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SN&R endorsements for June 5, 2012 election
We wish very much that we could endorse Kevin Johnson wholeheartedly for a second term. He’s exceptionally intelligent, charismatic and obviously devoted to our city. But we’d so like to see him move beyond the glitzy obsession with “world-class,” and the tunnel vision of his strong-mayor focus. We’d also like to see him drop some of his overtly political advisers, and put his skills to more practical, if mundane, uses. Yes, we endorse Mayor Johnson. But it’s with the nagging advice that he use his second term to put his considerable leadership skills to the more pragmatic needs of our city: police, fire, the homeless, streets and other basic services which are suffering unduly in this time of economic hardship. Mayor Johnson, this is your mulligan. Please use it wisely.
Sacramento City Council
A pastor, former school-board member and resident of the district since the age of 10, Sample has fought to promote youth programs and keep community centers open in his north Sacramento. He’s been a straight-talker about the arena, believing now is not the time to finance an arena on taxpayer dollars. We urge a vote for Sample.
Sacramento native Terry Schanz, a public-policy director for an assemblyman, has had a worthy career working at the statehouse. His platform for office is consistent with a candidate who stands up for working families and regular folks. Sustainability is big priority for Schanz. A proponent of “redevelopment 2.0,” he plans to encourage sustainable, mixed-use, infill, transit-oriented development as, among other things, a way to address climate change by way of land use planning. An opponent to Mayor Kevin Johnson’s plan to finance a sports and entertainment arena with a long-term monetization of the city’s public parking, Schanz believes the private sector should take the lead in funding any future such project.
Incumbent councilman Kevin McCarty has been a good councilman, a consistent voice of opposition to the mayor by standing up against both the strong-mayor proposal and redistricting. We fully support another term for the hard-working McCarty.
Pannell has been a tireless advocate for her south Sacramento district, supporting economic development and neighborhood-revitalization projects galore. Her challenger in this face, former local NAACP president Betty Williams, is a worthy candidate, but seems a bit too much in the mayor’s camp. We fully support Pannell for another term.
Sacramento County Supervisor
District 3 & 4
Jeff Kravitz and Gary Blenner (respectively)
There’s been a great deal of both ink and pixels spent to say that incumbents Susan Peters and Roberta MacGlashan are unbeatable by their challengers. But there’s no time like the present to use our votes to send a message. The Sacramento County Board of Supervisors is perceived—with some justification—as more concerned with keeping developers and businesses happy than with caring for the needs of the county’s most vulnerable citizens. Both Jeff Kravitz and Gary Blenner offer alternative views of the board of supervisors’ role – views that put public safety and health ahead of development and sprawl. We urge votes for these two candidates. At the very least, they serve notice to the incumbent supervisors that county voters are unhappy with the status quo and it’s time to make some changes.
Twin Rivers School Board
Michael Baker, a high-school basketball coach and local finance guy, will bring focus and new ideas to the forefront of a district known for its strife and impropriety. We support him.
As above, we’d like to see a change in the leadership at the Twin Rivers School Board. We support John Dexter—a state health manager, who believes the districts schools should be “lean and focused at the top”—over the incumbent.
A graduate of Grant High School, Christine Jefferson worked in the district for almost four decades as support staff for teachers. Her belief in the basics, first-hand knowledge of the importance of supporting good teachers and lifelong community ties make her a good choice for this seat.
A former history and physical-education teacher at numerous schools including Sacramento Charter High School, Mimi Chernow would be a fresh addition to the board.
District board member Roger Westrup is the only incumbent we recommend in this district. Enough said.
A former north Sacramento school board member, Francisco Garcia is another vote against an incumbent. Linda Fowler is knowledgeable, but seems entrenched in the past.
Sacramento County Board of Education
A former teacher and principal, Eleanor Brown has served as an appointed member of the county board for almost two years. She is smart with an independent mind—she voted for one charter proposal and against another. We like her opponent Estelle Lemieux, but think Brown deserves a chance to continue in her service.
One of four candidates for the Area 5 seat, Heather McGowan is a sometimes teacher who owns a local communications-consultant business. Backed by teacher union forces in this race, McGowan is an independent candidate but does profess concern about charter schools having potential negative impacts on public schools.
A former teacher and social worker, Harold Fong is dedicated to improving schools. As one who voted against the charter schools operated by Margaret Fortune last year, Harold Fong believes the charters – even ones specifically designed for African Americans should be open to all, i.e. not discriminate.
If passed, this measure would improve balance on the board by moving to an area elections system in 2014. Not a cure-all for this troubled district by any means, Measure G will at least foster more diversity and local accountability.
Assembly District 9
Dr. Richard Pan
A pediatrician and former college professor, Pan was able to accomplish much in one term, despite the “us vs. them” politics so prevalent these days at the Capitol.
Assembly District 8
A lawyer and city councilman from Rancho Cordova, we like Cooley in this race. He has a strong history of supporting the interests of citizens in this district and he should get a chance at higher office.
Assembly District 7
Assembly District 6
In this race, we endorse moderate Democrat Reginald Bronner who has a very commonsense approach to the issues. Of the other two candidates, incumbent Assemblywoman Beth Games has been part of the problem with her flat-out refusal to consider new revenue sources. It’s important to note, the third candidate in this race, Andy Pugno, is once again running for the assembly. We specifically reject him for public office. As the author of Proposition 8, which stripped California’s citizens of the right to marry the partner of their choosing, he is responsible for one of the most divisive chapters in California political history.
Assembly, District 4
Senate, District 3
U.S. House 4
Thanks to redistricting, Tom McClintock is running for reelection to Congress in a district that is less gerrymandered and has a much larger number of “no party preference “voters. That generally means, in this suburban and foothills district, voters with a conservative approach to fiscal issues and a moderate view of social issues. Tech businessman Jack Uppal is the sort of conservative Democrat – business friendly, in favor of the Simpson-Bowles plan – who will represent the interests of this district and we endorse him.
U.S. House 6
U.S. House 7
Unlike his opponent Dan Lungren, Ami Bera’s positions on the environment, health care and Social Security are ones we can thrive on. We heartily recommend a vote for Bera.
U.S. House 9
In U.S. House District 9 Jerry McNerney has shown himself to be an excellent representative. We urge a vote to return him to Congress.
Proposition 29 (tobacco tax)
Big Tobacco is going to spend whatever it takes to defeat Proposition 29, the Tobacco Tax for Cancer Research. Voters should remember what this is really about: powerful, rich corporations trying to addict people to a deadly product.
Proposition 28: (term limits reform)
We’ve never supported term limits. They’re an emotional reaction to dissatisfaction with the legislative process and have had more negative than positive consequences. Still, since they’re not going away, Proposition 28 would at least be an improvement, especially in the Assembly.