Shout Outs From March 8, 2018 Meeting

Sign  petitions for SB 651 – Petition Disclosure Act

Sign petitions to get split tax Proposition 13

Visit March for Our Lives Facebook page to get evolved.

Together We Will Contra Costa – working to remove endorsement of Sheriff Livingston.  Sign petition to ask Steve Glazer to remove his endorsement of Sheriff Livingston.

Request to Sign Up for “Deep Green” under the Lafayette MCE Option – Sustainable Lafayette is trying to get 1,000 businesses.

Sign our Call to Action to support upcoming gun safety legislation.

BART Director Speaks to the Lamorinda Democratic Club

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The LDC met Thursday, March 10 at the Lafayette Library.  About 35 people heard about BART improvements, labor relations, future plans, and a proposed bond measure from BART Director Rebecca Saltzman.

Saltzman shared some interesting statistics about recent growth in ridership and BART’s importance in Lamorinda. This February, BART ridership grew to an historic high of 446,000 riders per weekday.  The benefit to Contra Costa County is illustrated by the fact that nearly as many people travel on BART into Oakland as through the Caldecott tunnel on a weekday morning peak hour. Another example of the benefit is that residential property values are 12.8% higher 1/2 mile from a BART station compared to 3% higher within 2 to 5 miles.

Saltzman described a number of areas where BART is making improvements.  A $1 billion project is underway and under budget that will make BART safe in an earthquake and reduce recovery time afterwards. Other current projects include improved station access and signage, additional bicycle storage (which is always fully utilized), canopies above entrances to underground BART stations, and the system extension to Antioch utilizing Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU) technology. 

There is a significant need to update BART’s infrastructure, some of which is 45-years old. Projects to address aging infrastructure include 775 more comfortable and efficient cars with additional doors and a new train control system for a 25% increase in traffic through the transbay tube. It is interesting to know that the new train control system will allow closer spacing between trains, because the location of trains will be more precisely known.

A $3.5 billion bond measure is one potential funding source for the estimated $9.6 billion cost of these infrastructure projects.  There will be benefits of reduced crowding and delays as well as increased safety.

Saltzman received many questions from the audience were many about labor relations. She responded that steps are being taken, which she believes ensure negotiations, to start next year, will be successful.  She said there has been a recognition of the mistakes made and the management inexperience that led to the strike. There are also joint labor-management efforts this year to build trust and a common understanding of BART data. She also explained that the right-to-strike for BART workers was established by state law and is therefore not up to the Board.

Saltzman also received questions about station conditions, parking, late night hours, and expansion around the bay. Generally what the Board can do is limited by funding and may also require action by others.

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Endorsements Approved at Lamorinda Democratic Club’s September 11th Meeting

The Lamorinda Democratic Club membership approved the following endorsements at the Club's September 11 meeting:

Tim Sbranti for Assembly
Yes on State Proposition 2
Yes on State Proposition 45
Yes on State Proposition 47
No on State Proposition 48

The LDC Endorsements Committee has not completed its analysis of State Proposition 1. The Club takes no position on State Proposition 46.

At the September 11th meeting the Club also heard from eight Democrats running for local offices. Eight more candidates are schedule to speak at the October 9th meeting.  Additional endorsements will be presented to the membership for approval at the October meeting.

Congratulations to Our 2013-14 Officers

At the Lamorinda Democratic Club's May 10 meeting, the following members were elected as our officers for the 2013-14 year:

President: Katie Ricklefs
Vice President: John Hall
Secretary: Marie McDonald
Treasurer: Carol Nacon

Congratulations to our officers! Please contact any member of the Board of Directors if you would like to volunteer to help our club and its programs in the coming year.

LDC's 2012 General Election Endorsements

Following the club's endorsement process, the Lamorinda Democratic Club's membership has voted on the following endorsements for the 2012 general election:

  • Prop 30 Temporary Taxes to Fund Education & Public Safety: Yes
  • Prop 31 Budget Reforms: No
  • Prop 32 Limits Union Political Contributions: No
  • Prop 33 Auto Insurance Price Based on Driver History: No
  • Prop 34 Eliminates the Death Penalty: Yes
  • Prop 35 Human Trafficking: Yes
  • Prop 36 Modifies Three Strikes Law: Yes
  • Prop 37 Labeling of Genetically Engineered Foods: Yes
  • Prop 39 Adjust Taxes for Multi-State Corporations to Fund Clean Energy Programs: Yes
  • Prop 40 Referendum on State Senate District Boundaries: Yes
  • Measure A, Contra Costa Community College District $11/year parcel tax: Yes
  • Measure C, Martinez Unified School District parcel tax renewal: Yes
  • Measure K, Town of Moraga 1-cent sales tax for road maintenance: Yes
  • Measure L, City of Orinda 1/2-cent sales tax for road maintenance: Yes
  • Measure Q, Contra Costa Fire District $75/year parcel tax: Yes
  • 11th Congressional District: George Miller
  • 7th Senatorial District: Mark DeSaulnier
  • 16th Asembly District: Joan Buchanan
  • Moraga Town Council: Karen Mendonca
  • Orinda City Council: Victoria Smith
  • Pleasant Hill City Council: David Durant
  • Lafayette School Board: Quinlan Tom
  • Mt. Diablo School Board: Brian Lawrence
  • Contra Costa Community College District 2: Vicki Gordon

Lamorinda Democratic Club Endorses AB 1148, the California DISCLOSE Act

After hearing a presentation during the November 10 Lamorinda Democratic Club business meeting about AB 1148, the California DISCLOSE Act, club members in attendance voted unanimously for the club to endorse the measure. This was consistent with the club's long-time support for Clean Money elections and campaign finance reform.

As the California Clean Money campaign explains,

AB 1148, the California DISCLOSE Act, would fight back against unlimited hidden spending on campaigns by letting voters know who REALLY is paying for political ads — on the ads themselves.  Authored by Assemblymember Julia Brownley and sponsored by the California Clean Money Campaign, AB 1148 would amend the Political Reform Act of 1974, and so can either be put into effect by a 2/3 vote of the legislature or a majority vote placing a measure on the ballot for the voters to decide.

The California DISCLOSE Act would require all political television ads, print ads, and websites to list their Top Five funders in a clear and unambiguous fashion.  The Top Two funders will be required to be listed on radio ads.

Requires the largest funder of television and radio ads to "stand by their ad".  For example, instead of saying, in small print, “Paid for by Stop Hidden Taxes – No on 25/Yes on 26, a coalition of taxpayers and employers…”, Yes on 26 ads would have said:  "I'm John Watson, CEO of Chevron, located in California.  Chevron helped pay for this message and approves it."

The California Clean Money Campaign and other supporters of the California DISCLOSE Act will be hosting a Legislative Campaign Kick-off event on January 7, 2012, from 10 a.m.-12 noon at Oakland City Hall. We will post more information about that event as the event date draws near. You can also preregister at www.YesFairElections.org.

A Plan to Heal America: The Main Street Contract for the American People

During last night's Lamorinda Democratic Club meeting, California Nurses Association/National Nurses United Director of Public Policy for California Michael Lighty shared information about the Main Street Contract for America.

The Main Street Contact seeks to promote policies that will ensure:

  • Jobs at living wages, reinvesting in America.
  • Equal access to quality, public education.
  • Guaranteed healthcare for all.
  • A secure retirement, with the ability to retire in dignity.
  • Good housing and protection from hunger.
  • A safe, clean, and healthy environment.
  • A just taxation system where corporations and the wealthy pay their fair share.

The LDC's Issues and Endorsements Committee will be reviewing a resolution of support for the effort for possible consideration by the club at a future meeting.

At the end of his presentation, Lighty shared the following video which highlights the New Face of America, one where the interests of Wall Street have overtaken those of Main Street.