On Sunday, Brentwood Mayoral Candidate Karen Rarey announced she made the decision to return campaign contributions by unions and the California Real Estate PAC.
The move comes on the heels of Vice Mayor Joel Bryant, who is also running for Mayor, accepting a $20k donation from Sierra Pacific Properties (owned by Seeno) earlier this month. That decision has caused an uproar by many in the community. Bryant has also received $1,500 from Tim Grayson for Assembly 2020.
Rarey said she has heard from residents “loud and clear” that they do not want the perception of impropriety in their future elected leaders.
“I read through so many comments from residents who were irate about taking money from developers. I was even crucified for taking four $250 checks back in 2016,” said Rarey. “As much as I support the unions, I felt their endorsement of my campaign was enough.”
Rarey further highlighted many in the community asked how someone could support Smart Growth, yet take money from unions.
“I still stand by and support the unions,” stated Rarey. “They provide on-the-job training for an individual to hone a craft. They are a hub for their members to find work and their members volunteer the time to make their community a better place to live.”
Upon launching her campaign for Brentwood City Council in District 3, Susannah Meyer has declined accepting developer money, including issuing two public statements on the issue. Meyer confirmed Sunday she has returned two checks from special interest organizations that she had received.
“I did not want to feel obligated in future voting, I took a lot of heat for it but I realize many in our community do not want developers influencing Brentwood elections or how our city council votes,” said Meyer. “I need to feel like I can sleep at night and maintain my own standards of integrity during this campaign and how I would serve if elected. I am pleased Karen Rarey decided to return the money.”
Jovita Mendoza, a candidate for Brentwood City Council in District 1, is also not accepting developer money as she has been a community activist against massive growth in the City of Brentwood. She confirmed Sunday she has returned one special interest check that she received.
“I would appreciate a clean slate with no developer influence,” stated Mendoza. “It’s clear the residents don’t want it and I feel the same. I applaud Karen Rarey for returning special interest money.”
Meanwhile, Indrani Golden, a council candidate for District 3, received an accepted a $5k contribution from Sierra Pacific Properties. Olga Vidriales, also a candidate in District 3, received a $1k donation from the Jim Frazier for Assembly 2020 and $1k from the California Real Estate Political Action Committee.
In the District 1 race, Faye Maloney received $500 from the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Association.
Note: campaign contributions listed are from donations in October, not the overall donations for candidates. For full campaign contributions report, visit City of Brentwood Campaign Finance Website.