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East Bay events round-up

Here’s a look at upcoming political events:


Rep. John Garamendi, D-Walnut Grove, is the first congressman to host a mobile video town hall.

On Tuesday, starting at 6:16 p.m., residents may sign up for the video conference through Visible Vote’s free application for Facebook and smartphones including iPhone, Android and Blackberry.

Viewers may watch the congressman answer questions real-time posed from those who have signed up for video conference. Many elected officials already deploy the use of telephone town halls, which allow thousands of people to listen and ask questions via the telephone.

But this is the first opportunity for constituents to see Garamendi on their phones as he answers their questions.

Learn how to set up Visible Vote is available at php. A video on how Visible Vote works is available at


Contra Costa Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Gayle Uilkema will deliver the annual State of the County Address at a Feb. 10 luncheon sponsored by the Contra Costa Council.

The luncheon will be held from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, 45 John Glenn Boulevard, Concord.

Tickets at $35 for council members and elected official and $45 for nonmembers.

The council is a nonpartisan public policy advocacy organization funded through membership of businesses and other local groups.

For more information, visit, e-mail or call 925-246-1880.

Pleasant Hill

UC-Berkeley Statewide Database Director Karin MacDonald is the keynote speaker at the inaugural Feb. 22 lunch meeting of Community Connections, a lecture series sponsored by Contra Costa Supervisor Karen Mitchoff.

MacDonald leads the research center that will process Census 2010 data and geographic information system mapping for use in the state’s redrawing of its congressional and state legislative boundaries.

For the first time, an independent commission of residents will draw the boundaries after voters stripped legislators of the job.

The luncheon begins at 11:30 a.m. at Contra Costa Country Club, 801 Golf Club Road in Pleasant Hill.

A lunch ticket costs $35. Prices for tickets to the full series vary from $1,000 to $100, depending on the type of membership. Proceeds benefit Mitchoff’s officeholder account, a non-campaign fund managed by elected officials.

San Francisco

Experts will discuss California’s unsustainable public pension system at a March 9 forum sponsored by the Bay Area Council.

The event, entitled, “Is California Headed for a Super Storm of Unfunded Pension Liabilities,” will feature San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi, Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster; California Foundation for Fiscal Responsibility President Marcia Fritz, and Stanford professor and former state Assemblyman Joe Nation.

The forum will be held from 8:30 a.m.-11 a.m. at the offices of SNR Denton, 525 Market Street, 26th Floor, in San Francisco.

“California’s public pension system has been described by some as a ‘time bomb’ or a ‘tsunami’ and by others as an over blown hoax,” said Jim Wunderman, President & CEO of the Bay Area Council. “This forum is a chance to get down to the facts and see how much we actually owe, and to examine how to make reforms to get the state back on track.”

For more information, contact or call 415-946-8710.

Posted on Monday, February 7th, 2011
Under: Political calendar, Political events | 1 Comment »

Mike Gravel coming to Walnut Creek



Former president candidate and Democratic U.S. Sen. Mike Gravel, of Alaska, is the keynote speaker at the Feb. 4 meeting of the Mt. Diablo Peace and Justice Center.

Gravel will talk about Wikileaks, the famous or infamous, depending on your point of view, Web site where thousands of secret U.S. documents have been posted.

Read on for for the Peace Center’s news release. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Tuesday, January 25th, 2011
Under: Political events | 4 Comments »

A few upcoming political events

Pete StarkRep. Pete Stark, D-Fremont, is holding two town meetings this Saturday, Jan. 22, so constituents can “ask questions about important national issues. Likely topics include the agenda for the new Congress, Republican attempts to repeal the health reform law, and job creation efforts.” The meetings will be from 9 to 10:30 a.m. in the Fremont Senior Center, 40086 Paseo Padre Parkway, and 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the city council chambers at San Leandro City Hall, 835 E. 14th St.

Daniel BorensteinBay Area News Group-East Bay’s very own columnist and editorial writer Daniel Borenstein will join Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association President Jon Coupal, former Assemblyman and Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research lecturer Joe Nation and SEIU Local 1021 President Roxanne Sanchez for a Commonwealth Club of California discussion on “The True Cost of Public Pensions: Reform or Bust?” at 6:30 p.m. next Tuesday, Jan. 25, in the Lafayette Library and Learning Center, 3491 Mt. Diablo Blvd. “California’s financial situation is in shambles, and some pundits have identified the states public-employee pension obligation as a central part of the problem,” the club says. “But what is the true cost of pensions to the states structural deficit? Nineteen states reformed their public pension benefits in 2010.California has the largest pension system in the nation; is it now time for our state to reform our program too?” Tickets cost $12 for club members, $22 for nonmembers or $7 for students with valid ID, and are available online.

Barbara Lee (Dec-2010)Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, will headline a Commonwealth Club of California panel discussion on “The Obama Effect: Where Does the African American Community Stand Now?” at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 7 in the Lafayette Veterans Memorial Hall, 3780 Mt. Diablo Blvd. Also participating will be Green For All CEO Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins and cofounder and Executive Director James Rucker. “The panel will discuss the effects the election and new president have had on the black community,” the club says. “Has Obama landed the final blow needed to break the glass ceiling? Or has electing the first African-American president during one of the worst times in our country’s history created an unfortunate association that will become more of a hindrance than a help to the African American community?” Tickets cost $12 for club members, $22 for nonmembers or $7 for students with valid ID, and are available online.

John GaramendiRep. John Garamendi, D-Walnut Grove, will host his annual crab feed – a fundraiser for his Garamendi for Congress committee – with guest speaker Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla, D-Concord, at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 18 in the Antioch Community Center, 4703 Lone Tree Way. Tickets are $45 per person, with more expensive sponsorships available, and are available online.

Jerry McNerneyAnd Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Pleasanton, is accepting applications for college and post-graduate internships in his Stockton and Pleasanton offices: “I encourage students who are interested in public service and learning about a congressional office to apply for an internship in one of my offices. It is an excellent way to gain professional experience and to serve our community.” High school students will be considered on a case-by-case basis. To apply, mail or fax a cover letter and resume either to the Stockton office, attn: Internship Coordinator, 2222 Grand Canal Blvd. #7, Stockton, CA 95207 (fax: 209-476-8587) or to the Pleasanton office, attn: Internship Coordinator, 5776 Stoneridge Mall Rd. #175, Pleasanton, CA 94588 (fax: 925-737-0734).

Posted on Thursday, January 20th, 2011
Under: Assembly, Barbara Lee, Calendar, Jerry McNerney, John Garamendi, Obama presidency, Pete Stark, Political events, Susan Bonilla, U.S. House | 5 Comments »

Political events round-up

Check out these upcoming political events:


Contra Costa political consultants Melody Howe Weintraub and Lisa Tucker will speak at the Thursday night meeting of the Lamorinda Democratic Club.

Tucker, president of the Tucker Group, and Weintraub, leader of Winning Results, will offer analysis of political issues and races facing voters around Contra Costa, California and the nation.

The club’s social begins at 6:30 p.m. at the Orinda Community Church, 10 Irwin Way, Orinda.

The business meeting starts at 7:15 p.m., followed by the program at 8 p.m.

For more information, visit

San Francisco

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will speak on climate change, American leadership and women’s issues at the Friday evening meeting of the Commonwealth Club.

The programs will be held at the San Francisco Marriott Marquis, 55 Fourth St., in San Francisco. Doors will open at 5:45 p.m., followed by a reception at 6 p.m. and the program at 7 p.m.

Non-member tickets are sold out but a limited number of $75 and $100 tickets are still available for members.

Nonmembers may purchase an annual membership on the phone for $110 and then buy a ticket for this event. For information, call 415-597-6705.


The Golden State Rally for America TEA Party is set for Saturday at the Alameda County Fairgrounds in Pleasanton.

The event will be held from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and includes numerous speakers such as KSFO radio personality Brian Sussman, California Republican Party Vice Chairman Tom Del Beccaro and Republican candidates.

Food, music and food will be available for purchase.

The rally is free but it will cost $8 for parking. The park gates open at 10 a.m.

For more details, visit


Common Cause Regional Director Derek Cressman is the featured speaker at the Oct. 20 meeting of the Diablo Valley Democratic Club.

Cressman’s talk is titled, “Citizens United: The Victory for Big Everything,” referring to a recent U. S. Supreme Court decision that overturns prohibitions on corporate spending in federal elections.

Cressman, formerly Common Cause’s assistant director for election reform, also coordinates the organization’s work on a national popular vote and organizes around such election reforms as vote-by-mail. He is a leading expert on democracy issues and money in politics. He founded and directed, a nonprofit watchdog that raised awareness of the role of big money in politics and founded the environmental telephone company Earth Tones.

The event begins at 7 p.m. at the United Democratic campaign headquarters, 2737 Clayton Rd., Concord. For information, call 925-946-0469 or go to


Transbay Joint Powers Authority Executive Director Maria Ayerdi-Kaplan will speak at the Oct. 20 luncheon of the Contra Costa Council.

She will outline the Transbay Transit Center project under construction in downtown San Francisco, being dubbed the “Grand Central of the West.”

The event will be held at the Hilton Concord Hotel, 1970 Diamond Blvd., Concord, starting at 11:30 a.m.

For information and tickets, visit


U.C. Berkeley law professor John Yoo is the featured speaker at the evening Nov. 3 meeting of the Blackhawk Republican Women.

Yoo, author of “Crisis and Command: A History of Executive Power from George Washington to George W. Bush,” generated considerable controversy for his role in U.S. policy on torture at the time he worked as deputy assistant attorney in Department of Justice.

The event begins at 5:30 p.m. at the Blackhawk Country Club, 599 Blackhawk Club Drive in Danville. A tie is not required but no denim.

Tickets are $25 and include hors d’oeuvres and no-host cocktails.

For tickets, contact Mrs. Wright by Nov. 1 at 2000 Victorine Rd., Livermore, CA 94551-9400, or 925-828-0771.

Posted on Monday, October 11th, 2010
Under: Political calendar, Political events | 1 Comment »

Political events roundup

Check out these upcoming political events in Contra Costa County:


Candidates for Martinez mayor and City Council will participate in an Oct. 5 breakfast forum sponsored by the Martinez Chamber of Commerce.

Mayoral candidates include incumbent Mayor Rob Schroder and challengers Michael Alford, Ed McGee and John Fitzgerald.

Council candidates seeking two open seats include incumbents Lara DeLaney and Michael Menesini, along with challengers Gay Gerlack, Scott Alstad and Kathi McLaughlin.

Contra Costa Times political editor Lisa Vorderbrueggen will moderate the free and public event, which begins at 7 a.m. at the Martinez Adult Education auditorium, 600 F St., Martinez.

Vorderbrueggen will ask the candidates questions on major town issues, and residents are invited to submit questions in advance to the chamber via e-mail at or at the event.

Allied Waste and Marty O’s will supply a continental breakfast.

For more information, visit or call 925-228-2345.


The Mt. Diablo Peace and Justice Center seeks nominations for its annual peace and justice award.

Last year’s winners included Arne Westerback, Sheila Pedersen, Barbara and Ed Tonningsen, Louise Clark and Bob Hanson.

To be eligible, an individual or group must be based in Contra Costa County, address a local peace or social justice need, show evidence of long-term commitment and leads and motivate others to participate.

Download a nomination form at The deadline is Oct. 28.

Winners will be honored at the Give Peace a Dinner Dance on Nov. 13.

The gala features a full-course gourmet meal, raffle prizes and dancing to the Big Bang Beat.

Tickets are $60 for the public and $50 for m embers, and can be purchased at or 925-933-7850.


Fred LaCosse, producer of dramatized talks with the nation’s Founding Fathers, is the featured speaker at the Oct. 20 dinner meeting of the Ygnacio Valley Republican Women Federated.

The event begins at 6 p.m. at the Oakhurst Country Club 1001 Peacock Creek Road in Clayton.

The cost is $35. For reservations, contact Barbara Allen at 925-672-5061 or e-mail


State Sen. Mark DeSaulnier, D-Concord, is the featured speaker at the Oct. 1 luncheon of the Contra Costa Council.

DeSaulnier will offer an update on the California budget and other state matters.

The event begins at 11:30 a.m. at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, 45 John Glenn Drive in Concord.

The cost is $35 for council members and $45 for others. Download the reservation and payment form by Sept. 28 at or e-mail For more information, call 925-674-1654.


Kevin McGary, author of “Instanity!”, a book on communicating conservative values, is the featured speaker of the Oct. 7 evening meeting of the Blackhawk Republican Women.

The event begins at 5:30 p.m. at the Blackhawk Country Club, 599 Blackhawk Club Drive in Danville.

The cost is $25 and includes hors d’oeuvres and no-host cocktails.

To reserve a seat, send a check payable to Blackhawk Republican Women, Federated by Oct. 5 to Mrs. Wright, 2000 Victorine Road, Livermore, CA 94551-9400. For information, contact Wright at or 925-828-0771.


Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, will lead an Oct. 2 rally and precinct walk of the West County Democrats.

The “Walk the Talk” event will start at 10 a.m. at the Democratic Party’s offices at 11760 San Pablo Ave., Suite A, in El Cerrito.

Volunteers will walk neighborhoods and deliver door hangers followed by a barbecue at the offices.

For more information, call 510-395-4823.

Posted on Thursday, September 23rd, 2010
Under: Contra Costa County, Contra Costa politics, Political events | 2 Comments »

Contra Costa supervisor debate set

Candidates vying for Contra Costa County District I and IV Contra Costa Board of Supervisors seats will debate the issues  at a Monday luncheon meeting of the Contra Costa Council.

The candidates include District I incumbent Supervisor John Gioia and challenger Mister Phillips.

In District IV, the two challengers are Karen Mitchoff and Mike McGill. The incumbent, Susan Bonilla, is running for Assembly and not seeking re-election.

The forum is set for Monday at the Hilton Concord Hotel, 1970 Diamond Blvd., in Concord. Registration starts at 11 a.m., with the program and luncheon beginning at 11:30 a.m.

I am the moderator. I will ask a few questions of my own and we will take audience questions.

The cost is  $35 for council members and public officials and $45 for nonmembers.

For more information, visit the Council website at or call the council at 925-246-1880.

Posted on Friday, April 30th, 2010
Under: 2010 election, Contra Costa County, Contra Costa politics, Political calendar, Political events | 2 Comments »

GOP candidates on TEA Party rally speaker list

The speaker list at the Pleasanton TEA Party rally set for the Alameda County Fairgrounds on Thursday features a number of Republican candidates in the June primary.

It includes U.S. Senate candidate Carly Fiorina; 10th Congressional District candidates Buddy Burke and Gary Clift;  11th district candidates Brad Goehring, David Harmer and Elizabeth Emken; and Assembly District 15 candidate and San Ramon Mayor Abram Wilson.

The free event runs from 12:30 to 7 p.m. See the full schedule below.

Those who plan to attend should enter through Gate 12 at the Alameda County Fairgrounds off Bernal Ave. in Pleasanton up until 12:30 p.m., and Gate 8 after 12:30 p.m.

NorCal Tea Party founder and event organizer Dr. Bridget Melson also urged attendees to keep a civil tongue in their heads and on their signs.

“I believe the TEA Party Movement should maintain a level of integrity,” she said in an e-mail statement. “Yes, people are angry and fed up with new taxes, the health care bill, the economy and many members within the current administration. But to display that anger with disrespectful signs and inappropriate language, that is not the answer. We need to educate our TEA patriots then let our voice be heard in November — at the ballot.”

Here’s the final schedule:

12:30 p.m. — Gates open

12:30-2 — Music, booths open

2 — Speaker program begins, Pledge of Allegiance

2:05 — Prayer by Josh Higgins and moment of silence for troops

2:10 — Patriotic song

2:15 — KSFO’s Brian Sussman

2:30 — John Dennis (CD-8—Pelosi)

2:45 — Tom Del Becarro (vice chairman, California Republican Party)

3 — Carly Fiorina (candidate for U.S. Senate)

3:15 — Brad Goehring (CD-11–McNerney)

3:30-3:45 — Music

3:45 — KSFO’s Brian Sussman

4 — Dana Walsh (CD-08—Pelosi)

4:15—4:25—Buddy Burke—(CD-10 Garamendi)

4:30 — John den Dolk—Representative for Chuck DeVore

4:45 — Judy Lloyd (Intro)/Mayor Abram Wilson—State Assembly—District 15

5-5:05 — Comedian Alberto

5:05-5:15  — The Conservative Kid

5:15 — David Harmer (CD-11–McNerney)

5:30 — Gary Clift (CD-10—Garamendi)

5:45 — Elizabeth Emken (CD-11 McNerney)

6 — Music

6:15 — Coach Luis (CD-13-Stark)

6:45 — Dr. B/Stacy K.—Thank you’s

7-8 — Music, life with Griff and Greta (FOX News)

Posted on Wednesday, April 14th, 2010
Under: Political events | No Comments »

Round-up: East Bay political events

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


Dr. Howard Maccabee will speak on health care reform at the evening April 7 meeting of the Blackhawk Republican Women.

Maccabee is founder of the Radiation Oncology Center at John Muir Medical Center, where he was medical director, and was a delegate to the California Medical Association who helped prepare the legal groundwork for the provision of Medical savings accounts in California.

His speech is titled, “Health Care Reform: How to Cut Expenditures Without a Federal Takeover.”

The event will be held at the Blackhawk Country Club, 599 Blackhawk Club Drive in Danville. It starts at 5:30 p.m. with socializing and hors d’oeuvres followed by the speaker at 6:15 p.m.

The cost is $25 per person.

For reservations, contact Marianne Lyons at or 925-820-6452.


Former California Energy Commssioner Arthur Rosenfeld of Berkeley is the featured speaker at the April 8 meeting of the Lamorinda Democratic Club.

Rosenfeld will discuss energy efficiency and conservation. He works to make homes, buildings and appliances more energy-efficient.

The author or co-author of nearly 400 referred publications, Rosenfeld received the Szilard Award for Physics in the Public Interest in 1986, the Carnot Award for Energy Efficiency from the U. S. Dept. of Energy in 1993, and the Berkeley Citation in 2001 from the University of California.

The club meeting begins at 7:30 p.m. followed by the speaker at 8 p.m.

It will be held at the Orinda Community Church, 10 Irwin Way in Orinda. The cost is $5 per person.

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

Pleasant Hill

A job fair will be held April 10 at Diablo Valley College.

Sponsored by Rep. John Garamendi, D-Walnut Grove, the 10th Congressional District Job Resources Fair will feature college opportunities and resources from other government agencies for job-seekers.

Supporting organizations include Diablo Valley College, Contra Costa County supervisors Susan Bonilla and John Gioia, East Bay Works and the Contra Costa County Workforce Development Board.

It is free and open to the public and will be held from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at Diablo Valley College, 321 Golf Club Road in Pleasant Hill.


The four Republican primary candidates in the 11th Congressional District will participate in a Brentwood forum on April 26.

Sponsored by the East Contra Costa TEA Party and moderated by South San Joaquin County Republican Party Chairman Frank Aquila, the candidates include Elizabeth Emken of Danville, Brad Goehring of Clements, David Harmer of Dougherty Valley and Tony Amador of Lodi.

The free, two-hour forum begins at 6:30 p.m. at the East Bay Pentecostal Church, 605 Harvest Park Drive in Brentwood.

Posted on Friday, April 2nd, 2010
Under: Political calendar, Political events | No Comments »

Political events round-up

Here are a few upcoming political events:


Laurie Firestone, former White House Social Secretary for President George H.W. Bush, is the featured lunchtime speaker at the Feb. 23 meeting of the San Ramon Valley Republican Women.

Firestone is a renowned expert and consultant in business event planning, international protocol, etiquette and fundraising. Her book, “An Affair to Remember: State Dinners for Home Entertaining,” will be available for sale

San Ramon Mayor H. Abram Wilson, a Republican primary candidate for the 15th Assembly District, will also speak.

The event will be held at the Crow Canyon Country Club, 711 Silver Lake Drive in Danville.

The cost is $23 for person. For reservations, call 925-833-8771, e-mail for visit

El Cerrito

Dale Sorenson with the Marin Interfaith Task Force on the Americas will at the Feb. 23 evening meeting of the El Cerrito Democratic Club.

Sorenson’s talk is titled, “The Coup in Honduras: What Happened, Why, and What Role did the United States Play?”

The event begins at 6:30 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall of the El Cerrito United Methodist Church, 6830 Stockton Ave. in El Cerrito.

The cost is $4 per person and includes light refreshments and pizza.

For information, call 510-527-5953 or e-mail

Posted on Friday, February 19th, 2010
Under: Political calendar, Political events | 6 Comments »

Saint Mary’s will host Garamendi town hall



Saint Mary’s College in Moraga will host a public town hall with Rep. John Garamendi, D-Walnut Grove, on Feb. 17 from 6-7:30 p.m.

Here are the details provided by the college:

Saint Mary’s College of California to Host 10th Congressional District Town Hall Meeting

What: Saint Mary’s College of California will host a 10th Congressional District Town Hall Meeting where U.S. Congressman John Garamendi (D-Walnut Grove) will discuss national and regional issues such as job creation, economic development, health care and transportation. The event is free and open to the public and includes a question and answer session with Representative Garamendi.

When: Wednesday, Feb. 17 from 6 – 7:30 p.m.

Where: Saint Mary’s College of California, Soda Activity Center, 1928 St. Mary’s Road, Moraga, CA 94556

Background: The 10th Congressional District spans parts of four counties –Contra Costa, Solano, Alameda and Sacramento. It includes the unincorporated communities and cities of Alamo, Antioch, Bethel Island, Dixon, El Cerrito, Fairfield, Isleton, Kensington, Knightsen, Lafayette, Livermore, Moraga, Oakley, Orinda, Pleasant Hill, Suisun City, Walnut Creek, Walnut Grove and sections of Concord and San Ramon.

For more information contact Michele Gault, District Director, Office of Congressman John Garamendi, (925) 932-8899 or Tim Farley, Director of Community & Government Relations, Saint Mary’s College, (925) 631-4830.

Posted on Wednesday, February 10th, 2010
Under: Political calendar, Political events | No Comments »