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 www.cocohistory.com.






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 www.commonwealthclub.org

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.


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 www.contracostadems.org.


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 http://crimeaftercrime.com.

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 dct@msrlegal.com.


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 www.museumsrv.org.

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 womenscommission@gmail.com or www.womenscommission.com.


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 rlyons1009@sbcglobal.net 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 www.commonwealthclub.org 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 www.MainStreetMartinez.org 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 EO.Recruitment@vote.cccounty.us.


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 lvorderbrueggen@bayareanewsgroup.com. 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.


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 www.emergeca.org.