El Cerrito Democratic Club newsletter, November
ECDC NEWS: El Cerrito Democrtic Club News
The Voice of Progressive Democrats in El Cerrito, Kensington & Richmond
Looking Up: A Panel Discussion on Education
With Glen Price, Trustee, Linda Takimoto, Bayside PTA Council,
And Terry Jackson, President, United Teacher of Richmond
A discussion of the presidential election will follow.
Tuesday, November 28, 7:30 p.m.
Northminster Presbyterian Church,
545 Ashbury, El Cerrito
Jingle Bells in July? We will not be having a Christmas Party this
December because our traditional hosts--Art and Sue Walenta--are
remodeling their kitchen. Shall we substitute a “traditional” Democratic
picnic in July?
Aroner, Miller, Gioia Address El Cerrito Democrats at October 14 Dinner
Reporter Betty Buginas
www. El Cerrito Wire, firstname.lastname@example.org
Assemblywoman Dion Aroner recapped the area’s gains in this year’s state
budget and roused the troops to campaign for local causes in the coming
“We did very well in the budget,” she said.
Aroner spoke at the annual meeting of the El Cerrito Democratic Club….
Budget. By far the greatest budget victory for West County was the
debt relief bill which will bring $800,000 a year for five years to the
West County Unified School District, she said.
Although Aroner authored the legislation, she said the bill passed
because of the unified effort of the community. She credited individuals
and groups such as John Dalrymple of the Contra Costa Central Labor
Council, Reverend Phil Lawson of Vision 2000, community members who
traveled to Sacramento on behalf of the effort, “and a little bit of
luck” with the success of the effort….
Other gains for the area in this year’s budget cited by Aroner:
$5 million for transportation, including a parking structure that will
be part of a transit village at the Richmond BART station; $7 million to
support cleaner buses for ACT Transit; Funds toward restoration of the
Richmond Plunge; $2.5 million toward the East Bay Shoreline Park;
$650,000 to $680,000 toward sealing the Albany bulb.
Smart Growth. Supervisor John Gioia spoke on the county’s efforts to
promote smart growth. The county has tightened up the urban limit line to
curb urban sprawl and work with Contra Costa cities in the next 18 months
to promote smart growth practices such as: Creating communities with
transportation choices other than cars; providing a range of house types
and price ranges; locating housing close to jobs and transportation; and,
revitalizing urban areas.
With current practices, he said, “We’re creating two Californias.”
One, he said, is urban and made up primarily of lower income people and
primarily people of color, who are not sharing in the economic success
that the other California is experiencing….
[Congressman George Miller, who made an unscheduled appearance,] said
the amount of money being spent on this campaign “boggles the mind” but
said true campaign finance reform won’t come until we have public
financing of campaigns.
“Thank you for everything you’ve done to make this a bastion of
Democratic support,” Miller told the members. (End of El Cerrito Wire)
The Nancy Gans Award for Outstanding Political Action in the Public
Interest was presented to Betty Brown for her unceasing work on behalf of
peace and social justice. Betty Brown was described as a “pollinator”
who carries ideas among the groups to which she belongs. Brown is active
in many groups, such as Peace Action, the League of Women Voters, the
Alliance for Public Education, the Richmond Community Action Center, the
Rainbow Coalition, and a retired school nurses association.
It was the second time the award has been presented. The first
presentation, two years ago, went to school board member Glen Price. The
award of $150 is described as “seed money” for the recipient’s next
The amount of this year’s award represents the memorial contributions
received by the club from friends of former president Ralph McLaughlin.
From Betty Brown
Being essentially speechless with surprise
over receiving the Nancy Gans award at our annual dinner, I'd like to
express my deep gratitude for the honor. Since Nancy and I were friends
and co-workers on a number of projects, this recognition has special
meaning to me.
Consistent with the rationale for the award, the monetary portion will
be used for projects that promote interracial unity for peace and
justice. My heartfelt thanks to all those involved.
Voter Registration Chair Claudia Avedikian registered 240 voters. This is
probably a record for our club in one voting period.
8,400 Ballot Recommendations Distributed
Jean Brown, Precinct Organizer
I wish I could thank each one of you for the phoning, walking, and packet
delivering that you did. We had a record number of members and
non-members--82 people--working on this election. Which meant that I
didn’t need to spend time recruiting EC High School students and that Pat
Player could use them all to push Measure M over the top!
People called to ask how they could help the Demo campaign up until
the day of the election--and after we ran out of flyers. When I told
Robin Magid that we still had 30% of Kensington left to do, she asked,
“How many more flyers do you need?” And, voila, there they were the next
day! With her help we were able to cover 95% of El Cerrito and 100% of
It’s too bad we don’t live in Florida.
If you want to fight injustice, you don’t have to go to East Timor to
do it, as you can see from the letter on the next page. The Pacifica
Board has a new Executive Director, hand picked by former director Mary
Frances Berry, but the drive to emasculate the New York, LA and Berkeley
radio stations continues. The DC and Houston stations are already
innocuous. The new chair of the board is the Houston realtor who wants to
The good news is that the various lawsuits against Pacifica are
proceeding well: Our Attorney General Bill Lockyer ruled in favor of KPFA
listeners and they now have the right to sue on his behalf. The Committee
to Remove the Pacifica Board obtained some crucial documents for their
lawsuit under the Freedom of Information Act that indicate the Board
perjured itself and there is a good chance that the by-law amendments
that created a self-perpetuating board of directors will be invalidated.
Mail contributions to the legal fund to: Committee to Remove the
Pacifica Board, 1136 Wild Rose Drive, Santa Rosa, CA 95401.
To subscribe to the KPFA Folio: Sonoma County Peace and Justice
Center, 540 Pacific Avenue, Santa Rosa, CA 95404. $10
One Club, One Vote
From Chris Stampoulis, Secretary
California Democratic Council
I am a member of the Santa Clara County Democratic Central Committee,
and I can attest that CDC leadership here was responsible for the new
bylaw that grants every chartered club at least one vote on the Central
I helped to draft the amendment, our County Secretary Herb Engstrom
(also a CDC member) was supportive in helping to get the measure passed,
and Dave Wilkes helped to whip. All local clubs were very pleased with
After a bit of debate, the measure passed over-whelmingly, and the
bylaws were amended to grant formal voting power to all clubs chartered
with the County Committee for any and all actions coming before the
committee. This bylaw change is perma- nent, and thus all chartered
clubs will have votes to select our DSCC delegation in 2001 and our
county committee officers.
I urge other CDC officers, leaders and members to strive for the same
bylaw change within your own counties. It's a fairly simple process, but
substantial power both electorally and in "spirit."
Creating a Living Wage for Richmond
The announcement in the October News was not accurate: ECDC was asked to
endorse a list of core values that should be included in any living wage
ordinance passed by the city of Richmond. They would apply to all
employers who receive subsidies from the City, those who contract with
the city, or who are leasing or otherwise benefiting from public land.
Death with Dignity
A new member, Rod MacKenzie, has asked the club to consider endorsing
Dion Aroner’s death with dignity bill. We can decide whether to take up
this subject in January when we plan our program for the year. This idea
does not fall easily into a progressive/conservative category. Opinions
depend on one’s beliefs regarding religion, human nature, and the effect
of ethical dictates, such as the Hippocratic Oath, in controlling human
However, members may want to write now to our Senators to oppose
S.B.1272, The Pain Relief Promotion Act, which will kill Oregon’s Death
with Dignity law. This bill, promoted by the right-to-lifers, has already
passed the House and it would put a doctor in prison for 20 years for
aggressively treating pain.
Sup. Gioia Defends Small Lot Ordinance
Kensington members want to thank Mr.Gioia for his work protecting and
strengthening the Small Lot Ordinance. A lot of people want to enlarge
their house these days--without considering the effect it has on their
neighbor’s sunlight, views and the proportionality of the neighborhood.
One longstanding dispute was recently settled in Kensington with
Mr.Gioia’s help, and without granting variances that would have weakened
the Ordinance countywide.
Supervisor John Gioia’s office is now at 11780 San Pablo Ave., Suite
D, in El Cerrito, next to the Del Norte BART station. If you would like
to volunteer in his office, call Office Manager Cynthia Harvey at
374-3231. She will phone you when they have a need for help.
NASA has recorded the largest ozone hole ever (11million square miles)
over the frozen continent of Antarctica. (Something to cheer you up in
case you missed it.)
El Cerrito City Council (Redevelopment Agency on call): Mon., Nov. 20,
7:30 p.m., Community Center on Moeser Lane.
E.C. City Council: Mon. Nov. 27, 7:30 p.m., City Hall Conference Room A.
E.C. City Council/Redevelopment Agency: Dec. 4 & 18, Community Center.
There will be no ECDC meeting in December.
ECDC Executive Board: Wed., Jan. 10, 7:30 p.m. Betty Brown’s 44 Beverly
President Carleton Whitehead 235-4708
Vice Presidents Lloyd Vandever 527-8625
Dwight Merrill 527-2681
Co-Treasurers Brad and Pat Caftel 525-7268
Recording Secty Betty Brown 524-6071
Corresponding Secty Bea O'Keefe 232-8041
Membership Rose Lernberg 527-2194
Program Betty Brown 524-6071
Clifford Amsbury 233-1383
Ad hoc Committees
Education Julie Rogers 236-9799
Environment Lori Dair 232-6466
Transportation Miriam Hawley 527-7727
Voter Reg. Claudia Avedikian 236-8350
(Some positions are open at this time.)
Computer Generated, Labor Donated, Recycled Paper
El Cerrito Democratic Club
P.O. Box 192
El Cerrito, CA 94530
Address Correction Requested
14th Assembly District to Meet
Are you interested in representing ECDC on the Democratic 14th Assembly
District Committee? This committee will be reorganizing on January 13 or
14, electing officers, 12 delegates to the Democratic State Central
Committee (State Convention delegates), and a representative to the state
Party Executive Board.
ECDC is entitled to 12 members on the 14th AD Committee. This only
requires attendance at the January meeting and the annual meeting in
If you are interested or would like more information, please call Rose
Editor: Jean M. Brown, 527-2928
The opinions expressed in this paper are those of the editor unless
ECDC is chartered by the Democratic Party of Contra Costa County and
affiliated with the California Democratic Council.
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Students & retirees $10, two at same address $14
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Run dates: 2000-11-29 - 2000-12-15