Oakland Councilmember Larry Reid has flirted with retirement many times before. But this time is different. Reid said Thursday that he will not seek re-election to his seat in District 7.
"It's not a big deal," Reid said after Thursday's special city council meeting. "I don't want any attention. It's not why I got into politics."
Reid said he will support his daughter, Treva Reid, a lobbyist for PG&E, to succeed him on the council. Reid, though, added that he initially urged his daughter not to run. Treva appeared poised to seek her father's seat before. She has held open a campaign committee for District 7 since 2014, according to the Alameda County Registrar of Voters.
Reid's retirement has been an open secret around Oakland City Hall and among some members of his East Oakland district. But rumors of his exit from Oakland politics after nearly three decades have periodically arisen on several other occasions.
This election cycle, however, appeared different. Several candidates including his daughter have already filed statements of intent to run for his seat in November 2020. They include Ken Houston, Esmeralda Cortes Rosales, Tyrone Stevenson, 2018 Oakland mayoral candidate Marchon Tatmon, and "Bishop" Bob Jackson of Acts Full Gospel Church.
Reid is, by far, the city council's longest-serving councilmember: Twenty-four years, at the end of his current term. Reid came to Oakland City Hall in 1991 as chief of staff for Mayor Elihu Harris. Reid won the District 7 council seat in 1996 and has served as council president on numerous occasions. His re-election has never been seriously challenged.
With a blue-tooth receiver in his ear, Reid made his mark as one of the most colorful elected officials in Alameda County. Following spates of homicides in his district, Reid routinely called District 7, the "killing fields."
However, the councilman has faced health issues in recent years. He had a heart procedure done last March that hospitalized him for three days, and another in 2017.
In 2014, Reid contemplated a run for Oakland mayor. However, he said he would not make a definitive decision until God made the call. God evidently said no.
Steve Glazer Fails to Receive California Democratic Party Backing
State Sen. Steve Glazer is without a doubt the most unpopular incumbent Democrat among the deep blue East Bay political establishment. Some Alameda County Democrats loathe him for his stance against BART union employees. Others despise him for his failure to provide any assistance to Democrat Rebecca Bauer-Kahan as she successfully campaigned to replace Republican Assemblymember Catharine Baker last year. Glazer had forged a long-term alliance with Baker to the consternation of many local Democrats.
All this leads to the fact that the 7th District state senator needed to argue his case for receiving the California Democratic Party's endorsement at last weekend's convention in Long Beach. The mere fact that the endorsement was even on the party's agenda pointed squarely to the disharmony toward Glazer among East Bay Democrats.
At last month's pre-endorsement meeting, Glazer failed to achieve the simple majority of Contra Costa County Democrats required to virtually ensure the endorsement at the party convention. Fellow Democrat Marisol Rubio, a first-time candidate, received 50 percent of the vote. Glazer received 38 percent, along with 12 percent who backed no endorsement.
The vote was a clear rebuke of Glazer's tenure in Sacramento.
At the convention this past weekend, party officials denied an endorsement to Glazer, but also failed to endorse Rubio.
Incumbent Democrats rarely need to do much jockeying for the party's endorsement. Only the open assembly seat in the Fremont and South Bay's 25th District was up for debate in the East Bay at last month's pre-endorsement meeting. (In that race, no candidate came close to winning the endorsement.)
Alameda Secret Recording Not Yet Released
A certain segment of Alameda clamoring to learn the contents of a secret recording made of two councilmembers will have to wait a few more days. Transcripts and audio of the infamous 2017 recording made by former City Manager Jill Keimach of a meeting with Councilmembers Jim Oddie and Malia Vella is expected to be released soon, Alameda City Clerk Lara Weisinger said last week.
Months of growing public demand to listen to the 55-minute recording that stemmed from the a City Hall scandal involving the hiring process for a new fire chief, led the Alameda City Council on Nov. 5 to authorize the release of recording. The further delay in releasing the transcript is believed due to a decision to also release the actual recording. A read out from the Nov. 5 closed session meeting only mentioned a transcript.
In either case, transcribing and editing audio can be time-consuming and involve redactions to protect the privacy of city employees who may have been mentioned in the conversation. In addition, both work products must also be reviewed by legal experts.
It's unclear what new information Alamedans will learn from listening to the audio recording and whether the issue of alleged political interference by Oddie and Vella will persist as both head into re-election campaigns starting next year.
In Other News ...
In most years, the Bay Area would have accumulated about two inches of rainfall between Oct. 1 and today, the East Bay Times reported. But, so far, we haven't seen a drop of rain. ... PG&E may shut-off power this week to about 250,000 homes in Northern California, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. ... Sen. Kamala Harris is introducing a federal legislation that would prohibit public utilities in bankruptcy, like PG&E, from giving their executives so-called "golden parachute" severance deals, the Chron reported. ... Meanwhile, California Democratic Party leaders are beginning to question whether Harris' presidential campaign is on its last legs, Politico reported. "I don't think she can last until California," one political consultant said. ...
Police arrested five people on Thursday believed to be involved in the Halloween night shooting in Orinda, the Chron reported. Investigators believe multiple gunmen opened fire at the large Airbnb house party, the Times reported. Five were killed during the Oct. 31 shooting. Orinda typically has two police officers patrolling its streets at night. Call logs show that both were headed toward Oakland to retrieve a stolen car prior to the shooting, the Times reported. The officers arrived on the scene of the shooting more than 10 minutes after the first 911 calls. ...
The Oakland City Council will place a parcel tax on the March 2020 primary to fund parks maintenance, homeless services, and improvements to its stormwater system, the Chronicle reported. ... A day before Oakland was scheduled to appear in court on Thursday to defend an injunction to block the sale of Alameda County's share of the Coliseum to the A's, the Oakland City Council directed its city attorney to drop the complaint, the Chronicle reported. ...
Dr. Damon Bell was named interim president of Contra Costa College, the Richmond Standard reported. He replaces Dr. Katrina VanderWoude, who resign in August amid controversy. ... Steve Foster, the man who was handcuffed by BART police earlier this month for simply eating a sandwich on the platform of the Pleasant Hill BART station, is filing a lawsuit against BART police for racial profiling, KPIX reported. ... A 22-year-old homeless man from Albany was arrested on suspicion of shooting arrows at two other homeless people at the San Francisco Bay Trail in Richmond, KPIX reported. Both victims were injured. ... Gov. Gavin Newsom issued pardons Friday to three Bay Area immigrants convicted of crimes and scheduled for deportation, the Associated Press reported. The cause of one of those pardoned, Saman Pho of Oakland, had become a cause celebre for some local immigrant activists. ...
Berkeley's Fat Slice has fed Cal undergrads for more than three decades, but the pizza stand has struggled to turn a profit in recent years, Berkeleyside reported, and announced it is closing shop.