District Council 57

Cook-Kallio Not Afraid to Find Solutions, Especially When It Comes to Working Families

Cheryl Cook-Kallio campaigns for the 16th District Assembly seat. (Photo: Paul Chinn, San Francisco Chronicle)

In 2010, a venture capitalist named Bart Hughes went on a rampage against the pensions earned by our brothers and sisters who worked for the City of Pleasanton—all in the name of “fairness.”

There was one champion, however, who stood up for workers and fought back against Hughes’ blanket attack on the retirement security of working families. Her name was Cheryl Cook-Kallio.

Cook-Kallio, a former City Councilmember and Vice Mayor from Pleasanton, is now running for office to represent working families in California’s 16th Assembly District, which covers a number of suburban East Bay cities.

Our members support her not only because she has a record of standing up for working families but also because she has shown that she is willing to push through the rhetoric and find solutions that work for all families.

During her time in office in Pleasanton, the city faced its toughest financial hardships because of the Great Recession. Cook-Kallio helped to get Pleasanton back to economic stability—balancing the budget while investing in the city and ending her tenure with a $178 million surplus.

“Through that whole time, she never lost sight of the fact that the city runs because of its employees and that you need feet on the ground to do all the work,” said AFSCME Local 955 President Alda Nash. “We appreciated her willingness to recognize our contributions, and that’s the type of champion we’re looking for in Sacramento.”

Cook-Kallio’s opponent clearly doesn’t stand with working families. The current Assemblymember’s re-election campaign is largely funded by a billionaire businessman and oil companies, according to campaign records.

When it comes to other issues such as healthcare costs, prevailing wage and education—issues that are important to working families—Cook-Kallio and her opponent are vastly different.

On the issues, Cook-Kallio:

  • Supports retirement security and opposes the privatization of Social Security and public pensions
  • Supports outlawing the practice of “surprise billing”
  • Supports expanding prevailing wage to more construction jobs
  • Supports improving public education funding for all children

Her opponent, the incumbent, has a different record that includes:

  • Voting against retirement security when she opposed the Secure Choice retirement savings program for 7 million private sector workers
  • Voting against outlawing the practice of “surprise billing”
  • Voting against bills that increase accountability publicly funded charter schools

Out of everything, Cook-Kallio brings her nearly 40 years of experience as a public school teacher to the table, which means she has a lot of wisdom. Our members are gearing up to make one final push for her at the polls because we know she will bring that same wisdom to Sacramento.

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