Jill Banks Barad is the Energizer Bunny of the NC system.
Few can bring together 200 NC board members, stakeholders and some of the highest profile politicians for an evening of food, socializing and debate as she can.
This being the Valley Alliance, most of the guest pols were running for seats with a footprint in the Valley. The candidates for Zev Yaroslavsky’s seat in the Third District – Bobby Shriver, Sheila Kuehl, Pamela Conley Ulich and John Duran – were the headliners for the evening.
Using a forum Q&A format, the candidates had a chance to express their stands on issues ranging from homelessness to county services.
They kept things civil. There were a few friendly jabs, but nothing as intense as what transpired in the mayoral campaign. It was, after all, primarily an evening devoted to mingling and giving the crowd a chance to get to know the candidates at a personal level. I have nothing but praise for how they conducted themselves – and everyone knows how critical I can be, so that is saying something. I will try to interview as many of them as possible in the weeks to come.
I had a chance to sit with a former preteen idol of mine, Sheila Kuehl of Dobie Gillis fame. The show was cutting-edge comedy for its day and would hold up well by contemporary standards, a credit to the writers, producers and the cast.
The highlight of the evening was honoring City Controller Ron Galperin with VANC’s “Got It” award, in recognition for the unprecedented contributions he has made to transparency with the control panel database and his relentless pursuit of answers in the DWP nonprofit scandal.
A special thanks to all the Neighborhood Councils in the Valley, almost all of them were represented, for contributing time, funds, supplies and, most importantly, camaraderie.