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Joint Powers Agency Board

The JPA Board provides oversight to the general operations and governance of the Center, giving its approval to all major expenditures, appointments and strategic decisions.

The JPA Board may have a total of 23 Directors consisting of: 9 representatives appointed (3 each) by the three JPA Public Agency partners: City of Oakland, Oakland Unified School District, and East Bay Regional Park District; 2 appointees from the Eastbay Astronomical Society and 1 appointee from the Alameda County Office of Education. One seat on the board is also reserved for a representative of Chabot Space & Science Center Volunteers and the remaining seats are public.

Directors serve for a term of 3 years and there is no limitation to the number of terms a Director may serve.

Officers

  • Michael Levi, Ph.D. (EBRPD)

    Michael Levi, Ph.D. (EBRPD), Chair

    Senior Scientist, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

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    Michael Levi serves on the CSSC board as JPA Vice Chair and Chair of the Programs & Exhibits committee. Levi is a practicing experimental astrophysicist and elementary particle physicist. He received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1984 and his B.A. from Harvard College in 1977. Currently, he is a Senior Lead Scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) and a Senior Space Fellow at the University of California Berkeley Space Sciences Laboratory. He is the project manager and project scientist for the Department of Energy Joint Dark Energy Mission (JDEM), a joint-agency satellite project with NASA to study the mystery and nature of dark energy. Levi was awarded Fellow of the American Physical Society for his work on electronic instrumentation for particle physics experiments. Levi has held positions in the past at Stanford University, CERN (the European accelerator laboratory), and the Naval Research Laboratory. For relaxation, Levi is an avid skier, plays tennis, enjoys backpacking in the Sierras, and is a high-power rocketeer and a member of the Tripoli high power rocketry club. He lives in Oakland with his wife (also an astrophysicist) and two children.

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  • Caleb Cheung (OUSD)

    Caleb Cheung (OUSD), Vice Chair

    Manager, Science, Oakland Unified School District

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    Caleb Cheung currently works as the Science Manager for the Oakland Unified School District. Previously, he taught middle school science for ten years. He also worked as an Adjunct professor at JFK University and Holy Names University where he taught science methodology courses. Caleb received his undergraduate education in Integrated Biology at UC Berkeley, teaching credential from California State University at Hayward, and Master's degree in Curriculum and Teacher Education at Stanford University.

    A lifelong employee of the Oakland schools, Caleb has made significant contributions to the Oakland Unified School District in the areas of curriculum, recruitment, new teacher support, and standards. He has also written curriculum for the Center for Disease Control and UC Berkeley. In 2000, Caleb was one of the first National Board certified teachers in Oakland and has since served on the National Board's Science Standards Committee and Certification Council. In 2002, Caleb was named Distinguished Educator of the Year by the Marcus Foster Educational Institute, Oakland's Teacher of the Year Award. He also received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching in 2005. From 2006-2009, Caleb served as a Commissioner and the Chair of the California Commission for Teacher Credentialing.

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  • Fred Patton

    Fred Patton, Treasurer

    Retired CFO

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    Fred Patton is a retired CFO with a long career of financial management in a variety of technology, software development,  manufacturing, distribution and service companies.

    He has worked with companies that are local, national and multinational entities; from development stage to turn-around to mature and profitable, and with operational staffs ranging from 3 to over 125. Fred's experience has included working with private, venture backed, and non-profit (501.c.3) organizations, some of which have never raised outside capital, as well organizations that have raised significant amounts through equity and/or debt whether from the venture community, lending institutions, and/or grantors.

    Fred holds an MBA, an MS and BS from Stanford University. He is an Oakland resident and a long time supporter and volunteer at Chabot.

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  • Alexander Zwissler

    Alexander Zwissler, Secretary

    Executive Director/CEO, Chabot Space & Science Center

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    Alexander Zwissler is the Executive Director/ CEO of the Chabot Space and Science Center, a position he has held since April, 2007. Prior to joining Chabot, Zwissler was the Executive Director of the Fort Mason Foundation in San Francisco, California from 1999 to 2006. Zwissler was born in Stuttgart Germany then moved to California with his family. He was raised in Oakland and visited Chabot on a field trip as a grade school student. Zwissler attended public schools before going on to receive a B.A. in Political Science, with Honors, at the University of California at Berkeley. After graduating from Berkeley, Zwissler went on to become a Postgraduate Research Fellow at the Centre for Mass Communication Research at the University of Leicester, England, conducting research on the development of international satellite broadcasting. Prior to joining the Fort Mason Foundation in 1999, Zwissler had a 17-year career in the cable television and telecommunications industry and was Director of ComTel, the United Kingdom's fourth largest cable television and telephone company.

    Zwissler serves in the leadership of both local and national non-profits, currently on the Board of Directors for the San Francisco Market Street Railway, Tau Kappa Epsilon at UC Berkeley, and the Non Profit Centers Network. He has also served on the Boards of the Oxfordshire Foundation, the Conejo Future Foundation, the San Francisco Business Arts Council, the National Park Service Friends Alliance and the American Southwest Theatre Company. In 2008, he was named an inaugural Fellow of the Noyce Leadership Institute.

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Committee Chairs

  • Caleb Cheung (OUSD)

    Caleb Cheung (OUSD), Executive

    Manager, Science, Oakland Unified School District

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    Caleb Cheung currently works as the Science Manager for the Oakland Unified School District. Previously, he taught middle school science for ten years. He also worked as an Adjunct professor at JFK University and Holy Names University where he taught science methodology courses. Caleb received his undergraduate education in Integrated Biology at UC Berkeley, teaching credential from California State University at Hayward, and Master's degree in Curriculum and Teacher Education at Stanford University.

    A lifelong employee of the Oakland schools, Caleb has made significant contributions to the Oakland Unified School District in the areas of curriculum, recruitment, new teacher support, and standards. He has also written curriculum for the Center for Disease Control and UC Berkeley. In 2000, Caleb was one of the first National Board certified teachers in Oakland and has since served on the National Board's Science Standards Committee and Certification Council. In 2002, Caleb was named Distinguished Educator of the Year by the Marcus Foster Educational Institute, Oakland's Teacher of the Year Award. He also received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching in 2005. From 2006-2009, Caleb served as a Commissioner and the Chair of the California Commission for Teacher Credentialing.

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  • Michael Levi, Ph.D. (EBRPD)

    Michael Levi, Ph.D. (EBRPD)

    Senior Scientist, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

    Read Full Bio

    Michael Levi serves on the CSSC board as JPA Vice Chair and Chair of the Programs & Exhibits committee. Levi is a practicing experimental astrophysicist and elementary particle physicist. He received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1984 and his B.A. from Harvard College in 1977. Currently, he is a Senior Lead Scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) and a Senior Space Fellow at the University of California Berkeley Space Sciences Laboratory. He is the project manager and project scientist for the Department of Energy Joint Dark Energy Mission (JDEM), a joint-agency satellite project with NASA to study the mystery and nature of dark energy. Levi was awarded Fellow of the American Physical Society for his work on electronic instrumentation for particle physics experiments. Levi has held positions in the past at Stanford University, CERN (the European accelerator laboratory), and the Naval Research Laboratory. For relaxation, Levi is an avid skier, plays tennis, enjoys backpacking in the Sierras, and is a high-power rocketeer and a member of the Tripoli high power rocketry club. He lives in Oakland with his wife (also an astrophysicist) and two children.

    Close Bio

  • Fred Patton

    Fred Patton, Finance

    Retired CFO

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    Fred Patton is a retired CFO with a long career of financial management in a variety of technology, software development,  manufacturing, distribution and service companies.

    He has worked with companies that are local, national and multinational entities; from development stage to turn-around to mature and profitable, and with operational staffs ranging from 3 to over 125. Fred's experience has included working with private, venture backed, and non-profit (501.c.3) organizations, some of which have never raised outside capital, as well organizations that have raised significant amounts through equity and/or debt whether from the venture community, lending institutions, and/or grantors.

    Fred holds an MBA, an MS and BS from Stanford University. He is an Oakland resident and a long time supporter and volunteer at Chabot.

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  • Joaquin Rivera (ACOE)

    Joaquin Rivera (ACOE), Nominating

    Trustee, Alameda County Board of Education

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    Joaquin Rivera has a distinguished career of public service having served on the Berkeley School Board, for twelve years (1996-2008) before being elected as a trustee to the Alameda County Board of Education in June 2010. During his 12 year tenure on the Berkeley School Board he served for three terms as President and three as Vice-President of the Board and distinguished himself in the areas of academic quality, student achievement and fiscal responsibility.

    Joaquin has received several teaching awards for his work with students and has been a leader in many different roles. He has served as President of the Skyline College Academic Senate and as President and Chief Negotiator of the San Mateo Community College Federation of Teachers, AFT 1493, AFL-CIO. He was also Vice-President of the California Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO. Joaquin is a graduate of University High School in Puerto Rico. He graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Sciences in Chemistry from the University of Puerto Rico in Mayaguez. He earned a Master of Sciences in Chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley and is currently Chemistry professor at Skyline College, San Bruno.

    Joaquin was born in 1965 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Both of his parents, Iris Contreras and Jose Rivera, are retired public school teachers. He has a younger brother, Victor, who lives in Puerto Rico. He lives in Berkeley with his spouse Joel Cohen, the Policy Director for an oral health non-profit organization.

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Directors

  • David Barosso (EAS)

    David Barosso (EAS)

    Retired

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  • Paul Chapman (EBRPD)

    Paul Chapman (EBRPD)

    Executive Director, Inverness Associates

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    Paul Chapman is the executive director of Inverness Associates, an educational consulting group that supports schools in sustainability, global education, strategic planning, and leadership development. He is especially interested in promoting "green" schools that embrace environmental sustainability in their facilities, operations and program. Since 2010 he has served as a visiting scholar at Stanford and UC Berkeley and published two books, Greening America's Schools and Greening America's Schools 2.0 (NAIS 2012, 2013). He is the author of Growing Connections: California Private Schools and Informal Environmental Education (2013). Together these publications tell the stories of over 100 public and private model green schools across the country. He also published Schools as Sorters: Lewis M. Terman, Applied Psychology, and the Intelligence Testing Movement, 1890-1930 (New York: NYU Press, 1988).

    Previously, he served as Head of School at the Head-Royce School in Oakland, CA, and before that as Assistant Head at San Francisco University High School and Associate Director of Admissions at Reed College in Portland, Oregon. Raised near Chicago, he graduated from Hinsdale High School and received a B.A. in history from Yale and an M.A. in American history and a Ph.D. in the history of education from Stanford.

    He has served on a number of boards locally and nationally and is a frequent speaker on topics ranging from environmental sustainability to strategic planning.  He lives in Berkeley and enjoys reading, fishing, traveling and hiking with his Golden Retriever.

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  • Christopher Dobbins (OUSD)

    Christopher Dobbins (OUSD)

    Director, Board of Education, Oakland Unified School District

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    Christoper Dobbins is a graduate of Oakland Public Schools and a third-generation Oakland teacher, following in the steps of his mother and grandfather. He became a member of the Oakland Unified School District Board of Directors in 2007 and was elected Vice President of the Board by his colleagues in 2010. He was appointed to Chabot's JPA Board as one of the OUSD representatives in January 2009.

    Dobbins holds a B.A. in Urban Planning from U.C. Berkeley, a Masters in Public Administration (MPA) from California State University, Eastbay, and a JD and a Masters of Business Administration from Golden Gate University, San Francisco. He is admitted to practice law in the State of California and is currently the Development Director at the New Leaf Center in Lafayette, CA.

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  • John Paul Jones (Public - Volunteer)

    John Paul Jones (Public - Volunteer)

    Retired Management Executive

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    John Paul Jones joins the JPA board as the elected representative of the Chabot volunteer community, taking over from Teri Schlesinger who retires from the Board having served 6 years as the Volunteer representative.

    John Paul has been a volunteer at Chabot since it opened in its current location in 2000 and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience, both of Chabot and of the role of volunteer. Regarding himself as a generalist rather than a specialist he is a valued mentor to new volunteers, as well as an eager participant in volunteer trainings and orientations.

    A Bay Area native and a graduate of UC Berkeley, John Paul is retired after a 43 year career as a Management Executive in the Transportation Industry. He lives in Oakland with his spouse, Ann, who is also a Chabot volunteer and when he is not volunteering at Chabot, John Paul enjoys outdoor pursuits including hiking, sculling and backpacking.

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  • Gwen McDonald (COO)

    Gwen McDonald (COO)

    Director of Human Resources, East Bay Municipal Utility District

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    Gwen McDonald has had a long career in the field of Human Resources and Personnel Management. She is currently Director of Human Resources, East Bay Municipal Utility District, a position she has held since 1996. Prior to joining EBMUD, Gwen was Director, Office of Personnel Management at the City of Oakland, and previously Assistant Personnel Director at Stamford University Hospital.

    Gwen attended the University of Wisconsin where she gained a B.A. in sociology and holds professional qualifications in Employee Relations Law and International Personnel Management. She is a member of several professional associations and serves on the Board of Directors of CPS Human Resource Services.

    A resident of Oakland, Gwen is one of our longest standing Board Members having served as an appointed representative of the City of Oakland since 2002.

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  • Gerald McKeegan (EAS)

    Gerald McKeegan (EAS)

    Space Systems Program Manager, Orcon Corporation

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    Gerald McKeegan earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from California State University, Hayward, and he holds a Master of Science degree in Space Studies from the University of North Dakota. He has held management positions in the aerospace industry for more than 30 years, and is currently the Space Systems Program Manager for Orcon Corporation. During his career, Gerald has been involved with numerous spacecraft projects, including the Space Shuttle, Cassini, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, Solar B, Juno and many others. He was awarded the NASA "Silver Snoopy" award by the Johnson Space Center Astronaut Office for his work in support of the Post-Challenger Space Shuttle Return to Flight program.

    Gerald McKeegan is a lifelong resident of the Bay Area. He has been an active Chabot volunteer since the year 2000, and a member of the Eastbay Astronomical Society since 2002. He is one of Chabot's senior telescope operators, working every weekend to support the public observing program, as well as many Chabot special events.

    Gerald also heads Chabot's Asteroid Search Program, and has made more than a thousand asteroid observations using the 36-inch telescope. In addition, he serves as a Chabot contact for media inquiries, often doing broadcast interviews about space or astronomy events, especially those involving asteroids or meteors.

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  • Hon. Jean Quan (COO)

    Hon. Jean Quan (COO)

    Mayor, City of Oakland

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    Hon. Jean Quan was the first Asian American woman to be elected to the Oakland City Council and has served as President Pro Tempore of the City Council and Vice Mayor. A champion of preserving and expanding education and after school programs, Jean was also one of the first Asian Americans to be elected to the Oakland Unified School District Board of Education where she served for 12 years and was a past President. She also serves on numerous boards and commissions including the California League of Cities, the Association of Bay Area Government, the Local Government Commission, and the Council of Urban Boards of Education of the National School Board Association. Jean was one of the founding members of Chabot Space & Science Center and currently serves as one of the City's representatives and as Chair of the JPA Board.

    Jean helped found Asian American Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, and studied Chinese at Yale University in China. She is a National Kellogg Foundation Fellow. She has been married to Dr. Floyd Huen for over 38 years and they have raised their family in Oakland for the last 30 years.

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  • Libby Schaaf (COO)

    Libby Schaaf (COO)

    Councilmember, City of Oakland, District 4

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    In 2010, Councilmember Libby Schaaf was elected to serve on the Oakland City Council representing District 4. Born and raised in the District she represents, Libby has centered her life and career on building community, solving problems, and leading change in her hometown Oakland. Libby spent her youth volunteering through countless Girl Scout projects, as a Children's Fairyland character, at the Zoo and as a weekly Ranger Station Aide at Joaquin Miller Park. She graduated from Skyline High School. In 1995 she left her career as an Attorney at Oakland's largest law firm Crosby Heafey to build and run a centralized volunteer program for Oakland public schools at the Marcus Foster Education Fund. In addition to building a city-wide classroom volunteer program, she organized the largest Net Day in the country, where hundreds of volunteers wired 54 Oakland public schools for internet access.

    Libby later served as Chief of Staff to Council President Ignacio De La Fuente, and then as a top aide to Mayor Jerry Brown. Later as Public Affairs Director for the Port of Oakland, she helped bring millions in state and federal funds to Oakland. Her favorite accomplishments include building waterfront parks, championing transit-oriented development, re-landscaping Park Blvd., reducing Port pollution, building affordable housing, banning Walmart Superstores, and promoting Oakland as the greatest place to live, work, play, and do business. Libby has served on the board of directors or advisory boards of twelve Oakland non-profits and has been appointed to three City of Oakland Commissions - all fueled by her passion for the arts, education, civic engagement, and social justice. Her most recent volunteer efforts include Make Oakland Better Now!, Oakland Schools Foundation, the Museum of Childrens Art (MOCHA), Lighthouse Community Charter School and the League of Women Voters of Oakland. She lives in Oakland's Dimond neighborhood with her husband and two young children. As a Councilmember, her priorities are reducing crime, growing Oakland's economy and making Oakland's government more effective, efficient, transparent and innovative. She introduced Oakland's Open Data Policy and initiated its Code for America application.

     

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  • Hon. Dick Spees (Public)

    Hon. Dick Spees (Public)

    Retired-Councilmember, City of Oakland

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    Hon. Dick Spees was elected six times and served nearly 24 years on Oakland's City Council, representing the Montclair and Laurel districts, before retiring in January 2003. He earned a reputation as a consummate consensus builder, someone who could be relied upon to broker compromises. In the private sector, Spees was with Kaiser Aluminum for 32 years, retiring as vice president of public affairs. Since then, he has worked as a government relations consultant, representing clients on education, economic and environmental issues. He is a former chairman of the Alameda County Republican Party. Dick was a driving force in the creation of the new Chabot Space & Science Center and one of its founding board members.

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  • Mary Ellen Tong (EBRPD)

    Mary Ellen Tong (EBRPD)

    Business Consultant

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    Mary Ellen has been on numerous nonprofit boards and taken many community roles. Mary Ellen was a member of the Oakland Zoo Board and served as their president. At the Zoo, Mary Ellen helped initiate and fundraise for the zoo expansion and new veterinary hospital. She then served on their Foundation Board. Mary Ellen has also participated in other Oakland nonprofit boards including: Children's Fairyland board, Elizabeth House board and as an appointed park commissioner for the City of Oakland.

    Mary Ellen is a Certified Public Accountant with expertise in Finance and Management. She began her career working for Ernst and Ernst and Forbes CPA firms. After, she worked for 10 years at Wells Fargo Bank serving as Senior Vice President and divisional Chief Financial Officer for their commercial real estate lending, bank owned property, and leasing divisions and subsidiaries. Mary Ellen then worked in the business consulting industry with Robert Cliff and Associates and worked on numerous corporate projects throughout the bay area.

    Mary Ellen lives with her husband Bryant in Oakland. She has two children. Mary Ellen enjoys playing golf with groups in Oakland, Santa Cruz and Berkeley.

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  • Leo Wong

    Leo Wong

    Financial Analyst, Google

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    Leo Wong is a 2010 graduate of California State University, East Bay where he obtained a BS in Business Administration, options in Accounting and Finance. Just starting out in his career, he works at Google in Mountain View where he is developing his business and financial experience as a Financial Analyst involved in a variety of internal financial control projects, process improvements, and training programs. Prior to joining Google, Leo interned with a number of local businesses including Novogradac & Company, LLP in San Francisco where he was a Staff Accountant.

    Leo has been a volunteer at Chabot since he joined the Galaxy Explorer program in 2006 and while at college he continued to participate in the program during the summer months. In the summer of 2008 he became a Team Leader for the Galaxy Explorer program managing a team of 15 teen interns, facilitating their safe participation in activities that aligned to their interests and abilities.

    Leo is currently a resident of South San Francisco and his interests include, Cycling, Photography, Technology, and Renewable Energy.

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  • Joel Young (Public)

    Joel Young (Public)

    Partner, Tidrick Law Firm

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    After graduating with a law degree at Cal, Joel Young worked for two of the Bay Area's most prestigious law firms helping to launch some of the region's most successful start-ups. Now, Joel is a partner at the Tidrick Law Firm focusing on class action litigation.

    Joel is also the AC Transit Director-at-Large, representing 13 cities in Alameda and Contra Costa County. He was the youngest African-American to serve on the AC Transit Board. At AC Transit, Young advocated for a Buy America policy that will steer hundreds of millions of dollars to local businesses over the next decade. He ran workshops explaining to small business owners how to contract with the agency. Young supported a Climate Action plan that will serve as a blueprint for the agency as it seeks to reduce its carbon footprint. He spearheaded the Freedom Bus Project, which aims to promote public transit, arts education, and the history of the civil rights movement.

    Joel Young is deeply involved in the local community as an active member of the Alameda Democratic Lawyer's Club, the Alameda County Democratic Central Committee, the Black Elected Officials and Faith Based Leaders of the East Bay, and the 100 Black Men of the Bay Area, Inc.

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