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It’s “Mayor Gilmore” Now

Last night, Judge Yolanda Northridge swore-in Marie Gilmore as the Mayor of the City of Alameda. The swearing-in ceremonies came after a City Council resolution thanking Mayor Beverly Johnson for eight years of service in that role. Johnson was sworn-in as a City Councilmember to fill-out the remaining two years of Gilmore’s City Council term.

Mayor Gilmore’s first official act in her new role was to oversee Council selection of Vice-Mayor. Council-member Johnson nominated Rob Bonta, who had just been sworn-in to his first term as an Alameda City Councilmember.

Councilmember Lena Tam was also sworn-in, for a second term on the Council.

23 comments to It’s “Mayor Gilmore” Now

  • Betty

    Wow! A person who recevied 6700 votes out of a city of 75,000 people is elected mayor. That’s quite an accomplishment.

  • That’s the problem with the “first-past-the-post” voting system.

  • Hot R

    Here’s a better one Betty. Wow! Only 263 voters stopped the will of 65.7 percent of the voters on the school parcel tax. I guess that’s the problem with the “voting” system, Action Alameda.

    Didn’t election results show Gilmore won the majority in every precinct?

  • Hot R – opponents to Measure E do the math differently, arriving at a shortfall of “yes” votes of 687 votes, not 263.

    7,551 x 2 = 15,102 – 14, 415 = 687. The argument goes that Measure E proponents would have needed to get another 687 people who didn’t vote out to the polls to vote “yes.” Anyone who didn’t vote “yes” effectively voted “no” by not voting.

    But we can use your numbers = 14,415 + 263 = 14,678. The County reports 41,658 registered votes for that election. By your math, 35% of the registered voters (14,678 / 41,658) would have been able to pass a tax for all to pay. That’s not “majority rule” either.

    As for a precinct-by-precinct count for Gilmore, that matters how, exactly?

  • Betty

    I didn’t bring up Measure E. I just think it’s pretty pathetic that so few people vote. But look at our society as a whole…it’s pretty pathetic.
    So Alameda…why didn’t you vote in the last election?

  • Hot r

    Well, philosophically people vote who have a stake (real or imagined) in the system. And they will vote their perceived economic interests. the turnout for the parcel tax election, even though a write-in was thousands more than the general election some weeks before which rejected Suncal. therefore, using your logic, does that mean the overwhelming vote against Suncal did not represent the will of the people because it was not the “majority”?

    the point of the precinct count was that Gilmore’s election represented the will of the entire island, not just part of it.

  • Hot R – On Measure E, people “voted” their economic interest by not turning out to vote “yes” for the parcel tax, effectively voting “no” on a parcel tax which would have increased their taxes. The “will of the people” was the 65% majority that either explicitly or implicitly voted “no” on the tax. Measure E proponents were not persuasive enough to convince more non-voting voters to vote “yes.” 65% = majority rule.

    SunCal faced the same problem as Measure E proponents – how to get out the “yes” vote on Measure B. They turned out merely 2,361 “yes” votes. The 38,000 some-odd voters – roughly 95% of the registered voters – who either explicitly voted “no” (roughly 13,797) on the measure, or who implicitly voted “no” by refusing to vote at all, represented the will of a majority of the people. 95% = majority rule.

    Marie Gilmore secured only 23% of the popular vote in the Mayoral election. More people (11,944) voted for Frank Matarrese or Doug deHaan than for Marie Gilmore (9,298 vote.) This is the problem with the “first past the post” type voting system, and exactly the reason why Oakland went to ranked choice voting.

    Hot R, if I didn’t know you were just playing politics and trying to spin public opinion in the direction of your favored candidates or your favored parcel taxes, I’d say that, as an AUSD education administrator, you should be ashamed to not understand this better than you represent here.

  • Hot r

    sorry,you are historically logically and ethically wrong… the “will of the people” has never represented the people who didn’t vote since the French Revolution and the end of absolutist monarchies. Otherwise I guess that guy in North Korea is really popular, huh?

    You are the one with tortured logic. Matarresee and DeHaan TOGETHER had more votes than Gilmore. Your premise that somehow one of them would have won with ranked choice voting is based on the possibly racist assumption that the “white” candidates supporters would pick anyone but Gilmore. Given the precinct results that assumption is false as she won in every neighborhood across every social and economic line.

    Merry Christmas!

    and Oakland went to ranked choice voting to SAVE money on runoff elections.

  • How typical of the parcel tax proponents to resort to personal attacks – baseless accusations of racism – when they cannot win on the merits of their argument. This is from someone in our school system head office, folks!

    We can abandon all hope of Hot R being reasonable, or learning anything, but other readers may want to read this recent article below, on the challenges of establishing a genuinely democratic voting system. This is just the most recent article that documents the problems with the “first past the post” voting system, which has nothing to do with race, and everything to do with how votes get allocated when there are 3 or more candidates.

    http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/books/2010/07/26/100726crbo_books_gottlieb

    Here is an excerpt.
    In the standard British style of voting, each elector casts one vote, and the candidate with more votes than any other is elected. This is known as “first past the post”; the winner just needs to get more votes than anyone else, not achieve any threshold (such as a two-thirds majority). It is also called “winner takes all,” to distinguish it from some other methods, which elect the top two or more candidates.

    In a contest between two people for one job, first past the post seems to be merely common sense. But, as soon as there are three or more candidates on the slate, it can quickly go awry. The least popular candidate could easily win, if the opposition to him or her splits its votes between two or more other candidates.

  • Betty

    I don’t understand your comment on race.
    I don’t care about percentages, color of ones skin or anything else. Why don’t people think it’s not important to vote? Maybe they didn’t have fathers or grandfathers who fought to give us this right.

  • You’re right Betty, race has nothing to do with it. Hot R is trying to wave some fairy dust about race by bringing it up when it was never an issue in the campaign, except for reports of Marie Gilmore’s husband threatening people at the health club and calling them racists for declining to support his wife.

    The small voter turnout in Alameda is sad, indeed.

  • Betty

    I heard about Ms. Gilmore’s husband’s comments from several people. Evidently he thinks Alameda is a town of racists. He must be a sad person to make attacks like that.

  • Vania

    It looks like Ms. Gilmore’s second official act was to ax City Attorney Hightower, or at the very least push her out the door.

    Too bad for the taxpayers of the City of Alameda. I’m sure the owners of SunCal are very happy with the decisions, so far, by their majority puppets.

    Bend over Alameda, you’re going to take it in the pocket books as well as in the quality of life in the city for being so foolish as to allow Gilmore and Bonta to be elected.

  • So Marie (22.5%) Frank (14.7%) and Doug (14.3%) seems like a convincing margin of victory to me.

    Ranked choice voting would not have changed the results.

  • As per usual, Mike, you miss the point of the discussion, which is the problem with “first past the post” voting systems, which, when there are 3 are more candidates, allow the least popular candidate to win. More people voted for anybody but Marie – at least 29% preferred someone else. The margin between Marie and the 2nd runner up is irrelevant.

    And 23% of registered voters is not “majority rule” – it’s minority rule.

    And anyway, Mike, we’ve all see the pictures of you and Ron Mooney at the Otaez victory celebration party for Gilmore, Tam and Bonta. So nobody is under the delusion that you are here to participate in an intelligent discussion about voter turn-out rates instead of just showing support for your political friends.

  • Betty

    Vania, you are correct. How can our Mayor deal with the firefighters union when they supported her? Especially when they sent out the letter with all those lies about Doug deHaan.
    My little way of dealing with it…I will no longer be attending their annual pancake breakfast.

  • Careful now you would not want to have your response to be construed as a personal attack by associating me to others.

    Using the logic applied to your Measure B analysis, any non votes gets counted towards voter total the writer of a blog post or comment favors. So Marie received over the magical 50% mark. If Frank and/or Doug had such compelling vision and answers to Alameda problems, they certainly would have been able to get the 11,000 voters who choice not to vote to take action. Since they did not, I am counting in Marie’s column just like you do when analyzed Measure B victory.

    By the way, I know you are planning ahead but I am not up for reelection until 2014. You may want to consider taking down the paid adverstiasement for Leland Traiman’s website MikeMcMahonMustGo. He is busy working on the No on Measure E campaign now.

  • So Mike, are you saying there are negative connotations to be associated with Tam/Gilmore/Bonta/Mooney? How else could it be construed as a personal attack? You sure look happy in the victory party pictures.

    And far greater scholars than you or I have evaluated the relative merits of different voting systems, as indicated previously with the link to the New Yorker article. Suffice to say that one doesn’t evaluate a single-issue yes/no vote (e.g. Measure B, Measure E) in the same manner as one evaluates a 3+ candidate single-seat election. (e.g. Nov 2, 2010 Alameda Mayoral election) Not to mention the hundreds of thousands of dollars of money that SunCal and whomever else threw behind Marie in the election to skew the outcome. Suffice to say that your comparison to people who comment on websites, and your tag team partner Hot R’s comparison to single-candidate non-democratic elections in North Korea, are specious.

    Either you are just playing partisan politics here, or you really don’t understand any of the research done in this field. Either explanation is pretty sad, especially for someone in a leadership position with the school system.

  • Not playing partisan politics and I udnerstand the difference between research and opinion. See you in 2014.

  • Sure. The pictures tell a different tale…

  • Say Mike… did Measure E lose by 263 votes or 687? Please qualify your answer as fact or opinion.

  • Fact: 21,996 voted in the June 22 Special Election

    Fact: 14,415 voted Yes

    Fact: Parcel tax requires 2/3 to pass.

    Fact: Given the turnout of 21,996, the number of Yes votes to pass would have been 14,644.

    Fact: To achieve the required 14644 voter total, the campaign would have had to change 229 No Votes to Yes Votes.

    Fact: Since the campaign did not swing 229 voters to the Yes side, it would have taken an additional (3 X 229) or 687 Yes voters to win.

    Opinion: Congratulations as I am sure your campaign against Measure E swayed 229 voters into voting No that would have voted Yes.

    Fact: Alameda has another chance to decide the parcel tax issue on March 22, 2011.

    Opinion: I like our chances in March.

  • Mike – that’s just your opinion. Others have argued that the proponents of the tax needed to turn out an extra 687 voters who didn’t vote, and get them to vote yes. The assumption is that those people who voted no would not be persuaded to change their mind, so the extra yes votes would have had to come from people who didn’t vote. The fact is 7,551 people voted “no” on Measure E – who knows what another 1,000 people would have done if they decided to vote?

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