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Green Party Voter Guide (Part 1) for the June 8th 2010 Election
by Green
Saturday May 8th, 2010 4:10 PM
Below is a text version of the Green Voter Guide, which is also available in pdf. As you can see, a great deal of work goes into these publications for each election, created by a team of Greens, and locally, the voter guide does make a difference in the races. But perhaps the best part about the Green Voter Guide is that it is educational -- passing on the particular views and analyses and summaries by over a dozen local activists focusing on particular candidates, state propositions and local measures. This section is only Part 1.
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GREEN VOTER GUIDE
THE ALAMEDA COUNTY GREEN PARTY
Election Day: June 8, 2010

Statewide Races

GOVERNOR

The apparent major party candidates for Governor of California in November are Jerry Brown, Democrat, and Meg Whitman, Republican. Greens therefore have an opportunity to choose our best candidate in the primary and then run a hard and true campaign for the November election. It is hard for us to believe that either Whitman or Brown will generate a large committed following, and the chances are they will actually hurt voter turnout in the most progressive parts of the state. In sum, this should be an excellent year to publicize the Green Party message, and build our party in many places across the state.

Greens have two candidates in the June Primary to choose from for Governor of the State of California. They are Deacon Alexander and Laura Wells. Deacon Alexander is a former Black Panther and retired Union carpenter from Los Angeles, and he promises to “begin with the homeless, the disenfranchised, the down and out. These people have been excluded, denied and rejected for far too long. I pledge to bring them into my campaign for Governor, and to register them as Greens.” He has a long record of social and political activism. Laura Wells brings a wealth of experience in financial and management areas, and articulates a concise and essential message of structural changes to California’s political and financial crisis (changing the 2/3 vote, revising Proposition 13 provisions for business/corporate taxation, etc). She has also demonstrated strong leadership as a previous candidate for State Controller, and locally in the Bay Area for many years as a person of integrity, vision, and consistent progressive values.

In our write-up below, we are only providing you with a basic overview about Deacon Alexander and Laura Wells, as it is our practice to not make endorsements in contested Green Party primary contests (except for very unusual situations). Therefore we strongly urge you to also review each of the candidates’ websites ( http://www.DeaconForGov. com and http://www.LauraWells.org) to learn more about them.

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GOVERNOR: DEACON ALEXANDER

On January 5th 2010, former Black Panther and long-time social advocate, Deacon Alexander, announced his candidacy for Governor of California in Los Angeles’ ‘Skid Row.’ Surrounded by hundreds of Skid Row homeless living in an area known as Central City East, Deacon, a sixty-four year old retired union carpenter and L.A. Green Party member, pledged to improve the lives of those in need throughout California:

“My campaign for Governor is very simple. As first act of my campaign, I begin with the homeless, the disenfranchised, the down and out. These people have been excluded, denied and rejected for far too long. I pledge to bring them into my campaign for Governor, and to register them as Greens.”

Many of Deacon’s ideas to improve society came from his father, a bricklayer’s assistant and political activist. In 1970, Deacon, then a member of the Southern California Communist Party, helped organize a successful movement to acquit all charges against Angela Davis, and joined Latino immigrants to fight for Los Angeles’ South Central Farm. In 2000, he co-founded the South Central Green Party with Donna Warren.

Today, Deacon’s focus is still community. He wants California to implement community-based jobs in bringing people back to work from the state’s dire 12 percent unemployment. He also sees community as an key part of rebuilding the basic infrastructure of California. Deacon describes an example from his experience:

“Several years ago, I helped organize immigrant farmers to fight for their rights at South Central Farm, and was joined in this struggle by many Greens, Hollywood celebrities, Progressives, and people of conscience, from all over California. . . If South Central Farm was saved instead of bulldozed, we would have had a local farmer’s market for thousands of L.A. residents. Better, more affordable food, less need for transportation, more open space, more local business. . . Let’s put our communities first: find community-based jobs, grow community gardens, empower our youth, rebuild our inner cities.”

Deacon also points out that California is 50 out of 50 in per-student funding and contrasts the role of education in keeping young people out of prison.

“I believe we can spend California taxpayer money better by educating, rather than incarcerating our youth. Send our young men and women to community college instead of jail; that’s something as Governor I can do. Let’s put them in school before they end up in jail.”

In his speech at the Green Party State Assembly in San Jose this year he described the interconnectedness of the issues, how, for example, homelessness—a key issue Deacon focuses on—is also connected to Proposition 13 -- a key issue that Laura Wells focuses on. Deacon stresses that his positions on the issues, and those of Laura Wells, are nearly identical:

“Both my gubernatorial primary opponent, Green Party candidate Laura Wells, and I fully support the Ten Key Values and platform of California Green Party. Our differences lie not in substance, but in our priorities. A party and candidate which put the rights of the least of us first, is one which can proudly represent all Californians.”

And in the next six months, Deacon says, he plans to work to increase the number of registered Greens by 5 percent. “With more Greens, we can vote for new opportunities, new ways to do things, for new change.” See Deacon’s website: http://www.deaconforgov.com.

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GOVERNOR: LAURA WELLS

Many progressives in the San Francisco Bay Area, and the East Bay in particular, are familiar with Laura Wells and know of her innovative and inspirational solutions for California’s problems. Progressives hear Laura speaking at local Green Party events, see her handing out fliers at peace marches, discussing local issues while tabling at the Oakland farmer’s market, and speaking at city council meetings.

In general Laura Wells works constantly to change the system, to learn new methods of democracy being implemented around the world, and to educate people about ways such changes can happen. In fact, in 2010, one of Laura’s key efforts paid off: her work to change the City of Oakland’s voting system to Instant Runoff Voting (IRV)—in which candidates are rank-ordered instead of only choosing one—was finally implemented after years of work. Voters have also shown, overwhelmingly, that they support Laura as a candidate, her ideas and her solutions: in her 2002 run for State Controller she received over 400,000 votes. And now, her 2010 run for Governor of California may be her strongest campaign yet.

Laura’s campaign is focusing on the key problems of California’s economy, ones she knows the other parties will not touch—Prop 13, fair taxes, and creating a State Bank. In March of 2010 her campaign printed 10,000 copies of a leaflet listing the “13 Ways Prop 13 has been Unlucky for California” on one side, and “FAQs: State Bank for California,” on the other, and has been distributing them at rallies and meetings all over the state. Laura exposes the role of corporations in Prop 13, facts the average California voter is unaware of:

“Prop. 13, in 1978, was promoted to California voters as a way to reduce taxes and to stop fixed-income seniors and others from losing their homes due to escalating property taxes. Since then, the bulk of the ‘tax relief’ goes places the voters never intended—giant corporations. Corporate properties are rarely re-assessed since corporations don’t die and seldom sell.”

Most Californians are also not aware that Prop 13 requires a 2/3 vote in the California State Legislature to pass a budget or increase taxes, but maintains a simple majority vote to lower taxes:

“So the legislature lowered tax rates in boom years,” Laura explains, “benefiting primarily the richest of the rich individuals and corporations—and now the rest of us are stuck since 67 percent is needed to get fair taxes back.” Put simply, she says, “It’s BAD to require a 2/3 super-majority to increase taxes, when it only takes a simple majority to lower taxes.”

As Governor, Laura Wells would change that -- eliminate the 2/3 super-majority and replace it with a simple majority to raise taxes. In her platform statement on education, Laura explains the very real and direct effects of the 2/3 super majority policy:

“This dismal legacy of bi-partisan failure has resulted from three decades of Prop 13 thinking that put a higher priority on low taxes and high real estate values, than on the educational opportunities and employability of our children and citizens. Last year, Governor Schwarzenegger and the Democratic Assembly cut over $9 billion from K-12 on top of an earlier $11.6 billion reduction, leading to layoffs of thousands of teachers.”

Another solution Laura advocates is a State Bank for California. A State Bank could provide loans to students and community businesses at a fair interest rate, and the interest would stay in California to invest in California, instead of Wall Street. Laura describes the basis for the State Bank idea in an FAQ on her campaign Website: “North Dakota has a state bank for more than 90 years, and now is the only state with a budget surplus, not a deficit. With that example, a wave of change is beginning in which public officials and candidates are proposing state banks around the country. . . California is the 8th largest economy in the world. Most countries, with economies of all sizes, have central banks, and control their own money supply and credit. Why not California?”

As Governor, Laura would also make more broad changes to California’s taxes:

“Let’s have fair taxes for a change. When you look at all the taxes and fees that a person pays to local and state government, the lowest 20 percent of income earners pay 12 cents of every single dollar [while] the top 1 percent pay only 7 cents of their dollars.” Laura’s positions on the issues are in line with Green values: she supports Single Payer Universal Health Care for California, the use of clean, sustainable, local energy, including publicly-owned utilities, Community Choice Aggregation (CCA), and localized (distributed) electricity generation, instead of nuclear power or carbon sequestration, and opposes government bailouts of large corporations and banks. And Laura remains optimistic about the future:

“There are too many brilliant and talented people among us,” she says, “too many energetic, entrepreneurial leaders, too many caring and creative citizens among us to settle passively for this sorry state of affairs.”

See her Website: http://www.LauraWells.org

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PROPOSITION 13: NO
Seismic Retrofitting, Property Tax

Currently, if a property owner would like to seismically upgrade their building, no new taxes are applied after the upgrade—except for unreinforced masonry buildings. In the case of unreinforced masonry buildings, a tax kicks in after 15 years. Prop 13, the Seismic Retrofitting Amendment, proposes a constitutional amendment which would apply the same permanent tax breaks on seismic retrofits for unreinforced masonry structures as for all other types.

There are questions about this proposition that would take extensive research to answer. Since un-reinforced masonry buildings are extremely dangerous in an earthquake, is a tax break which expires after 15 years really significantly less of an incentive to retrofit than if the tax break didn’t have a time limit? Could Prop 13 mainly be a tax break for corporate property owners who did their retrofits more than 15 years ago?

We don’t know. But we have concerns given that the only listed sponsor of the proposition is the far-right conservative Republican State Senator Roy Ashburn (Ashburn voted against every gay rights measure in the State Senate since taking office only to later admit to being gay after being arrested for a DUI). The lack of even an attempt at “bi-partisan” support makes us suspicious about the true nature of this proposition, even if the actual text of Prop. 13 may not immediately raise any red flags.

Furthermore, the absence of any website listing in the official state voters pamphlet is yet another strike against this ballot measure. Prop. 13’s language is complex and difficult to understand by most citizens.

When we can’t understand a proposition’s effects and side effects, we should usually vote No.

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PROPOSITION 14: NO, NO, NO!
Elections: Restricts November choices & alters primary election

Proposition 14 is an extremely deceptive measure. Known as the “Top Two Primary,” Prop. 14 is sometimes referred to as an “open primary” even though it would actually close off voter choice for the November general election to a mere two candidates. Its advocates claim that it would provide voters with more choices when in reality it would almost certainly kill off all other political parties except for the Democrats and the Republicans. We strongly encourage you to not only vote “No” on Prop. 14, but to also contribute time and/or money to help defeat this measure. For the latest details about how to support the “No on Prop. 14” campaign, please see: http://www.cagreens.org/erwg/Prop14 and http://www.StopTopTwo.org

Proposition 14 would completely change the nature of the primary election. Political parties, including the Greens, would no longer be able to choose their own official nominees for the ballot. Instead, for each partisan office, all of the candidates from all of the parties, plus independents as well, would all run together on the same primary election ballot, and then the top two vote-getters, regardless of their party affiliation, would go on to the November general election.

For the Green Party, as for other small parties, Proposition 14 would be devastating. Our candidates would most likely never again appear on a November general election ballot. We would be “lost in the crowd” in the “megacandidate, free-for-all” primary election. Our capacity to present alternative choices would simply be crushed. And after several elections where none of our candidates are able to appear on a November general election ballot, a likely outcome is that fewer voters would register as Greens, and we would therefore lose our ballot status, and our existence as a recognized political party will have been extinguished.

An example of what would be in store for California is Washington state’s 2008 elections. Washington implemented a “Top Two” primary just two years ago, and no smaller party or independent candidate for any statewide or congressional race appeared on the November general election ballot—for the first time ever since Washington became a state in 1889.

The extinguishing of voter choices is enough of a reason to defeat Proposition 14, but there are several other negative consequences of this measure for voters to consider. First, by eliminating party primaries, Prop. 14 puts increased pressure on non-incumbents and/or nonfrontrunners within the same party to drop out, lest they “split the vote” of their party’s voters. This of course puts more power into the hands of party machines and party insiders, and less into the hands of primary election voters —exactly the opposite of what Prop. 14 proponents want you to believe!

Election costs will likely increase, first because the candidates will need to advertise themselves to more voters for the primary election. In addition, especially when there is no incumbent in the race, for the many districts where a single party is dominant, currently only the primary contest has expensive, heavily contested elections. But with “Top Two,” the likelihood for expensive November elections increases, giving well-funded candidates even more of an advantage over what they already enjoy.

Proposition 14 also permits the possibility of November general elections whereby the only two candidates on the ballot could both be from the same party, which would completely eliminate any party choices whatsoever for the voters. Prop. 14 also forbids write-in votes to be counted in the November general election, thereby removing a long-standing check-and-balance on the November candidates. And finally, under Prop. 14, candidates would no longer be required to disclose their party affiliation on the ballot, opening yet another possible way for candidates to deceive the voters.

If we want to make improvements to our current election system, there are much better alternatives than the illusory choice presented by Prop. 14. For example, we could use Ranked Choice Voting for both party primary elections and for the November general election. That way, voters could rank as many candidates as they wanted, and not worry that voting for what they most believe in could lead to what they most oppose. That would be a system that truly puts more power into the hands of the voter, instead of the hands of the candidates and the deal-making political parties. As many of you know, Ranked Choice Voting will be implemented for non-partisan city offices in Berkeley, Oakland, and San Leandro this November, following the lead of San Francisco, which has now successfully used it for a number of years.

Or, we could use proportional representation, as is used in the majority of European and other countries around the world, which would greatly improve political representation in our legislative bodies compared to the antiquated winner-take-all method that this country has now been using for over 220 years, since its founding.

Finally, we also disagree with the philosophic underpinnings of Proposition 14. We disagree with the notion that political parties are inherently bad; that there is something wrong with like-minded people organizing themselves into political parties having candidates of their choice competing in a general election. In fact, we believe it's their political right to do so.

The supporters of this proposition are trying to use the dysfunction of state government as an argument for approving their measure. They say that the problems are due to the current electoral process, which produces few moderates and is responsible for excessive 'partisanship' in Sacramento. The Green Party disagrees with both of these arguments. We believe that the current system, if anything, produces too many moderates. If diversity of opinion in state government is the goal, proportional representation would be a far superior remedy. As to “partisanship,” we believe that the blame falls squarely on the actions and policies of the current Democratic and Republican parties, and not with the general concept of political parties, per se.

Those who are truly interested in strengthening democracy would be well-advised to study how proportional representation works in Europe and many other places across the planet, rather than spend time considering the deceptive fantasy presented by the authors of Proposition 14.

If you can help support the “No on Prop. 14” campaign, please be sure to see:

http://www.cagreens.org/erwg/Prop14 and http://www.StopTopTwo.org

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PROPOSITION 15: YES, WITH RESERVATIONS
Public Funding of Elections Trial (“Fair Elections”)

Prop 15 is the most recent proposal to arrive on the ballot which would open ever so slightly the door to public funding of elections. The good news is that it would provide public money for candidates; the bad news is that the money will be bestowed in a less than equitable way—notably less for “lesser” parties.

That said, the Green Party of Alameda County nonetheless endorses, with reservation, this proposition. Public financing of elections is a bedrock issue for Greens: we literally live and breathe to free our elections from the scourge of corporate money and we believe that this baby step in the right direction is worth supporting. We agree with the League of Women Voters that the “amount of money in politics is outrageous and corrupts the system” and that “Prop. 15 will get politicians out of the fundraising game so they will focus on California’s priorities. Elections should be won, not bought by special interests.”

Again, the downside is the second class status of the non- corporate candidates. Continuing to treat minor parties as second-class participants creates a burden that, in turn, relegates us to second-class status. While it is a vicious circle, the practical reality is that we may well manage to qualify for funds that are far in excess of any we are ever able to raise, given our own self-imposed non-corporate donation policy. Also problematic, the twotiered structure will cause a burden if we ever implement proportional representation. PR creates a level electoral playing field, but second-class public financing would then be a significant hurdle to a minor party candidate. Still, in the big picture we must grapple with the fact that this is a “pilot” project and that its success could surely herald mounting momentum toward our goal of public financing of all elections.

The current ballot measure applies only to candidates for Secretary of State. Its claimed purposes are to eliminate the corrupting influences of large campaign donations both for challengers and incumbents. The Fair Elections Fund (FEF) would be financed from $700 fees paid every two years by lobbyists, lobbying firms, and their employers (although $25 would go to the General Fund), by qualifying donations obtained by Primary Elections and Independent candidates, and by taxpayer donations.

For more: http://voterguide.sos.ca.gov/propositions/15/

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PROPOSITION 16: NO, NO, NO!
PG&E’s Roadblock to Local Electricity Alternatives

Proposition 16 is the misnamed Taxpayers Right to Vote Act. “The proposed Taxpayers Right to Vote Act illustrates what Californias initiative process has come to. It's a plaything of powerful interests using deception to line their pockets,” says an L.A. Times article (12/28/09). TURN (The Utility Reform Network) calls Prop 16 ”the worst special kind of special interest ballot initiative, paid for by a single corporation to benefit a single corporation.” The Sierra Club (Bay Chapter) calls it “PG&Es attempt to stifle competition and prevent local governments from adopting clean energy solutions.” Prop 16 “requires two-thirds voter approval before local governments provide electricity service to new customers or establish a community choice electricity program using public funds or bonds.”

Greens favor a local, decentralized economy wherever feasible. Locally generated solar and wind power would reduce the need for large power plants located far away. PG&E would still be the transmitter of electricity over the grid. PG&E is a regulated monopoly, a compromise between private for-profit businesses and a government service. Greens criticize the way for-profit businesses influence the political process. In this case, the California legislature passed a bill in 2002 permitting communities to opt out of reliance on PG&E to generate electricity. Communities can buy electricity from any supplier, or can generate electricity locally. They can join together (“community choice aggregation,” or CCA) to do so. San Francisco, Marin County, Oakland, Berkeley, and others are in the process of exploring or implementing CCA.

The ballot argument in favor is signed by the president of the California Taxpayers Association and the President of the California Chamber of Commerce. However, despite its title and its ballot argument signers, this is not about taxes. PG&E, the largest for-profit utility in California, paid for the signatures to qualify this initiative for the ballot. They are trying to protect their monopoly over who provides your electricity.

The ballot argument against Prop 16 is signed by Jeannine English (California State President of AARP), Andy Katz (Chair, Sierra Club California) and Richard Holober (Executive Director, Consumer Federation of California). The rebuttal to the argument in favor is signed by Michael Boccadoro (Executive Director of the Agricultural Energy Consumers Association), Lenny Goldberg (Executive Director of the California Tax Reform Association), and Janis R. Hirohama (President of the League of Women Voters of California).

Opponents of Prop 16 are expecting an expensive ad campaign by PG&E, which has already started. Early in April, “Yes on 16/Californians to Protect Our Right to Vote” sent out a mailer picturing solar panels and a field of sunflowers under a blue sky with soft white clouds, as if that were an accurate picture of how PG&E generates electricity.

PG&E wants to retain their near-monopoly. Despite a State mandate for 20 percent renewable power by 2010, PG&E is nowhere near that amount. (For details, see the California Public Utilities Commission website.) For this and other reasons, PG&E is not confident that Californians will voluntarily continue to believe their promises. So Prop 16 is an arrogant, greedy attempt to buy, at the ballot box, an end to the threat to some of PG&E’s profits, in the form of the movement for locally controlled power. For people concerned with the need to move toward sustainable energy generation, and/or seeking local community control of energy policy, opposing Prop 16 is an easy decision.

No, No, No.

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PROPOSITION 17: NO
Mercury Insurance’s Ploy to Raise Auto Insurance Rates

Official Title: Allows auto insurance companies to base their prices in part on a driver’s history of insurance coverage.

This proposition is 99 percent funded by Mercury Insurance because it will increase their profit margin. It takes away hard fought consumer protections won through Proposition 103 and court decisions. The proposition will allow auto insurance companies in California to surcharge drivers, who cancel their insurance and then restart it again. Examples would be military personal during a tour of duty, or anyone not using their car for an extended amount of time, who temporarily cancel their policies. Also, a late payment could cause the same surcharge.

The discounts and rewards for drivers mentioned in ads by proponents of Prop. 17 are allowed now; nothing bars the auto insurance companies giving these discounts. These are false arguments in favor of Prop. 17.

Both the SF Bay Guardian and Chronicle recommend a No vote on Prop 17. The Chronicle published several articles detailing a long history of illegal practices by Mercury Insurance, and describes Prop 17 as a formula “likely to produce, at best, a marginal benefit to Californians shopping for a new company—and a daunting additional cost for those who are desperate to get coverage.”

One Bay Guardian article on Prop 17 and Mercury Insurance, titled, “The malevolence of Mercury Insurance,” includes the views of longtime activist Harvey Rosenfield, of Consumer Watchdog, speaking out about Prop. 17:

‘The Mercury initiative is even more pernicious than what it was doing before, and here’s why. Under Mercury’s initiative, if you’ve never had prior insurance, you can be surcharged for the first time. It overturns the Prop. 103 provision and legalizes these surcharges. Then they’ve thrown in some other tricks and traps, as you’d expect an insurance company to do on a ballot measure.”

What are those tricks and traps? How have they been able to get away with this for so long? Why did Attorney General Jerry Brown, a candidate for governor, give the measure such a favorable and misleading ballot title and summary? Why has the Democratic Party been so unwilling to challenge them?”

A comprehensive look at Prop 17 and Mercury Insurance can be found articles on the web published by the Bay Guardian on 2/10/10, 3/16/10 and 3/18/10.

We recommend a NO vote on Proposition 17.

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GREEN VOTER CARD

Federal Offices
U.S. Senator -- Duane Roberts
U.S. Representative, District 9 -- David Heller
U.S. Representative, District 10 -- Jeremy Cloward

State Offices
Governor -- Which Green should oppose Brown & Whitman? Please see our write-up.
Lieutenant Governor -- Jimi Castillo
Secretary of State -- Ann Menasche
Controller -- Ross Frankel
Treasurer -- Charles “Kit” Crittenden
Attorney General -- Peter Allen
Insurance Commissioner -- William Balderston
State Superinetendent of Public Instruction -- Larry Aceves
Judicial Office Superior Court Judge, Seat 9 -- Dual endorsement, vote for either Louis Goodman or Victoria Kolakowski

County Offices
Superintendent of Schools -- No Endorsement, please see write-up
Board of Education, District 1 -- Joaquin Rivera
Supervisor, District 2 -- No Endorsement, please see write-up
Supervisor, District 3 -- No Endorsement, please see write-up
Assessor -- Don’t vote for Ron Thomsen
Auditor-Controller-Clerk-Recorder -- No Endorsement, please see write-up
District Attorney -- Don’t vote for Nancy O’Malley
Sheriff-Coroner -- Don’t vote for Greg Ahern
Treasurer-Tax Collector -- No Endorsement, please see write-up

State Propositions
13 -- Seismic Retrofitting, Property Tax -- No
14 -- Elections: Restricts November choices and Alters Primary Election -- No, No, No!
15 -- Public Funding of Elections Trial (“Fair Elections”) -- Yes, with reservations
16 -- PG&E’s Roadblock to Public Electricity Alternatives -- No, No, No!
17 -- Mercury Insurance’s Ploy to Raise Auto Insurance Rates -- No
Local Measures
C -- Berkeley Municipal Swimming Pools -- Yes, with standard bond reservations
E -- City of Alameda Schools Parcel Tax -- Yes (June 22 mail-in election)

County Committee Green Party County Council --
See statements inside

Please see Part 2 more of the Voter Guide

Comments  (Hide Comments)

Green Voter Guide -- Part 2

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LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR: JIMI CASTILLO

Jimi Castillo is the uncontested Green candidate for Lt. Governor.

The Lieutenant Governor serves as acting Governor in the event of the Governor’s absence from the state. The Lieutenant Governor is the President of the Senate, but in this position he has only a casting vote. The purpose of a casting vote is to break a tie. The Lieutenant Governor also serves in an ex-officio capacity as a voting member of the University of California’s Board of Regents and as a voting member of the California State University’s Board of Trustees. He serves and rotates with the State Controller as Chair of the State Lands Commission and also as Chair of the California Commission for Economic Development.

Jimi Castillo (Tongva/Acjachemen), a respected Native American spiritual leader, has served as a mentor for young men at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation at the Heman G. Stark Youth Correctional Facility. Born and raised in Whittier, California, Castillo is a Pipe Keeper and Sun Dancer for the People. He is also a proud member of the statewide Bear Clan Society and a Marine Corps veteran (1960 to 1965). Jimi participated on the Board of Directors and also contributed as a counselor for the Southeast Area Counseling Center in Santa Fe Springs, California. He actively helps plan and staff UCLA’s annual Graduation Pow-wow and Youth Leadership Conference and donates much time to work with the UCLA Native American Student Association.

Jimi Castillo’s stated priorities are to establish a more affordable and accessible educational system; to reform the criminal justice system; to assure California residents have access to clean, safe drinking water while protecting our existing surface and groundwater from pollution. He wants to preserve the ocean realizing its enormous diversity of life and function. Further among his goals are to create a greater awareness of the rights of all indigenous peoples worldwide by promoting full self government on all Indian reservations. He advocates for children’s rights. He wants to set a standard of excellence in public land management to ensure that we maintain a healthy environment in the future.

For more: http://www.jimicastillo.org

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SECRETARY OF STATE: ANN MENASCHE

Ann Menasche has devoted most of her life to working for economic and social justice, civil rights, environmental sanity, and peace. She has 30 years of litigation experience in civil rights and public interest law, having worked since 2002 in the field of disability rights. She is a longtime activist in the peace, disability rights, and gay rights movements, and currently serves on the County Council of the Green Party of San Diego.

She is running for Secretary of State because she has witnessed how the corporate domination of elections has increasingly undermined the hopes and dreams of ordinary Californians. She notes that each year the legislators from both major parties enact ever more devastating budget cuts that continue to unravel the social safety net upon which many in this state depend.

Yet each year, the influence of big corporate donors and their highly paid lobbyists place out of reach any real solution to the budget crunch. She believes that WE THE PEOPLE can take the state back by fixing the way we run elections.She supports publicly funded elections, free equal media access for all candidates, free candidate statements in Voter Handbooks, instant runoff voting (IRV), proportionate representation and other democratic reforms that allow the voices of non-corporate and third party candidates to be heard. She intends to insist on corporate accountability and crack down on corporate crime.

Anne’s vision for California is a place where everyone enjoys a high quality life, with a clean environment, and equal rights under the law; where each person has access to universal quality healthcare, affordable housing, a living wage job, educational opportunity from preschool through college or university, and a strong social safety net that respectfully supports them when they are too old to work, have lost their jobs, or have disabilities and need assistance. She believes that fixing our broken electoral system won’t win all these things but considers it a good place to start on the path to a better California.

Her focus is on PEOPLE POWER NOT CORPORATE POWER.

For more: http://www.voteann.org

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CONTROLLER: ROSS FRANKEL

Ross Frankel was born in Los Angeles where he has lived all his life. He and his partner of 11 years, Michael, are married and currently live in Lawndale CA. He received a bachelor’s degree from Loyola Marymount University and has worked in the field of general accounting for 25 years and as a public school elementary teacher for two years. He has served as Treasurer and Assistant to the Treasurer of a condominium owners’ association for a combined total of 13 years and is currently a Member of the Board of Directors there.

He has been a volunteer with almost a dozen political campaigns—Democrat, Republican, and non-partisan— and several environmental and socially progressive campaigns, such as the Big Green Initiative, and No on Prop 8. He has recently finished a term as Treasurer to the Green Party of Los Angeles County Council—stepping down to devote time to running for State Controller.

Frankel believes that the government in Sacramento has become corrupted by political machines that fail to serve the citizenry. Their failure to actually fix the problems in society and the economy have motivated him to run for office. He aims to work to restore decent wages to workers, to protect the environment, return business to healthy production and improve the quality of life in California communities. He is self described as a pragmatic, fiscally prudent, and a political aisle crossing Green.

To bring about improvements in these areas he proposes reform in two critical areas: the State tax structure and the Legislature.

In the arena of taxes he seeks to improve and update Prop 13 era Property tax laws. Also, he would improve and favor California’s businesses, labor, communities and environment. In the area of the legislature he supports proportional representation—inclusive to third parties and independents; he supports redefining term limits to 20 consecutive years and terms to 4 years; he seeks a 51-55 percent majority vote on budgets and revenue/tax reforms.

For more: http://www.ElectRoss.com

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TREASURER: CHARLES “KIT” CRITTENDEN

Kit Crittenden grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina, son of the Head of the Department of Archives and History for the state of North Carolina. He studied philosophy at the University of North Carolina where he received a BA and MA. After a brief stint at the Naval Flight School in Pensacola, Florida he entered a PhD program at Cornell University where he completed his doctorate in 1964. He went on to teach at the University of Florida and Florida State University and California State (Northridge) from which he retired as Emeritus Professor in 2002. He joined the Green Party in the early 90’s and served on the Los Angeles County Council, most recently in the mid 2000’s.

Kit points out that the office of California State Treasurer is responsible for investment and finance of the state’s funds. The Treasurer is the State’s chief asset manager, financier, and banker and is chair or a member of a number of State commissions and boards, among them the Public Employees’ Retirement System and the State Teachers’ Retirement System. It is through the Treasurer’s office that important public works projects such as housing, economic development, and student loans are funded, as well as parks and environmental projects. He believes that public money for these projects should be decided in light of the Green Party’s Ten Key Values.

Sustainability is one of these values: “We support public policies and individual behaviors that will conserve our resources and protect our environment over the long term in order to preserve the quality of life of future generations,” as one elaboration puts it. This directly applies to some of the areas over which the Treasurer has control. Ecological Wisdom is another value: “We support sustainable urban growth and agricultural practices that will conserve our planet’s resources and protect our environment,” also a guideline the Treasurer’s office can follow. The Ten Key Values will be a crucial guide in carrying out the duties of the office so as to bring about a just, environmentally sensitive, peaceful society.

Kit notes that the disparity in wealth and income in the state is huge and growing. Notably, large corporations do not pay their fair share of taxes, and in the case of firms such as Chevron who take oil from California’s soil, do not pay oil extraction taxes as are required in other states, for example Texas and Alaska. California is therefore robbed of an important source of income. Concentrations of wealth, in corporations and individuals, are an impediment to democracy, as they concentrate power which can be used to exercise disproportionate influence over government. Fair taxes must be imposed so that the state can provide the necessary social services; disparities in wealth should be reduced so that all Californians can participate equally in government. The increased revenues resulting from implementing tax reform would enable the office of Treasurer to allocate funds in accord with basic justice and the Ten Key Values while continuing to offer the opportunities for businesses that want to utilize California’s many commercial advantages.

As a professor in a California State University for 32 years, Kit has come to see the importance of education for personal development as well as for its contribution to the commercial processes of the state. Citizens in a democracy must learn to think critically and not accept whatever opinions are put before them. The state’s once splendid educational system must be restored. This will require adequate funding – which can be found in new sources of taxation (adopting an oil extraction tax, and increasing the marginal tax to its former rate of 11 percent as opposed to its present 9 percent level, to mention two obvious possibilities). It has been extremely short-sighted to allow California’s great educational structure to become seriously weakened. Kit also believes California’s great tradition of artistic and intellectual creativity and innovation in ways of living and progressive politics must be continued.

For more: http://www.crittendenforstatetreasurer.com

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ATTORNEY GENERAL: PETER ALLEN

Peter Allen has extensive experience in energy and environmental law, and has been a prosecutor, an administrative law judge, and a consumer advocate. He is currently an attorney with the California Public Utilities Commission.

Peter has a BA degree in American Studies from UC Santa Cruz, and received his JD (cum laude) from the University of San Diego School of Law in 1989. After law school, he worked for a law firm on major securities and environmental litigation, including cases relating to the savings and loan crisis and the Exxon Valdez oil spill. In 1990, Peter joined the San Diego City Attorney’s office, first as a prosecutor, and later representing the City and its residents on utility issues before the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC).

In 1992, Peter became a staff attorney with TURN, a consumer group in San Francisco. He represented the interests of residential and small business utility ratepayers before the CPUC. In 1998 (after a hiatus from practicing law), Peter joined the CPUC, first as a staff attorney and later as an administrative law judge, working on a range of energy, telecommunications, and environmental issues, including the California energy crisis.

From 2007 to late 2008, Peter worked for the historic law firm of Thelen LLP, focusing on energy regulatory issues for a range of clients, including renewable and conventional energy companies. Upon the firm’s demise, Peter returned to the CPUC as an attorney and as interim director of the Commission’s Division of Policy and Planning. Peter’s work currently focuses on issues relating to electric transmission, electric vehicles, renewable energy, legislative matters, and the California Environmental Quality Act.

Peter’s positions on the issues include:

1) Elimination of the death penalty. The cost to California of its labyrinthine efforts to kill some of citizens (who are already locked up in prison) is far too high. Neither our wallets nor our souls can afford to keep paying for this wasteful and pointless process.

2) Legalization of drugs, particularly marijuana. Prohibition of alcohol was a dismal failure, and led to the rise of organized crime in the United States. The war on drugs has repeated the same mistakes, and is costing California huge amounts of money while providing virtually no benefits.

3) Protecting the environment and the public health by encouraging the development of renewable energy sources, maintaining moratoriums on new nuclear power plants and offshore oil drilling, reducing emissions of greenhouse gasses and other pollutants, and supporting usable and affordable public transit.

4) Protecting against government encroachment into private matters, including one’s choice of (consenting adult) marriage partners, abortion (consistent with Roe v. Wade’s approach), and one’s home, data, and body.

5) Ensuring that California’s tax structure and corporate laws are consistent with California’s values and policy goals.

6) Supporting affordable and high quality public education.

7) Encouraging healthy and sustainable agricultural practices.

8) Last but not least, protecting Californians against both street and white-collar crime.

For more information, please see: http://www.peterallenforag.com and http://www.peterallenforag.blogspot.com.

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INSURANCE COMMISSIONER: WILLIAM BALDERSTON

William Balderston on your ballot, universally known as “Bill,” is a long-time political activist in the East Bay. He taught high school English and social studies over two decades in East Oakland and served in the political leadership of the teachers’ union (the Oakland Education Association) for over a dozen years, as well as representing Oakland teachers at the state (CTA) and national (NEA) levels. Further, he continues to be a key organizer for the OEA and for the CTA & NEA Peace and Justice Caucuses (he is active as well in the CTA Green Caucus). His labor work also involves writing for and supporting Labor Notes.

Bill currently serves on the steering committees of Labor 4 Peace & Justice, the East Bay Sanctuary Covenant, and Vote Health and recently participated in national conferences of US Labor Against the War and the Labor Campaign for Single-Payer. He has been involved in international solidarity work around Haiti and Iran, especialy the labor movement there.

Finally, his involvement with teachers and youth led Bill to prioritize organizing around the March 4th Day of Action and he’s an ongoing participant in the fight against privatization and the neo-liberal program applied to the public sector, especially public education.

As a socialist and committed believer in independent working class politics, Bill has been an active supporter of the Green Party and campaigned for many state Green candidates. In line with not only his commitment to a single-payer health care system, but also his anger and frustration at the corporate exploitation of basic needs for working people, Bill has decided to run for the Green Party nomination for California Insurance Commissioner.

Bill’s program begins with a total rejection of the current commissioner’s practice in hiring former insurance corporation employees/executives as ‘investigators’ of the doings of their former employers.

As regards health care, there is a limitation legally in powers of this office, especially in regards to people in health maintenance organizations. Nonetheless, there are key demands and proposed legislation that must be highlighted in this campaign, including:

-altering existing legislation from a 70 percent requirement to 95 percent as to the amount of premiums devoted to patient care;

-a graduating taxation of insurance companies’ profits made from the time premiums are paid until when the monies are used to pay health care providers; and

-expanding requirements to OPEN THE FINANCIAL BOOKS of ALL INSURANCE COMPANIES doing business in California.

More important is to use this campaign to demand that insurance companies should have no role in the health care system in California and nationally. Not only must we continue to expose the exploitative profits ($11.7 billion for the top five insurance firms this year), but the whole narrowing of options for patients. This requires not only advocating for a single-payer health insurance approach (specifically supporting SB 810 and preparing for an initiative campaign), but in educating around the long-term need for a national health system.

As regards other forms of insurance, we should also advocate for a single-payer auto insurance and flexibility for how to access this insurance. For more immediate issues, we can call for:

-legislation limiting an insurance premium increase to COLA and exemptions for the unemployed;

-assessing insurance companies to pay for expanded driver education programs, linked to safety issues around teenage drivers;

-advocating the need for driver licences for undocumented residents, which would help expand immigrant rights and make the roads safer for all; and

-reorganizing DMV procedures around threats to revoke licences for lack of insurance.

We can also address home insurance, proposing:

-regulating home insurance payments linked to mortgage status and subsidizing the home insurance for owners facing foreclosure; and

-state-run earthquake insurance

Two final points are worth mentioning. First, Mr. Poizner, the current commissioner, has proposed divestment from insurance companies doing business in Iran. We should advocate removing funds from ANY insurance company doing business with ANY nation (including Israel) in that region that has a nuclear weapons arsenal. Second, the Democrats’ nominee will likely be Dave Jones, a left-liberal politician with a good labor record. The critical focus must not be on him as an individual, but on his party, which has continually served corporate interests.

Website: http://www.healthcareforall2010.net

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STATE SUPERINTENDENT OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION: LARRY ACEVES (NON-PARTISAN)

Thankfully, Jack O’Connell is termed out. Unfortunately, twelve candidates have qualified for the ballot in this winner take all race. (There is no Green candidate in this race.) Some of the twelve are known entities, some are unknowns without school or management experience. The list of candidates: Larry Aceves, Retired School District Superintendent; Karen Blake, Geologist; Alexia L. Deligianni, School Boardmember Orange Unified; Lydia Guitierrez, Public School Teacher; Diane A. Lenning, Retired Educator; Leonard James Martin, Retired; Grant McMicken, Math Teacher; Daniel Nusbaum, Public School Teacher; Gloria Romero, Educator/State Senator; Faarax Dahir Sheikh-Noor, Unknown; Tom Torlakson, State Legislator; and Henry Williams Jr., Adjunct Professor. Whew.

Gloria Romero and Tom Torlakson have experience in Sacramento, but have served in the legislature that has systematically dismantled public education in California over the past 10 years. Gloria Romero, in particular, has strongly supported charter schools, The Race to the Top, and standardized testing.

Larry Aceves is a retired fifteen year local Superintendent, having also been a teacher and school principal in a long career. He retired in 2006. He has support from many in the education field, including many progressives. Alexia L. Deligianni serves on the Orange Unified School Board; looking at her website we cannot support her (anyone who says they will never vote nor advocate for raising taxes doesn’t belong as our State Superintendent of Instruction, not now, not never!). We have several teachers, including some public school teachers, in this mix, and they deserved some consideration. However, only Diane A. Lenning has distinguished herself in any real manner, and her website does not give a deep understanding of her positions and proposals.

We are recommending Larry Aceves, based on his 30 plus years in public education, his commitment to public education, his endorsements, and the possibility that he might win this thing!

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U.S. SENATE: DUANE ROBERTS

Duane Roberts—a long time community organizer from Anaheim and Green Party County Councilor in Orange County from 1998-2000—has focused on the health care debate in his campaign, prompted by Senator Barbara Boxer’s support of Obama’s healthcare plan in Congress, which Duane describes as “yet another taxpayer bailout of Wall Street billionaires.” In contrast to the Democrats’ plan, Duane sees health care as, “a fundamental human right deserving of all people and not a commodity to be sold at a profit to the highest bidder.” He advocates, instead, starting a single-payer, “Medicare-for-all” system and driving the private health insurance giants out of business.

“By getting rid of Wellpoint, CIGNA, Aetna, and other private health insurers,” Duane says, “taxpayers and consumers will save hundreds of billions of dollars each year that were wasted on profiteering and inefficiency— money that could be better spent guaranteeing everybody in this country has access to the high quality health care they need.”

With a degree in Criminology, Law and Society from UC Irvine, Duane has been active on the accountability of public officials, particularly around police brutality, immigrant rights and affordable housing. He has also held several local community positions in his area, including Chairman of Social Concerns Committee at the Unitarian Church of Orange County, and the first Green Party candidate for the Board of Trustees of the Anaheim Union High School District. That campaign was endorsed by Local 681 of the Hotel & Restaurant Employees Union and the Orange County Central Labor Council, AFLCIO— the first time in the history of Orange County that a non-Democrat or Republican candidate has been endorsed by a major labor union.

“The so-called ‘health care reform’ bill, rubberstamped by Congress over the weekend,” Roberts stated in a March press release, “is in reality nothing but a rotten scheme to bailout Wall Street billionaires who made huge investments in private health insurance companies that now face declining revenues as a result of a rapidly shrinking customer base.”

Duane exposes the fact that since the year 2000, private health insurers have lost more than nine million customers. He explains that the role of Democratic Party politicians has been to “come to their rescue with this scam to prop them up by forcing millions of new people to purchase their defective, over-priced policies and subsidize their obscene profit margins with public funds.”

Roberts also supports the legalization of marijuana; tuition-free public university education; withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq and Afghanistan; same-sex marriage; immigrant rights; and solar power, among other positions. He opposes the privatization of Social Security.

We strongly support a vote for Duane Roberts for US Senate.

See his website: http://www.voteforduane.org

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U.S. REPRESENTATIVE, DISTRICT 9: DAVID (DAVE) HELLER

Dave Heller has been a member of the Green Party since he moved to California in 1992. He has a degree in physics from Bard College and a degree in architecture from The San Francisco Institute of Architecture, where he studied environmental design and permaculture. He has worked on numerous environmental building projects in various parts of California. He worked on the Nader and Benjamin campaigns in 2000. He was the campaign coordinator for Berkeley’s 2004 Measure I, which finally brought Instant Runoff Voting to that city. He has been demanding a substantive investigation into the events of September 11th for almost nine years. For the past five years, he has been working on reversing the Democratization (big D) of KPFA and Pacifica towards the democratization (small d) of them. The airwaves are a public commodity and should not be controlled by any political party.

Dave Heller believes we are on the precipice of environmental calamity. He is an advocate of facilitating safe bikeways, funding public transportation, public education and universal health care. Education and health care should be a citizen’s right, not commodities for corporate greed.

There is an urgent need to reverse the carbon loading of our atmosphere. If all the ice on Greenland melts, sea level will rise 20 feet. If all the ice on Antarctica melts, it rises another 200 feet. These are the dangers we are facing. Huge ice sheets the sizes of states are breaking off of Antarctica.

Deregulation is a giant failure. It has not only lead to an unprecedented environmental disaster but a global economic disaster that has fallen on the backs of working people around the world. We can no longer allow corporate interests to run roughshod on our planet. They need to be held accountable. We need a global minimum wage and a strong pact of global workers rights. Corporations should not be allowed to leverage labor in one country against the labor of another.

When elected, he will not vote for any money for any war. The Pentagon budget is out of control and those monies need to be spent on decaying infrastructure, and the public good. We need to start building sustainable energy sources, wind, solar, tidal, geo-thermal and move as quickly as possible away from a carbon based energy supply, that does not include building more nuclear power plants.

The Democrats have not just sat on the sidelines while the Republicans have been busy privatizing public assets and socializing the costs, they have been complicit with the Neocons in these efforts. We need to eliminate the Federal Reserve. We need to hold the banking industry and the real estate industry accountable for their criminal negligence at best, and outright fraud in all likelihood.

The leaders of the Bush administration should be investigated and held accountable for the two illegal, immoral wars which were started under fraudulent circumstances. The leaders of the banking industry have been making millions of dollars in bonuses. Those monies should be fines for their crimes that go directly to paying down our national debt.

Preemptive war is illegal. This was a huge, unconstitutional power grab by the executive branch that Congress should reverse. It is Congress’ duty to declare war, not the President’s.

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SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE, SEAT 9
DUAL ENDORSEMENT: LOUIS GOODMAN AND VICTORIA KOLAKOWSKI

We are co-endorsing Victoria (Vicky) Kolakowski and Louis Goodman, as Kolakowski is the most progressive, and Goodman the more experienced. John Creighton has much relevant experience in the courtroom, but has spent most of his long career as a prosecutor, which is likely to limit his perspective.

Kolakowski’s experience is primarily in civil matters, administrative law proceedings and other transactional and policy-oriented work, but she has no criminal law experience. Her complete lack of familiarity with criminal practice is cause for concern. Criminal matters and civil matters are handled differently, with different and more rigorous procedural standards applied to criminal matters, as someone’s freedom hangs in the balance in a criminal proceeding, while civil matters are usually monetary or commercial disputes. While she is no doubt a very good administrative law judge and has significant civil litigation experience in federal and state courts, Kolakowskui needs time to develop her skills and qualifications to become an excellent superior court judge. Though her opponents lack experience in civil matters, this is less of a concern for the reasons stated above.

Kolakowski’s endorsements may not all be in at the time of this writing, but it should be noted that names of some prominent LGBT lawyers were not listed, indicating the possibility that the LGBT bar may not be solidly behind her. In addition, her references to the Judicial Canons in her responses to our questionnaire should have either been more forthcoming or more straightforward in admitting limited knowledge. Kolakowski is progressive, however, and as a transgendered person, her election would be a milestone in transgender rights.

Goodman is very experienced in the courtroom, has experience on the prosecution and defense sides, and has also been court appointed as a Judge Pro Tem. These are significant advantages for someone running for judge. He would undoubtedly adjudicate matters fairly. He acknowledges, for instance, that substance abuse is best addressed as a healthcare and not criminal matter, which is encouraging, and as he appears to have a healthy respect for individual rights, he wouldn’t be perceived as someone with a bias in favor of law enforcement.

However, Goodman may not think in terms of a broader context as Kolakowski appears to. While drug and alcohol abuse may indeed contribute to crime, there are social, economic and political institutions that contribute to people’s developing drug and alcohol dependency. These same institutions set the parameters that define what “crime” is, who is “criminal” and how society should deal with crime. In this broader context, Goodman’s proposed solution to crime (encouraging sober living) is neither realistic nor likely to be effective, and basically gives the criminal justice system a pass. That said, Goodman has an impressive list of judicial endorsements from judges with a reputation for being liberal/progressive, (most of them center/center-left.) and also merits our endorsement.

Creighton has been a career prosecutor for a quarter of a century, which is not to say he is incapable of overseeing his courtroom in a fair and impartial manner, only that he looks at issues through the lens of his individual experience and his individual experience does not include criminal defense work. That’s not necessarily a criticism of Creighton, just an acknowledgment. Creighton seems to be law enforcement’s favored candidate. His endorsers (with some exceptions) appear to be from the center to center-right.

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FEDERAL OFFICES, SUPERIOR COURT

U.S. REPRESENTATIVE, DISTRICT 10: JEREMY CLOWARD

Jeremy Cloward is running unopposed in the Green Party Primary to become our Congressional candidate in District 10. (Most of this district is in Contra Costa County but there’s a piece around Livermore that’s in Alameda County.) Jeremy stands for single-payer universal health care, free education from kindergarten through graduate school, free daycare for all children, reducing the US military budget by 6/7ths, nationalizing all US banks that received bailout money, nationalizing the “Big 3” US automobile makers so their facilities can be converted to making more fuel-efficient and electric cars, paying reparations to all African-Americans, a general Federal fund for the research and development of alternative energy sources, a living wage of $20/hour and a $250,000 limit on executive pay. And that’s just the highlights from the “Why I Am Running” page of Jeremy’s refreshing website.

Jeremy grew up in Pleasant Hill and it’s a pleasure to see this “local boy” still here and raising his voice for the issues that are most neglected by the two corporate parties. Jeremy has been a truck driver and a teacher, and currently is an adjunct professor of political science at Diablo Valley College. He ran in the special election in 2009 (to replace Ellen Tauscher) and is back for another try. Jeremy’s campaign is thoroughly Green; his website has a page with “Our Ten Key Values.”

Please visit http://www.jeremycloward.com for more, much more, information, and to get involved in Jeremy’s campaign.

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GREEN VOTER CARD

Federal Offices
U.S. Senator -- Duane Roberts
U.S. Representative, District 9 -- David Heller
U.S. Representative, District 10 -- Jeremy Cloward

State Offices
Governor -- Which Green should oppose Brown & Whitman? Please see our write-up.
Lieutenant Governor -- Jimi Castillo
Secretary of State -- Ann Menasche
Controller -- Ross Frankel
Treasurer -- Charles “Kit” Crittenden
Attorney General -- Peter Allen
Insurance Commissioner -- William Balderston
State Superinetendent of Public Instruction -- Larry Aceves
Judicial Office Superior Court Judge, Seat 9 -- Dual endorsement, vote for either Louis Goodman or Victoria Kolakowski

County Offices
Superintendent of Schools -- No Endorsement, please see write-up
Board of Education, District 1 -- Joaquin Rivera
Supervisor, District 2 -- No Endorsement, please see write-up
Supervisor, District 3 -- No Endorsement, please see write-up
Assessor -- Don’t vote for Ron Thomsen
Auditor-Controller-Clerk-Recorder -- No Endorsement, please see write-up
District Attorney -- Don’t vote for Nancy O’Malley
Sheriff-Coroner -- Don’t vote for Greg Ahern
Treasurer-Tax Collector -- No Endorsement, please see write-up

State Propositions
13 -- Seismic Retrofitting, Property Tax -- No
14 -- Elections: Restricts November choices and Alters Primary Election -- No, No, No!
15 -- Public Funding of Elections Trial (“Fair Elections”) -- Yes, with reservations
16 -- PG&E’s Roadblock to Public Electricity Alternatives -- No, No, No!
17 -- Mercury Insurance’s Ploy to Raise Auto Insurance Rates -- No
Local Measures
C -- Berkeley Municipal Swimming Pools -- Yes, with standard bond reservations
E -- City of Alameda Schools Parcel Tax -- Yes (June 22 mail-in election)

County Committee Green Party County Council --
See statements inside

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Part 3 of the Green Voter Guide

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MEASURE E — YES (JUNE 22 MAIL-IN ELECTION)
City of Alameda Schools Parcel Tax

If you live in the City of Alameda, you should be receiving no later than early June a separate mail-in ballot for Measure E, which then must arrive back in the County Registrar of Voters office on or before June 22 to be counted. Therefore, if you haven’t yet received your special Measure E ballot by June 5, you should contact the County Registrar’s office at 272-6933 in order to obtain a new June 22 ballot.

Measure E is a split roll tax (that implements a different rate on residential from commercial property), and is supposed to raise $14 million per year. This $659 (for residential property) tax replaces the two existing school parcel taxes (measures A and H), and will continue for eight years. There are exemptions for seniors and for disabled recipients of SSI. This measure will require a 2/3 yes vote to pass. It is NOT on the June 8th Primary ballot, and will be voted on entirely by mail, with ballots mailed out in late May and due back by June 22.

Although the residential parcel tax is $659 per parcel regardless of size, the nonresidential (that is, commercial) rate would be $0.13 per square foot of lot or $9500 per parcel, whichever is less.

Parcel taxes have become a necessary source of maintaining the public schools these days. The previous parcel tax passed by only 35 votes. Expecting people to vote for $659 is a bit of a gamble. If it loses, there will probably be another more modest proposal down the line.

One reason it could lose is that many owners of commercial property think the tax is too high for their business to afford. Because the commercial rate is based on lot size (not building size) it can weigh heavily on a small business with a large lot. A lawsuit is still pending from the last parcel tax that passed, throwing a cloud over this one.

The basic problem is the inequitable tax system for which both corporate-funded parties are to blame. A big part of this is because the CA redevelopment law siphons off tax increments away from public services such as SCHOOLS. Alameda’s redevelopment debt shows this major underlying inequity.

We have some reluctance to recommend a flat residential parcel tax because lower-income owners of modest small homes will pay the same $659 amount as higher income owners of large expensive homes.

However, at this point, in the absence of a better way to raise revenue, voting Yes is the “lesser evil” because of the needs of the public schools, the teachers and the students.

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COUNTY OFFICES SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS: NO ENDORSEMENT

Sheila Jordan, the incumbent, is running unopposed in this race (this according to Smart Voter, the League of Women Voters’ election website). Though some have issue with her management style, she has tightened up the County Office of Education, hiring competent administrators and staff. While understanding budget problems, we think it was a mistake to close the County’s one alternative school, which leaves many local districts and students with difficult placement options. Sheila Jordan will certainly be re-elected, and thus we see no need to formally endorse her, but likewise see no reason to oppose her candidacy.

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BOARD OF EDUCATION, DISTRICT 1: JOAQUIN RIVERA

Joaquin Rivera and Lois Corrin are running for this non-incumbent seat (former Boardmember Jackie Fox Ruby is not running for re-election). We don’t have much information about Lois Corrin of Piedmont; the only websearch reference we found was as a contact person for Black History month in the Piedmont schools. On the Green Party questionnaire she lists herself as a “community mediator,” and does cite extensive volunteer and non-profit efforts. In contrast, Joaquin Rivera has a 12-year tenure on the Berkeley School Board to point to as experience. His answers on the questionnaire were thorough and thoughtful, touching on issues of inadequate state and federal funding, the 2/3 vote for a budget in Sacramento, and the importance of student program and placement opportunities funded or directed by the County Office of Education. He has been Vice-president of the California Federation of Teachers and President of his local American Federation of Teachers. Though not popular with some Berkeley progressives, Joaquin Rivera was a strong and effective school boardmember in Berkeley, and would bring his local district experience to the County level. He has been endorsed by Kriss Worthington, Max Anderson, and John Selawsky, which should still some of the progressive critics.

We recommend Joaquin Rivera in this race.

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SUPERVISOR, DISTRICT 2 NO ENDORSEMENT

There are four candidates running for County Supervisor in District 2.

Liz Figueroa, Nadia Lockyer, and Kevin Dowling all returned our questionnaire. Mark Green did not, despite our multiple emails and phone calls. The answers to our questionnaire submitted by the three did not differ significantly, and lacking more in-depth knowledge of some of the candidates, we cannot make an endorsement in this race.

Liz Figueroa served as State Senator and State Assembly member until termed out. She is currently an Unemployment Caseworker and Educator.

Ms. Figueroa is known for having authored the bill that created the consumer protection “Do Not Call List” for California, later mirrored somewhat in Federal Legislation. Her record on the environment from the California League of Conservation Voters was usually near the top, and a couple of times 100 percent. Ms. Figueroa also authored a bill that allowed at least a two day hospital stay for mothers with newborns, and a bill giving the right to patients to sue their HMO. She also received high marks on Animal Protection Legislation.

On our questionnaire she stated her opposition to spraying of pesticides related to the Light Brown Apple Moth (LBAM), support of the Restorative Justice Plan, (though she wants to further study the specific Alameda plan before committing to it), support of Instant Runoff Voting (IRV) and Bus Rapid Transit. Her website is www. lizfigueroaforsupervisor.com.

Nadia Lockyer, wife of State Treasurer Bill Lockyer, is currently Executive Director of Alameda Family Justice Center, an appointment made by District Attorney candidate Nancy O’Malley, who was instrumental in creating this center which assists survivors of child abuse, domestic abuse, and elder abuse. Ms. Lockyer was also past president of a school board.

She has not held prior elective office, thus we are not able to provide a voting record for her. She responded to our questionnaire very comprehensively, and appears to favor most Green Party positions, including opposition to spraying of pesticides related to the LBAM, support of the Restorative Justice Plan, IRV and Rapid Bus Transit. Her website is http://www.nadiaforsupervisor.com/.

Kevin Dowling is currently on the Hayward City Council, and has formerly served on the staff of elected officials Steele and Lit-Bitker. In answering our questionnaire he expressed concerns about ariel spraying and would question new spraying by the state, supports the Restorative Justice Plan and would expand the Youth Court, supports IRV which he says should be implemented immediately, and supports Bus Rapid Transit. He has advocated for plans to extend it past San Leandro to Mission Blvd. in Hayward. His website indicates that he has opposed housing development that would harm our hills, open space and shoreline, supported green building, smart growth and sustainability programs, and opposed the building of the Eastshore Energy power plant.

His website is www. dowlingforsupervisor.com.

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SUPERVISOR, DISTRICT 3: NO ENDORSEMENT

Wilma Chan is the obvious front-runner. She occupied this seat from 1994-2000 (before being elected
to the state legislature). She is endorsed by many Democratic politicians, the Alameda County Central Labor Council, and the Service Employees International Union (all local affiliates, that is, the employees who would be most affected by decisions made by the Board of Supervisors - BOS).

Ms Chan’s answers to our questionnaire showed many areas in which we agree—for example, support for transit, opposition to massive spraying of pesticides, support for restorative justice. She believes that her experience (she will not need a learning curve) best suits her to help make the difficult budget decisions “without shredding the safety net.”

There is another way to look at this election. The BOS has been dominated for years by Democrats such as Ms Chan who do a reasonable job of steering the ship of state at the County level. But we are gradually approaching an iceberg. Recent local budgets have been cut, cut, cut. If a candidate is available who combines experience with a proven ability to make decisions that break out of the box we should give such a candidate a try.

Bev Johnson believes she is ready for the job. She has 12 years experience in local government, of which the last eight have been as Mayor of the City of Alameda. Her priorities are good—health care, economic development, job creation, and reducing our carbon footprint Countywide. Ms Johnson’s list of endorsements is shorter than Ms Chan’s but it also includes local Democrats Loni Hancock and Sandre Swanson. However, it also includes Don Perata.

What may make Ms. Johnson stand out is her recent opposition to the developer’s plan for Alameda Point, which helped sink the developer’s measure in the special election in February 2010. She describes herself as a Democrat who votes her conscience (and represents her constituents) even if that deviates from the partisan position. However, that was a situation in which community activists had gathered so much opposition to so many aspects of the developer’s plan that Ms Johnson may have just been bowing to the inevitable defeat of the plan.

Harold Lowe, another Democrat, is running as a concerned outsider. Mr Lowe correctly points out that political insiders have been elected to this seat for years and have left the County with a declining budget. Mr Lowe’s experience is in a number of businesses, and business, service, and professional organizations, including membership in 100 Black Men of America. Mr Lowe gave serious and thoughtful answers to the questions we asked.

The fourth candidate is Lou Filipovich, a Republican. We do not wish to use these pages to make a candidacy appear to be laughable, but if we did, we could quote some of the repetitive phrases Mr. Filipovich inserted as “answers” to our questionnaire. One example will suffice. To the question “What do you believe are the main priorities to be addressed by the County Board of Supervisors?” Mr. Filipovich replied “The Cost - Who Pays - For How Long,” and to the question “Have you worked actively to support Bus Rapid Transit? Please describe your efforts” he also replied “The Cost - Who Pays - For How Long.” Please do not vote for Mr Filipovich.

Chan, Johnson, and Lowe have various strengths and weaknesses, but not to a sufficient degree for us to give any of them our formal endorsement or opposition. For further info, please see these websites; Wilma Chan at http://www.votewilmachan.com, and Bev Johnson at http://www.bevforsupervisor. org. We did not locate a campaign website for Harold Lowe but he can be emailed at Lowe4county= at = aol.com.

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ASSESSOR: DON’T VOTE FOR THOMSEN

The Assessor locates all taxable property in the county, identifies ownership, and appraises all property subject to property taxation. This is a powerful position that is prone to corruption by powerful business interests seeking to save millions of dollars by getting low assessments.

The unopposed incumbent, Ron Thomsen, has served as Assessor since 2001. Although his campaign website touts an outside audit which concluded that “the Assessor’s office is performing extraordinarily well by all measures of output,” that audit was completed in 2002 so doesn't cover the majority of time that Thomsen has held office. The Assessor’s office also received the outstanding rating of 99.9 percent in the 2006 State Board of Equalization's Assessment Practices Survey of the departments assessments. We were, however, not able to determine if either audit actually tested for any possible favoritism in assessments.

We are troubled by Thomsen’s close ties to the Howard Jarvis Taxpayer’s Association. Not only is he a member of this association, but on the home page of his campaign website he refers readers to the Howard Jarvis Taxpayer’s Association’s website for more information about the property assessment process. Go to http://www.hjta.org if you’d like to check it out for an up to date calendar of Tea Party events and much more.

The Assessor’s office was very prompt in getting back to as with answers to questions about audit dates but Mr. Thomsen declined to return our candidate questionnaire responding that “as the current incumbent with no opposition he was not seeking endorsements or donations.” We wish someone else were running to question his performance. Although he is running unopposed, we recommend that you not vote for Ron Thomsen.

For more information go to: http://www.assessorthomsen. allregistrations.com.

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AUDITOR-CONTROLLER-CLERK- RECORDER: NO ENDORSEMENT

The Auditor-Controller develops and maintains the County's accounting, payroll, audit, tax analysis, budgets and grants, and cost plan systems and procedures, collects court-related fines and restitutions, Social Services Agency over-payments, etc. This office also records all recordable documents and maps, collects and distributes fees and taxes from recording documents and maintains vital statistics registers, including birth, death and marriage records.

The current incumbent, Patrick O’Connell, has served as Auditor-Controller for 24 years, since 1986. He hasn't made much effort to attract attention that we have noticed and again declined to return our questionnaire. We therefore are not endorsing him even though he is running unopposed again this election cycle. As with any unopposed incumbent we wish the position was contested to give some indication of his job performance.

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DISTRICT ATTORNEY: DON’T VOTE FOR O’MALLEY

Nancy O’Malley is running unopposed for District Attorney for Alameda County. At the time of Tom Orloff’s resignation from the position she was appointed by the Board of Supervisors to replace him. Keith Carson and Nate Miley abstained in voting for her appointment, as they did not approve of the quick interim appointment of someone planning to run for the position, and wanted more time and public input. Prior to her appointment, in 2009, Ms. O’Malley served as the Chief Assistant District Attorney for Alameda County. She has worked in the attorney’s office for the past twenty-five years. In 2005 Ms. O’Malley established the HEAT Unit, organized to combat Human Exploitation and Trafficking. This year she has added a HEAT Watch component to involve businesses and the community in reporting sexual exploitation of minors, and to provide services for exploited minors.

Ms. O’Malley also led in creating the Alameda County Family Justice Center which provides comprehensive services for victims of family violence, elder abuse, sexual assault, and sexual exploitation. Ms. O’Malley does not take a principled stand against the death penalty, and has supported its application in some of her cases. Opposition to the death penalty is included in the Green Party platform. In addition, Ms. O’Malley received both emails and phone calls requesting her submission of our questionnaire, and did not submit it.

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SHERIFF-CORONER: DON’T VOTE FOR AHERN

Incumbent Gregory Ahern is running unopposed for another four year term as Sheriff. He joined the department in 1980 and after raising through the ranks with frequent promotions, he was elected Sheriff in November 2006. On his website he states that he is committed to building on the excellent leadership of the former Sheriff, Charles Plummer, a commitment we don't find reassuring, as the Sheriff's office has a history of police abuse, lack of professionalism, and difficulty working within its defined jurisdiction and abilities, as well as an inability to create positive community relationships.

We find Ahern’s emphasis on preparing for terrorism to be very troubling. As have other police departments in the U.S., the Alameda County Sheriff's department has taken advantage of various programs in Israel designed for U.S. law enforcement agents to learn its police and military strategies for combating terrorism and to view its latest technology. Ahern himself trained at the Nesh-Ar Training Institute in Jerusalem in 2004. He states that our future success in homeland security “will be measured on the understanding of our enemies and interdicting their efforts to destroy us. The preparation and focus on homeland security issues is essential and must be comprehensive.”

In 2007 Sheriff Ahern developed and instituted a program called “Urban Shield.” This program is a 50-hour continuously sustained field tactical training exercise. We appreciate that this program is designed, in part, to expand regional collaboration and emergency planning, but we are shocked at the extreme military nature of the exercise and the emphasis on counterterrorism.

Despite repeated attempts to contact him, Sheriff Ahern declined to return our questionnaire or otherwise reply to us. Although he is running unopposed we recommend that you do not vote for the re-election of Gregory Ahern. For more information go to: http://www.ahernforsheriff. com.

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TREASURER-TAX COLLECTOR: NO ENDORSEMENT

The incumbent, Donald White, is currently serving his sixth four year term in this office. While the office of the County Treasurer/Tax Collector is an elective office, the position is primarily administrative in function.

The responsibility of this office is billing, revenue collections and as Alameda County’s chief financial officer he is directly responsible for the investment and custody of 3.2 billion dollars of County funds.

Mr. White has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and is a certified public accountant. Prior to this appointment in 1985 he worked in the public accounting for multi-national accountancy firm of Ernst & Young. He is associated with numerous national and local professional and community service organizations.

Despite repeated attempts to contact him by e-mail and phone, Mr. White did not reply back to us or fill out our questionnaire. We would like to see some opposition to a politician becoming so entrenched in a position they fail to see the need to respond to what is essentially a public inquiry.

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GREEN PARTY OF ALAMEDA COUNTY COUNCIL - COUNTY COUNCIL CANDIDATES
Vote for up to nine of the ten candidates

County Councilors are elected to make decisions for the Green Party of Alameda County (GPAC). It makes official endorsements, decides on spending and fundraising, appoints representatives to state and national Green Party conventions, etc. Below are short statements of the candidates for County Council. The Council does not endorse candidates in this race, but provides this space for candidates to inform you of their positions. We encourage you to vote in this important race—the winners will determine the direction of the GPAC for the next two years.

County Council meetings are open to the public, and are generally held the second Sunday of the month. All in attendance have full participation, including decision making. The only exception to this is if a vote is required (we attempt to reach consensus, and usually do) only elected Councilors have a vote. Our current meeting location is the Niebyl-Proctor Library, 6501 Telegraph, Oakland (one block north of Alcatraz), 6:45 pm.

Individuals interested in following and/or participating in Council proceedings may join the Council e-mail list, read archives of discussion, and view documents via the web site at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/County- Council/. Council members are elected at large.

This year we have candidates who live in Alameda, Albany, Berkeley, Castro Valley, and Oakland.

JANET ARNOLD
The problems facing the world’s people and environment are still as serious as ever. I’ve been active in the movements for peace and social change since the 1960’s, and in the Green Party especially since 2000. There are many tools in the activists’ toolbox, and electoral action independent of the corporate parties is an important one. Our candidates give people a way to vote for the changes we wish to see in the world. I’ve served on your County Council since 2004. I help to produce and distribute the Voter Guide, assist our Secretary and our Treasurer, and otherwise try to be useful. I’m also active in the Oakland Greens and usually serve as a delegate to the Green Party of California’s meetings, and to the Green Party of the U.S. Vote for any nine of us; we have a full slate of dedicated, active, cooperative candidates.

VICTORIA ASHLEY
I have been on the Alameda Green Party County Council since 2004, serve on the Green Party of California State Coordinating Committee, and have been an active Green in the Bay Area since 2000. I have degrees in architecture and psychology and am currently working as a psychology researcher. Aside from the Green Party, my other primary area of activism is exposing the unanswered questions of September 11th, 2001, as a volunteer research consultant with the website http://www.911research.com and a Committee Member with Scholars for 9/11 Truth & Justice (http://www.STJ911.org). I am also involved with a solar start-up, Sun Synchrony (http://www.sunsynchrony.com), which is developing concentrating photovoltaic panels for the residential rooftop.

MAXINE DANIEL
I’ve served on the County Council for the last 3 years and have been active in GPAC since 2005 even though I'm a long term Green (since 1992). As a lesbian and woman of color I was initially drawn to the Green Party because of the 10 key values. Values which seemed to blend with my advocacy for victims of domestic violence, against police brutality, for reproductive rights and my work for environmental and social justice. I remain committed to these values and I remain committed to growing the Green Party. I believe now is an unprecedented opportunity to grow the ranks of the Green Party and one that we must all engage in if we want to survive as an independent party. Please cast your vote for 9 of our candidates and also reach out to see how you can make a difference. Thank you for the opportunity to serve.

DAVID HELLER
I’ve been a member of the Green Party for 18 years and active in the Party for the past 10, starting with the Nader 2000 campaign. I was the campaign coordinator for the Berkeley IRV Measure I and I am running for the US Congress CA District 9. If this latest corporate give away to the H(W)ealth Insurance industry by congress isn't enough to show how important it is for the Green Party to surge forward, perhaps the increased troops in Afghanistan and the Bailout for Billionaires will. I look forward to joining the County Council. Please vote for me and eight other of your favorite candidates.

GREG JAN
I’ve helped coordinate much of our county Green Party work over the years, including the process for our Voter Guide endorsements, questionnaires, write-ups, and fundraising. I’ve also helped find candidates, for both our County Council, and this year, for the majority of our statewide candidates as well, along with the organizing to help most of our County Council and statewide candidates qualify to have their names on the ballot. For our County Council election, I'd be happy to see any combination of our candidates be elected, however, I especially would like those running for the first time to win election: David Heller, Kimberly Linden, and Donald Macleay. After we finish distributing the Voter Guides and the rest of our June election work (in particular, helping to defeat Proposition 14!), I strongly encourage all of you to volunteer for one or more of our county tasks, whether it be voter registration, phoning, our newsletter, fundraising, our next voter guide, assisting the County Council with coordination work, etc. As an all-volunteer organization we need your assistance, even if it's just once every month or two—whatever you can spare! (Pleae call us at (510) 644-2293). Thank you!

KIMBERLY LINDEN
I was born in San Francisco and have lived in the Bay Area my whole life. For the last 20 years, I have worked as a gardener. Social and local environmental justice issues are at the core of my activism and work. I served on the Albany Parks and Recreation Commission for four years as an advocate for community gardens, parks, trees, the precautionary principle in policy-making, and urban agriculture. I have been a consistent voice for preservation of the remaining Gill Tract as a regional urban farm in Albany (1928: 109 acres; 2010: 14.6 acres), rather than abiding by current redevelopment plans that greenwash the political economy of food, hunger, class, and privilege while eliminating the remaining local tracts of land which have the potential to feed us. The relocalization of small-scale urban agriculture, one farm at a time, will build economy, community, and quality of life for the future while creating structures for the next generation that focus on true sustainability. Stewardship with insight and foresight is essential for the next generation. I bring my commitment to the value of this stewardship as a Green party member and as a potential member of the County Council. The Green party platform continues to speak to my values, in this work, and inspire idealism for building just community together now. Thank you!

DONALD MACLEAY
The public has needed political diversity in our country for a long time. All levels of government suffer from the system of two semi-official parties. Most serious ideas are never discussed the way that single payer was never discussed during the recent adolescent partisan fight that was passed off as a debate on universal health care. The Gerrymandered district lines have pushed most voters into a “safe seat” where little public discussion takes place and less choice is offered at election time. The cost of elections has given us a system of legal corruption called campaign finance and lobbying. The Green Party offers well-considered alternatives to the mainstream, which goes back and forth with bad solutions to problems that they themselves have caused. The Green Party has been consistent on the environment and we Greens correctly pair ecological concerns with social justice, electoral reform, public welfare and civil rights. Our 10 core values have been an excellent guide as we have taken position on issues ranging from global climate change, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and health care reform. Of all the current “third parties,” we have made the most headway in our state and nation and I will take that responsibility of providing a viable alternative to the public very seriously. I have been working with the Oakland Greens for a few years and feel honored to be considered for County Council. I hope to bring to the job my background as long standing environmentalist, a solidarity activist, a trade union member and local community volunteer.

PATTI MARSH
I have been a member of the Green Party since 1992 and have been on the County Council since 2002. I serve as the Council’s secretary, have attended state meetings and national conventions and have been active in numerous Green campaigns. It is especially beneficial to the party when new people become involved on our County Council, so I urge you to vote for the three candidates, all active Greens, who are running for the first time: David Heller, Kimberly Linden and Donald Macleay. I also encourage you to vote for Pamela Spevack who would be returning to the council after a few years absence. For your remaining votes, choose from the strong slate of County Council candidates who will all be working hard in the coming years to help the Green Party grow.

PAMELA SPEVACK
My first 22 years were spent growing up in New Jersey as part of a politically active family who fought for social justice and environmental issues. I learned first hand about how a city and county can be corrupt. In the early 70s in California I became a member of NOW, as an ardent feminist I began marching for justice issues, and lobbying in Sacramento. I progressed, honing my skills and joining lesbian organizations fighting for social justice and as well as becoming a stringer for Dyke TV and working for several non-profits. I transformed into the Green Party in 1992. As I took up gardening and hiking the environment became more significant, along with the peace movement. My work life has included marketing, sales, and office management, and presently social work in low-income senior housing. Thus I have been thrust into the health care issues a daily basis and am busy advocating for seniors, myself included. As a former member of the Alameda County Council, and participating as a proxy over the past several years, as well as attending the National Convention as a delegate in Chicago, I feel now I am ready to devote myself to this position. I would feel honored to bring my skills to energize, and increase our presence in the community and to carry out the Green Party values as a member of this Council.

AKIO TANAKA
I have served on the County Council for the last three years. I have also been on the KPFA Local Station Board for the last four years. I was drawn to the Green Party and KPFA because they do not take any corporate money. I am committed to expanding the reach of non-corporate media, public financing of elections, and changing the economic infrastructure to make earth sustainable.

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MEASURE C: BERKELEY MUNICIPAL SWIMMING POOLS
YES, with standard bond reservations

This measure would raise $22.5 million in bond money to rehabilitate and modernize the existing community pools at King, Willard and West Campus and creates a new indoor Warm Water Pool at West Campus that will replace the existing pool at Berkeley High. Measure C will also provide a new source of operating funding ($900,000 annually) to support and expand the community’s aquatics programs. The special tax created by this measure will repay the bond debt and provide the operating funds, costing the average household about $57/ year. It requires a 2/3 vote to pass.

The three pools proposed for renovation were built in the 1960’s. Their age and deteriorating condition require annual inputs of money from the city for facilities that a large segment of the community feels are outdated and near the end of their useful life. Willard Pool is scheduled to close next year. If the Berkeley community wants to continue to have an aquatics program, there is no question that a large infusion of cash will be needed from somewhere.

Berkeley’s Warm Water Pool serves seniors, the disabled and others needing aquatic therapy for healing. Green Party member Dona Spring, who served on the Berkeley City Council from 1992 until her death in 2008 from pneumonia and rheumatoid arthritis, was a champion for the Warm Water Pool. The Warm Water Pool currently housed at the High School Gym is slated for demolition, its Landmark status and significant community opposition not withstanding. The bond measure previously approved for this project could be used for the High School site only—a new source of money is necessary for the project to go forward.

Measure C is a compromise. The other proposals considered were more costly but would have ensured a better all around program. The City Council chose this package based on a poll, and placed it on the June ballot so that it would not compete with a $180 million School Bond in November. All other considerations aside, Measure C may be our one opportunity to ensure that Berkeley has a Warm Water Pool. Voting against this measure will not save the existing one. And of course we would have preferred direct taxes to bonds.

Vote Yes on Measure C.

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A Note About Bonds, Financing, Taxes and Fiscal Responsibility

The Green Party of Alameda County has always been hesitant to embrace bond financing. Our commitment to being fiscally responsible is as important as our commitment to being environmentally and socially responsible. Because people who buy bonds are almost exclusively the wealthy, as investors are paid back over the 20-30 year life of the bond, wealth is transferred from middle and low income taxpayers to rich bondholders.

As noted in the Voter Guide in 1992, over 35,000 U.S. millionaires supplemented their income with tax exempt state and local bond checks averaging over $2,500 per week (that’s over $130,000 per year tax free). They avoided paying federal and state taxes on over $5 billion which must be made up by the rest of us. The Green Party of Alameda County calls on the public to join us in working to phase out this regressive and unfair subsidy of the rich and their investment bankers (who take millions of dollars off the top when the bonds are issued).

In spite of these realities, we often endorse bonds for socially and environmentally responsible projects WITH RESERVATIONS. Why? Structural inequities in the tax system make responsible and progressive financing impossible. With the passage of taxpayer revolt “Prop 13” and related “Jarvis-Gann” legislation, for tax purposes property valuation can only rise 1 percent per year (unless half or more interest in the land is sold or the owner dies). This prevents retirees, the handicapped and others on fixed incomes from being taxed out of their homes with rising property values. We whole-heartedly agree with this effort to protect those with fixed incomes. Unfortunately, the bulk of the “tax relief” goes places the voters never intended it to go--to huge corporations that own most of the land in the state.

Gas and electric utilities, phone companies, oil companies, agribusiness, silicon valley conglomerates, and railroads never die, only “merge.” Even though more than half of their stock may be traded every year, it never counts as a sale of their land, which will never be taxed at more than cost or 1972 values plus 1 percent per year. Let the corporations pay their fair share for the schools, for the veterans, for the environment, for the parks and open space. In order to do this, we say “Split the Tax Rolls,” keep the tax protection as it is now for natural persons, remove the eternal tax break for the corporations. If the corporations were paying their share California would not have to resort to bond financing to pay for its needs.

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GREEN VOTER CARD

Federal Offices
U.S. Senator -- Duane Roberts
U.S. Representative, District 9 -- David Heller
U.S. Representative, District 10 -- Jeremy Cloward

State Offices
Governor -- Which Green should oppose Brown & Whitman? Please see our write-up.
Lieutenant Governor -- Jimi Castillo
Secretary of State -- Ann Menasche
Controller -- Ross Frankel
Treasurer -- Charles “Kit” Crittenden
Attorney General -- Peter Allen
Insurance Commissioner -- William Balderston
State Superinetendent of Public Instruction -- Larry Aceves
Judicial Office Superior Court Judge, Seat 9 -- Dual endorsement, vote for either Louis Goodman or Victoria Kolakowski

County Offices
Superintendent of Schools -- No Endorsement, please see write-up
Board of Education, District 1 -- Joaquin Rivera
Supervisor, District 2 -- No Endorsement, please see write-up
Supervisor, District 3 -- No Endorsement, please see write-up
Assessor -- Don’t vote for Ron Thomsen
Auditor-Controller-Clerk-Recorder -- No Endorsement, please see write-up
District Attorney -- Don’t vote for Nancy O’Malley
Sheriff-Coroner -- Don’t vote for Greg Ahern
Treasurer-Tax Collector -- No Endorsement, please see write-up

State Propositions
13 -- Seismic Retrofitting, Property Tax -- No
14 -- Elections: Restricts November choices and Alters Primary Election -- No, No, No!
15 -- Public Funding of Elections Trial (“Fair Elections”) -- Yes, with reservations
16 -- PG&E’s Roadblock to Public Electricity Alternatives -- No, No, No!
17 -- Mercury Insurance’s Ploy to Raise Auto Insurance Rates -- No
Local Measures
C -- Berkeley Municipal Swimming Pools -- Yes, with standard bond reservations
E -- City of Alameda Schools Parcel Tax -- Yes (June 22 mail-in election)

County Committee Green Party County Council --
See statements inside

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LOCALS

Alameda County Green Sundays:
2nd Sundays, at 5 pm (followed by a 6:45 pm County Council business meeting); Niebyl-Proctor Library, 6501 Telegraph Ave. at 65th St., Oakland. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/AnnouncementsGPAC. (510) 644-2293

Berkeley Greens:
We will start meeting again during the Summer, to get ready for the November election campaign. To join our email list, and for more information, contact: berkeleygreenparty= at =gmail.com; 510-644-2293; http://www.berkeleygreens.org

Oakland-Emeryville-Piedmont Green Party:
Regular meetings have been temporarily suspended because most of our active members are now busy volunteering for local Green campaigns such as Laura Wells for Governor (see page 1) and Don Macleay for Oakland Mayor (see page 11). For further details, see our YahooGroup, or telephone us: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/oaklandgreens ; Michael or Jan, (510) 436-3722

East and South County Greens:
We are looking for east and south Alameda County Greens interested in helping re-activate an East County and a South County local. If interested, please contact Suzanne Baker (510) 654-8635, suzannebaker= at =earthlink.net

CREDITS
Our “unindicted Voter Guide co-conspirators” include: Jan Arnold, Victoria Ashley, Bill Balderston, Paul Burton (page layout), Maxine Daniel, Dave Heller, Greg Jan, Khurshid Khoja, Kim Linden, Gretchen Lipow, Bob Marsh, Patti Marsh, Michael Rubin, John Selawsky, Pamela Spevack, Lisa Stephens, Joan Strasser, Kate Tanaka, Lindsay Vurek, and the rest of the Newsletter team!

The “GPAC” is one of the few County Councils that produces a Voter Guide for each election. We mail about 8,000 to Green households, and distribute another 10,000 through cafes, BART stations, libraries and other locations. Please read yours and pass it along to other interested voters. Feel free to copy the back “Voter Card” to distribute it as well.

Your Green Party
The things you value do not “just happen” by themselves—make a commitment to support the Green Party. Call us to volunteer your time during this election season and beyond. Clip out the enclosed coupon to send in your donation today. During these difficult times, individuals who share Green values need to stand firm in our principles and join together to work to make our vision of the future a reality.

The Green Party of Alameda County is coordinating tabling, precinct walking, phone banking, and other volunteer activities. The Green Party County Council meets in the evening on the 2nd Sunday each month at 6:45pm. This is the regular “business” meeting of the Alameda County Green Party. We have several committees working on outreach, campaigns, local organizing. Please stay in touch by phone or email if you want to get more involved.
by (A)
Sunday May 9th, 2010 9:11 PM
it would be illegal.
by reader
Monday May 10th, 2010 3:08 PM
On the local level it does change things, and that's why this voter guide is such an amazing thing -- it mostly operates under the radar because so many of the candidates are very low level or obscure positions that average voters know nothing about, and this is one of the few sensible outlets to understand them. These decisions do affect our lives and our communities.

Do you want a guy who trained in Israel and is involved in Homeland Security crap to be your local Sheriff?

Take a look. They aren't rigging races like a sheriff's election and neither is the MSM steering it. Those types of races can actually be swayed by this voter guide. That's why it's done. It all adds up.
by ?!?
Friday May 28th, 2010 12:19 PM
it would be illegal