Who am I?

Marguerite's East Bay roots go deep. She's a third-generation Californian and has lived in the East Bay most of her life. She grew up in Kensington working at her family's grocery store, Young's Market which was founded by her grandfather in 1936. She has a deep connection to water and the environment fostered by years of family camping trips, service work with Camp Fire Girls, and involvement in activism at an early age including working on the DDT ban, cleaning oil-soaked birds after the SF bay oil spill in 1971 and organizing her junior high school on the first Earth Day. She was active in student government at El Cerrito High School, where she founded and led a civic action group, Unified Students. After graduating from UC Berkeley with a Bachelor of Science degree from the College of Natural Resources, she dedicated her professional career to the environmental and labor movements as an organizer, campaign strategist and policy advocate with the California League of Conservation Voters, Clean Water Action and the Service Employees International Union. She has lived in Oakland for the past 24 years, sixteen of those raising her son Ben who shares her love of wild places. In her spare time they enjoy kayaking and traveling the West together.

Water Quality Expertise

*Led the campaign to get gas powered boats off of EBMUD reservoirs
*Sponsored legislation to set a health protective standard for arsenic in drinking water
*Led coalition to include funding for source water protection in the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund, Member of State’s Source Water Assessment Advisory Committee
*Helped to develop rules to protect drinking water from the harmful byproducts of disinfection as appointed member to EPA Federal Advisory Committee on the Multiple Disinfection By-product Rule
*Co-chair CALFED Bay-Delta Program Water Quality Committee

Environmental Experience

*More than 20 years with Clean Water Action and the California League of Conservation Voters
*Directed field operations for successful election campaigns from the local to the state level including serving on the steering committee of Prop 50, the largest successful water quality bond measure in California
*Past Co-Chair CalFED Bay Delta Water Quality Committee
*Co-founder East Bay League of Conservation Voters
*Board Member, Friends of the River, the state's leading voice for River Conservation

Labor experience
*12 years working with the nation's largest labor union, the Service Employees International Union
*Holding large corporations accountable for their social and environmental practices
*Advocate for responsible investment of worker retirement savings
*Provided ongoing defense and advocacy to protect retirement security

Why am I running?

There is no resource more essential to life than clean water. With climate change, the occurrence of severe droughts like the one we are in now, are likely to increase in frequency and duration. Pressure to abandon environmental protections in the guise of adding water supply are growing stronger every day. Climate change is forcing every water utility in the nation to rethink and re-imagine what it means to provide adequate supplies of water for its many uses. At the same time, local and regional governments are faced with extraordinary financing challenges—to offer quality services at affordable rates while also fostering and maintaining a quality workforce. I'm running for EBMUD because the decisions that EBMUD makes over the next four years are critically important to our future.

Here in the East Bay we are blessed with some of the finest quality drinking water in the nation. It's because the source of our water, the Mokelumne River, comes from a protected watershed in the Sierra. With that blessing comes the responsibility of stewardship to continue the protection of that water quality, and a responsibility to use it in the most efficient and sustainable way possible. Our water board EBMUD will face significant challenges and choices in the coming years as climate change modifies rain and snowfall patterns, causes sea level rise, and changes our everyday lives. EBMUD also has a responsibility to do everything it can to reduce its contribution to global warming in myriad ways. I'm running because I want to be a part of charting that path.

Our ability to deliver reliable adequate supplies clean safe water also depends on our infrastructure. Much of EBMUD's 4000 miles of pipelines are reaching the end of their lifespan--main breaks are happening with greater frequency. This is an enormous and important challenge, and it is also an opportunity to introduce climate smart approaches such as plumbing for recycled water in the same trenches where appropriate when lines are replaced. I'm running because we have to get this right.

I’ve spent my entire adult life in community service working to protect our environment and to improve the lives of working people. I'm experienced in the issues of drinking water quality, watershed protection, conservation, and putting together winning coalitions to achieve big ideas. I'm running because I'm ready to bring this experience and leadership to EBMUD Board service.

EBMUD needs a fresh perspective, someone with the knowledge, courage, and imagination to lead the way forward. I believe I am that person.

My Goals

1. Push for more aggressive water conservation and use of recycled water. Keep water rates affordable for those who conserve water and charge higher rates for those who use more than their fair share.
2. Protect our environment by ensuring protection of the Mokelumne as a wild and scenic river and opposing destructive and expensive water diversions like the Delta Tunnels.
3. Increase investment in climate-smart infrastructure which creates new EBMUD & green collar jobs and strengthens the organization’s fiscal health, while increasing our ability to provide the highest quality water at an affordable price with the least possible impact on the environment. Including:
o Accelerating the pace of replacement our aging infrastructure
o Increase our food waste to energy program.
o Help businesses and consumers address water related climate risks.
o Expand our water and climate education partnerships with schools in the service area, including engineering, water conservation, and increasing internships and apprenticeships with the District which will support expansion of green job opportunities in disadvantaged communities.

My DFA Values

COMMUNITY: Access to an adequate amount of clean safe affordable water is a basic human right. I will push to keep rates affordable for those who conserve water, but those who use more than their fair share should pay more.
For too long, maintenance of our basic water infrastructure has been deferred, we must take on a program to increase the pace of replacement so we don't lose critical infrastructure. We have to tackle the financial challenge in an equitable way, but we can do this AND create good clean and green jobs for people. And we need to make sustainable choices that are climate smart so that future generations will be able to enjoy clean, safe and affordable water.
EBMUDs workforce is its greatest asset. I will uphold the pension promise that has been made and will actively oppose any efforts to weaken retirement or other benefits. I will also make every effort to diversify our workforce.
SECURITY: EBMUD can be the epicenter of climate positive solutions in the East Bay. By leading the way in innovative sustainable water management they can show communities around the state how to adapt to climate change, use our water resources wisely, and lead the transition to a low carbon economy by making progress to acheiving net zero carbon footprint for all of their operations.
LIBERTY: EBMUD has quite progressive policies on equality. I will work to expand our efforts to diversify our workforce, increase opportunities to celebrate our differences, and guard against any efforts to weaken individuals rights. I will also be the first open lesbian elected to the Board.

My Campaign is People Powered!

My campaign is all grassroots...drawing heavily on support from volunteers and endorsements from the Labor, Environment and LGBT community.
1. Outreach to Labor-- sought and secured endorsements from AFSCME and SEIU including interviewing with local leaders. Central Labor Council and other endorsements are in process. I have labor representatives on my committee. I will do a walk a day in my shoes in every department of the agency within the first year of being elected. Labor Fundraiser planned for September. We will have dedicated labor precinct walks. and events planned.
2. Environmental Outreach-- sought and secured endorsements from Sierra Club and Clean Water Action. Several enviromental leaders on my committee. Environmental walks and events planned to mobilize precinct walkers, phoners and donors.
3. Other progressive outreach. Early endorsement received from Stonewall Democrats which will mean LGBT support. Under consideration at The Wellstone Democratic Club and hope for their active support in my campaign.

We will also piggyback on Measure BB a local transit measure that is widely supported by the progressive community in Alameda County, and will be supporting the election of Democrat Tim Sbranti to the Assembly in Orinda and Moraga. We are stressing direct contact with voters at their homes or by phone. We are also plugged into social media and getting our message out in local blogs, and progressive media outlets. I visited 15 block parties during National Night Out and will also be working select fairs and other community gatherings.

Voice support


  • Bob Lawson, CA
  • Jonathan Scott, NH
  • sheila velazco
  • Donald Cohen
  • Joan Edelstein, CA
  • Michelle Lemley

About the Endorsement Process

The driving force behind all DFA endorsements is our members. We recognize that all politics is local and that what is considered progressive in Los Angeles may be very different from what's considered progressive in Louisville. For this reason, DFA does not have a litmus test of specific progressive positions for which a candidate must stand. Our endorsement is heavily weighted based on these questions:

• Will the candidate move the progressive movement forward in their community?
• Does the candidate have substantial support from our local members?
• Do the candidate's positions and policies fit into the broader progressive movement?
• Is the campaign people-powered and the candidate working to win?

If you have questions, or want to let us know about a candidate in your neighborhood, please call us at (802) 651-3200 or email us at [email protected] .

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