Where We Stand: East Bay Election Wrap

Photo Credit: KOMUnews / Flikr

Election Day was a blur, but it is important to keep focus on more than just the top of the ticket. The ballot was packed with important policy questions for the East Bay and to help us unpack it we compiled seven key takeaways.

#1 Majority support for infrastructure investment not enough for Measure X, but just enough for Measure RR.

The EBLC was disappointed that Measure X came up short of the ⅔ majority needed to fix potholes and ease congestion in Contra Costa County, but our Transportation Task Force is already preparing an advocacy plan going forward.

Measure RR reached its ⅔ threshold thanks to majority support in Contra Costa County and 70% in Alameda and San Francisco Counties. We said back in March that choking off infrastructure investment would not lead to a better BART and we are thrilled that voters agreed.

#2 Alameda County voters made clear that housing affordability should be a priority with the passage of A1.

Measure A1 needed 66.67% to pass and it finished with 73.3% Alameda-wide. The numbers dipped below the ⅔ threshold in most Tri-Valley precincts, but still earned the support of the majority of voters in Dublin, Pleasanton, and Livermore.

#3 Voters agreed with the EBLC’s stance on statewide propositions.

From school bonds, the extension of classroom and healthcare funding, changes to hospital fees, 72 hour in print rules for new legislation, and cigarette taxes — voters agreed with the EBLC.

Meanwhile, future infrastructure investment and local control dodged a bullet with the narrow failure of Prop 53, which the EBLC strongly opposed.

#4 Incumbents held their seats in the state legislature and former Concord City Councilmember Tim Grayson and former State Assemblymember Nancy Skinner will join the East Bay delegation in Sacramento.

The Senate delegation: Senator Bill Dodd (made the jump from Assembly to Senate), Senator Steve Glazer, and Senator Nancy Skinner.

The Assembly delegation: Assemblymember Rob Bonta, Assemblymember Catharine Baker, Assemblymember Kansen Chu, Assemblymember Jim Frazier,Assemblymember Tim Grayson, Assemblymember Bill Quirk, and Assemblymember Tony Thurmond.

#5 Contra Costa County’s District 3 chose Diane Burgis to represent them on the Board of Supervisors and re-elected Federal Glover to District 5.

Diane Burgis will take over the East Contra Costa County seat from Supervisor Mary Piepho who decided to not run for re-election. The EBLC heard from both candidates running for District 3 at a forum we hosted with the Industrial Association in August.

#6 BART board added two new members.

Both Debora Allen and Lateefah Simon unseated incumbents to take on leadership roles at BART. We are hopeful that they will prove to be good stewards of Measure RR funding to keep BART safe and reliable.

#7 California Democrats won a supermajority in Assembly and Senate.

With a close race between Josh Newman (D) and Ling Ling Chang (R) in Orange County now being called for Newman, the Democrats clinch a supermajority in both houses.

The big question now is what democrats will do with this legislative authority. Will it bode well for the passage of a transportation funding package? Affordable housing? Greenhouse gas regulations? Will schisms emerge within the party and dilute the party’s power to advance their agenda? Time will tell.

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