Today, Californians for the first time will vote in an open primary. That means the top two vote-getters in a race will move on to the November general election, whether they are from the same party or not.
In addition, this will be the first election with the new congressional, state Senate and state Assembly districts approved last fall by the California Citizens Redistricting Commission, which officially take effect in January. You can look at the new districts at this website.
While there are Congressional and Assembly district races underway today, today's election will also determine the fate of the much debated parcel tax.
Polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m., though some results may not become official until later in the week.
If you aren't sure where to go to vote, don't worry, you can locate that easily on the Alameda County Registrar of Voter's My Voter Profile page or at SmartVoter.org, the latter of which is a bit easier to navigate. You can find a number of resources on both sites.
Here's a breakdown of our local elections. Stay tuned to Union City Patch tonight for live coverage of the following races:
Measure H is a New Haven Unified School District parcel tax measure that aims to “support high-quality local elementary, middle and high school education, to prepare students for college and careers with outstanding core academic programs in reading, writing, math and science, with highly qualified teachers and classified staff,” according to the ballot statement.
If passed, property owners would be taxed $180 per parcel for a period of four years, beginning July 1, 2012 and ending June 30, 2016. The measure is expected to raise $3 million for the school district each year, according to the ballot statement.
The measure also includes an optional exemption for senior citizens and persons with disabilities. Residents 65 or older and those with disabilities who wish to be exempt must apply to the district on or before July 1 each tax year.
The measure also calls for a citizen’s oversight committee to be established to make sure the tax revenues are being spent properly.
This new district includes Union City, Hayward, Castro Valley, San Lorenzo, Ashland, Cherryland, Fairview, Sunol and north Fremont.
There are five candidates on the ballot:
Sarabjit Kaur Cheema, a Democrat, is a New Haven school board member. She is also on the Union City human relations commission. She works as a transportation engineer for the state.
Mark Green, listed as an Independent, has been the mayor of Union City for the past 19 years. He is a member of the Association of Bay Area Government and the Metropolitan Transporation Commission. Green has also concurrently applied for , for which an appointment will also be made today.
Jennifer Ong is a doctor of optometry in Alameda. She is also a commissioner on Alameda County Commission on the Status of Women. She is also running as a Democrat.
Bill Quirk has been on the Hayward City Council for two terms. The registered Democrat is a former NASA scientist and a retired Livermore Lab scientist.
Luis Reynoso is a Mexico native and a naturalized U.S. citizen. He attended Chabot College and Cal State Hayward. He is now a Hayward school board member. He's the sole Republican in the local Assembly race.
This new district includes San Ramon, Livermore, Dublin, Pleasanton, Castro Valley, San Lorenzo, Union City, Hayward and part of Fremont.
There are three candidates in this election.
Democrat Congressman Pete Stark was first elected to Congress in 1972. On his website, he says he has led "the fight to protect Social Security and Medicare, enact health reform, promote peace rather than war, and standing up for working families."
Democrat Eric Swalwell is an Alameda County prosecutor who also serves on the Dublin City Council. Swalwell grew up in Dublin and graduated from Dublin High. He's offering himself as a moderate alternative to Stark. Read Patch's .
Christopher Pareja lists no party preference and no job description on the ballot. On his website, he criticizes career politicians and says he wants to build strong economy. The Hayward resident is the owner of B2B Power Exchange and LeadGenaires, companies that help businesses find new opportunities. Read Patch's .
Stay tuned to Union City Patch tonight for live election coverage.