Green candidates win fifty percent of local racesIf Greens are famous for thinking globally and acting locally, then local government growth offers hope for California Greens.
By Mike Feinstein and Greg Jan
In 2002, a record thirty-two California Greens won election, to city councils, boards of education and rent, water, transit and healthcare boards across the state.
With a 50% success rate in local races, 61 California Greens now hold elected office statewide, an all-time U.S. Green high, followed by Massachusetts (18), Wisconsin (17) and Pennsylvania (13). For more see www.greens.org/elections.
All 14 California Green incumbents were re-elected, making 32 out of 34 incumbents re-elected in the state partys history, and indicating that voters apparently believe Greens not only have good ideas but can also govern.
Local Government Highlights
Sebastopol. In this Sonoma County town, the nations only Green City Council majority will continue for at least another two years as Larry Robinson was re-elected to the City Council by 35 votes, rejoining colleagues Sam Spooner and newly appointed Mayor Craig Litwin.
Arcata. North in Humboldt County Dave Meserve, an ecologically-oriented building designer/contractor, was elected to the City Council, finishing first out of six candidates for two seats. Meserve joins sitting three-time elected Bob Ornelas.
Nevada County. To the east in the foothills and mountains of the Sierra Nevada (Madre), Greens won nine victories in 14 attempts in Nevada County. Two were elected to city councils, Kerry Arnett in Nevada City and Beth Ingalls in Truckee. Two were elected in fire districts, including Roberto Garcia, and one to a park and recreation board. Of the four elected to school boards, three of them, incumbents DeOnne Noel and Sandra Ventura Scott and first time candidate Cindy Foxfoot, now serve on the Twin Ridges Elementary School Board, becoming the nations first Green School Board majority.
Berkeley. Dona Spring extended her U.S. Green record City Council winning streak to five straight. Berkeley Rent Board incumbents Selma Spector and Howard Chong and first-timer Chris Kavanagh were elected to the nine-member Rent Stabilization Board.
Oakland. Rebecca Kaplan was re-elected to the Alameda-Contra Costa County Transit Board, retaining a seat she was appointed earlier in May. Kaplan now represents 1,450,000 million people, the second most populous district in the nation among U.S. Greens, second only to Nancy Pearlman, elected to the Los Angeles Community College District in 2001, and representing 4,100,000 people.
San Francisco. Greens won their first citywide victory, a challenge in a one-party city where Democrats make up 79% of the electorate. Public elementary school teacher Sarah Lipson finished second out of twelve candidates for three seats on the citys Board of Education. She joins fellow Green Mark Sanchez on the seven member Board, and will help administer one of the largest budgets, $650 million, of any U.S. Green elected official in history.
Southern California. All three city council incumbents were re-elected. Mark Shoup and Alan Drusys were both re-elected easily in Apple Valley and Yucaipa respectively. Santa Monica saw the re-election of Mayor Pro-Tem Kevin McKeown, along with the emergence of Josefina Aranda as a political force.
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