Mayor’s Forum in Antioch hosted by East County Dems

 Gathering at the Antioch City Council Chambers, the mayors of Oakley (Jim Frazier-D), Brentwood (Bob Taylor-R) and Antioch (Jim Davis-R) joined with the Vice Mayor of Pittsburg(Ben Johnson-DTS) in an interesting forum hosted by the East County Democrats for Action club in a very civilized non-partisan forum. 

Questions were asked from a collection from the audience and ranged all over without any directly partisan or hostile loaded questions.

Some basic salient features were:

1. Brentwood has a substantial kids' shadow government program where the kids spend time with Council members and city staff including the Police Chief.  It took a few years to develop but the kids have come around to incorporate it into the education culture of the city.  This is a good reminder that some ideas need a little support after a bad start. 

2. Both Oakley and Brentwood have substantial financial reserves 29-30% which is astounding considering that most cities are hurting.  For example Concord is currently below 7% reserves and is only being rescued by its Measure Q tax increase.

3. Oakley recently cut all its building fees by 50%.  This is a matter of interest for future follow up to see if this really makes a difference.

4. Jim Frazier of Oakley is looking forward to the development of its $1B state power plant that has committed sizeable contributions to the city’s income base.  He was also very involved in Highway 4 improvements.

5. Antioch and Pittsburg have several Council members involved in direct meetings with its school board(s).  Antioch actually has several former school board members now sitting as Councilmen, something interesting to those looking at elected careers and stepping stones.

6. Antioch has an Academy program to help youth based on a Tennessee model, the details of which were not given.

7. Jim Davis of Antioch said he had to be careful in answering about Section Eight impacts on his city because of pending lawsuits, but said he holds the position that the program has to be a “hand up not a hand-out” approach.

8. Redistricting was very interesting because of my own interest in the matter, with Frazier, Davis and Taylor all echoing the positions of wanting an East county district. Brentwood emphasized its association with Oakley and Antioch.  Johnson of Pittsburg simply said they were happy with Glover an opening not taken by the others, nor did he talk about any association with Antioch.  I suspect that Frazier and Davis are far more interested in the Redistricting than the two other representatives which may give us some indication of future moves.

9. Taylor of Brentwood came back repeatedly that much of their problems come from higher levels of government including Sacramento and Washington including the White House.

10. There were various comments about Mayor Taylor’s turkey routine: he dresses up as a turkey to raise money for turkey’s to be donated at Thanksgiving. There was mention of over 750 turkeys’ that were bought with the money and he apparently gave 200 plus to Oakley folks.

11. Frazier was very proud of La Clinica Raza coming to Oakley to help the community’s needy.  He said he has donated half his salary to them with other chunks going to various charities.

The audience included Mary Piepho, Council member Rocha from Antioch as well as other organization leaders such as Chuck Carpenter Chairman of the Democratic Central Committee.

The event was the first of its kind for the club and it is expected to be a yearly event.


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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