Updated at 5:16 p.m. Thursday, October 30 in BOLD
With Election Day less than a week away – and formal campaign finance disclosure deadlines safely behind us – independent groups are unleashing tens of thousands of dollars to fund a mountain of last-minute mailers touting (or trashing) local candidates and ballot measures.
City Councilman Stewart Chen has taken the lead in Alameda’s campaign money race, newly released donor disclosure documents show.
Welcome to this week’s edition of The Broad Brush, our 60-second news review. Here are your Alameda headlines for the week.
Alameda police have arrested two men in connection with a string of apparent arson fires that took place within a seven-block radius on and around Park Street Sunday morning. But friends of one of the suspects in a string of early-morning fires Sunday are expressing disbelief he was involved in starting them.
A legislative staffer who has served on several local committees and a pair of city councilmen – one incumbent and one former – are vying for two open City Council seats this fall.
It’s 2025 and the vision you had for Alameda when you were elected in 2014 has come to fruition. Describe Alameda.
It seems Alameda’s firefighter and teacher unions aren’t the only groups seeking to influence this fall’s races. The leaders of Harbor Bay Neighbors – the community group fighting developer Ron Cowan’s (now stalled) proposal to build 80 luxury homes where the Harbor Bay Club now sits and (still in motion) plan to build a new one a few miles away – say they intend to “support candidates for Mayor and City Council that support us.”
So what does that mean?
Assemblyman Rob Bonta scores what could be considered a Democratic pol’s ultimate selfie, with former secretary of state and potential presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
Alameda voters will be faced with low turnout on their local ballots this fall, with a pair of candidates running for mayor and three candidates in the race for two open council seats.
School board trustee Trish Herrera Spencer’s late-breaking decision to run for mayor dashed what would otherwise have been a coronation for incumbent Marie Gilmore, who bested four challengers when she ran for the open mayor’s seat in 2010.
Meanwhile, incumbent councilman Stewart Chen will run for a four-year term in the fall, against former councilman Frank Matarrese and Jim Oddie, an aide to Assemblyman Rob Bonta.
Perhaps one of the biggest challenges facing city leaders seeking to redevelop Alameda Point during tough economic times is finding the money to revitalize the 918-acre former Naval base. To address that challenge, some City Council candidates are suggesting Alameda take a look overseas.
“This world economy should not be a one way street. It should be a two way street. And I’d like to foster that,” said Stewart Chen, a council candidate who says Alameda should consider talking to foreign investors.