A Letter of Unity in Response to the National Election

An Important Message About the National Election from Local 21

Dear Local 21 member:

We know that many of you have deep concerns about the results of the Presidential election. It was unquestionably one of the most divisive in recent history, one that raised the ugly specter of racism, intolerance, xenophobia and disrespect of women to a whole new level.

This is a time for all of us to come together around the values we share: inclusivity, justice, compassion, equality, and a commitment to provide high quality, professional services to the public.  These values will never change.This is not to say that there won’t be hard times ahead, especially with a labor-unfriendly President and Congress, but we will get through these times together.

Our union is strong and we will work together with other labor unions to do everything to preserve your rights and the rights of all working families. Our work on behalf of Local 21 members is more important than ever. The American labor movement has been around for 150 years.  Be assured, we will never back down and we will never stop fighting for working families and for social and economic justice.

I hope everyone takes time to enjoy the holidays and gets ready to tackle the tough work ahead of us.  Remember that all of us are in this together.

Bob Muscat

Executive Director



Great Local Election Results Tempered by Disastrous National News


As disturbing as the national results were, our local and state election results were very good with just a few disappointments.

Our most significant win was in San Jose where after eight years of political and court fights, the public rejected Chuck Reed’s anti-public employee measure that shredded retirement security and replaced it with a fair and reasonable approach by passing Measure F by 61%. This was especially important because of ongoing concern that the San Jose “model” could spread to other locales.

At the state level, voters renewed a tax on the wealthiest to fund schools and healthcare, passed a new tax on tobacco to fund health care and legalized marijuana (which will undoubtedly bring in much needed tax revenue to state and local coffers).



  • California IS different: Hillary won 60%+ statewide, 84% in San Francisco and 67% in Contra Costa County. Nevada turned blue with the help of 8 members and staff who volunteered to travel there to reach out to other union members on behalf of Hillary Clinton in Reno and Las Vegas.

  • We won 85% of the local races where we made an endorsement.

  • In Oakland, we had a clean sweep in all City Council races and ballot measures and made significant progress in electing allies in San Jose, San Francisco, and Contra Costa County.

  • Most revenue measures and bonds passed (although we suffered a setback with the loss of the sales tax in San Francisco).

  • SF Prop M, which threatened the jobs of our members, was defeated.

  • 8 of 9 Local 21 members who ran for office were elected, including our 2nd member elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors – congrats Hillary Ronen!


Board of Supervisors

  • We won one of our two races for the Contra Costa Board of Supervisors, electing Diane Burgis with close to 60% of the vote. This moves the Board in the right direction.  Our other candidate Annamarie Farias lost to incumbent Federal Glover 53% – 46%. We knew that taking on an incumbent would be an uphill fight and that proved to be the case.

  • In San Francisco L21-backed candidate Sandra Fewer, running to replace Eric Mar in D1, won with 53%. Incumbents Aaron Peskin (73%) Norman Yee (58%) and London Breed (53%) won re-election. In District 9 L21 member Hillary Ronen won handily by a nearly 2 – 1 margin (64%) to replace outgoing Supervisor David Campos. Our candidate in District 11, Kimberly Alvarenga, lost by 8 votes per precinct in a hard-fought race.

City Councils

  • In the race for San Jose City Council, our candidate in District 2, Sergio Jimenez, won with 55% of the vote, replacing ally Ash Kalra who was elected to the CA Assembly by 53%. In the race for City Council, L21 candidate Helen Chapman lost by 7 points, while L21 candidate Sylvia Arenas has taken an 88-vote lead in a very tight race- a margin of less than 2 votes per precinct. Both seats were previously held by labor unfriendly Councilmembers.

  • Oaklandincumbents handily won re-election with Dan Kalb at 81%, Rebecca Kaplan beating her main opponent by 30,000 votes to come in at 53%, Larry Reid at 54% (more than twice what his opponents received) and Noel Gallo with 56%. Kaplan and Gallo faced significant opposition. City Attorney Barbara Parker was unopposed.

  • In Richmond, our candidate Jael Myrick came in 3rd in a field of 9 for 3 seats, with veteran Councilmembers Nat Bates and former longtime Councilman Jim Rogers out of the running.

  • L21 member Greg Lyman won easy re-election to the El Cerrito City Council.

  • Bryan Azevedo was unsuccessful in his bid to follow ally Jim Prola to the San Leandro City Council, losing by 9 points.

  • In Cupertino, our newest chapter backed Jerry Liu for City Council, who placed a disappointing 5th for 3 seats, losing by just 248 votes.

Special Districts

  • Local 21 EBMUD member Timothy R. McGowan was re-elected to the Castro Valley Sanitary District.

  • EBMUD Local 21 Chapter leader Antonio Martinez came up short by 9 points in his first run at unseating a 40-year incumbent on the Contra Costa Water District Board.

  • In the race for the Santa Clara Valley Water District John Varela won with 59% of the vote in the only contested race. He had earlier been viewed as vulnerable. Our other two endorsed candidates were unopposed.


School Board

  • All 3 of our endorsed candidates in San Francisco won; incumbents Matt Haney and Rachel Norton were joined by newcomer Stevon Cook on the SF School Board in a 9-way race. L21 members Rafael Mandelman and Alex Randolph were re-elected to theSF City College Board.

  • Local 21 staffer Jonathan Wright won his race to continue serving on the Martinez School Board.

Ballot measures



  • Sugar taxes in Oakland and San Francisco won, easily topping 60% of the vote. This will help the bottom line of cities, school districts, and counties.

  • All 3 revenue measures on the ballot inSan Leandro ballot, MM, 00 and PP won easily, receiving nearly 2/3 of the vote when just a majority was necessary.

  • In San Francisco, all but one revenue measure passed. Measures B to renew a tax to fund City College won with 79% and Proposition W, a real estate transfer tax on luxury properties, came in at 61% yes. The San Francisco school bond Proposition A won with 80% of the vote. Unfortunately, Proposition K, a sales tax whose revenue was assumed in the SF city budget, went down in flames with 65% voting No. At the same time, Prop. I, a multi-million-dollar unfunded set aside, received 66% of the vote to easily pass.  Together this punches a big hole in the budget just as we get ready for contract negotiations.

  • Santa Clara CountyMeasure B, a sales tax to fund city and county transportation, won handily with 72% of the vote. San Jose Measure G to update the business tax won with 66% of the vote. Measure G will provide much-needed financial stability to San Jose.

  • Measure E1 passed easily, renewing funding for the Berkeley School District.

Retirement Security

  • Measure F to fix former Mayor Chuck Reed’s disastrous pension measure won with 61% of the vote – a huge victory.

Affordable housing and infrastructure

  • Affordable housing and tenant protection measures ruled the day in the Bay Area.

  • Measure A1 in Alameda County garnered 73% of the vote and a similar bond in Santa Clara County, Measure A, won 68% of the vote with 66.6% required to pass. They bring more than $1.2 Billion to affordable housing.

  • In Oakland, our endorsed measures all prevailed.  Measure KK, a $600 million infrastructure bond that will provide badly needed funds for streets, libraries, and affordable housing (and jobs for L21 members) won with 82% of the vote.  Mayor Libby Schaaf gave L21 a big ‘shout out’ for our role in the campaign. Voters took a strong stand against displacement and gentrification with 75% voting in favor of Oakland Measure JJ, which strengthens tenant protections. 

  • In San Francisco, Proposition C passed with 77% of the vote, freeing up $61M for affordable housing. Both anti-affordable housing measures in San Francisco, Propositions P and U went down by a 60% NO vote.

Police Oversight

  • Both endorsed measures for beefed-up police oversight passed easily. Proposition G in San Francisco passed with 81% of the vote and Measure LL in Oakland with 81% of the vote.

More measures

  • Proposition M in San Francisco, which threatened the jobs of our members, lost by 12 points. The affected members stepped up to fight this measure and should be proud of their victory. Proposition N to allow non-citizen parents to vote in school board elections won by 10 points. Proposition O for development at Hunters Point garnered 52% of the vote to pass. Maintaining city street trees – Proposition E – received 79% of the vote.

  • In San Jose, part-time workers won the right to more hours winning 65% of the vote.


All incumbents were reelected. In 3 heavily contested races East Bay former Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner got 64% of the vote for State Senate and in the South Bay Ash Kalra won with 53% of the vote in a brutal campaign for a seat in the Assembly. In San Francisco, our candidate for State Senate Jane Kim lost but remains on the Board of Supervisors.


Articles to read to get inspired for the fight ahead: