EAST BAY POLITICAL YEAR-IN-REVIEW: July-September 2015

JULY

Hayward city workers finally get a new contract.

>>>With its political implications to be determined in the 2016 city council election next year, the City of Hayward and more than 300 city employees finally agree to a new contract. The acrimonious two-year labor standoff that included a wage imposition results in employees receiving a 4.5 percent wage increase over three years.

>>>San Leandro Mayor Pauline Cutter sternly calls on the Eden Township Healthcare District to pay “their fair share” for San Leandro Hospital’s day-to-day operations. The District says they’ve spent enough.

>>>In a major victory for Oakland affordable housing activists, the City Council quietly rescinds its proposed sale of the 12th Street remainder parcel to a developer planning a luxury apartment tower near Lake Merritt. The city finally comes around to idea the proposed sale is illegal under the state Surplus Lands Act.

Fantastic support: Donald Trump

>>>A sign of times to come: The Alameda County Republican Party presents an informal poll (and it’s the best poll you’ve ever seen!) of fair-goers showing strong support for presidential candidate Donald Trump.

>>>Vice President Joe Biden comes to Newark to highlight Theranos, a biomedical firm pioneering low-cost blood tests. Biden, though, says he’s afraid of needles and declines a test. Later in the year, investors will find Theranos’ technologies were more hype than reality.

>>>The rent issue begins to gain steam in Alameda. The City Council votes to make changes to its Rent Review Advisory Committee. Notably, it forces landlords to appear at hearings or forfeit any rent increases for one year. It’s also described as “toothless.”

>>>While most back Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders, Rep. Eric Swalwell endorses Democratic presidential candidate Martin O’Malley and nobody cares.


AUGUST
>>>Nancy Skinner reports her campaign account in the Ninth State Senate District race has $925,000. The number greatly outpaces Alameda County Supervisor Wilma Chan and Sandre Swanson. A majority of her cache, though, was transferred from her former Assembly account.

>>>Hayward Police Sgt. Scott Lunger is killed during a traffic stop. The tough week continues when it is revealed Hayward Fire Chief Garrett Contreras was suspended earlier in the year for drinking on the job. He will keep his job.

Silicon Valley’s new power couple?

>>>Ro Khanna gets married in Ohio; leaving Rep. Mike Honda as the only bachelor in the South Bay congressional race. According to the New York Times, Khanna’s lavish wedding is held at the home of the Cleveland Symphony.

>>>Fallout from San Francisco’s “Shrimp Boy” case includes an allegation Alameda County prosecutor Sharmin Bock conspired with then-State Sen. Leland Yee to circumvent campaign finance laws. Bock will take a leave of absence.

>>>Earlier in the year, the Richmond City Council passes a rent control ordinance, but months later a landlord’s group seek a petition to override it. They succeed to the consternation of progressives and the issue is likely headed to the ballot in 2016.

SEPTEMBER
>>>Uber announces it will move into the vacant Sears building on Broadway in Oakland. The ride-hailing company’s move to downtown brings local and national attention to Oakland and its renaissance. Uber’s “head of people of places,” however, has great difficulty pronouncing the names of Oakland officials.

>>>The Oakland Public Ethics Commission fines Council President Lynette Gibson McElhaney $1,600 for failing to report her campaign finances for six months. During the time period she had received more than $16,000 in contributions.

>>>The Office of Congressional Ethics says Rep. Mike Honda likely violated House rules prohibiting the intermingling of campaign and congressional staffers. The House Ethics Committee will continue the investigation through the end of the year.


>>>After many fits and starts, San Leandro picks Harborside of Oakland to be its first medical cannabis dispensary. Later in the year, the San Leandro City Council will set the stage for a second dispensary sometime in 2016, along with a potential ballot measure to tax sales.

Like Hayward’s fire chief, Superintendent
Stan Dobbs faced no accountability
for his actions.

>>>Stan “Data” Dobbs, Hayward’s superintendent of schools, is accused of attacking two school board members during a closed session meeting. Both officials file police reports and the basic facts of the attack are corroborated, but the school board does not officially reprimanded him. 

>>>The Oakland City Council votes to pay $15,000 to the motorist who collided with former mayor Jean Quan during a traffic accident last year.

>>>Fish Stark, East Bay Congressman Pete Stark’s college-age son, runs for the New Haven (Conn.) Board of Alders and loses. But, the future is still bright. 

>>>EAST BAY POLITICAL YEAR-IN-REV15W
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Best Quotes of 2015


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