Alameda City Council candidate Malia Vella.

1. Alameda City Council candidate Malia Vella is by far the most impressive non-incumbent running in any race in the East Bay this November. Her election could be the beginning of a long and successful political career. First, there was Rob Bonta. Now possibly another upwardly mobile politician in Vella coming from Alameda within four years time? Makes you wonder what’s in the water surrounding Alameda?

2. It’s not a personal knock, but Alameda’s Trish Spencer is easily the worst mayor in Alameda County. Nobody comes close and Spencer diehards are totally oblivious to how poor her reputation is outside Alameda city limits. I mention this because Alameda City Council candidate Jennifer Roloff is a Spencer clone and one has already done enough damage and two might be devastating. Roloff’s newspaper ad featuring dozens of older white folks and one minority is appalling and a relic of an Alameda that is nearing a second foot in the grave.

3. I think all of the five Oakland City Council incumbents will win on Nov. 8. But Oakland Councilmember Lynette Gibson McElhaney won’t be the council president next year.

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf

4. I think Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf’s support for some councilmember’s opponents is not wise. If you’re Schaaf, you can’t be going around wasting your hard-earned political capital on long-shot council candidates. It’s absolutely crazy and only makes her life more miserable after Election Day because she still has to work with these people for at least another two years.

5. Rarely have I a seen a candidate less prepared to run for office but with more institutional support than San Leandro City Council candidate Bryan Azevedo. The unions strongly back Azevedo as does the Alameda County Democratic Party. His performance at a forum Oct. 6 was cringe-worthy, but for progressives he says all the right things and appears trustworthy. If he is victorious, you have to wonder how long it will take him to grasp even the basics of city government.

6. I think 16th District Assemblymember Catharine Baker’s campaign has been shaky. Maybe they’re feeling the sheer power of the powerful California State Democratic Party? Baker appeared far more confident facing Tim Sbranti two years ago. Yet, despite this, voters in the Tri Valley and Walnut Creek areas are more conservative than they like to say. This electorate still talks about BART strikes like they happened two hours ago and hates unions. Their suspicions about Democrat Cheryl Cook-Kallio and her ties to unions is a difference-maker.

7. I think if Cook-Kallio loses by a slim margin, she might seek a rematch in 2018. That is, if Assembly Democrats foot the bill again.

Ro Khanna

8. Ro Khanna in the 17th Congressional District reminds me of Berkeley mayoral candidate Jesse Arreguin, good people who decided at some point they would do or say anything to get elected. Khanna has been linked to too many campaign shenanigans over the past three years to believe he’s innocent. Arreguin simply says the most outright lies about his record as a Berkeley councilmembers. This isn’t who these people are, but if elected; will they revert to their core beliefs?

9. I can see Khanna winning and if he does he won’t vote like a true progressive. He’ll be just like Rep. Eric Swalwell in the nearby 15th District–a lapdog for Nancy Pelosi. It will be difficult for Rep. Mike Honda to roll back the June result that favored Khanna. High turnout of all these newly registered and young Democrats is Honda’s ace-in-the-hole since polling has shown they favor him over the moderate Khanna.

10. Obviously, Ellen Corbett is over-qualified to be on the East Bay Regional Park District Board of Directors, but I don’t think she’ll be there very long. Where else might she land? There’s a couple of different places…

11. Read this treatise on the Hayward election

Captain Millennial? Rep. Eric Swalwell.

12. I think media outlets locally and nationally should dispense with the hackneyed description of Swalwell as an avatar of “millennial” voters because he’s not. Tell me what segment of millenials believes in maintaining the overwhelming power of law enforcement in this country and how many young people support the government keeping digital tabs on Americans? Yet, this is what Swalwell’s nearly four-year record in Congress represents. Do a little work on his background, will ya?

13. Swalwell should actually be sad about how he is portrayed in the media. The only distinguishing fact about Swalwell is that he uses Twitter and posts pictures on Facebook? That’s impressive, bro. GTFO. LOL.

14. I think Sandre Swanson would represent the very progressive State Senate Ninth District better than Nancy Skinner. You need to realize that our brand of progressive ideology is so pure that it typically gets soiled in Sacramento by non-East Bay legislators. We need that purity in Sacramento.

15. But I think in this race, the voters cannot lose. Skinner most likely will grab a prime committee seat and get the job done, jamming the dirty carcass of government into that meat grinder, turning legislation into delicious sausage links.

Rep. Barbara Lee and Asm. Rob Bonta may lead
the East Bay’s Great Reshuffling of 2017.

16. I think there’s a possibility next year of a sequel to the East Bay’s Great Reshuffling of 1998 when Rep. Ron Dellums left Congress and Barbara Lee was appointed to his seat. (I’ve always wanted to make a documentary about this 18-month period in local history.) The mid-year move reverberated down the political stream. It only takes one move near the top to start a chain reaction.

17. The future of the Alameda County Republican Party is incumbent on this screwy outfit figuring out how to keep talented prospects like the young 15th Assembly District candidate Claire Chiara engaged in local politics. Thoughtful and poised, Chiara has been one of the revelations of this fall election season in the East Bay. What they cannot let her do is shoot too high, too soon. However, way too many local GOPers are too shortsighted to realize their bench needs to be stocked at lower offices, not a fruitless runs for Congress.

18. Alameda County Superior Court judicial candidate Barbara Thomas is bat shit crazy. I wouldn’t let her judge a dog show.

19. While on that subject, I think we should rid ourselves of voting for Superior Court judges. What’s the point? The State Bar prohibits them from running campaigns that distinguish the candidates, so how do we know who we’re voting for? Also, Alameda should abolish the city treasurer and auditor positions as elected positions. These guys don’t do anything that requires an elected office. They probably work three weeks a year.

Rent control, along with increasing the minimum
wage, is the defining issue of our time.

20. Lastly, I believe voters all over the Bay Area and specifically in Alameda, must pass rent control. In fact, I endorse the Alameda Renters Coalition’s Measure M1 rent control initiative. It’s the first time in the nearly seven-year history of the East Bay Citizen that I have officially endorsed a candidate or ballot initiative. The issue of rising rents and the sheer greed of landlords of every ilk cuts to the core of what this web site represents. The East Bay Citizen fights for the people, not public officials and certainly not business interests. Specifically, its prime objective is to motivate residents of the East Bay to question government and punish those you undermine the will of the people. The success of the Alameda Renters Coalition in fomenting residents to push city government to act on sky-rocketing rents in Alameda is breathtaking. They steamrolled decades of entrenched political and business entities and then placed their own rent control initiatives on the ballot when the City Council’s ordinances went nowhere close enough to solve the problem. That’s truly government by the people. Consequently, the powers-that-be in Alameda ran in fear and actually decided to support the opposing Measure L1, which represented what they initially opposed over a year ago. And pay no mind to the estimated $3.7 million cost of creating a new bureaucracy for Measure M1. It’s bogus. But, regardless of the price, its something that needs to be done and speak to the priorities of this community–we care for the weakest. People are overworked and over-stressed, Measure M1 bring a bit of solace to renters, but also provides a very powerful precedent that when the public rallies in its own self-interests, the politicians will run for the hills, or, in this case high-tail in their cars for the High Street Bridge. Vote Yes on M1 and No on L1.