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    When The Times recently polled voters in Kevin de León’s council district, the survey asked respondents to tell us, in their own words, what they have recently heard or read about their council member. A few responses were positive. The vast majority, however, reflect the disaffection many in the district feel toward De León. The poll found that by more than 2 to 1, voters with unfavorable views of De León outnumber those who view him favorably. California Voters turn sharply against Kevin de León, favor recall, poll finds Voters in De León’s council district disapprove of the job he’s doing, have an unfavorable impression of him personally and believe the embattled council member puts his own interests ahead of theirs, new poll finds. Overall, about six in 10 voters told us they had seen, read or heard something recently that had an impact on how they think about De León. About three quarters of those said that what they had learned had made them less favorable to the council member. When asked to specify what they had...
    Voters in Councilman Kevin de León’s district have little confidence in him, and as a scandal involving racist comments continues to dog him, a majority want him to resign, a new Los Angeles Times poll shows. The poll paints a grim political picture for De León, the former state legislator and once-rising Democratic star who has adamantly refused to step down, despite a chorus of calls to go that has reached from protesters at City Council meetings to President Biden. After a nearly two-month absence from the council, De León returned last month, hoping to repair his reputation and promising to fight for constituents in his Latino, working-class district. But voters are unsympathetic. By a wide margin, voters said De León puts his own political self-interest ahead of the people he represents. Even reliable supporters who voted for him in the past have lost faith, the poll found. Only 23% of the voters surveyed approved of the job De León is doing, compared with 48% who disapproved, the poll found. Just over half think he should...
    When it comes to filling the two vacancies on the San Jose City Council, it’s never too late to do the right thing. Councilmembers should switch gears Tuesday and call special elections to fill the District 8 and 10 seats that were left vacant after the November elections. They should abandon their plans to appoint replacements. Let the people living in the districts decide. It’s the democratic way. A new poll shows that San Jose residents want the council to do just that. The Public Policy Poll of 500 residents citywide reveals 86% favor a special election to fill the two seats. Instead, the council is moving forward with the plan adopted in December by the outgoing council to appoint the District 8 and District 10 councilmembers for the next two years. Councilmembers will pick representatives for two districts where they don’t even live rather than letting the residents there choose. It enables a labor-leaning council majority to impose its will on two districts that are more politically moderate. The two seats were left vacant because of the election of...
    Many of our fellow San Jose District 8 and 10 residents are outraged at the lack of honest communication and transparency demonstrated by the San Jose City Council in the process to fill the vacancies in our districts created when Councilmember Matt Mahan was elected mayor and Councilmember Sylvia Arenas was elected to the county Board of Supervisors. After rejecting the views of hundreds of us who spoke in support of a special election at the Dec. 5 Council meeting, the Council assured us the process would be transparent and residents would have an opportunity to provide input. While the council had the legal right to appoint instead of holding a special election, this has only been done once, in an exceptional situation. The appointment process adopted was created by Councilmembers Sergio Jimenez, Dev Davis and Sylvia Arenas before the Dec. 5 meeting. Their Dec. 2 memo “recognizes the skepticism” about the “fairness of councilmembers from other districts selecting replacements.” Thus they promised a “thoughtful, transparent and deliberative process.”  The questionnaires would be public, and “all Council deliberations will be...
    The D.C. Council is looking to lessen the penalties for carjacking and other violent crimes — it's a move that will override Mayor Muriel Bowser's (D) veto. The 450-page Revised Criminal Code Act of 2022 would overhaul the city's criminal code and bring forth changes like eliminating most mandatory minimum sentences, allowing for jury trials in nearly all misdemeanor cases, and, most notably, reducing the maximum penalties for offenses such as burglaries, carjackings, and robberies, the Washington Post reported. The council will vote on whether to override Bowser's veto Tuesday. The progressive council has defended the bill as making the law fairer and less racist, while numerous law and law enforcement figures have said it has the potential to open the floodgates of crime. Bowser has condemned the bill, saying it sends the wrong message. DC MAYOR VETOES CITY'S OVERHAUL OF CRIMINAL CODE FOR SENDING 'WRONG MESSAGE' District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser listens as Metropolitan Police Department assistant chief Stuart Emerman speaks near the scene of a shooting Friday, April 22, 2022, in...
    Los Angeles City Councilmember Kevin de León addressed his colleagues for more than eight minutes Wednesday, speaking publicly in council chambers for the first time since an incendiary leaked audio conversation upended local politics in October, propelling the legislative body into crisis. De León spoke out against a council proposal that would explore new penalties that could be imposed on censured council members. The council censured De León in October, a largely symbolic move. The proposal, approved on a 12-2 vote, directs city departments to report back on the viability of various potential consequences. Imposing those consequences would be a lengthier and more complex process. The embattled council member repeatedly described the council’s proposal as “a slippery slope” that could ultimately undermine the rights of constituents in his largely Latino, working-class district. He also defended his record “as a fighter for the most marginalized people in society” and “a hardworking representative who doesn’t cut corners.” “This is a potential overt attempt to injure a council member at the expense of directly injuring his voters, prospectively,” De...
    SANTA CRUZ — Two Santa Cruz City Councilmembers said goodbye as two were sworn in alongside the first directly elected mayor at city hall Tuesday evening. In a City Council session uniquely bereft of inherent controversy or public comment, and devoted solely to ceremony, the council chambers resonated with cheer and laughter that made it feel less like the usual government meeting and more like a sitcom being filmed in front of a live studio audience — especially after the meeting began with an unintentionally cutting request to Justin Cummings and Donna Meyers from outgoing Mayor Sonja Brunner to remove themselves from the dais following their imminent last words as councilmembers. “I’m glad we can laugh at that,” said Brunner. “I didn’t mean it to sound that way.” When the guffaw subsided, former Councilmember and newly appointed 3rd District Supervisor Justin Cummings made his last remarks on the dais. He recounted his entry into local politics in 2017, with the campaign to establish rent control, and expressed his earnest gratitude to city staff, councilmembers and residents. Santa Cruz Mayor Fred...
    Sunnyvale’s newest councilmember squeaked through a tight race that ended with a difference of just one vote. Murali Srinivasan, an engineer, finally emerged as the winner of District 3 last week after securing 2,813 votes. He became the first Indian councilmember elected in Sunnyvale and the first candidate chosen to represent District 3, which was formed in 2020 after the city voted to switch to a district-based electoral system, and drew six districts based on U.S. Census data. His opponent, Justin Wang, finished the race with 2,812 votes. Srinivasan was declared the winner after the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters conducted an automatic recount of the votes and determined that the results hadn’t changed, according to City Clerk David Carnahan. Srinivasan and new District 5 councilmember Richard Mehlinger will be sworn in at a council meeting on Jan. 3, Carnahan said. Srinivasan said he felt the results were “a victory for democracy” — not because of his own victory, but because he felt District 3 voters had a more robust turnout than expected. “If you look at District 5 and District...
    By Michael R. Blood | Associated Press LOS ANGELES — The City Council was disrupted Tuesday by another round of boisterous, foul-mouthed protests after a councilman facing widespread calls to resign for his involvement in a racism scandal defiantly returned to the chamber and took his seat. Councilman Kevin de Leon’s appearance prompted some council members to walk out amid shouting and chanting from rival groups in the audience, while council President Paul Krekorian ordered a recess amid the outburst. The turmoil represented a reprise of a Friday meeting where de Leon appeared in the ornate chamber for the first time since mid-October. He is the only council member involved in the scandal still resisting calls from President Joe Biden to step down, while continuing to collect his annual salary of nearly $229,000 — among the most lucrative paydays for city council members in the nation. Protesters were shouting and waving signs in the audience throughout the meeting. During a public comment period, most of those who spoke denounced de Leon as a racist and called on the councilman to...
    RICHMOND — This city’s historic tie between two council candidates in the Nov. 8 election may come down to two voters living aboard boats anchored in the Richmond Marina Bay Harbor. And therein lies the latest controversy in a vote-counting dispute that shows no sign of ending. Community members and the family of council candidate Andrew Butt have asked whether a tiny precinct located along the shoreline was mistakenly included in the District 2 election, after different versions of the city’s district map appear to have glossed over the waterfront area. On the line is the outcome of the City Council race in that district — which ended in a 1,921 to 1,921 tie and was settled earlier this week when the city clerk drew the name of candidate Cesar Zepeda out of a gift bag. City attorney Dave Aleshire said a letter from attorney Daniel Butt, the losing candidate’s brother, has raised questions the city will need to answer about Richmond’s redistricting earlier this year, including when and where lines were drawn to determine voting districts. Prior to 2022,...
    The first order of business for the new San Jose City Council when it convenes in January should be reversing Monday’s decision to appoint councilmembers to two vacant seats rather than letting voters decide. At stake is the political direction of the Bay Area’s largest city for at least the next two years. Districts 8 and 10 together represent roughly 200,000 residents. The voters there should decide who fills the two seats — not a handful of councilmembers seeking to push a labor-driven agenda. Let’s be clear. This isn’t about saving taxpayer money. There should be no price tag on democracy. This is all about whether labor has the votes to thwart newly elected Mayor Matt Mahan’s priorities. District 8 and District 10 voters already gave an indication of their intent when they backed Mahan over labor-stalwart Cindy Chavez in the mayor’s race. Hundreds of residents also made their desire for a special election known Monday when they packed the City Council chambers demanding an election. The council consists of the mayor and 10 members elected by district. Two of the...
    FREMONT – The battle between Fremont and the East Bay Regional Park District over the leasing of the city’s land at popular Mission Peak has finally come to an end. During a meeting Tuesday night, the Fremont City Council approved a 20-year lease extension with the district for the management of the 900 acres of the park owned by the city — two years after negotiations began. Mission Peak is a well-used park in Fremont, with hundreds of people visiting its 3,023 acres to hike and enjoy its mountain views every week. The city-owned site at the park, which includes the popular Stanford Avenue trailhead and staging area, has been managed by the park district since 1978, when a lease between the agencies was first agreed upon. That lease was renewed for 27 years in 1993, and it has been operating on a monthly basis since expiring in July 2020. City staff members were directed by the City Council to develop a new long-term lease agreement with the park district in December 2020. However, in November 2021, the council rejected...
    The Los Angeles City Council voted Wednesday to reinstate the salary of indicted Councilmember Mark Ridley-Thomas, more than a year after he was suspended from his post while facing federal corruption charges. Ridley-Thomas, who has been stripped of his duties for nearly 14 months, will receive about $265,000 in city pay, much of it back wages, and another $99,500 for his lawyers. The deal was approved by a 10-1 vote, with Councilmember Mitch O'Farrell opposed. The agreement means taxpayers will be compensating two council members from the same district simultaneously — Ridley-Thomas, who was elected to the seat in 2020, and Heather Hutt, who was selected by the council to serve the district on a temporary basis three months ago. California How being an L.A. City Council member became political poison in year of scandal, voter rage Over the past year, four Los Angeles City Council members have lost their campaigns for reelection or higher office. A fifth could soon join them. City Controller Ron Galperin halted the pay of Ridley-Thomas in October 2021 after the council member...
    In the 76 seconds it took to recite an oath of office, Lindsey Horvath was transformed into one of the most powerful players in California politics. In fact, few positions in American municipal politics confer as much sweep as the one Horvath assumed Monday. That’s what it means to become a Los Angeles County supervisor. At 40 years old, Horvath will be the youngest woman ever to step into the role. The former West Hollywood council member will represent the 3rd District, a massive 431-square mile swath of Los Angeles County that includes parts of the San Fernando Valley. She goes from representing one of the smallest cities in the county — a population of about 35,000 spread over just 1.9 square miles — to a district representing nearly 2 million people. That’s a jurisdiction with an economy larger than Argentina’s, a constituency larger than Austria’s and a budget larger than some U.S. states’. Sheila Kuehl speaks at the swearing-in of Supervisor-Elect Lindsey Horvath as the new Los Angeles County Supervisor for District 3.(Jason Armond /...
    Lawmakers in Washington, D.C., are proposing to allow public transit users to ride city-run buses at no charge, aiming to become the first major city in the country to offer free bus service for all its residents. The proposal, announced by City Council members on Thursday, would designate projected revenue growth to go toward the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority to pay for free bus service and expand its schedule to provide overnight service on 12 major bus lines. If passed, the legislation would take effect by next summer, according to lawmakers. DC METRO BEGINS ISSUING HEFTY FINES FOR FARE EVASION “This is a big deal,” said Council Chairman Phil Mendelson. “We’ll be the first major city in the United States to provide free bus service. This will be a game changer for bus users; reliable schedules and faster boarding. There’s no question it will encourage more folks to use public transit, which means numerous benefits, from reducing congestion to improving the environment to stabilizing WMATA.” The measure to provide free bus service will be...
    A labor-backed majority of the San Jose City Council has set the stage for a power grab that would cut one-fifth of the city’s voters out of the process for picking their own council representatives. At issue is how upcoming vacancies in two of the City Council’s 10 districts, two of the city’s most politically moderate districts, will be filled — by council appointment or by a special election. At stake is the political balance of the council and the political direction of the city. San Jose voters should pick their representatives, not the labor-backed members of the City Council who don’t live in, represent or share the same political leanings as the two districts. The last five times the council has had a vacancy, dating back to 1995, voters have picked the replacement. That’s what fairness and democratic principles demand. What makes this year unusual — and the council decision on the replacement process even more consequential — is that for the first time since 2006 there are two vacancies coming up at the same time. That’s because of...
    Submit your letter to the editor via this form. Read more Letters to the Editor. Council shouldn’t let cost cancel election Re. “San Jose Mayor-elect calls for special election to fill vacant council seats, despite big costs,” Nov. 28: The residents of District 8 and District 10 have the right to choose who represents them on the City Council. It’s two years we are talking about and many important issues could be decided without input from these districts’ residents – decisions that could negatively affect them. The City Charter may give the City Council the right to choose these representatives but that doesn’t make it fair, right or democratic. Additionally, this action will set a precedent for how council district vacancies are filled in the future. The Mercury News headline emphasizes “the cost,” but the cost cannot be the deciding factor when the democratic process is at stake. Patricia Blevins San Jose Appointments would only strengthen majority With council members Sylvia Arenas, District 8, and Matt Mahan, District 10, moving on to county supervisor and San Jose mayor, there are...
    It’s finally time to call the results of the Alameda County General Election, with ballot counting now complete, according to the county registrar of voters. Livermore Many races across the southern part of the county looked to be extremely tight as counting progressed over the past two weeks, including the race to become Livermore’s next mayor. With more than $700,000 spent, the race was the most expensive in the city’s history. Most of the spending was in support of Mony Nop, a newcomer who was backed by a well-funded political action committee called Take Back Livermore. The PAC was supported by a number of influential business people in the community who are trying to deter a downtown housing project that has already been approved by the city. At one point in early returns counting, less than 20 votes separated Nop and his opponent, former Livermore mayor John Marchand. However, Marchand edged ahead in mail-in voting and secured 53.24% of the vote in the final count. Marchand served as mayor from 2011 to 2020 and decided to run again after the...
    Two candidates for Los Angeles City Council declared victory in their races on Tuesday, part of the biggest shakeup of the 15-member council in nearly a decade. Attorney Tim McOsker, a onetime aide to Mayor James Hahn, will return to City Hall after a 17-year absence, having prevailed in his race to succeed Los Angeles City Councilmember Joe Buscaino in the city’s harbor district. Meanwhile, political aide Katy Young Yaroslavsky marked her victory over attorney Sam Yebri, who issued a concession statement Tuesday in the race to represent part of the Westside. “I look forward to representing all the communities of Council District 5 and working with you to make our city better no matter who you supported in this election,” Yaroslavsky, who lives in L.A.'s South Carthay neighborhood, said in a statement. California How being an L.A. City Council member became political poison in year of scandal, voter rage Over the past year, four Los Angeles City Council members have lost their campaigns for reelection or higher office. A fifth could soon join them. Yaroslavsky, in an interview,...
    RICHMOND — Only one candidate has emerged as a shoo-in for victory across four separate races for the Richmond City Council, according to early results in Contra Costa County’s midterm election Tuesday night. Notably, candidates in the hotly contested race for mayor are currently in a three-way tie. This election marks the first time each of Richmond’s six districts will have voted for its own representative voice, after citywide seats started being phased out in 2020. In early returns, Measure P, a proposal to cap rents at either 60% of the Consumer Price Index or 3% of a controlled unit’s current rate, has so far earned a slightly majority of voter’s support — potentially on pace to reach the 51% support needed for it to pass. Since 2016, landlords of rent-controlled units have been entitled to increase rents up to 100% of the annual CPI, which is the federal government’s calculation that reflects how consumer costs have shifted each year. However, that policy has come under fire, allowing rents some say are needlessly high during record rates of inflation, especially...
    Oakland voters faced a full slate of options Tuesday. Aside from selecting a new mayor, many chose new representatives for the city council and school board, and decided on a slew of ballot measures — from affordable housing bonds to allowing non-citizen voting in municipal elections. Early election night returns Tuesday revealed Nikki Fortunado Bas, Janani Ramachandran and Kevin Jenkins in the lead for Oakland City Council seats that could reshape the city’s politics. Jennifer Brouhard, Nick Resnick and Valarie Bachelor took initial leads for seats on the Oakland Unified School District board, which saw a tumultuous year of school closures and board resignations. All three of those races will follow a ranked-choice format that could take several rounds of tabulations to determine the true winners. The early results also showed Oakland residents favoring a progressive business tax, infrastructure bond, zoo funding and noncitizen voting ballot measures. Oakland City Council Fortunado Bas, the council’s current president, is running for her second term with opposition from Lowe, who has criticized her more progressive approach to crime and policing. Bas represents District 2,...
    Voters here are choosing among seven candidates in a hotly contested race for two district seats on the City Council that will likely determine whether it continues to lean progressive or tilt to the right. Early results, however, show it’s too early to say which direction it might lean. Initial results indicate incumbent Antioch Councilwoman Monica Wilson has a slight edge over colleague Lori Ogorchock in District 4, while former Councilwoman Joy Motts has a small lead in a three-way race in District 1. In District 4, challengers Shawn Pickett and Sandra White are trailing significantly behind the incumbents, each with about half of their votes. In District 1, the votes are closer, with Diane Gibson-Gray and incumbent Tamisha Torres-Walker each roughly garnering one-third of the vote in initial results. The initial vote count includes early in-person votes and mail-in ballots though voters only have to have ther ballots postmarked by Tuesday to have them counted. Additional reports will be released almost every hour until 1 a.m., according to officials. The two incumbents are facing off this time because of...
    It’s been a busy few weeks for the Tri-Valley, as 16 city council hopefuls campaigned throughout the cities of Dublin, Pleasanton and Livermore. While it’s too early to declare any winners, with only 15% of the vote counted Tuesday night, some patterns were emerging. Livermore  The Livermore City Council race has been subject to hundreds of thousands of dollars in political action committee (PAC) funding, with a tight battle taking place between former mayor John Marchand and newcomer Mony Nop to replace Mayor Bob Woerner, who did not seek re-election. With 15% of the vote counted in early returns Tuesday night, Marchand was narrowly edging ahead of Nop. More than $711,600 had been spent on the mayoral race by Nov. 3, most of it to support Nop, a realtor and former police officer with no political experience. Nop’s primary backer was an interest group focused on derailing an affordable housing project in the city. A PAC called Take Back Livermore, which was funded by prominent members of the community who are against the housing project, spent more than $372,600 to...
    Fremont City Council incumbents Yang Shao and Jenny Kassan were leading, along with newcomer Desrie Campbell, in very early election returns Tuesday night. A total of eight candidates were vying for a spot on the council, with seats open in three districts. A three-way race took place in District 2, where Councilmember Rick Jones is vacating his seat because of the city’s two-term limit. With 15% of the vote counted in early returns Tuesday night, school board trustee Campbell was edging ahead of City Planning Commissioner Robert Daulton and technology worker Keith Parker. This was Daulton’s second time running for the council, having been unsuccessful in a 2018 campaign. Of the three, Parker is the only one without government board experience, though he has been involved in city politics for three years. In District 3, incumbent Kassan was narrowing leading Kathy Kimberlin. This is Kimberlin’s second run for the City Council. The longtime community volunteer, who also ran for the council in 2016, works as a field director for Alameda County Supervisor David Haubert. Kassan, first elected in 2018, runs...
    Early results in the Sunnyvale elections show Justin Wang is slightly ahead of Murali Srinivasan in the race for District 3, while Richard Mehlinger has the lead over Satyam Davé in District 5 in a campaign for seats on a City Council that must tackle affordable housing, climate change, transportation and traffic congestion. No matter who wins, the council will be welcoming three new members come January – not only are all of the candidates running in District 3 and District 5 newcomers to City Council, but District 1 will be also be welcoming a new councilmember, Linda Sell, who was appointed to the role after no one qualified to run against her in the election. This election will also see the council through its transition to a district-based electoral system. Previously, councilmembers were elected at-large to council seats, but the city voted to draw districts based on data from U.S. Census data in 2020 and elect a councilmember for each of the six districts instead. Three councilmembers were elected to represent Districts 2, 4 and 6 in 2020, and...
    Below are results from the Contra Costa County registrar of voters for the Nov. 8, 2022, general election. Results from other counties and California are at these links: Alameda County Santa Clara County San Mateo County San Francisco County California Read all of our election stories and follow updates and analysis from Bay Area, California and national races in our live stream. Use this link if you are having trouble receiving the results on your mobile device. Quick links to city races: Antioch: City Council District 1 | District 4 | Brentwood: City Council District 2 | District 4 | Clayton: City Council | Concord: City Council District 1 | District 3 | District 5 |Treasurer | El Cerrito: City Council | Hercules: City Council | Moraga: Town Council – Full Term | Town Council – Short Term | Martinez: Mayor | City Council District 1 | District 4 | Oakley: City Council District 2 | District 4 | Orinda: City Council | Pinole: City Council | Pittsburg: City Council | City Clerk | Treasurer | Pleasant Hill: City Council | Treasurer | Richmond: Mayor | City Council...
    Your guide to the L.A. City Council District 13 race: Mitch O’Farrell vs. Hugo Soto-Martinez
    Submit your letter to the editor via this form. Read more Letters to the Editor. Let all parents vote on children’s futures All parents, including immigrants, want their children to have a bright future and an enriching education. For many, our kids are what connect us. Our children building community with each other brings parents together. Schools aren’t only places our children learn, but community hubs that encourage parents to engage with each other and advocate together. While many immigrant parents are not yet citizens, many of their children are. Immigrant parents gaining the right to vote is not just for the parent, it’s for the children. Equitable classrooms mean every child is represented. However, representation is lacking for thousands of Oakland students. With a vote in school board elections, immigrant parents will gain more opportunities to represent their children, creating additional opportunities for every child to experience a quality education in preparation for their future. A vote for immigrant parents now is a vote for our children’s future. Vote yes on Measure S. Maribel Gonzalez Oakland Vote for Debora...
    Your guide to the L.A. City Council District 15 race: Tim McOsker vs Danielle Sandoval
    Submit your letter to the editor via this form. Read more Letters to the Editor. Note to readers Tuesday is the deadline for submitting letters related to the Nov. 8 election. To submit a letter, please fill out the online form at www.mercurynews.com/letters-to-the-editor. Mehlinger is committed to Sunnyvale council My name is Valérie Suarès, and I’m chair of Sunnyvale’s SNAIL Neighborhood Association in District 5. I write strictly in my personal capacity to urge District 5 residents to vote for Richard Mehlinger for City Council. Richard has deeply impressed me with his depth of experience, his policy expertise and his commitment to District 5’s neighborhoods. He’s been a fixture at SNAIL meetings and events for over two years, and he’s helped resolve thorny issues in our neighborhood. At the city level, he chaired the Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission from 2019-22, he has championed traffic safety and helped shape key policy documents like the Active Transportation Plan and Vision Zero. He’ll work hard to make our streets safer and our city government more responsive. District 5 faces serious issues, and...
    Live from Music Row, Monday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed Metro Nashville Council Member for District 26, Courtney Johnston, to the newsmaker line to weigh in on the Titans stadium deal and ambiguous lease terms leaving Nashville on the hook. Leahy: On our newsmaker line, Metro Council Member Courtney Johnson. She represents the 26th district here in Metro Nashville, Davidson County. Courtney, thanks so much for joining us this morning. Johnston: Yes, absolutely. Thanks for having me. Leahy: You have been all over this stadium deal, and we have a story that you oppose the idea of having the cart before the horse. I guess your complaint is that the mayor is trying to jam through this term sheet before everybody understands what’s in it. Johnston: That was certainly the way I think most of the council members perceived what happened. It’s one thing to bring the term sheet to us to say, hey, here’s where we are in...
    Click here for a complete list of our election recommendations. Union City will have two or three new council members after the Nov. 8 election as the municipal government rebuilds after the pandemic economic downturn. While no city employees were laid off or furloughed, vacant positions were left unfilled, resulting, in the spring of 2021, with over 30% of positions vacant. As the city works to restore its staffing, especially filling open police posts, it also needs long-term budget stability. A key part of that is the Measure Z extension of the city’s half-cent sales tax, also on the Nov 8 ballot. The other major challenges for the council will be meeting the state’s mandate for nearly 3,000 new housing units over the next eight years — a goal the city can probably meet largely with plans for high-density housing near the BART station — and filling vacant police positions as the chief warns of increasing gun violence. City Council districts for Union City  With Union City this year completing its transition from at-large to district elections, two council members,...
    Click here for a complete list of our election recommendations. In 2020, the Loma Prieta Union School District put a parcel tax measure before voters that would have added an annual tax of $164 on property owners. It fell 1 percentage point short of the needed two-thirds approval. So it would seem inconceivable that the district would put another parcel tax before voters that is more than double the size of the measure rejected two years ago. Especially when the region is facing financial uncertainty and the district is experiencing declining enrollment. Yet, that’s exactly what they did. Measure M would establish an annual parcel tax of $348 for eight years, raising an estimated $640,000 a year. Loma Prieta is one of the smallest districts in the Bay Area. Loma Prieta Elementary School and C.T. English Middle School serve 450 students in the Santa Cruz Mountains. The district says its parcel tax would primarily go toward teacher salary increases. Loma Prieta teachers are among the lowest paid in the region. But the proposed tax is simply too much to...
    Amid widespread calls for the embattled politician’s resignation, five constituents filed initial paperwork Thursday to recall Los Angeles City Councilmember Kevin de León. The former state Senate leader has been at the center of a political maelstrom set off by a leaked recording first reported by The Times on Oct. 9. De León has said repeatedly that he has no plans to step down, citing the need for representation in his downtown and Eastside district. He was elected to the council in 2020 and has more than two years left in his term. “After three failed attempts, yet another recall that distorts his record will not distract the councilmember or his office from continuing to serve the people of Council District 14,” De León spokesperson Pete Brown said in a statement. “He will keep moving forward important projects and issues that threaten the communities and the lives of his constituents.” California De León vows: ‘I will not resign.’ Council president says apology isn’t enough L.A. City Councilmember Kevin De León says he won’t resign following calls for him to...
    NASHVILLE, Tennessee – Nashville’s East Bank Stadium Committee met Wednesday evening in the Council Chambers at City Hall to take its first critical look at the Tennessee Titans stadium proposal announced last week by Nashville Mayor John Cooper and the team. The meeting was held a day after the team shared renderings of its new potential stadium, created by the same architectural firm that worked on Las Vegas’s Allegiant Stadium. Caption: Tennessee Titans President and CEO Burke Nihill attended the October 26, 2022, meeting of the East Bank Stadium Committee. The committee meeting, scheduled to start at 4:30 p.m., began about a half hour late due to technical difficulties with the PowerPoint presentation, the review of which was the stated purpose of the meeting. Several members of the Titans organization were in attendance, including President and CEO Burke Nihill, who sat in the front row for the duration of the meeting, as well as 10 to 20 other attendees. Vice Mayor Jim Shulman announced the establishment of the East Bank Stadium Committee in late June. The seven-member committee, consisting of...
    Berkeley often hails itself as a city that leads the charge to address social issues, whether eliminating single-family zoning and parking minimums, or becoming a sanctuary city protecting the rights of immigrants and pushing back against federal crackdowns on cannabis. But looking ahead to 2023 — a time when public resources are expected to be scarce and a recession is looming on the horizon — candidates are running for a chance to help guide housing development for longtime residents and UC Berkeley students alike, strengthening public safety, addressing homelessness and preventing more people from losing their homes across the prosperous East Bay city. Two council incumbents are running unopposed; downtown Berkeley within District 4 will continue to be represented by City Councilmember Kate Harrison, and Councilmember Rigel Robinson will be re-elected in District 7, on the south side of UC Berkeley’s campus. Seven candidates are running for the other two contested seats on the Berkeley City Council. DISTRICT 1 Incumbent councilmember Rashi Kesarwani is hoping to retain her place at City Hall for a second term, after representing northwest Berkeley’s...
    Click here for a complete list of our election recommendations. Martinez has had just two mayors in the last 38 years. Three of the five current City Council members have served at least two decades. It’s time for change. The city needs fresh leaders, not a recycling of the old guard. For mayor in the Nov. 8 election, voters should select Brianne Zorn, a councilwoman elected two years ago who has brought badly needed fresh perspective. And for two City Council seats on the ballot, the best candidates are Jay Howard in District 1 and Ben Therriault in District 4. Interviewing Martinez candidates this year provides a sense of déjà vu. They talk about reenergizing and cleaning up downtown, developing the marina and improving morale in City Hall. It’s the same issues and, unfortunately, many of the same candidates. They haven’t gotten the job done. They haven’t even comprehensively updated the city’s general plan since 1973. That might finally happen in the next couple of weeks because the city must update the housing portion to comply with state requirements....
    A century ago, in 1922, the newly formed Campbell Union School District built a grammar school at the intersection of East Campbell Avenue and Winchester Boulevard. For 42 years, it served as the only grammar school in the district. A marker with a photograph of Campbell Union Grammar School commemorates its history at what is now the Heritage Village offices. Today, the district serves 6,500 students at eight elementary schools, two TK-8 schools, two middle schools, a home school program and district-operated preschools in Campbell, Los Gatos, Monte Sereno, San Jose, Santa Clara and Saratoga. The district is seeking approval of a $96 million bond measure that is primarily designed to modernize aging school facilities, as several of the schools are more than 50 years old. District officials have a solid record of making prudent use of taxpayer dollars. Voters should pass Measure T on the Nov. 8 ballot. The measure would cost property owners a projected average $12 per $100,000 of assessed value annually for the next 39 years. Property owners are currently paying off other district voter-approved bonds...
    Click here for a complete list of our election recommendations. Two years ago the Campbell Union High School District asked voters to approve a parcel tax extension that contained no sunset date. We urged a no vote, saying that time limitations provide incentives for school officials to make wise use of tax dollars, knowing that if they fail to do so voters may not be so generous the next time. That’s especially true during a financial crisis, when voters face their own set of budget challenges. This year the district is coming back to voters with Measure O, an $85-per-year parcel tax that — yes — contains a sunset clause limiting the tax to 10 years. Measure O would generate an estimated $5 million annually. It is intended to replace the 2013 Measure A annual parcel tax of $85 per parcel that expires in 2023. Measure O requires two-thirds support to pass. Campbell Union serves about 8,000 students in five high schools: Branham, Del Mar, Leigh, Prospect and Westmont. The revenues from the parcel tax would go toward school...
    San Ramon city officials are struggling to fund services for a city of 84,000 residents that has nearly doubled in population since 2000. In the Nov. 8 election, the candidates best equipped to meet the challenging financial moment are Dinesh Govindarao for mayor, Mark Armstrong for City Council in District 2, and Heidi Kenniston-Lee in District 4. San Ramon has maintained city services during the pandemic without laying off regular workers; only temporary employees who are now back at work were affected by job reductions. But to do that, the city made its annual pension installment payment with $3.2 million of savings that was supposed to be used to pay down the debt. The road ahead looks even bumpier. Federal pandemic aid will run out, and revenues are forecast to not keep up with expenses over the next five years. City Manager Joe Gorton told the City Council that the shortfall would total $44 million in the current and next four fiscal years. Separately, buried in the budget for the current fiscal year, he wrote, “If left unchecked, this trend...
    LIVERMORE – Livermore will hold its first municipal election since the City Council completed its redistricting process earlier this year, with balloting taking place in Districts 1 and 2, located in northern Livermore, on Nov. 8. Residents will also be voting for a new mayor, after current Mayor Bob Woerner announced earlier this year that he wouldn’t be seeking re-election because of medical issues. District 1 Two educators are running to represent District 1: high school teacher Evan Branning and preschool teacher Carol Wahrer. “Working with my students was the main thing that inspired me to run. They’re really struggling when they get out of high school to find jobs that pay them enough to be able to stay in the region and to find housing they can afford,” Branning says. Related Articles Election | Opinion: With America so divided and threatened, who are we, really? Election | Trump’s promised ‘Crime of the Century’ fizzles in the end Election | LA Councilman de Leon says he will not resign Election | Letters: Santa...
    PLEASANTON – Next month will mark the first time that Pleasanton residents will vote for just one City Council member seat, following the city’s transition to district-based elections earlier this year. Pleasanton made the switch under the threat of a lawsuit from attorney Kevin Shenkman, who alleged that the previous at-large voting system was polarizing. The council voted in March to split the city into four representative districts, with balloting to take place in the northwestern and southwestern parts of Pleasanton — the new Districts 1 and 3 — on Nov.8. The city’s mayor will still be elected at-large and incumbent Mayor Karla Brown is running uncontested. District 1 The city’s water problem is on the agenda for all five candidates running for election, including state legislative staffer Dean Wallace and Pleasanton Planning Commissioner Jeff Nibert, who are both running to represent District 1. Officials recently discovered chemicals known as PFAS in Pleasanton’s groundwater supply facilities, forcing the city to shut down one of its three wells in 2019. The council have approved a new project to find a solution to...
    More than a third of the seats on Oakland’s City Council are up for grabs in November, part of a wide-open election season in which voters will recognize only one incumbent on the ballot, amid a sea of political newcomers. The high turnover is due in part to the flood of candidates vying to become Oakland’s mayor – leaving seats in districts four and six open while their incumbents run for the city’s top elected position. The seven candidates vying for City Council are as varied as the issues they’re seeking to tackle — a litany of issues that include the city’s deadly scourge of gun violence and a dire affordable housing crisis. Here’s a look at who’s running in the three races on the Nov. 8 ballot. Nikki Fortunato Bas, left, and Harold Lowe are running for Oakland City Council District 2 in 2022. (Photo by staff and courtesy of Harold Lowe)  DISTRICT 2 In the race to represent District 2 — an area encompassing portions of Lake Merritt, along with the Eastlake and San Antonio districts — Oakland’s sitting...
    Submit your letter to the editor via this form. Read more Letters to the Editor. Housing plans should be controlled locally It’s understandable why 14 of the 15 Bay Area cities have not had their “so-called housing elements” approved by the California Department of Housing and Community Development (“Bay Area cities may not hit state deadline,” Page A1, October 9). This agency, made up of unelected bureaucrats are masters of local control. While loss of local control has been years in the making, Bay Area communities are waking up to absurd housing mandates and the inability to control their own destiny. The latest Bay Area housing element (mandate) is supposed to approve 441,000 new homes – more than double the amount for the current cycle. Where are the economic and fiscal studies to justify these unreasonable increases? What about safe electric, water and sewage demands? Do we know? Local control belongs with local communities and locally elected officials. It should be fixed. Chris Kniel Orinda Vote for Jeff Nibert for Pleasanton council As a 30-plus year Pleasanton resident, Jeff Nibert...
    For nearly a week, activists and elected officials have demanded the ouster of three Los Angeles City Council members, calling it the only acceptable response to secretly recorded audio of them engaged in a conversation with racist and derogatory language. But in and outside City Hall, some have begun discussing another, potentially more dramatic step to address the public’s outrage in the wake of the scandal: scrapping the maps of the council’s 15 districts and drawing new ones. The audio that sparked the uproar captured Councilmembers Nury Martinez, Gil Cedillo and Kevin de León talking about redistricting, the once-a-decade process of drawing new boundary lines for each council district. During that conversation, they discussed the need to preserve and expand Latino political power while ensuring they and their allies would have districts that help them win reelection. They also sounded exasperated by the continued political might of the city’s Black voters, who make up less than 10% of the populace. The council finalized its maps in December, two months after the meeting was held. “I don’t think...
    SAN JOSE — Though the dramatic contest for the mayor’s seat has taken up most of the city’s attention, three San Jose council member seats are up for grabs and the victors are set to be equally as consequential as candidates spar over how to govern the nation’s 10th largest city in its post-pandemic economic recovery amid omnipresent homelessness and housing affordability dilemmas. In play is District 3 — which covers the downtown area, SJSU and Japantown neighborhoods and is often viewed as a launching pad for those seeking positions like mayor or county supervisor. Candidates there want to address the empty storefronts and blight that residents cite as a major problem. Candidates for the heavily Latino East San Jose Districts 5 and 7, encompassing Alum Rock and neighborhoods south of downtown like Tully Santee and Little Saigon, say they seek to address similar issues facing District 3. At the same time, the candidates noted they have the extra burden of overseeing areas that were hit hardest by the pandemic. District 3 Facing off for arguably the highest-profile seat on...
    Unlike state lawmakers and Los Angeles County supervisors, members of the L.A. City Council have the power to draw the lines for the districts they represent. It’s a power to decide not just which voters they will represent, but also which businesses, institutions, parks and other public assets. Now, the political careers of former Council President Nury Martinez and council members Kevin de León and Gil Cedillo are in jeopardy because a leaked recording revealed a racist and mean-spirited discussion they’d held on how to wield that power. But the recording also shed light on a little-known aspect of redistricting: asset gerrymandering, or manipulating district maps so that a significant business or public facilities are placed into a particular council district. How does the process work, and why do members tussle over “assets” in addition to voters? Here’s a quick overview of redistricting in Los Angeles, along with some insights from experts and elected officials about the political incentives at play. How does L.A. draw district lines? The process is dictated by Section 204 of the city charter,...
    FREMONT – A total of eight candidates are competing in the Fremont City Council election next month. Balloting will be held for seats in three of the city’s six districts on Nov. 8, and voters will be choosing between a mixed bag of two incumbents, veteran board members and a number of newcomers. District 2 There is a three-way race in District 2 for Rick Jones’ seat, which he must vacate because of the city’s two-term limit. Keith Parker has lived in Fremont for nearly 30 years and works in technology. The father of three is the only candidate running for Jones’ seat with no government board experience, but he has been involved in city politics for three years. “I’m doing this because I want to have a great city for my kids to come back to, one that they can afford to come back to. I want to see Fremont continue to thrive.” If elected, Parker says he would like to see a comprehensive plan created to address homelessness. Public safety is also of concern. Crime rates in Fremont have increased by...
    RICHMOND — The upcoming Nov. 8 election will finally assign a representative for each of Richmond’s six districts, providing a voice to address homelessness, public safety and economic prosperity in each corner of the city. Richmond has been phasing in district elections. At present, three council members represent Districts 1, 5 and 6, while the other three, who are all terming out, were elected citywide. Council members known as the Richmond Progressive Alliance (RPA) have held onto a political majority for the past eight years, prioritizing policies that have pushed, in part, green development, affordable housing, non-police resources and corporate taxation. But this bloc has created a strong division among residents, many of who feel city officials have failed to adequately address the needs of businesses and community members struggling to live, stay safe and thrive in Richmond. As the homeless population grows, police ranks dwindle and businesses are threatening to leave town, each of the 11 candidates running for office explained how they plan to either work to bring more collaboration to the table despite political differences, or embody a...
    LA City Council member Nury Martinez has officially stepped down from her position after days worth of calls for her to resign.  Martinez, who faced harsh criticism from her colleagues and higher political figures over comments she made on a leaked audio recording from 2021, had previously resigned from her Council president position.  The politician's full resignation comes after the Los Angeles Times on Tuesday morning shared a new portion of the recording, in which the woman can be heard ranting about Jewish colleagues and the LA District Attorney.  'It is with a broken heart that I resign my seat for Council District 6, the community I grew up in and my home,' Martinez said in a statement late Wednesday afternoon.  In the same audio recording that Martinez refers to a colleague's black son as a 'little monkey,' she says of Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon: 'F*** that guy, he's with the blacks.'  Martinez refers to Jewish colleagues  as 'judios', Spanish for Jews. She was referring to former state assemblyman Richard Katz and his team.  Her colleague, Ron Herrera, kicked off the conversation...