Home » Island News

The amazing race

Submitted by on 1, October 16, 2009 – 5:50 am6 Comments

dehaan_dougtam_lena110gilmore_marie110matarreseSo I was just minding my own business a few days back when this little tidbit from the Alameda Democratic Club’s most recent monthly newsletter appeared in my inbox:

The race for the mayor of Alameda may see four of our current city council members vying for that office. Doug deHaan, Marie Gilmore, Frank Matarrese and Lena Tam all may be candidates in the 2010 election. Some have announced their intention to run, some are planning to do so. Lena Tam will not officially enter the race until the end of the year. Incidentally, all four of the potential candidates are members of our club … Should make for an interesting year.

Outgoing Mayor Beverly Johnson terms out of office in December 2010.

I sent out a quick e-mail to see who’s official. Sounds like Lena Tam is definitely in the running, Marie Gilmore is looking into it, Doug deHaan is just trying to get through the next several months and Frank Matarrese is … traveling for work.

“It could make for a very interesting election,” Gilmore wrote. “With so much going on, Alameda needs a strong mayor. I’m in the process of putting together a committee to explore whether there is support for me in this race.”

Lena Tam forwarded a fairly comprehensive statement on her plans to run. Per Tam:

Several of my supporters in Alameda, including those active in the City of Alameda Democratic Club, have encouraged me to consider running for Mayor. As a Democrat and mayoral candidate, I can push the political discussion at the local level where we can make lives better for our residents. I think it’s important to take leadership, sometimes in the face of visceral and vitriolic commentary, to do what is right for the community – to protect our hard working families, the environment and those underserved in our community. In these tough economic times, it means making the most of every public dollar, working collaboratively with our labor unions, non-profits and businesses to look at real opportunities for progress in Alameda. I am optimistic about Alameda’s future, and believe there are ways to ‘grow the pie’ to support city services while improving our efficiencies. As a councilmember, I continue to be a strong advocate for good government and one who makes judgments that keep the city safe, clean and sustainable. I believe the city’s next mayor will have to find ways of providing opportunities for current and future residents.

DeHaan said he thinks it’s premature to comment. He said he needs to focus on the issues the city has right now, particularly on development out at Alameda Point.

Matarrese e-mail back to say he was traveling in the UK for work.

Incidentally, the newsletter also says that the club’s president, Rob Bonta, who, like Tam before him, sits on the city’s Health Care District Board, is planning a run for City Council. Interesting year, indeed.


  • J.E.A says:


    I think we could use some new blood in the race so, I think you should put your hat in the ring……Even if I did not agree with you on every issue I would know that you have done your homework and would listen to both sides. So what do you say….Michele for Mayor!

  • Jayne Smythe says:

    Hey, great idea J.E.A.! I'm with you! Michele for Mayor!

  • Jeff_R_Thomason says:

    Same old jokers ruining the Island from a different chair … can't we get someone to run who believes in fiscal responsibility instead of tax, tax, tax, spend, spend, spend???

  • jon Spangler says:

    To have all four current Council members running would certainly be interesting. Having actively worked for and supported three of the four, like many in the ADC, I would find myself in a real quandary. How do you support friendships with people you have decided not to support?

    As if we didn't have enough on our political plates…

  • Dave Kirwin says:

    Well, Jon, since AP is the biggest issue consuming our fair city, I would suggest that the Vice Mayor seems to be the only incumbent Councilmember that read and understood the SunCal initiative, and did not just willy-nilly voice support for a plan they did not understand.

    I truly am impressed that the current Mayor displayed good sense once she understood the SunCal initiative by retracting her support. It shows both responsibility for her actions and also that she is still capable of learning. Detractors may say she 'flip-flopped’, but it shows wisdom, humility, and integrity to change your mind on a decision you previously made when additional facts are brought to light, or when the situation is more fully understood.

    I really wish the BOE could display the same wisdom, humility and integrity and prevent the lawsuits against AUSD and to prevent the recall ballot. AUSD already has a committee searching for a curriculum to replace lesson #9. The stubborn attitude of the 3 BOE members makes the lawsuits and recall a reality. For this reason they should be replaced ASAP.

    The judgment they display with their persistence in sticking to their well intentioned, but ham-handed decision to let a few self-selected LGBT advocates alone create the lesson plan, shows a low priority on 'fair and balanced', as well as a rejection of the majority views expressed by the constituents they are supposed to represent. I believe the majority of Alameda will oppose any new tax supported by these individuals if they continue to display their stubbornness.

    Since AUSD has determined to replace lesson 9, why is the BOE continuing to force the recall and lawsuits? This fruitless behavior of supporting a ‘lame duck’ lesson and accepting the adversity created, and the expense of the lawsuits and costly recall ballot will certainly create opposition to any further taxes the BOE tries to push to help our schools overcome what they say is a temporary funding inequity. This will be the 3rd temporary tax, but the District is unwilling to say what has been accomplished in ‘fixing’ the inequitable funding. Instead we continue to be told to just keep watching for the news to be released.

  • Donald Mitchell says:

    Oakland residents, attempting to avoid being thrown under the bus by SunCal and Lehman for their illegal activity at Oak Knoll in Oakland at the former navy hospital site have been recently raising a huge stink with the media, and local and federal prosecutors who may be considering prosecuting SunCal and/or Lehman. Your Alameda elected officials have been copied on all of the important information in hopes of avoiding Alameda having to go through the same thing. Seems the message is finally being received.

    Don Mitchell

    Sequoah Hils/Oak Knoll Neighborhood Association

Leave a comment!

Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site. You can also subscribe to these comments via RSS.

Be nice. Keep it clean. Stay on topic. No spam.

You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

This is a Gravatar-enabled weblog. To get your own globally-recognized-avatar, please register at Gravatar.