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2006 Election

General Election Date: November 7, 2006

Primary Election Date: June 6, 2006

Primary Election Intro
General Election Intro
California Online Voter Guide for Statewide Propositions
Candidate Statements, Board of Education
State Wide Proposition Titles and Summary
2006 Voter Registration Numbers
Alameda Blog Election Coverage
Smart Voter Alameda School Board
Prior Year Election Results
2006 General Election Results

Disclaimer: This webpage is the sole responsibility of Mike McMahon. It does not represent an endorsement of any candidates. Its sole purpose is to disseminate information to interested individuals about the upcoming elections affecting Alameda.

June Primary

In the June primary election (June 6th, 2006) there were two races and one state proposition affecting Alamedans. The first race for the 16th Assembly races pitted four Democrats (Ronnie Gail Caplane, Tony Daysog, John Russo and Sandre Swanson) against each other. The winner of the primary should have an easy time in the general election where Democrats outnumber Republicans 6 to 1 in the District. In races for state offices is very common to receive donations from outside thier district. However, it is surprising that most districts receive over 75% of their donations from the outside interests.

The second race for the Board of Supervisors, 3rd District had five candidates. Alice Lia-Bitker, incumbent, Lou Filipovich, Glenda Nardine, Jim Price, and Sheila Young. If no candidate receives 50% plus one vote there will a runoff in Novmeber. Finally, Proposition 82, is an initiative for implementing universal preschool in California.

The major theme for nearly primary election from the Governor's race to State Assembly was education. It should be no surprise to anyone that need your own personal money to statewide public office. It is even true for propositions, as the Reiner family has contributed over 4 million dollars to the Prop 82 campaign.

16th Assembly District Coverage
Board of Superivsor, 3rd District Coverage
Prop 82 Preschool for All Coverage
Governor's Race

Election Results

June 19, 2006
Monday, June 19 Absentee Ballots Ballot Box Votes Post Ballot Box Votes Total Votes
Swanson 6,738 12,205 6,430 25,733
Russo 7,424 8,618 4,912 20,954
Caplane 2,359 3,103 1,897 7,359
Daysog 2,183 2,197 1,126 5,205
Monday, June 19 Absentee Ballots Ballot Box Votes Post Ballot Box Votes Total Votes
Lai-Bitker 8,521 7,592 4,847 20,960
Young 5,508 4,423 2,406 12,339
Price 1,553 1,817 773 4,143
Nardine 1,106 1,065 556 2,727
Filipovich 730 492 197 1,419

Alice Lai Bitker avoided a runoff election in November by capturing over 50%.

June Election - Local Tax Results

June 2006 Local Tax Election Results

November Election - Local Tax Results

November 2006 Local Tax Election Results

November General Election

The initial pulling and filing of candidate papers will occur between July 17th and August 11th. The period extends by five days if the incumbents do not file. Assignment of ballot positions for the the 2 positions on the local School Board and 2 positions on City Council and the Mayor takes place on August 17th when the Secretary of State pulls a random letter assignment. Last day to register to vote will be October 23rd. The election will be held November 7th.

After the candidate have filed, local newspapers provide bios of the candidates. In addition, endorsements from local groups begin as well candidate forums. Candidates receive questionnaires from many groups.

While there will be plenty of interest on local races, there are statewide issues of interest. First, there is Prop 89 which seeks to create public financing of campaigns. Democratic challenger Phil Angelides campaign will do their best to tap into the overall displeasure with President Bush's foreign policy but do not expect that displeasure to translate into the loss of Republican House seats according George Skelton. It seems that 2001 resdistricting by Legislature has proven to so good that not one race in the House or State Legislature will be competitive.

In mid-September, Mark Baldassare from the Public Policy Institute of California offers his opinion why California voters may skip this General Election. It is based on this PPIC study which shows how the electorate is not representative of the population.

In February, 2007, the Alameda Journal reported on the final campaign expenditures for the Mayoral and City Council race.

State Wide Proposition Titles and Summary


Candidate Filing Information


Name Date Papers Pulled Date Papers Filed
Beverly Johnson 07/20/06 08/11/06
Tony Daysog 07/24/06 DNF
Doug deHaan 07/26/06 08/11/06
Reginald James 07/26/06 DNF
Kenneth Kahn 07/31/06 08/03/06
Thomas Mills 08/07/06 DNF

City Council

Name Date Papers Pulled Date Papers Filed
Ash Jones 07/17/06 08/04/06
Lena Tam 07/17/06 08/08/06
Frank Matarrese 07/17/06 08/11/06
Michael Rich 07/21/06 08/11/06
Earl Mathiesen 07/21/06 DNF
Corey Renner 07/21/06 DNF
Pat Bail 07/26/06 08/11/06
Mel Waldorf 08/02/06 DNF
Eugenie Thomson 08/07/06 08/11/06

School Board

Name Date Papers Pulled Date Papers Filed
Mike McMahon 07/17/06 08/02/06
Daniel Herrera 07/21/06 07/25/06
Tracy Lynn Jensen 07/24/06 08/09/06

Hospital Board

Name Date Papers Pulled Date Papers Filed
Christine Chan-Chiu N/A N/A
Kevin Farrell N/A N/A
Kathleen Zell N/A N/A
John Martin N/A N/A
Kevin Peter Kiensat N/A N/A
Tom Palvetic N/A N/A
Nancy Hoffman N/A N/A
Walter Kran N/A N/A
Howard Dean N/A Disqualified
Steve Wasson N/A N/A
Matthew Reid N/A N/A

AC Transit Ward 3

Name Date Papers Pulled Date Papers Filed
Elsa Ortiz 07/17/06 08/11/06
Tony Daysog 08/11/06 .

Ballot Position

On August 17th the Secretary conducted a randomized drawing that assigns a numerical ranking to the alphabet to determine a candidate's ballot position. Based on that randomized drawing the ballots should like those listed below unless there is breakdown in communication like the one in 2004 that saw the City races listed incorrectly.

Mayor City Council School Board Hospital Board AC Transit
Doug deHaan Ash Jones Daniel Herrera Nancy Hoffman Elsa Ortiz
Beverly Johnson Pat Bail Tracy Lynn Jensen John Martin Tony Daysog
Kenneth Kahn Frank Matarrese Mike McMahon Christine Chan-Chiu .
. Michael Rich . Kathleen Zell .
. Eugenie Thomson . Steve Wasson .
. Lena Tam . Matthew Reid .
. . . Kevin Farrell .
. . . Tom Palvetic .
. . . Kevin Peter Kiensat .
. . . Walter Kran .

The accuracy is only as good as reading and ranking of the listing from the Secretary of State. If you find an error, I will be happy to correct it.

Note: Howard Dean turned an incomplete application for Hospital Board and will not appear on the ballot.

Individuals who Pulled Papers in 2004

Campaign 2006: Reiner, Westly, Angelides add big campaign checks

By Peter Hecht, Sacramento Bee, May 26, 2006

Actor-director Rob Reiner on Thursday wrote a $1.65 million check to boost the closing campaign for Proposition 82, his initiative to tax wealthy residents to pay for free preschool.

Reiner's donation pushes his total contributions to the campaign to $2.8 million. His wife, photographer Michelle Singer Reiner, has donated $1.3 million to the initiative, and his father, writer-comedian Carl Reiner, has contributed $500,000.

Meanwhile, Democratic gubernatorial candidates Steve Westly and Phil Angelides are both opening their wallets to give their campaigns new infusions of cash, according to announcements by the campaigns and reports filed with the secretary of state's office.

The Westly camp said the former eBay executive had pumped another $2 million into his gubernatorial campaign, bringing his personal contributions to $34.5 million for the primary race.

Meanwhile, the Angelides campaign said he wrote checks totaling $1.5 million to his campaign this week, the first major donations of his own money to the race.

Reiner's late contribution on behalf of Proposition 82 came as backers for the initiative were beginning to run out of money for the closing weeks of their campaign. Before his latest check, the Yes on 82 campaign had $388,000 in cash on hand after raising $8.5 million since January and $2.4 million in 2005.

"Rob is one of the co-chairs of the campaign, and he is certainly committed to Proposition 82 passing," said Nathan James, a spokesman for the Yes On 82 campaign. "But the initiative is supported by a broad group of people who care about our schools and giving every child access to preschool."

Proposition 82 seeks to establish a universal preschool system in California for 4-year-olds, funded by an income tax hike on individuals making more than $400,000 a year and couples earning more than $800,000.

Besides support from Reiner and his family, the initiative has received $1.6 million this year from the California Teachers Association. It is also backed by major Hollywood star power.

According to campaign reports, movie producers Steven Spielberg and Jeffrey Katzenberg donated $25,000 and $10,000, respectively. Meanwhile, $5,000 contributions were received from actors and performers, including Barbra Streisand, Candice Bergen, Kirk Douglas, Tom Hanks and Jamie Lee Curtis.

Opponents of the preschool initiative, heavily backed by real estate and business groups opposing higher taxes, raised $6.3 million this year and had $1.6 million in cash on hand for the closing campaign, according to the most recent reports.

The opposition campaign has received $600,000 from Baron Real Estate of Redondo Beach, $500,000 from Menlo Park venture capitalist William Bowes Jr., founding partner of U.S. Venture Partners, and $380,000 from California Business PAC, the California Chamber of Commerce's political action committee.

Chamber spokesman Vince Sollitto said the business groups oppose the measure because "it creates another billion-dollar bureaucracy but will barely move the needle on preschool attendance."

"It's not targeted at the California children who could most benefit from it, and it could risk destroying our state's current preschool system in the process," he said.

According to a poll by the Public Policy Institute of California released Thursday, 50 percent of likely primary voters support the preschool initiative, with 43 percent opposed.

Support for the measure is strongly split along partisan lines. About 63 percent of Democrats support Proposition 82, compared with 36 percent of Republicans, according to the poll, which has a plus or minus five percentage point margin of error.

In the governor's race, the Westly campaign spent $31 million in the primary race compared to $20.6 million by the Angelides campaign since Jan. 1. The Westly camp reported that it has $3.7 million left in the bank, while the Angelides side reported it has $2.9 million remaining.

With no primary opposition, Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has raised $14.7 million and has $9.6 million left, according to campaign reports.

2006 16 AD 2004 16 AD 2006 Alameda 2004 Alameda
Total Registered 196,206 216,261 38,267 41,197
Democrats 121,819 133,984 20,279 21,729
Republicans 19,566 22,221 7,327 8,165
Amer Ind 3,088 3,375 668 694
Green 5,246 6,623 686 760

Statewide Voter Registration 60 Days Prior to November 2006 Election

PPIC August 2006 Likely Voter Profile

PPIC August 2006 Age Gap Analysis


Proposition 89

One wonders if Proposition 89 has chance even if Democratic candidate for Governor Phil Angelides endorses it when you look at opposition coming from the state's largest unions and big business. But the California Nurses Association gathered signatures for a position on the November ballot. The State Democratic Party gave a neutral endorsement on August 5th. Sacramento Bee Columnist Peter Schrag provided his take on well intentioned Prop 89 on August 23rd. Ross and Matier cover the Caped Crusader fight against legislative fundraisers during the last week of the legislative session.


State Democratic Party gives "neutral" recommendation on Prop. 89

By AP, August 6, 2006

The state Democratic Party sidestepped Saturday whether to endorse a November ballot initiative backed by gubernatorial candidate Phil Angelides that would publicly finance campaigns and ban large donations.

More than 300 members of the party's executive board voted unanimously in a Burlingame hotel ballroom to give a "neutral" recommendation on Proposition 89, said party spokesman Jeff Millman.

The proposition, modeled after laws in Arizona, Connecticut and Maine, would slash current donation limits, prohibiting most donors from giving more than $500 or $1,000 per election, depending on the office. Public financing for candidates would partly be paid for by a 0.2 percent tax on corporations.

Angelides said in a statement Saturday he stands by his position, bolstered by support for the measure from the California Nurses Association, The League of Women Voters, Common Cause California and other groups.

"Now is the time for the people of California to clean up the influence of money in our government," he said. "Our government should answer to the voices of Californians, not corporate special interests."

Angelides broke with some of his party's most influential supporters, including the California Teachers Association, by endorsing the initiative this week.

He also accused his campaign rival, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who opposes the measure, of breaking his recall election promise to clear Sacramento of special interest influence.

The governor has said he fundamentally opposes the tax increase and has seen public campaign financing in Europe and doesn't believe it works.

Angelides raised significantly less than the governor in the first six months of the year.

Through June, Schwarzenegger had $4 million in his campaign account and $1.4 million in debt. Angelides had raised $700,000 with a debt of half that size.

Bush's Bumbling Won't Benefit State's Democrats

By Geroge Skelton, Los Angeles Times Columnist, August 14, 2006

California Democrats — especially U.S. House candidates — should be poised to clean up in November because of President Bush's bungling, but they're not. And it's their own fault.

They've gerrymandered themselves out of the action.

It's ironic that the political party most opposed to redistricting reform in California is the party that currently could be reaping its benefit.

Conversely, the party that historically has advocated taking redistricting away from the Legislature — the minority GOP — can thank its lucky stars that gerrymandering still prevails.

The California Democrats' lost opportunity became clear last week in Connecticut. There, Democratic voters angry about Bush's botched war sent him a loud message. They denied one of his key war supporters, Democrat Joe Lieberman, renomination to the Senate.

So Republican congressional candidates all over America are running from Bush, fearful they'll be linked with him in voters' minds.

"Unless something dramatic happens before election day, Democrats will take control of the House," political analyst Charlie Cook wrote in the National Journal.

"The electoral hurricane bearing down on the GOP looks likely to be a category 4 or 5…. The political climate feels much as it did before previous elections that produced sizable upheavals, such as 1994."

In 1994, Democrats lost control of both the House and the U.S. Senate, largely because of voter disenchantment with President Clinton.

The GOP tidal wave spread to California, where Republicans gained eight Assembly seats and seized control for two years. But that was after a court-ordered redistricting — an honest one.

If the Legislature's 2001 redistricting had been honest, California Democrats now would be in position to catch their own national wave and capitalize on another president's unpopularity.

Unlike Clinton, Bush never has fared well in this blue state. And his handling of the Iraq war recently hit a new low in the Field Poll. The mid-July survey found that 67% of California voters disapproved of Bush's war moves and 58% thought he should begin withdrawing troops.

But there'll be no electoral hurricane in California. The GOP is protected. Not one of California's 20 Republican-held House seats has a truly competitive race. Neither do any of the 33 Democratic seats.

If either party gains or loses seats in the Legislature, it'll be very few. Democrats currently control the state Senate 25 to 15 and the Assembly 48 to 32. In 2004, not one legislative or congressional seat changed parties in 153 so-called contests.

All these elections were virtually decided back in 2001 during the Democratic Legislature's once-a-decade redrawing of congressional and legislative districts. The congressional part was essentially drawn by House members.

That year, there was a conspiracy by Democrats and Republicans to protect all their own seats. They gerrymandered to safeguard the status quo.

Bush political strategists pushed for this, fearing that if the GOP lost any California seats, it would lose control of the House. Without the gerrymandering, they calculated, the GOP could lose up to six seats here.

So why did Democrats go along? For one, a bipartisan redistricting would eliminate the threat of a GOP court suit or referendum at the ballot. Second, they'd be assured of Democratic legislative control for the rest of the decade.

And veteran Democratic Rep. Howard L. Berman of Valley Village — the House redistricting honcho — had his own agenda: to avoid someday being beaten by a Latino challenger in a primary. Latino voter ranks had been growing in his district. The redrawing "significantly reduced the Latino voter registration from 35% of the electorate to 29%," according to the California Target Book, which charts legislative and congressional races.

The White House's man in Sacramento was Senate GOP Leader Jim Brulte of Rancho Cucamonga. "As a partisan warrior, I plead guilty," he says. "Our redistricting was designed to protect the Republican majority in Congress, and it has. I did my job, and I'm proud I did."

"Brulte picked the Democrats' pockets," says Tony Quinn, co-editor of the Target Book and a GOP redistricting staffer during the 1970s and '80s. "Bush is as unpopular here as he is in Connecticut, but the Democrats will gain nothing for it."

If not for the gerrymandering, Quinn figures, Democrats could gain at least three House seats in California. They need 15 nationally to seize control.

Brulte — no longer a legislator — has joined the reform movement, advocating creation of an independent commission to handle redistricting. It's a conflict of interest for legislators to draw their districts, he concedes.

An independent redistricting, it's theorized, would result in more competitive general elections. Outcomes would become more reflective of public mood swings. Now, elections are decided mostly by the map drawers, who create districts that are either predominantly Democrat or rampant Republican. Geography be damned.

Voters last year soundly rejected the then-unpopular governor's initiative to strip the Legislature of its redistricting power. Democratic legislative leaders promised to offer a better proposal this year. They're still flailing around trying to do it.

Many Democratic lawmakers are refusing to surrender the power to gerrymander and choose their own voters. But they might if term limits can be relaxed. Republicans also covet more practical term limits.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has offered to support a package of redistricting and term-limit reforms. The Capitol thinking is that if voters are presented a bipartisan package backed by both parties, they might buy it.

That's where we are today: A two-house conference committee is making a last-ditch effort to place a proposal on the November ballot — or draft a measure for 2008. There's a big argument over timing.

Either way, it'll be too late for Democrats to cash in on the Republicans' Bush burden. They blew it.


Prop. 89: California nurses' clean money dream

By Peter Schrag , Sacramento Bee Columnist, August 23, 2006

Why is it that noble ideas so often come in such convoluted packages? The latest is Proposition 89, the California Nurses Association's "clean money" initiative, which would provide public funding to all qualifying state political candidates who agree to tight contribution and spending limits. The measure, which is on the November ballot, cites the long, ugly litany of special interest influence and corruption, both in Sacramento and Washington. It would put much stricter limits on contributions to privately funded candidates, to ballot measures controlled by candidates and officeholders and on corporate contributions to any ballot measure.

"It's a historic opportunity," said Berkeley Assemblywoman Loni Hancock, "for the people to take back their government." Hancock is the author of a similar clean money bill that was killed in the Senate this spring. Getting voter support for public funding for political campaigns is hard under the best of circumstances. But Proposition 89, supported by good government groups and honored by the opposition of an unholy alliance of special interests, from the California Teachers Association to the Chamber of Commerce, is also hobbled by its own clumsiness, ambiguities and excessive ambitions.

The initiative's 55 complex pages of small print, some 30,000 words, would provide varying amounts of public funds - from $400,000 for Assembly candidates in general elections ($800,000 for Senate candidates) to $15 million for participating gubernatorial candidates. If a nonparticipating opponent spent more, the participating candidate would get additional funds to match it.

To qualify, candidates who choose to participate would have to generate a specified number of $5 contributions and signatures, ranging from 750 for Assembly candidates to 25,000 for gubernatorial candidates, and submit them to the state's Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC). The money couldn't be spent by the candidate. It would go into a state pot -- most of which would come from a corporate tax increase -- to pay for the public funding.

But the measure isn't clear whether those signatures must come from registered voters, as it implies in one section, or eligible voters -- any citizen over 18 -- or just from legal residents, as it says in another.

Either way, neither the candidate nor the FPPC has any way of verifying the legality of the contributions and signatures, as the law would require. The FPPC would get thousands of individual pieces of paper, so presumably has to hand check each. But the FPPC doesn't have voter lists, and no one, certainly not the candidate, has any means of determining who is a legal resident or an eligible voter.

Even in its text, Proposition 89 acknowledges that there are constitutional questions. It would sharply restrict all contributions to initiatives controlled by a candidate or officeholder and it has a tight ($10,000) limit on corporate contributions to all initiative campaigns, something that would radically change a process now often dominated by large corporate donors.

But are those limitations constitutional? Rick Hasen, an election law expert at Los Angeles' Loyola University Law School and one of the drafters of the measure, concedes that the limit on corporate contributions runs counter to two U.S. Supreme Court decisions, among them a 1981 Berkeley rent control case that barred any contribution limits for initiatives because ballot measures, in the court's view, are not subject to corruption as candidates are.

Just last June, the court also struck down Vermont's contribution and expenditure limits, ruling that they were so low as to impair free speech rights. The limits imposed on privately funded candidates by Proposition 89, while greater than Vermont's in absolute dollars, are far smaller relative to the number of voters that California candidates have to reach.

Hasen believes nonetheless that the Supreme Court would uphold the contribution limits and might revisit its rulings in the other cases. The text of Proposition 89 makes a direct appeal to the courts in declaring that the initiative is "based upon an evidentiary record and history of California ballot measure elections that compellingly demonstrates the need for the narrowly tailored restrictions contained herein."

Proposition 89 would also penalize nonparticipating candidates by giving participating candidates additional funds to match independent expenditures for their opponents, but independent expenditures made on behalf of publicly funded candidates or against their opponents wouldn't affect the spending limits of the participating candidate. It also would penalize third party candidates by offering them no more than half the public funds major party candidates would get.

The backers of Proposition 89, who include the League of Women Voters, contend that two other public finance laws, one in Arizona, the other in Maine, have increased competitiveness in elections and raised voter turnout.

They also contend, as Hancock does, that even with its flaws it would be far better than the present political system where, she says, "everything is for sale." But a more modest, less complex public finance scheme might have been a better test and a more persuasive challenge to a system that only the biggest players can love.


Batman Attend Fundraisers

By Matier and Ross, San Francisco Chronicle Columnists, August 23, 2006

Summer in Sacramento, a time when hundreds of bills are up for passage -- and hundreds of thousands of dollars flow into legislators' campaigns from an endless stream of end-of-session fundraisers.

But this year -- with the pols raising cash in chunks of anywhere from $1,000 to $5,300 a head at more than 135 breakfasts, lunches, dinners and cocktail parties -- there's an uninvited guest:


The caped crusader -- a.k.a. Kevin Baker of the California Nurses Association -- took up his post Thursday outside Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's big-bucks bash at the Sheraton Grand Hotel in Sacramento, attended by former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani. As the lobbyists and other donors arrived, the Batman-costumed Baker asked over and over, "I sense much power here -- can you tell me the source of that power?"

Baker is just one of a slew of party crashers sent out by the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, the nonprofit arm of the coalition behind this fall's Yes on Prop. 89 public financing campaign initiative.

Another star of the walkway is Angela Eckert, an actress hired to pose as a TV reporter with microphone in hand and camera crew in tow.

Eckert dashed to six fundraisers in two hours one evening last week to interview guests.

"Do you have to wear a special pair of shoes to go to every fundraiser -- that's a lot of walking around?" Eckert asked an arriving lobbyist, who had attended more than one affair.

"My shoes already hurt me," the guest replied. "I probably need another pair."

(You can check out the crashers at their www.channel89.org. Web site.)

Just to make their antics a bit more interesting, foundation executive Doug Heller and his hell-raisers have also invited the public to take part in a "Crashing the Cash" challenge -- promising a free pair of Sacramento Kings tickets to whoever "can sweet-talk, cajole or guilt their way into the most fundraisers" by the end of the legislative session. Contestants get double points for "getting your picture taken with the politician."

All joking aside, Heller said that with more than 1,700 pieces of legislation pending -- affecting everything from cable regulation to global warming -- all the schmoozing between politicians and powerful money interests has repercussions for the public.

"It's just disgusting because at the end of the day, there is zero public interest in allowing politicians to hold fundraisers while legislating," Heller said.

Not so, said the lawmakers we talked with Tuesday.

"At the end of the day, you don't make a decision based on contributions -- you are much more likely to be influenced by organizations or public opinion," said outgoing Assemblyman Joe Canciamilla, D-Pittsburg, who has a $1,000-a-head event scheduled for today to raise money for his 2008 state Senate campaign.

Republican Assemblyman Guy Houston of Livermore, who held his $1,000-a-head party at Chops just across from the Capitol last week, said legislators know right from wrong and that FBI investigations and Sacramento stings in of recent years "have made it pretty clear there is a clear line between fundraising and lawmaking."

Still, there's no shortage of opportunities for donors to see -- and be seen with -- politicians. One day last week, some two dozen fundraisers were held in the private clubs, restaurants, hotels and art galleries around Sacramento.

On Tuesday, another 16 money parties were held -- including a $1,000- to $3,300-a-head cocktail reception for Assemblyman Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, at Spataro on L Street -- a short hop from the Capitol.

"It's a bad joke at this point -- the lobbyists are going to 10 or 15 events a night," said Leno, whose safe seat allows him to use most of the money he collects to help other Democratic candidates.

"It's a ridiculous system," Leno said. "We really need clean money. We need Prop. 89," which would sharply limit political contributions in addition to creating public financing of campaigns.

Today, 17 more events are on tap -- including a $1,500-to-$3,300-a-head Krispy Kreme doughnuts "healthy breakfast" gathering for Assemblyman Rick Keene, R-Chico.

Even San Francisco Supervisor Fiona Ma, the Democratic nominee for the 12th Assembly District, was up in Sacramento the other day hosting a $1,000-a-plate luncheon at Frank Fat's. From what we hear, she's looking to raise a cool $500,000, despite facing only token Republican opposition this November.

Why so much money?

To help the party leadership, and ensure that she gets the committee assignments of her choice.


Statewide Propositions


  • Protects transportation funding for traffic congestion relief projects, safety improvements, and local streets and roads.
  • Prohibits the state sales tax on motor vehicle fuels from being used for any purpose other than transportation improvements.
  • Authorizes loans of these funds only in the case of severe state fi scal hardship.
  • Requires loans of revenues from states sales tax on motor vehicle fuels to be fully repaid within the three years.
  • Restricts loans to no more than twice in any 10-year period.

Summary of Legislative Analyst’s Estimate of Net State and Local Government Fiscal Impact:

  • No direct revenue or cost effects. Increases stability of funding for state and local transportation uses in 2007 and thereafter; reduces somewhat the state’s authority to use these funds for other, non transportation priorities.


  • Makes safety improvements and repairs to state highways; upgrades freeways to reduce congestion; repairs local streets and roads; upgrades highways along major transportation corridors.
  • Improves seismic safety of local bridges.
  • Expands public transit.
  • Helps complete the state’s network of car pool lanes.
  • Reduces air pollution.
  • Improves anti-terrorism security at shipping ports.
  • Provides for a bond issue not to exceed nineteen billion nine hundred twenty-five million dollars ($19,925,000,000).
  • Appropriates money from the General Fund to pay off bonds.

Summary of Legislative Analyst’s Estimate of Net State and Local Government Fiscal Impact:

  • State costs of about $38.9 billion over 30 years to pay off both the principal ($19.9 billion) and interest ($19.0 billion) costs of the bonds. Payments of about $1.3 billion per year.
  • Additional unknown state and local government costs to operate and maintain transportation infrastructure (such as roads, bridges, and buses and railcars) funded with bonds. A portion of these costs would be offset by revenues generated by the improvements, such as fares and tolls.


  • Funds may be used for the purpose of providing shelters for battered women and their children, clean and safe housing for low-income senior citizens; homeownership assistance for the disabled, military veterans, and working families; and repairs and accessibility improvements to apartment for families and disabled citizens.
  • The state shall issue bonds totaling two billion eight hundred fi fty million dollars ($2,850,000,000) paid from existing state funds at an average annual cost of two hundred and four million dollars ($204,000,000) per year over the 30 year life of the bonds.
  • Requires reporting and publication of annual independent audited reports showing use of funds, and limits administration and overhead costs.
  • Appropriates money from the General Fund to pay off bonds.

Summary of Legislative Analyst’s Estimate of Net State and Local Government Fiscal Impact:

  • State cost of about $6.1 billion over 30 years to pay off both the principal ($2.85 billion) and interest costs ($3.3 billion) on the bonds. Payments of about $204 million per year.


  • This ten billion four hundred sixteen million dollar ($10,416,000,000) bond issue will provide needed funding to relieve public school overcrowding and to repair older schools.
  • It will improve earthquake safety and fund vocational educational facilities in public schools. Bond funds must be spent according to strict accountability measures.
  • Funds will also be used to repair and upgrade existing public college and university buildings and to build new classrooms to accommodate the growing student enrollment in the California Community Colleges, the University of California, and the California State University.
  • Appropriates money from the General Fund to pay off bonds.

Summary of Legislative Analyst’s Estimate of Net State and Local Government Fiscal Impact:

  • State costs of about $20.3 billion to pay off both the principal ($10.4 billion) and interest ($9.9 billion) on the bonds. Payments of about $680 million per year.


      • This act rebuilds and repairs California’s most vulnerable flood control structures to protect homes and prevent loss of life from flood-related disasters, including levee failures, fl ash floods, and mudslides.
      • Protects California’s drinking water supply system by rebuilding delta levees that are vulnerable to earthquakes and storms.
      • Authorizes a $4.09 billion dollar bond act.
      • Appropriates money from the General Fund to pay off bonds.

      Summary of Legislative Analyst’s Estimate of Net State and Local Government Fiscal Impact:

      • State cost of about $8 billion over 30 years to pay off both the principal ($4.1 billion) and interest ($3.9 billion) costs on the bonds. Payments of about $266 million per year.
      • Reduction in local property tax revenues of potentially up to several million dollars annually.
      • Additional unknown state and local government costs to operate or maintain properties or projects acquired or developed with these bond funds.


      • Increases penalties for violent and habitual sex offenders and child molesters.
      • Prohibits registered sex offenders from residing within 2,000 feet of any school or park.
      • Requires lifetime Global Positioning System monitoring of felony registered sex offenders.
      • Expands definition of a sexually violent predator.
      • Changes current two-year involuntary civil commitment for a sexually violent predator to an indeterminate commitment, subject to annual review by the Director of Mental Health and subsequent ability of sexually violent predator to petition court for sexually violent predator’s conditional release or unconditional discharge.

      Summary of Legislative Analyst’s Estimate of Net State and Local Government Fiscal Impact:

      • Net state prison, parole, and mental health program costs of several tens of millions of dollars initially, growing to a couple hundred million dollars annually within ten years.
      • Potential one-time state mental hospital and prison capital outlay costs eventually reaching several hundred million dollars.
      • Net state and local costs for court and jail operations are unknown.


      • Funds projects relating to safe drinking water, water quality and supply, flood control, waterway and natural resource protection, water pollution and contamination control, state and local park improvements, public access to natural resources, and water conservation efforts.
      • Provides funding for emergency drinking water, and exempts such expenditures from public contract and procurement requirements to ensure immediate action for public safety.
      • Authorizes $5,388,000,000 in general obligation bonds to fund projects and expenditures, to be repaid from the state’s General Fund.

      Summary of Legislative Analyst’s Estimate of Net State and Local Government Fiscal Impact:

      • State cost of about $10.5 billion over 30 years to pay off both the principal ($5.4 billion) and interest ($5.1 billion) costs on the bonds. Payments of about $350 million per year.
      • Reduction in local property tax revenues of several million dollars annually.
      • Unknown costs, potentially tens of millions of dollars per year, to state and local governments to operate or maintain properties or projects acquired or developed with these bond funds.


      • Amends California Constitution to prohibit abortion for unemancipated minor until 48 hours after physician notifies minor’s parent or legal guardian, except in medical emergency or with parental waiver.
      • Permits minor to obtain court order waiving notice based on clear and convincing evidence of minor’s maturity or best interests.
      • Mandates various reporting requirements, including reports from physicians regarding abortions performed on minors.
      • Authorizes monetary damages against physicians for violation.
      • Requires minor’s consent to abortion, with certain exceptions.
      • Permits judicial relief if minor’s consent coerced.

      Summary of Legislative Analyst’s Estimate of Net State and Local Government Fiscal Impact:

      • Potential unknown net state costs of several million dollars annually for health and social services programs, court administration, and state health agency administration combined.


      • Imposes additional 13 cent tax on each cigarette distributed ($2.60 per pack), and indirectly increases tax on other tobacco products.
      • Provides funding to qualified hospitals for emergency services, nursing education and health insurance to eligible children.
      • Revenue also allocated to specified purposes including tobacco-use-prevention programs, enforcement of tobacco-related laws, and research, prevention, treatment of various conditions including cancers (breast, cervical, prostate, colorectal), heart disease, stroke, asthma and obesity.
      • Exempts recipient hospitals from antitrust laws in certain circumstances.
      • Revenue excluded from appropriation limits and minimum education funding (Proposition 98) calculations.

      Summary of Legislative Analyst’s Estimate of Net State and Local Government Fiscal Impact:

      • Increase in new state tobacco excise tax revenues of about $2.1 billion annually by 2007–08, declining slightly annually thereafter. Those revenues would be spent for various health programs, children’s health coverage, and tobacco-related programs.
      • Unknown net state costs potentially exceeding $100 million annually after a few years due to provisions simplifying state health program enrollment rules and creating a new pilot program for children’s health coverage.
      • Unknown, but potentially significant, savings to the state Medi-Cal Program and counties from a shift of children from other health care coverage to the Healthy Families Program (HFP); potential state costs that could be significant in the long term for ongoing support of expanded HFP enrollment.
      • Unknown, but potentially significant, savings in state and local government public health care costs over time due to various factors, including an expected reduction in consumption of tobacco products.


      • Establishes $4 billion program with goal to reduce petroleum consumption by 25%, with research and production incentives for alternative energy, alternative energy vehicles, energy effi cient technologies, and for education and training.
      • Funded by tax of 1.5% to 6% (depending on oil price per barrel) on producers of oil extracted in California. Prohibits producers from passing tax to consumers.
      • Program administered by new California Energy Alternatives Program Authority.
      • Prohibits changing tax while indebtedness remains.
      • Revenue excluded from appropriation limits and minimum education funding (Proposition 98) calculations.

      Summary of Legislative Analyst’s Estimate of Net State and Local Government Fiscal Impact:

      • New state revenues—depending on the interpretation of the measure—from about $225 million to $485 million annually from the imposition of a severance tax on oil production, to be used to fund $4 billion in new alternative energy programs over time.
      • Potential reductions of state revenues from oil production on state lands of up to $15 million annually; reductions of state corporate taxes paid by oil producers of up to $10 million annually; local property tax reductions of a few million dollars annually; and potential reductions in fuel-related excise and sales taxes.


      • Provides additional public school funding for kindergarten through grade 12.
      • Funded by $50 tax on each real property parcel.
      • Exempts certain elderly and disabled homeowners.
      • Funds must be used for class size reduction, textbooks, school safety, Academic Success facility grants, and data system to evaluate educational program effectiveness.
      • Provides for reimbursement to General Fund to offset anticipated decrease in income tax revenues due to increased deductions attributable to new parcel tax.
      • Requires school district audits, penalties for fund misuse.
      • Revenue excluded from minimum education funding (Proposition 98) calculations.

      Summary of Legislative Analyst’s Estimate of Net State and Local Government Fiscal Impact:

      • State parcel tax revenue of roughly $450 million annually, allocated to school districts for specified education programs.


      • Provides that candidates for state elective office meeting certain eligibility requirements, including collection of a specified number of $5.00 contributions from voters, may voluntarily receive public campaign funding from Fair Political Practices Commission, in amounts varying by elective office and election type.
      • Increases income tax rate on corporations and financial institutions by 0.2 percent to fund program.
      • Imposes new limits on campaign contributions to state-office candidates and campaign committees, and new restrictions on contributions by lobbyists, state contractors.
      • Limits certain contributions and expenditures by corporations.

      Summary of Legislative Analyst’s Estimate of Net State and Local Government Fiscal Impact:

      • Increased revenues (primarily from increased taxes on corporations and financial institutions) totaling more than $200 million annually. The funds would be spent on the public financing of political campaigns for state elected officials.


      • Bars state and local governments from condemning or damaging private property to promote other private projects or uses.
      • Limits government’s authority to adopt certain land use, housing, consumer, environmental and workplace laws and regulations, except when necessary to preserve public health or safety.
      • Voids unpublished eminent domain court decisions.
      • Defines “just compensation.”
      • Government must occupy condemned property or lease property for public use.
      • Condemned private property must be offered for resale to prior owner or owner’s heir at current fair market value if government abandons condemnation’s objective.
      • Exempts certain governmental actions.

      Summary of Legislative Analyst’s Estimate of Net State and Local Government Fiscal Impact:

      • Increased annual state and local government costs to pay property owners for (1) losses to their property associated with certain new laws and rules, and (2) property acquisitions. The amount of such costs is unknown, but potentially significant on a statewide basis.

      Californians may opt to skip this election

      By Mark Baldassare , Sacramento Bee Guest Columnist, September 17, 2006

      Rather than embrace the opportunity to decide California's future on Election Day, voters appear poised to make the record books by staying home. Residents who vote Nov. 7 will determine the state's leadership for the next four years and shape the policy landscape through the middle of the 21st century.

      When the Public Policy Institute of California Statewide Survey was released a few weeks ago, political observers seized on the news of a 13 percentage-point lead for Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger over the Democratic challenger, State Treasurer Phil Angelides, and that the four multibillion-dollar state bonds for infrastructure projects enjoyed only narrow majority support.

      But this focus missed a more important story -- a surprisingly high level of voter indifference in the upcoming election. Based on PPIC's recent survey and election trends, we may be headed for the lowest turnout ever in a California general election.

      The state reached a new low in voter turnout four years ago when 50.6 percent of voters went to the polls. The November 2002 election will be remembered for the nasty tone of the governor's race between incumbent Democrat Gray Davis and Republican challenger Bill Simon. A record $97.8 million was spent, mostly on a barrage of attack ads. This overdose of negativity was credited with turning off voters and squelching turnout. In the end, the Davis victory was short lived and he was recalled in 2003.

      Are the signals of the most recent poll pointing to an even lower turnout in the upcoming November election? In the PPIC survey, 64 percent of frequent voters in state elections said they were following news about the governor's election. But only 15 percent of those voters were following the elections "very closely," and 49 percent were watching it "fairly closely."

      At a similar juncture in the disappointing campaign between Davis and Simon four years ago, a significantly higher number of voters -- 74 percent -- were following the news about that general election. By comparison, 22 percent followed the news "very closely," and 52 percent followed it "fairly closely."

      As they did in 2002, Californians appear to be tuning out election news because they are turned off by the candidates' campaigns. Fewer than half of the voters say they are satisfied with the choice of candidates in the governor's election this year. Three in 10 Republican voters say they are unhappy with the candidates this year -- an improvement from 2002 -- and roughly half of Democrats and independents are not satisfied.

      Voters' lack of enthusiasm for the candidates can be traced in part to the Democratic gubernatorial primary. The campaigns of Angelides and State Controller Steve Westly focused on attacking the opponent. While Angelides won that race by a narrow 5-percentage point margin -- 48 percent to 43 percent -- it was apparently a victory that came at a high cost, since only 58 percent of the Democratic voters are supporting him against Schwarzenegger.

      About one-third of voters went to the polls in the June primary, another reason to expect low voter turnout in November.

      At this stage of the campaign season, every indication is that both candidates will take the low road to the governor's office. Angelides is focusing his political advertising on Schwarzenegger's past ties to an unpopular President Bush in the hope of energizing liberal Democrats. Schwarzenegger is rallying Republican conservatives by emphasizing Angelides' record on taxes.

      Meanwhile, the topics voters cite as their top issues in the PPIC poll -- immigration, schools, jobs, state budget and the environment -- are largely ignored. The strategies that the campaigns are employing may rally their bases, but they also are likely to depress overall voter turnout.

      What about the power of the ballot initiative to get the voters to the polls on Election Day? This year's ballot offers many important policy matters, but none seem likely to mobilize voters. When asked which state proposition interested them the most, 64 percent could not name one. At the same point in last year's special election -- which had a similar turnout to the November 2002 general election -- more voters were able to name an initiative that they found interesting on the upcoming ballot.

      Californians may be suffering from voter fatigue as they trek to the polls for the fifth November in a row. Nonetheless, they will be making a number of critical decisions, such as the fate of the $37 billion infrastructure bond package.

      In a state that depends on its citizens to make policy at the ballot box, many Californians appear ready to sit out this election. The outcome may be left to a relatively small group of older, affluent voters who do not reflect the state's diversity.



      School Board Candidate Forum

      What: Alameda School Board Election Candidates' Forum
      Candidates:Tracy Lynn Jensen, Dan Herrera, & Mike McMahon
      When: Wednesday, September 27, 2006, 7-8:30 p.m.
      Where: Encinal High School Cafeteria, 210 Central Avenue

      The Forum Sponsors are:
      AEF (Alameda Education Foundation)
      PTA Council (Parent-Teacher Association)
      AEA (Alameda Education Association)
      CSEA (California School Employees Association)
      PEU Local 1 (Public Employees Union)
      ACSA (Association of California School Administrators

      Oct. 5, Hospital Board (9 candidates). Doors open 6:45 p.m.; event begins at 7 p.m. Harbor Bay Community Center, 3195 Mecartney Road.

      Oct. 9, ACTransit Board (2) and Pros & Cons (13)Doors open 6:45 p.m.; event begins at 7 p.m. 1155 Mastick Senior Center, Santa Clara Ave.

      Oct. 16, City Council (6) Doors open 6:45 p.m.; event begins at 7 p.m. Cardinal Point, 2431 Mariner Square Drive (this event will be moderated by a League leader from outside of Alameda).

      Oct. 23, Mayor (3) and Alameda Unified School District Trustee (3). Doors open at 7:20 p.m.; event begins at 7:30 p.m. Temple Israel, 3183 Mecartney Road.



      Greeen Party Questionnaire for City Council
      Greeen Party Questionnaire for Mayor
      Greeen Party Questionnaire for School Board


      Alameda Democratic Club Endorsements

      Communications Sent September 14

      The Alameda Democratic Club made the following endorsements in our local races at our September Meeting:

      For Mayor: Beverly Johnson

      For City Council: Lena Tam and Frank Matarrese

      For School Board: Tracy Jensen

      For Hospital Board: Nancy Hoffman

      For Superior Court Judge: Dennis Hayashi

      Club Treasurer Mike McMahon missed the endorsement by eight tenths of a vote as well as Council member Tony Daysog in his bid for the AC Transit Board.

      This unusual split occurred because the club by-laws require a 60% majority for endorsement, thus while both Tony and Mike received a majority of the clubs support, the mathematics left them 8 tenths short.


      Jensen and McMahon for Island school board

      By Jeff Mitchell, Alameda Journal, October 17, 2006

      Only one candidate has entered the race to challenge two incumbent Alameda school board members seeking re-election. Why more candidates haven't chosen to run may be a testament to the job done so far by the two incumbents, school board president Tracy Lynn Jensen and trustee Mike McMahon. Or it may be because few people relish the idea of overseeing a district that has been suffering from declining enrollment and is scrambling to find $2.1 million to meet state requirements.

      Regardless of the reason, we believe Jensen and McMahon have done a good job and should be re-elected to second four-year terms to continue their challenging work and make the tough decisions needed to keep the school district afloat.

      It hasn't been easy. After losing about 400 students since 2003 and a substantial amount of state Average Daily Attendance funds, the district has had to cut about $5.5 million, which among other things meant closing two schools and consolidating them with a third school.

      Both Jensen, a third-generation Alamedan with public administration experience, and McMahon, a business analyst who ran three times for the school board before finally winning, understand that the district must stem the enrollment slide and appear resolved to find a way.

      The other candidate, Daniel "Dan" Herrera, contends the district has lost students to private schools, which he says have a competitive edge. If elected, Herrera says he would try to find out what parents like about private schools and work to deliver that in public schools.

      It's a good idea, and one we hope Jensen and McMahon will be open to, but the challenges facing the school district are more complicated than just making public schools mirror images of private schools.

      We endorse Jensen and McMahon's bid for second terms and wish them luck in finding the answers.

      a href="#top">Top

      School Board

      Alameda Sun, November 2, 2006

      Daniel Herrera’s lackluster campaign to unseat one of the two Alameda Unified School District trustee incumbents has done little to show he’s better suited for the position than incumbents Tracy Lynn Jensen or Mike McMahon. Herrera has faced an uphill battle since the start by challenging two trustees who have shown a deep commitment to improving public education in Alameda. Further, his admission that his children attend a private school has not endeared him to public education supporters.

      The Sun supports the re-election of Jensen and McMahon for AUSD trustees because both have proved to be competent, trustworthy and communicative when it comes to Alameda schools.

      Jensen, the current board president, worked to create the district wellness policy and has forged an amicable working relationship between the district and the city council during her tenure. McMahon has been instrumental in making school policy accessible to the public. Through his Web site and his efforts during board meetings to explain complex issues and past policies, McMahon has shown his commitment to community involvement in public education.


      News Articles

      School Board

      Tracy Jensen Article, Alameda Journal 9/12
      Dan Herrera Article, Alameda Journal 9/15
      Mike McMahon Article, Alameda Journal 9/19
      School Board Candidates Race, Alameda Sun 10/6
      School Board Candidates Campaign Finances, Alameda Journal 10/10
      School board candidate sends two children to private academy, Alameda Journal 10/17
      Jensen and McMahon for School Board, Alameda Journal Editorial 10/24
      School Board, Alameda Sun 11/2
      School Board Election Results 11/8
      Alameda Recap of School Board Race 11/12
      School Board Candidate Arrested 5/11/2007

      Mayor/City Council

      Pat Bail Article, Alameda Journal 9/22
      Frank Matarrese Article, Alameda Journal 9/26
      Ash Jones Article, Alameda Journal 9/29
      Mike Rich Article, Alameda Journal 10/3
      Lena Tam Article, Alameda Journal 10/6
      Eugenie Thomson Article, Alameda Journal 10/10
      Kenneth Kahn Article, Alameda Journal 10/13
      Beverly Johnson Article, Alameda Journal 10/17
      Doug deHaan Article, Alameda Journal 10/20

      Jensen aims to keep kids healthy

      If re-elected, incumbent hopes to include lessons on lifestyle, such as exercise and eating right

      By Peter Hegarty, Alameda Journal, September 12, 2006

      Editor's note: This is the first in a series of profiles of candidates running for Alameda school district and city offices.

      Tracy Lynn Jensen was dropping her son off at Edison Elementary School when she ran into six familiar faces.

      Like Jensen, all were Alameda High School graduates, class of 1978.

      And like Jensen, all are now parents of young children.

      "It demonstrates how Alameda remains a close community, and that people believe in their schools and want their kids to grow up here," Jensen said.

      First elected to the school board in 2002, Jensen is hoping to secure a second term this November. She currently serves as board president.

      "My son is going to kindergarten and I want him to have the same great education that I had when I attended Alameda public schools," Jensen said.

      The key issue now facing the school district is money, she said.

      Enrollment has fallen by about 800 students, which means about $4 million less in state money annually -- a scenario which led Jensen and her fellow trustees to close three elementary schools earlier this year.

      "This has had a dramatic impact across the district," the 45-year-old Jensen said. "But school boards across the state are facing similar challenges. Some have taken steps to avoid going into receivership. Thankfully, we are not in that position."

      Jensen grew up in Alameda and attended local public schools, including Edison, where her son, Justin, started kindergarten earlier this month.

      She has graduate degrees from Atlanta's Emory University in business administration and public health.

      While she has lived most of her life in Alameda, Jensen lived in Washington, D.C. for about 14 years and her background includes a stint as an analyst for the Maryland Legislature.

      She currently works for the city of Oakland as a senior services administrator, helping manage programs at senior centers.

      If re-elected, Jensen said she hopes to make lessons on a healthy lifestyle, such as exercise and eating right, as much a part of the district's curriculum as algebra or literature.

      "I want to see all this stuff integrated so that we have kids who are healthy, well-informed and educated," she said.

      As an incumbent, Jensen said she brings a sense of continuity to the district and its policies.

      "I feel like I am doing a good job and I want to continue," she said.


      NAME: Tracy Lynn Jensen

      CANDIDATE FOR: Trustee, Board of Education, Alameda Unified School District

      POLITICAL STATUS: Incumbent

      DATE OF BIRTH: April 27, 1961

      JOB: Senior citizen services administrator

      BIRTHPLACE: Oakland

      QUOTE: "My son is going to kindergarten and I want him to have the same great education that I had when I attended Alameda public schools."

      FAMILY: Engaged to be married; Has a 5-year-old son


      Herrera has high goals for district

      Candidate for school board trustee wants to get better teachers to keep kids from going to private schools

      By Peter Hegarty, Alameda Journal, September 14, 2006

      Editor's note: This is the second in a series of profiles of candidates running for Alameda school district and city offices.

      Veteran school administrator Dan Herrera believes the Alameda school district can do more.

      It can do more to encourage parents, he said, to opt to send their children to its schools over private institutions such as St. Joseph Notre Dame or Bishop O'Dowd High School.

      And it can do more to aggressively recruit quality teachers.

      "Some districts will call as soon as they get the application because the goal is to get the best," Herrera said. "Alameda, on the other hand, will simply accept an application and then wait and wait."

      The 37-year-old Herrera is hoping Alameda voters will agree with him and elect him to the school board this November.

      It marks his first effort at seeking a seat.

      Herrera launched his campaign early, rallying support at places such as the Farmer's Market and the annual Mayor's Fourth of July Parade.

      "Any little chance I could find," he said.

      What has struck the Encinal Avenue resident as he campaigned was the partisanship of many voters.

      "People want to know if I am a Democrat or a Republican," Herrera said. "I'll say I am with the 'Education Party.'"

      Herrera works as assistant principal of El Camino High School in South San Francisco. His background also includes stints as a science teacher and as principal of Lower Lakes High School in Lower Lakes, Calif.

      He also was an assistant principal at San Leandro High School.

      A U.S. Marine Corps veteran of the Gulf War, Herrera is currently working toward an educational doctorate from the University of California at Berkeley and he has three children: Two daughters, who are 9 and 4, and a son who is not yet 2 years old.

      His wife, Sandy Wong, teaches at Alameda High School.

      Herrera believes many schools are not supporting science and the arts enough because the state now places an emphasis on standardized tests as a way to judge how students are performing.

      "For many children, especially in lower achieving groups, the joy of learning has been squelched," he notes on his Web site.

      Herrera also said any effort to reform curriculum and improve instruction must include teacher input -- not matter what administrators are in place at the time -- because it's key to maintaining morale.

      If he's elected, the educator said he does not plan to use his position as a trustee as a springboard for a higher elected office.


      NAME: Daniel Herrera

      CANDIDATE FOR: Trustee, Board of Education, Alameda Unified School District

      POLITICAL STATUS: Challenger

      DATE OF BIRTH: July 13, 1969

      JOB: Assistant high school principal

      BIRTHPLACE: Los Angeles

      QUOTE: "I am running for school board because I am committed to students not because I am using this as a steppingstone for higher office."

      FAMILY: Married with three children


      McMahon works to offer tools of success

      Incumbent says it's important to make sure all students have necessary resources for academic achievement

      By Peter Hegarty, Alameda Journal, September 19, 2006

      Editor's note: This is the third in a series of profiles of candidates running for Alameda school district and city offices.

      Mike McMahon sums up his role as a school board member with two words: Equity and excellence.

      Equity, he said, describes the effort to guarantee that the school district provides all students with the resources to achieve academic success.

      And excellence, he added, describes the aim to ensure the district challenges students who are already successful so that they can achieve still more.

      "We need to make sure that all students are being served," said McMahon, an incumbent board member seeking re-election Nov. 7.

      McMahon says during his first four years on the board, he's had to make some tough calls. Two of the most difficult decisions involved coping with a revenue shortfall that led to the board making $1.4 million in budget cuts and managing a declining student enrollment which led to three elementary schools being closed this year.

      Moreover, current enrollment woes mean trustees will need to slash another $250,000 from the district's budget over the next few months, he said.

      "We've already gone through several rounds of cuts," McMahon said. "And I don't know where we can find that additional money, but we'll have to."

      A support analyst with Mervyn's, McMahon is married and has three children. His son is 24 years old, while his daughters are 20 and 22. All attended Alameda public schools.

      As a district trustee, McMahon estimates he spends up to 30 hours a month on board business -- time, he noted, that does not include the hours he's researching and preparing for board meetings.

      The 51-year-old McMahon also said he spends about 10 hours each month maintaining his Web site: It features round-ups of what took place at each board meeting, news about what's happening in the district and educational links.

      McMahon views the site as helping him fulfill his role as a trustee.

      "I would like to think that my efforts to advocate, inform, engage the public -- choose whatever verb you want -- about what's going on in the district through the Web site has been effective. It's certainly where I get the most feedback."

      McMahon said he's proud of his time on the board.

      "I think as a district we are doing well. Our test scores show that," he said. "But I would still like the opportunity to continue to make things better."


      NAME: Mike McMahon

      CANDIDATE FOR: Trustee, Board of Education, Alameda Unified School District

      POLITICAL STATUS: Incumbent

      DATE OF BIRTH: August 2, 1955

      JOB: Support Analyst, Mervyns

      BIRTHPLACE: Castro Valley

      QUOTE: "We need to make sure all students are being served."

      FAMILY: Married with three adult children


      Bail seeks a more open government

      Candidate says her goals are to keep Alameda 'livable' and give residents a chance to have their voices heard

      By Peter Hegarty, Alameda Journal, September 22, 2006

      Editor's note: This is the fourth in a series of profiles of candidates running for Alameda school district and city offices.

      City Council candidate Pat Bail sums up her political philosophy simply.

      "My ambition is to keep Alameda a livable community and to provide residents an opportunity to participate in the decision-making process," she said.

      Bail maintains the current council has denied people that opportunity, pointing to the way it has supported redeveloping the Alameda Theater on Santa Clara Avenue as a multiplex, despite angry and vocal opposition from some residents.

      "Throughout the process the City Council just sat there and was unresponsive to the people who came before them," the 64-year-old Bail said.

      The opposition to a Target store at Alameda Towne Centre has been just as vehement and just as ignored, Bail said.

      She also claims the rapid pace of local redevelopment, such as at Alameda Landing, is changing the character of Alameda and will result in the city no longer having a small town, family atmosphere.

      "It comes down to a simple (question)," Bail said. "What kind of community do you want to live in?"

      Bail narrowly missed securing a seat on the council when she ran in 2004. She garnered 7,825 votes, or just a few hundred less than Doug deHaan, who captured one of the two open seats.

      While Bail spent more than $100,000 during the last election she claims news coverage of her spending remains unbalanced and doesn't reflect the full expenditures of other candidates in the race, some of whom received last-minute political action committee donations.

      This time around Bail and fellow council candidate Eugenie Thomson are campaigning on a slate with deHaan, who is running for mayor.

      Now retired, Bail has worked as a travel agent and for a sand and gravel company in its accounting department. She is married and has three adult sons.

      Bail also had a son who died in 1971, prompting her to spend many years as a volunteer on behalf of families who have suffered Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

      A graduate of Alameda High School, class of 1960, she has been an Island resident since 1973.

      Among the issues she would like to see the council address: Securing electric shuttles to ferry Alameda commuters to BART stations to relieve traffic congestion in the tubes and on the bridges, and make better use of the port at Alameda Point.

      Instead of being used for commercial shipping, the port is being allowed to silt up, she said.

      "Here we have a port that's not being explored for use," Bail said. "Who knows whether it's viable or not. But why not look at it?"

      Her main goal, however, is to bring "open government" to the council.

      "It's no secret who I am and how I feel about things," she said.


      NAME: Pat Bail

      CANDIDATE FOR: Alameda City Council

      POLITICAL STATUS: Challenger

      DATE OF BIRTH: Aug. 23, 1942

      JOB: Retired

      BIRTHPLACE: Concord

      QUOTE: ""It comes down to a simple (question). What kind of community do you want to live in?"

      FAMILY: Married with three adult sons.

      WEBSITE: www.actionalameda.org


      Work has paid off for Matarrese

      Councilman Frank Matarrese says city is on the right track

      By Peter Hegarty, Alameda Journal, September 26, 2006

      Editor's note: This is the fifth in a series of profiles of candidates running for Alameda school district and city offices.

      What makes Frank Matarrese most proud about his time as a city councilman was also what first led him to run for office -- the new main branch of the Alameda Free Library.

      Stuffing envelopes, putting in phone calls and knocking on doors to ask voters to support a bond measure to help pay for the library's construction taught him what politics can achieve, Matarrese said.

      "The work paid off," he said. "Now we have a new library. It's right there. And the doors will open Nov. 2."

      Just five days after those doors open, voters will decide whether to re-elect Matarrese.

      "I enjoy working for the city," the councilman said. "I want it to continue."

      Along with the library, Matarrese points to a string of happenings that he says shows the city is on the right track: "The Marketplace" gourmet food mall on Park Street, the opening of the Peet's coffee roasting plant at Harbor Bay Industrial Park, construction at the Bridgeside shopping center near the Fruitvale Bridge, the Bayport housing development with its new city park.

      "Park and Webster streets are also looking better than they have in years," the 51-year-old Matarrese said. "I am quite proud to have played a part in it."

      He notes that the plan to redevelop the Alameda Theater -- despite the project's critics -- means the theater will show first-run movies after having been closed for decades.

      Matarrese acknowledges the snail's pace of change at the former U.S. Navy base. Plus that the city's effort received a setback Thursday when the main developer announced it was pulling out, saying the Bay Area's shaky real estate market has undercut the project.

      "We have to be tenacious," Matarrese said. "But I think this situation gives us another chance to look at what the community wants and needs at Alameda Point."

      A former member of the city's Economic Development Commission, Matarrese has lived in Alameda since November 1994. He has been married 23 years, has three adult sons and runs GxP Consulting, a business that serves biotechnology and pharmaceutical firms.

      His history on the council includes introducing a resolution that called for the withdrawal of the California National Guard from Iraq, arguing their presence overseas put people here in jeopardy in the event of an earthquake or other disaster.

      What struck him most after he was elected in December 2002 was the amount of work demanded of someone on the city council, Matarrese said.

      "It's an awful lot of work," he said. " We've had some tough issues, such as when we lost money because of the state budget, and we've had some hard choices."

      He cites the vast environmental clean-up needed at the former Navy base as one of those tough issues.

      "But I'm up to that challenge. I actually relish that challenge," Matarrese said. "Things are going in the right direction. We've made a lot of progress and I'd like to see it through."


      NAME: Frank Matarrese

      CANDIDATE FOR: Alameda City Council

      POLITICAL STATUS: Incumbent

      DATE OF BIRTH: Feb. 4, 1955

      JOB: Owns and manages a consulting business

      BIRTHPLACE: Oakland

      QUOTE: "Things are going in the right direction. We've made a lot of progress and I'd like to see it through."

      FAMILY: Married with three adult sons.


      Jones runs simplified campaign

      Retired teacher, 75, eschews posters, mailers in bid to bring sense of community to City Council

      By Peter Hegarty, Alameda Journal, September 26, 2006

      Editor's note: This is the sixth in a series of profiles of candidates running for Alameda school district and city offices.

      The bare-bones campaign that Ashley Jones has launched for a seat on the City Council underscores what he hopes to bring to the office.

      He has no mailers, advertisements or lawn signs.

      Instead, Jones will knock on doors and hand out 10,000 photocopied fliers at Alameda Towne Centre and at other shopping areas, asking voters to support him Nov. 7.

      "It's the contact between people that counts," he said. "I'd like to rekindle the spirit of hope and change."

      Jones believes the City Council has lost touch with the community and that it's now in the pocket of developers.

      The council's indifference has left residents apathetic about the city, he said.

      "Alamedans don't have a sense of identity. It's been lost," the 75-year-old Jones said. "You create an identity by bringing people together and making them feel like they belong. Then they will care."

      What happens in Alameda cannot be understood without looking at what's happening nationally, Jones said.

      "When you are spending trillions of dollars on a war, then that doesn't leave a lot for the rest of the country," he said. "This country is giving away the opportunity of being a world leader in peace for being a world leader in war."

      A champion swimmer and a Chicago native, Jones moved to Alameda in 1957 after he was discharged from the U.S. Navy, where he served in an underwater demolition team that later evolved into the Navy Seals.

      He retired last year after working for 20 years in the Alameda Unified School District, teaching history, math and other subjects at Haight Elementary School and Alameda High School. He also worked as a swimming and water polo coach.

      His wife, Lynn, died in November 2003.

      Jones also ran for Alameda City Council in 1969, losing his bid for a seat.

      "I was very much a different person then," he said. "I was pretty radical. I did not listen very well. That's what I do now that I did not do then. I listen to people."

      Jones said his previous campaign springboarded him into activism around revising the City Charter so that the mayor and school board would be elected instead of appointed, and that it led him to back the creation of density-limiting Measure A in 1973.

      Jones wants to protect the measure -- it bans the construction of anything larger than a duplex here -- and he opposes locating a Target store at Alameda Towne Centre.

      He said building a six-story parking garage on Oak Street as part of redeveloping the nearby Alameda Theater would create a "monstrosity."

      As a councilman, Jones said he would work to make the garage smaller.

      He also pledges to make City Council dealings more transparent to the public.

      "It will not be politics as usual," he said.


      NAME: Ashley Jones

      CANDIDATE FOR: Alameda City Council

      POLITICAL STATUS: Challenger

      DATE OF BIRTH: Sept. 2, 1931

      JOB: Retired after 20 years with the Alameda school district

      BIRTHPLACE: Chicago

      QUOTE: "It's the contact between people that counts. I'd like to rekindle the spirit of hope and change."

      FAMILY: A widower with four daughters and six grandchildren.


      Rich wants to build consensus

      9-year Alameda resident would like to bring Alamedans together around creative ideas

      By Alan Lopez, Alameda Journal, October 3, 2006

      Editor's note: This is the seventh in a series of profiles of candidates running for Alameda school district and city offices.

      Michael Rich, a nine-year Alameda resident and City Council candidate this November, wants to stop the bickering he sees and bring citizens to some consensus.

      "I think I can help improve the quality of life in Alameda by bringing people together around creative ideas and solutions to some of the issues we have in town," said Rich, a 43-year-old husband and father to a 5-year-old girl.

      "I see that as a contrast to the current climate where you have folks arguing a lot, about development for example," he added. "I think if people are able to reach some consensus on development issues, it would facilitate more meaningful input into important decisions."

      Rich, the personnel director for the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, said his resume as a long-time government employee also gives him a leg up on important city issues. A Cal State East Bay graduate in 1998, he was a labor relations manager in Oakland from 2001 to 2004.

      Rich said he believes the city needs to take a "slower approach" to development. In addition, he said Doug deHaan, who is running on a slow-growth slate for council, would make a good mayor.

      On the issue of Measure A -- a charter amendment that controls density in the city -- Rich said he would be open to its modification as it applies to the redevelopment of the former Alameda Naval Air Station, now known as Alameda Point.

      "I want to not change Measure A unless there's a broad consensus at the grass-roots level for what that amendment would look like," Rich said. "If there's no consensus then we should fall back to 'Don't change it.'"

      One idea Rich thought the public could get behind is for the city to provide incentives to property owners for the restoration of modified Victorians while allowing some higher-density development near the city's entryways.

      "The idea is really a jumping-off point to start a dialogue," he said.

      Rich said he largely opposes the $30 million cineplex project, saying the city should have conducted an environmental impact report first and then focus mostly on rehabilitation of the historic Alameda Theater.

      He said he remains troubled by the project's parking garage.

      "My primary concern with the project has always been the height of the garage and the fact that egress will be onto Oak Street," Rich said.


      NAME: Mike Rich

      CANDIDATE FOR: Alameda City Council

      POLITICAL STATUS: Challenger

      DATE OF BIRTH: Dec 8, 1962

      JOB: Personnel director for the Bay Area Air Quality Management District

      BIRTHPLACE: Glendale

      QUOTE: "I think I can help imporve the quality of life in Alameda by bringing people together around creative ideas and solutions to some of the issues we have in town."

      FAMILY: Married with a 5 year-old-daughter.


      Tam seeks expanded services Council candidate wants 'community-driven' planning

      By Alan Lopez, Alameda Journal, October 6, 2006

      Editor's note: This is the eighth in a series of profiles of candidates running for Alameda school district and city offices.

      Most local observers would agree that Alameda officials are currently in the midst of making decisions that will shape the landscape of the town for many decades to come.

      City Council candidate Lena Tam wants those decisions made in a way that represents the public's wishes and is not at the mercy of developers and market-driven forces.

      "If we have a plan, if we have a community-driven process, we can have options in the future," said Tam, a former Alameda County Planning Commissioner.

      If elected to the council, the 44-year-old said she wants to see the city expand its services, which includes increased library hours; improved park and recreation facility maintenance; the under-grounding of utility lines; and a streamlined planning permitting process.

      She wants to see the city draw more retail so that people aren't forced to drive off the Island to shop. Keeping Alamedans buying the products they need in their own city would also cut down on traffic, she said.

      "I want to bring more jobs to the Island so we don't have people commuting off the Island as much." Tam said. "And I want a variety of housing so we have multi-million houses but we have homes first-responders can afford. When I talk about first-responders, I'm talking about teachers, fire fighters and police officers."

      Tam has lived in Alameda for 35 years, barring time she left to attend UC Berkeley, where she graduated with a degree in civil engineering. She's currently a water resources planning manager for the East Bay Municipal Utility District.

      Tam said she supports Measure A, the 1973 citizens initiative that places limits on residential density. But she's open to amending it with respect to Alameda Point, the city's former Naval Base, which had been envisioned to hold as many as 1,700 homes.

      A potential deal between the city and developer to build those homes fell through last week and it remains to seen how the city will proceed with development there.

      "I'm open to looking at (amending Measure A) at Alameda Point and only at Alameda Point," Tam said. "And I'm open to having a discussion about what we want and whether or not that drives need to change measure A. . . . Measure A is pretty intractable because the city has written it into its charter.

      "I think the main thing is it's about creating a community vision and being very purposeful about getting different points of views," she added. "I think it's important for the council not to constantly hear a chorus but to invite a diversity of opinions."


      NAME: Lena Tam

      CANDIDATE FOR: Alameda City Council

      POLITICAL STATUS: Challenger

      DATE OF BIRTH: Oct. 9, 1962

      JOB: Water resources planning manager for the East Bay Municipal Utility District

      BIRTHPLACE: Guam, U.S. Territory

      QUOTE: "I think it's important for the council not to constantly hear a chorus but to invite a diversity of opinions."

      FAMILY: Single

      Website: www.lenatam.com


      Thomson draws up plan for city's future

      Civil, traffic engineer takes analytical approach to her bid for one of two seats on City Council

      By Alan Lopez, Alameda Journal, October 10, 2006

      Editor's note: This is the ninth in a series of profiles of candidates running for Alameda school district and city offices.

      Located on a cul-de-sac on Bay Farm Island, traffic was a chronic and serious problem around Amelia Earhart School during pick-up and drop-off times in the late 1990s.

      The parking lot was too small, creating long wait times. There was worry that frustrated drivers would crash into small children or other vehicles to get around the lines of cars.

      As a longtime civil and traffic engineer, Eugenie Thomson volunteered and delivered a plan for an expanded parking lot at the school. It ultimately won her traffic engineering firm a state award.

      Thomson, who is now running for one of two available seats on the Alameda City Council in the Nov. 7 election, said her strengths as an engineer lie in listening to people and coming up with solutions.

      "Many times you'll see me drawing," said Thomson, 54. "I visualize things and draw up the solutions."

      Thomson is running as part of a slate of candidates, headed by Councilman Doug deHaan, who is running for mayor, and Pat Bail, who also is seeking a seat on the council.

      Thomson opposes the city's $30 million effort to build additional screens and a six-level parking garage as part of a restoration of the historic Alameda Theater.

      She's also against the idea of a so-called "big box" department store moving into Alameda Towne Centre, as has been proposed by Minnesota-based Target department stores.

      Thomson says she's not against the retailer, just that it should either decrease its proposed size at the shopping center or find another part of the city in which to locate.

      Overall, Thomson said she's wary of the city growing too quickly without a comprehensive look at how such growth impacts city residents.

      "Traffic doesn't impact roadways, it impacts peoples' quality of life," said Thomson. "When I say that, people understand it ... I'm pro-growth, but (only if it is) sensible growth that fits."

      Thomson earned a bachelor's degree in civil engineering from the University of Waterloo in Ontario. After graduating, she did traffic engineering work in Denver, Southern California and later the Bay Area, where she met her husband.

      She was born in The Netherlands and immigrated with her family to Toronto when she was a young teenager.

      She moved to Alameda in 1980 and started the firm Thomson Transportation Engineers in 1984.

      Her resume includes planning work on additional bores on the Caldecott Tunnel, as well as roadway improvements at the Los Angeles and Oakland international airports.

      Thomson was appointed to the city's Planning Board in 2000 by the late Mayor Ralph Appezzato. However, after serving less than a year on the board, she resigned from the panel, saying the city had not been forthcoming in details about certain developments in the city at the time.

      In accepting her resignation, Appezzato wrote that, given her growing business obligations, her departure from the influential city panel was perhaps best.

      Later, Thomson sought and received a letter from the state's Fair Political Practices Commission saying her professional work should not preclude her from serving on the board.

      Thomson has worked on dozens of traffic projects throughout the city, though not all have gone as smoothly as Earhart.

      In January 2003, she sued Alameda for nearly $50,000, claiming the city stole a traffic improvement design she had drafted in 2000 while she served on the Planning Board. The project involved an extension of Tinker Avenue, now known as Willie Stargell Avenue.

      While the city denied the allegation, the parties came to settlement agreement and the Alameda County Superior Court dismissed the suit on April 13, 2004. Thomson says the lawsuit was the only alternative left to her to preserve the time and investment her company put into the Tinker Avenue project.

      Thomson said that if elected to the council she will bring the same basic sense of right and wrong and fair play to office.

      "I will not roll over when I see a wrong to correct," she said.


      NAME: Eugenie Thomson

      CANDIDATE FOR: Alameda City Council

      POLITICAL STATUS: Challenger

      DATE OF BIRTH: March 5, 1952

      JOB: Civil and traffic engineer

      BIRTHPLACE: Delft, The Netherlands

      QUOTE: "I'm pro-growth, but (only if it is) sensible that fits."

      FAMILY: Married with two grown children

      Website: www.actionalameda.org


      Kahn serious about mayoral run

      Known best as Kenny the Clown, native Alamedan supports 'reasonable and sensible growth' for city

      By Alan Lopez, Alameda Journal, October 13, 2006

      Editor's note: This is the tenth in a series of profiles of candidates running for Alameda school district and city offices.

      Kenneth Kahn grew up in well-to-do family and never fretted about money. Consequently, he's taken jobs that typically don't pay that well: substitute teacher and part-time clown.

      But he'd like to add one more title to his job description: mayor of Alameda.

      "I'm not interested in living the life of a millionaire," said Kahn, 41. "I'd rather be defined by my involvement in the community."

      National media such as MSNBC and Fox News have defined Kahn's effort in a different way: Kahn, the man otherwise known as "Kenny the Clown" running for mayor.

      Over the past two weeks, he said, he's fielded phone calls from reporters all over the country inquiring about his long-shot campaign.

      "I think it does make for an interesting story," Kahn said. "Definitely."

      But while he may make balloon animals and wear clown make-up, Kahn says he's completely serious about running for mayor.

      "I think this is a really critical time in Alameda's history," he said. "You have to think about what the city will look like five, 10, 15 years from now.

      "With the development of the old Navy base, it's important that we plan things right and grow the community to the place it should be."

      Kahn is open to amending Measure A for development at the former Naval Air Station, supports the additional screens and parking garage as part of the historic Alameda Theater project, and is open to seeing a Target store at Alameda Towne Centre to help capture the sales tax revenue now leaving the Island.

      He expressed concern about Alameda Power & Telecom having to prop up its cable and Internet services with public money. And if elected, he pledged to have an auditor look at the city budget to "cut the fat out of city hall."

      "Essentially," he said, "I want more responsive government, reasonable and sensible growth for the Island and I want to see the city run like a business."

      Kahn himself was a businessman for three years, having run a trophy store from 1992 to 1996.

      He graduated from UC Berkeley in 1989 with a degree in sociology and in 2001 studied social welfare at San Jose State University.

      That same year, he got interested in clowning after receiving encouragement from a friend.

      It wasn't much of a stretch, because he had juggled and performed magic tricks while working as a counselor for emotionally disturbed children. For 10 years, Kahn has also been a substitute teacher with the Alameda Unified School District.

      The fact that he grew up in a wealthy family -- his father owned a furniture store then went into apartment management -- is another reason to vote him into office, Kahn said. He doesn't worry much about money and it sets him free to do things that he feels are socially responsible.

      In addition, he's says not taking any contributions for his campaign and plans to spend no more than a couple thousand dollars on the election effort.

      "It's all grass roots," he said. "It's word-of-mouth, shaking peoples' hands. You won't see my name everywhere but you will see me everywhere knocking on doors, talking to people."


      NAME: Kenneth Kahn

      CANDIDATE FOR: Alameda mayor

      POLITICAL STATUS: Challenger

      DATE OF BIRTH: Sept. 24, 1965

      JOB: Substitute teacher and part-time clown

      BIRTHPLACE: Alameda

      QUOTE: "I'm not interested in living the life of a millionaire. I'd rather be defined by my involvement in the community."

      FAMILY: Single with no children


      Johnson to continue to foster change

      Fourth-generation Alamedan says city's development may be slow in coming, but calls progress 'reasonable'

      By Alan Lopez, Alameda Journal, October 17, 2006

      Editor's note: This is the eleventh in a series of profiles of candidates running for Alameda school district and city offices.

      What residents have been saying to Mayor Beverly Johnson as she goes door to door in her re-election bid provides a stark contrast to the usual comments she gets at City Council meetings.

      "I've gotten extremely positive feedback about what's going on in Alameda," Johnson said. "It's even surprised me because I'm used to people coming in, yelling at us and calling us names."

      Johnson is running for her seat against challengers Kenneth Kahn, a part-time clown, as well as current City Councilman Doug deHaan.

      DeHaan is part a slate of candidates opposed to the rapid pace of development it sees in the city.

      Johnson envisions the development differently, calling it "reasonable" and an example of progress for Alameda.

      Much of the potential development on the island has been in the works for years, Johnson said.

      It is something of a coincidence that things seem to be moving forward all at once, thanks in part to an upswing in the local economy.

      "It just happened that the circumstances allowed these projects to go forward, like the (Park and Webster) streetscape improvements and the new main library," Johnson said. "People tried for years to plan for a new library, and now it's happening."

      The new main library is set to open Nov. 2. The other examples of progress that Johnson sees include the redevelopment of the Bridgeside Shopping Center, the Bayport development with its new park and school and upgrades to city parks and sidewalk and street repair.

      "I think we need to continue making these kinds of improvements to the community," she said. "Progress is slow. I don't see that there will be huge changes in the next four years, but we can continue creating the environment where progress can occur."

      Progress has been particularly slow for development of the former Alameda Naval Air Station. But Johnson said it's also giving the city time to take a fresh look at what it wants there.

      A fourth-generation Alamedan, Johnson began her first term as a City Councilwoman in 1999. She was elected mayor in 2002.

      In 2001, she started her own law practice on Oak Street specializing in family law. She earned a law degree from the University of the Pacific in 1986 and, before that, a bachelor's degree in music from Cal State Hayward, now known as Cal State East Bay.

      Johnson said one of the best examples of her effectiveness as mayor is what people didn't see over the past four years: a Las Vegas-style casino near the Oakland Airport.

      She worked closely with leaders of surrounding cities and the East Bay Regional Park District to help defeat that plan.

      "I can't imagine how bad the impact would have been," Johnson said. "Not just on traffic, but the presence of a casino would have been damaging."

      If re-elected, Johnson said her goals for the next four years include building more affordable and market-rate senior housing, creating and improving programs for teenagers and making the city more environmentally sustainable.

      "Alameda is the city where I grew up, where generations of my family lived," she said. "I'm doing this out of a commitment to my community and my love for my community."


      NAME: Beverly Johnson

      CANDIDATE FOR: Alameda mayor

      POLITICAL STATUS: Incumbent

      DATE OF BIRTH: Oct. 2 1958

      JOB: Attorney

      BIRTHPLACE: Alameda

      QUOTE: "I don't see that there will be huge changes, but we can continue creating the environment where progress can occur."

      FAMILY: Married with two children


      Councilma leads Slow-growth slate

      Doug DeHaan seeks to temper Island's development from mayor's office

      By Alan Lopez, Alameda Journal, October 20, 2006

      City Councilman Doug deHaan, running for mayor, says his experience, particularly his decades as a civilian executive at the Alameda Naval Air Station, makes him qualified for the job.

      "I bring a rich background of involvement in the city over the last 16 years on various commissions, committees and boards," said deHaan, who was elected to the City Council two years ago. "Coupled with that is my prior background, being at the base for 36 years and being the head of planning production and operations."

      DeHaan is running for mayor against incumbent Mayor Beverly Johnson and challenger Kenneth Kahn. He's running as part of a slow-growth slate that includes council challengers Pat Bail and Eugenie Thomson.

      DeHaan said Alameda needs to look closely at how future development would affect the city, particularly its traffic patterns. He also said the council needs to listen better to citizens.

      He pointed to the approval of the additional screens and parking garage as part of the historic Alameda Theater and cineplex project as an example of the council not listening to its constituents -- a project which he initially supported but then backed away from as it became larger.

      A petition of 3,000 signatures was submitted in opposition to the $30 million project, but it received a majority vote from the council. The first phase of the cineplex project is now under construction.

      "That gave me the distinct feeling we were not listening to the community like we should," deHaan said. "The process was awkward at best."

      One of deHaan's biggest concerns is development at the former Naval base, now known as Alameda Point. He lamented the recent withdrawal of a potential development team that got away without paying the city even one "red cent" for its years of work on the project.

      Beginning in the early 1990s, deHaan sat on a number of city committees looking first at how to keep the Naval base operating, and later, what to do with it following its closure in 1997.

      Out of that came an eight-year stint on the city's economic development commission, where the seeds for a smaller theater project and the downtown revitalization were planted, he said.

      Running for the City Council in 2002, he said, was a natural extension of his volunteer work and his history in the city.

      Born in Oakland, he grew up in the West End in Navy housing while his father worked as general foreman at the base. DeHaan himself got a job there when he was about 18 and rose up the ranks.

      "Getting involved in politics was something I never thought would occur," he said. "Needless to say I had pretty well prepared myself for that role."

      DeHaan, however, seems taken aback by the recent controversy over his use of the term "tar baby" at a City Council meeting when referring to the city budget in the spring of 2005. The term itself means a difficult, persistent problem, but it also carries racial overtones.

      After being made aware of the verbal gaffe deHaan quickly apologized for using the phrase. Recently, he dismissed the issue as a campaign tactic.

      "I think we have much bigger concerns in front of us," he said.

      Those concerns, he said, include providing greater financial oversight of Alameda Power & Telecom; and providing "community-driven" development for the Island as it faces a potential growth boom in the coming years.


      NAME: Doug deHaan

      CANDIDATE FOR: Alameda mayor

      POLITICAL STATUS: Challenger

      DATE OF BIRTH: March 9, 1941

      JOB: Retired civilian with the Department of the Navy

      BIRTHPLACE: Oakland

      QUOTE: "Getting involved in politics was something I never thought would occur."

      FAMILY: Married with two children

      WEBSITE: www.actionalameda.org


      AUSD Candidates Say Money Is the Big Issue

      By Jonathan B. Opet, Alameda Sun, October 5, 2006

      When voters go to the polls next month to elect two board members to the school district, all three candidates say Alamedans should focus on what has and has not been accomplished.

      Alameda Unified School District (AUSD) Board Member Mike McMahon has tried to make the school board’s decisions graspable for parents and students by publishing information on his Web site.

      AUSD Board President Tracy Lynn Jensen says her years of experience in government and her advanced business degree qualify her to make decisions regarding the district’s $70 million budget.

      Daniel Herrera, a high school administrator in the South San Francisco Unified School District, is looking to unseat either McMahon or Jensen in the November general election because he says the district has room to improve.

      The district does not actively recruit the best teachers in the Bay Area, it does not adequately train educators on a routine basis and it is not doing enough to mitigate student fallout to private schools, Herrera said this week.

      Jensen said the district is doing the best it can under fiscal constraints and that Alameda public schools often lose out to private schools with bigger budgets.

      Shrinking state funding and low property taxes have limited the district’s funds, Jensen said. The result, she says, has been cuts in school programs.

      In Alameda, a “narrowing of the curriculum to emphasize test scores in reading and math has led to a squeezing out of science, arts and other elective programs,” Herrera said.

      Herrera said board members shouldn’t give excuses for not finding creative ways to raise the district’s budget.

      McMahon said given the lack of funding in the district, it has done well. The 2005-2006 district Academic Performance Index was above 800, the state target.

      A census in 2000 indicated that there were fewer school-age children six years ago than at any time since 1970, McMahon said.

      Jensen, who supported the consolidation of Woodstock, Longfellow and Miller elementary schools last year, said the shuffling of kids was done to give them the best education.

      McMahon initially didn’t support the closure of Longfellow. He said the district often has to make unpopular decisions but given the loss of about 500 students in the last five years — resulting in a loss of about $2 million — the district saved $300,000 from each school and it may ultimately give students a better learning environment.

      Jensen said taxpayers deserve “fiscal accountability” from the district. She said allocating more than 90 percent of the district’s budget toward salaries is necessary to ensure quality education.

      McMahon agreed but said 92 percent is on the high side of the scale for district budgets.

      Herrera said that percentage is too high and the district should learn to do more with what it has.

      Voters will elect two candidates to the AUSD board of education Nov. 7.


      3 hopefuls running low-cost campaigns

      Herrera, McMahon plan to spend less than $1,000; Jensen will not ask for funds

      By Peter Hegarty, Alameda Journal, October 10, 2006

      As candidates for mayor and city council scramble to raise thousands of dollars in their bid for office, each of the three school board hopefuls are mounting a much more low key campaign.

      Both challenger Dan Herrera and incumbent Mike McMahon filed paperwork with the Alameda County Registrar of Voters last week indicating that they planned to raise and spend less than $1,000.

      Incumbent Tracy Jensen initially said she planned to raise $3,000 -- and so would be required to file a breakdown of who gave her a donation of $100 or more -- but Monday said she has changed her mind.

      "I haven't asked for any money or raised any money," the 45-year-old Jensen said. "At this point I am hoping that other Democratic candidates who send out mailers will include my name on their material."

      A deadline for a candidate to file a financial statement with the county registrar was Thursday.

      A senior services administrator with the city of Oakland, Jensen said campaigning has kept her busy and that she would file the necessary paperwork Monday.

      McMahon, 51, who works for Mervyn's as a support analyst, filed Sept. 21.

      The 37-year-old Herrera filed July 21.

      McMahon said from the start of his campaign that he did not plan to raise money and would rely on his Web site, along with candidate forums, to drum up support.

      An assistant principal at San Leandro High School, Herrera said he expected to spend just $40 on ink and paper to print up fliers.


      School board candidate sends two kids to private academy

      Herrera, a public school principal, says a third child will enroll at public school

      By Hanna Tamrat, Alameda Journal, October 17, 2006

      A candidate for the board of trustees for the Alameda Unified School District has said publicly that he is currently sending two of his three children to a private school in Alameda.

      The lone challenger in a field of three candidates, Daniel Herrera, during a recent interview told the Alameda Times-Star, a sister newspaper of the Alameda Journal, that he currently is sending his two older children, ages 9 and 4, to the Chinese Christian School on Bay Farm Island.

      Herrera, 37, who holds a master's degree and is working on his doctorate, is a public school principal.

      Married to a biology teacher at Alameda High School, Herrera said he is determined to send his 1-year-old to public school when he is old enough.

      "I don't want to have to send him to private school because it is too expensive for us already with two children," he said.

      He says he is horrified by the increasing number of private schools on the Island -- there currently are about a dozen. The public school enrollment decline comes from an increase in demand for private schools, which have the competitive edge, Herrera said.

      Herrera could not be reached for comment Monday to explain the apparent conflict of his candidacy for a seat on a public school district governing board and his family's choice of sending two children to a private school.

      All three candidates -- including two incumbents, Mike McMahon, 51, and Tracy Lynn Jensen, 45, -- agree the major challenge Island schools face is declining enrollment, which has resulted in a budget deficit and cuts.

      Whether the decline is caused by families moving from the Island or choosing private schools over public schools remains a topic of debate between the candidates.

      McMahon and Jensen are running for a second four-year term each on the five-member school board, which makes decisions for 10 elementary schools, three middle schools, five high schools, a child development center and an adult school. The board also has a say over two charter schools in the school district.

      The district currently has about 10,100 students and has lost close to 400 students since 2003.

      During a five-year period, the school board has approved about $5.5 million in budget cuts. Budget reductions included closing two schools and consolidating them with a third to become the new Ruby Bridges Elementary School at Bayport development. The move also had led to trimming administrative and staff positions and a few programs.

      McMahon said there is no clear information to justify Alamedans choosing private schools over public schools.

      "I don't buy that assumption, he said. We don't have access to the database of private schools to actually know how many (students) are from Alameda."

      Jensen is a third-generation Alamedan and mother of a 5-year-old boy who goes to Edison Elementary, one of the Alameda public schools she attended. Her priorities are safe and healthy schools. She plans to continue board initiatives, which introduced innovative mathematics in middle school and reading programs in earlier grades, she said.

      McMahon agrees to aggressive recruiting to fight declining enrollment but he believes the board can play an indirect role in changing some of the demographic issues, he said.

      For instance, he plans to engage the city government in making policies to create affordable housing for parents as well as teachers. McMahon's three children graduated from Encinal High School. He has lived in Alameda for 25 years.


      Alameda school, hospital and transit district election results

      By Staff Report, Alameda Times Star, November 8, 2006

      Alameda Unified School District board incumbents Tracy Lynn Jensen and Mike McMahon breezed to re-election Tuesday, easily outpacing the race's lone challenger candidate, Dan Herrera.

      With all 52 precincts reporting, Jensen collected 8,561 or 39.3 percent of the vote. McMahon came in right behind her 8,268 votes or 38 percent of the tally.

      Herrera garnered 4,824 votes, representing 22.1 percent of votes cast.

      The campaign focused on the district's continuous financial challenges.

      Jensen recently said she hopes voters would re-elect her so she could serve on the board when the district finally gets out of the red.

      The 10,100-student district is down 400 students since 2003, and the school board has approved about $5.5 million in cuts during the last five years. It is bracing for more cuts both this year and next.

      Jensen said she's confident the district's finances will be in the black some time during the next term, provided there aren't too many surprises from Sacramento.

      "Maybe not this year,'' she said, "but hopefully in the future.''

      McMahon said early Tuesday that if re-elected he and other board members would continue working to provide a top-quality education to all students.

      "The financial situation and the circumstances that are dictated by the state are hard to predict,'' he said.

      Herrera, meanwhile, said he knew his bid for the school board was a long shot, as he was running against two incumbents in a race with "really no reason (for voters) to throw them out of office.''

      Herrera, who has two children in private school, ran a campaign based on the idea the district should do more to reach out to private-school parents to boost enrollment. He said he plans to run again in two years "to orient the district to think of themselves as customer service agents'' in trying to bring families such as his into Alameda public schools.

      In the nine-candidate, three-seat race for the Alameda City Health Care District board of directors, challenger Nancy Hoffman became the lead vote-getter Tuesday, picking up 10,366 votes, representing 31.1 percent of the tally.

      Incumbents Steven Wasson, who was appointed to the board earlier this year to fill an absence, and Kevin Farrell received 6,591 and 6,434 votes, respectively, taking the second and third seats on the district board which operates Alameda Hospital.

      Finally, in the two-candidate race for the Ward 3 seat on the Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District, termed-out Alameda City Councilman Tony Daysog lost to Oakland-based candidate Elsa Ortiz by just 53 votes. Ortiz collected 20,062 votes or 49.6 percent of the tally. Daysog garnered 20,009 votes or 49.5 percent of the votes cast.


      Incumbents' low-key style is rewarded

      Voters decide Jensen and McMahon should remain on school board

      By Peter Hegarty, Alameda Journal, November 12, 2006

      Alameda voters could almost be forgiven for not knowing that three candidates were vying for a seat on the school board.

      Unlike those running for mayor or City Council, Tracy Lynn Jensen, Mike McMahon and Dan Herrera did not put up lawn signs or send out mailers, asking people for support.

      They also pledged not to raise much money, saying they would rely on Web sites, candidate forums and newspaper articles to get their message out.

      The strategy worked on Tuesday night for incumbents Jensen and McMahon.

      Jensen bested her board colleague, capturing 39.3 percent of the vote and one of the two open seats.

      McMahon was close behind her with 38 percent.

      Herrera, a challenger who was making his first bid for office, won 22.1 percent of the votes.

      "It makes me feel like I am doing a good job, which is pleasing," Jensen said.

      Jensen garnered 8,561 votes.

      McMahon received 8,268 votes, while Herrera got 4,824 votes.

      During the campaign, both Jensen and McMahon relied on their records, pointing to their experience on the board and recent changes within the district such as the new elementary school in the west end as reasons why voters should re-elect them.

      But Herrera, a veteran public high school administrator, said school leaders were not doing enough to promote staff development within the district, or to encourage parents to enroll their children in public instead of private schools.

      He was talking from experience: Herrera sends two of his own children to a private school on Bay Farm Island.

      But he's still not sure if it cost him votes.

      "I think that may have influenced some voters," Herrera said Wednesday. "But what I discovered during the various candidate forums is that people are pretty well-informed when it comes to school issues. And what people saw were two other candidates who were already on the board, who were experienced and articulate, and so they did not see a need to change things."

      The name recognition that McMahon and Jensen enjoyed as incumbents also played a part in their victory, said Herrera, who plans to run again.

      Jensen said an upcoming report on the changing demographics in the district will be among her top priorities during her upcoming term.

      "We're finally over the hump of declining enrollment -- at least we are stabilized -- but now the plan is to look at demographics," Jensen said. "We want to learn more about the children, who they are and where they come from, so that we can better serve them."

      With the district coming out of a round of budget cuts totaling $5.5 million over the past five years -- a belt-tightening that also included the closure of three elementary schools -- McMahon said he knows his upcoming time on the board will be challenging.

      "I have no illusions that the next four years will be any easier than the past four years," McMahon said. "I remain committed to an open inclusive process that allows Alameda citizens to participate in the education of Alameda's youth."


      School board candidate arrested on sex charges with Hayward student

      By Peter Hegarty, Alameda Journal, May 11, 2007

      ALAMEDA -- A veteran school administrator who campaigned for a seat on the Alameda school board has been arrested on suspicion of having sex with a student seven years ago, when he was working as a teacher in Hayward. Daniel Thomas Herrera Jr., 37, who garnered 6,339 votes during last November's election, was booked on a single felony count of committing a lewd or lascivious act with a minor following his arrest in Alameda on Tuesday. Bail was set at $120,000.

      Herrera is accused of having sex with a 15-year-old female student in September 2000 when he worked as a teacher at Tennyson High School in Hayward, according to Hayward police Lt. Reed Lindblom.

      Herrera most recently worked as an assistant principal at El Camino High School in South San Francisco. He is believed to have left the post earlier this year, however.

      "At this point there is a single victim and apparently one incident," Lindblom said.

      Authorities began investigating Herrera in November -- the same month he was making his bid for office in Alameda -- and they secured an arrest warrant for him April 5.

      Lindblom declined to comment on who contacted Hayward police or why the report was filed so many years after the crime allegedly occurred.

      Herrera remained in custody at Santa Rita Jail in Dublin on Friday and is set to appear May 17 in Alameda County Superior Court.

      Attempts to reach Herrera for comment late Friday were unsuccessful.

      Along with Tennyson High School, Herrera has worked as a principal of Lower Lakes High School in Lower Lakes, Calif., and as an assistant principal at San Leandro High School.

      During the election last year, Herrera cited his educational background as the reason why people should vote for him.

      "I feel that Alameda voters should trust me because I have the educational experience and expertise to bring about the competitive edge of Alameda's schools," he told the Alameda Journal, a MediaNews publication. "I'm not an educational layperson seeking political office. But rather, I am an educational practitioner with the skills that should be required of all school board members in order to have the public's trust."

      A U.S. Marine Corps veteran of the Gulf War, Herrera was working toward an educational doctorate from the University of California at Berkeley during the election.

      Herrera came under criticism as he campaigned because his children did not attend an Alameda public school. But the would-be school boardmember defended his decision to enroll them at the Chinese Christian School in Alameda, saying the school offered courses not available at public schools.

      His two daughters were then ages 9 and 4. Herrera also has a 2-year-old son.

      He came in third in the election, losing out to incumbents Mike McMahon and Tracy Lynn Jensen.

      Alameda police Detective Norm Chuch arrested Herrera at his residence on Tuesday. The arrest record indicates that Herrera is now unemployed.


      Island campaign spending rose in '06

      Winning candidates for council and mayor's office each spent at least $30,000, as did the losing slate

      By Alan Lopez, Alameda Journal, February 2, 2007

      These days it takes about $35,000 to run a City Council election campaign in Alameda that has any chance of succeeding, recently filed campaign contribution statements show.

      However, even then, that amount doesn't guarantee a win, the same documents reveal.

      Out of the nine candidates running for City Council and mayor in the November election, three of their campaign committees spent about $35,000 in 2006.

      Those candidates were Mayor Beverly Johnson and City Councilman Frank Matarrese, who were re-elected, along with newcomer Lena Tam, who came away with the top number of votes.

      Matarrese said the "bar was raised" for the money needed to run a campaign prior to the 2006 election.

      "I think it goes back to the high stakes that were set two years ago, with one candidate spending over $100,000 on their campaign," he said.

      That candidate was Pat Bail, who in 2004, spent about $110,000 of her own money trying to get elected to the panel.

      Last fall, Bail ran with Eugenie Thomson for City Council and City Councilman Doug deHaan for mayor as part of the three-member Action Alameda slate. The slate together spent about what just one of the leading voter-getters spent on the race.

      DeHaan was soundly defeated by Johnson, and Bail and Thompson turned in losing finishes.

      Reached by phone, Bail appeared to harbor no hard feelings for the loss but sounded dumfounded at Matarrese's suggestion that it was her prior campaign that set the stage for the most recent election spending.

      Comparable amounts to those spent in the 2006 election had been spent in prior elections, particularly by Johnson, she said.

      "I'd say for three candidates -- $10,000 a piece -- I don't think that's bad," Bail said. "I think $33,000 is about what we said it was going to take."

      Johnson's committee spent the most money in the election -- $36,662, records show -- and it emerged with the highest cash balance, $8,085. That was followed by Matarrese, who spent $34,521 and ended with $217; and the slate, which spent a total of $33,409 and had $2,801 by the end of January.

      Tam's committee spent $32,861.62 and owed $1,970. Tam said she would loan her committee money or fundraise to cover the debt.

      Records show the slate also benefited from an outside committee spending on its behalf. The committee Keep Measure A/Citizens for Alameda Neighborhoods spent $2,431 on a postcard mailer for Action Alameda.

      In addition, while not kept on file at the city clerk's office, Matarrese said he was part of a state Democratic party "slate" mailer sent to Alameda residents that his committee did not pay for.

      Johnson, too, benefited from several glossy mailers sent out to the voters.

      It could not be immediately determined this week whether other groups paid for the mayor's likeness to be on the mailers or whether her reelection committee paid to be part of the mailers that were delivered widely across the Island by union groups or local Democratic political action committees.

      "Other places are placing contribution limits, spending limits (on campaigns) and maybe it's time to look at that," Matarrese said. "It's getting ridiculous."

      Two of the candidates -- Kenneth Kahn for mayor and Ashley Jones for City Council -- pledged to raise no more than $1,000 for their campaigns and therefore did not have to file campaign contribution statements by the Jan. 31 deadline.

      Candidate Mike Rich, who received the fewest number of votes in City Council race, raised $6,020 in 2006, records show, and he had a cash balance of $913 following the election.


      The following the totals were raised by the candidates in races for the Alameda City Council and mayor's office during the November 2006 election:

    • Beverly Johnson: $36,662
    • Action Alameda (Doug deHaan - mayoral candidate; Eugenie Thomson and Pat Bail, council candidates: $33,210
    • Lena Tam: $32,861
    • Frank Matarrese: $31,547
    • Michael Rich: $6,020
    • Kenneth Kahn: 0*
    • Ashley Jones: 0*
    • *Pledged not to raise more than $1,000 and therefore did not have to file a disclosure statement.


      2004 Election Coverage

      2004 Election Results

      2002 Election Results

      November General Election Results

      November 20, 2006
      Monday, November 27 Absentee Ballots Ballot Box Votes Post Ballot Box Votes Total Votes
      School Board . . . .
      Herrera 2,080 2,744 1,514 6,338
      Jensen 3,795 4,766 2,988 11,549
      McMahon 3,683 4,585 2,752 11,020
      . . . . .
      Mayor . . . .
      deHaan 2,445 3,246 1,807 7,498
      Johnson 4,364 6,087 3,533 13,984
      Kahn 471 765 373 1,609
      . . . . .
      City Council . . . .
      Jones 1,495 2,111 1.068 4,674
      Bail 2,009 2,646 1,473 6,128
      Matarrese 3,033 4,025 2,487 9,545
      Rich 633 805 426 1,864
      Thomson 1,853 2,336 1,297 5,486
      Tam 3,660 4,672 2,955 11,287
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      Last modified: November 19, 2006

      Disclaimer: This website is the sole responsibility of Mike McMahon. It does not represent any official opinions, statement of facts or positions of the Alameda Unified School District. Its sole purpose is to disseminate information to interested individuals in the Alameda community.