A Call to Democrats: Vote Against the Machine!

Sunday is your chance to vote for delegates to the state party convention that are not part of the establishment.


This Sunday Jan. 13 at 1 PM is the election for delegates to represent AD18 (San Leandro, Alameda and most of Oakland) at the California Democratic Convention.   State delegates get to vote on the party’s endorsement of Democratic candidates for state and national office, on the state party’s platform and on regional and state party officers.  If we want to have a state party that is  open to regular Democrats and that puts policy before the party machine, we need to elect delegates that represent those values.

This will not be easy.  Voting can only be done in person on the day and place determined by the County Committee Chair (Robin Torello in this case).  Party rules establish that this should be a “central” location to the whole district.  AD18 encompasses the cities of San Leandro and Alameda as well as most of Oakland (excluding Piedmont, Montclair and North Oakland). The logical place to have this election would have been Laney College, where it’s been in the past.  It’s centrally located by a BART station and several bus lines.  Instead, Torello scheduled the vote to take place at Alameda Hospital, which is not only inconvenient for most voters in the district but also difficult to access by public transportation (it would take me over an hour and a change of buses to get there and would cost about $5).

But AD18 has a new Assembly member, Rob Bonta, a former Alameda City Council and former Alameda Hospital Board member. This location is extremely convenient for Bonta supporters, many of whom are likely to be in the building anyway and can just pop in and cast their votes for the slate of candidates he’s sponsoring. 

Helping get Bonta’s people elected to the state convention benefits Torello in a couple of ways.  First, doing favors for elected officials (whether requested or not) is never a bad way of accumulating political capital.  Secondly, Torello’s main political ally, Royce Kelley, will face re-election as regional director at the next state convention.  It behooves both of them to have pro-establishment delegates.  Indeed, one of the candidates for state delegate in Bonta’s slate is Kelley’s alternate at the County Committee while another was a client of Kelley’s when she ran for City Council (as was Bonta).

This is politics as usual in the Alameda County Democratic Party.  The only way to change this is by changing the cogs in the machine.  And that means electing new leadership.  For you, if you are a Democrat who lives in Alameda, San Leandro or Oakland, it means getting off your butt this Sunday at 1 PM and heading to Alameda Hospital and casting a vote for change (real change, not the “slogan change”).

The following is the slate of independent candidates that I’m voting for and that I urge you to go and support yourself.

  • Winnie Anderson
  • Chanee Franklin
  • Sele Nadel-Hayes
  • Gwenn Olson
  • Mia Ousley
  • Sheryl Walton
  • Melvin Cowan
  • Nestor Cuellas
  • Joel Fried
  • Abel Guillen
  • Tim Holmes
  • Mike Katz-Lacabe

Full disclosure: Mike Katz-Lacabe is my husband, and I worked with Mia Ousley, Nestor Cuellas and Tim Holmes in the San Leandro Community Action Network.  I haven’t met Gwenn Olson in person, but she’s been an active member of my Facebook page and I have grown to respect her immensely.

So let’s make a date:

Sunday, Jan. 13, 2013 - 1 PM
Alameda Hospital
2070 Clinton Ave, Alameda

e-mail me at margalacabe@gmail.com if you need more information

Note: it costs $5 to vote, BUT you can sign a hardship waiver instead if needed.


Margarita Lacabe is an elected member to the Alameda County Democratic Central Committee for AD18.  She is the author of the San Leandro Talk blog.  Find her on Facebook and Twitter.

This article was previously published in the Democratic Party Politics blog.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

jeffrey olsen January 08, 2013 at 06:20 PM
the problem is katz-lacobes family is the same sort of people whose chairs lacobes want to get
Marga Lacabe January 11, 2013 at 11:28 PM
Apparently Rob Bonta wants to make sure that he controls every single delegate to the Democratic state convention for AD18. He gets to appoint 5 in addition the 3 (I think) members of the staff who are already delegates (as is he) and has the loyalty of others - but that's not enough, so his campaign is spending megabucks sending postcards to Democrats on his district urging them to vote for his loyalists. Good move for Rob, but if we want to have an open Democratic party where there is an internal opposition, then we need to make sure that we elect independent voices.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »