California Labor Federation makes June primary endorsements

Always an important endorsement that comes with money and boots on the ground. Here are partial results. To see the full list, click here.

U.S. Senate:  Kamala Harris (over Loretta Sanchez)

House of Representatives: Mike Honda (over Ro Khanna)

State Senate:
District 9 (Oakland to San Pablo) Nancy Skinner AND Sandre Swanson

District 15 (San Jose) Jim Beall (over Nora Campos)

BIG SNUB — No endorsement in District 11, where Democrat Steve Glazer still wants to ban BART strikes

State Assembly:

District 27 (San Jose) Ash Kalra (over Madison Nguyen, Esau Herrera, Andres Quintero, et. al)

District 24 (Peninsula) Marc Berman and Vicki Veenker

District 14 (Contra Costa) Mae Torlakson (over Tim Grayson)


Steve Glazer backs minimum wage bill

Orinda mayor and senate candidate Steve Glazer gives his speech before supporters during an special election night party at a restaurant in Orinda, Calif., on Tuesday, March 17, 2015. Glazer is racing against two major candidates, Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla and former Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan to fill the State Senate seat vacated by Mark DeSaulnier, D-Concord, who was elected to Congress last year. ( Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group)

( Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group)

I covered the Steve Glazer vs. Susan Bonilla death match for state Senate last year. Bonilla’s camp accused Glazer of essentially being a Republican — and all sorts of other things. No doubt Glazer courted Republican support. But when it came to the minimum wage vote, Glazer stuck with the Democratic majority — and his friend Jerry Brown. Here is Glazer’s statement from Thursday:

Sacramento – I voted today to support Senate Bill 3, a balanced plan that will lift millions out of poverty with a minimum wage increase while providing long-term stability and predictability for employers.

“The California minimum wage was established in 1916. There have been 27 increases over the past 100 years. Big spikes were followed with pauses, which has resulted in unpredictability and turmoil for businesses and workers.

“These minimum wage jobs are difficult and strenuous, and taking home a paycheck that cannot even cover rent, food and medicine is an unacceptable status quo.

“No bill is perfect, and we will need to carefully oversee its six-year phase-in to be sure it is achieving the desired results.”

SB 3 phases in gradual increases from the current $10 an hour rate to $15 by 2022. It provides an annual cost of living cap at 3.5 percent starting in 2024.

Other Democrats were a little more ebullient. Here is statement from Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom:

“This is a great day for California’s low-wage workers and their families, and I applaud SEIU-UHW’s leadership role helping make this happen,” said Newsom. “Gov. Jerry Brown and state legislators have stepped up to the plate on behalf of working people to make California the national leader for economic equality.”


BART strike bill is dead, but another is coming

Assembly Democrats on Wednesday killed an East Bay lawmaker’s bill that would’ve essentially banned strikes by BART workers, like the ones that threw Bay Area commutes into chaos in 2013 – but another lawmaker is preparing to take another stab at it.

Assemblywoman Catharine Baker, R-Dublin, introduced AB 528 last February, delivering on a campaign promise that had helped her become the Bay Area’s only Republican lawmaker.

Catharine Baker“In June 2017, the current BART contract expires. We should never be subject to BART strikes again,” Baker said in a news release issued Wednesday after the Assembly Public Employees, Retirement and Social Security Committee killed the bill on a party-line vote. “This is just the first step in the fight to protect us from BART strikes and I will keep pursuing solutions that will prevent the entire Bay Area from coming to a grinding halt in the face of another strike.”

Many didn’t think the bill would last even this long in the Democrat-dominated Legislature. The committee first heard it in May, and rather than voting it down, agreed to make it a two-year bill; then-chairman Rob Bonta, D-Alameda, said that would give more time for legislators and other interested parties to discuss the issues. Jim Cooper, D-Elk Grove, now chairs the committee.

Baker’s AB 528 instead would have barred BART workers from striking as long as they continue to get wages and benefits – in other words, if an existing contract has a no-strike clause and management keeps honoring the pact’s financial terms after it expires, unions couldn’t strike. Baker campaigned on pursuing a bill like this after two 2013 strikes brought BART to grinding halts, snarling Bay Area traffic and costing the local economy $73 million per day by one business group’s estimate.

Democrat Steve Glazer made a similar campaign promise when competing with Baker in 2014’s 16th Assembly District primary, and again in his successful campaign in last year’s 7th State Senate District special election. Glazer intends to introduce a BART-strike bill sometime in the next few weeks, spokesman Steve Harmon said Wednesday.


SD7: Bonilla won’t run against Glazer in 2016

Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla won’t run next year against fellow Democrat state Sen. Steve Glazer, who defeated her in the 7th State Senate District’s special election earlier this year.

In a Facebook post Monday morning, Bonilla, D-Concord, indicated she doesn’t want a do-over of that ugly race.

Susan Bonilla“I believe our efforts are best spent in uniting our collective voices to help achieve a better quality of life for our entire community,” she wrote. “Having our community experience a negative and divisive election based on lies, personal attacks, and defamation of character is harmful and damaging for our community. Running for public office should always be focused on a debate of ideas and values that will help our community and not tear us apart.”

“Therefore, in order to ensure that all of our collective efforts remain focused on building a stronger foundation for the next generation of families, I am announcing that I will not run for State Senate in 2016,” she wrote. “I hope we can continue to work together for the betterment of our state, community, and our families as I complete my term in the Assembly in December 2016. Together, we can ensure the next generation of Californians will achieve their dreams by having high quality schools, good paying jobs, and safe communities in which to raise their families.”

Glazer, D-Orinda, beat Bonilla by 9 percentage points in the May special election to fill the vacancy left by Mark DeSaulnier’s election to Congress last year. The contest between the centrist Glazer and union-backed liberal Bonilla saw tremendous independent spending and a corresponding avalanche of negative advertising that soured many of the district’s voters.


State Sen. Steve Glazer hires Antioch’s mayor

Antioch Mayor Wade Harper has joined state Sen. Steve Glazer’s staff as a senior field representative in the district office.

Wade HarperHarper, 51, has been a councilman since 2010 and mayor since 2012. He was a law enforcement officer from 1998 to 2013, rising through the ranks as an officer, detective and sergeant in the Emeryville Police Department before finishing as lieutenant for the Tracy Police Department.

He joins two other local elected officials on Glazer’s staff. Lafayette School District Governing Board member Teresa Gerringer is Glazer’s district director, and Pittsburg Vice Mayor Ben Johnson is a senior field representative.

“The elected officials on my staff are actively in touch with the issues of the communities they represent, so they are excellent resources for me and my team,” Glazer, D-Orinda, said in a news release.

Glazer also announced he has hired Elizabeth Patton of Oakland as his constituent services coordinator; she was an intern on Glazer’s campaign earlier this year.

Glazer’s 7th State Senate District includes the Lamorinda area, Walnut Creek, Concord, Alamo, Danville, San Ramon, Pittsburg, Antioch, Oakley and Brentwood in Contra Costa County, as well as Alameda County’s tri-valley area including Dublin, Pleasanton, Livermore and Sunol.


State Sen. Steve Glazer to be sworn in. (Again.)

The Bay Area’s newest lawmaker will be sworn in this week. Again.

Steve GlazerState Sen. Steve Glazer, D-Orinda, in May defeated fellow Democrat Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla won the special election to succeed Mark DeSaulnier, who was elected to Congress last November.

Glazer was officially sworn in by Gov. Jerry Brown at the State Capitol on May 28, and has cast dozens of votes since. But his in-district ceremonial swearing-in is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. this Thursday, Aug. 27 in the Danville Veterans Memorial Building, 400 Hartz Ave. Former Rep. George Miller, D-Martinez, will administer the oath of office and Contra Costa County District Attorney Mark Peterson will serve as master of ceremonies.

The event is open to 7th State Senate District residents.To RSVP, contact Glazer’s district office at 925-942-6082 or senator.glazer@senate.ca.gov.