Twenty California Greens elected in 2013 – Record for an odd-numbered year
As a political party known for thinking globally and acting locally, seventeen California Green Party members were elected to local government on November 5th, bringing to 20 elected overall in 2013 (http://www.cagreens.org/elections/fall-2013). This is an all-time high for the party in an odd-numbered year (where there are fewer elections than in even-numbered years) – and it brings to 55 the number of California Green Party members currently holding public office statewide (http://www.cagreens.org/green-officeholders).
Since the founding of the Green Party of California in 1990, 293 California Green Party members have been elected to public office. The highest elected offices currently held by Greens in the state are Gayle McLaughlin (Mayor, Richmond) and Dan Hamburg (Supervisor, Mendocino County.)
All 11 Green incumbents were re-elected, led by Renee Goddard and John Reed in Fairfax, where Greens have had a Town Council majority since 2009, showing that Greens not only have good ideas, but can govern. Overall 68% of all Greens who ran on November 5th (17/25) and 69% in 2013 overall (20/29) were elected. The most from a single county were Humboldt (eight) and Marin (four).
As a Green Party policy maker and community leader,the focus of my work on alternative transportation and leading Fairfax to reach our goal of Zero Waste by 2020, is grounded in making long term sustainable choices. My decisions and vision for Fairfax moving forward are rooted in green values which carefully consider the cost to the environment, and the welfare of the community as a whole.
Among Greens elected for the first time, Sean Reagan won the most competitive race, elected Governing Boardmember to the Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District in Los Angeles County, finishing 3rd/7 for four seats in a race that included four incumbents (http://www.whittierdailynews.com/government-and-politics/20131106/incumbents-one-challenger-win-in-norwalk-la-mirada-school-board-election).
The first Green elected in central Los Angeles County away from liberal strongholds, Reagan stated:
although School Board is a non-partisan position, my Green Party values helped me become the only candidate to gain the endorsement from both major employee unions in the District, the Teachers (TANLA) and the Classified employees (CSEA).” Citing the hard work of teachers to get him elected, Reagan also earned endorsements from a bipartisan group of local leaders who “recognized that I was a mainstream candidate, who wants what’s best for my community schools – for the sake of the students, their families, and the employees working so hard every day to support our schools.
Among the 17 Greens elected on November 5th, eight were to School Boards, making 16 currently in office statewide, the most for any type of office.
“Green School Boardmembers are united by a desire to ensure equity of opportunity for all students”, according to Dana Silvernale, who was re-elected to the Northern Humboldt Union School District Governing Board, and campaigned to improve support for at-risk children and emphasize preventive measures of punishment in her own district. “But its hard to do this when the state doesn’t fulfill its obligation to sufficiently fund our kids education.”
Christopher Sabec, who was re-elected Governing Boardmember to the Lagunitas School District (Marin County), agrees. “In the face of severe underfunding of education by the state, I worked hard with my fellow Board Members to successfully navigate the financial issues facing our district. While I welcome the short term reprieve that came with the passage of Proposition 30 (in November 2012), I support long-term progressive reform to the tax code to provide consistent and sufficient support for public education in our state.”
In 2012, the Green Party supported Prop 30 with reservations (http://www.cagreens.org/elections/propositions/30), insisting that long term reforms must include
- a progressive income tax;
- natural resources extraction taxes;
- pollution taxes;
- closing corporate loopholes and eliminating corporate welfare and
- addressing the problem in Prop 13 that commercial land is not being fairly taxed compared to residential.
- Renee Goddard, Town Council, Fairfax (Marin County) incumbent (http://www.cagreens.org/news/goddard-appointed-fairfax-town-council)
- John Reed, Town Council, Fairfax (Marin County) incumbent (http://www.johnreedforfairfax.com)
- Sean Reagan, Governing Boardmember, Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District, Norwalk (Los Angeles County) (https://www.facebook.com/smr.nlmusd)
- Curtis Robinson, Board of Trustees, Trustee Area 6, Board of Education (Marin County) incumbent
- Christopher Sabec, Governing Boardmember, Lagunitas School District (Marin County) incumbent
- Brigitte Kubacki, Governing Boardmember, Green Point School, Blue Lake (Humboldt County)
- Katherine Salinas, Governing Boardmember, Arcata School District, Arcata (Humboldt County) incumbent
- Jeffrey Dean Schwartz, Governing Boardmember, Arcata School District, Arcata (Humboldt County) incumbent
- Dana Silvernale, Governing Boardmember, North Humboldt Union High School (Humboldt County) incumbent (http://danaforschoolboard.org)
- Rama Zarcufsky, Governing Boardmember, Maple Creek School District (Humboldt County) incumbent
- James Harvey, Board of Directors, Water and Sanitary District, Montara (San Mateo County) incumbent (http://halfmoonbay.patch.com/groups/elections/p/jim-harvey-candidate-montara-water-and-sanitary-district)
- Illijana Asara, Board of Directors, Community Service District, Big Lagoon (Humboldt County)
- Joseph Gauder, Board of Directors Community Services District, Covelo (Mendocino County) incumbent
- John Duffy Griffin, Board of Directors, Community Service District, Briceland (Humboldt County)
- George A. Wheeler, Board of Directors, Community Service District, McKinleyville (Humboldt County)
- William Lemos, Board of Directors, Fire Protection District, Mendocino (Mendocino County) incumbent
- Russell Pace, Board of Directors, Willow Creek Fire District (Humboldt County)