EAST BAY POLITICAL YEAR-IN-REVIEW: January-March 2015


JANUARY

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf speaks at her
Jan. 5 inauguration ceremony. PHOTO/EBAR
>>>The new legislative year begins with rounds of swearing-in ceremonies and appointments. Libby Schaaf, fresh off her dominating mayoral win last November in Oakland, is sworn-in. Gov. Jerry Brown, the person many attribute for clinching Schaaf’s victory, also takes the oath of office for another four years. Councilmember Lynette Gibson McElhaney becomes the next Oakland City Council president.

>>>Right out the gate, Alameda’s new mayor, Trish Spencer, attempts to make due on her campaign’s slow-growth pledge by seeking to repeal the Del Monte Warehouse project, a planned 380-unit housing and commercial waterfront development approved a month prior by the previous administration. Spencer votes against her own repeal of the project which is unanimously defeated.
>>>Hayward’s school system has seen better days, but for one day in January two former students shine a positive light on its schools with a New York Times opinion piece by Tom Hanks praising his time at Chabot College, while Hayward High School grad Jack Del Rio is named head coach of the Oakland Raiders.

>>>Two-term Rep. Eric Swalwell floats interest in replacing U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, who announced she will retire in 2016. He kindly relents and endorses State Attorney General Kamala Harris.
>>>Just hours from the Friday deadline, Steve Glazer joins the special election in the Seventh State Senate District. The trio of Democrats, including Susan Bonilla, Joan Buchanan and Glazer, hope to serve the remaining two years of Mark DeSaulnier’s state senate term.

>>>A special weekend session of the Oakland City Council on race relations and the police attracts nearly every local public official of note. During the meeting, Oakland Police Chief Sean Whent acknowledges the strained relationship, but says the department of old is vastly different than even four years ago. However, former Black Panther president Elaine Brown calls Alameda County District Nancy O’Malley “a racist.”

FEBRUARY
The Lenco Bearcat MedEvac is purchased using
federal Homeland Security funding.
>>>San Leandro becomes the latest local jurisdiction to approve the purchase of an armored police vehicle, which police say they will use in rescue and medical emergencies and not to quell protests.

>>>After the Oro Loma Sanitary District threatens to ask the state Attorney General’s office for guidance to remove board member Laython Landis for using the n-word during a meeting and other unspecified allegations, he decides to retire after 42 years on the board. In November, Landis passes away. He was 89.
>>>Oakland Councilmember Noel Gallo urges Council President Lynette Gibson McElhaney to address controversies over ethical and legal issues involving an alleged scheme to flip houses in Oakland to fund her personal non-profit in Richmond. Gallo intitially attempted to begin censure proceedings, and McElhaney never addressed the accusations.

>>>Rep. Mike Honda receives national praise for a tweet showing support for his transgender granddaughter.

>>>Alameda’s John Russo announces he’s leaving the city manager’s post for the same position in Riverside, Calif. The very next day, Oakland announces the hiring of Sabrina Landreth as its next city manager. She previously held the same position in Emeryville.

>>>The Oakland Raiders shock the city and county by announcing a joint stadium project in Carson, Calif. that includes the San Diego Chargers. Meanwhile, the sprawling Coliseum City proposal is still languishing, but not yet dead. Raiders owner Mark Davis says Oakland is still his first choice.

Rep. Mike Honda caught on video sleeping

on the House floor.

>>>Rep. Mike Honda inexplicably falls asleep on the House floor. The snoozefest is caught on video by C-SPAN and roundly mocked.

>>>Former East Bay legislator Ellen Corbett moved from her termed out seat last year for a high-paying job with the Hayward Unified School District, but she only stays there a few months before being named to the state Unemployment Appeals Board, which amounts to a cut in pay.

MARCH
Alameda County Supervisor Wilma Chan after
protesters shutdown a meeting in March.

>>>Alameda County Supervisor Keith Carson proposes shifting millions in state prison realignment funding away from jails to community groups who help former inmates assimilate back into society. Some supporters, though, are confused and takeover the meeting forcing a recess.

>>>As many Democrats in Washington vow to skip Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to Congress because of his opposition to nuclear talks between the U.S. and Iran, Rep. Eric Swalwell and Rep. Mike Honda attend the speech; Rep. Barbara Lee does not.


>>>Alameda County agrees to join Oakland in the new exclusive negotiating agreement with Floyd Kephart’s Coliseum City project, but warns against using public money to finance the deal. The ENA is approved in late March.

>>>After millions are spent just in the primary of the Seventh State Senate District race, Steve Glazer easily tops Susan Bonilla and Joan Buchanan. Glazer and Bonilla will meet in the May special election.


>>>A day before AC Transit general manager David Armijo’s job performance was to be reviewed by the transit board, he abruptly resigns.

>>>Alameda County Supervisor Nate Miley comes out in support of anti-vaxxers who oppose Senate Bill 277, the bill requiring mandatory vaccinations for schoolchildren.

FRIDAY: Year in Review: April-June
Advertisements