With the deadline to file nomination papers this Friday August 10th at 5 p.m., two four-year terms are up for grabs in this year’s City Council election.
Incumbents Dianne Martinez and Scott Donahue have already declared their candidacy by submitting their Form 501 Candidate Intention Statement. Martinez and Donahue ran as a “slate” in 2014 and it appears they intend to employ the same strategy in 2018.
In 2014, it seemed likely that Martinez & Donahue would run unopposed until Ken Bukowski and John Bauters entered the race at the last minute. Bauters emerged as a viable candidate to challenge them but ultimately lost by a slim margin before being elected in 2016.
Councilmember Donahue Registers with Green Party
A lot has happened in the four years since they were both elected. Martinez was elected to the Alameda County Democratic Central Committee that organizes locally and makes candidate endorsements.
Donahue joined his Tattler blogger brother and fellow RULE founding member Brian Donahue by registering with the Green Party while serving his term as Mayor in 2017. The Green Party classifies their ideology as “Anti-Capitalism” and “Eco-Socialism” according to wikipedia.
— Green Party of Calif (@GPCA) July 8, 2017
“My Democratic party disappointments go back to when I first came to California,” Donahue noted in his speech when he officially registered Green. “When a party gets in power for too long, I think they need some competition.”
The Democratic National Committee recently adopted a rule change that requires those seeking the party’s nomination to publicly announce that they are in fact a registered Democrat. It is not clear how this will impact endorsements at the local level.
Bukowski mulls another run
Ken Bukowski, who we recently profiled as Emeryville’s first gay Mayor and served on Council for 24 years, has not yet officially filed but is seriously mulling another run. Ken’s presence could at least make the race interesting and force the incumbents to work for their seat.
Ken clearly feels like he can still make a contribution to the city and spends a majority of his free time recording public meetings, volunteering and is a boardmember on the League of Women Voters Berkeley-Albany-Emeryville chapter.
“The focus of city hall should be trying to working for the residents and businesses of Emeryville. The focus of this city hall is trying to be like our neighbors in Oakland and Berkeley. I don’t think that’s what we want to be. ”
Ken cited the often criticized Parking Management Plan as a an example of our city’s wrong direction and criticized our leadership for their “let’s see how it goes” approach to implementing it. “Right now, we’re an oasis, and hopefully we can keep it that way.”
Ken clearly feels he still has a lot to give to this city and would provide something different to voters. “This city is my whole life. I can’t sit back and watch all the benefits that we’re not taking advantage of go by.”
Power in Emeryville has gotten extremely concentrated as of late with three of the seats in the Triangle Neighborhood (Medina, Patz & Martinez) and two in the Park Avenue District (Bauters & Donahue). In addition, four out the five school board members also reside in the Triangle.
As of 2016, “Western” Emeryville (West of the railroad tracks), despite representing well over half our population, is without representation.
Candidates considering a run must schedule an appointment with City Clerk Sheri Hartz by emailing her or calling her at (510) 596-4372 to learn more about the nomination process and other requirements related to raising and spending campaign money. Candidates will also need to gather 20 signatures and provide a 200 word campaign statement and ballot designation.
Once the nomination period closes, candidate statements will be posted here for a 10-day public review period. Additional information including the basic steps for running, can be found on the city’s website.