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Haubert Would Seek to Limit County Programs Related to Abortion

Plus, Alameda school official arrested, and Pamela Price forms slate to diversify Democrats.

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Alameda County Board of Supervisors District 1 candidate David Haubert wrote to a prospective voter last month, that as supervisor, he would seek to limit abortion-related county programs, and, instead, focus on alternatives such as adoption and education.

"I am opposed to abortion in general," he wrote in an email dated Jan. 25. "As an elected leader I must obey the law of the land. However, as county supervisor I will not seek to expand it in anyway. In fact, I would like to limit our current programs." He added a preference to securing partnerships with faith-based organizations.

Haubert confirmed he wrote the email in an interview following last week's candidate forum in Fremont. He said the email was poorly written and not reflective of his overall stance on abortion. "Not everything sounds exactly the way it's meant to be. Things need to be clarified and refined. I get it," he said.

"I would want there to be some balance given to alternatives like adoption," Haubert said. "Abortion is the law of the land. I'm not going to change that. Do I like the fact that it occurs? I would rather it not if we can avoid it. Am I going to take away the right for a woman? Absolutely not. I'm pro-choice."

The Alameda County Board of Supervisors does not directly oversee funding for abortion, but it does control large amounts of funding for health care services for many low-income women and their families.

Haubert said he was aware his email was being passed around among supporters of his three opponents in the evenly matched four-person Mar. 3 primary.

Suggesting he will be one of two to advance to the November runoff, Haubert said of the email, "I'm sure it will come out in November after the primary. I'll be well-prepared to address it. I'll have many women by my side saying, 'He's a good guy."


Alameda School Board Member Arrested

Alameda school board member Jennifer Williams was arrested last week on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol.

Williams was pulled over by Alameda Police on Feb. 12 just before 10:30 p.m. on the 900 block of High Street, near Otis Drive, according the department's activity log. "Suspect displayed the objective symptoms of alcohol intoxication and was taken into custody," according to the police log.

Williams did not immediately respond to an email asking for comment.

The arrest comes at a time when Alameda residents are coping with a number of accidents since last fall involving vehicles striking pedestrians, including school children.

A day before Williams' arrest, an elderly woman was killed by a motorist at an intersection near Alameda High School. Last month, a 34-year-old woman was killed on Ralph Appezzato Parkway by a suspect alleged to be under the influence of a controlled substance.

Williams notified her colleagues on the school board of the arrest about two days later in an email on Feb. 14.

"I am prepared to take full responsibility for any mistakes I may have made," she wrote. "As no charges have been filed. I cannot comment further at this time. Will fully participate in any consequent legal proceedings as appropriate."

Williams, who is an administrative law judge, prefaced the email by declaring it to be a "privileged communication" between her and the board. But the email was later determined to be a public record by the school district's legal counsel because school boardmembers are not considered employees of the school district.

Williams was elected to the Alameda Board of Education in 2016, and is up for re-election this November. Four years ago, she was the top vote-getter in a field of six candidates vying for three at-large seats on the school board. Williams was also rumored to be a potential candidate for the City Council this fall.


Price Says Democratic Central Committee Needs More Black Voices

The Alameda County Democratic Central Committee represents the party in one of the most diverse and progressive areas in the entire country. Yet among its large ranks of elected officials, their surrogates, and elected committee members, there is only one African American woman on the committee — Oakland civil rights attorney Pamela Price.

Furthermore, there is no representation from black men on the central committee. "That, to me, is a crime," Price told the City of Alameda Democratic Club last Wednesday.

The lack of diversity led Price and others to form a slate of 21 central committee candidates that covers four of the five assembly districts in Alameda County. Of the group in the 18th Assembly District that represents Oakland, Alameda, and San Leandro, 11 are on the Mar. 3 primary ballot, including Price, who is an incumbent.

Over the years, the power center of the Alameda County Democratic Central Committee has rested in areas south of Oakland despite the city being the largest in the county. A lackadaisical attitude from Oakland elected officials and the city's activists has also contributed to the committee's relative lack of diversity.

Oakland elected officials, other than Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan, and less so, Councilmember Dan Kalb, rarely attend the group's monthly meetings. In turn, only three of the 10 current committee members from the 18th Assembly District are from Oakland. Six are from San Leandro, and one is from Alameda.

But the current make-up of the 18th District's committee members is also not lacking diversity. Seven of its 10 members are women, and four members are Latino. Despite the central committee's low-profile in recent years, its power is considerable, especially when it comes to getting progressive Democrats elected to city councils and boards in Alameda County.

The central committee often sets the tone for the passage of progressive legislation in many Alameda County cities. In recent years, this has occurred with the spread of sanctuary city resolutions, increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour, and rent control ordinances.

Price, however, believes the committee's lack of outreach to Oakland has made the central committee invisible to many. "I live in East Oakland, most people had no idea that this committee existed," Price said. "That is why it is critical that we bring about a change. That we make our central committee much more reflective of the people who live in Alameda County."


In Other News ...

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A number of district attorneys in the Bay Area and nationwide signed on to a letter protesting U.S. Attorney General William Barr's negative comments about criminal justice reforms, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. DAs in San Francisco, Contra Costa, and Santa Clara Counties signed the letter, but not Alameda County DA Nancy O'Malley. ... Thousands of Bernie Sanders supporters packed the Craneway Pavilion in Richmond for a get out the vote rally on Monday afternoon, ABC7 reported. Hundreds more were lined up outside the event. ...

BART's weekend ridership is terrible, a recent report by the transit agency found this week. In order to boost ridership, BART's board directors raised the possibility of a promotion to giveaway 1 million tickets for weekend use, the San Francisco Examiner reported. ... Fifteen thousand Safeway workers represented by the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 5 in Northern California may be going on strike, the Chron reported. The union and Safeway have been in negotiations for a year and a half. The unions opposes Safeway's proposal to pay a similar pay scale for all workers across the region. ... The home of KPFA, the progressive radio station in Berkeley, is up for auction next month because of non-payment of property taxes, Berkeleyside reported. A tax bill of $486,751 is owed to Alameda County for the building on Martin Luther King, Jr. Way.

The four people arrested at last month's pre-dawn Moms 4 Housing eviction in West Oakland will not be charged, the Alameda County District Attorney's office announced on Thursday, the East Bay Times reported. ... Two-time Academy Award winner and East Bay native Mahershala Ali told SFGate that the last time he rode BART, transit police stopped him because he fit the description of a pimp. ...

A's radio broadcasts will not be heard over terrestrial airwaves this season. The team's games can be heard on the free app TuneIn through its well-received A's Cast channel.

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