Administrator to recommend delaying allocation of $59 million in federal American Rescue Plan funds; projects 6% increase in property tax revenues
To hear presentation on “The Post COVID New World Order”
By Daniel Borsuk
Citing bureaucratic red tape, Contra Costa County Administrator Monica Nino will propose the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors postpone spending $59 million in federal American Rescue Plan funds until at least January 2023 in her presentation during their retreat focused on COVID-19 era budget issues, Tuesday.
The retreat will be televised live starting at 9 a.m. on Comcast Cable 27 and WAVE Channel 32 and online.
“The challenge in lining up funds to maximize cost recovery requires constant monitoring (coordination) between departments,” County Administrator Nino stated in documents recommending the partial funding postponement.
At the same time, Nino will also recommend $53 million in American Rescue Plan funds be allocated to the Contra Costa Health Services Department to improve response to the COVID-19 pandemic during the upcoming 2022/2023 fiscal year.
Supervisors are also expected to learn that for the upcoming fiscal year, $107 million of Measure X sales tax revenues will be allocated for the budget and 15 percent of the county’s labor contracts, including the California Nurses Association contract, which will be up for renewal on June 30. The 2022/2023 fiscal year budget will mark the first time Measure X funds will be spent.
County Administrator Nino is also expected to announce property taxes are to increase six percent for fiscal year 2022/2023, 3.44 per cent for the county and 3.82 percent for the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District.
“County property taxes declined over 11 percent between 2009 and 2012 and then grew significantly between 2014 and 2019. Projecting an increase of 6 percent for fiscal year 2022/23,” Nino’s report states.
“The budget will be built on assumption of a 6 percent increase in assessed valuation. Fiscal year 2022/23 is projected to be significantly higher than normal,’ she wrote in the background document.
At the retreat, Dan Geiger will offer a presentation by the Contra Costa Budget Justice Coalition, consisting of 34 non-profit organizations focused on county fiscal accountability issues, that will showcase how the organization will monitor the supervisors’ budgetary process especially when in the 2022/2023 fiscal year $110 million of Measure X sales funds will be added to the general fund for the first time.
During their budget discussion, Supervisors will also receive departmental presentations from the Sheriff-Coroner, District Attorney, Public Defender, Health Services Director, Employment and Human Services Director and Animal Services Director.
Contra Costa County voters passed the Measure X countywide, half-cent sales tax increase on the November 2020 ballot.
The supervisors will also receive a report on Capital Projects, the Facilities Condition Assessment and the Facilities Master Plan.
The Post COVID New World Order presentation
Supervisors will also hear a report entitled, “The Post COVID New World Order – It’s a seller’s market for now,” delivered by Dr. Christopher Thornberg of independent economic research and consulting firm Beacon Economics. Thornberg predicts unemployment in the county should be 3.4 percent by the end of 2022, which is currently pegged at 4.6 percent.
“Labor tightness sets off an investment boom,” he will predict, but the economist will also warn, “Expect a sugar crash to come, combination of a tight federal budget and inflation.”
Allen Payton contributed to this report.Read More
Due to vacancy created by Jim Frazier’s resignation; winner will serve out remainder of term through December
By Dawn Kruger, Civic Outreach/Engagement Specialist, Contra Costa County Clerk-Recorder-Elections Department
The April 5th, 2022, special state election gets into full swing on Tuesday, January 25th as nomination papers will be made available for candidates running for the current California State Assembly District 11 office. The current district includes Antioch, Oakley, Brentwood, Discovery Bay, Bethel Island, Byron and Knightsen in Contra Costa County.
The special election is to fill the vacancy created by former Assemblyman Jim Frazier who announced his resignation, last month, effective Dec. 31. On Jan. 7, the day Gov. Newsom issued a proclamation calling for the special election.
If one candidate receives a majority of the votes (50% + 1), no special general election will be held. The winner will serve out the remainder of the two-year term through early December. If a special general election is needed it will be held June 7, the same day as the regular primary election and the candidate with the most votes in that election wins.
A separate election will be held during the June primary and November general elections for the new Assembly District 11, which now only includes Brentwood, Oakley, Discovery Bay, Bethel Island, Byron and Knightsen in Contra Costa County.
The nomination period runs through 5:00 p.m. Thursday, February 10, 2022. Papers for the special California Assembly District 11 election are available at the Contra Costa Elections Office, 555 Escobar Street, Martinez.
For further information on this special election and key dates, go to https://www.cocovote.us/april-5-2022-special-primary-election-assembly-district-11/.
“This special election was just announced by the governor earlier this month and we don’t want our constituents to be surprised,” said Deborah Cooper, Contra Costa Registrar of Voters. “If you are considering running for office, the Contra Costa County Elections Office provides a candidate manual with comprehensive information about the process and we are available to assist you.”
The Contra Costa Elections Division is offering appointments to interested candidates on weekdays from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. Filing documents and information will be provided to interested constituents at their appointment.
The process takes 20 minutes. Due to the current surge in the pandemic/Covid-19, we are asking constituents to schedule an appointment through email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling us at 925-335-7800.
All visitors will be asked to check-in at the Elections lobby and will be required to wear a mask and observe social distancing guidelines.
For more information, visit www.cocovote.us or call (925) 335-7800.
Allen Payton contributed to this report.Read More
During Contra Costa County’s virtual, community 44th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration and Humanitarian Awards, on Tuesday, January 18, 2022, Humanitarians of the Year, Gigi Crowder and Kaia Morgan were honored. The theme of this year’s celebration was “One People, One Nation, One Dream.” (See video) (See related article)
The event featured keynote speaker, former San Ramon Mayor H. Abram Wilson, who was the City of San Ramon’s first elected African American mayor. This year’s program also featured special guest California State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond, a Richmond resident.
Entertainment was provided by Grown Women Dance Collective and Contra Costa School of Performing Arts with a Spoken Word performance by Samara Desmond, Seon Lettsome and Anthony Josa of “The Artist Dreams”, written by Desmond.
2022 MLK Adult Humanitarian Gigi Crowder
Congratulations to our 2022 Contra Costa County Humanitarian, Gigi Crowder, an Antioch resident. Crowder is the mother of two biological children, 30 years old twin sons, and has served as a foster mom and mentor to many more through divine interventions. Crowder served for over nine years as the Ethnic Services Manager for Alameda County Behavioral Health Care Services and has worked in the Behavioral Health Care field for more than 32 years, after completing her studies at the University of California, Berkeley.
As a family member of several loved ones who have received private and public mental health services, she strongly advocates promoting culturally responsive behavioral health services for all peers and family members. She is unapologetic about addressing the needs of African Americans. Crowder became the Executive Director for NAMI Contra Costa in 2018. She is also the FaithNet Coordinator and has advanced efforts statewide to reduce mental health stigma by training Faith Leaders using the Mental Health Friendly Communities training curriculum she co-designed.
Her current focus is addressing the needs of those living with mental illness who are often criminalized for living with a medical condition. Highlights of her career include being inducted into the Alameda County Women Hall of Fame; developing programs to enhance employment opportunities for individuals with psychiatric challenges; and receiving the 2013 MHAAC Mental Health Achievement Award. She also received the 2016 Multi-Cultural Outreach Award from NAMI California and the 2020 “Making a Difference Award” from the Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County. Crowder is also credited for positioning NAMI Contra Costa to win the NAMI 2021 Multicultural Outreach Award.
Crowder is being recognized for her impact and work to improve the mental health and wellbeing of Contra Costa residents.
2022 MLK Student Humanitarian Kaia Morgan
Congratulations to our 2022 Contra Costa County Student Humanitarian Kaia Morgan of Pittsburg, a senior at Ygnacio Valley High School. After gaining awareness of them online, Morgan became interested in confronting social issues and quickly became passionate about addressing injustices against minorities.
In February of 2020, Morgan was inspired by a class lesson on the harm of Native mascots to use her voice to speak out against racism on a more local level, starting with the Native mascot at her high school. She started the Change the Mascot Committee at Ygnacio Valley High School that month, and as of December 2021, their mascot is now the Wolves.
She made a change.org petition and got that circulating widely in her community. Morgan spoke to the school board and she helped to organizer her peers and met with me regularly to strategize. Morgan’s efforts and those of the students and teachers she inspired along the way resulted in a new measure, passed at the School Board level, where not only did her own school’s mascot and racist imagery get the approval for the change, but a district-wide approval was granted wherein all racist and disturbing imagery and mascots throughout the entire district will now be removed and replaced with those which truly honor our students and their heritages by no longer using the oppressed as mascots or their oppressors as mascots or inspirations.
Morgan is being honored for demonstrating the determination, perseverance, and strength to create change in the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. She lives with her parents and two siblings. Morgan plans to attend college in the fall and study psychology.
Past Recipients of the Humanitarian of the Year Award
2021—Velma Wilson, 2020—Tamisha Torres-Walker, 2019—Reverend Donnell R. Jones, 2018—Phil Arnold, 2017—James Noe, 2016—Terri Porter, 2015—Bishop Edwina Perez-Santiago, 2014—Sister Ann Weltz, 2013—Doug Stewart, 2012—Lorrine Sain, 2011—Laura Johnson
Past Recipients of the Student Humanitarian of the Year Award
2021— Kimyatta Newby, 2020—Christina Mazzi, 2019—Yassna Ahmadi, 2018—Sienna Camille Terry, 2017—Paige Godvin, 2016—Davis Bullock, 2015—Tyler Page, 2014—Anand Kannappan, 2013—Casey Leonard, 2012—Andrew Gonzales, 2011—Mario Alvarado
Grown Women Dance Collective, established in 2009, creates cross-cultural, intergenerational, and cross-class connections by encouraging dialogue, empowering thought and action, and building cross-racial alliances through concert dance and wellness programs. The group is comprised of retired dancers from world renowned companies, including Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Cleo Parker Robinson, and Dance Theatre of Harlem. The performances challenge stereotypes and create artistic work that is relevant, accessible, and inspiring to diverse and under-resourced audiences.
The Contra Costa School of Performing Arts mission provides for an outstanding, pre-professional experience in performing arts within a college and career preparatory setting. The school believes in fostering a culture of excellence with the core values of rigor, relevance, resilience, and relationships.
About The Honorable H. Abram Wilson
Abram Wilson is married to Dr. Karen B. Wilson. They have been residents of the City of San Ramon for over thirty years. The Wilsons have two children, Natasha A. Wilson-Cruz, Esq., and P. Nathan Wilson, and are blessed with three grandchildren.
Wilson was instrumental in setting forth a framework to develop a disaster preparedness plan for the City of San Ramon and businesses, schools, and cities in the Tri-Valley and San Ramon Valley areas. Wilson is the 2005 recipient of the National Music Educator Association, State Legislator of the Year award for his support of music education.
Wilson is a member of the Board for the Sentinels of Freedom Organization that has helped provide services to men and women who have been disabled in Iraq with housing, employment, and transportation. Wilson is a veteran of the U.S. Army.
Wilson worked as a federal funds trader at Wells Fargo when he returned to civilian life. He was elected to the San Ramon City Council in November 1999, appointed mayor in 2002, and became the City of San Ramon’s first elected and first African American mayor in 2003. He was re-elected in 2005. Wilson was the 2005 recipient of the National Music Educator Association, State Legislator of the Year award “for his support of music education in the schools.”
Wilson is a 2007 honoree from the California Congress of Parents, Teachers, and Students for his outstanding service to children and youth. His contribution to the Honorary Service Award Program Fund provides scholarships for students and individuals to further their education.
He also received a Certificate of Support from the East Bay Leadership Foundation for “Making a difference in the lives of Bay Area Students.”
About The Honorable Tony Thurmond
Tony Thurmond was sworn in as the 28th California State Superintendent of Public Instruction on January 7, 2019.
Superintendent Thurmond is an educator, social worker, and public school parent who has served the people of California for more than ten years in elected office. Previously, he served on the Richmond City Council, West Contra Costa Unified School Board, and in the California State Assembly representing District 15.
Like many of California’s public school students, Superintendent Thurmond came from humble beginnings. His mother was an immigrant from Panama who came to San Jose, California, to be a teacher. His father was a soldier who didn’t return to his family after the Vietnam War. Thurmond met his father for the first time when he was an adult. After his mother died when he was six, Thurmond and his brother were raised by a cousin who they had never met.
Superintendent Thurmond’s family relied on public assistance programs and great public schools to get out of poverty, and public school education allowed him to attend Temple University, where he became student body president. He went on to earn dual master’s degrees in Law and Social Policy and Social Work (MSW) from Bryn Mawr College and began a career dedicated to service.
Much of Superintendent Thurmond’s social service work has focused on improving the services provided to foster youth and directing programs that provide job training to at-risk youth. He also led programs to provide help for individuals with developmental disabilities. He has 12 years of direct experience in education, teaching life skills classes, after-school programs, and career training.
Over the course of Thurmond’s tenure since being sworn in as State Superintendent, he has championed and created many historic initiatives on behalf of California’s students.
Superintendent Thurmond lives in Richmond with his two daughters, who attend local public schools. They are his inspiration and a constant reminder about the promise of our neighborhood schools and the strong future that every child deserves.
2022 Committee Members
This year’s celebration committee members were Antoine Wilson, Chair; Andi Bivens, Manny Bowlby, Lissette Davis, Jennifer S. Hopkins, Gayle Israel, T’ni Jackson, James Lyons, Vincent Manuel, Savitha Sivakumar, Susan Shiu, Chris Verdugo, Derrick West, Chris Wikler, Shannon Winston and Traci Young.
Allen Payton contributed to this report.Read More
Starting June 1, 2022; 200-gallon natural gas tanks still permitted for rural users
“Many of my constituents view this ordinance as an overreach ordinance and I happen to agree with them” – Supervisor Andersen
By Daniel Borsuk
Starting June 1, Contra Costa County will be the first county in the Golden State requiring all new residential, business, commercial and hospitality developments have electricity, and outlawing natural gas installation. On a 4-1 vote Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors approved the ordinance that attracted scant public opposition. District 2 Supervisor Candace Andersen was the lone opposition vote.
The new ordinance applies to all new residential, commercial, office, and hospitality developments proposed for unincorporated Contra Costa County. It does not apply to incorporated areas, except the City of Richmond that has adopted its own electricity building ordinance.
“Many of my constituents view this ordinance as an overreach ordinance and I happen to agree with them,” said Andersen of Danville, who cast the lone opposition vote. “It is my concern this ordinance might impact commercial development nearby the Byron and Buchanan airports.”
There was no opposition to the Board’s ordinance that was up for second reading.
“This is a good environmental policy for the county,” said District 1 Supervisor John Gioia, who championed the resolution.
“I am concerned about the equity issue. This could raise rents of low-income housing tenants,” said Board Chair Karen Mitchoff of Pleasant Hill, who voted in favor of the ordinance anyway.
“I am supportive of this ordinance,” commented District 3 Supervisor Diane Burgis after planning department staff answered her question on whether rural constituents could still own and use 200-gallon natural gas tanks for “emergency use.” Planning officials confirmed 200-gallon natural gas tanks will be permitted for rural users.
“While this proposed ordinance has been charactered as an electrification ordinance, its purpose is to stop new buildings from burning fossil fuels,” wrote Gary Farber on behalf of the environmental group, 350 Contra Costa. “Therefore, solar thermal space heating and water heating systems ought to be allowed and encouraged. We look forward to working with the County on additional programs to phase out fossil fuels in transportation and all buildings, new and existing.”
The move by the Board of Supervisors occurs when there is skepticism on whether the State has an adequate supply of wind and solar renewable energy in the Golden State to meet the demand for all electric homes and businesses. The California Clean Energy Act of 2018 established a target for renewable zero-carbon resources to supply 100 percent of electrical needs throughout the state by 2045, 23 years from now.
Retain $2,500 Campaign Contribution Limit
Even though briefly considered a recommendation boost, the Election Campaign Contribution limit from $2,500 to $4,900, Supervisors voted to retain the Election Campaign limit at $2,500.
“I feel comfortable at the $2,500 limit,” commented District 2 Supervisor Andersen.
Supervisor Glover said as much as he’d preferred to go with the State-recommended $4,900 limit, he said “I’d vote for more money, but I don’t think we should. Elections are getting more expensive.” Glover is not up for re-election this year.
44th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Ceremony Honorees
Supervisors also recognized 44th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. honorees – Gigi Crowder, an Antioch resident, who is the Executive Director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness as the Adult Humanitarian of the Year and Pittsburg resident, Kaia Morgan, a Senior at Ygnacio Valley High School as the Student Humanitarian of the Year. (See related articles here and here)
Newly redrawn 9th District viewed as more favorable for a Republican to win; three candidates in San Joaquin County pull papers to run for open seat; Congressman Harder from neighboring district announces candidacy, deletes Dec. tweet announcing run in CA-13
By Allen Payton
Eight-term Democratic Congressman Jerry McNerney (CA-09) issued the following statement announcing he will not run for re-election in 2022, making him the Democrat in the House of Representatives to make a similar announcement.
“Today I am announcing that I will not seek reelection in California’s newly created 9th Congressional District.
I am honored that the citizens of California’s 9th Congressional District chose me as their representative in the past five elections, and that those in California’s previous 11th Congressional District gave me the privilege of representing them for three terms.
I am very proud of the many accomplishments that my staff and I have achieved in Congress, including the creation of a major veteran’s health center facility in San Joaquin County, providing outstanding help for constituents with federal agencies, and securing major investments in infrastructure and public safety, broadband, education, childcare, and health care access. I have always fought tirelessly for those in need, and I will continue to do so.
I am grateful for the love and support of my family, who have been by my side throughout this journey. I could not have done this without them.
I will keep working for the people of my district throughout the remainder of my term and look forward to new opportunities to continue to serve.”
Both the current and new 9th District maps encompass most of San Joaquin County, which added Tracy, Manteca and Ripon, and portions of Eastern Contra Costa County. That part of the district has shrunk to just include Discovery Bay and Byron, and no longer includes Brentwood, Oakley, Bethel Island, Knightsen and portions of Antioch. The new district is considered to be more favorable for a Republican to win.
National Republican Congressional Committee Spokeswoman Torunn Sinclair responded to McNerney’s announcement writing, “No one wants to run as a House Democrat. Jerry McNerney is making the smart decision to quit instead of watching Democrats lose their majority.”
“Any Democrat who runs in this district is vulnerable because their Party is responsible for higher prices, increased crime and the highest unemployment rate in the country,” she added.
According to Ballotpedia.org, McNerney is the 28th Democrat in the House to not seek re-election. So far, 13 Republicans have also announced they’re not running for re-election, this year.
McNerney’s Election History
The 70-year-old McNerney was first elected in 2006 defeating Pombo by 53 to 46%. In 2010, McNerney narrowly defeated David Harmer by 48 to 46.9% with a third-party candidate receiving 5.1% of the vote. Following redistricting in 2011, McNerney moved from Pleasanton to Stockton to run in the newly drawn district and ran in the new 9th District in 2012 defeating Ricky Gill by a margin of 55.6% to 44.4% of the vote.
Four Candidates So Far, Filing Process Began Jan. 3
According to the Contra Costa Elections Division no candidate has pulled papers to run in the 9th District. But according to the San Joaquin County Registrar of Voters office, three people have pulled papers to run which include progressive Democrat Harpreet Singh Chima, San Francisco resident Karena Apple Feng, and Republican Khalid “Jeffrey” Jafri, an unsuccessful candidate for State Assembly in 2012 and 2020.
Congressman Josh Harder, a Democrat who represents the current CA-10 district, announced on his Twitter feed Tuesday morning that he’s running in the CA-9 congressional district. He had previously announcing last month he was running in neighboring district CA-13 in his “hometown” of Turlock, which is split between districts CA-5 and -13 and located over 20 miles outside of CA-9. But that tweet was deleted as of Tuesday morning. (See all CA congressional district maps)
The Signatures In-Lieu of the Filing Fee Period began on Jan. 3 and ends Feb. 9. Each signature reduces the amount of filing fee candidates are required to pay to get on the ballot. That is followed by the Candidate Nomination Period which runs from Feb. 14 to March 11. But that will be extended another five days until March 16 since the incumbent is not running.
The Primary Election is on Tuesday, June 7. The top two candidates in the race will face each other in the General Election in November.Read More
Event began as a protest in 1989
Co-sponsored by St. Peter Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, El Cerrito Human Relations Commission and the West Contra Costa County Unified School District
By Willie Robinson, President, NAACP Richmond Branch
The City of El Cerrito invites all of its residents and surrounding cities in the Bay Area, to join in its 33rd Annual Community Celebration, honoring the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., on Monday January 17, 2022.
“Keeping the Dream Alive – Embracing Our New Normals with Faith, Family, and Community,” is the theme for this year’s celebration.
This event is free and all ages are welcome.
Event Chairperson, Patricia Durham said “this peaceful protest began in 1989 on the back streets of El Cerrito because of the City’s refusal to acknowledge King’s birthday as a federal holiday. Members of St. Peter Christian Methodist Episcopal Church (CME) (the city’s only African-American church), and the El Cerrito Branch of the NAACP, in true Dr. King style, took to the streets. The City eventually came around and acknowledged the peaceful and powerful works of Dr. King.”
“El Cerrito’s birthday celebration of MLK is one of the longest-standing parade and rally in the Bay Area,” she added.
Because of the global pandemic, this is the second year the city will have a car parade. Participants will meet at 9 am at the El Cerrito del Norte BART station (in the parking lot of Key Blvd. and Knott Ave.). At 10 am, the parade will caravan down San Pablo Avenue to the El Cerrito Plaza BART station and at 11 am the rally will begin. To ensure everyone enjoy the parade safely, all CDC guidelines will be enforced. Masks and social distancing are required.
“Keeping the dream alive even during a pandemic is a necessity,” said Durham. “We are fighting for our democracy and if the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s taught us that we need each other to embrace our new normals of survival.”
“The City is expecting more than 100 cars, so we encourage everyone to decorate your vehicles so that yours’ stand out the best,” she noted. “Entertainment will be provided by the Japanese American Citizen League, the Black Cowboy Association, Ujima Lodge #35, the Mardi Gras Gumbo Band, Mighty High Drill Team, Smooth Illusions Band, and El Cerrito’s Poet Laureate, Ms. Eevelyn Janean Mitchell, among other talents.”
The MC of this illustrious event will be Jeffery Wright, President of the El Cerrito Chamber of Commerce. The event’s keynote speaker is Diana Becton, the first female African-American to be elected District Attorney in the history of Contra Costa County.
The celebration is sponsored by its founders, St. Peter CME Church and the El Cerrito Branch of the NAACP, as well as the El Cerrito Human Relations Commission, and the West Contra Costa County Unified School District.
For more information, contact Patricia Durham at (510) 234-2518.
To support this event — make your check payable to Alabaster Box Collectives (Tax ID 86-1334787). Mail To: St. Peter CME Church, 5324 Cypress Avenue, El Cerrito, CA 94530
For redrawing BART director districts; next meeting today at 9:00 a.m.
RELEASE DATE: 01/14/2022
Have a direct say in democracy by participating in BART’s redistricting meetings. The next virtual meeting is scheduled for January 15, at 9 am, followed by two 6pm meetings on January 22nd and February 2nd.
BART election districts are redrawn every 10 years following the U.S. Census. The primary purpose of redistricting is to ensure population equality among districts. This process is guided by traditional redistricting principles as well as the U.S. Constitution, the California Constitution, the federal Voting Rights Act and the BART District Act.
Districts must be contiguous and should also be compact, minimize splitting cities, respect communities of interest and follow natural and man-made boundaries.
Key Points to Consider in Redistricting
Traditional Redistricting Principles
Since decennial redistricting began in the late 1960s, traditional criteria and principles have developed. While the equal population of election districts is the overriding principle there are accompanying goals. In varying degrees, the criteria are compactness, continuity, respect for communities of interest, preserving political subdivisions, and the core of previous districts. All are not of equal weight and all are subordinate to an equal population. Care must be taken not to dilute the voting strength of minorities.
Compactness refers to a districts’ geographic shape and how its interior is dispersed within its boundaries. A circle is a perfectly compact shape. In redistricting, the notion of compactness is difficult to evaluate because one begins with irregularly shaped borders and the political subdivisions may be irregular in shape. Geometric measures of compactness are often misleading because geographic features and relationships are more complex than simple geometry. The principle of compactness should be considered functionally and must compete with other criteria.
Continuity requires that all parts of a district be connected. Districts can be drawn that are contiguous by way of water or a bridge. While crossing water is allowed it should be minimized as it makes it more difficult to respect communities of interest.
Preserving Political Subdivisions
An attempt should be made to minimize splitting cities and well-defined neighborhoods.
Respect for Communities of Interest
Communities of interest are subjective and difficult to define. A community of interest has some common thread of shared interest. Those communities can be based on such diverse elements as geography, language, socio-economic-cultural interests, even transportation corridors. Race may be considered, but it may not be the sole reason for drawing a district in a particular manner.
Preserving the Core of Prior Districts
Preserving the core of a previous district is thought to be the least disruptive to the voters in each area. One, of course, would not seek to maintain a previous district that was legally objectionable.
New districts should be drawn deliberatively and with common sense. Adherence to traditional redistricting principles and the federal Voting Rights Act will ensure fair and reasonable districts.
Community participation is available via Zoom on January 15, 2022 starting at 9 am at https://us06web.zoom.us/j/88956838390
You may join the Committee Meeting via Zoom by calling 1-669-900-6833 and entering access code 889 5683 8390. Dial *9 to raise your hand when you wish to speak, and dial *6 to unmute when you are requested to speak.
Virtual Meetings of BART’s Redistricting Committee and Archived Video
The BART Redistricting Committee consists of Directors Lateefah Simon (Chairperson), Elizabeth Ames and Mark Foley. Here is the remaining proposed redistricting outreach meeting schedule, materials, zoom information, and videos of previous meetings are provided below the list of meetings dates:
- Meeting 4: Saturday, January 15, 2022, 9 am
- Meeting 5: Saturday, January 22, 2022, 6 pm
- Meeting 6: Wednesday, February 2, 2022, 6 pm
January 8, 2022 Meeting – A virtual meeting was held Saturday, January 8, 2022 from 12 to 2 pm. Watch the video of the 1/8/22 meeting.
December 15, 2021 Meeting – A virtual meeting was held Wednesday, December 15, 2021 from 6 to 8 pm. Watch the video of the 12/15/21 meeting.
Documents from the December 1 meeting:
BART Board Districts Map Plan A
BART Board Districts Map Plan B
Table of BART District’s Citizen Voting Age Population (CVAP) by Race/Ethnicity
Table of Population by BART District, 1990-2030(estimate)
Current District Maps and Early Drafts of Potential (Not Final) New Maps
Mapping Tools for Public Engagement
BART has rolled out mapping tools to enable public input for redistricting.
BART interactive mapping tool for redistricting: This tool gives residents the ability to create and share a Community of Interest and/or draft Board of Director districts. Map submissions will appear in the gallery on the main landing page, enabling residents to view public input for redistricting.
BART Districts and Demographic Data: This web mapping tool is for visualizing BART districts and demographic data.
In addition to the interactive mapping tool, BART is providing a Community Input Map to allow residents to identify and provide supplemental information regarding their Community of Interest. This feature can be used on a mobile device and is offered in English and Spanish (Español), providing residents with an app that can be used to submit community information in their language of choice. Explore these tools using the links below.
Information about current District boundaries
BART 2011 Election Districts Final Report – Adopted 12/1/2011 (10 Mb .pdf file)
All BART Districts
Counties Included: Alameda, Contra Costa, San Francisco
Map: All BART Districts (.pdf file)
Counties Included: Contra Costa
Cities Included: Acalanes Ridge, Alamo, Alhambra Valley, Blackhawk, Camino Tassajara, Castle Hill, Clayton, Concord, Contra Costa Centre, Danville, Diablo, Lafayette, Martinez, Mountain View, Norris Canyon, North Gate, Pacheco, Pleasant Hill, Port Costa, Reliez Valley, San Miguel, San Ramon, Saranap, Shell Ridge, Vine Hill, Walnut Creek
Map: BART District 1 (.pdf file)
Counties Included: Contra Costa
Cities Included: Antioch, Bay Point, Bethel Island, Brentwood, Byron, Clyde, Concord, Discovery Bay, Knightsen, Oakley, Pacheco, Pittsburg, Vine Hill
Map: BART District 2 (.pdf file)
Counties Included: Alameda, Contra Costa
Cities Included: Albany, Ashland, Berkeley, Castro Valley, Cherryland, El Cerrito, Kensington, Lafayette, Moraga, Oakland, Orinda, Piedmont, San Lorenzo
Map: BART District 3 (.pdf file)
Counties Included: Alameda
Cities Included: Alameda, Oakland, San Leandro
Map: BART District 4 (.pdf file)
Counties Included: Alameda
Cities Included: Castro Valley, Cherryland, Dublin, Fairview, Hayward, Livermore, Pleasanton, Sunol
Map: BART District 5 (.pdf file)
Counties Included: Alameda
Cities Included: Fremont, Hayward (partial), Newark, Sunol, Union City
Map: BART District 6 (.pdf file)
Counties Included: Alameda, Contra Costa, San Francisco
Cities Included: Albany, Bayview, Berkeley, Crockett, East Richmond Heights, El Cerrito, El Sobrante, Emeryville, Hercules, Kensington, Montalvin Manor, North Richmond, Oakland, Pinole, Richmond, Rodeo, Rollingwood, San Francisco, San Pablo, Tara Hills
Map: BART District 7 (.pdf file)
Cities Included: San Francisco
Counties Included: San Francisco
Map: BART District 8 (.pdf file)
Cities Included: San Francisco
Counties Included: San Francisco
Map: BART District 9 (.pdf file)
Learn more at www.bart.gov/redistricting.Read More
Purchases land, uses conservation easement
By Queenie Li and Ted Clement, Save Mount Diablo
In December 2019, Save Mount Diablo and the Concord Mt. Diablo Trail Ride Association (CMDTRA) signed a two-year option agreement, giving Save Mount Diablo time to raise over $1.04 million to permanently protect almost 154 acres of open space on Mount Diablo’s North Peak with a conservation easement.
Save Mount Diablo raised the necessary funds. And on Tuesday, January 11, 2022, the parties closed escrow, with Save Mount Diablo successfully purchasing the conservation easement and thereby forever protecting this highly strategic land.
“We are so happy and grateful to start 2022 by permanently protecting almost 154 acres on Mount Diablo! The land that we just conserved is contiguous with Mount Diablo State Park and other lands protected by Save Mount Diablo. I want to thank our terrific Save Mount Diablo supporters and our wonderful partners at Concord Mt. Diablo Trail Ride Association for making this possible,” said Ted Clement, Save Mount Diablo’s Executive Director.
This Mount Diablo open space land that was protected by Save Mount Diablo on January 11 had been vulnerable. More than 15 houses and other buildings had been constructed near the approximate 154 acres just conserved with a Save Mount Diablo conservation easement.
A conservation easement is a perpetual legal agreement between a landowner and a qualified organization, like a nonprofit land trust or government agency. It restricts future activities and development on the land to protect its conservation values for the benefit of the public.
The newly protected land will continue to be owned by the Concord Mt. Diablo Trail Ride Association with Save Mount Diablo overseeing its conservation easement with annual monitoring.
“It is with great happiness and a sense of future vision that the Conservation Easement Agreement between the Concord Mt. Diablo Trail Ride Association and Save Mount Diablo is signed. This agreement will assure that future generations will be able to fully enjoy the natural beauty of this area of California without the threat of development. Save Mount Diablo took into consideration the history of our equine needs while sculpting the agreement,” said Diane Jorgensen, CMDTRA Board member.
“It is almost surreal that after more than 15 years in the making, we are finalizing the Conservation Easement between Concord Mt. Diablo Trail Ride Association and Save Mount Diablo. This agreement affords us the security of knowing that a beautiful piece of the mountain will be forever protected from urban development without sacrificing land ownership,” said Elaine Baker, CMDTRA Board President. “The heritage of horses on Mt. Diablo can continue indefinitely. We are eternally grateful that Save Mount Diablo has been so supportive and patient, tirelessly navigating us through the entire process. I hope that other landowners will follow in our footsteps to protect their land too.”
“I would like to thank Ron Brown, Seth Adams and Ted Clement for their patience, determination and love for Mt Diablo that facilitated the formation of the unique Save Mount Diablo/CMDTRA Conservation Easement,” said Chris Barnhart, CMDTRA Board Treasurer. “This partnership allows all of us to protect this vital, beautiful piece of Mt Diablo for perpetuity while allowing CMDTRA to retain ownership and the right to use the property as we always have in the past and will in the future. This agreement took over 15 years to finalize. Save Mount Diablo was very supportive of the needs of CMDTRA and are a wonderful group of caring and dedicated people who are dedicated to preserving Mt Diablo in perpetuity for future generations to come. It is with pride and love for Mt Diablo that CMDTRA has agreed to place the Conservation Easement on 154 acres of CMDTRA land.”
The $1.04 million needed to purchase this permanent conservation easement, along with additional transaction costs, was raised through Save Mount Diablo’s Forever Wild Campaign, which was completed in 2021.
The mile-wide property is part of the “Missing Mile,” a square mile of privately owned open space land on Mount Diablo’s North Peak. The property is adjacent to Save Mount Diablo’s Young Canyon property and our North Peak Ranch project and is also surrounded by Mount Diablo State Park on three sides.
It rises from 1,100 feet to 2,010 feet with views from the Carquinez Strait and Suisun Bay to Lassen Peak and the Sierra Nevada Range.
The property’s rich biodiversity is due to the complicated geology of Mount Diablo’s main peaks, including serpentine soils that host dozens of rare plant species like the Mount Diablo globe lily.
The now protected property will help secure the extremely important Mount Diablo high peaks area local ecosystem and preserve the scenic value the mountain affords to countless numbers of people.
The Concord Mt. Diablo Trail Ride Association will keep a separate approximate 47 acres where the association’s buildings are located, next to the almost 154 acres of open space just conserved with Save Mount Diablo’s conservation easement.
About Concord Mt. Diablo Trail Ride Association (CMDTRA)
Nestled on the northeast slope of Mt. Diablo, you’ll find one of the best kept secrets in the East Bay—the Concord Mt. Diablo Trail Ride Association. CMDTRA is a family-oriented nonprofit organization founded in 1941 dedicated to horsemanship, land preservation, and fun! In 1959, CMDTRA purchased more than 500 undeveloped acres on Mount Diablo and began building trails, a clubhouse, residences, and other horse-related recreational facilities. In 1965, CMDTRA sold 312 acres to Mount Diablo State Park and retained about 200 acres. Learn more at https://www.cmdtra.org/.
About Save Mount Diablo
Save Mount Diablo is a nationally accredited, nonprofit land trust founded in 1971 with a mission
to preserve Mount Diablo’s peaks, surrounding foothills, watersheds, and connection to the Diablo Range through land acquisition and preservation strategies designed to protect the mountain’s natural beauty, biological diversity, and historic and agricultural heritage; enhance our area’s quality of life; and provide educational and recreational opportunities consistent with protection of natural resources. To learn more, please visit www.savemountdiablo.org.Read More
4-0-1 vote approves staff drawn map keeping boundaries significantly the same as current, politically drawn wards map from 2011; leaves portions of East County in same ward with most of the San Ramon Valley; Crockett, Rodeo and portions of Hercules in same district with Walnut Creek, Alamo
By Allen Payton
The Contra Costa Community College board, on a 4-0-1 vote, approved a final redistricting, staff-drawn map that keeps the ward boundaries significantly gerrymandered, protecting each of the incumbents for re-election. Ward 5 Trustee Fernando Sandoval voted to abstain. During a public hearing on Ward Equalization Based on the 2020 Census at their regular meeting Wednesday night, the trustees reviewed three maps drawn by district staff, and only one member of the public, a former trustee, spoke. The new wards will go into effect for this year’s November elections, in which both Ward 3 Trustee Rebecca Barrett and Ward 4 Trustee Andy Li face re-election if they decide to run.
In addition, the board again discussed the “Public employee discipline/dismissal/release/complaint” of Chancellor Bryan Reece during a special meeting at 5:00 p.m. But no reportable action was taken during the closed session.
During the staff presentation on redistricting, Executive Vice Chancellor for Education and Technology Mojdeh Mehdizadeh said, “This is the fourth meeting we’ve held in order to achieve equalization” which was the main focus of the staff-drawn maps. Those include a Community Roundtable on Ward Redistricting on Jan. 6.
“You wanted to see more maps and interactive maps, you wanted to have the high school markers placed on the maps and more time for public input,” she continued. “We also asked the public for more input through an online survey…which went live on Dec. 17. We received a total of 12 responses.”
Three maps were offered to the public, two that are very similar to the current wards map, and one similar to the map that the county Board of Supervisors adopted, with a significantly gerrymandered Ward 2 which is very different than Supervisorial District 5. (See related article)
“Nearly 60% (7 people) indicated that Map 2 is the favored map. Map 3 was the least favored map. About 75% of respondents (8 or 9 people) said it was the least favorite,” Mehdizadeh stated. “We continue to offer Map 2 as the best map.”
That was the same map she and the district’s attorney recommended previously.
The three proposed maps show the locations of the high schools in the county except for Deer Valley High School in Antioch and misspelled the name of Dozier-Libbey Medical High School, also in Antioch.
Splits More Cities
While the new trustee ward map has a total population deviation of just 1.7% between wards – which is closer to the intent of the Constitution of ensuring one-person-one-vote – it keeps things pretty much the same as the 2011 map. It continues to split Antioch, Brentwood and Pittsburg in East County, Martinez, Concord, Walnut Creek and now, one of the county’s smallest cities, Clayton, in Central County, and in West County, instead of splitting Pinole, as the current map does, the new map splits Hercules.
Former board trustee Greg Enholm was the only person to speak during public comments saying, “as a trustee for 2012 to 2020 I did not participate in the ward equalization process for the 2000 and 2010 Census data. But I was affected as a candidate for the subsequent 2006 and 2010 Ward 3 elections created from the 2000 Census Data and the 2012, 2016, and 2020 elections created from the 2010 Census Data.”
“I have been a candidate in five contested elections being elected in two,” he continued. “I have had many opportunities to interact as a candidate with the approximately 200,000 4CD constituents each in Wards 3 and 5 as well as eight years being accountable to all one million 4CD constituents. I believe that the voters must select their representatives not the reverse. I hope that all five trustees agree with that statement and will ask that staff prevent or at least reveal any inappropriate effort by any current or prior trustee to use ward equalization to primarily improve their opportunity to be re-elected or affect any current or prior trustee’s opportunities to be a successful candidate using the 2000, 2010, and/or 2020 ward equalization process.”
Enholm provided each of the trustees with a copy of his comments on the three maps proposed by staff.
“Please read my comment below on all three proposed maps and ask staff if they have assured that the 2000 and 2010 ward maps were created in full compliance with all applicable laws, rules, and regulations in effect when they were adopted,” he said.
Ward 3 Trustee Fernando Sandoval was the only member of the board to speak, asking, “Can you tell me the implications for adopting each map? Can we respond to Mr. Enholm’s question…if the maps were created fairly.”
All three maps comply with population balance, Mehdizadeh pointed out.
“Map number 1 is a slight variation of the first one we presented you,” she said. “As it pertains to the second map, we attempted to keep as many cities as tight knit.”
However, both proposed Maps 1 and 2 split more cities than the current ward map.
“The third map was a request that came from the December meeting…that the Board of Supervisors had adopted their map…that was a consideration, as well,” Mehdizadeh stated.
In response to Sandoval she said, “Your question about the 2000 and 2010 process, I personally was not involved in the 2000 process.”
Mehdizadeh again spoke of population balance.
“In 2010 I can tell you I was directly involved,” she stated. “We worked closely with our legal counsel…we spent quality time with our governing board to get public input.”
“Our county Office of Education chose to adopt the same map,” Mehdizadeh added. “That showed a reduction in costs” for printing and mailing ballots during elections.
“I do know they have a meeting on the 19th,” Sandoval said referring to the county Board of Education. “But this year they hired their own demographer. I don’t know why. Is there a reason we wouldn’t wait for them to come back? We want to make sure the alignment is consistent. Would it be prudent to wait until they vote on a final recommendation?”
“That could be our challenge,” Mehdizadeh responded. “Our maps have to be approved by the end of February. It really is who ultimately who votes and makes a determination of their maps. They have been working closely with us, as staff. They are very well apprised of the timelines. It really is up to the board.”
With no other comments by the trustees Board President and District 2 Trustee Judy Walters closed the public hearing.
Board Adopts Map 2
Then later during the meeting, under NonConsent Agenda – Action Items – Miscellaneous, on a motion by Trustee Li and seconded by Ward 1 Trustee John Marquez, the board voted 4-0-1 to adopt Map 2. Sandoval voted to abstain. Student Trustee Austin Green also voted for the motion, but the vote is advisory, only.
However, the resolution signed by both Walters and Marquez, who is the Board Secretary, incorrectly shows Sandoval voted for the map and Marquez voted to abstain. 4CD adopted Ward Equalization Resolution 0122-20B-MI – incorrect
When reached for comment about the mistake Sandoval said “that’s wrong. I’ll call John Marquez.”
When informed of the mistake, Marquez said, “I’ll call the staff member who handles that, Pat (Kaya) and get it corrected, right away.”Read More