Another election, another voter guide! This covers Oakland, Berkeley, and other nearby parts of the East Bay, including the Alameda County and statewide races. As usual these are just my opinions, and you are welcome to share them far and wide with other folks you know.
Whatever you do, please do vote! Unless of course you’re happy with the state of the world exactly as it is.
President — Bernie Sanders
Neither Hillary nor Bernie would be my dream president, but I am voting for Bernie to voice support for his message and his agenda, which I think are so important for the party and the country to move towards.
US Senator — Kamala Harris
Of the 34 people running for Senate, there are two serious Democrats running, and Kamala Harris is the clear choice. She is super smart, hard-working, and seems to have real integrity. As attorney general she’s gone after big oil and big banks, and she has progressive ideas about criminal justice reform, especially for a prosecutor. Progressives and activists in the Democratic Party overwhelmingly support her, and I’m pretty stoked to vote for her now and again in November.
US Representative — Barbara Lee
State Senator, 9th District — Nancy Skinner
Nancy Skinner served in the assembly for several years before terming out, and she is one of the most effective legislators Oakland and Berkeley has ever had. Unabashedly progressive and unafraid of a fight, Nancy did a lot of good for California and the East Bay in the Assembly. She is an energy and climate expert and an environmentalist at her core, but she is far from a single-issue legislator. We’ll be missing out if we don’t send her to the State Senate.
State Assembly, 15th District — Tony Thurmond
State Assembly, 18th District — Rob Bonta
A note about the judge races —
Since judges can’t take political stands on issues it can be hard to figure out who to vote for. Luckily there’s another Alameda County judge I know and trust, Vicky Kolakowski, who has shared some helpful insight
into this race, and I’m voting largely on her recommendations.
Alameda County Superior Court Judge, Office #1 — Scott Jackson
Alameda County Superior Court Judge, Office #2 — Jennifer Madden
Alameda County Superior Court Judge, Office #14 — Margaret Fujioka
Alameda County Board of Supervisors, District 5 — Keith Carson
Alameda County Board of Supervisors, District 4 — Nate Miley
Alameda County Board of Education, Trustee Area 2 — Marlon McWilson
A note about the Alameda County Democratic Central Committee — What is this race?? It’s for the most local branch of the Democratic Party, and these are the people who vote on the Democratic Party’s endorsements for local races in county, municipal, and local elections. I was elected to this committee in 2008 and 2010, and served as an alternate on it before that. I’m supporting candidates for these races who I know to be energetic and hard-working for the committee, progressive, young, and willing to question and challenge the status quo (or at least most of these qualities.. actually maybe only two young people in the 18th). You can vote for up to 9 people, but you don’t have to vote for that many.
County Democratic Central Committee, 15th Assembly District (in alphabetical order)
Sharon A. Ball
Jamila A. English
Andy Kelley — I know Andy very well, and if I could only vote for one person in this race I would vote for him!
Cecilia “Ces” Rosales
County Democratic Central Committee, 18th Assembly District (in alphabetical order)
Malcolm Amado Uno
State Measure 50: Yes
This was inspired by the Leland Yee scandal (in which he kept drawing a salary as a state senator after being indicted), and it allows the legislature to vote to suspend members without pay by a two-thirds vote.
Measure AA: YES!
Sea level is already rising and we need to get ready. This $12/year parcel tax for all Bay Area parcels is a good (if belated) start to restore wetlands and marshes, make the bay more healthy, and increase climate resilience for bayside communities and infrastructure.