By Supervisor Federal D. Glover
District V, the area I represent on the Board of Supervisors, is shifting westward.
My fellow supervisors and I approved the new boundaries for our districts at our June 26 meeting in Martinez. The ordinance comes before the board on Aug. 9 and in all likelihood, will be adopted.
My new district will span the northern waterfront of Contra Costa County, including the cities of Hercules, Martinez, Pittsburg and portions of Pinole and Antioch as well as the unincorporated communities of Rodeo, Pacheco, Crockett, Port Costa, Briones, Mt. View, Vine Hill, Alhambra Valley, Reliez Valley and Clyde, in addition to Bay Point, which remains in District V.
Besides the waterfront, all the communities are linked by Highway 4 and heavily used railroads. The preponderance of the county’s heavy industries, which make Contra Costa the second most industrialized county in the state, lie in this new district.
Having spent most of life working for USS-POSCO and Dow Chemical, I have an affinity for these new constituents. I know how important these industries are and how they impact their host communities. I helped introduce the Industrial Safety Ordinance that mandates safety training and procedures to ensure the safety of our industrial workers.
I also know how vital Highway 4 is to my new district since I spent most of my elected career seeking funds to make that roadway, parts of which used to called Blood Alley, safer and wider.
As a strong proponent of the Urban Limit Line, I am an advocate for smart planning and the preservation of open space. That doesn’t mean I am anti-development. I believe in smart planning and making sure cities use their undeveloped land efficiently so they can continue to grow.
I’m excited at the diversity of my new district, which has 203,744 residents. There will be no dominant racial or ethnic group living in the northern waterfront district. Latinos will be the largest group, making up 35 percent of the population, followed by Caucasians, 33 percent; African Americans, 15 percent; Filipino and Asian Americans, 11 percent; and Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders and others making up the balance.
I look forward to meeting you in the near future in a series of introductory town halls that are being planned.
I’ve already met with about 100 of you in a meeting in Briones where we discussed the situation in fire protection. Fortunately, I’ve had experience on this issue that might be helpful. One of my earliest initiatives was to merge five separate fire districts into the East County Fire Protection District to reduce duplication and standardize and professionalize training.
Besides Highway 4 improvements, some of the other issues that faced my former district that might be of value to the new configuration are transportation, public protection issues, affordable housing and land use.
As a member of the Metropolitan Transit Commission and with the Association of Bay Area Governments, I’ve been able to secure funding for widening of Highway 4 and bringing eBART to District V.
Through my work on public protection as a member of the supervisor’s Public Protection Committee, Administration of Justice Committees of the California State Association of California (CSAC) and a similar committee for the National Association of Counties, I am well aware of the problems facing our law enforcement agencies and the efforts to have safe communities. I have been deeply involved in creating the county’s reentry strategic plan and creating collaborations with nonprofit agencies to service the needs of state prisoners returning to our communities so that the recidivism rate can go down. I also created the East County Gang Task Force, which brought together government and community agencies, churches and schools to stem the growing influence of gangs among young people.
Since I was elected supervisor in 2000, I’ve sponsored the countywide Youth Summit, which attracts hundreds of youth every year to learn about job opportunities, resources, how to deal with their issues of bullying and gang influence, and to build tolerance and appreciation of diversity.
I have stressed the importance of code enforcement in preventing blighted properties from downgrading out neighborhoods and introduced the Renters’ Ordinance to make landlords maintain their rental units. I also introduced the ordinance to clean our waterways of sunken vessels and other debris.
As a Pittsburg city councilman, I endorsed the city-owned power company. This helped bring in energy providers to set up their own modern, clean plants in Antioch and Oakley. These plants provided scores of well-paying jobs. As supervisor, I made sure these energy companies were active contributors to the well-being of these communities.