Assemblymember Skinner: You Deserve the Right to Vote

Assemblymember Nancy Skinner believes Californians should have the right to vote on whether temporary taxes should be continued to help close the budget deficit. The text of her letter follows after the jump:

. . . → Read More: Assemblymember Skinner: You Deserve the Right to Vote

Brown Halts Budget Negotiations

Governor Jerry Brown announced that he has suspended budget negotiations with the Republicans. As the Governor writes:

I put forth a balanced balanced budget plan that included deep cuts and extensions of current existing taxes.  Under our constitution two Republicans from the Assembly and two from the Senate must agree before these tax extensions can be put to a vote of the people.

Each and every Republican legislator I’ve spoken to believes that voters should not have this right to vote unless I agree to an ever changing list of collateral demands.  Many of the Republican demands will actually increase our budget deficit and mean additional cuts to education and public safety.

Much is at stake, and in the coming weeks I will . . . → Read More: Brown Halts Budget Negotiations

Senator Mark DeSaulnier to Chair Three New Select Committees

Senator Mark DeSaulnier (D-Concord) announced that he has been designated the chair of three new select committees: the Select Committee on Excellence and Innovation in State Government, the Select Committee on Restoring California’s Middle Class, and the Select Committee on Small Business and the Underground Economy.

To learn more about these new Select Committees, and what Senator DeSaulnier hopes to accomplish with them, please click here to read the press release from his office.

Budget Workshop with Asm. Susan Bonilla at Los Madanos College

At Los Madanos College about 137 people gathered in the library's lecture room to go over the latest presentation by Next 10 with Asm. Susan Bonilla on choices to be made and possible impacts on the budget.

The audience was given a vote indicator, which would then signal the votes of the audience and tabulate the results as a Percentage response to each question and the options below.  For example:

Question- what level of funding and fees should be applied to the community college system?

1. No change

2. Increase credit fees from $26 to $36 a credit saving $290M

3. Increase fees to $62 saving $400M

4. Leave the fees alone but increase the $5,700 spent on each . . . → Read More: Budget Workshop with Asm. Susan Bonilla at Los Madanos College

Miller Addresses Health Care Anniversary

Before an overflow crowd of 100 at the Concord Senior Center, Congressman George Miller and other speakers celebrated the one-year anniversary of the Health Care Act, which was signed by President Obama on March 23, 2010. Dr. William Walker of the County health services and health advocate with numerous podcasts on the subject  was present.  Miller called him his mentor on provisions of the bill.  Walker  called the repeal the act as the most serious threat to the health services of the county. Dr. Walker said that 500 dependents in the County are now eligible for care and that the eventual coverage under a Federal program would relieve the county of a major fiscal burden.

Congressman Miller expressed great satisfaction with being a leader . . . → Read More: Miller Addresses Health Care Anniversary

Happy Birthday Affordable Care Act

The California Budget Project notes the one-year anniversary of President Obama's signing of the Affordable Care Act into law by issuing a new budget brief describing the benefits of the law, including a description of the "new consumer protections and the law’s impact on coverage – both for individuals who purchase coverage privately and for those who obtain coverage through public programs, such as Medi-Cal."


Concord in Focus at the Diablo Valley Democratic Club

Concord in Focus was the subject of the Diablo Valley Democratic Club's March meeting.

There were several presentations starting with Mayor Laura Hoffmeister of Concord who gave an overview of the City. Some of the salient features of her talk included:

The sales tax income (about 1/3 of the city's general fund revenue) is leveling off. In fact, Sun Valley Mall reported a 2% rise compared to last Christmas, but it is unsure if this was a trend or a blip from deferred purchases. The reassessments of commercial property are not expected to be severe in Concord but could be an impact in Antioch, and points east. The Measure Q tax increase is expected to stabilize the budget and built up a reserve, currently at . . . → Read More: Concord in Focus at the Diablo Valley Democratic Club

Assemblymember Susan Bonilla To Host Budget Workshop with Next10 on March 24

You are invited to join Assemblymember Susan Bonilla for an Interactive Budget Workshop including the Next 10 California Budget Challenge on Thursday, March 24, from 6-8 p.m. at the Los Medanos Community College Community Room in Pittsburg.

To RSVP or for more information, please visit this web site or call 925-521-1511.

Diablo Valley Democratic Club’s March 16 meeting will feature a focus on the City of Concord

The Diablo Valley Democratic Club's March 16 meeting will feature a focus on the City of Concord.

The meeting features conversations with Mayor Laura Hoffmeister, who will discuss the state of the city; Edi Birsan of the Concord Naval Weapons Station Restoration Advisory Board, who will discuss the redevelopment of the Naval Weapons Station; and Dori Kojima of Satellite Housing, who will talk about affordable housing.

The DVDC meets from 7-9 p.m. at the Ygnacio Valley Library, 2661 Oak Grove Road, Walnut Creek. Please park on Deerpark Drive, the first right after the library, unless you have difficulty walking. For more information, call 925-946-0469 or visit the club's web site.


Lafayette School District Superintendent Addresses Lamorinda Democratic Club March 10

Fred Brill is the Superintendent of the Lafayette School District covering four Elementary Schools and a Middle School.  He had a simple message for the Lamorinda Democrats at their March 10 meeting:

The School District needs help and wants support of the Measure B parcel tax of $176 to close the funding gap caused by the drop in the state funding.  The salient features of his talk including responses to some questions were:

He visited a school this morning and was very pleased to see the high degree of volunteerism with the school. He commented that there were 5 adults in each class in the Elementary school helping kids. In the past 3 years the funding has been cut back by 18% with the district . . . → Read More: Lafayette School District Superintendent Addresses Lamorinda Democratic Club March 10

Upcoming Contra Costa Democratic Events

October  2014
  • Concord Democratic Club October Social Event Featuring Senator Mark DeSaulnier and Assemblymember Susan Bonilla

    Starts: 6:30 pm

    Location: The Hop Grenade, 2151 Salvio St, Concord, CA 94520, United States

    Description: The Concord Democratic Club will host an October Social on Tuesday, October 7, at 6:30 p.m. at the Hop Grenade, 2151 Salvio St., in Concord.

    The event will feature Senator (and Congressional Candidate) Mark DeSaulnier and Assemblymember Susan Bonilla.

    For more information, please visit the club's website at

  • League of Women Voters to Moderate Assembly District 16 Debate at Rossmoor

    Starts: 12:30 pm

    Location: Rossmoor Events Center, 1021 Stanley Dollar Drive, Walnut Creek, CA

    Description: The Democrats of Rossmoor and the Republican Club of Rossmoor will jointly sponsor a debate featuring the Democratic and Republican candidates for California’s 16th Assembly District on Thursday, October 9, at the Rossmoor Events Center. Seating will be available at 12:30.

    Democrat Joan Buchanan has held the Assembly seat since 2008, and terms out this year. The 16th District, which includes Rossmoor, is one of 80 California Assembly Districts.

    Campaigning for the seat are Democrat Tim Sbranti and Republican Catharine Baker. Sbranti is a teacher, coach, and former Dublin Mayor. Sbranti was first elected to the Dublin City Council in 2002, and was elected Mayor in 2008 and re-elected in 2010. The City of Dublin enjoyed a budget surplus in 2012 after several years of an economic downturn. Catharine Baker is a local attorney with Hoge Fenton Jones & Appel and has received awards for her pro bono work. In 2011, she received the Wiley W. Manuel Certificate for Pro Bono Legal Services from the California State Bar Association, one of the most prestigious awards of its kind. Baker is Vice President of the Dougherty Elementary School Site Council, and has served on the school’s Safety Committee for five years, two as chairman.

    The debate will be moderated by the non-partisan League of Women Voters. It will be structured; responses will be timed. The debate will be followed by a wine reception in the Donner Room (also in the Event Center) so that attendees can meet the candidates. Food will not be served.

    Questions for the candidates will come from two sources. They will be collected ahead of time by the respective clubs. Questions from the Republican Club of Rossmoor members should be emailed to Tom Fryer at, or mailed to Tom at 1708 Golden Rain Road Apt. 6, Walnut Creek, CA 94595. Questions from Democratic Club members should be emailed to Jane Walter at or mailed to Jane at 1832 Golden Rain Road, Apt. 3, Walnut Creek, CA 94595. Questions will also be gathered from the audience on note cards and organized by representatives of the League of Women Voters.

    There is no charge for the debate and everyone is welcome. If you have questions please contact Fran Cavenaugh (Republican Club of Rossmoor) at 945-7211, or Jane Walter (Democrats of Rossmoor) at 945-1429.

  • Mark DeSaulnier for Congress Reception Featuring Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer

    Starts: 5:00 pm

    Location: Home of Amy and Tom Worth (Address to be provided upon RSVP)

    Description: The Mark DeSaulnier for Congress Campaign invites you to an Orinda Reception featuring Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer on Thursday, October 9, from 5-7 p.m. at the home of Amy and Tom Worth (address provided upon RSVP).

    All donations, up to the maximum, will be accepted.

    For more information please call (925) 957-1123 or visit the campaign's web site at

  • Lamorinda Democratic Club will Present Night Two of Local Democratic Candidate Information Series

    Starts: 7:30 pm

    Location: Lafayette Library - Contra Costa County Library, 3491 Mt Diablo Blvd, Lafayette, CA 94549, United States

    Description: The Lamorinda Democratic Club will host a second night of its Local Democratic Candidate Information Series on Thursday, October 9, from 7:30-9 p.m. at the Lafayette Library and Learning Center, 3491 Mt. Diablo Blvd, in Lafayette.

    This is an opportunity for you to come and meet many of the Democratic Candidates for our local City Councils, School Boards, and Regional Districts. These elections are important because these officials make decisions that directly impact our lives and local officials often run for higher office. These candidates are running for office out of civic duty; they look forward to working long hours for no salary and yet they will represent our values. Thus, it is our civic duty to understand each Democratic candidate we endorse and help them win in November.

    The club will also be voting on endorsements. For more information, please click here to visit the club's web site at

  • Betty Yee for Controller Sunday Brunch in Benicia

    Starts: 11:00 am

    Location: Veterans Memorial Hall, 1150 1st St, Benicia, CA 94510, United States

    Description: Please join community leaders from Napa, Solano, and Contra Costa Counties for a Sunday Brunch supporting Betty Yee for State Controller on Sunday, October 12, from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Veterans Hall, 1150 First Street, in Benicia.

    Tickets are $40 with sponsorships available at $100, $500, $1000, and $2500.

    To contribute online, visit

    RSVP by Friday, October 10, 2014 to Patricia Cheng by emailing or by calling (415) 813-1933.

  • Democratic Party of Contra Costa County Central Committee Meeting

    Starts: 7:30 pm

    Location: John F Kennedy University, 100 Ellinwood Way, Pleasant Hill, CA, United States

  • Mike Thompson for Congress Bocce Tournament

    Starts: 8:30 am

    Location: Martinez Waterfront Park, Martinez, CA 94553, United States

    Description: The Mike Thompson for Congress Committee invites you to attend his Bocce Ball Tournament on Saturday, October 18, at the Martinez Waterfront Park, Joe DiMaggio Drive, in Martinez.

    Sign in at 8:30 a.m. with play starting at 9 a.m. Fee is $25 per player. Team sponsorships are available for $250. Team entries are limited and must be completed by October 11. Entry fee includes continental breakfast and a BBQ lunch. Click here to purchase your event tickets today!

  • Contra Costa Young Democrats' 2nd Annual Young DemOktoberfest

    Starts: 1:00 pm

    Location: IBEW Local 302, 1875 Arnold Drive, Martinez, CA

    Description: The Contra Costa Young Democrats invite you to join them for their 2nd Annual Young DemOktoberfest -- an afternoon of brews, brats, and blue on Sunday, October 19, at 1 p.m. at IBEW Local 302, 1875 Arnold Drive, in Martinez!

    Tickets cost $25 for Young Democrats belonging to any chapter, seniors (60+), and military veterans, $20 if you're a full-time student or under 21, and $40.00 for "Young-At-Heart" supporters aged 40 and up. Purchase your ticket today!

  • Diablo Valley Democratic Club Meeting to Feature Assemblymember Joan Buchanan Discussing Women in Politics

    Starts: 7:00 pm

    Location: Ygnacio Valley Library - Contra Costa County Library, 2661 Oak Grove Rd, Walnut Creek, CA 94598, United States

    Description: The Diablo Valley Democratic Club's next meeting on Wednesday, October 22, with feature Assemblymember Joan Buchanan discussing "Women in Politics: What is the Status in Califormia?"

    Women make up half of the population, but only 28 percent of the state legislature and that number has been going down. Assemblymember Buchanan has been in the Assembly (AD 16) nearly six years. Learn from her what it's like to be in the female minority in the legislature and what the trends are for women in politics across the state.

    The DVDC meets from 7-9 p.m. at the Ygnacio Valley Library, 2661 Oak Grove Road, Walnut Creek. Please park on Deerpark Drive, the first right after the library, unless you have difficulty walking. For more information, call 925-946-0469 or visit the club's web site.

  • San Ramon Valley Dems - Net Neutrality, What It Is and Why It Matters

    Starts: 6:15 pm

    Location: Crow Canyon Country Club, 711 Silver Lake Dr, Danville, CA 94526, United States

    Description: Have you heard of Net Neutrality, or Internet Slowdown Day, and do you wonder what all the fuss is about? In simple terms, net neutrality means that Internet providers should treat all data that travels over their networks equally, rather than slowing down or even blocking access to sites of their choosing. This sounds fair and reasonable, and yet our very own Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is considering rules that would let Internet providers violate Net Neutrality.

    The San Ramon Valley Democratic Club meeting on Thursday, October 23rd features Vera Ranieri, an attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, focusing on intellectual property and innovation. Ms. Ranieri will discuss "net neutrality": what it is and why it matters. She will talk about the development of the Internet, the history behind FCC's previous attempts at regulation, and why the current debate has generated over 1.5 million comments to the FCC. She will present the arguments for and against net neutrality as put forth by various stakeholders, discussing the benefits and drawbacks of the various positions. This will help you form your own opinion and learn what you can do to influence government policy.

    The meeting is free and open to the public (suggested $5 donation). Come at 6:15 to talk with the speakers before the meeting. Buffet dinner ($25) is at 6:45 pm with the program beginning at 7:15 pm. To reserve a dinner, please RSVP to Jim Donnelly, (925) 570-9289 or