Local Candidates 


Note: Candidates endorsed by the Democratic Party of Contra Costa County (DPCCC) and the California Democratic Party are in BLUE below.

Video Links:

Candidate Forum #1

Candidate Forum #2

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BART Area 1

(Note:  One Democrat running against the incumbent Republican, now hiding behind No Party Preference NPP status.  Another NPP candidate is on the ballot, but now supports the only Democrat, Jamie Salcido.)

Jamie Salcido. 

Jamie Salcido has real experience solving transit problems, and has been a BART rider for more than a decade. Jamie is a Transportation Commissioner for Walnut Creek. She also has a background in urban design, creating transit-related projects with safety as a priority.

Currently, Jamie is Marketing Manager at John Muir Health where she manages marketing strategy and collaborates with healthcare partners to improve the patient experience.

As a Transportation Commissioner, Jamie and her colleagues focus on easing traffic congestion, improving downtown parking, and moving people out of single-occupancy vehicles.


Jamie has a BS degree from Northwestern University and a Master of Landscape Architecture from the University of Minnesota. She lives in Walnut Creek with her husband and daughter.


MDUSD School Board - Trustee Area 3

(Note: One Democrat running against one Republican and one No Party Preference NPP for a new seat with no incumbent.)

Keisha Nzewi.  

Who's Keisha Nzewi? Keisha is the public policy director for the California Child Care Resource and Referral Network and a leading member of the grassroots organization Racial Equity for MDUSD. Keisha has over 20 years of experience as a community organizer and policy advocate in the Bay Area and her child advocacy work runs from our community to the state capital where she speaks with elected state officials. Keisha has a Master of Public Health from California State University, San Francisco, and a Bachelor of Social Welfare from University of California, Berkeley. She loves to watch horror movies, eat Mexican food, and watch her 12-year-old daughter perform in musical theater. @KeishaMDUSD



MDUSD School Board - Trustee Area 5

(Note: One Democrat running against on NPP for a new seat with no incumbent.)

Erin McFerrin.   

Erin McFerrin recently began her 10th year of teaching, and is currently employed by the Acalanes Union High School District at Las Lomas High School. She taught in Pittsburg for four years, and in San Ramon for three. She taught at Mt. Diablo High School in Concord for the last two years. She is the daughter of a teacher and the wife of a teacher. She and her family care deeply about public education.


Erin’s family has been in Concord since the 1940s. Her mother is an alumna of Mt. Diablo High School. After graduating from high school, Erin moved to New Orleans to attend Tulane University. During that time she worked as an adult literacy tutor. This experience helped her decide to become a teacher. It also showed her that there is an opportunity gap in our education system. In her classroom, Erin has worked to address this by learning about and implementing restorative practices, teaching culturally relevant literature, and examining and acknowledging her own biases, working to move beyond them.


Erin thought about running for school board for several years, and got serious about filing for candidacy after being encouraged to do so by her neighbors, colleagues, and family. As a working teacher with current experience in the district during this challenging time of the COVID-19 pandemic, her perspective would add something new to the MDUSD School Board. If elected, she hopes to improve equity, accountability, and communication in the district. To read more about Erin’s campaign, please go to www.erinmcferrin.com.

email: erin4schoolboard@gmail.com website (especially the "about" tab: https://www.erinmcferrin.com/) Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/erin.mcferrin.50 Twitter: @erin4sb Instagram: @erin4schoolboard 


Board of Education - Area 3

(Note: Two Democrats running, the incumbent

and the challenger.)

Anamarie Avila Farias.  

Anamarie Avila Farias is a lifelong Contra Costa County resident and a proud to be a third-generation Contra Costa County resident. She is also former Councilmember for the City of Martinez. She has contributed in her professional role over 25 years of public service, policy work and community leadership.

Anamarie is a dedicated public servant who has worked in several local government housing agencies administering Affordable Housing and Community Development programs. Anamarie has managed and overseen complex and challenging housing programs that have tackled some of California’s most difficult issues, including the current housing crisis


The majority of Anamarie’s career was spent working in San Francisco for the Mayor’s Office of Housing & Community Development.  Anamarie has worked in culturally diverse communities throughout the Bay Area providing Housing and Community Development opportunities to thousands of Bay Area residents.


In addition to her professional career, Anamarie is also active in her hometown, in Contra Costa County and throughout the state. Anamarie was elected to the Martinez City Council in 2012. Prior to serving on the Martinez City Council she was a Martinez Planning Commissioner for eight years. She also served on the Parks & Recreation and Marina Commission for several years.  In addition to her former elected position, she is a Gubernatorial Appointee of Jerry G. Brown Jr. and currently serves as a Board of Director on the California Housing Finance Agency. 


Among her professional career and civic duties, Anamarie is a former member of the League of California Cities, where she serves on 3 different boards: 2nd Vice President of East Bay Division, Housing Community and Economic Development Policy Committee Member, and a former Board Member for the Latino Caucus. Anamarie is actively involved with youth programs and is a current Board Member for the Juvenile Hall Auxiliary of Contra Costa County. She is also currently the Democratic County Central Committee District 5 representative and, Assembly District 14 Delegate and recent former 1st Vice Chair of the Contra Costa County Democrat Party.


Anamarie earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management and a Master of Science in Information Systems Management from the University of San Francisco. Anamarie Avila Farias is proudly raising her two young children with her husband, an architect and who in higher education field.  

Vikki Chavez.  - Not Endorsed

A Little Bit About Me!

I am a Contra Costa Board of Education Trustee for area 3 

I am one of five members and I was elected by, and serve the cities of Concord, Martinez, Pleasant Hill, Pacheco and parts of Walnut Creek, Pittsburg, and Clayton. I became interested in advocating for youth when my children started going to school in the Concord area. We decided to change schools a few times, because of a variety of reasons, but that can happen to anyone. Even the child that doesn’t have an educational or learning issue needs an environment that best suits their learning style. We did eventually find a wonderful environment that suited us. I understand and firmly believe that emotional issues have an effect on success at school. My children were young when they lost their father. A tragic event will always have an effect on your children. We must listen to them. We must hear what they say. 

In the past I have volunteered at the Bay Area Crisis Nursery in Concord, and I enjoyed the children at the center so much, that I decided to become a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) for abused and neglected foster children in Contra Costa County. Both of these are challenging during Covid-19. I will continue to do my share of contributing and activity. I have learned a great deal about foster youth. That describes many children in Contra Costa, as well as the homeless youths that we have in our community and in our schools.

I am an advocate for the Career Technical Trades, even as young as in middle school. High schools should continue sending juniors and seniors to learn about different careers and enroll at the local community college. I understand the high demand for this in the 21st century job market.


Mental Health awareness and Special Education are at the top of my list, and I hope to continue learning, and I welcome your ideas.

I believe that the mental health of students must be identified and addressed early in school. They are entitled to feel important and necessary, and most of all, listened to.  

Central Sanitary District

(Three Democrats running for 3 seats against one Republican incumbent, 1 NPP incumbent, and 1 NPP challenger)

Elias Nathan Jaquez.

I am an Electrical Engineer and Concord resident with a diverse, multi-disciplinary background across multiple industries from the arts to law to engineering. I view problems from different perspectives and help consolidate distinct visions into a single unified solution.


My maternal grandmother only had a fifth grade education, however she instilled the importance of education in her children, and all but one of her children went on to earn postgraduate degrees. My mother passed that belief on to me and impressed upon me the importance of an education, while also valuing practical skills. My father taught me fine woodworking, construction principles, electronics, and how to listen to music critically, while my mother taught me fine art, metalsmithing, and storytelling. My parents allowed me to be curious, to explore disparate topics while providing guidance and insight when I became lost or confused. I recognize my privilege and I feel that it is my duty to advocate for those who don’t have access or those who have become invisible.


I’m running for Central Contra Costa Sanitary District Board where my priorities are bringing reliable, sustainable, low-cost solutions to water treatment. I want to ensure that the residents of Contra Costa County continue to have safe and reliable wastewater service while advocating for low-cost, sustainable initiatives that address climate change and earthquake preparedness. I believe that all public offices should be transparent and accessible and I will strive to ensure that all voices have a seat at the table.

Mariah Lauritzen.  

As a Central Contra Costa Sanitary District Board Member, I will work in a fair transparent way to ensure that everyone in the community has reliable service at low rates.


From the very start of my career, I understood the importance of clean water in our communities. As President of Engineers Without Borders in college I implemented a design for a water sanitation project in two Tsimane communities in Bolivia. One third of the population was suffering from disease caused by contaminated water at any given time. They needed a design that was both effective and could be maintained by the local community after installation.


Here at home I have worked in a Waste Water Treatment Plant that discharged to Suisun Bay. I believe in stewardship: both to help people and take care of our environment. I bring seven years of experience as an engineer. I bring my values that clean water should be a human right. Access to clean water has unfortunately fallen short in parts of the United States. I intend to defend access to clean water in my own community.


I understand listening to the community is how we build a system that works. As an engineer, I know that systems can fail if we don’t consider how they interact with people. Let’s serve the needs of our community.

Barbara Hockett.  

I hold a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing and a Master of Science Degree in Education.  I have a background in Nursing/Education, Public Health, Health Care Management and serve on the Contra Costa County Managed Care Commission. 


As a member of the faculty at CSU East Bay, I teach Community Health Nursing and Community Engagement.  I served on the Central Contra Costa Sanitary District Board of Directors for twenty years. While on the Board I partnered with 18 Water/Wastewater Districts to bring the Water/Wastewater education program from Solano Community College to local Districts to provide education for new and advancing Plant Operators at local sites.


While teaching a Care Transitions course, I brought together several partners including the City of Walnut Creek, DEA, Police Department and Solid Waste Authority to implement the first Pharmaceutical drop off program as a pilot with the City of Walnut Creek. The pilot was so successful it was implemented in our service area resulting in the collection of more than 20,000 lbs. of pharmaceuticals at 11 sites the last few years.  This program is ongoing and very successful in keeping patients safe and our water clean.

Martinez Unified School Board - Area 4

(Note: Two Democrats running for one seat with

no incumbent running.)

Courtney Masella-O'Brien.  

I am excited to announce that I am running for Martinez Unified School District Board of Education, Trustee Area 4. I believe excellent public education should be the foundation of our community and society and I care about the success of all of our students. I am the mom of a Martinez Junior High student, an attorney, and a schools and community volunteer.


As your next MUSD board member, I will diligently advocate for increasing school funding, and champion equity, diversity, music, and arts education in all our schools. I will support increasing focus on the safety, social-emotional, and mental health of all our students, and more resources for special education and library programs.


How can you help? Please like my page, share it with your friends, and donate if you can (link below). Any amount helps. This is a grass roots, people powered campaign. Thank you for your support!  https://secure.anedot.com/masella-obrien-for-martinez-school-board-2020/2020campaign?fbclid=IwAR1zcsBCjKwXpS-_NBV-mfJQvlwWM1mOeec0GKxCh2My8dzrB6qICEH5wmw

Steeve Boulingui. - Did not seek endorsement

Steeve Boulingui has spent the past 20 years teaching French and English to children and adults. Growing up in a large family in his native Gabon, his parents taught him the importance of putting the community first.

As a speaker of multiple languages, including Spanish and French, he has always enjoyed the ability to easily develop cross-cultural relationships. Through his work as a tutor in low-income families in Concord, as a teaching assistant at Bancroft Elementary school, and by comparing his children's elementary school with others in the Martinez School District, Steeve became aware of the large socioeconomic inequalities and lack of inclusiveness in the education of children.

Steeve has successfully led several groups in discussing systemic racism and inequalities in Martinez and plan on bringing his ideas to the Board of the Martinez Unified School District.

Concord City Council (District 2)

(Note: Three Democrats and One Republican challenging the incumbent Democrat.)

Carlyn Obringer (incumbent).  

Carlyn Obringer was elected to the Concord City Council in November 2016. She served as Vice Mayor in 2018 and Mayor in 2019. During her time on the Council, she has overseen the planning and development of more housing for Concord residents at all income levels, helped to create more jobs in Concord, protected the community’s vision for a world-class project at the former Concord Naval Weapons Station, improved the condition of our roads and parks, preserved resources for seniors and public safety, and maintained a balanced budget.

During the pandemic, Carlyn has voted to protect tenants and small businesses from evictions and rent increases, provided housing to 37 unsheltered individuals in Concord hotels, have promoted and supported Concord small businesses, and ensured that homebound seniors receive daily hot meals. She has made two-dozen videos that she has promoted via social media, highlighting Concord small businesses, and encouraging Concordians to support them.


Recently, Carlyn worked to create a Small Business Grant Program, using CARES ACT funding, to support our local economy. The fund will provide financial support for up to 130 Concord small businesses that have been impacted by the pandemic. In addition, nearly $400,000 of the CARES Act funding will be used to help 45 families and seniors stay in their homes, and $50,000 will be used to support our local students by improving access to technology in underserved neighborhoods. Furthermore, Carlyn wants to continue her work in building partnerships between our schools, businesses, and community so more opportunities are created for our residents, families, and students.

In 2019, as Concord’s youngest-ever female mayor, Carlyn represented Concord at historic events and ceremonies, including the celebration of the land transfer from the Navy to the East Bay Regional Park District for the purpose of establishing a new regional park in Concord, and the memorial of the 75th Anniversary of the Port Chicago explosion. She joined 8,000 people gathered at the Concord Pavilion to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Concord Jazz Festival in August. And, in late October, Carlyn had the once-in-a-lifetime privilege of leading a 40-person delegation to visit Concord’s Sister City, Kitakami, Japan.

As Mayor, Carlyn worked hard to help recruit and retain living-wage jobs so Concordians can both live and work in our city. This involved “goodwill” visits with top employers headquartered in Concord including AssetMark, Cerus Corporation, Harris & Associates, Pulse Systems, and Sunvalley Shopping Center. Carlyn participated in the Diablo Valley Tech Initiative, a new group focused on fostering economic and social growth for start-ups, entrepreneurs, leaders, educators, and students in the Diablo Valley.

As Mayor, Carlyn initiated community outreach efforts to explain why the City of Concord faced budget challenges in the midst of an economic expansion (pre-COVD-19) and, more importantly, to solicit feedback as to how the community wanted the Council to address these issues. Carlyn hosted a series of community meetings, titled “Prioritizing Our Tomorrow,” to share information on Concord’s projected budget gap and to request community input. The October 10 community meeting was recorded and is available for viewing on the City’s website. The City also launched new online tools to help explain Concord’s budget challenges and allow people to explore the City’s budget through an interactive web feature.


As Mayor, Carlyn pushed to launch a four-year public university at the former Concord Naval Weapons Station. She helped to establish a 120-acre campus district within the draft CNW Specific Plan and a Blue-Ribbon Committee comprising regional and state leaders. After meeting for nine months, the Blue Ribbon Committee, which she chaired, produced a final report that envisioned a consortium concept – one that brings multiple academic institutions together, accommodating and embracing research and development – all co-located within the campus district. Carlyn also led a delegation to meet with the Lieutenant Governor to educate her and solicit her support for the city’s vision.

As Mayor, Carlyn also worked to build a greater sense of community. To that end, she launched the “September of Service,” with more than 200 volunteers participating in the inaugural community initiative. On each of the four Saturdays in September, Concordians were invited to join the mayor in a beautification or cleanup event at a Concord park. Projects ranged from building a butterfly garden and cleaning up the creek at Newhall Park, to doing park and lake clean up at Ellis Lake Park, to cleaning up the park and creek at Hillcrest Park, to doing general cleanup and wood chip distribution at Ygnacio Valley Park.

Carlyn believes it is critical for the mayor and Councilmembers to be accessible to the people and available to hear and try to address their city-related issues and concerns. To that end, she held “Mayor’s Office Hours” at City Hall on most Friday mornings. She also held monthly “Coffee with the Mayor” or “Beer with the Mayor” events where Concordians could meet with their mayor in a less formal setting. Carlyn continues to make herself accessible and available to constituents.

For more than a decade, Obringer has worked to make Concord an even better place to live, work, raise a family, do business, and retire by serving in the following roles:

Chair, Concord 4th of July Parade

Chair, Blue Ribbon Committee to establish a public institution of higher learning at the former Concord Naval Weapons Station

Chair, TRANSPAC, regional transportation planning committee for central Contra Costa County

Vice Chair, East Bay Regional Parks District Parks Advisory Committee, overseeing the naming and development of the new Concord Hills Regional Park

Member, East Bay Economic Development Alliance Executive Committee

Founder and Past Chair, Concord Art, Wine (and Beer!) Walk; proceeds fund scholarships for local women and girls

Past Chair, City of Concord Planning Commission

Past President, Soroptimist International of Diablo Vista

Past Chair, Contra Costa Commission on the Status of Women

Past Member, Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce Business and Education Committee

Past Member, Bike and Pedestrian Master Plan Committee

Member, Concord Ambassadors

Member, Concord Historical Society

Carlyn holds a Master of Business Administration from the Monterey Institute of International Studies and resides near downtown Concord with her husband, Justin, and their dog, Coco.

Hope Johnson. - Not Endorsed

Hope Johnson is a community collaborator who uses her experience in the legal field and Bay Area politics to assist Concord’s neighborhood and political organizations with various local issues and processes at City Hall.

She has worked with Sun Terrace Neighborhood Partnership and Holbrook Heights Community Association on understanding the cleanup, redevelopment, and preservation of green space at Concord Naval Weapons Station; Concord Communities Alliance on establishment of district elections; the Navy Restoration Advisory Board on analysis of military cleanup of toxic substances at the former military base; local community groups on budget analysis and advocating for tenants’ rights; and various Concord residents on government transparency issues and requesting information from local government.

From 2002 to 2013, Hope was a renter in San Francisco and was inspired to become active in local politics when City Hall made the bold move to begin allowing same sex couples to marry. She covered local issues for a well-read online news journal, volunteered on local campaigns, and worked at Project Homeless Connect. Hope served as Chair of the Sunshine Ordinance Task Force, the quasi-judicial body created to oversee laws requiring public access to state and local government information and meetings. She also volunteered at the San Francisco SPCA for five years.

Hope currently lives with her two cats Emmy and Curtis in North Concord, the neighborhood where she grew up in a working class family. Her father was a union ironworker and her mother worked at Sunvalley Mall starting just one year after it first opened. Hope attended local public schools, graduating from Mt. Diablo High School with one of the top ten GPAs in her class. She received a B.A. in Psychology from UCLA, where she worked with autistic children to transition them to traditional classrooms.

Hope is a Senior Paralegal/Legal Analyst at a maritime law firm located in San Francisco. She looks forward to continuing to bring a progressive voice and best- practices experience to Concord’s leadership. She is interested in auditing and rethinking Concord’s outdated budget allocation to bring equity to all communities, securing local tenants’ rights, exploring alternative investment in affordable housing, and seeking sustainable redevelopment at the Concord Naval Weapons Station and in Downtown Concord with trustworthy partners.

Harmesh Kumar. - Not Endorsed

Paul Wood.​ - Not Endorsed


Walnut Creek City Council

(Note: One incumbent Democrat, four Democratic challengers running for three seats against one Republican and one NPP incumbent and one other NPP challenger.)

Kevin Wilk (incumbent).  

Kevin Wilk was elected to the Walnut Creek City Council in November, 2016 and is serving his first term.  During his City Council term, he sits on the board of directors at County Connection and MCE. In addition, he serves on Walnut Creek's public safety and housing & Finance committees and has been appointed by the League of California Cities to be a representative on the League’s Environmental Quality Policy Committee. He is currently running for re-election for the City Council in 2020 as Mayor ProTem, and continues to be the only Democrat on the Council.  


Prior to City Council, Kevin was a 3 time chairman of the city's Transportation Commission (2008-2016) and also served on the Arts Commission (1999-2005).  


Kevin's career as an internet marketing director has instilled a passion for technology, innovation, renewable energy and climate change, which he brings to Walnut Creek's economic development and long-term growth discussions.  He has raised his two children in Walnut Creek, and is part of a 3 generation Walnut Creek family.

Kurtis Reese.  

My call to public service was born out of tragedy, here in Walnut Creek.  I have been close friends of the Hall family for 30 years, since our time together at San Diego State University.  I knew Scott and Taun’s son Miles his entire life.  Miles suffered from schizophrenia and suffered a mental break last summer.  His family followed all of the protocols, including calling the police for assistance.  Instead, everything went horribly wrong that day and the police shot and killed Miles.

I was distraught. Eventually, I realized I had to do something – to speak out about how what happened to Miles was wrong and how to make sure it doesn’t happen again. That led me to speak at city council meetings and walk around city hall, listening to our leaders and talking with them to bring change. I knew Walnut Creek could do better.

The Chief of Police was receptive to my ideas and asked me to help him create the Chief’s Advisory Board. As the founding member, I helped shape the Board’s membership. My work with the Chief and his Advisory Board has prepared me to listen, build coalitions and battle complacency to make change.

The next step was creation of the listening meeting with Walnut Creek leaders around implicit bias and what actions can be taken to ensure Walnut Creek is an inclusive city that rejects systemic racism.  Finally, I also created a pilot program, “The Talk” to bring together local high school boys and the police in a casual environment to discuss how to safely interact with law enforcement.

What has the last year taught me? That I can have a greater impact on things I want to change if I work within the system.

Is this all there is to my story and why I am running for City Council?  No. My family and I have lived in Walnut Creek for 18 years. I’ve put in time on the pool deck as a Larkey Shark Swim Team dad. I am a technology manager at Salesforce and I volunteer my time mentoring young scholars in technology and how to interview for a job. I have an MBA from St. Mary’s College.

Integrity and goodwill drive my actions.



Cindy Darling.  

Cindy Darling has served as a Walnut Creek Planning Commissioner for 10 years from 2010 to 2020 where she has consistently voted in favor of projects to address homelessness and to provide affordable housing.  She has encouraged long-term growth decisions that foster diversity, that address climate change, that use resources efficiently, and that continue to build Walnut Creek as a community that is desirable and safe for all.


Cindy is running because she believes it is important to bring a fresh perspective rooted in Walnut Creek to the Council.  As a lifelong Democrat, she would like to work closely with Kevin Wilk, the only current Democrat on the Council.  As a consensus builder, she is determined to move the City in a progressive direction. She is ready to tackle the long list of challenges facing the city including protecting the open space, addressing homelessness, improving mental health crisis response, supporting seniors, tackling climate change and more.


Prior to her time on the Planning Commission, Cindy pursued a career as a fisheries biologist, working on resolving some of the most complex water and environmental conflicts in California from Mono Lake to the Bay-Delta.  She learned how to work with diverse stakeholders, how to listen and build trust and use interest-based negotiations to find creative solutions to tough problems.  She and her husband now run a small consulting business focused on innovative water and energy solutions.

Cindy, her husband, and their two children have made Walnut Creek their home for the last 18 years.  In addition to her time on the Planning Commission, she has been a tireless volunteer for schools, youth sports, the open space, the Women’s March, Girl Scouts and is a graduate of the Walnut Creek Citizen’s Institute.


Cindy enjoys broad community support.  A list of her current endorsers can be found on her website  www.cindydarling.org.  Cindy’s email is cindy@cindydarling.org if you have any questions.


Michael T. Samson.  - Not Endorsed

Michael Samson is a teacher, a musician, and a dedicated progressive.  In the year 2020, bold legislative action is necessary to ensure that Walnut Creek is a safe, vibrant, and just community.  Samson will stand up to the political power of the police, defund them, and, critically, reinvest those funds towards community needs like 24/7 mental health crisis non-police response, homeless support, small business support, climate justice, and other initiatives that support marginalized and vulnerable communities, thereby reducing crime and making Walnut Creek a safer place to live.  We are also campaigning on the promise to pursue justice for Miles Hall, in coordination with the Hall family and FOSATH.  Our campaign does not accept that the injustices we see every day are inevitable.  We believe that a better world is possible.

Lauren Talbert. - Not Endorsed

Concord City Council District 4

(Note: One Democrat running unopposed -

will not appear on the ballot.)

Edi Birsan.

Born: Oct 7, 1949 Brooklyn, NY as Edi Ersalesi Junior
Boy Scout

Mom’s Parents

Greek (from Island of Lesbos)
Grandfather worked on the Battleship Missouri as steel worker and a waiter
Grandmother was a seamstress, NY garment industry

Father’s Parents

Grandfather – Shoe Maker Factory
Piedmont Italy (near Swiss Border)
Orphan (DNA reveals parents were from Spain/Iberian Pen./Western Medit. Islands)
Grandmother from Italy
Divorced my mother when I was 4, would not see him again for over 50 years.


Worked in load dock for 25 years

Mom Divorced him when I was 4 I would not see him again for over 50 years


Step-Dad – Birsan

Cosmetic Chemist and High School Biology physics Teacher
His family Russian-Jewish came to America because of the Pogroms of 1905

Married mother when I was 4
I took his name to honor him


Corporate/office Secretary
Abandoned me at 15
Lived with step Dad for another 7 years


Immediate Family

  • Married for 46 years to my High School Sweet Heart: Carol

  • Two grown children: Yvonne and Edi Junior went to local public Schools in Concord

  • Two grand children: Cody and Malik.

  • Son in Law: Jirema Ansley- a Combat Medic and Afghanistan Veteran serving in Texas


  • College Degree

  • BA from City University of New York (Dual major of Poli Sci and History after starting as a Math Major)

  • Post Graduate Work (degrees not finalized):
    PHd program C.U.N.Y International Relations 2 years
    Masters Program Maritime College Transportation 2 years

Other education

  • Concord Leadership Academy
    9 week course on all phases of the city government
    CERTs (currently enrolled) Citizens Emergency Response Team
    Preparation to lead local community in response to major disasters (other than political).

  • Citizens Police Academy
    9-week course (or three months)
    Police Dept functions
    Shooting Simulation
    Gang Activity, drug enforcement, K-9, police protocols, crime evidence, SET (Special Enforcement Team – SWAT), dispatch, volunteer (VIPS) support activities, traffic enforcement.


First Job
Porter (janitor) at Learners (women’s clothing)
College Work
Editor and historic conflict simulation game design: Strategy and Tacitics Magazine/Poultron Press 1968-69
Burns Guard World Trade Center site 1970

Census 1970 in West Harlem, NYC
Diners’ Club VIP Customer Service 1969-1970

Post College Work

Interpool Ltd 1973-1986
International containerized cargo equipment leasing company.
Started as a Clerk and ended up at Assistant Vice President, Pacific Rim (SF), Assistant Vice President of Europe, and Africa and the Middle East (London), Customer Service Field Manager for Europe (based out of Antwerp, Belgium). Specialized in international equipment recovery and bankruptcy control capital equipment recovery. AS the number two person on 4 continents was the resident trouble shooter.

E. D. I. Inc.
1986 – present, president and founder
Specialized equipment certifications and inspections.
Specialty includes Ammunition Grade Containers, hazardous and food grade tank
Domestic Container Storage and Leasing – sales, storage operations and management.
Small Business

Certified Cargo Inspector & Instructor
Steamship Lines for insurance companies, leasing companies, tank containers


Life Long Democrat,  chose Dem Party because of stand on Civil Rights and shift against the War in Vietnam

Member of Democrat Clubs all over the place, Charter member of the Concord Club (now disbanded), Charter Member Lambda Club

Member of the Democratic Party Central Committee since around 2008 and been an alternate there ever since.

Elected to Central Committee in March of 2020 service starts Jan. 21

State Party delegate from the Assembly District 14 for 8+ years

Ran for City Council 2010  as endorsed candidate, was the Runner up

Elected City Council 2012 was the endorsed candidate

Elected City Council 2016 was NOT the endorsed candidate

Currently unopposed in 2020.

Considered the most progressive and liberal member of the Concord City Council 



  • Community Service Commission of the City of Concord-
    Commissioner= worked on $900,000 of grants for
    Community Block Grants

  • Friends of the Concord Library= President tripled the amount of
    donations to the library last year.

  • Pulse of Concord: A community wide web survey site of neutral questions and discussions of responses.

  • Rotary – Rotary Club of Concord-Diablo
    Rotarian of the Year 2010 – Concord/Diablo Rotary Club
    District (71 clubs) Co-Chair of Publicity Committee
    International Service Director to Diablo-Valley 8 working group
    Community Service Director on the Board of Directors worked on:
    Senior Smoke Alarm Project
    Project Second Chance (adult literacy)
    Thanksgiving Food for the Poor/needy
    Santa Claus (400 gifts at Cambridge Child Development Center)
    RotaCare – free medical clinic for uninsured residents
    Picker Squadron– Fruit for food pantries and food banks 
    Books for Africa – used books for people in Africa

  • Concord Library Support
    Book Sales Signage and promotion

  • Election Day Election Clerk – Contra Costa County Elections Department

  • Chamber of Commerce- Past Vice Chair Government Affairs/Relations
    Committee. Generally arguing against the recommendations
    of the state Chamber of Commerce recommendations.

  • Restoration Advisory Board Tidal Area- Army overseeing restoration
    of polluted marsh land in the army base

  • Restoration Advisory Board-Inland Area- Navy overseeing
    restoration of the CNWS for the Reuse plan

  • Monument Community Partnership= Transportation Committee-

  • Worked on the plan to put in a one-mile park/route now done along Highway 680

  • Worked recently on fixing Detroit Avenue Streets

  • Worked on clean ups around the city with local groups from Hillcrest to Monument

  • Senior Club Transportation advocate = obtained a $12K grant

  • Senior Mobility Action Committee- county group to advocate
    For seniors

  • Caring Hands- volunteer driver for seniors who do not have transport
    Concord Concerned Citizens Committee- ad hoc discussion group of

  • Local politics
    Historic Association of Concord- member trying to preserve local

  • Sun Terrace Neighborhood Partnerships-Dumpster Days support

  • Hill Crest Neighborhood Partnerships- deliver door to door
    Newsletters, man the dumpsters on Dumpster Day

  • Cambridge Child Development Center-past member board of Directors, work on
    Securing grants, publicity

  • RotaCare- health care for the uninsured- volunteered and do publicity
    including door to door work

  • Concordian Newspaper- constant columnist for the community.

  • Diablo Gazette- columnist for area

  • Life-time member of the US Navy League.

Pleasant Hill City Council

(Note: Two Democrats running unopposed -

will not appear on the ballot.)

Ken Carlson.  

Ken is a native of Contra Costa County. In his early childhood, his family lived in Concord but then settled in Pleasant Hill in the early 1970’s. He attended Pleasant Hill Middle School and moved on to Pleasant Hill High School. He would have been a member of the last graduating class in 1980 if his father had not been transferred to Southern California before his senior year.    


While growing up in Pleasant Hill he became an Eagle Scout as part of Walnut Creek Troop 820 and enjoyed the benefit of PHBA, playing many baseball games on the fields at Pleasant Hill Park. Ken discovered from an early age about giving back to your community through dedicated public service. His grandfather, James Moriarty, was a long time county supervisor and he was often taken along on to Walnut Festival Parades, campaign stops, and other such events.    


Ken graduated from Brigham Young University with a B.A. in Communications. He then travelled to Seoul, Korea for eighteen months of missionary work. He lived and worked in the Korean communities learning their language and teaching English.    


Returning to the Bay Area he settled briefly in Martinez and enrolled in a Masters program at San Francisco States University. While a student, he was hired as an Intern with the Concord Police Department in February of 1988 and 6 short months later offered a position as a Police Officer. By December he had graduated from the Police Academy and began a career as a Police Officer. During this time he was also instrumental in successfully broadcasting the first Concord City Council meetings over the local cable networks.    


Ken has had a very diverse career with the police department working as a Patrol Officer, various investigative positions, a Crisis Negotiator and is currently assigned to the Traffic Unit as the Traffic Investigator. He worked as a member of the county’s Forensic Mental Health Team, which was a coalition of multiple county agencies, nonprofit organizations, the courts and Law Enforcement focusing on the chronically homeless and mentally in our communities. He became very active in the Concord Police Association, serving on the Executive Board, as President, and chairing the Political Action Committee.    


Ken has never lost his strong feelings for Pleasant Hill and has always thought of it as his hometown. His goal has always been to return home and contribute to this community by supporting the values that maintain the small town charm of Pleasant Hill. He looks forward to serving on the City Council, working to strengthen the community, ensuring the financial stability of the City, and maintaining public safety of this great “hometown.”


Council Subcommittees

  • Economic Development

  • Interview & Nominating Committee

Council Assignments

  • Mayors' Conference

  • John Muir Community Health Fund Board

  • Pleasant Hill Chamber of Commerce

  • Youth Organizations


Matt Rinn.  - Did not seek endorsement

Matt Rinn was elected to Pleasant Hill City Council in 2016 and was selected to serve as the 2020 Mayor on Dec. 16, 2019.


He was born in Southern California and lived in several places until his career relocated him to the Bay Area in 1998. In 2008, he opened his Insurance Agency in Pleasant Hill. Matt became involved in the Pleasant Hill Chamber of Commerce; working his way from Ambassador, to Board member, to Chairman. In 2011, he won Pleasant Hill’s Business Person of the Year. He relocated his young family to Pleasant Hill that same year.


Matt’s first experience in politics was when he was appointed to the Contra Costa Community College District Governing Board in 2013. Matt also served as a Pleasant Hill Education Commissioner. He continues to be involved in community organizations, including the Pleasant Hill YMCA Advisory Board and Pleasant Hill Rotary. In 2014, he served as the Pleasant Hill Rotary Club President. Matt was Pleasant Hill’s Citizen of the Year in 2015.


When Matt is not busy with his insurance business and City Council, he enjoys spending time with his wife and two daughters. You can often see him coaching or refereeing on the local soccer fields. Council Subcommittees

  • Interview & Nomination Committee

Council Assignments

  • Pleasant Hill Chamber of Commerce

  • Youth Organizations


Community College Board - Ward II

(Note: Three Democrats running for one seat.)


Vicki Gordon (incumbent) - Not Endorsed

Early Childhood

Vicki was born and raised in the East Bay to middle class parents. Vicki’s mother was a teacher and principal in Martinez Unified School district. After the divorce of her parents, Vicki was raised, along with her two sisters, by her single mother.


Vicki is a teacher and holds a lifetime teaching credential.  She attended local Mt Diablo Schools: Valhalla, Valley View Middle School and College Park High School. She is an alumna of Diablo Valley College and received her BS in Business and Teaching Credential from CSUEB.  She was recently recognized and honored as a distinguished alumna of Mt. Diablo Schools.  


Vicki Started her teaching career at Parkside Elementary in Pittsburg but found her niche teaching Middle School at Martinez Junior High. After her second child was born, she decided to stay home and raise her two children. In 1997, Vicki was asked to run for the Martinez Unified School Board where she was re-elected 4 times and served and volunteered for 15 years. In 2012 she ran and won a seat on the Contra Costa Community College Board and has served two terms, serving as Board President 4 times. Her late father-in-law, George Gordon, was considered the Father of the Community College District and served as a Trustee for 28 years.   


Vicki has been an active school and community volunteer. Serving on California School Board Association (District Rep and Delegate Assembly); Contra Costa California School Board Association (President, first VP of Programs and District Rep); Martinez Education Foundation (Fundraising 12 years); PTA (member for 12 years: President; VP After School Programs Director; Teacher/Tutor and VP of Fundraising); AHS Boosters (VP of Fundraising); and PEO a philanthropic education organization supporting women in education. She is active in our state organizations, Community College League of California (CCLC) and the California Community College Trustees (CCCT). She is currently on a statewide task force on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and serves as a Co-Chair of Mission Statement work group and member of the Workforce and Hiring Practices work group.


Vicki has been married to Scott Gordon for 36 years and has two grown children. Scott and Vicki have lived in Martinez Ca for the past 25 years.



Student success has been at the heart of all of Vicki’s goals and accomplishments. Eight years ago, she set out to increase student success by increasing the number of Transfers to UCs, CSUs and universities AND by increasing the number Certificates for students to go out into the workforce. There have been large strides in these areas, but there is always room to do better. She has increased communications between the Contra Costa Community College District and the County’s K-12 districts. Vicki has been an excellent steward of our tax dollars by carefully monitoring our bond money and facility improvements as well as our budget. The current bond rating for the Contra Costa Community College District is an AA+, an outstanding rating that provides the District with substantial interest cost savings for its bond offerings



Vicki has:

Improved the rate of completion for all students in both our transfer AA/AS and in our certificates for CTE into our workforce while also improving and providing more support for our students who need it in our developmental and underprepared students. Adopting AB 705 has removed barriers for students who were once placed in remedial classes so that they move more quickly through the higher ed system.


Improved higher quality for distance learning, so that when the District moved to all online courses there was an almost seamless transition.


Expanded and deepened the partnerships with K-12 and Adult Education. DVC and MDUSD have a entered into an agreement for a program called College Now, where high students can take college courses at DVC. We have just entered into CCAP contracts with ALL school districts in Contra Costa so that college level courses taught on high school campuses. Re-estaablished CCCSBA.


Advocated and help pass Measure E to update facilities for 21st century teaching and learning.


Financial Steward

Vicki has carefully monitored our budgets, making sure we are funding our underfunded obligations.


Increased our Institutional Excellency with many new hires; we continue with a search for a new Chancellor and are looking forward to our accreditation visits


Vicki has kept our district in excellent financial shape by making sure we increase funding to underfunded liabilities: Health Benefits, PERS, STRS and OPEBs



Vicki has increased the number of transfers to UCs, CSUs and universities while also increasing the number of certificates for students entering our workforce.


She has successfully increased communications between K-12 and our colleges, to help focus on completion while making sure our students are prepared for college.


Due to COVID-19, our community colleges are at a crossroads. We have a responsibility to prepare students for the workforce of the future in an environment full of uncertainty and extreme challenges and change while facing the economic and social impact of the pandemic.

We need leadership informed by real experience on the ground, in our schools, and in today's ever-changing economy. We need someone who has the passion and the drive to fight for students and our workforce. We need a leader who will think creatively to solve difficult issues and build partnership, relationships and consensus. Vicki is that leader.  

Judy Walters (challenger).  - Not Endorsed



Interim  President -Yuba College  - Reported to Chancellor January 2020 – June 2020


Director – California Jazz Conservatory –Appointed to the Board of Directors June 2017 for a four year term.  


Consultant ACCT Search services – October 2015 - October 2016 Successful candidates for San Jose Evergreen Chancellor, Superintendent President Palomar College, and the State CCC Chancellor.


Interim President – Woodland Community College – Reported to Chancellor January 2014-June 2014


President – Diablo Valley College one of three colleges in the Contra Costa Community College District. Pleasant Hill, CA. Reported to the Chancellor August 2007 – September 2010


President - Berkeley City College one of four colleges in the Peralta Community College District Oakland, CA District. Reported to the Chancellor July 2004 – July 2007


Division Dean - San Diego Mesa College

            Reported to the College President September 1979 - October 1981


Assistant Dean  - San Diego Miramar College

            Reported to the Deans of Instruction Day and Evening September 1977 - August 1979


Faculty Member - San Diego Evening College Reported to the President September 1974 - September 1977.  Produced instructional TV programs and managed TV Classroom. 1978 Emmy for Instructional Series:  "Human Sexuality:  Touching, Loving, Being" Award to Producer (Judy Walters), - San Diego




Interim Chancellor – Chabot –Las Positas Community College District - Reported to Board of Trustees September 2012 – June 2013


Consultant – Yuba Community College District Consulting services to help reorganize the district and colleges services, especially with respect to consolidating academic support functions and other related programmatic matters. Reported to Chancellor – May 2012 – August 2012


Senior Vice Chancellor Educational Services– Peralta Community College District, 

Reported to the Chancellor October 1999 – June 2004


Trustee, Mendocino Unified School District, Mendocino, CA  1982-87

            Board President 1983, 1984, 1987, Board Clerk 1985.




Vice Chancellor -- Board of Governor’s Liaison and Policy Analysis  and Management Information Systems. Chancellor's Office, California Community Colleges, Sacramento, CA   Reported to the State Chancellor July 1990 – September 1999


Specialist, Academic Planning -- Chancellor's Office, California Community Colleges

            Reported to the Assistant Deputy Chancellor June 1989 - July 1990


Distance Education Coordinator "College of the Air" College of the Redwoods

Reported to the Mendocino Coast Campus Center Dean / College Dean of Library and Learning Resources / and the President September 1984 - June 1986.


Consultant, J. Walters and Co., Mendocino, CA

            Contracts with the California Department of Education (CDE), Trident Enterprises, and California School Boards Association (CSBA) Self-employed November 1982 - June 1989


Co-Chair, Mendocino Educational Coordinating Council, 1983-87


Co-Chair Annual California School Boards Association Conference Committee 1987




President, Mendocino Coast Community Educational Television Mendocino, CA. Appointed April, 1983, elected September 1983, 1984, 1985.


Producer / Project Coordinator WSBE-TV, Providence, Rhode Island

            Reported to the Program Director May 1972 to March 1974. 




Doctor of Philosophy - Concentration in Interdisciplinary Arts and Science with a specialization in Leadership and Organizational Effectiveness. Dissertation topic: The Use of Appreciative Inquiry as a Planned Change Strategy at Merritt College: A Case Study.   Union Institute & University, Cincinnati, OH; July 2006


Institute for Educational Management, Harvard Graduate School of Education, Cambridge, MA; July 2000


Certified Appreciative Inquiry Facilitator Presented by League for Innovation; the Community College National Council for Staff, Program & Organizational Development; and Company of Experts.net 2004


Master of Arts Degree in Education, Alliant International University (United States International University,) San Diego, CA; June 1979


Bachelor of Arts Degree in English, Idaho State University, Pocatello, ID; May 1970

John Michaelson (challenger). - Did not seek endorsement