Public Comment

New: Alameda County Green Voter Guide for November 4, 2014:
15th Assembly District:
Don’t Vote for Echols

Tuesday October 14, 2014 - 03:02:00 PM

Even though Greens and other third parties have been disenfranchised by “top two” in the other state races, Assembly 15 voters have a real choice in this race. Emerging from the pile of the eight-candidate primary are two Democrats, former Richmond City Councilmember and former West Contra Costa School Board member Tony Thurmond, and Elizabeth Echols, the local democratic party machine’s handpicked successor to Nancy Skinner, with no elected experience. 

Tony Thurmond is a hands-on type of public official, with a social worker background, and a long record of good work both in office and in the community. Thurmond had many good responses to our primary questionnaire, especially regarding health care (support for a single payer system) and on environmental issues, including his experience having taken on and beaten Chevron when he was on the City Council. He also supports taxing the wealthiest one-percent of Californians, reforming Proposition 13 and reforming the 2/3 vote requirement, and promoting an oil extraction fee. He has many progressive endorsements, including several of the left of center candidates from the primary. If elected, Tony would be the only African American in the legislature from Northern California.  

Elizabeth Echols declined to answer our questionnaire. Her public policy statements sound good but lack any specificity. She has never held elective office, is not known in activist circles, and it’s unclear why any of the jobs she lists as experience qualify her to be in the Assembly, including a long stint at Google. Her main qualification appears to be serving on the Democratic Party Central Committee and being endorsed by her predecessors. While Echols might adequately represent District 15, Thurmond has real experience making tough decisions in favor of people and the environment. Because we traditionally do not endorse Democrats (or Republicans) in partisan races, our position for this race is “Don't vote for Echols.”