After a month of preparation, APAPA Tri-Valley Chapter has successfully hosted the debate between two Assembly candidates for District 16 in the evening of 9/29/2014.
The event took place in Civic Center of San Ramon, and was attended by more than 120 people coming from all areas in the district and races, as well as APAPA Founder Mr. CC Yin, San Ramon Mayor Mr. Bill Clarkson, Dublin Mayor Mr.David Haubert, and other city council members from many other cities. This has become one of the few critical debates between the 2 candidates prior to their November election. Hence, it was also covered by major local media channels such as Contra Costa Times, World Journals, and Tsing Dao Journals. Eventhough this was the very first event hosted by TVC which started only 1 month prior, it was successfully shined the spotlight on this young chapter and raised awareness for the organization.
During the debate, both candidates went "toe to toe on a variety of hot button issues" (as quoted from Contra Costa Times report) such as the Bart strikes, Tri-Valley Traffic Congestion, Affordable Housing, and Affirmative Action in CA higher education system. Given their different background, Republican Candidate Catherine Baker and Democrat Candidate Tim Sbranti share very different views on these and other issues. Hence, this debate has become an excellent platform for them to present their point of view and up-play their differences, so that the local voters could gain a better understand of these candidates and make an informed decision when the election comes.
A little background information about both candidates:
Catherine Baker: a Pleasanton based attorney that works with small businesses and nonprofits, also a former preschool board member, former vice president of a local school council, parent leader on several school improvement committees.
Tim Sbranti: a High School Teacher for 17 years, also the current Dublin Mayor elected in 2008, 2010, 2012, who has lived in Dublin for nearly his entire life.
Worth noting was also the sight of many high school volunteers at the scene. They were the members of a local youth organization called Global Leadership Initiatives. APAPA aimed to get the young members involved in the community and offer opportunities for them to get access to and educated on many social issues.