Emeryville 2018 Election: Five File for School Board, Three for Council, Cannabis Tax Put on Ballot

Published On August 16, 2018 | By Rob Arias | Education, Local Government, News & Commentary, Politics

The deadline for filing for candidacy for our November 6th election passed last Friday. Three candidates filed for the two expiring Emeryville city council seats including incumbents Dianne Martinez and Scott Donahue. Former City Councilmember Ken Bukowski also declared his intent to run by filing his nomination papers.

For the Emery School Board election, five candidates ultimately filed for the three expiring seats including appointed incumbent Brynnda Collins, Bukowski and newcomers Sarah Nguyen and Katy Brown. Because incumbents Donn Lee Merriam and Bailey Langner did not file for reelection, this extended the filing deadline by five days. During this extension period, another candidate filed.

Alameda County charges an $800 filing fee that includes printing a candidate’s statement. The City of Emeryville passed an ordinance to waive this fee and instead charges only a $25 filing fee. Some of the statements published below may not appear on the county voter guide.

Please note that names appear below in alphabetical order although order on ballot will be determined by random drawing.

Health Care Measure Fails to Make Ballot

The SEIU-UHW attempted to put a measure on our ballot that would regulate healthcare costs by providers including Stanford Health Care. This was challenged by our City Attorney as the city could bear the costs of enforcing it and, according to their challenge, would preempt state and federal law and violates due process. A state Superior court ultimately ruled against the city but the SEIU-UHW apparently opted to not pursue it in Emeryville for this election. The same initiative titled “Measure U” did qualify for The City of Livermore Ballot.


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★ MEASURE S – Cannabis Business License Tax ★


Our ballot will also put a Cannabis Business License Tax in front of voters titled ‘Measure S’. If passed by a  simple majority, it will add a 6% tax to gross receipts to permitted Cannabis businesses.

The measure will appear on the ballot as follows:

“To protect essential municipal services, including repairing public facilities, reducing traffic congestion, and improving pedestrian and bicycle safety; and to support regulation of the cannabis industry, and preserve the City of Emeryville’s long-term financial stability, shall the ordinance to impose a business tax of up to 6% of gross receipts on all cannabis businesses within Emeryville, thereby generating an estimated $2,000,000 annually for unrestricted general revenue purposes, and which continues until repealed by the voters, be adopted?”

Read the entire ballot measure on Emeryville.org →


★ EMERY USD SCHOOL BOARD ★


KATY BROWN

Parent/Tax Accountant

B.A. George Mason Univ (French), M.A. Univ of Arizona (French), M.S. Golden Gate Univ (Taxation). 12+ years experience as a tax advisor, with the last 7 years specializing in nonprofit organizations’ tax compliance, currently at Armanino LLP. Volunteer board member (5 years) for The Clifford Brown Jazz Foundation, a small nonprofit helping kids develop a love for jazz music. Parent of an 11-year-old returning Anna Yates student.

We have lived in Emeryville since before my daughter started Kindergarten, and she attended Anna Yates for K-4. Given some frustrations we had, we explored every non-private school option for Emeryville residents, and none were workable. We’re returning to Anna Yates this year, and I would like to make it the first-choice for all Emeryville families instead of the only option.

I believe public schools can provide our kids with a safe, high quality education that will prepare them for success after graduation, but we need to focus on hiring and retaining great teachers and providing the resources they need to teach our kids effectively. I believe my professional experience can help with fiscal management and decision making, and as a parent, I’m dedicated to making our school the best it can be.


KEN BUKOWSKI

Retired Businessman/Videographer

I have demonstrated a long commitment to the kids of Emeryville including helping approve The Emeryville Child Development Center during my time on Council. Two of my nephews attended Emery High, one of whom I had custody of at the time. I was heavily involved with the ECCL project and want to help carry out the vision the community had for it.

This District is lacking the transparency it needs on school issues. When I was on Council, I successfully pushed the city to video record school board. For years, I personally posted these meetings on YouTube to make them available to the public. This district needs to have open and live discussions about the school issues. The practice has been to keep the problems quiet. I don’t agree with that approach. If we are not aware of the problems, we can’t work together to solve them.

I think it’s very important for the district to accomplish teacher housing on one of the school owned properties that could help improve teacher retention.

I think Emeryville has a unique opportunity to bring this community together which could be a real benefit for our schools.


BRYNNDA COLLINS

Emery Unified School District, Appointed Governing Board Member

As the current Emery Unified School District School Board President I find myself answering a call for continued change in our district. Appointed to the position of School Board Trustee in 2017, in just a few short months, I have been elected Vice President and now hold the seat of the Presidency. Currently, I am developing a strong communications structure between staff and community to inform and engage both internal and external stakeholders. My character and leadership – both, courageous and strong has insured a positive impact on the Emery Unified School District family and will continue to do so.

As a proud Emery USD parent of an alumni and past employee, I have written grants for the district, served as Parent-Teacher Organization President, School Site Council Chairperson, Youth Development Coordinator, College Career Coach, member on the Instructional Leadership Team, worked closely with the EUSD Fiscal Team and in the redesign efforts that have built the Center for Community Life.

Emery USD is under the direction of new leadership leaving me enthusiastic about continuing to serve. With a strong vision and high expectations for student achievement, quality instruction and teacher retention, I am on a mission to embrace and monitor data to drive continuous improvement. We still have work that needs to be done. I am asking for your support by casting your vote for me to retain my seat on the board.


SUSAN DONALDSON

Mother/Youth Nonprofit

I am an Emeryville home owner and parent of an Anna Yates student about to enter 5th grade. She has been at Anna Yates since kindergarten and was at ECDC before that – raised in and by Emeryville! I have been the Vice President and most recently the Secretary of the Anna Yates Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) for the past 3 years. I have been an advocate for the teachers and students of Emery Unified over the last 6 years – attending board meetings, meeting with administration, volunteering and fundraising in and out of the classroom.

I have served as a board member on the nonprofit Bay Area Girls Rock Camp for the past 6 years and work with communities and stakeholders to develop programs that empower youth through music. I also have my MBA in Sustainable Business and run an event rental and workshop company.

I would be honored to serve on the Emery School Board to continue to support and fight for the public education all our students deserve.


SARAH NGUYEN

Teacher/Mother

As a teacher and a mom, I feel a deep sense of concern and responsibility for children. For the past 23 years, I’ve supported student success one classroom at a time. Now I am ready to work towards students and families in our community having access to engaging, equitable, and socially just experiences at Emery Unified.

I have more than two decades of experience partnering with families, caregivers, teachers, school staff, and community-based organizations towards our common goal of increasing positive student outcomes. Lasting educational change requires the knowledge, experience, and effort that I can contribute as a member of the school board.

I believe every child can succeed and every family should feel welcome and included in Emery schools. That is why I have been endorsed by Emeryville Mayor Bauters, Vice Mayor Medina, Council Members Martinez and Patz, and Emery School Board Member Inch. Please vote for Sarah Nguyen for Emery Unified School Board. Strong schools create strong communities!


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★ CITY COUNCIL ★


Ken Bukowski

The small size of our City creates many unique opportunities which are not being explored. I spent 40 years trying to organize the residents and businesses. I had to learn prior city administrations considered that to be a threat. The focus of the City should be to provide maximum benefits to its citizens. We don’t want to look to our neighbors as the model.

I oppose the Parking Plan. We have too many people just trying to survive. What is the rush? I worry about those who don’t qualify for parking permits. We became a Charter City. That empowers the people to set up our government. We have not done that? You can’t be a charter city just to collect taxes. Our city charter is at risk. We have rampant displacement. A revolving door community. If we don’t accomplish tenant protections, too many will be priced out. I am a dedicated public servant who spends most of his time helping others. I’m trying one more time to make Emeryville all it can be.


Scott Donahue

I have lived in Emeryville for over 40 years and my wife and I reside in the Emeryville Artists Cooperative, of which I am a co-founder. I am a practicing public artist and much of my work can be seen around Emeryville. As your Councilmember for the last four years, I have committed to ensuring that artists, business owners and working families can afford to live and thrive. As Mayor, Emeryville became a “Cultural Arts District” through the State of California, highlighting our cultural and artistic diversity. Along with my City Council colleagues, I have worked to bring a Fair Workweek ordinance and an increase in minimum wage so our retail workers are treated fairly and have the ability to earn a living working in our city. As a business owner, I advocated for developing small business opportunities and making our city a destination for entrepreneurs. My priorities continue to be non-motorized transportation, pedestrian and bicycle access, public safety and protecting our shoreline. It would be an honor to continue representing you on the City Council. Key endorsers: Mayor Bauters, Vice Mayor Medina, Emeryville City Councilmembers Martinez and Patz, Emery Unified School District Trustee Barbara Inch, Emeryville POA, Sierra Club, Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguín.


Dianne Martinez

As your Councilmember for the last four years, I have worked tirelessly with community members to stand up for issues that matter to working families. My proven record includes a Fair Workweek ordinance and a minimum wage increase to ensure that our retail workers are treated fairly and have the ability to earn a living wage in our city. I have advocated to solve complex problems and collaborated with my Council colleagues to maintain our quality of life. I worked with neighbors to pass Emeryville’s Measure C, a $50 million housing bond to build more affordable housing and prevent displacement. Our city is financially solvent and we have a balanced budget. Affordable housing and sound fiscal policy continue to be my top priorities, as is public transit accessibility and making Emeryville a destination for small businesses. As a parent to two Anna Yates Elementary School students and a homeowner in the Triangle neighborhood, it would be an honor to continue to represent you and to work together to bring Emeryville forward. Key endorsers include: Mayor Bauters, Vice Mayor Medina, Emeryville City Councilmembers Donahue and Patz, Emeryville Police Officers Association, Sierra Club, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin, Asm. Tony Thurmond.

About The Author

is a third generation Californian and East Bay native who moved to Emeryville in 2003. A new parent in the community, he can often be seen walking his French Bulldog rescue "Fiona" around his Park Avenue District neighborhood, traversing the greenway on his bike or enjoying his favorite Emeryville small businesses. Rob's "day job" is as a creative professional.

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