MARTINEZ, Calif. – State Senator Steve Glazer wants to hear what Martinez residents have to say, and to share his thoughts on governing.
Glazer, as a guest of the League of California Cities Latino Caucus, met informally Wednesday, Nov. 18, with those from Martinez and other Contra Costa County cities, at The Tavern at Pine Meadow.
While he explained his approach and hopes for his new 12-year term, the Orinda Democrat also came to listen, Martinez Councilmember AnaMarie Avila Farias, a Caucus member and part of the event’s organizing committee, said.
“I was host, so I didn’t ask any questions. My goal was to bring together a diverse group of people,” Avila Farias said. “It was a meet and greet. We brought people from the county to get to know him.”
Glazer briefly explained that one thing he wants to achieve in his inaugural term is increased openness in the state government.
“He called for open transparency and public awareness of the issues,” Avila Farias said. “What I walked away with was he wants a new way of doing politics.” That would involve “bringing together people of diverse backgrounds,” she added.
She said he also wants to work toward community collaboration and nonpartisan approaches to solving California’s problems.
Glazer was elected to the Senate’s District 7 in a special election last May during which he defeated Susan Bonilla, the Concord Democrat who represents Martinez in the State Assembly.
The campaign was contentious at times, Avila Farias said. Other observers said the two Democrats were divided on labor issues.
Glazer has urged ending BART strikes, and he received charter school and state Chamber of Commerce endorsements during the campaign. Unions backed Bonilla, but supporters couldn’t hand her a victory, and she returned to the Assembly.
Unions were represented at the Martinez gathering, along with those of various interests, Avila Farias said. “I thought it was a good opportunity to embrace the new Legislator.”
Plus, it was a chance for residents to hear and talk to him about public policy and upcoming issues, she said.
One couple asked him about the proposed Delta tunnels that would change how California’s water is distributed to the south.
“He opposes them,” Avila Farias said. “A lot of people were happy he opposes them.”
She said she was happy Glazer was willing to spend time speaking one-on-one with the 70 or so who turned out to meet him.
She said she also was happy with the turnout. The crowd included members of the county’s government, business, labor and education fields as well as individual residents who wanted to hear what Glazer had to say or to speak about their own concerns. They came from all parts of the county, Avila Farias said.
“People got to know him,” she said. “He’s progressive and open-minded.”