Commerce Secretary attends Oakland forum

U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker joined Rep. Barbara Lee and other officials Monday for a regional economic development forum at Oakland International Airport, focused on creating more jobs and growing businesses in the East Bay.

Penny Pritzker“The Department of Commerce has tremendous resources in place in this region and around the country that allow us to partner with your businesses and entrepreneurs so they can compete and succeed,” Pritzker said in a news release issued by Lee, D-Oakland, after the event.

“Here in the Bay Area, we are working with companies large and small to sell their goods and services to the 95 percent of global consumers who live outside the U.S., helping to create the conditions for innovators and entrepreneurs to thrive, and supporting minority-and women-owned businesses through our Minority Business Development Agency,” she said, adding her department “is committed to helping your companies grow and thrive so they can create jobs – that is our mission and a core objective for President Obama.”

Lee said small businesses “are fundamental to the East Bay’s economic growth, especially women and minority-owned businesses.

“These businesses create jobs, contribute to our community and create opportunities into the middle class,” she said. “In order to ensure continued economic growth, we need to investment in sharing the available resources with these businesses and businesses owners to help them succeed.”

Other attendees included regional Small Business Administration Administrator Donna Davis; Minority Business Development Agency Director Alejandra Castillo; Overseas Private Investment Corp. Director of Corporate Development Alison Germak; Port of Oakland Aviation Director Deborah Ale Flint; Alameda County Supervisor Keith Carson; and Oakland Mayor Jean Quan.

Earlier Monday, Lee had hosted a roundtable discussion with Pritzker and East Bay business leaders to discuss economic development, supplier diversity and the importance of gender and ethnic diversity in corporate leadership.


Drug charges against Nadia Lockyer dismissed

An Orange County judge dismissed drug charges Friday against former Alameda County Supervisor Nadia Lockyer, wife of state Treasurer Bill Lockyer, according to reports from the Associated Press and Los Angeles Times.

OC weekly coverA court spokeswoman told the AP the charges were dropped at prosecutors request; the Times reports she agreed to attend a drug diversion program.

Lockyer early in 2012 had claimed Stephen Chikhani attacked her in a Newark hotel room, but the state Justice Department investigated and eventually declined to charge him with any crime. As details emerged about Lockyer’s lengthy affair with Chikhani and their drug use, she resigned her supervisorial seat in April 2012.

Bill Lockyer filed for divorce a few months later, citing “irreconcilable differences” and seeking joint physical and legal custody of their son. Then Nadia Lockyer was arrested in August 2012 in Orange County and charged with felony methamphetamine possession and three misdemeanors: being under the influence of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, and child abuse and endangerment. She spent several months in a residential rehabilitation program and has been under court supervision ever since.

Nadia Lockyer also was the subject of a lengthy cover story in this week’s OC Weekly.


Watch Mary Hayashi make her case to local Dems

Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi, D-Hayward, was at this past Saturday’s Alameda County Democratic Central Committee meeting, seeking the committee’s endorsement of her campaign for the District 2 seat on the Alameda County Board of Supervisors.

Hayashi was arrested last October for shoplifting $2,450 worth of clothes from San Francisco’s Neiman Marcus; she pleaded no contest in January to misdemeanor grand theft and was sentenced to three years of probation and a $180 fine. In an exclusive July interview, she insisted that her walking out of the store with black leather pants, a black leather skirt and a white blouse in a Nieman Marcus shopping bag that she had brought with her was entirely inadvertent; she said she believes voters would forgive her and vote for her on her legislative track record.

On Saturday, she was asked, “How do you exemplify the values of integrity and honesty we want for our elected officials?” Here’s her answer:

The committee announced its endorsements Sunday night: It picked Richard Valle – the incumbent appointed to fill the District 2 seat after former Supervisor Nadia Lockyer resigned – over Hayashi for November’s election. Union City Mayor Mark Green, a former longtime Democrat now registered without party affiliation, also is in the race.


Filing deadline passes and East Bay ballots firm up

The 5 p.m. filing deadline today has come and gone and election clerks in the East Bay have delivered their promised preliminary candidate and ballot lists.

Check out the list below for Contra Costa, Alameda and portions of Solano County. There are a few surprises, including a fair number of entirely uncontested races. (The women rule here, as you’ll see.)

My favorite development is the similarity between the name of incumbent Democratic state Sen. Mark DeSaulnier and his Republican challenger Mark Meuser. The Marks might want to hand out reading glasses to voters in the hopes the magnification effect will help them choose the right one.

Voters in a dozen cities, school and fire districts will also find requests for new taxes on their ballots. While no one wants to pay more, residents are far more likely to support local measures because they feel the money will stay closer to home.

The following individuals and ballot measures had qualified for the June 5 ballot as of information available late today. (i) denotes incumbent. (Keep in mind, election clerks may still be processing applications from those who filed at the last minute.)

(Ed. Note: I’ve updated this at 4:30 p.m. Saturday — Josh)


District 3: John Garamendi, Dem. (i); Kim Vann, Rep.; Eugene Ray, Rep., Rick Tubbs, Rep.

District 5: Mike Thompson, Dem., (i); Randy Loftin, Rep.; John Cilley, Rep.

District 9: Jerry McNerney, Dem., (i); John McDonald, Rep.; Ricky Gill, Rep.

District 11: George Miller, Dem. (i); Cheryl Sudduth, Dem.; John Fitzgerald, Dem.; Virginia Fuller, Rep.

District 13: Barbara Lee, Dem. (i); Marilyn Singleton, nonpartisan; Justin Jelincic, Dem.

District 15: Fortney “Pete” Stark, Dem. (i); Eric Swalwell, Dem.; Christopher Pareja, nonpartisan.

District 17: Mike Honda, Dem. (i); Charles Richardson, Lib.; Evelyn Li, Dem.


District 3: Lois Wolk, Dem. (i)

District 7: Mark DeSaulnier, Dem. (i); Mark Meuser, Rep.

District 9: Loni Hancock, Dem. (i)


District 11: (No incumbent) Jim Frazier, Dem.; Patricia Hernandez, Dem.; Gene Gantt, Dem.; Len Augustine, nonpartisan; Mike Hudson, Rep., Charles Kingeter, Dem.

District 14: Susan Bonilla, Dem. (i)

District 15: Nancy Skinner, Dem. (i)

District 16: Joan Buchanan, Dem. (i); Al Phillips, Rep.

District 18: (No incumbent) Rob Bonta, Dem.; Joel Young, Dem.; Abel Guillen, Dem., Rhonda Weber, Rep.

District 20: (No incumbent) Bill Quirk, Dem.; Jennifer Ong, Dem.; Sarabjit Cheema, Dem.; Luis Reynoso, Rep.; Mark Green, nonpartisan

District 25: Bob Wieckowski, Dem. (i)

ALAMEDA COUNTY (nonpartisan races)

Board of Supervisors, District 1: Scott Haggerty (i)

Board of Supervisors, District 4: Nate Miley (i); Tojo Thomas

Board of Supervisors, District 5: Keith Carson (i)

Hayward City Council (four seats): Barbara Halliday (i), Francisco Zermeno (i), Olden Henson, (i), Al Mendall, Greg Jones, Fahim Ajaz Khan, Ralph Farias Jr. and Peter Bufete. (Filing deadline extended to March 14 as one of the incumbents did not seek re-election.)

Board of Education, District 2: None

Board of Education, District 3: Ken Berrick (i)

Board of Education, District 4: None

Board of Education, District 5: Frederick Sims (i)

Board of Education, District 6: Eileen McDonald (i)

Zone 7 (three seats): Sandy Figuers (i); Dick Quigley (i)

Union Sanitary District, Ward 1: Manuel Fernandez (i)

Union Sanitary District, Ward 2: Patricia Kite (i)

Union Sanitary District, Ward 3: Anjali Lathi (i)


Board of Supervisors, District 2: Sean White of Lafayette, Candace Andersen of Danville; and Tomi Van de Brooke of Orinda. (Filing deadline extended to March 14 as incumbent Gayle Uilkema did not seek re-election.)

Board of Supervisors, District 3: Mary Nejedly Piepho of Discovery Bay (i)

Board of Supervisors, District 5: Federal Glover of Pittsburg (i)


Antioch Unified School District: $59.5 million bond measure for school facility upgrades. Requires 55 percent voter approval.

Antioch: Two measures. One seeks to change city clerk and treasurer from elected to appointed position. The other would convert elected mayor to a rotating position from among members of the City Council. Both require majority approval.

Crockett Community Services District: Increase in the $50 recreation per parcel tax to $110 for maintenance of the area’s parks. Two-thirds vote required.

East Contra Costa Fire Protection District: Annual $197 per parcel tax to maintain fire service. Two-thirds vote required.

Hercules: Two measures. One seeks voter approval to sell the city’s electric company and requires a two-thirds vote. The second is an emergency funding proposal for a four-year, 1/2-cent sales tax to maintain city services in the wake of a deficit. Majority approval required.

Pittsburg: A 10-year sales tax (1/2 cent for first five years, 1/4 cent in the second five years) to raise money for city services. Majority approval required.

San Pablo: A 10-year sales tax (1/2 cent for first five years, 1/4 cent in the second five years) to raise money for city services. Majority approval required.

West Contra Costa Unified School District: Five-year renewal and increase in parcel tax. Requires two-thirds vote.


Peralta Community College District: Eight-year annual $48 per parcel tax. The funds would be used to preserve 1,900 classes a year at the college serving students from Oakland, Alameda, Piedmont, Berkeley, Albany and Emeryville. Requires two-thirds vote.

Dublin Unified School District: $99 million school bond measure to build and improve classrooms, buildings and equipment. Requires 55 percent voter approval.

Hayward Unified School District: Annual $58 per parcel tax for school operations. Two-thirds vote required.

New Haven Unified School District (Hayward): Four-year annual $180 per parcel tax to fund school operations. It is similar to a measure that failed last May. Two-thirds vote required.

City of Alameda: A 30-year half-cent sales tax increase to fund library improvements, replace aging police and fire vehicles and construct a new emergency center. Two-thirds vote required.


Countywide: Would extend existing one-eighth of 1 percent library tax for 16 years to fund ongoing operations. Majority approval required.

Board of Supervisors, District 1 (no incumbent): Susan Anthony, Erin Hannigan, Tony Intintoli Jr., Lee Simmons.

Board of Supervisors, District 2: Steve Messina, Linda Seifert (i)

Board of Supervisors, District 5: Mike Reagan (i); Skip Thomson



Chan plans hearing on health care reform impacts

Alameda County Supervisor Wilma Chan – a former Assembly Health Committee chair who championed health insurance for kids – on Monday will host the first in a series of hearings on local implementation of national health care reforms.

The hearing, from 9 to 10:30 a.m. in the Board of Supervisors’ chambers on the fifth floor of 1221 Oak St. in Oakland, will bring together local health care leaders for an overview of the Affordable Care Act and its impact on the county. Speakers will include Richard Thomason, program officer at the Blue Shield of California Foundation; Alex Briscoe, director of the Alameda County Health Care Services Agency; and Peter Harbage, the state’s former Assistant Secretary for Health under Gov. Gray Davis.

Chan’s office says that by 2018, more than 150,000 people in Alameda County will be newly covered by Medi-Cal or private insurance as a result of the Affordable Care Act. Health care providers are getting ready for major delivery system changes, including more availability of medical homes and integrated care delivery through accountable care organizations.

Future hearings will address a different issue area each month, trying to fit specific local issues into the big picture through community feedback and policy recommendations.


Bill Lockyer gives his wife’s campaign $110k more

Incumbent California State Treasurer Bill Lockyer, who it seems has barely lifted a finger to fend off Republican challenger state Sen. Mimi Walters, R-Laguna Niguel, dropped another $110,000 on his wife’s campaign for Alameda County Supervisor this week.

That brings Lockyer for Treasurer 2010’s total contributions to Nadia Lockyer‘s supervisorial campaign to almost $1.32 million. Nadia Lockyer, who directs the Alameda County District Attorney’s Family Justice Center, is competing with former state Sen. Liz Figueroa, D-Sunol, for the District 2 supervisor’s seat, which represents Hayward, Newark, Union City, a chunk of Fremont and unincorporated Sunol.

The Alameda County Registrar of Voters reports that the 2nd Supervisorial District has 128,168 registered voters; thus, Bill Lockyer has given Nadia Lockyer about $10.29 for every person who could possibly vote in this election. Of course, the turnout will be far less; watch for a cost-per-vote analysis once all the returns and campaign finance reports are in.

Bill Lockyer’s campaign committee still had $5,064,132.91 cash on hand as of Oct. 16, the end of the last reporting period.