Our endorsements – from VTA-PAC

On August 23rd, the Vacaville Teachers Association met, reviewed and unanimously voted to endorse the slate of candidates interviewed and supported by the Napa-Solano Central Labor Council.  The minutes from that meeting can be found here.
These candidate recommendations were the product of 70 candidate interviews completed, over seven days, with 20 different Unions providing input in a deliberation process.  At the end of deliberations,  we all came together to ensure that whoever the Napa/Solano Central Labor Council endorses truly has the best interest of working men and women in mind when making decisions!


CD 3: John Garamendi


CD 5: Mike Thompson


SD 3: Bill Dodd


AD 4: Cecilia Aguiar-Curry


AD 11: Jim Frazier


AD 14: Mae Cendana Torlakson


Solano Supervisor District 2: Mike Ioakimedes


Napa Supervisor District 2: Mark Luce


Vallejo Mayor: Landis Graden

Council: Latressa Alford & Rozzana Verder-Aliga


Vacaville Council: Ron Rowlett


Suisun Council: Lori Wilson & Mike Segala


Fairfield Council: Rick Vaccarro & Rob Marin


Benicia Mayor: Mark Hughes

Council: Christina Strawbridge & Lionel Largaespada


Dixon Mayor: Jack Batchelor

Council: Steve Bird & Jerry Castanon


Fairfield-Suisun USD area 1: Spencer Marks

         area 2: Joan Gaut

                                    area 3: Judi Honeychurch

area 6: Ana Petero


Benicia USD Full Term: Gary Wing & Stacy Holguin

Short Term: Celeste Monnette


Travis USD: No recommendation


Solano Community College area 3: Rosemary Thurston


Vacaville USD: No recommendation for full term or short term seats


Vallejo USD Full Term: John Fox & Melissa Badong Bowman


Short Term: No recommendation


Napa Board of Education area 3: Lisa Lindsey


Napa Valley College area 1: Dan Digardi

area 6: Debbie Alter-Starr


Napa Valley USD area 4: Joe Schunk

area 7: Jose Hurtado


Napa Mayor: Jill Techel

Council: Scott Sedgely & Mary Luros

We also endorsed the following candidates and measures:

Solano Community College area 5: – Chris Fickes

California Proposition 55

California Proposition 58

California Proposition 52

Solano County Measure A

Solano County Measure B


More on the endorsement process from the Executive Director of the Labor Council, Jon Riley:

 The Napa/Solano Central Labor Council, Napa/Solano Building and Construction Trades Council, and United Workers for Local Government came together as we have for close to 15 years to do joint interviews. Public safety, education, public employees, building trades and other unions representing working Siblings in Napa and Solano Counties showed every candidate interviewed that Labor takes the electoral process very seriously! That is why they seek the endorsement of Labor. Because they know that while working Men and Women cannot compete with the money that some bring to the process, we mobilize our members to put the butts in the seats, boots on the streets and ballots in the box for our endorsed candidates.

 During the process we used our extensive questionnaire to begin identifying what core values that the candidates share with our members and then bore in on the reason’s we should recommend an endorsement to our members. After 7 days of interviews we stayed well into the evening to begin the deliberation process, every affiliate given a voice in the process and it resulted in a list of endorsement recommendations to be carried back to our respective bodies. At the meeting for the Napa/Solano Central Labor Council we accepted the recommendations and with the exception of one race passed them unanimously!

 We were a bit concerned that two of the candidates for the office of Vallejo Mayor and City Council refused to interview in front of some of the 12,000 Union members that reside in Vallejo. Mayoral candidate Bob Sampayan, a former police officer refused to interview, giving no reason. Vallejo City Council Candidate Robert McConnell sent us a lengthy email stating that he would not seek or accept any endorsement or money from any organization that would come in front of the Council for consideration. This of course raised a few eyebrows when during the interviews process it was revealed that he had taken money from medical marijuana dispensaries. Now, let us be clear, the Napa/Solano Central Labor Council has supported the MMD issue and have reached out to organize the responsible businesses. The issue is why he would refuse to sit down with working men and women?

 At a subsequent interview I attended, Mr. McConnell explained that the dispensaries were “people that want to do business with the city and I support them”. Well I also support them. But I also think we need to tax, control and regulate this brand new market where millions will be made. But to call the dispensaries “people” kind of reminds me of the Citizen United decision that has flooded our election process with billions of dollars under the “corporations are people” flag. With proper leadership we can ensure that we will never again have to lay-off employees and let our streets deteriorate again. Treating the industry like a business and put into place a seed to sale methodology that will protect our citizens is critical. Our members think that they deserved a chance to question Mr. McConnell on a number of issues facing the city.

 We want to thank the 30 or so members that sat in on our interviews and especially to the candidates that appeared in front of our panel. We are proud of our endorsements but more so because we know that every candidate that appeared in front of us wants to develop a relationship with our members and whether we chose to endorse them or not, our members relish the opportunity to do so. 

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