LWV City Council Candidate Forum

League of Women Voters Council Candidate Forum

The line-up for the LWV City Council candidate forum.

All of the candidates attended Thursday evening’s forum hosted by the Alameda League of Women Voters, and were greeted by a healthy crowd of nearly fifty people in attendance, including Mayor Gilmore. Cards were passed out to the audience members to allow questions to be asked of the candidates. Due to time constraints, only four questions were chosen by the moderator. Three of the questions concerned popular topics from previous forums: master developers for Alameda Point, the parks initiative called Measure D, and the problem of unfunded liabilities. The fourth question delved into appropriate City services for public/private partnerships.

The PA system took center stage as the evening began, while candidates attempted the best positioning to avoid ear-shattering feedback interrupting their prepared opening statements. The forum marked the first appearance by Joana Darc Weber, a Brazilian journalist who just gained US citizenship before filing as a candidate for office.

The candidates were first asked whether they favored a master developer for Alameda Point, or if the City should handle it themselves. All spoke of the need to clean the site first, and nobody was exclusively in favor of a master developer handling the project. Daysog, Cambra and Ashcraft would all be open to the possibility, depending on the terms of the deal. Sullwold and Chen supported the idea of City-led development. Sullwold pointed out that for a master developer to make a profit would require more housing than permitted by the agreement with the Navy, which would trigger additional fees of $50k per unit. While stressing the need for local control, Chen suggested that new sources of investment for the Point should be considered, including foreign investors.

Dumuk and Weber spoke of the need to attract more businesses to the Point. Dumuk deferred making a final decision on development to do more research on the issue. Weber felt that renovation of reusable buildings needed to take place before tenants like the new brewery could be lured. Cambra and Ashcraft also talked of the need of rezoning the point, something Ashcraft said hasn’t happened since WWII. Cambra proposed something called “entitlement zoning” that would be flexible to take advantage of current market situations.  The two also shared their vision of building a transit oriented village supported by ferries.

Next the candidates were asked what areas of city government services are or are not appropriate for public/private partnerships. Chen, Cambra Sullwold and Ashcraft cited the success of Friends of the Alameda Animal Shelter, created last year to fill gaps in funding for the shelter. Chen suggested that Some police work and social services could be appropriate, but took a strong position against partnerships with firefighting or ambulance service. Dumuk didn’t pick specific targets, but felt the idea was appropriate as long as the partnerships didn’t intrude on existing City contracts and agreements with public employees. Weber felt that the partnerships would make money for Alameda, and agreed with Dumuk that agreements should be honored.

Sullwold raised concern that people have set budgets for charitable contributions each year, and instead of increasing their contributions, tend to change how they allocate their money. She worried that contributions would tail off after initial interest, and suggested caution in the number of partnerships created. Cambra used his time to distinguish between public/private partnerships and privatization, promoting the former because government retains involvement and oversight which is important for maintaining quality of service. The partnerships have limited uses, according to Cambra, and should be used to supplement services, not replace them.

Ashcraft mentioned the Friends of the Alameda Library as a successful program, and reminded the audience of the need, due to the budget, to be realistic about what services the City could provide. She provided other examples, like the PSBA and WABA, the Alameda Museum, and Jean Sweeney’s discovery of the Beltline property. She proposed that Parks and Recreation could benefit from a program like “Friends of the Urban Forest.” Daysog also cited examples of previous success, calling out the local residents taking care of the Lincoln and Franklin pools. Elaborating how, during the anti-SunCal Measure B discussions, citizens proposed putting up money for the sports facilities and their operations, he said that the City should encourage this sort of community support.

No candidates came out against Measure D, to prevent Alameda parks from being swapped for other properties. Dumuk stated that the parks belong to the public, and Weber described her work with children. Sullwold explained how the loophole in the City Charter came to be, while Cambra pointed out the cost of putting the measure on the ballot was between $60-80,000. Ashcraft spoke of her younger days working for the Parks and Recreation department, and both she and Chen pointed to public parks as one of the City’s greatest assets. Daysog perked up the audience when he questioned why the effort had to come from public, and wasn’t led by City officials, saying it was another example of the disconnect between them.

Finally, the candidates were asked to address the City’s underfunded pension liabilities. The candidates suggested the total figure of $200 million could only be reduced by compromises and negotiations, but underscored the need to maintain existing obligations. Sullwold spoke of a “nuclear option” described to her by City Treasurer Kevin Kennedy,  whereby the City could declare a financial state of emergency, which would compel the unions to negotiate immediately, instead of waiting until their contract expires in the summer of 2013. Cambra had confidence that a resurgence of the economy would drive more tax dollars, and further suggested increasing efficiency through technology and more public/private partnerships. He shot down Kennedy’s nuclear option, saying that a state of emergency could only be declared due to unforeseen conditions, and this condition is very well known.

Ashcraft spoke of the problems caused by the recession and greater life expectancy, and praised City Manager John Russo’s Pension and OPEV task force, whose suggestions include increased employee contributions, a two tier system and using an average of three years of highest income instead of just one. Daysog urged caution that the entire amount was not due all at once, and required careful planning. He proposed reducing the 3% formula to 2% and using furloughs and position consolidation to generate revenues to buy down liability. Hope that Governor Brown’s plan will trickle down to the City was Chen’s position, that the problem will be solved at the state level.

Dumuk was eager to answer the question, citing his recent experience in Sacramento addressing the issue for his job. He cautioned against panic, and expressed his faith in the abilities of CALPERS to manage their investments. He explained the passage of AB 340 will increase employee contributions, and also shared Chen’s hope that it will trickle down to the municipal level. Weber confided her unfamiliarity with the American system, but that she felt it was similar to what she knew from Brazil. She spoke of the issue of retirees returning to work due to financial difficulties, and how City should help.

Closing statements didn’t reveal any new information about the candidates, but gave them a chance to review their statements and ask for votes.

We can win…We can do

Always be doing something - 5 ways you can help win this
Joana –I didn’t want this to get lost in the excitement of everything that will happen tomorrow, so I wanted to take a moment, right now, to say two simple words that I cannot say enough to all of you who have traveled this journey with us: Thank you.

Thank you for the kindness, warmth, and love that you have shown me, Barack, and especially our girls — your support and your prayers mean the world to us. Thank you for the hard work and energy and passion that you have poured into this campaign — from all those hours knocking on doors and making calls to all those times you dug a little deeper and gave what you could when it was needed the most.

Like me, you have done all this because you love this country, and you care deeply about the world we’re leaving for our kids and grandkids. And you’ve done it because, for these last four years, you have had a chance to see the man I’ve known for the past 23 years: A man of honor and integrity who knows what he believes and stays true to his values. He is an honest man who knows the facts and gives them to us straight — a man whose strength and resolve to build a better tomorrow has never wavered.

With your help, over the past four years, Barack has been able to start moving this country forward. He’s rescued our economy from the brink of collapse. He’s passed health reform and ended the war in Iraq. He’s fought to help women get equal pay for equal work, make sure students can afford college, ensure that our seniors can retire with dignity, and that our veterans can get the benefits they have earned.

For four years, Barack has been fighting to give every single one of us a fair shot at that great American dream, no matter what we look like, where we come from, or who we love.

He’s been able to do all of this only because of people like you — because of your hard work, determination, and commitment.

And tomorrow, everything we’ve been working for and fighting for is at stake. Tomorrow, we will decide whether we’ll keep moving this country forward for four more years. So make sure to tell everyone you know to vote, and then help every last supporter get to the polls before tomorrow night. You can even make calls to voters from the comfort of your own home using our call tool.

Our family has been truly blessed to share these past four years with all of you — and we can’t wait to continue our work together for the next four years. So tomorrow, let’s get out there and finish what we started:

http://my.barackobama.com/What-You-Can-Do

Thank you again for everything you’ve done and everything you will continue to do to bring about that change we all believe in.

Michelle

Letter from President Barack Obama

The White House, Washington
   September 26, 2012

Dear Friend Joana Weber:

Thank you for taking the time to write.  I have heard many personal accounts from individuals and families across our country, and I appreciate your sharing your story with me.

Each day, I read letters from Americans so that I stay connected to their real-life and diverse experiences.  By working together and involving all Americans in shaping the policies that affect us, we will build a brighter future for ourselves and our Nation.

Thank you, again, for sharing your story with me.  I wish you all the best in the future.

Sincerely,

Barack Obama

Visit WhiteHouse.gov

First Video Of President Obama

 
My Dear friend Joana Weber –Drop what you’re doing for a few minutes and check out two new videos that really get at where this campaign has been and where it is going.The first video is one of my all-time favorites of this campaign — check it out:

2012 City Council Candidates Speak!

2012 City Council Candidates Speak!

October 18, 2012 By

The Community of Harbor Bay Isle Owners Association Board of Directors recently submitted four questions to the seven candidates for city council. All of the candidates responded. Contained in alphabetical order are the questions and the candidates’ responses.

The first two questions are Bay Farm Island Specific:

Q: Since the slow economy has significantly impacted the City’s ability to provide services, there have been various proposals to reduce or eliminate the ambulance service resident at Station 4. The reaction of the residents of Bay Farm Island has been extremely negative due to our natural isolation from the main island and the large number of seniors that reside here. Currently the service remains unchanged. Do you support the continued permanent assignment of an ambulance to Bay Farm Island?
 
Joanna Weber:
A:
Yes. I support the continued assignment of the ambulance service provided from Station #4. The service is vital to that part of alameda and essential for the senior citizens. Without the ambulance service the response time for emergency situations will increase and may cause the difference between life or death.
 
 The next question is both Bay Farm Island and city-wide in nature:
Q: Currently the city does not have anyone in charge of the city-wide emergency plan. This is particularly acute on Bay Farm Island due to our isolation and lack of Fire Department resources on the island. Also, the AM Radio and Code Red warning systems do not work. Between Bay Farm Island and Fernside, we have the largest concentration of CERT volunteers in the City, but they have not been incorporated into any emergency plan we are aware of. What is your position on this and what would you do to remedy the situation?
 
 Joanna Weber:
A:
The idea that there is no one in charge of the city wide emergency plan seems very irresponsible. I would have to say this would be a priority and I would fill the void with someone familiar with the task.

It appears there needs to be some additional fire department resources to Bay Farm Island and I would push for the increased safety throughout Alameda as a whole. The reason the warning system is not working has to be looked into and repaired. I also would like to see more local public awareness of this warning system.

The next question relates to Alameda in total:

Q: Recently the voters of Alameda rejected Measure C which would fund any number of public safety projects. During the campaign those in favor of the measure stated that these expenditures could not be made without passing the measure. However, since it’s rejection, the city council has proceeded to authorize procurement of a substantial portion of the elements in the measure. Given the dire financial picture facing the city, would you have agreed to authorize these expenditures and if so how would you propose they be funded?
 
Joanna Weber:
A:
I don’t know if I would have agreed to authorize expenditures for Measure C.
Measure C has several public safety projects within it elements, and I’m sure some of them would be beneficial. The elements considered for authorization should have been weighed in on a necessity basis with available funds at hand. Lets face it, if you don’t have the funds you save your eggs so you can obtain it in the future.

Message of Thank to all

I just want to say THANK YOU GOD to bring me to this country, I never thinking coming over here!!!!….Now I am here  and deep,deep inside me I have feeling ,I have some mission here, I dont know what kind the mission,but I will  keep my eyes open,maybe someday I will can see clear what’s mission will be my.

Or may be  this position of City Council will be the first sign,I don’t know,may be.
When you read what I just wrote now,you may be  thinking,I do not have  a mind like these politics out there,may be not!!!But I can make difference and continue of my discovery of the knowledge and learn day by day ,and I will learn that I not only have they knowledge or mind they have or had,but much more,with a brilhantly words coming from my heart.

Thank you to everyone was put your trust and believe on me.Thank you so much.
Joana Weber

Oakland Tribune Interview


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Seven vie for two Alameda council seats

Posted:   10/11/2012 01:00:10 PM PDT

October 11, 2012 8:1 PM GMTUpdated:   10/11/2012 01:00:10 PM PDT
 
Click photo to enlarge
Alameda City Council candidate Tony Daysog
 

ALAMEDA — Political veterans and newcomers are making a bid for a place on the City Council this November, hoping their background, ideas and goals will resonate with voters.

In all, three women and four men are campaigning for the seats currently held by Doug de Haan and Beverly Johnson.

The seat of Vice Mayor Rob Bonta could also open up if he succeeds in his bid to represent the state’s 18th Assembly District. If Bonta wins, the third top vote-getter would get his seat. His council term expires in December 2014.

De Haan cannot seek re-election because he has been termed out, and Johnson quit the council race after Gov. Jerry Brown appointed her deputy director at the state Office of Administrative Law.

The election comes at a critical time for the city. Along with guiding the future of Alameda Point, the new council must continue to revitalize Park and Webster streets and steer the Alameda Landing project, the mixed housing and business development in the city’s West End.

What’s more, the council must tackle the challenge of rising pension and retiree health care costs — now estimated around $190 million — plus it must find ways to pay for the ongoing deferred maintenance of the city’s infrastructure, which tallies about $9.5 million annually.

The candidates are Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft, Jeff Cambra, Stewart Chen, Tony Daysog, Gerald Valbuena Dumuk, Jane Sullwold and Joana Weber.

An attorney and arbitrator,


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Ashcraft has served on the city’s Economic Development Commission and on the board of Alameda Hospital. She serves on the Planning Board.

“In my six years as a Planning Board member and president, I’ve helped stimulate economic growth and bring high-quality, sustainable development to Alameda,” Ashcraft said. “Recently, I worked with VF Outdoor to bring 470 new jobs here. I’ve also helped revitalize Webster and Park streets.”

Ashcraft’s background includes working to keep the hospital open and build the main branch of the Alameda Free Library.

“I’ve spent most of my life in Alameda. My husband and I raised our children here. I care deeply about Alameda’s future,” Ashcraft said.

During Jeff Cambra’s 25 years as an Alameda resident, he has been involved with more than 15 community organizations, including the League of Women Voters of Alameda, the West Alameda Business Association, the Alameda Chamber of Commerce and BikeAlameda.

“As a leader in our city’s business organizations, I work to revitalize our business districts and sustain the locally-owned businesses that serve our families,” Cambra said. “As a former assistant city attorney drafting laws and advising a City Council, I have learned how government works.”

Cambra said he will promote fiscal accountability if elected.

“While the city may face challenges regarding the budget and the development of Alameda Point, I will use my collaborative style of bringing stakeholders together in an open and transparent forum (where possible) to resolve the most complex problems facing our city,” he said.

Chen was elected to the Alameda Hospital board in November 2010.

“This is our home, and it has been good to us,” Chen said about Alameda. “My wife and I raised both of our children here. They attended Alameda public schools and grew up with the benefit of our parks, libraries and hospital. I believe such facilities are important, and I pledge to work to keep them accessible to all Alamedans.”

Chen has served two terms on the Social Service and Human Relations Board, as well as on Alameda County’s Human Relations Commission.

Tony Daysog served on the City Council between 1996 and 2006. His background also includes stints on the city’s Fiscal Sustainability Committee and Economic Development Commission.

“I see a City Hall that has lost that person-to-person connection with residents,” Daysog said. “The Park Street tree fiasco, in which 31 trees were cut down with little notice, really, drives home the point that City Hall is going one way and residents another. Bringing back that ‘person-to-person’ connection is vital: that’s part of our small-town charm.”

Daysog works as an urban planner and holds a master’s degree in city planning from UC Berkeley.

“I grew up in and continue to reside in the West End,” Daysog said. “The Farmers Market is literally in front of my home, so, if elected, you can shop for farm-fresh produce and chat with your councilman.”

Gerard Valbuena Dumuk is a newcomer to Alameda politics. He works as a wildland firefighter with Cal Fire.

He also was once chef and owner of Midori Mushi in San Francisco, a San Francisco sushi restaurant that won praise from SF Weekly and the San Francisco Chronicle.

“Everyone has a certain set of life experiences and skill sets that they can bring to the table,” Dumuk said. “What makes me a great candidate is that I’m an ordinary guy doing an extraordinary job.”

As an administrator with Cal Fire, Dumuk said he has helped oversee a budget for 16 fire stations and 32 fire apparatuses.

“It was like a small government,” he said.

Jane Sullwold served on the city’s Golf Commission for seven years. She played a leading role in turning back a proposal from developer Ron Cowan to swap a portion of the Chuck Corica Golf Complex for a portion of the Harbor Bay Business Park.

“I am running because I believe I can attack the problems facing the city using the same skills and approach that led to a successful outcome at the golf complex,” Sullwold said. “I will ensure that the public gets input into — not just information about — important decisions. I will gather the facts, analyze the arguments and consider the options. I will never fear to compromise — but I will never compromise out of fear of offending the powerful. My sole commitment is to preserving our heritage and securing our future.”

As with Dumuk, Joana Weber is a newcomer to Alameda politics.

In her native Brazil, she said, she worked at the SECOM department, or the Secretary of Communication, and spent four years as the communication director for the Journalism and Press Department. Her top priorities, she told a recent candidates forum, are public safety, education and the budget. Weber also said she was a strong supporter of maintaining and creating jobs.

Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft
Age: 60
Party: Democrat
Professional: attorney and arbitrator
Personal: married to Howard Ashcraft; two children.
Education: juris doctorate from Santa Clara University Law School; bachelor of science from University of California, Davis
Website: www.marilyn4alameda.org

Jeff Cambra
Party: Democrat
Profession: Entrepreneur who created Wine Concepts, a startup that achieved $1.4 million in sales. Owner of Festival Productions, a company that produces art and wine festivals around the Bay Area. Also worked for eight years as a deputy and assistant city attorney in Hayward.
Education: Chabot Community College; UC Davis (Wildlife Biology); John F. Kennedy School of Law (juris doctorate); East Bay Community Mediation Center (40 hour community certification); UC Berkeley/Ron Kelly (40 hour business mediation certification); Peninsula Conflict Resolution Center (facilitation certificate); Community at Work (group facilitation skills certificate)
Website: www.jeffcambra.com

Stewart Chen
Age: 50
Party: Democrat
Profession: City of Alameda Healthcare District director/chiropractor
Personal: married
Education: doctor of chiropractic degree
Website: www.stewartchen.org

Tony Daysog
Age: 46
Party: co-president of City of Alameda Democratic Club
Professional: urban planner with Insight Center for Community Economic Development; Alameda City Council (1996-2006); Fiscal Sustainability Committee (2008-2009); Alameda Economic Development Commission
Personal: not married but in relationship since 2002
Education: master’s in city and regional planning (UC Berkeley); bachelor’s in U.S. history (UC Berkeley)
Website: http://www.daysog4council2012.com

Gerald Valbuena Dumuk
Age: 42
Political: conservative Democrat
Education: associate degree in merchandise marketing; former EMT-P; currently licensed as EMT-B
Occupation: wildland firefighter

Jane Sullwold
Age: 57
Political: Democrat
Professional: Lawyer in California since 1979; now semiretired
Personal: married to Bob Sullwold for 30 years
Education: Brown University, 1976 (magna cum laude); Harvard Law School, 1979
Website: www.jane4council.com

Joana Weber
Age: 55
Party: Democrat
Professional: A native of Brazil and homemaker whose professional background includes work in radio broadcasting, voice-over, anchorwoman, journalism and production in the media industry.
Personal: married
Education: journalism, radio/television and communication
Website: http://joanaweber4citycouncil.com.

Letter from President Barack Obama

The White House, Washington
 

 

September 26, 2012

Dear Friend Joana Weber:

Thank you for taking the time to write.  I have heard many personal accounts from individuals and families across our country, and I appreciate your sharing your story with me.

Each day, I read letters from Americans so that I stay connected to their real-life and diverse experiences.  By working together and involving all Americans in shaping the policies that affect us, we will build a brighter future for ourselves and our Nation.

Thank you, again, for sharing your story with me.  I wish you all the best in the future.

Sincerely,

Barack Obama

Visit WhiteHouse.gov

Joana Weber is running for Alameda City Council in 2012!

Alameda have a unusual status as an island city in the San Francisco Bay, Alameda  is a residencial community,place to raise your kids an excellent quality of life and natural beauty.  Continue reading →

Your source for the City of Alameda’s 2012 election

 

The Alameda Post

Your source for the City of Alameda’s 2012 election

JOANNA DARC WEBER
Occupation: Homemaker

Hello everyone, my name is Joana Weber and I am running for City Council in the City of Alameda California.
I’m sorry for the delay in my statement but I just arrived back from Brazil on the 5th from a family emergency with an ill parent.

And now, a little information about me.

I arrived in this country quite by happenstance. It wasn’t planned and I originally was destined toEurope but made a change in plans literally just days before I was to go there.

While living here in United States I began to teach myself the 5th language I know.

After I learned how to speak English I met my wonderful husband who is American. I have learned a lot about this country from him,

and I learned so much more while I was preparing for my citizenship in this country last year. And the feeling of being involved in the best country in the world overwhelmed me.

To my surprise an article appeared in The Alameda Journal that stated a position for city council was available, and I decided to run for that position.

I figured it was a good match with my background work in the areas of Radio Broadcasting, Anchorwoman, Journalism and Producing.

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