2017 YEAR IN EAST BAY POLITICS
East Bay residents didn’t exactly head into the new year with hopes of prosperity and self-renewal. President-Elect Donald Trump’s shadow was already darkening every door in the East Bay, especially those griped with fear in our large and diverse immigrants communities. In fact, Trump did not only overshadow every story on a daily basis at the national level, but also for the roughly 800,000 voters in Alameda County, many of which formed the spine for The Resistance.
As we kick off the annual Year in East Bay Politics in four parts, starting with Part I, you won’t see much related to the region’s political reactions to Trump. That’s because the Trump story gets its own review on Friday. In addition, this year’s review of East Bay politics includes the best, most biting quotes, Top 10 stories, the year in sports and local politics, and, let’s just say the wild, wacky and cringe-worthy moments from the past 365 days, along with much more.
But first, let’s start in Oakland, where the city’s was still reeling from the 36 people who perished in the December 2016 Ghost Ship fire. As the calendar turned to 2017, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf was ready to make history, yet a few days later the city was reminded about its chronic problem with gun violence.
>>>>Anne Kirkpatrick is named Oakland police chief. She becomes the first woman in Oakland history to hold the office.
●An early afternoon Oakland City Council committee meeting abruptly adjourns after shots are fired near Frank Ogawa Plaza at City Hall.
●Fremont City Council appoints David Bonaccorsi to fill the remaining two years of newly-elected Mayor Lily Mei’s council term.
●East Bay Assemblymember Rob Bonta gets berned during the state Democratic Party delegate elections when his slate of 14 candidates are swept away by local progressive Bernie Sanders supporters.
>>>>Ron Cowan, the developer who created Harbor Bay Isle on Bay Farm Island in Alameda, and who was an influential and colorful political mover and shaker, dies. He was 82.
●Sue Caro, the little-known architect of Ellen Corbett’s 2014 congressional primary defeat and also credited with identifying the potential of eventual GOP Assemblymember Catharine Baker, takes back the helm of the beleaguered Alameda County Republican Party.
●Kate Harrison wins the Berkeley City Council special election for new Mayor Jesse Arreguin’s former District 4 council seat. But she will be quickly back up for re-election in 2018.
● TOP 10 STORY On Feb. 1, the first of about five urban skirmishes to be known as the Battle of Berkeley kickoff with a planned speech at U.C. Berkeley by right wing raconteur Milo Yiannopoulous. But the run-up to the speech causes a frenetic protest and President Trump later tweets that the public university should be defunded by the federal government. The urban battles will continue in April and September.
● TOP 10 STORY A Southern California lawsuit creates an earthquake in Fremont politics after he threatening a lawsuit alleging the city is violating the state’s Voting Rights Act. Fremont’s response is to acquiesce to his demands and expand the City Council from five to seven members and creating district elections starting in 2018.
●Troubled former Alameda County Supervisor Nadia Lockyer freaks out many with a posting on Facebook that sounds to some like a suicide message. Later, in July, she’s arrested for abusing her septuagenarian husband, former legislator Bill Lockyer.
MORE: 2017 YEAR IN EAST BAY POLITICS
PART I: JAN-MAR: Battle of Berkeley
PART II: APR-JUNE: Richmond’s Ellis loses Dem chair race
PART III: JULY-SEPT: Fire Fight in Alameda
PART IV: OCT-DEC: Oakland Strikes