Dublin Vice Mayor Melissa Hernández is joining what has until now been a boy’s club after announcing her campaign Thursday for the Alameda County Board of Supervisors seat being vacated next year by Scott Haggerty.
Hernández, who was elected to the Dublin City Council in 2016, joins a growing field of candidates that includes state Sen. Bob Wieckowski and Fremont Councilmember Vinnie Bacon.
Dublin Mayor David Haubert and former Dublin Mayor Tim Sbranti are also eyeing campaigns for the District 1 seat that represents Dublin, Livermore, and Fremont.
Hernández enters the race with the advantage of being the only female candidate in the current March 2020 primary field. It’s a fact her campaign highlighted in its announcement Thursday.
Only six women have ever served on the Alameda County Board of Supervisors, the campaign noted. The current county roster includes just one woman among the five-member board — Supervisor Wilma Chan.
Katie Merrill, Henández’s campaign consultant, also worked on former county supervisor Nadia Lockyer’s 2010 campaign.
Hernández’s platform includes advocating for traffic and transportation improvements, affordable housing, improvements in county social programs, and public safety funding, according to a statement released by her campaign.
“I am running for Supervisor to offer a fresh community and neighborhood perspective and deliver results for the families of Dublin, Fremont, Livermore, and East Alameda county,” Hernández said. “I am not a career politician. I am not looking for my next job in Sacramento. I have spent years serving our community as a volunteer, a small business finance manager, and now as Dublin vice-mayor.”
Hernández’s personal background as the child of immigrants is likely to highlight her primary campaign at a time when the Trump administration has lodged attacks on California counties on several fronts, including funding for affordable housing and homelessness, an equitable count of the upcoming U.S. Census, along with stoking the fears of undocumented immigrants.
“Melissa is the fifth of seven children born to migrant farm workers in Dixon. Her family spent two crop seasons living in the migrant camps there,” the campaign wrote.
“Melissa’s father saved enough to buy his own tractor-trailer and began work as an interstate trucker. Before long, with her parent’s perseverance and the helping hand of a compassionate neighbor, they settled into a two, then three bedroom apartment in Dixon.”
Last May, Supervisor Haggerty announced he would not seek-election to the board after 23 years. The March 2020 primary campaign will be the first in the district since 1996. Haggerty notably never faced even a token challenger.