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GOP invites high schoolers to Lafayette town hall

The California Republican Party launches tonight in Lafayette its first-ever town hall for high school students as part of the “California Speaks Out Tour.”

The free town hall begins at 7 tonight at the Lafayette Veterans Memorial Building, 3780 Mt. Diablo Blvd., in Lafayette. Hosts include CRP Chairman Tom Del Beccaro, who lives in Lafayette.

The event is co-hosted by KSFO-AM morning radio show host Brian Sussman and will feature Contra Costa County Supervisor Mary Piepho of Discovery Bay, UC Berkeley College Republicans President Shawn Lewis and Ivy Allen from the Monte Vista High School Republican Club.

Read on for the CRP’s news release and more details: Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Tuesday, October 11th, 2011
Under: Political calendar, Political events, Republican Party | No Comments »

Political events round-up in the East Bay

San Ramon

The “Occupy Wall Street” movement will come to San Ramon on Oct. 11 and 12 as protesters plan a demonstration in front of Chevron’s headquarters., a liberal political activist group, will gather from 4-6 p.m. at 6121 Bollinger Canyon Road on both days.

Protesters will focus on their opposition to federal subsidies of the highly profitable oil industry.

The “Occupy Wall Street” movement is a loosely defined but growing sign of discontent as protests expand in American cities among progressives who say corporations exert too much control over the economy and U.S. politics.


Economic author Joshua Holland will speak at the Oct. 13 evening meeting of the Lamorinda Democratic Club.

Holland, who wrote “The Fifteen Biggest Lies About the Economy,” will speak about his views on the economy, jobs, federal deficit, taxes and trade.

He is also an editor and senior staff writer at AlterNet and edits it’s special coverage of corporations, work and immigration.

The event begins at 7:15 p.m. with the club’s business meeting followed by Holland at 8. m.

It will be held at the Lafayette Library and Community Learning Center, 3491 Mt. Diablo Blvd., Lafayette. Admission is $5 a person.

For more information, call 925-567-3367 or visit


Contra Costa County Administrator David Twa is the keynote speaker at the Oct. 14 breakfast club meeting of Supervisor Federal Glover of Pittsburg.

Twa will discuss the new supervisor districts and other county issues.

The event begins at 7:30 a.m. at the Wedgewood Banquet Center, 2222 Golf Club Road, in Pittsburg.

Tickets are $50 for nonmembers of Glover’s breakfast club and $25 for members. Proceeds benefit the supervisor’s officeholder account, which is used for expenses related to serving office but not for campaigns.

For reservations, send email to

Walnut Creek

The League of Women Voters of Diablo Valley will host on Oct. 15 a celebration of the 100-year anniversary of women’s right to vote.

The celebration features a suffragists’ march around the Bortin Fellowship Hall courtyard, re-enactments by actors form the San Ramon museum of history and historical information about the historic California vote on Oct. 10, 1911, to give women the vote.

Wine, cheese, finger food and pink tea will be served. There will be singing. And participants are asked to wear suffragist colors of white, yellow and purple.

The event will be held from 2-5 p.m. at 55 Eckley Lane in Walnut Creek. Admission is $10 a person.

For more information, visit


Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Pleasanton, will speak at the Oct. 19 evening meeting of the East County Democrats for Action.

McNerney will discuss jobs, federal budget cuts and take questions.

The free event will be held form 7-9 p.m. at Carpaccio Ristorante, 274 Lone Tree Way, in Antioch.


Contra Costa Supervisor Gayle Uilkema will host a “meet and greet” on Oct. 20 in Danville to introduce herself to her new constituents.

The Board of Supervisors revised district lines this summer and her district now includes San Ramon, Danville and Alamo.

The event will be held from 1-3 p.m. at the Danville Chamber of Commerce, 117E Town and Country Drive, Danville.

Uilkema will hold similar events in Alamo and San Ramon on future dates.




Posted on Friday, October 7th, 2011
Under: Political calendar, Political events | No Comments »

Suffrage centennial celebration set in Martinez

Contra Costa County will celebrate the centennial anniversary of woman suffrage in California with a five-part lecture series that kicks off Oct. 13.

The county favored a woman’s right to vote by just 21 votes on Oct. 10, 1911, a slim victory reflected throughout California where the measure passed by 2 percentage points.

Sponsored by the Contra Costa County Historical Society, the first lecture by local historian Beverly Lane is called “American Women Fight for Their Rights and Win the Vote In California 1911.” The evening also features Carmen Curtis portraying Alamo pioneer Mary Ann Jones, who registered to vote in 1912 at age 87.

All lectures begin at 7 p.m. at the Veterans Memorial Hall, 930 Ward St., Martinez, for a suggested donation of $5 a person.

The other lectures are:

  • Oct. 20 — Local historian Sandra Threlfall will speak on Maud Younger, a millionaire waitress who founded the Wage Earners Equal Suffrage League
  • Oct. 27 — Diablo Valley College professor Melissa Jacobson on, “Unearthing the Past: Women’s Suffrage in Martinez.”
  • Nov. 3 — Historian Darlene Thorne on, “In Their League: California Suffrage Through Vintage Postcards.”
  • Nov. 10 — Authors Elaine Elinson and Stan Yogi on. “Wherever There’s a Fight: Woman Suffrage and Civil Liberties in California.”

The historical society is also sponsoring a suffrage centennial exhibit through Nov. 23 at its history center, 610 Main St., Martinez. For information and hours, call 925-229-1042 or visit





Posted on Monday, October 3rd, 2011
Under: Political events, women in politics | No Comments »

Tauscher to speak in Lafayette

Ellen Tauscher

Ellen Tauscher

Ellen Tauscher, U.S. Undersecretary for Arms Control and International Security and former East Bay congresswoman, will speak at the July 28 meeting of the Commonwealth Club.

Tauscher’s talk is titled, “Arms Control and Nonproliferation: The Road from Prague.”

The event begins with checkin at 6 p.m. followed by the program at 6:30 p.m. at the Lafayette Library and Learning Center, 3491 Mt. Diablo Blvd., in Lafayette.

Tickets cost $22.

Read on for the details from the Commonwealth Club:

  • SPEAKER: Ellen Tauscher, U.S. Under Secretary, Arms Control and International Security
  • TITLE: Ellen Tauscher: Arms Control and Nonproliferation: The Road from Prague
  • DATE: Thursday, July 28, 2011
  • TIME: 6 p.m., Check-In | 6:30 p.m., Program
  • PLACE: Lafayette Library and Learning Center, 3491 Mt. Diablo Blvd., Lafayette
  • PRICE: $22 standard, $12 members, $7 students (with valid ID)

To buy tickets call 415/597-6705 or register at

As the former U.S. congressional representative and current senior adviser to President Obama and secretary of state for arms control, nonproliferation, and disarmament, Ellen Tauscher, will discuss the prospects for U.S. and international security in the midst of continued global unrest. Spurred on by the belief that the containment of nuclear weapons in the 21st century is imperative to international security and world peace, last April President Obama delivered a speech in which he declared the Administration’s dedication to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons. During the ambitious speech he set forth the end goal of completely irradiating the world of nuclear weapons. Since then, Tauscher has led the progress in moving toward making this goal a reality.

Under Tauscher’s direction, the Administration has already achieved the entry into force of the New START agreement— a U.S.-Russia agreement that will reduce each nation’s nuclear arsenals to their lowest levels in more than a half century, adopted a nuclear posture review that promotes nonproliferation and reduces the role of nuclear weapons in our national security policy, and has achieved a consensus action plan at the 2010 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review.

Tauscher previously represented California’s 10th Congressional District for 13 years in the U.S. House of Representatives. Since 2007, she has chaired the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces and was a senior member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. In addition, she has chaired the New Democrat Coalition, a group of more than 60 centrist House Democrats. Before winning a seat in Congress, Under Secretary Tauscher spent 14 years working on Wall Street and was one of the first women to hold a seat on the New York Stock Exchange and later served as an officer of the American Stock Exchange.

The Newark, New Jersey native earned her B.S. from Seton Hall University in 1974.

Posted on Wednesday, July 13th, 2011
Under: Political events | 1 Comment »

East Bay political events round-up

Here’s a look at upcoming East Bay political events:

Walnut Creek

U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., is the featured guest at a July 23 fundraiser in Walnut Creek for the Democratic Party of Contra Costa County.

Rep. George Miller, D-Martinez, will introduce Boxer.

Called “Taste of California Summer,” the event will be held from 3-5 p.m. at Shadelands Ranch, 2660 Ygnacio Valley Road in Walnut Creek.

For information, visit


California Women Lead East Bay Chapter will host a special viewing of the documentary “Crime After Crime” on July 22.

The film chronicles the battle to free Deborah Peagler, a woman serving 24 years to life in California after a jury in 1983 convicted her of murdering her abusive boyfriend.

Walnut Creek attorneys Nadia Costa and Joshua Safran took the case pro bono in 2002 and set out to prove that Peagler was forced into prostitution and brutalized by her abuser.

Movie director Yoav Potash and Costa will answer questions after the showing.

For the movie trailer and more information, visit

The event will be held from 6-9 p.m. at the Danville Village Theatre, 422 Front St., Danville. Tickets are $20 each.

Attendees may also purchase fixed-price meal tickets for $50 which include discounted dinners at the Basil Leaf Cafe or the Amber Bistro, both located on Hartz Avenue in Danville.

A portion of the proceeds benefit “Debbie’s Campaign.”

California Women Lead is a nonpartisan organization of women serving or interested in political office.

For more information, contact chapter president Dana Tsubota at


The Museum of the San Ramon Valley has recently opened a new exhibit entitled “Remember the Ladies: Celebrating the Centennial of California Women Suffrage, 1911-2011.”

As part of the exhibit, museum curator Beverly Lane will speak on July 9, 10:30 a.m., on “Women’s Lib, Then and Now.”

The exhibit runs through July 16 and tells about the hard-fought campaign to win women the vote in California.

California was the sixth, and largest, Western state to approve woman suffrage on October 10, 1911. The Susan B. Anthony amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which approved the franchise for women nationwide, won final approval in 1920.

The exhibit includes stories about the women of the San Ramon Valley who were rancher’s wives, mothers, merchants, post mistresses, farmers, telephone operators and teachers.

It includes vintage clothing, cartoons and posters on the Woman Suffrage campaign of 1911 and information about ways suffragettes supported less restricted clothing for women.

The museum is located in the Danville Train Depot, 205 Railroad Ave., in Danville, It is open Tuesday through Fridays from 1-4 p.m. and Saturdays 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Admission is $3 for guests and free for museum members. For more information, contact 925-837-3750 or go to

Contra Costa County

The Contra Costa Commission for Women seeks nominations of women for its 2011 Hall of Fame in a variety of areas.

Categories include women who demonstrate leadership, create community, work for justice, preserve the environment, improve health care, contribute to the arts, innovate in science and technology.

Honorees are recognized each March at the commission’s Hall of Fame event.

For more information on how to submit a nomination, contact or

Posted on Tuesday, June 28th, 2011
Under: Political calendar, Political events | No Comments »

East Bay political round-up

Here’s a look at upcoming political events and happenings around the East Bay:

Walnut Creek

Rep. John Garamendi, D-Walnut Grove, will host a town hall Monday in Walnut Creek to talk about proposed Republican changes to Medicare.

The GOP, which holds majority control of the House of Representatives, seeks to convert Medicare to a voucher system. Garamendi opposes it.

The free public event will be held from 5:30-7 p.m. at the Care Center of Rossmoor, 1224 Rossmoor Parkway in Walnut Creek.


Attorney Catharine Baker, who oversaw GOP congressional candidate David Harmer’s ballot-counting examination in the November 2010 election, is the featured speaker at the May 12 evening meeting of the Blackhawk Republican Women.

Harmer lost the election to Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Pleasanton, but the race was tight up until Election Day. Both candidates and major parties sent representatives to watch the ballot-counting process.

The event begins at 5:30 p.m. with a social gathering followed by the program at 6:15 p.m. It will be held at the Blackhawk Country Club, 599 Blackhawk Club Drive, in Danville.

Tickets cost $25. For reservations, send a check made out to the Blackhawk Republican Women, c/o Marianne Lyons, 856 Turrini Drive, Danville, CA 94526. Contact Lyons at or call 925-820-6452.

San Francisco

Former California Assembly Speaker and San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown will deliver during on May 26 at the Commonwealth Club his annual critique of political trends.

The witty and sometimes acerbic Brown, a sought-after lecturer and a columnist, was the state’s first African-American speaker and held the position longer than any other politician. Term limits — of which he was paraded as the poster child in favor of its passage — later forced him out of office.

The event begins with a reception at 5:15 followed by the program at 6 p.m., at 595 Market Street, Second Floor, in San Francisco.

Tickets are $15 for members. For more information, contact the Commonwealth Club or 415-597-6734.


Contra Costa Supervisor Federal Glover has expanded by two the number of community members who will serve on a panel charged with handing out the proceeds of a Keller Canyon landfill tipping fee.

The fund, which has distributed between $800,000 and $1.8 million annually over the past decade, is intended to offset the landfill’s effects on traffic, open space, recreational facilities and agriculture in the Pittsburg-Bay Point area, where the dump is located.

In a scathing analysis published last year, retired Auditor-Controller Steve Ybarra recommended greater oversight of which community groups receive the grants. The panel was handing out more money than it was taking in, and there were allegations of favoritism.

Glover denied any wrongdoing had occurred but agreed to study improvements in the grant award process.

One seat will go to a member of the Bay Point Chamber of Commerce and the second to a faculty member or administrator in the Mt. Diablo Unified Schools who works in Bay Point schools.

Interested residents should contact Glover’s office at 925-427-8138 and request an application, which must be submitted by 5 p.m. on May 20.


Author and journalist Marc Sandalow will headline the second event of the new Martinez Speaker Series set for June 6.

Sandalow, who began his career as a reporter for the Martinez News Gazette, is the editor of the California News Service, associate academic director of the UC Berkeley Washington Center and a political analysis for KCBS radio in San Francisco.

He previously spent 21 years on the staff of the San Francisco Chronicle, including a decade as the paper’s bureau chief in Washington, D.C.

Sandalow wrote “Madam Speaker: Nancy Pelosi’s Life, Times and Rise to Power” and co-authored “Ballparks: A Panoramic History.”

The event begins at 7 p.m. at the Shell Clubhouse, 1635 Pacheco Blvd., in Martinez.

Tickets are $15 and include a post-event dessert reception with Sandalow. Purchase tickets online at or call 925-228-3577.

Contra Costa County

The Contra Costa Election Department seeks pollworkers in Alamo and Richmond for the June 7 special election.

No prior experience is required. Training for election clerks is available online and a class will be offered in Richmond.

Clerks receive an $80 stipend for the day’s work, while more experienced inspectors receive $100. Workers may also receive other stipends of $5 to $20 for attending classes, picking up supplies, delivering ballots and providing Spanish bilingual assistance.

For information, call 925-335-7873 or email

Posted on Friday, May 6th, 2011
Under: Political events | No Comments »

Hercules recall debate set

Hercules voters who want to see how the two city council incumbents facing a recall on June 7 stack up against their challengers will have the chance to view the candidates side-by-side.

I will moderate a candidates’ forum from 7-9 p.m. on May 9 in the Hercules City Council chambers.

Read Tom Lochner’s full story here.

Please send suggested questions to I can’t guarantee that every question will be asked, but I want to hear from Hercules voters about the issues that concern them the most.  Keep in mind:  None of the candidates or anyone else will see the questions in advance or know what I will ask.

Posted on Tuesday, April 26th, 2011
Under: Political calendar, Political events | No Comments »

Emerge Calif. hosts Wisconsin senator

Democratic Wisconsin State Sen. Lena Taylor will be the keynote speaker at the Emerge California fundraiser set for May 9 in San Francisco.

Emerge California trains Democratic women to run for local, state and federal office.

Elected in November, Taylor is the second African-American woman to serve in Wisconsin’s Senate. She is the chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Judiciary and Corrections, and is in her second term on the budget-writing Joint Committee on Finance. Wisconsin has been ground zero in the fight between labor groups and conservatives seeking to reduce public employee benefits and pensions.

The Emerge California event begins with a reception at 5:30 p.m. followed by Taylor’s speech at 6:35 p.m. It will be held at the Delancey Street Foundation Town Hall Room, 600 Embarcadero St., San Francisco.

Ticket costs start at $100. To RSVP, visit

Posted on Thursday, April 21st, 2011
Under: Political events | No Comments »

East Bay political events round-up

Here is a round-up of upcoming East Bay political events:


The Pleasanton TEA Party and the Tri-Valley Patriots, conservative political action groups,  will officially merge during a Saturday event featuring California Republican Party Chairman Tom Del Beccaro, of Lafayette, among other speakers.

The group will also host a tax day protest on Friday from 1-4 p.m. in Pleasanton at the corner of Santa Rita and Black streets.

Pleasanton TEA Party founder and Dr. Bridget Melson said the merger came about after she moved to Southern California and needed new partners to help keep the local group moving ahead. Melson remains on its board and also serves on the California Republican Party’s strategy committee as a TEA Party representative.

The combined Tri-Valley TEA Party has 15,000 members, Melson said.

The Saturday event is in Hayward and open to the public, but those interested in attending must RSVP and obtain the location and address from Melson at

Other speakers include NAACP and TEA Party member Antoine Miller and  Frederick Douglass Foundation President Kevin McGary.


Steve Chessin, president of Californians for Electoral Reform, is the featured speaker at the Thursday evening meeting of the Lamorinda Democratic Club.

The meeting will be held at the Lafayette Library and Learning Center, 3491 Mt. Diablo Blvd, in Lafayette.

Chessin will discuss ranked-choice voting and instant runoff voting, alternatives to the traditional winner-takes-all election method used in most communities.

The club’s social hour will begin at 6:30 p.m., with a business meeting at 7:15 p.m., and Chessin’s presentation to begin at 8 p.m. The cost is $5.

During the club’s business meeting, Contra Costa Local Agency Formation Commission Chairman Chair Mike McGill will speak about the agency’s purpose.

Walnut Creek

Technology expert Tom Mahon is the featured speaker at a noon potluck session on Saturday at the Mt. Diablo Peace and Justice Center.

Mahon, a Walnut Creek resident who has written about technology in Silicon Valley for over 30 years as a publicist, journalist, novelist, dramatist and activist, has “spoken and written widely on the need to reconnect technical capability with social responsibility; to re-integrate technical knowledge with self-knowledge,” according to the center.

Mahon is currently completing an eBook titled “Reconnecting Calm: Reclaiming our Humanity in a Silicon Civilization.”

The center is located at 55 Eckley Lane in Walnut Creek. For more information, call 925-933-7850 or visit

The event is free but bring a potluck item to share plus something for Monument Crisis Center such as cereal, canned or dry goods; toddler-size diapers; shampoo, soap, toothbrush or toothpaste.

Walnut Creek

California High-Speed Rail Authority Planning Manager Will Gimpel will discuss the project at the April 20 evening meeting of the Diablo Valley Democratic Club.

Using a video and slide show, Gimpel will explain the cost of the project and how Diablo Valley residents will access the trains.

The event is free and open to the public. It begins at 7 p.m. at the Ygnacio Valley Library, 2661 Oak Grove Road, Walnut Creek.

For more information, visit or call 946-0469.

Posted on Wednesday, April 13th, 2011
Under: Political calendar, Political events, tea party | 3 Comments »

East Bay political round-up

Check out these East Bay political developments:


Constituents in the 11th Congressional District may visit Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Pleasanton, at a “Congress At Your Corner” event on Monday.

McNerney will meet with small groups of people in half-hour segments in the order in which they arrive between 2-3 p.m. at the Dublin library, 200 Civic Plaza in Dublin.

It will be McNerney’s 64th Congress At Your Corner event since he took office in 2007.


Residents may try their hands at balancing California’s out-of-whack budget at a March 24 workshop hosted by Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla, D-Concord.

Next 10, a nonpartisan policy group, will facilitate the discussion, where participants will use electronic devices that immediately tally and record the group’s decisions.

The session will be held from 6-8 p.m. at Los Medanos Community College’s community room, 2700 E. Leland Road, in Pittburg.

The event is free but call 925-521-1511 to reserve a seat.


New voter-approved sales tax rates will go into effect April 1 in Concord, El Cerrito, San Leandro and Union City.

The rate in Concord will rise from 9.25 percent to 9.75 percent, while El Cerrito’s rate jumps from 9.75 percetn to 10.25 percent.

In Alameda County, Union City’s rate chnages from 9.75 percent to 10.25 percent. San Leandro resident will pay 10 percent, an increase from 9.75 percent.

Statewide, voters in 14 communities approved increases last November as a means of coping with financial shortfalls.

Contra Costa County

Learn everything you wanted to know about redrawing Contra Costa County’s five supervisorial district boundaries at

The county launched the new web site in preparation for the upcoming redistricting vote this summer.

After the the release of decennial census data, every government agency governed by an elected board must redraw its lines and equalize the populations of their districts.

Contra Costa’s population grew by 100,209 people in the past decade, with most of the growth taking place in the eastern and southern districts of Federal Glover, of Pittsburg, and Mary Nejedly Piepho, of Discovery Bay.

In order to equalize populations, Glover and Piepho’s districts must shrink, while the other three must expand.

At, constituents may view 2010 census data, maps and learn about hearing dates. The county also hopes to offer an online map-drawing feature.


Longtime Richmond social justice activist, songwriter, philanthropist, poet and artist Fred Jackson will be honored at the Tuesday meeting of the Contra Costa Board of Supervisors, which has renamed a street after him.

The supervisor recently voted to rename Third Street in North Richmond to “Fred Jackson Way” in honor of the beloved West Contra Costa icon.

Among his numerous awards, Rep. George Miller, D-Martinez, selected Jackson as his sole elector from the 7th Congressional District in order to cast an electoral vote for President Barack Obama in 2008.

The ceremony begins at 9:30 a.m. at the board’s chamber, 651 Pine St., in Martinez.

For more information, contact Supervisor John Gioia’s office at 510-374-3231 or email his staffer Luz Gomez at


Former FBI investigator and frequent commentator Peter Friedman will speak on Islamic law and the Quran at the April 13 meeting of the Blackhawk Republican Women.

Friedman will address the origins of Quran, the threat of Islamic or Sharia law and terrorist training camps, and “how Americans are personally funding terrorism through their 401(k) accounts,” according to the club’s press release.

The event begins at 5:30 p.m. with drinks and hors d’oeuvres, followed by the speaker at 6 p.m. It will be held at the Blackhawk Country Club, 599 Blackhawk Club Drive, in Danville.

Tickets cost $25. Please make reservations by April 11 by contacting Marianne Lyons at or 925-820-6452.

Posted on Thursday, March 17th, 2011
Under: Political events | 1 Comment »