A Better Alameda is a Political Action Committee (PAC) of Alameda citizens who have come together to recommend Alameda City Council candidates who support our mission statement.
- Make decisions based on the public good, not rewarding campaign contributors from public employee unions, developers and other special interest groups.
- Engage in critical analysis of staff recommendations.
- Will not approve unsustainable budget expenditures that don’t address all current and deferred expenses.
- Evaluate development proposals based upon their impact on the entire community.
- Support changes in City housing ordinances that will accelerate the construction of all levels of affordable housing.
Our candidate review procedure consisted of evaluating responses to our 29 item questionnaire, attending the two debates sponsored by the Democratic Club, and evaluating the performance of those candidates who hold or have held public office in Alameda.
The questionnaire was sent to all candidates who pulled papers from the City Clerk. Three candidates, Marilyn Ashcraft, Jim Oddie and John Knox-White informed us that they would not respond. Thus, we eliminated them from consideration. We found the responses filed by Trish Spencer, Frank Mataresse, Tony Daysog, Robert Matz, and Stuart Chen to all be consistent with our Mission Statement. Thus, our task was to select the three candidates who give us the best assurance that those standards will be met.
We have chosen Trish Spencer for Mayor and Tony Daysog, and Robert Matz for City Council. We need to be clear that when we speak of electing these three candidates as a “new majority”, we are not expecting the three of them to vote together in lock step. We are seeking only to establish a majority who will make decisions in the best interest of the community as a whole based on careful and critical evaluation of the staff recommendations rather than rewarding those with the most political influence.
Our most difficult task was in selecting our candidate for Mayor. We are well aware that many voted for both of these fine people when they successfully ran for election in 2014. However we believe that while both candidates have exhibited the qualities described in the immediately preceding paragraph, Mayor Spencer has more consistently cast votes that demonstrate these qualities.
Our decision to endorse Tony Daysog was easy. Both his responses to the questionnaire and his four years on Council clearly indicate the independence of mind that we are seeking. We may not always agree with his conclusions, but his painstaking review of the facts, freedom from political influence, and support of development that is sustainable both physically and fiscally are admirable.
Our decision with regard to the second City Council seat was more difficult. Mr. Chen has the advantage of having previously served on Council and is well funded. However, while his answers to our questionnaire were quite consistent with our Mission Statement, his history on Council is not fully in line with what he is now saying and the fact that he was an unsuccessful candidate in both 2012 and 2014 weighed against him. (He became a Council Member only because of his third place finish in 2012 which qualified him to fill a vacancy on Council that occurred shortly after the election.)
Mr. Matz has no experience in government and we withheld a final decision until observing him at the August 22nd candidate’s debate. We were impressed with how quickly he has learned the issues of concern to voters and the sincerity of his devotion to the community. We think it is a good idea to have one new face on Council who will view issues from a fresh perspective.
You may or may not agree with our choices, but we are assured that you believe the election of these three candidates is far preferable to electing any of the three candidates who would not even respond to our questionnaire and hope that you will make a contribution to our campaign through the “Contribute” tab above.