[ March 16, 2017 ] Navigating the State Senate

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MGO Membership Meeting – Thursday, March 16th, 7pm

Navigating the State Senate – Guest Speaker Nancy Skinner

Temple Sinai, 2808 Summit Street, Oakland




CA vs WDC: Keeping the National Executive Branch Under Control

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California vs Washington: Keeping the National Executive Branch Under Control
Thursday, Feb 16th 


HELEN GRIECO |  Northern California Organizer, California Common Cause

Helen Grieco

Helen Grieco joined California Common Cause as an organizer in northern California in 2010.

She works to educate Common Cause activists on issues, advocacy and organizing tactics, recruits new members and organizes Common Cause campus and community groups and young professionals. She also teaches organizing and activism, and runs educational outreach events to address campaign finance reform, government accountability, voting rights/reform, redistricting, media reform, fair elections campaigns, legislation and initiatives.

Helen has two decades of experience as an advocate and spokesperson for social, political and economic justice. She has trained community activists and leaders and is an author and producer of educational media. She was the founder of Our Media Voice, BRAVE People, Defending Ourselves Self-Defense School and SHE Academy. She also is a former executive director of the California National Organization for Women. Helen has a bachelor’s degree in women’s studies from San Francisco State University and a master’s degree in clinical psychology from Antioch University.

December – “The Trump Era Begins: Holding the Line

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Thursday, December 15th
Temple Sinai – Stern Hall
2808 Summit Street – Oakland
“The Trump Era Begins: Holding the Line
with special guest speaker:  PAUL PIERSON, John Gross Professor of Political Science, University of California, Berkeley
5:30pm      Doors open
6:00pm     Social hour
7:30pm     Program Begins
8:30pm     Q&A

Professor Paul Pierson is the John Gross Professor of Political Science at the University of California at Berkeley. Pierson’s teaching and research includes the fields of American politics and public policy, comparative political economy, and social theory. His most recent books are Off-Center: The Republican Revolution and the Erosion of American Democracy (Yale University Press 2005), co-authored by Jacob Hacker,  Politics in Time: History, Institutions and Social Analysis (Princeton University Press 2004), and  The Transformation of American Politics: Activist Government and the Rise of Conservatism(Princeton University Press 2007), which was co-edited with Theda Skocpol, and Winner-Take-All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer and Turned Its Back on the Middle Class (Simon and Schuster 2010), also co-authored by Jacob Hacker. Pierson is an active commentator on public affairs, whose writings have recently appeared in such outlets as The New York Times Magazine, The Washington Post, and The New Republic.
…. more to come


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The November membership meeting has been cancelled. Mark your calendar to attend our next membership meeting on December 15th.  Stay tuned more information to come.


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C I T Y   O F   O A K L A N D 

  • Dan Kalb –– District 1
  • Lynette McElhaney – District 3
  • Noel Gallo – District 5
  • Larry Reid – District 7

Oakland City Attorney

  • Barbara Parker

Oakland School Board

  • Jody London – District 1
  • Rosie Torres – District 5
  • James Harris – District 7

S P E C I A L   D I S T R I C T S

BART Board of Directors:

  • Rebecca Saltzman – Ward 3
  • Lateefah Simon – Ward 7

AC Transit

  • Chris Peeples – At Large
  • Greg Harper  – Ward 2

East Bay Regional Parks

  • Dionisio Rosario


A1 – Alameda County Housing Bond –  YES

  • $580 million affordable housing bond

C1 – Alameda Contra Costa Transit – YES 

  • Parcel tax initiative 

G1 – Oakland Unified School District – YES

  • To provide a district wide educator salary increase designed to attract/retain teachers; provide enhanced middle school art, music, language and other programming

HH – Oakland Soda Tax –  YES

  • A penny-per-ounce revenue stream that could rise up to $12 million per year to aid in efforts to fight obesity

KK – City of Oakland $600 million bond – YES

  • Repair local infrastructure 

LL – Oakland Police Commission – YES

  • Ballot measure to change the city’s charter in order to create a citizen Police Commission

RR – BART  –   YES

  • $3.5 million capital reinvestment measure


Next MGO Endorsement Meetings

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Sept 15th – Special District Races.  Sept 22nd – State Senate, City of Oakland, School Board, City Attorney

RENEW / JOIN Membership – http://www.mgodems.org

General Election 2016

Endorsement 2016 Measures

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Alameda Contra Costa Transit  – YES 
Parcel tax initiative 
To preserve essential local public transportation services, including those for youth, commuters, seniors, and people with disabilities, while keeping fares reasonable, shall the Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District extend its existing 8 dollars per month parcel tax at current levels for 20 years with no increase in tax rate, raising approximately 30 million dollars annually, with independent oversight and all money spent locally
$3.5 million capital reinvestment measure. 
BART Safety, Reliability and Traffic Relief. To keep BART safe; prevent accidents/breakdowns/delays; relieve overcrowding; reduce traffic congestion/pollution; improve earthquake safety and access for seniors/disabled by replacing and upgrading 90 miles of severely worn tracks; tunnels damaged by water intrusion; 44-year-old train control systems; and other deteriorating infrastructure, shall the Bay Area Rapid Transit District issue $3.5 billion of bonds for acquisition or improvement of real property subject to independent oversight and annual audits
Alameda County Housing Bond – YES
$580 million affordable housing bond. 
ALAMEDA COUNTY AFFORDABLE HOUSING BOND. To provide affordable local housing and prevent displacement of vulnerable populations, including low- and moderate-income households, veterans, seniors, and persons with disabilities; provide supportive housing for homeless people countywide; and help low- and middle-income households purchase homes and stay in their communities; shall the County of Alameda issue up to $580 million in general obligation bonds to acquire or improve real property, subject to independent citizen oversight and regular audits
City of Oakland $600 million bond – YES
Repair local infrastructure 
To improve public safety and invest in neighborhoods throughout Oakland by re-paving streets to remove potholes, rebuilding cracked and deteriorating sidewalks, funding bicycle and pedestrian safety improvements, funding affordable housing for Oaklanders, and providing funds for facility improvements, such as, neighborhood recreation centers, playgrounds, and libraries, shall the City of Oakland issue $600 million in bonds, subject to independent citizen oversight and regular audits
Oakland Police Commission – YES
Ballot measure to change the city’s charter in order to create a citizen Police Commission
Oakland’s City Charter be amended to establish: (1) a Police Commission of civilian commissioners to oversee the Police Department by reviewing and proposing changes to Department policies and procedures, requiring the Mayor to appoint any new Chief of Police from a list of candidates provided by the Commission, and having the authority to terminate the Chief of Police for cause; and (2) a Community Police Review Agency to investigate complaints of police misconduct and recommend discipline.
Oakland Soda Tax – YES

A penny-per-ounce revenue stream that could rise up to $12 million per year to aid in efforts to fight obesity.

The City of Oakland impose a 1 cent per ounce general tax on the distribution of sugar-sweetened beverages, including products such as sodas, sports drinks, sweetened teas, energy drinks, but exempting: milk products, 100% juice, baby formula, diet drinks, or drinks taken for medical reasons; and providing an exemption for small businesses
To provide a districtwide educator salary increase designed to attract/retain teachers; provide enhanced middle school art, music, language and other programming.
To provide a districtwide educator salary increase designed to attract/retain teachers; provide enhanced middle school art, music, languages/other programs in addition to core educational programs; improve academic achievement; provide safe, positive schools, and prepare students for college/careers; shall Oakland Unified School District levy a tax of $120 per parcel, providing $12.4 million annually, for 12 years, with exemptions for senior and low income residents, no money for Sacramento, and all money benefitting Oakland students.