While her opponents in Alameda’s tight mayoral race are busy canvassing the city, and making phone calls to prospective voters with only two weeks before the Nov. 6 General Election, Mayor Trish Herrera Spencer is on six-day business trip to China.
Spencer is part of delegation, including Councilmember Malia Velia, visiting Jiangyin, China, to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the sister cities relationship between the two cities, in addition to attending the International Sister Cities Conference in Wuxi. Delegates from Jiangyin visited Alameda in September.
The entire Alameda City Council was invited to Jiangyin, said Alameda Public Information Officer Sarah Henry. Spencer and Vella, who is not up for re-election this year, accepted the invitation. Councilmember Jim Oddie, like Spencer, in a tough re-election campaign, initially accepted the invitation, but later declined, in order to focus on his re-election campaign, he said.
No taxpayers money is being spent on the trip. Both paid for their own airfare and accommodations not covered by their hosts. Four members of the Alameda Sister Cities Association, also traveled with Spencer and Vella.
Over the last few years, Spencer has spent an inordinate amount of time on Alameda’s sister cities program, traveling to the Philippines, South Korea, and again, China.
Spencer and Vella departed for Jiangyin last Sunday, said Henry, and will return on Sunday, Oct. 28, eight days before Alameda voters will decide whether to re-elect Spencer or replace her with either Councilmembers Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft or Frank Matarrese.
Meanwhile, the mayoral campaign in Alameda moves forward, with or without Spencer. On Monday, a day after Spencer’s sojourn in China, arrived a biting mailer by Ezzy Ashcraft’s campaign, charging Spencer “doesn’t live up to Alameda values.” The ad included a litany of factual transgressions, including Spencer’s recent votes against new affordable housing for Alameda teachers and a minimum wage increase for workers.