Union City mayor ditched Dems for Assembly bid

Longtime Democrat Mark Green is hoping to stand out from the crowd seeking the newly drawn 20th Assembly District seat by running as an independent.

Actually, his party affiliation died a while ago without so much as a whimper. Green, Union City’s mayor since 1993, ditched the Dems in November 2010 – five months after placing third in the nonpartisan Alameda County District 2 supervisor race later won by Nadia Lockyer – according to the county Registrar of Voters.

Mark GreenRunning as an independent “gives me an opportunity to help end the plague of polarizing party politics in Sacramento, and for the first time, this is an open primary election for Assembly, which means that voters are able to vote for ANY candidate, regardless of party affiliation,” Green, 58, wrote in a Dec. 30 fundraising letter.

After rattling off some of his achievements and service on various boards and authorities, Green wrote, “I will be a strong voice for non-partisan decision-making, which I believe is the way to bring about positive change to the toxic environment in our State government.”

The district, as recently redrawn by the Citizens Redistricting Commission, will include Hayward, San Lorenzo, Castro Valley, Fairview, Ashland, Union City, the upper half of Fremont, and Sunol. It’s northern half, formerly part of 18th District, is currently represented by Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi, D-Castro Valley, who’ll be term-limited out of office this year. The southern half, now part of the 20th District, is represented by Assemblyman Bob Wieckowski, D-Fremont; Wieckowski’s home falls in the newly drawn 25th District, which includes Fremont’s southern half as well as Milpitas, Santa Clara and part of San Jose.

You’ve gotta wonder whether Green felt the ballot was getting too crowded with all those “Ds” for him to stand out. Democrats Bill Quirk, 66, a Hayward councilman; Dr. Jennifer Ong, 42, a Hayward resident who practices optometry in Alameda; and Sarabjit Cheema, 52, a New Haven Unified School District board member, are all running. So is Republican Adnan Shahab, 33, of Fremont, whom Wieckowski defeated in 2010.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • Elwood

    “supervisor face (sic) later won by Nadia Lockyer”

    That would be the one hubby Bill bought for her with approximately $1.5 million of his campaign funds.

  • Rick K.

    Smart move. There are many “decline to state” voters in Fremont. Those voters will be more receptive to a truly “independent” candidate who is not beholden to the public employee unions that literally own the California Democratic Party and most Democratic candidates.

  • centerfielddj

    What about the Republican Party and the new conservative movement, which is fully owned by the business community (aka Wal-Mart, Big Oil, health care insurers, Big Pharma, and other vulture capitalists), Minutemen (aka racists), and John Birchers (aka Tea Partiers)?

    Unions exist for a chief purpose: allowing more Americans to gain decent compensation and job security, a life of dignity allowing them the opportunity to enjoy a decent family life, and an amount of poltical power which allows the ordinary person to battle the top 1% for political influence.

    The middle class was widest, and the poverty rate was lowest, when we had the benefits of a strong Labor movement and the Great Society programs supplementing the best of the New Deal programs. Since the 1970’s, the middle class has declined as Unionization hs declined. That is not a coincidence.

  • Publius

    RE #3

    You are wrong on many of your points. Your take on the new conservative movement and it’s participants shows that you have gone way beyond drinking the cool-aid, to swimming in it. Obama and Biden do not fly into the bay area to talk to the “ordinary person”. They are here to collect money fromn wealthy coorperate big wigs and “vulture capitalists”. The party of big labor is also the party of big business.

    Unions existed to protect the basic working rights of the worker. The argument that the union created and perpetuated the middle class is a myth. Your argument that the size of the middle class is intrinsically tied to union representation is wrong. The market place is the driving force of the middle class, not unionization. The #1 killer of the middle class is global competition. #2 is a tax system that makes our goods uncompetitive over seas. #3 is Government regulations that discourage production in the US.

    The unions have lived passed their expiration date. They did do good! They did serve a purpose! We are better off for having the movement!It is time to move on! To force unionization now (like the government often does) only makes the unemployment rate higher and shrinks the middle class even more.

  • John W

    Re: #4 The wage gap between China and USA is closing, due partly to downward adjustments here and upward pressure there. Their one-child policy is catching up with them. They are seeing labor unrest. So, we are seeing some lift in manufacturing here and a slowdown in the rush to offshore. As for regulation, have you tried to conduct business in China or India? It ain’t easy. Not saying we don’t have useless, counter-productive regulations in the USA. However, the notion that regulation is a factor in global competition is a bit of a red herring.

  • Elwood

    Just bought a new LG cell phone. $30 with lots of features.

    I play with it while watching my Samsung flat screen TV.

    At least the South Koreans are our friends.

  • Truthclubber

    Re #4:

    You mean “vulture capitalists” like…wait for it…Mitt Romney? He is contributing to Obama’s campaign? That’s news to me — and you should report that to your comrades at Faux Noise, immediately!

  • Elwood

    Sarcasm is lost on the tiny-brained folk.