Martinez Councilwoman AnaMarie Avila Farias is running against Supervisor Federal Glover in the Board of Supervisor District 5 race with the primary set for June.
Avila Farias, 42, is a housing program analyst at the Housing Authority of Contra Costa and was appointed by Gov. Jerry Brown to the California Housing Finance Agency Board of Directors. She has also served as a Martinez Planning Commission member.
She is endorsed by Central Labor Council of CCC AFL-CIO, Contra Costa Co. Deputy Sheriffs Association, and the Contra Costa Firefighters Local 1230.
She is running for the County Board of Supervisors because she says she loves being immersed in her community and giving back. She also believes she can be more engaged than the current leadership.
“I like being a voice for people who necessarily wouldn’t have a voice and that has been the theme of my civic engagement for 25-years,” explained Avila Farias . “I think there is so much more I can do with my experience and feel like I can be a voice that has not been heard in a very long time in the District.”
She stated that throughout the District, especially in her hometown of Martinez, they have not had much engagement from the Board of Supervisors. She says that needs to change.
“We haven’t had any real engagement with the Board of Supervisors, particularly our county board of supervisor, on issues such as the Marina, a $10 million in needed infrastructure, debt with the state. We are voiceless on the council because we are going on a 40-year problem and could use some advocacy at a higher level around that. It would mean revitalizing our marina, it would help deal with our debt situation. We have a big unincorporated area in Martinez, as well as across the county, who have had an insurgence of crime from AB-109, and we have had to use city resources to combat that to protect our city, other communities have had to do the same thing. This falls under the county jurisdiction, but cities have had to deal with it and pay for it,” highlighted Avila Farias.
She noted it’s no different than what Antioch and Pittsburg are dealing with in crime and homelessness saying they are not being addressed.
“There needs to be more dialogue from the County Board of Supervisors with local elected officials to come up with good solutions and allocate resources as needed. There needs to be a strong partnership between both entities,” explained Avila Farias. “I feel like the other cities, we have not gotten the attention we have needed as a community.”
One thing she does not like is that Supervisor Glovers district, especially Pittsburg, is the fastest growing city in the county in terms of poverty, a crime insurgence is occurring in the District and there are many economic development issues not being addressed. Furthermore, she stated unincorporated areas in the District are being neglected and housing issues need to be addressed.
“You combine all the cities needs in the District and one has to ask where is our county representative to bring some leadership to this equitably to the area not just in District V, but across the county,” stated Avila Farias.”
Avila Farias believes her experience working at the county can only help the District because she has ran programs, knows the cities and social infrastructure while believing she can do much better.
Her first order of business is improving economic prosperity across the District which includes job retention, job development and helping small businesses. She says there is plenty of opportunity and much to do.
“Bottom line, we can think and bring all the programs we want to help the County, but if we don’t have the revenue to do that then there are no services. I would love to see a robust economic development plan and find a niche for each of the communities,” explained Avila Farias. “There is no reason why we can’t stand out like Silicon Valley or San Francisco County. Everyone else seems to have a boom and Contra Costa never seems to be that boom of some industry whether its stem, maritime, or technology. We need to find that mix to allow people to live and work in the communities they live in. We need to stop being a commuting community where our residents are going to other communities to work.”
She said her vision would be to have a community that fosters and nurtures community wellness through economic development and quality of life.
Another goal is housing.
“I feel we need to continue to create and add to the availability of affordable housing throughout the District. We need to give opportunities to all who live in the District. It’s a big problem and we are seeing a lot of gentrification happening from other communities into our county. The District has changed a lot in recent years due to affordability,” explained Avila Farias.
Avila Farias also wants to tackle the issues plaguing public safety for years which she says is simply kicking the can down the road. She highlighted that what makes communities great are ones where people feel safe, can work while raising a family and establish roots.
“I can’t overemphasize the importance of public safety on all fronts that we have adequate services, response times and creating an environment where everyone is entitled to a safe community to raise their children and its worth the investment in protecting the community,” said Avila Farias.
She stated while people focus on the Sheriff’s Office salary, people should first understand how they got there which is a problem for over 20-yaers in their compensation study of all employees. She called the process stale while the cost of living has increased highlighting it’s a problem across all county employee positions.
“It’s not just public safety, but all county services have had salary oppression because it’s not keeping up with the cost of living,” says Avila Farias. “I think that the first order of business is to do a countywide total compensation study and see where the gap is because a lot of cost is going into not having employee retention across the board. People come in, we train them, and they leave for higher paying jobs in other counties. That turnover is costly to the operation of the county.”
She noted that the County Board of Supervisors recently gave the Sheriff’s Office a 17% raise, but questioned if that really was enough to catch them up in this competitive market and the bigger issue is going forward how do you keep them competitive. She says they need an implementation plan to fix the soon to be deficiency in the future after this recent raise.
Avila Farias also addressed Contra Costa County Fire stating Supervisor Glover has not been a leader on this issue saying in District 5 alone, three stations remain closed including her hometown of Martinez and in Pittsburg.
“I’ve also not seen any advocacy on Supervisor Glover’s part on the fire district and that would be a big priority of mine to bring back what we once had and keep them funded and built to capacity with demand,” said Avila Farias. “You have to have the leadership in place that says this issue is important. That is a basic fundamental necessity and need to have the services throughout the District regardless of where you live to meet the growth needs and population needs. I don’t think anybody will refute there is no price on life and to have skilled specialized individuals to be able to respond to saving your life is a huge community investment that I think is worth bringing the leadership and advocacy to finding the solutions to the funding problems and constraints plaguing the districts.”
She acknowledged people do not like to be taxed, but there are various mechanisms that can be explored to try and fund fire stations to the level it needs to be funded.
Avila Farias says she is against the Delta Tunnels project and says the environment should be protected.
“We need to preserve our environment. I come from a hometown of John Muir where you have to ask yourself I wake up every morning and if he was not here as a preservationist would I really have that ridge line to value or that beautiful water front,” explained Avila Farias. ”I think the same thing is for the Delta. We need to preserve and advocate for it. It’s baffling to me it’s even up for discussion.”
Avila Farias says that with so much going on, the District as a whole needs a leader who can give the entire district some attention. She says living in Martinez will not deter her from areas of Antioch, Bay Point and Pittsburg.
“The interesting thing about Contra Costa County is we are all interlinked one way or another. Without a doubt East Contra Costa County will have my undivided attention just as Martinez and other parts of the District. I have extended family out that way and support local business,“ explained Avila Farias. “I think the District as a whole will be exposed to a whole new level of leadership that they have not seen in quite some time. Although I do not reside here [Antioch], I will be so engaged that people will think I will live here and I am excited for that opportunity because I have already had the opportunity to be throughout the District and it’s amazing to see how vibrant and exciting the District is.”
She says the campaign trail has been great and the District residents are ready for new leadership. She noted how embracing all the communities in her district were and called it refreshing.
On the negative, she stated it was political bullying that has been the biggest challenge since announcing. She says there is a political machine alive and well in Contra Costa and called it unfortunate.
“It’s been unfortunate that if you have the desire to run, that there is more disencouragment than encouragement from the political machine,” explained Avila Farias.
She acknowledged she has been harassed by some, including records requests that has impacted her job but that her candidacy speaks to her character.
“I was willing to run against an incumbent because I felt there was neglect and that I can do better in the District. To be told that there is an imaginary line or pecking order based on service credits or whatever people want to call it, it was a little disheartening. You hear about it nationally, but a political machine is alive and well in Contra Costa County and I am not part of that political machine. My candidacy is impart that people deserve options and the first option starts with having another candidate on the ballot,” said Avila Farias.
She explained that the more people try and stomp her down, she wants to work harder.
“It’s that perceived when it’s your turn you can run or who should run. Stakeholders thinking they have control over local elections. I don’t know how it got that way but it exists. Public service should not be about special interest. It should not be about Wall Street, but Main Street. And how did little Contra Costa County become Wall Street per say in terms of the special interest?” explained Avilia Farias. “I hope I showed courage to other candidates who may seek office. If you have that passion or desire to serve, do not be intimidated or discouraged. If you have something to offer and people should know about it and you can do the community benefit, you should run.”
She says this election cycle in Contra Costa is very exciting for woman and diversity because a transformation is happening with many women running for office this June referencing Mae Torlakson, Monica Wilson, Odessa LeFrancois and Diane Burgis.
“The infusion of women running and the diversity is very powerful and exciting to me that we should praise and be excited about that as voters and residents in the county, not tearing each other down on political views,” explained Avila Farias. “It comes down to the options and exercising those and that is what makes America great, which is the democracy.”
Recently, Avila Farias was slammed in the East Bay Times who endorsed Supervisor Federal Glover for re-election. Something she says was personal and opinionated versus facts. She was also offended that the Times would call her “labors candidate” as if it were derogatory.
She argues she is more than being the “labors candidate” as refuses to be pigeonholed into one category.
“Yes, I am endorsed by the Labor Council, but that is not all I am about,” says Avila Farias. “I am not sure what that dig is. I am very proud to be endorsed by the workforce that is representative of the District where over 75% of the District belongs to the workforce. I am a public servant and have spent 25-years as a public employee and I am very proud of it. I am sure why there is a derogatory term to that article. It’s the working middle class providing a very important public service. We can all have other options of going into the private sector but we all chose a noble profession and I am very proud to be associated with labor because it about the cause.”
She also pointed out they are punishing her for being tied to labor, but ignoring Federal Glovers ties to many other special interests.
“I would expect journalism to have some level of fact, substantiation and always fact check your sources. It was more personal than fact in that endorsement article,” says Avila Farias.
She further responded to the Times Editorial.
“While the East Bay Times doesn’t seem to see glaring problems with the leadership of the Board of Supervisors – the people of the District 5 do. And so do I. The board has granted massive pay raises to themselves, awarded insider contracts and failed to pay attention to essential services like police and fire response times,” explained Avila Farias, many topics which she says the Times have blasted the Board over the last year.
For example, she says the 33% pay raise Supervisor Glover voted to give himself came at a time when county employees were being asked to make sacrifices. When 40,000 voters signed petitions threatening a special election to overturn the vote, the Board of Supervisors finally decided to listen to their constituents and rescind their massive pay raise.
“That is the definition of out of touch,” says Avila Farias. “That wouldn’t happen on my watch. I’d never vote to give myself a raise while asking county employees to continue to make sacrifices. It’s just not right.”
She further highlighted Federal Glover has had a good run, but the time for change is overdue noting he is fond of saying, “That’s the way things have always been” but that’s what you say when you’ve run out of ideas.”
“I believe we need to reopen fire houses that closed in the recession in District 5 – something that has happened in every other district but ours. We need to beef up police patrols to lower response times to combat rising crimes rates in Pittsburg, Antioch, Martinez and other communities. We need to save taxpayer dollars by making sure county contracts are bid competitively – not based on longtime personal relationships and campaign contributions,” says Avila Farias. “Federal Glover is satisfied with the status quo. I am not. I am asking the voters of District 5 to work with me to make changes to keep our families safer, expand economic opportunities and protect their tax dollars.”
She says voters can be confident she is not a career Politician or from the establishment, but your neighbor and hopes to reinvigorate voters who want to have faith back in the leadership at the county level with more transparency.
“I will be civilly engaged in the district and amerced in your community,” says Avila Farias. “I will listen to you and am interested in learning what needs to be fixed. I am up for the challenge to address complicated issues that have been neglected and most importantly, I feel that I can make impactful change that will have ripple down impacts in District 5.”
For more information on AnaMarie Avila Farias, visit http://anamarieforcc.com/
District Five spans the north shores of Contra Costa County, including the cities of Hercules, Martinez, Pittsburg and small parts of Pinole and Antioch, as well as the unincorporated communities of Alhambra Valley, Bay Point, Briones, Rodeo, Pacheco, Crockett, Port Costa, Mt. View, Vine Hill, and Clyde.
Another Liberal who think that as long as we can print money, we have money to give away. She’s never had a job outside politics and IMHO can never be in touch with the Middle class, the workers in this state, those that actually built this country. Just another glaring example of the “Free Ride” mentality that’s dragged this state from the 4 largest economy in the WORLD to the largest Welfare state in the World (Over 50% of ALL welfare recipients in the country reside in The Peoples Republic of California) Time to take my small business out of California. I can no longer afford to pay for the Peoples free ride.
Federal Glover needs to go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Anamarie has my full support. CCTimes sucks!
I will be so happy when Federal Glover is finally off the Board of Supervisors. He missed a year, voted himself a pay raise, and has failed public safety. I still need to research all the candidates, Glover is off my list and as Anamarie says, we have options and glad she is one of them.
Glover has helped destroy Pittsburg and Antioch. He needs to be booted from office.
She clearly wrote that horrendous fluff herself. My eyes are bleeding. I think she’s illiterate and could use a good communications writer….
I have never seen a bigger joke than this woman. She’s trying to mitigate the condemning East County Times endorsement of Federal that called out one of her many bullying tactics and overall incompetence.
Plus all the fake people in the comments is transparent.
At least Federal knows the issues. Her FB page is herself and a bunch of idiot memes. Here in Martinez we wanted to recall her….
Glad you admit Federal knows the issues, worse is he knows the issues and fails to address him. The public would be smart to vote him out!
Sorry the condemning East Bay Times article. This East County Times here just seems to reprint press releases like The Patch does. As I am sure a good editor would have had a field day with Farias’ never ending, lack of composition, grammar and punctuation ode to herself.
Also she was fired from her City of Concord job, even though she’s telling everyone it was “temporary.” She didn’t make it past the probation period. This is the only way she can keep a job probably. Probably has it hard after filing for bankruptcy..
It’s sad when even Federal is a better choice than this woman. We really need better candidates in general to represent us. The people in-the-know are definitely voting NO on Farias, despite Federal’s short comings. It’s like if you don’t want things to get worse than don’t vote for Farias just because she’s new. I think the East BayTimes Editorial says it all..
Funny how “Jeff R” defends Glover as Jeff writes on a County PC at a County desk using county power and Internet on County salary time. Get back to work and stop skimming from the taxpayers! We need Newt to move to CCC and clean up the Gubment mess.
Mary Jeff Rossi. Stick to the facts and the merits of the candidates rather than scrape mud to try to sling. Glover and MarJo have enough troubles of their own with the Feds and the Unions and playing fast and loose with public resources.
Jeff may be the male version of Mary Jo Rossi. Seems like he knows a bit more than he should unless he was in the role of a consultant. What joke you are Jeff. Go focus on campaign stuff instead of commenting on a website on the internet.
I liked Anamarie but she put her foot in her mouth. Doesn’t she know there is already a economic development plan in the works? There is the EC2 initiative to name a few? Sounds like she is all bark with no substance behind it. The county is now at fault for the City of Martinez problems? I don’t think so and am not buying what she is selling. If she can’t make things better in Martinez, what makes us think she will do better at a county level? I’ll pass.
I like this interview, it highlights how unqualified she is.
Yeah, not a county worker, not Mary Jeff Rossi (?) and not a consultant. Don’t make yourself the joke. Bill is right though, it does show she’s unqualified, her lack of knowledge on the actual issues (and facts) and what has or hasn’t been done in District 5 – or even how to go about doing that. A lot of blame and no real ideas.
However, It’s not an interview! She wrote it herself. That’s why it tries to highlight her “best features,” –which isn’t writing– in a never ending, rambling of a million disjointed paragraphs or more.
You can just post your own press releases to this website and it looks like “East County Times News.” This is what you do when you can’t get positive or any press coverage in actual papers.
Good Luck “James” and “David and Martinez Bumble Bee.”
We interviewed her at Starbucks on A & 18th on Saturday. Can assure you she did not write it.
You really want to admit you wrote that?
If you don’t like it, feel free to go elsewhere.
Once again Ana Marie seems to be writing an article about herself because nobody else will write a positive one.
There are several things that should concern all of us regarding Ana Marie and this may be due to her lack of any knowledge or background in politics outside of being involved in a few assignments or boards within the City of Martinez.
First off when talking about the Marina in the City of Martinez, I don’t believe that has anything to do with the board of supervisors. Her argument about this is about as valid as a fifth grader telling people to vote for her as president and she will have soda machines installed in every hallway at her school. This is the City of Martinez’s problem, not the rest of the counties and this is something she should work on while she is still in that city if she feels so passionate about it.
“We haven’t had any real engagement with the Board of Supervisors, particularly our county board of supervisor, on issues such as the Marina, a $10 million in needed infrastructure, debt with the state. We are voiceless on the council because we are going on a 40-year problem and could use some advocacy at a higher level around that. It would mean revitalizing our marina, it would help deal with our debt situation.”
Secondly, I believe Pittsburg’s crime rate is hovering around its lowest rate in fifty years…….again this is something that Glover is not responsible for because Pittsburg has its own City Counsel and doesn’t rely on the BOS or Deputies for service. Has Ana Marie even been to Pittsburg and talked to their Police Officers?
“One thing she does not like is that Supervisor Glovers district, especially Pittsburg, is the fastest growing city in the county in terms of poverty, a crime insurgence is occurring in the District and there are many economic development issues not being addressed.”
Lastly I believe Pittsburg still has a forestation that is closed and I believe it was closed due to low funding which if it is like ECCFPD which closed several will open when the tax revenue returns. For the second portion of her comment Pittsburg, Antioch and Martinez all have their own Police Department which have their own budgets and are funded from the monies collected in their own cities. Again this has nothing to do with Glover or the BOS.
“I believe we need to reopen fire houses that closed in the recession in District 5 – something that has happened in every other district but ours. We need to beef up police patrols to lower response times to combat rising crimes rates in Pittsburg, Antioch, Martinez and other communities.”
I think Ana Marie needs to start writing about what she plans on trying to accomplish and not trying to run a smear campaign.
Good points. Pittsburg is leading the way in many aspects and it is due to the hard work of city staff, residents, and business owners.
Yes, that’s a very journalistic response…????
Biggest clue into why one should not vote for Ana Marie is her work in the Housing Authority. The most disfuctional programs in the county. One can only assume her plan to deal with “affordable housing” is to just create more section 8 housing. With no experience with county finance….where does Ana plan to fund these pipe dreams????
When will you learn. Section 8 is a FEDERAL program. Further it is slumlords that fuel it and screw the rest of us. If greedy people didn’t rent to section 8 it wouldn’t exist as we know it today.
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