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East Bay political events round-up

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

Pleasanton

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 drb@pleasantonteaparty.com.

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

Lafayette

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 www.mtdpc.org.

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 www.dvdems.org or call 946-0469.

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East Bay political round-up

Check out these East Bay political developments:

Dublin

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.

Pittsburg

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.

Regional

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 www.CCRedistricting.org.

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

Martinez

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 luz.gomez@bos.cccounty.us.

Danville

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 rlyons1009@sbcglobal.net or 925-820-6452.

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East Bay events round-up

Here’s a look at upcoming political events:

Cyberspace

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 http://visiblevote.us/get-started. php. A video on how Visible Vote works is available at www.youtube.com/watch?v=HulPk2dJ3OA.

Concord

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 www.contracostacouncil.com, e-mail info@contracostacouncil.com 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 www.bayareacouncil.org or call 415-946-8710.

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Mike Gravel coming to Walnut Creek

Gravel

Gravel

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. Continue Reading

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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 ColorOfChange.org 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).

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Political events round-up

Check out these upcoming political events:

Orinda

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 www.ldclub.org.

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.

Pleasanton

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 www.pleasantonteaparty.com.

Concord

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 TheRestOfUs.org, 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 www.dvdems.org.

Concord

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 www.contracostacouncil.com.

Danville

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, jwright736@earthlink.net or 925-828-0771.