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Democrats Picnic at Castle Rock Regional Park

by ECT

I received a last minute invitation yesterday to attend the Democratic Party of Contra Costa County’s 81st Annual Picnic to take some photographs and mingle with some wonderful minds in Contra Costa County.

Here are some of the photographs from yesterdays event–keep it mind, it’s a long show.


Although many elected officials spoke yesterday, here are a couple that stood out to me as Chuck Carpenter did a nice job moving the speakers along.

State Senator Mark DeSaulnier, “your going to start hearing that a couple days ago I had a debate with my opponent and he started talking about Texas and how horrible it was in California and we have to stop letting them say that because its not true, we have our challenges, California gets over 50% of the venture capitalist in the County so people believe in us. We get the largest amount of investment from foreign government and forign businesses in California. The Repulicans say they want to be like Texas, well I don’t want to be like Texas. A third of the people in Texas are below the poverty line, is that what we want to be like? We want to be like the 9th largest economy in the world with only 38-million people. This is the wealthiest, most beautiful place on earth and we are lucky to be here and the reason its that way is because average Americans and human beings from all over the world came to California because they knew if they work hard and they struggled and played fair with their fellow California they would prospure and their dream would come true and that’s about helping one another.”

My thoughts on Mark DeSaulniers comments are simple, finally a level-headed democrat who spoke about his love of California and why it’s the greatest place to live in the County.  I’ve been waiting and waiting for someone to call out Tea Party folks on this comparison to Texas–if you love the prospects of Texas so much, follow Chuck DeVore there.

Lou Paulson, California Professional Firefighters, “there is a parcel tax on the ballot in this county for Contra Costa Fire Protection District, having been a member of the fire district for 26-years, I can tell you funding for the district has already been a problem.  And as you all know base don the economy everything has come home to roost.  I can give you all the details, but I am not, but I know Superintendent Torlakson can give you all the details because he sat on the Board of Supervisors, I know Senator DeSaulnier can talk to you about it, he sat on the board of Supervisors and we met all those challenges. But let me just give you a perspective of today. If you came down Walnut you passed Station 7. It took 25-years to build Station 7. Before that, if you had a medical emergency standing right here, right now (Castlerock Regional Park) the engine company comes from 1330 Civic Drive across the park in downtown walnut creek. In 5-minutes you have brain damage if you have a heart-attack. It takes 15-minutes for that engine company to get here. When station 7 was built, there was 2-crews at Station 1 on civic drive, there is now just 1 crew. If the parcel tax doesn’t pass, station 7 will be closed and anyone served in this park is going to have to wait a long time if there is an emergency. That is the reality of life and death, we can talk about other issues, pensions, souring benefits, it doesn’t matter, you can adjust all those things  and there is still a funding gap and I will tell you housing will burn, people will die, that’s it. Simple as that.”

Thoughts on Mr. Paulson are also simple, the example provided is what CONFIRE needs to do for all locations and break it down to the voters with examples.

State Superintendent Tom Torlakson provided some nice facts on Education. Although he had a nice speech, I thought it would be best to provide some of his facts.

  • 1/4 of the funding of k-12 school has disappeared in the last 5 years. Great reductions have occurred–Teachers have lost 5-10% of their income.
  • 10 % additional cut on the table — reduces another 20-days of the school year.
  • Supports both Propositions 30 and 38
  • If you reduce school year by another 30 days (over 2 years), that’s 1-million school years of education in Californians that will have lost.
  • Do you know what percentage of voters do not have children in k-12 schools? It’s 70% so it’s up to us to educate them.
  • Also supports Proposition 39
  • We are treating our schools as a state, and children, worse than they are treated during the great depression.

To find out more about the Contra Costa County Democrats, please visit their website:

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JimSimmons42 Aug 12, 2012 - 12:50 pm

Love the comments by DeSaulnier. Darn right California is a great place to be, screw Texas! Torlakson just threw out some incredible stats. I prefer Governor Browns plan to Mungers.

Frank S Aug 12, 2012 - 3:53 pm

great pictures!

Tim Blake Aug 12, 2012 - 5:03 pm

Wish I would have known about this event, I’d of attended with more notice. Torlakson’s stats that he provided were nice

Chuck DeVore Aug 12, 2012 - 8:11 pm

A third of Texans below the poverty line? Not even remotely true. In fact, when you realize two things: that the Census Bureau does not adjust for cost of living in determining poverty rates — meaning that the same threshold for income is used regardless of how expensive a place is in which to live; and Texas has a cost of living at 90% of the U.S. average vs. California at 132% of the U.S. average. The upshot: working Californians need to earn $14.20 for every $10 Texans earn to equate to the same standard of living.

Chuck DeVore Aug 12, 2012 - 8:18 pm

You can see the poverty data for yourself at U.S. Census at: http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/poverty/data/incpovhlth/2010/tables.html You’ll see a table showing the non-cost-of-living adjusted poverty rates for California and Texas for 2009-2010. You’ll see that Sen. DeSaulnier, a former colleague of mine, overstated the poverty rate in Texas by almost double. The real rates are 15.8% for California and 17.9% for Texas. Once cost-of-living is factored in, California’s true poverty rate is about 6% higher than it is in Texas.

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