More than 1,000 people picket against county executives, Board of Supervisors on Tuesday
Nearly 1,000 workers from across Contra Costa County voted to extend their three-day unfair labor practice strike to a fourth day, after more than 1,000 people picketed against county Executives and the Board on Tuesday.
The picket line is being held, today, Wednesday, October 5, 2016 in front of the County Administration Building at 651 Pine Street in Martinez.Read More
Finishing out the last year of the 2015-16 legislative session, Assemblywoman Catharine Baker (R-San Ramon) announced that all of the nine bills she authored, were passed and sent to the Governor have been signed.
“Having nine bills pass with strong, bipartisan support and the Governor’s signature affirms my belief that bipartisanship can and does work,” said Baker.
The following bills were introduced by Assemblywoman Baker, received broad bipartisan support in the Legislature, and were signed by Governor Brown:
AB 1058 – Child abuse prevention training
Preventing child abuse by requiring the State Department of Education to establish guidelines and best practices for child abuse prevention in schools and school programs for the first time in California history.
AB 1284 – Bringing transparency to the Bay Bridge
Promoting much-needed transparency over the Bay Bridge Project by requiring the Toll Bridge Program Oversight Committee (TBPOC)—which oversees the Bay Bridge construction—to be subject to the Bagley-Keene Open Meetings Act for the first time in the Committee’s history.
AB 773 – Addressing shortage of mental health professionals
Addressing the red tape and lack of consistency for obtaining psychology licenses by replacing the outdated system of licensing with a new system in which psychology licenses will expire two years from the date of issuance.
AB 1401 – Supporting veterans in higher education
Providing veterans of the California National Guard, the State Military Reserve, and the Naval Militia with greater access to student financial aid services as they pursue higher education after active duty.
AB 1399 – Supporting local domestic violence support programs
Increases available resources for programs serving victims of domestic violence by adding a donation option on California tax returns to the California Domestic Violence Victims Fund.
AB 2295 – Ensuring victims are allowed full restitution
Dissolving any ambiguity in California law to ensure convicted criminals are required to provide full restitution to their victims.
AB 2346 – Streamlining government hearings
Modernizes and streamlines the hearing process at the Department of Social Services (DSS) and the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) by making position statements available to Californians electronically, in person, or by mail, at least two working days before a hearing.
AB 2486 – Fighting underground economy and scams
Making it easier for consumers to find and check for a licensed contractor for construction projects by requiring the Contractors State License Board to update its website to allow consumers to search for licensed contractors by zip code, not just by license number or exact name.
AB 2263 – Protecting victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking, and reproductive health care service providers
Closing a loophole in the state’s “Safe At Home Program” to better protect victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking from their abusers.
Baker added, “During the past two years, the greatest successes in the Legislature were the direct result of bipartisan efforts, championed by those who were willing to work across the aisle to put the needs of our State ahead of party politics. I remain committed to fostering strong bipartisan relationships and inspiring greater cooperation between Democrat and Republican members, and I’m hopeful that our state will make even larger strides in this area in the coming years. It is what our constituents deserve.”
Baker represents the 16th Assembly District, which includes the communities of Alamo, Danville, Dublin, Lafayette, Livermore, Moraga, Orinda, Pleasanton, San Ramon, and Walnut Creek.Read More
The Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff is pleased to announce that it has received a $324,000 California Office of Traffic Safety grant to purchase new breath alcohol analyzers, which are routinely used to test the breath alcohol content of drivers suspected by police to be under the influence.
The Sheriff’s Office Crime Laboratory is responsible for ensuring breath alcohol analyzers are working properly and providing accurate test results. The “DUI Breath Alcohol Instrumentation” grant will fund the purchase of 24 new breath alcohol analyzers replacing the ones that are currently in use by law enforcement agencies throughout the county.
“The replacement of the older breath alcohol analyzers ensures that the Sheriff’s Crime Laboratory continues to maintain the highest quality analyses in driving under the influence of alcohol cases,” said Chief Pam Hofsass of the Sheriff’s Office Forensic Services Division. “This is part of our effort at making our streets, roads, and freeways safer by reducing the numbers of people killed or injured in alcohol related traffic collisions.”
The grant includes training for approximately 4,000 law enforcement personnel on the theory and operation of the new breath alcohol analyzers. The roll-out of the new analyzers, including training of law enforcement personnel and validation of the breath alcohol analyzers, is anticipated to take approximately one year.
Funding for this program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.Read More
Walnut Creek, CA – Congressman Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11) will continue his longtime practice of meeting one-on-one with constituents during Mobile District Office Hours on Wednesday, October 5th from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. during the El Cerrito Senior Resource Fair. Since being elected to Congress, DeSaulnier has hosted twenty-nine Mobile District Office Hours and Town Halls throughout Contra Costa County.
“The most rewarding aspect of my job is the people. Meeting one-on-one with constituents and hearing first-hand about issues that impact their lives, families or our community helps inform my work in Congress. These conversations are critical to effectively representing the people of California’s 11th Congressional District. I invite all residents to drop by our Mobile District Office Hours to discuss important topics or learn about the services our office provides. I look forward to seeing you there,” said Congressman Mark DeSaulnier.
Congressman DeSaulnier will be on hand to share thoughts and to answer questions about federal legislation, and to assist with issues related to Social Security, Medicare, the Veteran’s Administration, or other federal agencies. Prior to hosting office hours DeSaulnier will speak at the El Cerrito Senior Resource Fair.
What: Congressman DeSaulnier’s Mobile District Office Hours
When: Wednesday, October 5th from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Where: El Cerrito Community Center, 7007 Moeser Lane, El Cerrito, CA
Details: First come, first served. No appointment necessary. This event is open to all residents of California’s 11th Congressional District.
For more information or to confirm you are a resident of the 11th district, please email CA11.RSVP@mail.house.gov or call (925) 933-2660.
Concord Councilmember and State Assembly candidate Tim Grayson released a statement on Monday regarding the weekend shooting that left bullet holes in the office of the Concord Police Department.
“I am thankful no one was hurt, but this is a stark reminder of the dangers officers face every day when they are serving their communities,” Grayson said. “As Police Chaplain I’ve seen firsthand how guns in the wrong hands can ruin lives. Our leaders need to be doing more to responsibly reduce gun violence. Ensuring public safety is a priority for me, and in Sacramento I will work to make sure our families and communities are safe.”
An investigation in to the shooting is ongoing.
Grayson has served as Concord’s Police Chaplain, aiding first responders and crime victims, since 2007 and has served on Concord’s City Council since 2010.
More information on Tim’s work is available at www.graysonforassembly.com.Read More
SACRAMENTO – Assemblywoman Bonilla’s groundbreaking AB 1592, which was signed on Thursday, September 29th by Governor Brown, will authorize the Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA) to test the first fully autonomous vehicle, not equipped with a steering wheel, brake pedal, accelerator or operator, on a California public road. This bill, which expands CCTA’s existing transportation technology testing program, will help advance the development of connected vehicle and autonomous vehicle technologies.
“California has always been a global leader in innovation and as transportation technologies evolve, so must our laws and regulations,” said Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla (D-Concord). “With the passage of AB 1592 our state will prove to the federal government and the rest of the nation that California remains the leader, and that the deployment of autonomous vehicles without the presence of a driver can be done safely and successfully.”
CCTA is currently testing autonomous vehicles at GoMentum Station, one of the world’s largest secure transportation proving grounds, located within the former United States Navy weapons station in Concord. AB 1592 authorizes CCTA, to conduct a pilot project to test fully electric and autonomous, low-speed, multi-passenger, vehicles at GoMentum Station and a private business park in Contra Costa County. The shared autonomous vehicles, referred to as people movers, have the potential to transform mobility as the first-and-last mile connectors to larger mass transit platforms. Upon completion of the pilot project, the vehicles will be utilized to increase transit ridership, eliminate the need for expensive and space-consuming parking structures, reduce the use of single occupancy vehicles on the state’s congested roads and highways, while improving the safety, convenience, and efficiency of transportation.
“Our state has been in a transportation infrastructure crisis with a severe shortfall in funding for repair and improvements to our roads and highways,” said Bonilla. “In addition, we have set necessary, but stringent statewide greenhouse gas reduction goals, which driving our cars and sitting in traffic accounts for a large portion of the pollutants. AB 1592 will move us one step closer towards implementing safe, low-cost, low-emission, and flexible transportation modes, which will help us address both of these pressing issues.”
Assemblywoman Susan A. Bonilla (D-Concord) was elected in November 2010 and represents California’s 14th Assembly District, which includes Contra Costa County and Solano County.Read More
For Hispanic and low-income residents in STEM fields
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Representatives Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11) and Mike Thompson (CA-5) today announced that Contra Costa College (CCC) will receive a $1,199,013 grant from the U.S. Department of Education (DOE). The grant will be used for the College’s Caminos al Exito Project, which aims to improve access and opportunity in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields for Hispanic and low-income residents.
“Having a high school diploma no longer guarantees a good job. Improving access to and participation in STEM education will help today’s students be better prepared for tomorrow’s careers,” said Representative Mark DeSaulnier. “Through this grant, Contra Costa College is not only investing in its student body, but is also helping to better our communities and create a strong economy.”
“These federal dollars will strengthen our community by helping make sure someone’s first language or family income isn’t a barrier to fully achieving his or her educational goals,” said Representative Mike Thompson. “A quality STEM education can open doors for our students as they look to secure well-paying jobs after graduation. And we know that demand for qualified employees will only continue to grow in the STEM field. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the number of science and engineering jobs will grow at a faster rate than that of the overall projected workforce in the years ahead. As we work to close opportunity gaps for our Hispanic and low-income students, we must make sure that a STEM education is a real option in our schools.”
“We are so pleased that the U.S. Department of Education selected Contra Costa College (CCC) to receive another Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) grant focused on expanding exposure, access and completion in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) for Hispanics and low-income residents in our region,” says President Mojdeh Mehdizadeh. “Many areas of job growth in our community will require a strong STEM foundation, and our proposal is designed to help more students successfully achieve the confidence, education and skills to be competitive for these opportunities. In addition, we are excited because this grant allows us to continue our important work in promoting and supporting STEM literacy for elementary students and their parents.”
The grant is provided through the U.S. Department of Education’s Hispanic-Serving Institution’s Science, Technology, Engineering, & Mathematics and Articulation (HSI STEM) Program. The purpose of the HSI STEM Program is to increase the number of Hispanic students attaining degrees in STEM fields and better facilitate transfers between two-year and four-year institutions in such fields.
Specifically, the funds will be used to help the Caminos al Exito Project:
- Increase access and college readiness to accelerate success in STEM for Hispanic and low-income area residents;
- Increase the number of articulation agreements in STEM disciplines with the University of California-Berkeley, University of California-Davis, University of California-Santa Cruz, California State University-East Bay, San Francisco State University, and San Jose State University; and
- Increase the retention, graduation and transfer rates of students in STEM through case management advising and high-impact educational practices.
Contra Costa College is a public community college in San Pablo serving the diverse communities of West Contra Costa County with over 6,500 enrolled students, 41 percent of which are Hispanic. Forty-five percent of the Hispanic students enrolled at Contra Costa College are both low-income and first-generation college students.Read More
Washington, D.C. – On Monday, September 26, Congressman Jerry McNerney (CA-09), who serves on both the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology and the Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity, introduced legislation to increase broadband internet access for veterans. The Improving Broadband Access for Veterans Act of 2016 (H.R. 6165) directs the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to initiate a Notice of Inquiry examining veterans’ current access to broadband internet service and what can be done to increase access, with a focus on low-income veterans and veterans residing in rural areas.
“Broadband access is critical for the more than 20 million veterans living across the nation, with the highest population in California. Broadband access enables veterans to more easily apply for jobs and obtain necessary vocational training, connect with family and friends, get important information about their benefits and military records, and access health care services. Veterans, who fight tirelessly to protect our country, face many challenges when they return home. Not having internet access makes what is already an incredibly difficult transition process even harder,” said Rep. McNerney.
Veterans living below the federal poverty level or in rural areas are less likely to have broadband access. According to the Pew Research Center, less than half of Americans living below the federal poverty level have broadband internet access at home. Analysis by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration at the U.S. Department of Commerce further finds that internet adoption in rural areas is lower than in urban areas.
“It is critical that we find ways to ensure that the more than 1.4 million veterans living below the federal poverty level and the 5.3 million veterans residing in rural communities have broadband access,” said Rep. McNerney. “By directing the FCC to examine current broadband access for veterans and what can be done to increase it, the Improving Broadband Access for Veterans Act will pave the way for getting more veterans online. By further directing the FCC to focus on veterans residing below the federal poverty line and in rural areas, my bill will help make sure these veterans are not left behind.”
Congressman Jerry McNerney represents California’s 9th Congressional District which includes portions of Contra Costa, San Joaquin, and Sacramento Counties. For more information on Rep. McNerney’s work, follow him on Facebook and on Twitter @RepMcNerney.Read More
Endorsed by Assemblyman Frazier, Brentwood Police Officers’ Association, County Prosecutors’ Association and Antioch community leader Iris Archuleta
With absentee ballots getting mailed out next week, Brentwood City Councilmember Steve Barr wanted to inform the public that he is running a strong campaign for County Supervisor, displaying his commitment to using tax dollars responsibly, and share some of his key endorsements.
Barr, who was the top vote getter in the primary election, is currently in a runoff that will be decided November 8th. As a Brentwood City Councilman he has made both fiscal responsibility and public safety top priorities.
“I decided to run for Supervisor because there is a lot of important work that needs to be done regionally such as providing regional public safety resources, making sure East County gets its fair share of transportation funding, andhelping our agricultural community,” said Barr. “And we need to do this in a fiscally responsible way, making sure we have money saved for when there’s the next recession or downturn.”
Barr has many accomplishments as both a City Councilmember and former School Board Trustee. From building the new Brentwood Dispatch Center that will improve public safety regionally, to helping manage a roads and paving program that was voted by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission as the best in the Bay Area, Barr has found ways to provide great service while cutting excess, pushing community priorities, and saving money. This was a big part of why Barr earned the endorsement of the East Bay Times.
Barr’s direct style and honesty has helped him accomplish a lot, and it also has earned him the support of many individuals and leaders throughout the District. The Brentwood Police Officers’ Association, the County Prosecutors’ Association, and many other community leaders, organizations, and elected officials from across the district have all joined up to support Barr because they know he is someone they can always work with, even if they disagree.
“Steve’s openness, willingness to listen and his ability to be upfront and honest in his responses are refreshing,” said community leader Iris Archuleta. “He doesn’t pretend to know everything, but is clearly caring enough to learn.”
Assemblymember Jim Frazier agreed.
“Steve is a true leader who doesn’t crave the spotlight, but shows up for the tough assignments, is very direct and honest, and uses his financial skills to make sure our tax dollars are spent wisely,” Frazier stated. “He is the leader I trust and know everyone can work with.”
Barr responded to the comments.
“I appreciate the support of law enforcement and community leaders,” he said. “I look forward to working with them to improve things in our county.”
Barr’s background includes being a small business owner for 35 years and a former Liberty Union High School District Trustee. He is married, and he and his wife have two children.
Contra Costa County’s 3rd Supervisorial District includespart of Antioch, Brentwood, Oakley, Discovery Bay, Byron, Knightsen, Bethel Island, Diablo, Blackhawk, and Tassajara. Please visit www.SteveBarrForSupervisor.com for more information about the campaign.Read More
The Contra Costa Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is conducting interviews of candidates in the November election throughout the county. The completed videos can be viewed on the group’s Facebook page or heard on SoundCloud.
Below is a list of the candidates who are participating in the video interviews and the release status of their videos.
“We’re aiming to get all the videos released before the ballots hit the mailboxes and Early Voting/Absentee Voting By Mail begins on October 10th,” said Evodio “Vo” Walle, President-elect and Chair, Government Affairs Committee of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Contra Costa County,
|Anamarie Avila Farias||Interview Pending|
|Federal Glover||Interview Pending|
|Ben Johnson||Interview Pending|
|Harmesh Kumar||Video Released|
|Carlyn Obringer||Release Pending|
|Edi Birsan||Video Released|
|Pablo Benavente||Video Released|
|Cesar Zepeda||Release Pending|
|Jael Myrick||Interview Pending|
|Catherine Baker||Interview Pending|
|Cheryl Cook-Kalio||Release Pending|
|Lamar Thorpe||Release Pending|
|Frederick Rouse||Interview Pending|
|Juan Banales||Release Pending|
|Jelani Killings||Release Pending|
|Wade Harper||Release Pending|
|Mister Phillips||Interview Pending|
|Sean Wright||Interview Pending|
|Cherise Khaund||Interview Pending|
|Fernando Sandoval||Interview Pending|
|Mary Rocha||Interview Pending|
|Carlos Taboada||Interview Pending|
|Antonio Medrano||Interview Pending|
|Laura Canciamilla||Interview Pending|
For more information about the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce visit www.hc5.org.Read More