WCCUSD Board of Education Election 2012: Main Institutional Endorsements

There are 4 can­di­dates run­ning for 2 seats on the West Contra Costa Unified School District Board of Education. One as­pect of the cam­paign process is gar­ner­ing en­dorse­ments from var­i­ous or­ga­ni­za­tions and the main lo­cal pa­per. Here is the cur­rent score­card:

El Cerrito Democratic ClubX
Contra Costa Central Labor CouncilXX
Democratic Party of Contra Costa CountyXX
United Teachers of RichmondXX
Public Employees Union, Local No. 1XX
Contra Costa TimesXX

The Endorsers

The El Cerrito Democratic Club has been the only ac­tive party club in the dis­trict. (A new one in Hercules is start­ing up.) It com­bines a can­di­date Q&A fo­rum with a mem­bers-only bal­lot at the end.

The Central Labor Council is the county ver­sion of the AFL-CIO. They send out a ques­tion­naire and then in­ter­view and en­dorse can­di­dates.

The county Democratic Party has an elected Central Committee. Candidates fill out and sub­mit a short ques­tion­naire. A sub­com­mit­tee in­ter­views can­di­dates. Then, this sub­com­mit­tee rec­om­mends can­di­dates to the full com­mit­tee.

The teach­ers union also sends out a ques­tion­naire first. (The an­swers are dis­trib­uted to all teach­ers.) The union ex­ec­u­tive board in­ter­views can­di­dates and passes on a rec­om­men­da­tion to the gen­eral coun­cil of rep­re­sen­ta­tives from all of the schools. At the gen­eral meet­ing, the can­di­dates get to make a brief pitch to the whole as­sem­bly be­fore a bal­lot is taken.

Local 1” is the union for most of the non-teacher em­ploy­ees in WCCUSD. Their board in­ter­views can­di­dates and de­cides who to en­dorse.

The Contra Costa Times is the lo­cal pa­per that pays the most at­ten­tion to WCCUSD. They in­ter­view the can­di­dates be­fore de­cid­ing. This time they are post­ing the video of the in­ter­view in the en­dorse­ment ed­i­to­r­ial.

This post was orig­i­nally pub­lished on September 19th, but was up­dated and re­pub­lished once the Contra Costa Times en­dorsed.

Follow the Money for the WCCUSD Candidates

The first of two pre-elec­tion cam­paign fi­nance fil­ings has oc­cured. Here are the re­sults for these four West Contra Costa Unified School District can­di­dates for two avail­able seats:

Here are some graphs com­par­ing do­na­tions, re­main­ing cash bal­ances, and do­na­tion sources as of Sept. 30 with a ta­ble fol­low­ing at the end. “Construction Interests” as a cat­e­gory in­cludes or­ga­ni­za­tions (com­pa­nies, unions, and trade as­so­ci­a­tions) and in­di­vid­u­als. “Individuals” and “Organizations” re­fer to in­di­vid­u­als and or­ga­ni­za­tions that aren’t con­struc­tion-re­lated. Donations un­der $100 aren’t item­ized and are just re­ported as a sin­gle ag­gre­gate num­ber in each re­port.

 Total DonationsConstruction InterestsOrganzationsIndivdualsUnder $100Cash Balance

WCCUSD Needs More Blogs

I was just read­ing an ex­cel­lent post by Giorgio Cosentino on his WCCUSD Quality Improvement Project blog about the in­sen­si­tive­ness of our WCCUSD school board can­di­dates to the im­pact of the tax mea­sures on or­di­nary cit­i­zens. I would def­i­nitely en­cour­age you to book­mark his site. I’m also in­ter­ested in find­ing other blogs con­nected with WCCUSD. If you know of any, post a link as a com­ment.

New Page: Bucket of Links

I book­mark a lot of web pages with the idea of maybe writ­ing some­thing about them. Even though, I don’t al­ways get around to us­ing them, the list it­self of po­ten­tial links for posts might be in­ter­est­ing to read­ers of this blog. To “pub­lish” them, I’m us­ing a fea­ture of my book­marks syn­chro­nizer add-on, Xmarks, for shar­ing book­mark fold­ers as a link or wid­get. A wid­get list­ing these links is now avail­able on the “Bucket of Links” page that hangs off the “Resources” menu item.

CBOC Chair Installs Successor

I’m now the sec­re­tary of the West Contra Costa Unified School District Citizens Bond Oversight Committee. How did this hap­pen?

At the last com­mit­tee meet­ing (on August 15th), as an aside, the chair, Robert Studdiford, stated that there would be elec­tions for of­fi­cers at the next meet­ing. He gave no other in­for­ma­tion. I as­sumed this meant the usual roll-over of the cur­rent of­fi­cers.

Leading up to this September 26th meet­ing, there was no in­for­ma­tion avail­able to the com­mit­tee as a whole about whether the cur­rent of­fi­cers would con­tinue. No clue in the agenda. It just said “Officer Elections.”

When we had our meet­ing, the chair said we were sup­posed to have voted on of­fi­cers awhile be­fore, but it just hadn’t worked out. Then it turned out he wasn’t run­ning for re-elec­tion this time. Whatever the ex­pla­na­tion, it was a sur­prise. Kris Hunt nom­i­nated me for chair. Then, Mr. Studdiford, the chair, nom­i­nated Joseph Gallia, the Construction Trades Council rep­re­sen­ta­tive.

Without any fur­ther dis­cus­sion, we moved to a vote and Robert’s hand-picked suc­ces­sor was duly elected 6 – 4. I ended up as sec­re­tary, be­cause no­body else wanted the job. (Or, maybe the hand-picked per­son didn’t make it to the meet­ing.)

The bright side is Robert is no longer chair. However, here’s what con­cerns me about this:

  1. There was no dis­cus­sion about the con­tested pres­i­den­tial elec­tion, just steam­rol­ler­ing to a vote. When there was a con­test for sec­re­tary last time, we had a dis­cus­sion. Making up the rules at the mo­ment of their ap­pli­ca­tion is not right. I would have liked to hear what Mr. Gallia would do as chair and to have been able to say what I would do as chair.
  2. The most bizarre as­pect of this is re­lated to the fact that Robert is run­ning for school board. Joseph is a busi­ness agent for Ironworkers Union Local 378. This union has en­dorsed Robert as a can­di­date (and pre­sum­ably given him money). So, Robert in­stalled an of­fi­cial of a union sup­port­ing him for school board as his re­place­ment as chair of our over­sight com­mit­tee.

Update: It turns out that since I last checked his en­dorse­ments page, Robert has up­dated it. Now, there is no longer a list­ing for the Ironworkers Union. If this page was from his 2008 run, it seems pretty weird that a cam­paign would not re­place the page till now. (Here’s the Google archive link of the last ver­sion of the page and a screen cap I took of the archived page – in case the link gets over­writ­ten.)