April 9, 2012 | Alameda County Supervisor Wilma Chan is no stranger to the rigors of serving the East Bay in the State Assembly. Tucked between stints on the county board of supervisors, Chan was for the first woman assembly majority leader. Last Friday, Chan pledged her backing in the race for the 18th assembly district to Alameda Vice Mayor Rob Bonta.

“All residents of the 18th Assembly District deserve a strong voice in Sacramento,” Chan said in a statement. “They share common concerns around schools, health care and public safety. Each area of the district also has unique needs such as the development of the former Naval Air Station in Alameda, the threatened closure of San Leandro Hospital and rising violence in Oakland. I believe Rob has the intelligence and skill it will take to navigate Sacramento and address the wide range of issues affecting the district.

At the board of supervisors, Chan and her colleagues have felt the strain of the constant whims of legislators in Sacramento who have rountinely used steep cuts to services affecting a broad range of demographics to balance the state’s chronic budget problem.

“In addition, I believe Rob is best prepared to face the realities of a shrinking state budget without decimating public education and needed services for seniors, disabled and middle class families,” said Chan.

“Supervisor Chan is a legend in the East Bay in her commitment to children and families, and trailblazing accomplishments for Asian Americans and I deeply appreciate her endorsement,” said Bonta. “I am honored and motivated to advocate on behalf of the people and issues for which we share a passion.”

Bonta will face fellow Democrats Abel Guillen and Joel Young in the June 5 primary. Rhonda Weber, a Republican, is also in the race for the 18th assembly district encompassing a majority of Oakland, Alameda and San Leandro.

THURSDAY NIGHT DEBATE The contenders for the 18th district will square off in a 90-minute town hall debate this Thursday, April 12, 7pm, held by the Asian Pacific Islander Public Affairs Association. The event held at Episcopal Church of Our Savior, 1011 Harrison Street, Oakland, will be moderated by Chabot Las Positas Community College Trustee Dr. Hal Gin.