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.
Updated at 8:20 a.m. Tuesday, November 13
Alameda Vice Mayor Rob Bonta appears to be headed to the state Assembly, with Peralta Community College District trustee Abel Guillen conceding the race. With over 100,000 late absentee ballots counted since the polls closed on Election Day and more provisional ballots tallied Monday, the lead Bonta has held since vote tallying began stood at 70,745 votes, or 51.09 percent, to Guillen's 67,716 votes, or 48.91 percent.
Tony Daysog raised only a fraction of the money some of his opponents in the City Council race did. So he decided to invest some sweat equity into his campaign, knocking on doors all across the Island. The strategy appears to have paid off for the urban planner and former City Councilman, who will be returning to the dais after securing a second-place finish in Tuesday’s contest.
“I’m kind of surprised,” Daysog said of the results late Tuesday. “But I guess all the door knocking really paid off.”
Updated at 1:03 a.m. Wednesday, November 8 to reflect full precinct count
School board Trustee Trish Herrera Spencer led a pack of eight candidates to keep her seat despite robocalls that questioned her record.
With nearly all of the precincts counted, Spencer had taken 9,966 votes, or 21.34 percent of the ballots cast and counted. Barbara Kahn, an 83-year-old retired social worker who recently rekindled her activism on school issues, was in second place with 7,907 votes or 16.93 percent of the ballots cast.
Alameda voters overwhelmingly told the City Council on Tuesday night that they want the final say in determining if public park land should be sold or traded.
With all of the votes counted, Measure D won, with 15,247 yes votes, or 78.21 percent to 4,249 no votes, or 21.79 percent. A simple majority was needed to pass.
Meanwhile, a countywide measure to raise money to remodel the Oakland Zoo and care for its animals was leading by a margin of nearly two to one but did not have the necessary two-thirds approval with 100 percent of precincts tallied early Wednesday. It was losing with 62.69 percent of voters in favor of the tax and 37.31 percent opposed