Board members of the Club have the opportunity to vote on which candidates the County Democratic Party will endorse for the June primary. Most of the offices involved have only one candidate. However, there is a lively race for the Democratic nomination for Assembly District 24. The current incumbent, Rich Gordon, is precluded from running again because of term limits.

AD 24

In order to learn more about the candidates, the Club sent them the following questions:

1. What do you see as the most important issues for the Coastside?

2. Have you had any contact with the Coastside, worked with any community groups here, helped with any issues on the coast?

3. Do you have any endorsements from the Coastside?

4. How would you propose to learn more about Coastside issues and the communities here?

5. Would you be interested in attending a Meet the Candidates night on the Coastside?

We received responses from three of the four candidates: Mike Kazperzak, Vicki Veenker, and Marc Berman. Barry Chang did not respond. The three responses are posted on the website, along with information from each candidate’s website.


Marc Berman

Thanks for the opportunity to tell you a bit more about my campaign and my answers to questions about the Coastside. Please see below:

1. What do you see as the most important issues for the Coastside?

Coastside residents face some issues that they share with residents over the hill (concerns about over-development, too much traffic congestion, crumbling infrastructure, the rising cost of housing), others that are unique to the coast but are caused by common problems (sea level rise causing coastal erosion in some Coastside communities and contamination of freshwater aquifers used by farmers in others), and many issues that are very unique to the coast (access to pristine public places like Martin’s Beach, the impacts of climate change on hard working local fishermen, the enforcement of coastal law by the CA Coastal Commission).

One of the most important issues for the Coastside is the long-term impact of sea level rise. While Caltrans and San Mateo County are doing their best to come up with short-term solutions to coastal erosion on the Surfer’s Beach shoreline, the combination of sea level rise and King tides will likely eventually compromise Highway 1. The state needs to work with the county and local communities to come up with long-term climate adaptation plans for the Coastside, likely including the need to relocate sections of Highway 1 further east. We don’t know exactly what the future will bring, but we know that a certain amount of sea level rise is inevitable. It’s imperative that we plan ahead to address the range of possibilities.

Assemblymember Rich Gordon, who has endorsed my campaign, has been a leader in bringing attention to this issue and making sure that California continues to be a leader in addressing and adapting to climate change. As Chair of the Select Committee on Sea Level Rise and the California Economy, Gordon authored legislation that established a first-of-its-kind statewide online database for sea level rise planning, allowing communities to share best practices in developing methods of adaptation.

It’s also important to protect Coastside values. People don’t move to the coast because they want to live in a big city. They move there to live in quieter communities that are within commuting distance of jobs and amenities either in SF or on the peninsula. The legislature established the CA Coastal Commission to govern land use in the coastal zone in coordination with local governments along the coast. However, the Coastal Commission has seen its budget slashed by 26% and its staff cut nearly in half since 1980, and until recently they had minimal enforcement authority. We need to fully fund the Coastal Commission and strengthen and streamline its enforcement authority so that it can quickly work through the backlog of thousands of unresolved enforcement cases.

2. Have you had any contact with the Coastside, worked with any community groups here, helped with any issues on the coast?

I spent time on the Coastside in 2015 working to develop a better understanding of Coastside issues, including attending a Brews & Views discussion on sea level rise between Assemblymember Gordon and Supervisor Dave Pine at the Half Moon Bay Brewing Company in November. The overflowing crowd at this event and great questions from the audience emphasized for me the importance of this issue. I look forward to spending much more time on the coast in the coming months (and hopefully years!).

3. Do you have any endorsements from the Coastside?

I’m proud to be endorsed by state and regional leaders including Assemblymembers Rich Gordon and Kevin Mullin, as well as Supervisor Don Horsley, who represent dozens of miles of coastline between them. I’ve also received endorsements and contributions from friends who live in Half Moon Bay and Pacifica.

4. How would you propose to learn more about Coastside issues and the communities here?

There’s no substitute for seeing and learning in person. I’ve already begun visiting the Coastside to learn more about issues that are unique to the communities on the coast, and I look forward to doing that more in the coming months. I’ve also begun reading the Half Moon Bay Review, and would love to learn about other news sources that I should be reading regularly. I will be attending the Half Moon Bay Chamber Annual Dinner on January 27th, and already have Farm Day on my calendar for April 1st.

In addition, I’ve met with folks like Don Horsley and Lenny Mendonca to get a better understanding of Coastside issues. Supervisor Horsley has offered to take me around to the Coastside communities that he represents, and we are scheduling a good time to do that.

In between undergrad and law school, I worked as a community organizer for Democrats running for US Senate or Governor in South Dakota, Louisiana and Kentucky. I would move into states and cities that I knew nothing about, and work 12-hour days to intimately get to know both the individuals and issues in these communities. This ranged from cattle auctions and pheasant hunting in western South Dakota to issues of poverty and the long-term effects of segregation in the parishes around Baton Rouge, Louisiana. I love getting out, talking to folks face-to-face, learning about the issues that impact them every day, and then figuring out how I can help. This will be my approach during this campaign and if given the opportunity to represent the Coastside in the California State Assembly.

5. Would you be interested in attending a Meet the Candidates night on the Coastside?

I would love to.

Please don’t hesitate to let me know if you have any additional questions.



I’m excited to announce that I’m running to represent the 24th District in the CA State Assembly. As Governor Brown highlighted in his recent State of the State speech, it’s imperative that California dedicate itself to decreasing the achievement gap in our public schools, establish ambitious goals to confront the threat that climate change poses to our planet, and focus on repairing our crumbling infrastructure that has gone neglected for too long. These are issues that I’ve been working on either in my day job at the Silicon Valley Education Foundation or in my night job on the Palo Alto City Council, and I’m excited to take that leadership and experience to Sacramento.
Marc Berman is a council member for the City of Palo Alto. A lawyer by training, Marc is the Development Director at the Silicon Valley Education Foundation, a non-profit focused on STEM education and closing the achievement gap in public schools in Silicon Valley.

Marc has been a leader on the City Council on issues such as infrastructure improvements and financial transparency. A member of Palo Alto’s Infrastructure Committee, Marc served on the campaign committee for Measure B, a ballot measure that passed with over 76% of the vote in 2014 to help fund public safety, street, sidewalk, and park improvements. This was the culmination of five years of work that Marc spent on infrastructure improvements, beginning with his appointment to Palo Alto’s Infrastructure Blue Ribbon Commission (IBRC) in 2010.

As chair of the Finance Committee, Marc worked with the Office of Management and Budget to create the Budget in Brief. Rather than expect residents to sort through 800+ pages of budget documents, the Budget in Brief provides the public with an easy to understand 7-page overview of Palo Alto’s $470 million budget, increasing transparency and public awareness of how their money is spent.

Driven by his passion for service and for the area where he grew up, Marc has become a leader in numerous regional civic organizations, including serving as president of the Peninsula Democratic Coalition. Marc is also a founding member of the Advisory Board of New Leaders Council – Silicon Valley, a non-partisan, non-profit organization that trains civic-minded young professionals in how to create positive change in our community. In 2010, wanting to give back to the schools he attended, Marc volunteered on the Measure A campaign committee to raise funds to provide additional resources and opportunities to students in Palo Alto’s public schools.

Marc began his public service in Palo Alto, working in Congresswoman Anna Eshoo’s District Office after his freshman year in college. Marc got his first taste of campaigning the following summer when, as an intern for Congressman Mike Honda’s campaign, he often spoke to students at local high schools about the benefits of community involvement and encouraged the students to get involved themselves.

Marc graduated from Georgetown University with a degree in Political Science. While in college, Marc served as a summer analyst in the Voting Section of the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department. Marc went on to graduate from law school at the University of Southern California, where he was elected president of the Student Bar Association and served for two years on the Southern California Law Review.

Prior to his work in the non-profit sector, Marc was an attorney with Latham & Watkins LLP and Merino Yebri, LLP. Marc has successfully represented pro bono clients seeking protection under the Violence Against Women Act, asylum in the United States due to political persecution in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and has served as pro bono counsel to Spark, a national youth development non-profit.



Thank you so much for reaching out. I would be delighted to participate in a Meet the Candidates night on the Coastside. I am beginning to call delegates whom I have not previously met, including from the Coastside club, and offer to discuss by phone or in person, in whatever level of detail is desired, both my background and vision, and the delegate’s policy concerns. I would be pleased to have that opportunity with both of you and with your club.

I have been meeting with/talking to Mike Ferreira of the Sierra Club, who lives in Moss Beach. He has briefed me on a number of Coastside issues. I was aware of Steve Kinsey’s (Chair of the Coastal Commission’s) effort to oust Charles Lester from the Exec. Director position in what appears to be a pro-developer move, so I was very pleased that you raised it last night. Because the Speaker of the Assembly appoints 4 of the 12 Coastal Commissioners, it seems to me that your Assembyperson should support the Speaker in appointing Commissioners who will be good stewards of the California Coastal Act.

In addition to coastal development and coastline access, it seems to me that sea level rise, water use and conservation, and other major environmental issues (SB350 petroleum carve-out, SB32, etc.) would be important to Coastsiders. I also expect that economic inequality and related housing and transportation issues are key on the Coastside, just as they are key in other parts of this assembly district.

That said, I very much want to hear your views and welcome learning about any other Coastside issues that I am missing. My opponents have been in this race for the better part of a year. I launched my campaign on October 30 and am taking meetings with constituents as fast as I can. I would welcome a reason to come to your beautiful part of our district, both to listen and to share my goals and passions.

I look forward to getting to know you and to learning more about your concerns. Please let me know how and when you might like to do that.


Vicki has been working with Silicon Valley leaders for nearly 25 years to foster innovation and improve her community.

A leading patent attorney in Palo Alto, Vicki represents many of the Valley’s top innovators in matters involving new technologies and breakthrough life science inventions. Vicki’s clients have included a Nobel laureate, Fortune 500 companies, start-ups, and a low-income custodian whom she represented pro bono in an ADA and employment case. Among other honors, California Law Business selected Vicki in 2002 as one of the state’s Top 20 Lawyers Under 40.

Vicki’s passion for providing equal opportunity for women and girls led her to help found Women’s Professional Soccer, for which she served as General Counsel. Her work to give some of America’s most talented, hard-working athletes a “league of their own” provided a training ground for many members of the US women’s national team who went on to win the 2015 World Cup.

As a community leader, Vicki has served as President and more than a dozen years on the Board of the Law Foundation of Silicon Valley, which provides access to justice in underserved communities and fights poverty. The Law Foundation provides free legal services to low-income clients – such as foster youth and victims of predatory lending – through its five programs: Fair Housing, Mental Health Advocacy, Public Interest Law Firm, Legal Advocates for Children & Youth, and Health Legal Services. Additionally, Vicki currently serves on the Alzheimer’s Association Fund Development Committee for the Northern California and Northern Nevada chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association.

As the daughter of two teachers, Vicki has a natural love of teaching and learning. That passion led her to serve as an Adjunct Professor at both UC Hastings College of the Law and Santa Clara University School of Law.

Both the International Trade Commission and the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California have appointed Vicki to their mediation panels. Her work brokering compromises on complex technology issues led Vicki to be named on the inaugural list of the world’s leading technology neutrals by the Silicon Valley Arbitration and Mediation Center, which she now serves as a Director.
Vicki is also proud to lead the Foreign Policy Association’s Great Decisions discussion series in Palo Alto, for which she recruits speakers to provide community education and a forum for public discussion on key international issues facing our world today.
Prior to her career, Vicki attended Georgetown University Law Center, where she was the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Law & Technology and served as a Law Fellow. She earned a B.S. in Biochemistry and a B.A. in Political Science from Indiana University.

Vicki and her husband have two teenage daughters who have attended Palo Alto schools, and a rescue dog named Shadow.



My own personal engagement with your area of the coast as an elected official is unfortunately limited, and even with my very active involvement with the League of California Cities, I do not know many of the coastal leaders and do not have any such endorsements yet. I do know however that the coastal communities, while sharing many of the concerns the bay communities do in terms of housing and traffic, have some unique issues and perspectives on common issues, and I am eager to learn more about those.

I have been following the issue relating to Vinod Khosla, and support Senator Hill’s efforts in that regard and support the efforts of the community to regain access to the coast, which belongs to us all. And, I applaud the work you and other coastal leaders did to bring about changes to how San Mateo County elects your County Supervisors.

That said, the coastal portions of the 24th Assembly District are an important part of the district and as a candidate, and later as a member of the legislature if elected, visiting the area regularly and meeting to discuss issues and solutions, in addition to all of the regular forms of communication, will be a regular part of my schedule. During my 16 years in local elected office in Mountain View, I’ve prided myself on my accessibility, open door policy and communications with local residents.

As you have seen from my website, I have been very active in water issues through my directorship at the Bay Area Water Supply and Conservation Agency and on the Mountain View City Council. I have also been actively engaged in climate change though my activities with Acterra and in the Green policies we have enacted in Mountain View across a wide area of policies.

Finally, I would be delighted to participate in a candidates forum, but as you can imagine, schedules are filling quickly and if you have any proposed dates, please let me know so I can block the time.


Mike brings a long and distinguished record of public service to the people of the 24th Assembly District. Mike was first elected to Mountain View City Council in 1998, serving from 1999 to 2007. Having “termed-out” of office in 2007, Mike took a two-year break from City Council and was again elected by the people of Mountain View to City Council in 2008. Now in the sixth year of his current tenure on City Council, Mike has served Mountain View in this role for a total of 14 years. Mike served as Mayor of the City of Mountain View in 2003 and 2012.

During Mike’s public service in Mountain View, he has been a longtime vocal advocate of affordable housing and policies to help ensure Mountain View is a place where everyday people can afford to live. Mike has worked to balance growth in Mountain View, and has advocated for the housing and transportation systems necessary for a growing economy, a healthy environment, and a high quality of life. Mike pursued a review of the city’s transportation policies and worked to find “win-win” solutions to the issues that face Mountain View.

During his service on Mountain View City Council, Mike has also been a champion for fiscal responsibility, infrastructure development, parks and recreation and quality of life. Prior to being elected to City Council, Mike served for five years on Mountain View’s Parks and Recreation Commission and Environmental Planning Commission.

Mike’s service to the 24th Assembly District goes well beyond his work in Mountain View. Mike has served as a board member for both the National League of Cities as well as for the League of California Cities, where he was president in 2012. Mike’s extensive service on these Leagues has given him an unparalleled rapport and collegiality with numerous lawmakers at all levels of government throughout California. During his time on the League of California Cities, Mike has worked to strengthen relationships between local municipalities and the State Legislature.

Mike also has an un-matched expertise and record of public service in an area critical to the State of California: Water. Notably, Mike has served as Vice Chairman and as a board member of the Bay Area Water Supply and Conservation Agency, which represents 24 municipalities in Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties. During his service on BAWSCA, Mike has worked hard to ensure citizens have access to high-quality water from a reliable water supply, at an affordable price.

Mike puts his leadership skills to good use in the non-profit sector on various boards of directors. For over 30 years, Mike has been affiliated with the American Red Cross where he has served in numerous roles including Chairman of the California State Government Relations and Chairman of Chapter Network Support. Mike has also served on the boards of directors of Lewis & Clark College, the Community School of Music and Arts, Hiller Aviation Museum, the Los Altos Community Foundation, Acterra, an environmental non-profit serving Silicon Valley, and Avenidas, a non-profit organization providing services to mid-peninsula older adults and caregivers.

Mike has a Bachelor of Arts from Lewis & Clark College and a Juris Doctorate from Hastings College of the Law. For over 20 years, Mike has been a professional mediator at Dispute Resolution Specialists, a firm he founded in 1993. Mike has served as a mediator and arbitrator for the U.S. District Court and the Santa Clara County Superior Court. Mike has also served as a mediation trainer at the Stanford University and Santa Clara University Schools of Law.

Mike has called Mountain View his home since 1977.

Coastside Democrats Holiday Party Enjoyed by All


Board members of the Democratic Club at the holiday party. Watch this website for more details on winter meetings. Topics will include Climate Change, Protecting Medicare, Democratic Campaigns, and more.



The September membership meeting for the Coastside Democratic Club was a look at the issues around water on the Coastside. Held at the lovely Klein home in El Granada, two excellent speakers provided thought-provoking information for Club members in attendance.   

Cathleen Brennan, Club President Bill Kehoe, and Kellyx Nelson at the September Club meeting

Cathleen Brennan, Club President Bill Kehoe, and Kellyx Nelson at the September Club meeting

Kellyx Nelson, Executive Director of the Resource Conservation District, spoke about the RCD and its programs and services to the Coastside community. The RCD is a special district that provides assistance to private and public landowners wishing to best manage their natural resources.  The RCD helps the Coastside be resilient to drought, flooding, and climate change as well as working to restore habitat for wildlife, to improve water quality, and more.

Dem Mtg - Attentive Audienceb

Cathleen Brennan, Water Resources Analyst with the Coastside County Water District. She began by explaining how her agency functions, and then talked about the current drought, mandatory water conservation, alternative water supplies and El Nino. She went into some detail about alternative water supplies, including talking about groundwater, graywater, recycled water, storm water catchment and backflow prevention. There were many questions and comments from the audience.

Club Authorizes the establishment of candidate caucuses

Bernie TbBm7gMA (1)Hillary

The Club Board has voted to allow members to form caucuses in support of various Democratic presidential candidates during the primary process. Of course, once the Party has selected a candidate, the Club will support that person. The caucuses will be listed on the web site along with ways to reach each caucus.

Board Members have volunteered to lead the caucuses. For Bernie Sanders, contact Dennis Paull (, for Hillary Clinton, it’s Barbara Dye (, and for Martin O’Malley, contact Kathy Klein ( 


climate horiz


Climate Change is real and is affecting our planet in many negative ways. The question is how individuals can make a real difference on this issue of global significance. The Coastside Democratic Club meeting on November 14, from 3-5 pm, will help answer this question with a presentation by Gary White from the Gore Climate Reality Project that will provide practical solutions and individual and political steps to make a difference.


With what has been called “the most important climate change meeting in history” coming up this December in Paris, concerned citizens are encouraged to come and learn about what can be done regarding climate change. The meeting will be held at a private home in El Granada (1076 Columbus St.; see map below) and will include Gary White’s presentation, questions and a social hour.

Gary White is a locally-based climate activist who was trained by Al Gore and his Climate Reality Project. As a Climate Reality Leader, Gary educates and motivates people on the climate crisis. Prior to becoming active in the movement to address climate change, Gary worked as an HR & Corporate Social Responsibility executive for 30 years in high tech in the Silicon Valley at companies such as Apple, Intuit, and Palm. He is a member of the San Mateo Rotary Club and lives with his wife of 15 years in Belmont.





Volunteers at the Democratic Club booth included (l to r) Dan Haggerty, Dennis Paull, June Baxter, Barbara Dye, Harvey Rarback, Doreen Gerrity and Frank Gerrity.

The Coastside Democratic Club provided a very successful information and voter registration booth at the HMB Pumpkin Festival. Led by Board Member Dan Haggerty, the Club registered or re-registered a total of 96 people over the two days.  The Club also accepted donations for pins and bumper stickers for the three major candidates for the Democratic nomination for President.

John Lynch encouraged traffic to the booth!

John Lynch encouraged traffic to the booth!




Dan Haggerty commented “I believe it was an enjoyable experience for all, and it was an relatively easy task for me to take on, but it would not have been successful if it were not for the volunteers that helped me at the booth.  Thank you to Dennis Paul, John Lynch, Fran Pollard, Sabrina Brennan, Frank and Doreen Garrity, Deborah Penrose, Barbara Dye, and Harvey Rarback for following through on your commitment to help our club.”


Many Bernie Sanders supporters stopped by the booth. Here Dan Haggerty shows his own enthusiasm!




Those who might be interested in helping with future voter registration efforts should email Dan Haggerty at


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Led by Club member Dan Haggerty, efforts are underway to register additional voters on the Coastside. Booths have been hosted at the Farmers’ Market and the Fish and Fleet Festival with good results. The Club will also have a booth in front of the Zaballah House at the Pumpkin Festival in Half Moon Bay. Volunteers are needed to help with this important effort! Contact Dan if you can help!

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