In another low voter turnout for our city, The R.U.L.E. endorsed slate of Dianne Martinez and Scott Donahue have taken both council seats vacated by Jennifer West & Kurt Brinkman to claim a council majority. R.U.L.E., Emeryville’s preeminent resident advocacy group, has worked long and hard for this moment and they’ll have the opportunity to relish it.
The Slate appeared to successfully capitalize on their early advantage, better use social media and leverage support from local businesses in the form of prominently placed placards at establishments like Bucci’s and the Powell Street Chevron. Third place finisher and newcomer John Bauters has already hinted at another possible run in 2016 when three council seats open up (Davis, Atkin & Asher).
On a day when the national storyline was a Republican Party seizing control of Congress and California races going decisively Democratic, only 29.9% of the state’s adults who are eligible to vote participated in last nights election with roughly 25% of Emeryville voters turning out yesterday (An actual uptick from our last election). These lower turnouts reflect a fifty year downward trend in California Political participation.
In the council race, newcomer Dianne Martinez led all vote-getters with 1136 total votes (Mayor Jac Asher claimed her seat in 2011 with 924 votes when there were three open seats. Emeryville had the second lowest turnout in Alameda County that year). We’ll have to wait for a final tally of registered voters from Alameda County relative to our population, but the totals (sadly) reflect a flattened trend in civic engagement despite attempts to reverse this.
NOTE: Updated to include absentee ballots:
Measures U (Charter City) and V (Property Transfer Tax) both passed decisively despite being dramatically out-funded (and bombarded by tacky flyers). The aggressive and expensive “No on U & V” mailer campaign may have ultimately backfired as the daily mailers and clear National Association of Realtors connection as the funding source was apparent to Emeryville voters.
Two of the Emery School Board slots went decisively to incumbents Christian Patz & John Affeldt with challenger Donn Lee Merriam claiming a narrow win through absentee votes over Miguel Dwin.
Measure K passed, which renewed a $.15 per sq. ft. parcel tax for 20 years to sustain local programs for students:
A complete list of all Alameda County voting results can be downloaded at ACGOV.ORG [PDF]