Politics

Contributed photo.

A bill co-authored by Assemblyman Rob Bonta that would levy taxes on ammunition to help fund public safety services in violence-plagued communities and also, children’s mental health services, has cleared one Assembly committee and is headed to another.

Here’s the latest news on bills by your local legislators.

STATE SENATOR LONI HANCOCK

Passed committee

SB279, Would set rules making it easier for the San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority to hold regional elections; approved by the governance and finance committee on April 17, 7-0, and referred to rules committee.

SB396, approved by public safety committee on April 16, 5-2, and referred to the appropriations committee.

Five years ago, city leaders adopted a plan aimed at reducing Alameda’s carbon footprint. And community members formed a group, Community Action for a Sustainable Alameda, to help promote the plan’s emission reduction goals and gain the public’s help in reaching them. This Wednesday, April 24, the city and CASA are teaming up once more to celebrate their achievements at a Climate Protection Forum, where they will highlight the results of a Greenhouse Gas Emissions report, and spotlight local climate heroes.

Rob Bonta wants mental health services for youths who have experienced depression and violence. Contributed photo.

In an age of increasing violence, one East Bay legislator is sponsoring a bill that would help students affected by trauma.

An evening ferry arrives at the Main Street terminal. Photo by Michele Ellson.

City leaders are expressing concerns about a state lawmaker’s proposal to restructure the board that oversees Bay Area ferry service, calling it a power grab by local officials in East Contra Costa County that could cost the Island its say over two local ferry lines and frustrate plans to move one of them to Alameda Point.

Here’s a list of bills introduced by your state representatives since January, with a brief description of each and their status.

STATE SENATOR LONI HANCOCK

Scheduled for hearing

SB379, Would make it easier for charter early college high schools to allow students to spend more time attending community and state colleges; was scheduled for a hearing before the education committee on April 3. SB730, which would grant students at middle college high schools better access to community colleges and allow community colleges to strike partnerships deals with the schools; the bill is scheduled for a hearing before the education committee on April 10.

Congresswoman Barbara Lee kicked off her new job as Alameda’s representative in the House on Monday by announcing plans to help constituents who are having issues with the federal government. Lee’s office will hold office hours at the Main Library from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the second and fourth Thursday of each month.

“So many times, people get bogged down with federal agencies. We really try to bring government closer to people, and to be your advocate,” Lee told a small crowd heavily studded with local electeds during a stop at the library Monday afternoon.

Cheryl Taylor and her daughter Julia Ruderman, 6, attend an inaugural event at the main library on Monday. Photo by Michele Ellson.

The crowd attending Monday’s inauguration viewing event at the Main Library was smaller and more subdued than the standing-room-only one that turned out when President Barack Obama was first sworn into office four years ago, with a handful of local League of Women Voters stalwarts gathering in the early morning darkness in the library’s main meeting room and a few dozen more arriving as the sunlight filtered in.

Updated at 3:36 p.m. Friday, November 16

With all the votes tallied after 10 days of counting, Stewart Chen has earned a two-year term on Alameda’s City Council, earning a close third-place finish in the council contest.

Daysog and first-place finisher Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft will each serve four-year terms, while Chen, who came within 113 votes of Daysog's tally, will finish out Vice Mayor Rob Bonta’s term as Bonta heads to the state Assembly.

Bonta bested Peralta Community College District Trustee Abel Guillen by just under 1,500 votes to take the Assembly seat, which is being vacated by termed-out legislator Sandré Swanson.

Election Day may feel like a distant memory for weary voters and candidates who lived through a lengthy campaign season, but the closing of the polls heralded a fresh round of ballot counting for elections officials – votes that could determine the fate of some close races.

Voters turned in an estimated 100,000 vote by mail ballots at Alameda County polling places on Election Day and cast another 42,000 provisional ballots, information submitted to the California Secretary of State shows (though the actual counts show the numbers may be higher). In this election, those ballots made up nearly a quarter of the estimated 590,000 votes cast.