courage and later foresight.

Sixteen years later, Lee's amendment is gaining support. On Thursday, the Republican-led House Appropriations Committee voted to include a repeal of the Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) in the U.S. Department of Defense spending bill.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Michael Bloomberg maxes out contributions to Tony Thurmond's opponent for state supe

Former New York City Mayor Michael
Bloomberg isn't likely to be a friend
of Tony Thurmond next year.

When it came to funding ballot initiatives for taxing sugary drinks in Oakland and San Francisco last fall, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg was an ally of Assemblymember Tony Thurmond, who supported the initiatives

But, Bloomberg, known for backing a panoply of philanthropic causes, is also an ardent supporter of charter schools, a position Thurmond, who is running next year to become the state superintendent of public instruction, strongly opposes. 

Oakland City Council had little interest in questioning Elaine Brown's non-profit, except her top rival Desley Brooks

Elaine Brown, Alameda County Supervisor
Keith Carson and Oakland Councilmember
Desley Brooks in an undated photo.
Apparently, Oakland Councilmember Desley Brooks and former Black Panther and Oakland activist Elaine Brown have no limits on being in the same room. On Tuesday, the Oakland City Council approved a land disposition agreement for the property at Seventh and Campbell Streets where Brown's non-profit Oakland & the World Enterprises operates an urban garden and envisions building affordable housing for the recently incarcerated. Brooks, nonetheless attempted to land a number of straight-arm jabs at Brown's project.

In fact, the dust-up between the two women that occurred in October 2015 at a barbecue restaurant in Downtown Oakland and included allegations that Brooks knocked Brown to the ground was precipitated by an argument over this same project. Brooks reportedly threatened to not support the project and Brown allegedly accused her of "being in the hands of developers."

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Alameda landlords file charter amendment petition, possible second ballot measure

Alameda Councilmember Jim Oddie at a
pro-renters rally at City Hall on June 16.
Over the past weeks, as a wave of unruly signature-gatherers from outside of Alameda have been pushing a landlord-backed petition to roll back just cause protections for renters, another petition seeking a possible second ballot measure may soon be hitting the streets.

Alameda businessmen Eric Cross, Michael Gorman and former Councilmember Tony Daysog filed on June 14 an intent to circulate a petition that essentially codifies as part of the City Charter the rent stabilization ordinance passed by the Alameda City Council in March 2016. The ordinance was also approved by 55 percent of Alameda voters last November.

"We thought this issue was settled--the people of Alameda have spoken loud and clear," declares the petition, and "Alamedans need to be in charge, not the politicians."

Oakland City Council backs inquiry, Trump impeachment: 'I hope God blesses us with a miracle and gets rid of both Trump and Pence'

"I can't think of any of my colleagues on this council that voted for Donald Trump," said Oakland Council President Larry Reid before a number of public speakers lined up to urge the City Council to support a resolution to investigate and possibly impeach Donald Trump.

He was right. The Oakland City Council unanimously voted to approve the resolution Tuesday night and join other East Bay cities, such as Alameda, Richmond, and Berkeley in calling attention to a growing number of allegations against the President for his conduct before and after taking office last January.

"It's obvious the city has a number of pressing local problems," said Oakland resident Myra Mitzman. "I urge us to look outside our own gate. When democracy is being threatened so brazenly, we are being threatened."

Councilmember Dan Kalb, who sponsored the resolution along with Councilmember Abel Guillen and City Attorney Barbara Parker, reiterated it does not immediately call for impeachment of the president, but asks the House Judiciary Committee to begin an investigation into Trump's alleged misconduct. However, he added, "I think there's enough evidence for this to go forward."

After the vote, Reid painfully chuckled and exclaimed, "I hope God blesses us with a miracle and gets rid of both Trump and [Vice President Mike] Pence."

After ruthless campaign that cost Mike Honda his seat, Ro Khanna wishes him happy birthday

Let bygones be bygones. At least that's what Rep. Ro Khanna thinks after he wished a happy birthday to his former political rival and the man he replaced in the 17th Disrict, former Rep. Mike Honda. Khanna tweeted his birthday wish on Twitter early Tuesday morning.
Recall, though, that Honda sued Khanna and his campaign manager, Brian Parvizshahi last fall alleging they illegally accessed Honda's digital donor lists. Honda later equated Khanna to "Russian hacker."

Unincorporated Fairview receives approval for five-member municipal advisory council

In addition to Fairview, Alameda County
Supervisor Nate Miley represents the
unincorporated areas of Ashland, Cherryland
and Castro Valley.
The tiny 10,000-person hamlet of Fairview, an unincorporated area between Hayward and Castro Valley, received approval from the Alameda County Board of Supervisors Tuesday to create its own quasi-government body, the first in the county in more than three decades.

The Fairview Municipal Advisory Council establishes a five-member board for the unincorporated area. Alameda County last approved a MAC in 1981 for Castro Valley, for which the Fairview MAC is modeled on.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Oakland Councilman Dan Kalb formally announces candidacy for the 15th Assembly District

Oakland Councilmember Dan Kalb
Oakland Councilmember Dan Kalb made official what just about everyone in East Bay politics has known for months. He's running next year for the 15th Assembly District seat.

“All through my career, I have dedicated myself to solving big problems by bringing folks together with determination and in good faith,” said Kalb. “Our leaders must get creative to tackle our toughest problems with innovative solutions. I know I can do that in Sacramento because I’ve done it time and time again on the City Council and throughout my career.”

Friday, June 23, 2017

EBC AGENDA | June 23-29 | OAKLAND forms indy police commission, impeaches Trump; ALAMEDA COUNTY allocates $55 million to indigent health care

The last week was a good one for the accountability of Alameda County elected officials. First, the Alameda County grand jury report kicked dirt on Supervisors Keith Carson and Nate Miley for their handling of county allocations to non-profits they were intimately connected with, and the Oakland City Council for abusing closed session. A few days later a court-appointed investigation into the Oakland police sexual misconduct scandal slammed Mayor Libby Schaaf for her mishandling of the aftermath of the investigation and the Oakland Police Department's intransigence in getting to the bottom of the horrific scandal. Next week, the Oakland City Council may add a more preventative wrinkle to accountability of its police department with Councilmember Dan Kalb's Oakland Police Commission, which will give civilians "real" power to rebuke the department and even fire its chief. Further down the line, expect Kalb, who is running for the open 15th Assembly District seat next year, to place this issue at the top of his campaign platform.

It's a busy week once again in East Bay government in advance of the Independence Day holiday that falls on the Tuesday council day. Here's your highlights:

➤Fiscal year budgets are slated to be signed, sealed, and delivered in Oakland and Alameda County.

➤Oakland gets behind impeachment and the Paris Climate Agreement

➤Indigent care gets a boost in funding for the next year, along with $4.5 million for homeless shelters

➤Unincorporated Fairview gets a quasi-government framework

➤No raises for Hayward department heads 😞

ALCO DA hopeful Price says she's running on police accountability, criminal justice reform

Oakland civil rights attorney Pamela Price
says Alameda County D.A. Nancy O'Malley 
did not protect victim of police sex crimes.
Unseating Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O'Malley might be the longest of longshots in the East Bay next year. But Oakland civil rights attorney Pamela Price believes a campaign advocating for police accountability, criminal justice reform, and her believe O'Malley has failed on both accounts is a winning message.

Price laid out her early platform for the June 2018 primary race on Thursday in an email to supporters. She also acknowledged the obstacles for defeating the deeply-entrenched O'Malley. "My friends’ first question is not why am I running for DA. The first question is 'have you lost your mind?' No, I have not lost my mind. I know who I am and I know why I’m running."

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Hayward Mayor Halliday with yet another set of bizarre statements, this time about the homeless

Hayward Mayor Barbara Halliday
During a discussion over Hayward's homeless count and possible solutions to housing them Tuesday night, Mayor Barbara Halliday offered a series of bizarre statements.

They involved a comment that appeared to opine the homeless are unable to responsibly maintain the upkeep of their subsidized housing. She later suggested it was a success the city is doing well finding shelter for families, while failing individuals. Halliday also lauded the city for its homeless count being stagnate over prior years, while the rest of Alameda County spiked.

BART approves 'safe transit policy,' its version of sanctuary for undocumented immigrants

BART Board Director Lateefah Simon
first proposed the transit agency become
a sanctuary for riders in March.
A resolution that falls short of declaring BART a so-called sanctuary for undocumented riders, but is instead labeled a "safety transit policy" was nearly unanimously approved by the BART Board of Directors Thursday.

The original resolution, first proposed by BART Board Directors Lateefah Simon in February, was refashioned to omit any references to "sanctuary cities." Some board directors feared the transit authority's oversized reliance on federal funding could be targeted by the Trump administration if the phrase was included in the resolution.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Oakland public bank study put on hold while city passes the hat around to cannabis interests

During the Oakland City Council committee stage, at least one Oakland councilmember consistently urged stakeholders in the city's cannabis business community to fund a proposed $100,000 public bank feasibility study rather than using the depleted general fund. Councilmember Noel Gallo's idea was never elaborated upon by his colleagues until Tuesday night and the suggestion appears to have led to the City Council's postponement of the allocation to the July 18 meeting.

Funding for the public bank study appeared on the path to approval until Councilmember Abel Guillen suggested the city attempt to recoup the $100,000 from the cannabis community, which is bound to greatly benefit from a banking system decentralized from Big Banks. Access to banking services are difficult for many cannabis businesses to attain since the federal government still views cannabis production and sales as illegal.

"Oakland cannot go at this alone," said Guillen. "I think a regional approach might make the most sense and any risk we are exposed to needs to be shared with a geographical area."

Oakland would definitely be treading on somewhat unprecedented territory if a public bank is ever created in the East Bay. Although, prevalent in some countries, the only other public bank in the U.S. is in North Dakota.

Richmond, Berkeley, Emeryville and possibly Alameda County have already shown interest in joining Oakland in a proposed public bank. "Ask them to put their money where their mouth is," said Guillen. The public bank issue, he added, is being framed as a benefit for the cannabis industry in Oakland. "Ask some in that community to reimburse the city."

Others on the council appeared to latch onto Guillen's remark.

"I don't want to waste $100,000, if in fact, Emeryville and Alameda County wants to do this. They should step up to the plate," said Council President Larry Reid. Don't burden the city of Oakland." Councilmember Lynette Gibson McElhaney offered a similar argument, saying the county has more than ample reserves to cover the study or wait until other cities are fully on-board with the plan before moving forward.

Earlier, City Administrator Sabrina Landreth urged the council to wait until a similar study in San Francisco was released before acting to spend money on a feasibility study of their own.

Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan, perhaps the public bank's most enthusiastic supporter, tried to urge her colleagues to move forward with Tuesday night's agenda item, saying the consultant for the study has already been vetted and ready to begin its work.

The feasibility study's price tag is a bargain, said Councilmember Dan Kalb, and will get more expensive if the city waits. He equated the regional aspect of the public bank proposal to the recently formed Alameda County Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) program that allows its city's to buy clean energy for residents through the existing utility company.

 "CCA didn't wait for everybody to chip in," said Kalb. "Reality is we're the biggest city in the county. San Francisco is not who we should be partnering with."

Swalwell wants House Intel Committee to subpoena Trump's tapes if not turned over by Friday

East Bay Congressman and unofficial MSNBC contributor Eric Swalwell said Wednesday that he hopes the House Intelligence Committee subpoena the alleged tapes President Donald Trump suggested on Twitter last month that include private conversations with former FBI Director James Comey. That is, if Trump doesn't provide the recordings requested by the House Intelligence Committee by this Friday. Some believe Trump's threat of tapes is merely a bluff on the president's part.

Report: Schaaf, former Chief Whent mishandled OPD sexual misconduct investigation

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf
A investigation into the handling of the Oakland police sexual misconduct scandal by the department describes a troublesome lax attitude early on toward the allegation and a city administration disinterested in the post-investigation fallout. It was not until the OPD's federal monitor and the Alameda County District Attorney's office intervened in the case that the department and city administration ramp up its efforts, the investigators wrote in a 33-page report released Wednesday.

"There is no doubt that, once the Court intervened to ensure the investigation was conducted in a thorough manner, City leaders took the matter seriously and were actively engaged in ensuring OPD investigated thoroughly. They also took the appropriate step of hiring an outside attorney to uncover what had occurred before the Court’s intervention," according to court-appointed investigators Edward Swanson and Audrey Barron.

Extra! Extra! Local Alameda newspaper nabs city contract from East Bay Times

The Bay Area News Group's Alameda Journal is basically three stories and a community calendar published once a week. It just got slimmer after losing a contract to the locally-owned Alameda Sun to print legal notices for the City of Alameda . The one-year contract may be worth more than $18,000.

The Alameda City Council unanimously voted Tuesday to award the contract to the Alameda Sun over the Bay Area News Group's low-ball bid. This comes despite language in the City Charter that requires the city council to accept the lowest and "best" bid, said City Attorney Janet Kern.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Following emotional hearing, Oakland City Council approves Dept. of Violence Prevention

It was one of the most somber Oakland City Council meetings in recent memory. Dozens of public speakers detailed the anguish following the loss of loved ones to gun violence in Oakland. And, later, after Council President Larry Reid's daughter provided her own tragic testimony, he struggled to fight back tears before the council approved Tuesday evening the creation of a Department of Violence Prevention.

Over the past two months Councilmember Lynette Gibson McElhaney, along with Reid, had pushed for the new city department, but some members were slow to support the proposal, citing questions over its cost and scope.

Jean Quan is mulling a comeback

Jean Quan
As far as second or third acts go, this would be quite a stunner. Former Oakland Mayor Jean Quan is mulling a run for the open 15th Assembly District seat being vacated next year by Assemblymember Tony Thurmond, according to sources with knowledge of her inquiries.

In recent weeks, Quan's husband, Dr. Floyd Huen, reached out to a member of Thurmond's inner circle and acknowledged his wife's interest in running in next June's primary, sources say. Quan also put out feelers to others in the East Bay politics, they say.

Monday, June 19, 2017

San Leandro City Council adds landlord exemptions to proposed tenant relocation payments

It’s taken more than a year for the San Leandro City Council to formulate a tenant relocation payments amendment to its existing rent review ordinance. But following a number of additions to the proposal, some that benefit small-time landlords in San Leandro, the amendments will have to wait another two weeks for a first reading and likely approval.

The council voted, 6-1, to approve the amended ordinance (Mayor Pauline Russo Cutter voted no), but due to the amount of changes made Monday night, the reworked legislation is scheduled to return to the City Council for a first reading on July 3, said City Attorney Richard Pio Roda.

Supervisor Keith Carson knew about conflict of interest when giving $710k in county funds to employee, former Black Panther Elaine Brown's non-profit

Supervisor Keith Carson
Alameda County Supervisor Keith Carson violated the county's conflict of interests rules when he hired former Black Panther leader Elaine Carson to his staff and allocated $710,000 in funding to the housing non-profit she created in 2014, according to an Alameda County grand jury report released Monday. It also concluded Carson was aware of the conflict from the beginning.

The grand jury found that Carson hired Brown as part of his District 5 staff for the express purpose of helping her create Oakland and the World Enterprises (OAW). The non-profit seeks to provide affordable housing and other opportunities to underserved residents in West Oakland.

Grand jury: Oakland’s misuse of closed session with developers looks like backroom dealing

A rendering of the 24-story luxury building
that was initially proposed fot the sale of
Oakland-owned land in 2015.
Oakland’s proposed sale two years ago of a sliver of city-owned property near Lake Merritt, known as the East 12th Street Remainder parcel, rankled community activists for its brazen lack of transparency and resulted on one occasion with the shutdown of a city council meeting. According to an Alameda County grand jury report, released Monday, their anger toward the sale and two other downtown properties, was not misplaced.

The report slammed Oakland for repeatedly exploiting an exception in the Brown Act, the state’s landmark sunshine law, while suggesting the practice fosters a belief in the public that city officials are brokering “backroom deals” with real estate investors.

Friday, June 16, 2017

EBC AGENDA | June 16-22 | OAKLAND public bank study, SAN LEANDRO tackles tenant relocation fees, Mega town hall

It's so early in the process of whether Oakland and more likely a consortium of East Bay cities go into the banking and lending business that we've heard a peep from Big Bank. Richmond and Berkeley reported are interested in joining the public bank group. Based on recent progressive actions, Alameda and San Leandro might have interest. Of course, the more, the merrier, and each city have distinct interests in squaring the circle when it comes to their burgeoning cannabis industrial scenes to have options when it comes to banking.

Meanwhile, it's a very busy week in East Bay government, particularly Oakland, where a few notable agenda items, including the public bank feasibility study, are featured. Here's your highlights for the week:

➤San Leandro's housing market is slowly heating up and tenant relocation payments there might be a short-term answer.

➤Step right up! The runner-up for the Alameda County treasurer's post wins a consolation prize.

➤Pot industry gets a look in San Leandro and possibly Alameda.

➤Town hall Saturday: Events featuring Assemblymembers Rob Bonta, Tony Thurmond, State Sen. Nancy Skinner and Rep. Ro Khanna.

After colleague's long-winded Warriors speech two years ago, Wilma Chan keeps it short

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf and MC Hammer
at the Warriors victory parade Thursday.
On a similar sun-swept afternoon in Oakland two years ago, Alameda County Supervisor Scott Haggerty stepped to the lectern and addressed an estimated 1 million Warriors fans at Lake Merritt following the Warriors' first NBA championship in 40 years.

Haggerty's speech, though, became infamous not for the congratulatory words he offered the new champs, but how many there were.

As possibly the most knowledgeable sports fan among East Bay elected officials, Haggerty, nonetheless, had much to say. But sunburned Warriors fans that day were in no mood for a salutary speech from anyone outside of Stephen Curry and company.

Lee says Trump's Cuba policy is an 'unnecessary step backwards'

Rep. Barbara Lee says President Trump's
new Cuba policy hurts U.S. businesses.
Rep. Barbara Lee has another reason to be critical of President Donald Trump after the administration announced Thursday that it would roll back the reopening of Cuba to U.S. investment and travel, a policy created in 2015 under President Barack Obama.

After the announcement, Lee said the policy "will return the U.S. to an era of failed isolationist Cuba policies."

Trump's directive tightens bans on American tourism to Cuba and investment, though, maintains the reopened U.S. embassy in Havana..

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

EBMUD board director Andy Katz enters growing AD-15 race

Andy Katz's current term on the 
EBMUD board ends in 2018.
Four years ago, East Bay Municipal Utilities District board member Andy Katz thought he was ready for a move to the state house. He eventually dropped out of the race in the 15th Assembly District later won by Tony Thurmond.

On Wednesday, Katz filed papers to again run in the 15th District, this time to replace him.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Tony Daysog is running for the Alameda City Council next year

Tony Daysog served on the Alameda City Council
from 1996-2006 and 2012-2016.
Tony Daysog has won some and lost some during his time in Alameda politics. He's run for mayor and even Congress two years ago in a race outside of his home district. But Daysog's sweet spot appears to be the Alameda City Council where he's served a total of 14 years.

After missing out on re-election in 2016, Daysog said last week that he is running for one of two open seats on the Alameda City Council in 2018.

Oakland public bank feasibility study moves forward

Oakland officials are putting a down payment on the possible creation of a public bank. The Oakland City Council Finance and Management Committee approved the allocation Tuesday of $100,000 to study the feasibility of the potentially landmark public bank in Oakland, or possibly regionally.

The proposed public bank would give Oakland residents in underserved areas a viable option for seeking mortgage and personal loans. It's a response to the lack of interest from Big Banks to provide mortgage loans to minorities in Oakland.

Ro Khanna thinks Bernie Sanders should run for president in 2020

Rep. Ro Khanna
For months, freshman Rep. Ro Khanna's Twitter feed has morphed into a type of daily affirmation of his progressive credentials. At times the tone is similar to that of Stuart Smalley, the self-help character from Saturday Night Live created by future Sen. Al Franken.

I'm good enough. I'm progressive enough. And doggone it, people like me!

On Monday, Khanna's avalanche of progressive declarations intended to market the first-term congressman as the new beacon of the far-left veered into an unsolicited presidential endorsement.

Monday, June 12, 2017

East Bay pols celebrate the Warriors NBA Finals victory

The Golden State Warriors' second NBA title in three years means the Larry O'Brien Trophy is coming back to Oakland. The city's victory parade is scheduled for Thursday, 10 a..m. In the meantime, with the Warriors being the only professional basketball franchise in the Bay Area, East Bay politicians can be rest assured their social media activity is bound to make everyone happy. Here's a sample of the tweets posted shortly after the Warriors beat the Cavaliers in Game 5 on Monday night, including the hashtag #stayinoakland used below by Oakland Councilmember Dan Kalb.

Swalwell, Valle want Sutter Health to forgive $19m judgment to help St. Rose Hospital survive

Rep. Eric Swalwell has agreed to lead a blue-
ribbon commission to alleviate Hayward's
St. Rose Hospital and its finances.
Alameda County Supervisor Richard Valle said Monday that a blue-ribbon commission, already supported by Rep. Eric Swalwell, should be created to help solve the worsening financial condition at St. Rose Hospital, a facility viewed as crucial for continuing safety net health care services for the poor in Hayward and surrounding Central Alameda County.

Including unfunded liabilities, St. Rose Hospital’s annual deficit is between $20-22 million, said its CEO Aman Dhuper on Monday. The facility’s financial woes, however, have been longstanding. Numerous entities including the county, Eden Health District and Kaiser Permanente, among others, have contributed annual stipends in recent years to keep the hospital afloat.

Fan groups enlist well-known sports litigator to potentially sue Raiders, NFL over relocation

A grassroots collection of Raiders fan groups believe they have a legal grounds for keeping the NFL franchise in Oakland, and the investor group headed by football great Ronnie Lott still believes a football stadium can be built in Oakland, according to the attorney hired by local fan groups. But, whether it’s the Raiders playing in the proposed stadium or an expansion team bearing the iconic shield logo and silver and black colors, will be work of well-known sports litigator James W. Quinn.

“They’re a tough bunch,” Quinn said of National Football League owners. “But their history with litigation is not good.” Quinn’s services were retained by a number of local fan groups to study whether fans and municipalities might have any legal claims against the NFL after approval was given by owners for the Raiders to move to Las Vegas. Quinn’s experience in sports litigation mainly involves the legal interplay between professional league’s antitrust protections and players’ unions, including five cases involving the NFL.

Alameda mayor takes heat from LGBTQ community; group gives back pride month proclamation

Some members of Alameda's LGBTQ community
protesting a photo-op with Mayor Trish Spencer in 
the background to celebrating Pride Month.
Eight years after Mayor Trish Herrera Spencer voted against allowing same-sex curriculum in Alameda schools, members of the LGBTQ community showed up at City Council on Tuesday to reject her proclamation of Pride Month — and to demand an apology.

On Tuesday night, prior to the council meeting, the city held a well-attended celebration in front of City Hall in honor of Pride. But some members of the Alameda LGBTQ community declined to pose for a group photo with the mayor (right). Instead, they formed an equally large alternative photo opportunity next to the city-sanctioned one.

The city’s four councilmembers also joined the protest photo-op, in solidarity with the community’s stance against the mayor’s past positions on LGBTQ issues (see below). Councilmember Frank Matarrese said he intended to take part in both photo-ops, however.

Friday, June 9, 2017

EBC AGENDA | June 9-15 | OAKLAND public bank; Budget deliberations; FREMONT redistricting approval; AC TRANSIT fleet study

The kids are out of school and summer is almost officially here. It's another big week in East Bay government. Here's your highlights:

➤Budgets in Oakland and Hayward near approval before the June 30 deadline.

➤Oakland's public bank proposal comes back to committee

➤AC Transit's ridership is down, but smaller buses might not be a solution

➤Future of  struggling St. Rose's Hospital in Hayward comes to county health committee

➤Bingo! in Hayward!

OAKLAND -- Special council meeting, Monday, June 12, 5:30 p.m. [ENTIRE AGENDA HERE]
--BUDGET APPROVAL-- Oakland’s two-year budget is headed for adoption at Monday’s special meeting. According to the city administrator’s office, these are the most recent changes to the biennial budget:

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Hayward finally becomes a sanctuary city

It took awhile, but the Hayward City Council unanimously voted Tuesday to join eight other East Bay cities by becoming a sanctuary city.

“We started talking about this just after the election,” said Hayward Councilmember Al Mendall. "It's taken us a lot of time to get here, but I'm proud of the process."

It was a sentiment echoed by other Hayward councilmembers, including Elisa Marquez, who had been the most vocal proponent of becoming a sanctuary city over the past months.

City of Hayward Twitter account tweeted racist image before tonight's sanctuary city vote

This morning, just hours before Hayward city council's scheduled discussion of whether or not to become a sanctuary city, the city's official Twitter account posted an image of a taco and the phrase "Let's Taco About It" — a Tweet that has activists accusing the city of bigotry.

Two other tweets promoting different city events also included the hashtag "#TacoBoutItTuesday."

Monday, June 5, 2017

Alameda landlords readying possible ballot measure to roll back new Just Cause restrictions

Amendments to Alameda's rent stabilization ordinance that will includes just cause protections for tenants is not yet officially law, yet local landlords are already plotting a strategy to rescind the rules slated for a final reading at Tuesday night's city council meeting.

Members of two landlords-backed groups, the Alameda Housing Providers Association and Alamedans for Fair Rent Control, met last Thursday for a strategy session aimed at thwarting the introduction of just cause on the island.

Friday, June 2, 2017

EBC AGENDA | June 2-8 | HAYWARD eyes sanctuary city status; Flavored tobacco ban in SAN LEANDRO; OAKLAND'S new violence prevention plan; FREMONT resdistricting

East Bay governments are back for a big full week of action following the Memorial Day weekend. Here's your highlights:
➤Hayward eyes becoming a sanctuary city...finally

➤San Leandro, but not yet Oakland, looks to ban flavored tobacco

➤Fremont's move to expand its city council reaches its penultimate hearing

➤Alameda County help its refugee and asylum-seeking population

➤Rep. Barbara Lee leads The Resistance Summer Tour

SAN LEANDRO -- Regular council meeting, Monday, June 5, 7 p.m. [ENTIRE AGENDA HERE]
--FLAVORED TOBACCO RESTRICTIONS-- San Leandro is about to get tough on flavored cigarillos and flavored electronic cigarette products, whether they contain nicotine or not. The number of inexpensive cigarillos in a package will also be limited by the proposed ordinance to 15 per pack. Cigarillos currently can be purchased at retail stores for as little as two for 99 cents. The sale of flavored tobacco products is seen by some as the powerful tobacco industry attempting to market their products to teenagers and young adults. Oakland is moving in a similar direction with similar legislation, but the item for this Tuesday's agenda was pulled by Oakland Council President Larry Reid.

Bonta bail reform bill narrowly fails in Assembly

Potential landmark legislation that would reform the state's troubled money bail system was narrowly defeated Thursday night in the Assembly.

East Bay Assemblymember Rob Bonta's Assembly Bill 42 failed by one vote, 36-37, after seven legislators did not record a vote.