The June 5th election is coming up fast - today, in fact! - and to save you some time researching the candidates you'll be deciding between, Patch has put together this handy guide for you.
Below, see links to candidates' websites and a little bit about each person running for a position in a district that includes San Mateo County. Also, at the end of the article, read about important tax measures, school measures and parcel taxes affecting certain districts throughout the County and unincoporated areas of the County.
Above all: don't forget to vote today, June 5th!
SAN MATEO COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS, 4TH DISTRICT
Current Supervisor: Rose Jacobs Gibson (term is up)
Candidates Running in June 5th Election:
- Carlos Romero, current city councilmember and former mayor of East Palo Alto. On his website, Romero identifies healthcare, mental health, public safety, emergency shelter, and affordable housing as what he thinks are key issues currently facing the County, and says his expertise on the City Council for East Palo Alto will help him to help the County make sound recommendations and budget decisions in these areas.
- Shelly Masur, currently serves on the Redwood City School Board, as the immediate past-president of the San Mateo County School Boards Association and as an elected member of the California School Boards Association’s Delegate Assembly. She was first elected to the Redwood City School Board in 2005 and currently serves on the board policy committee, the District wellness committee and is a board representative to Redwood City 2020, a collaboration among the school district, San Mateo County, the City of Redwood City and the Sequoia Union High School District. Masur holds a Master's Degree in public health and has 15 years' experience managing nonprofits, with a focus on youth. She said, as a member of the school board, she has helped make difficult and necessary cuts while still preserving vital academic programs. If elected, Masur said she "will work to make our County government more responsive, efficient and effective," that creating jobs for people of all skills and backgrounds is key. Read Patch's Q&A with Masur
- Kirsten Keith current councilmember and mayor of Menlo Park was formerly a Planning Commissioner. Keith has been an attorney based in Menlo Park for nearly 20 years, and has served a long list of local charities, public agencies and nonprofits as well. On her website, Keith says creating jobs, economic development and preserving the environment are the key issues she would work on if elected. Read Patch's Q&A with Keith
- Ernesto "Ernie" Schmidt, Redwood City Planning Commissioner. On his website, Schmidt says, if elected, he will prioritize revitalizing local cities and towns, making housing more affordable, encouraging local government to focus on good policy decisions rather than personal politics, and devising creative and long-lasting solutions to the County's challenges. Read Patch's Q&A with Schmidt
- Andy Cohen, former Menlo Park City Councilmember. On his website, Cohen says "San Mateo County must act swiftly to assist our cities to absorb some of the former responsibilities of the Redevelopment Agencies while ensuring fiscal conservatism." Cohen said his tenure on the City Council helped him gain expertise in making tough, balanced budget decisions.He also said that preserving public safety services such as police and fire while also working with unions to create fair - but not outrageous - pensions is vital, and would be one of his top priorities if elected. He also names public transportation and preserving a healthy housing stock throughout the County among his key issues. Read Patch's Q&A with Cohen
- Memo Morantes, current trustee for the San Mateo County Board of Education. Morantes has long been a champion of opportunities for the local Latino population. He founded a Montessori School in East Palo Alto for Hispanic and Latino children, previously worked for the Redwood City/San Mateo County Chamber of Commerce, and has served Habitat for Humanity, the Latino Leadership Council, the Latino International Film Festival and more. On his website, Morantes says he is against tax Measures T, U and X, saying they will curtail efforts to reviatalize current businesses in the County and attract new ones. He also says he is in favor of the proposed new jail, saying current facilities are "outdated, overcrowded and unsafe for prisoners," and feels that salaries like that of the County Manager are too excessive. He consistently names education as one of his top priorities as an elected official. Read Patch's Q&A with Morantes
- Warren Slocum, former Chief Elections Officer & Assessor-County Clerk Recorder for San Mateo County Office of Elections. On his website, Slocum said, in his former job, he "worked to balance budgets, streamline government and save taxpayer dollars," and "stood up for people, always making decisions based on doing what was right, and not what was politically expedient." Slocum said his "county-specific" knowledge and leadership makes him the logical candidate for County Supervisor.
SAN MATEO COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS, 1ST DISTRICT
Current Supervisor: Dave Pine (up for re-election, running unopposed)
- Dave Pine, former high-tech worker, current County Supervisor. On his re-election website, Pine says his experience in the high-tech industry will help him continue to attact high-paying jobs to the County. He says his highest priorities are to balance the budget without performing harmful cuts to law enforcement, fire protection, public health, parks, and services for seniors, children and families.
SAN MATEO COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS, 5TH DISTRICT
Current Supervisor: Adrienne J. Tissier (up for re-election, running unopposed)
- Adrienne J. Tissier, current president of the County Board of Supervisors, has served on the Board since 2005. On her website, Tissier says, if re-elected, she will continue her work on a "strong economic development plan to bring needed revenue to the County," and that she will continue "to proactively plan for San Mateo County’s future by streamlining our services, improving shared services opportunities, and providing for the health, safety and welfare of our community.” Tissier also serves as the chair of both the Metropolitan Transit Commission and Caltrain, and serves on the Samtrans Board of Directors, where she says she is "aggressively seeking a dedicated source of funding to keep this vital transit link alive and improve mobility in and around our county."
CALIFORNIA STATE ASSEMBLY, 19TH DISTRICT
Current State Assembly Members: Jerry Hill (running for State Senate) and Fiona Ma (term is up).
Candidates Running in June 5th Election:
- Michael Breyer, small businessman/entrepreneur (Democrat). He is the son of U.S. Superme Court Justice Stephen Breyer. On his website, he names education, balancing the budget, honesty in government, keeping state parks open and funding road repairs and public transporation as the most important issues to him. He strongly believes in transparency in government. Breyer became a well-known local figure after running San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee's successul campaign for election.
- James Pan, real-property appraiser for City and County of San Francisco, whose boss is his opponent, Phil Ting (Democrat). Pan told the San Francisco Chronicle he is campaigning for "lower taxes for low-income residents, reforms to higher education and easing restrictions on business."
- Phil Ting, current Assessor-Recorder for the City and County of San Francisco (Democrat). In his current role, Ting says he prioritizes "promoting a strong economy, funding our schools, promoting innovation in government, building trade ties to Asia, protecting homeowners facing foreclosures and attracting high-wage green jobs." Ting says his top achievements in his current role include working to close a five-year backlog and generating more than $290 million without any new taxes by bringing in new technology, and employing better management and his background in helping large organizations reform. Ting has helped launch many local organizations and programs, such as ChinaSF, which helps Asian companies set up business in the Bay Area; GoSolarSF, San Francisco’s solar energy incentive program; ReSet San Francisco, an online community that helps San Franciscans' voices be heard at City Hall; Don't Borrow Trouble, an education and resource initiative for potential homebuyers, which works to prevent home unneccessary foreclosures; and more.
- Matthew Del Carlo, taxpayer advocate, small businessman (Republican). The San Francisco Chronicle identifies Del Carlo as a third-generation San Franciscan and a Bay Area government and political consulting strategist. He heads the local Young Republicans organization, and said he thinks the GOP has not done enough "to reach out to under-35 millennial voters who are especially hard-hit by the economy and unemployment." Del Carlo added, he thinks what the local Republican party needs is "rejuvenation," and that the San Francisco Bay Area has, for too long, been under a "one-party rule" by Democrats, and that an alternative like himself might be welcome.
CALIFORNIA STATE ASSEMBLY, NEWLY FORMED 22ND DISTRICT
Current State Assemblyman: Jim Beall (running for State Senate)
Candidates Running in the June 5th Election:
- Mark Gilham, small business owner. Gilham is a former Marine and missionary. On his Facebook page Gilham says, if elected, his priorities would be "to encourage entrepreneurship, incentivize business, and promote education and invention." Gilham lives in Redwood City.
- Kevin Mullin, business owner and current City Councilmember of South San Francisco. Mullin founded the South San Francisco-based multimedia company K2M. He has served local government in many capacities including as District Director for then-State Senator Jackie Speier, and as Political Director for his father, former State Assemblyman Gene Mullin. Mullin currently represents San Mateo County on the Metropolitan Transporation Commission and has served for nearly 10 years on the Workforce Investment Board of San Mateo County. On his website he indicates, if elected, his top priorities would be job creation, enhancing education and workforce development initiatives, encouraging environmentally sustainable regional planning, balancing the state budget in a fiscally responsible manner and working in a bi-partisan way to reform state governance.
CALIFORNIA STATE ASSEMBLY, 24TH DISTRICT
Current U.S. Representative: Jim Beall (running for State Senate)
Candidates Running in June 5th Election:
- Chengzhi "George" Yang, software engineer (Republican). Yang earned his bachelor's degree in computer information systems from Golden Gate University in San Francisco in just under two years, and went on to earn a master's degree in telecommunications management. He has worked as a computer programmer for a local startup, working in cooperation with such companies as Siemens, Cisco and Visa. He has taught Mandarin in Sunday School, and served as a member and chairman of the San Bruno Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Committee for five years. He has said the issues that are of highest priority to him in this election are fostering a competitive environment for businesses to thrive in, ensuring all children have access to a quality education, and reforming the state government and helping to balance its budget. Yang lives in Menlo Park with his wife and two daughters.
- Geby E. Espinosa, small business owner (Democrat). Espinosa is 47 years old and lives in Mountain View. (Further information was not available).
- Richard S. Gordon, current State Assemblyman (Democrat). An experienced State Assemblyman, Gordon is also an executive for a youth nonprofit agency, and a member of both the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors and Board of Education. He is also a former minister of the United Methodist Church. In his first two years as an Assemblyman, 15 of the 19 bills he introduced were signed into law by the governor. He co-chairs the Bay Area Caucus and is a member of both the Environmental Caucus and the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) Caucus. Gordon was born and raised in San Mateo County.
- Joseph Antonelli Rosas (Independent). Rosas is a passionate activist for immigrants' rights, and is involved in several Occupy movements in Bay Area cities like San Jose and Redwood City, fighting "for the 99 percent" and engaging elected officials in pushing for laws and bills that prevent unnecessary home foreclosures. He has also fought for pension reform and increasing the minimum wage in San Jose.
U.S. REPRESENTATIVE, 14TH AND 18TH DISTRICTS
Current U.S. Representative: Anna Eshoo (running for re-election)
Other Candidates Running in June 5th Election:
- Dave Chapman, Software Engineer (Republican). Chapman has a bachelor's degree in computer science from Rensselaer and a master's degree in electrical engineering from Yale. Chapman has said his top priorities if elected are to help create jobs by reforming our trade policy, to help create jobs by cracking down on immigration fraud, and to help create jobs by reforming our international monetary policy.
- Carol Brouillet, producer/publisher/writer (Green Party). Brouillet attended Hawaii Loa College, Reed College and the University of Grenoble. She has said she considers herself a "media activist" who "seeks to connect people, vital ideas and important information to nurture healthy social change, economis justice and ecological sustainability." She credits herself with helping to found the "9-11 Truth Alliance" and helped edit "The Invisible Nuclear War" about the health effects of low-level radiation and nuclear issues. Brouillet ran for Congress in 2006 and 2008 but was not elected.
- William Parks, attorney, former semiconductor engineer (Democrat). Parks has said he wants to fight "corruption in our government," help implement a fair tax system, end the war in Afghanistan, stop wasteful military spending, and "spend our tax dollars in a way that creates jobs, such as on infrastructure, schools, teachers, police and firefighters. He adds, "[If we do that], we will turn this economy around and return to prosperous times we had only a few short years ago."
CALIFORNIA STATE SENATE, 11TH AND 13TH DISTRICTS
Current State Senators: Elaine Alquist (Democrat, 13th District - term is continuing) and Joe Simitian (Democrat, 11th District - term is up)
Candidates Running in June 5th Election:
- Jerry Hill, current State Assemblyman and business owner (Democrat, 13th District). Hill has said he plans to work toward job creation, improving public education, helping public educators, balancing the state budget, and "standing up for the issues we hold dear, including consumer and environmental protection, and health care for all."
- Christopher Kent Chiang, public school teacher (Democrat, 13th District). Chiang has taught government, economics and history for eight years in Cupertino, New York City, Los Angeles, Mountain View and San Mateo. He holds a bachelor's degree in political science from UC-Irvine, a masters degree in educational leadership from Columbia, and a masters degree in teaching from Stanford. Chiang has said, if elected, he will advocate for a state policy agenda that benefits schools and children's services, and will work with the governor on "bold pension reform." Chiang has said he is opposed to high-speed rail. He has also said he would work to cut prison construction to secure funding for children, and he wants to redesign state testing, teacher and principal state certification, and community college-based job training "to reflect the 21st century economy."
- Sally Lieber, environmental policy activist (Democrat, 13th District). Lieber served in State Assembly from 2002-2008 (22nd District), where she was only the third woman since 1849 to serve as Assembly Speaker pro Tempore. While an assemblymember, she has said she worked to increase educational and economic opportunities for all citizens of California, protect public health, end human trafficking, and helped increase the state minimum wage and initiate measures to protect vulnerable senior citizens and people with disabilities. If elected to the State Senate, she has said she wants to improve prison conditions for female prisoners in California. Lieber is also a former mayor of Mountain View and a County Commissioner.
- John H. Webster, software engineer (Libertarian, 13th District). Webster served in the U.S Navy from 1964-1968, including in Vietnam. After his service, he earned a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from the University of Washington and a master's degree in computer science from Santa Clara University. He has worked for a number of high-tech companies in the Bay Area. Webster has said his philosophy is, h believes the government has grown too powerful and now controls the people, rather than serving them. He thinks checks and balances as well as loyalty to the Bill of Rights and Constitution need to be restored. He suggests devising a plan to secede from the federal union if these changes are not made, and that he would like to help with that, should he be elected.
TAX MEASURES IN SAN MATEO COUNTY
Measure T: Would add a business license tax of 2.5 percent on the gross receipts of vehicle rental businesses within unincorporated San Mateo County. Money generated from the tax would be put into the County's general fund to "support general County services and funds." Arguments for and against this tax can be read on the County Office of Elections' website.
Measure U: Would increase the Transit Occupancy Tax (TOT) imposed on people staying in rooms in hotels, motels, inns, tourist homes or other lodgings within unincorporated San Mateo County from 10 percent to 12 percent of the rent charged by the hotel operator, unless the occupancy is for a period of 30 days or more. Money generated from the tax would be put into the County's general fund to "support general County services and funds." Arguments for and against this tax can be read on the County Office of Elections' website.
Measure X: Would impose a business license tax of 8 percent of the gross receipts of operators of commercial parking facilities located within unincorporated San Mateo County. Money generated from the tax would be put into the County's general fund to "support general County services and funds." Arguments for and against this tax can be read on the County Office of Elections' website.
SCHOOL MEASURES IN SAN MATEO COUNTY
Measure S, Cabrillo Unified School District: This measure asks voters to decide whether the Cabrillo Unified School District should issue $81 million in legal bonds to raise money for roof repairs, safety repairs on classrooms and facilities, updating science labs, equipping classrooms with 21st-century technology, and maximizing energy and water efficiency to save money. The money is guaranteed to be used only for local schools, to not benefit administrators' salaries, and to be audited annually by a citizen oversight committee. Read more about Measure S on the County Office of Elections' website and
Measure W, Redwood City School District: This parcel tax would cost homeowners $67 annually, and generate $1.7 million each year for reading, writing and math programs, school libraries and other uses. Measure W requires two-thirds voter approval to pass. Read more about Measure W on the County Office of Elections' website and
Measure Y, Jefferson Union High School District: This parcel tax would cost homeowners $48 per year for a period of four years. The parcel tax would generate school district funds that would be used for math, science, reading and writing programs; career training for students; "21st-century computer instruction," and attracting and retaining qualified teachers. The money would be earmarked specifically for Jefferson, Oceana, Terra Nova, Westmoor and Thornton high schools. The tax would be run by an independent citizen oversight committee, and no money would be allowed to be sued for administrators' salaries. Senior citizens and recipients of an SSI for disability would be exempt. Read more about Measure Y on the County Office of Elections' website and
For more information on the June 5th election in San Mateo County, visit the official website for the San Mateo County Office of Elections.