The Actual Opening of the WCCUSD Board Race…Sort Of

Xavier Abrams, Peter Chau, Antonio Medrano, and Tom Panas

What trig­gered my pre­vi­ous post was the dis­cov­ery that the teach­ers union for West Contra Costa, the United Teachers of Richmond (UTR), has al­ready made an en­dorse­ment (or at least half of one) for the November race. Here’s the time­line as I un­der­stand it:


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

Pre-election Filing Deadline Today: Follow the Money Day Almost Here

Today is an im­por­tant mile­stone in the November elec­tion. This is when cam­paigns have to file a re­port of their in­come and ex­penses up to September 30th. Hopefully, all the re­ports will be on­line by Monday. That would make Monday a triple hol­i­day: Columbus Day, Follow the Money Day, and Beginning of Vote-by-Mail Day. Here’s the link for Contra Costa County:

Campaign Contribution Search

The biggest thing to watch is For the Children of West County, the PAC that bankrolls bond and par­cel tax cam­paigns with money from con­struc­tion in­ter­ests, all mar­shaled to­gether by Charles Ramsey. Here are some di­rect links to known WCCUSD PACs and can­di­dates:

I’ll re­port on what I find from Follow the Money Day af­ter it hap­pens.

Note: There’s one more pre-elec­tion fil­ing dead­line on the 25th.