Dublin and Pleasanton are two of the most conservative cities in Alameda County, they both have Republican Mayors and are represented by rather conservative state officials. Still, progressives in these cities can find good candidates to vote for. Here are our recommendations:
Pleasanton City Council (vote for 2): Julie Testa
We recommended Julie Testa when she ran for Mayor two years ago against the Republican incumbent, and are happy to recommend her again in her race for City Council. Back then, Julie filled out our questionnaire, showing that she is an intelligent and thoughtful progressive. She is particularly concerned about smart growth, making sure that Pleasanton remains a community able to provide services to its residents, and on providing services to the disabled.
None of her opponents deserve your vote. Republican incumbent Kathy Narum asks good questions, but then proceeds to vote in whichever way city staff recommends – plus anyone who remains a Republican in this day and age is, by definition, not a progressive. Joe Streng is the chamber of commerce candidate, more concerned about businesses than residents. Finally, Joseph Ledoux, a newcomer to Pleasanton, is an active police officer, a problem in a city with a history of police brutality.
We recommend that you only vote for Julie Testa, which will increase her chances of winning a spot in the Council.
Dublin Mayor: Write In
We supported challenger Arun Goel when he ran for City Council in 2016. His smart growth platform made more sense in a city suffering for serious traffic problems, and where luxury housing has been built at the expense of affordable one. Moreover, Goel claimed to be a progressive. That facade is now gone that he is running for Mayor. He is using scaremongering tactics about crime and promises to increase police numbers. We’re sorry to say, we were completely mistaken in believing he had any integrity. We recommend you write in your favorite cartoon character.
Dublin City Council (vote for 2): Shawn Kumagai
Shawn Kumagai is a former naval intelligence officer and a gay man. He holds solid progressive values and has been a leader in the (very unpopular) fight to make Dublin a sanctuary city. He stands for smart development – recognizing that what Dublin needs is housing for working class families and for community building. And he supports police accountability, somethign key in Dublin which doesn’t have its own police force. He has been endorsed by Our Revolution Tri-Valley.
Bobby Khullar is another smart growth progressive, who came to prominence in Dublin when he led the recall of a city council and a school board member over their support of high-density housing without addressing school overcrowding. Khullar appears to be a common sense progressive but the group he led, Dubliners United, includes members who cross the line into racism-based NIMBYism. Moreover, he is running in a slate with Jing Firmeza, a “law and order” Republican. This concerns us enough to not recommend a vote for him.
Jean Josey is even more problematic. She has been endorsed by Angela Ramirez-Holmes, which means she is likely to be a rubberstamp for developers. Even worse, she proudly lists the endorsement of Alameda County Sheriff Greg Ahern, an anti-immigrant Republican who works closely with ICE to deport immigrants. Josey called out Mayor Haubert for attending an Oathkeepers meeting, which shows she recognizes that so publicly associating with racists and anti-immigrant folks implies an endorsement of their positions. Finally, Shawn Costello is a perennial candidate.
Dublin School Board, Area 2: Megan Rouse
Erin Herrera, who was challenging incumbent Megan Rouse, has withdrawn from the race.
Dublin School Board , Area 5: TBD
Member, Board Of Directors, Dublin San Ramon Services District (vote for 2): No Recommendation
The candidates are incumbent Democrat Georgean Vonheeder-Leopold, Charles “Chuck” Haupt, Ann Marie Johnson, James Brady and Richard Jesse. We do not have the bandwidth or expertise to make a recommendation on this race.