Orinda mayor and gubernatorial adviser Steve Glazer filed papers Tuesday to run for the 16th Assembly District as the first official candidate in the 2014 election. The district includes parts of Contra Costa and Alameda counties and is currently run by Joan Buchanan, who will term out in 2014.
Glazer, a two-term mayor and California State University Trustee, said his connections and experience on city council, as an advisor to the governor and an advocate for higher education will make him a formidable candidate.
In a release, Glazer said he would bring to the Assembly a "strong track record in public service and recognized leadership in protecting the environment, supporting local schools and ensuring that government lives within its means." In his current capacity on Orinda's City Council, Glazer said he has prioritized community services and infrastructure, while working to limit tuition increases and lower administrative costs on the CSU Board.
"I want to continue the momentum for responsible fiscal management while enhancing support of our local schools and state universities," Glazer said. "We need to eliminate roadblocks to economic revitalization and job creation and improve efforts to protect and enhance our environment."
In addition to operating his own consulting business since 1989, Glazer has worked on open space preservation measures in more than 25 states and has been recognized by The Trust For Public Land and Save The Bay for his conservation work. Although he would not comment on the Association of Bay Area Government's One Bay Area plan, he said he is keeping abreast of affordable housing and preservation issues as they relate to Danville and the San Ramon Valley.
The problems of homelessness and affordable housing have been a three-decade concern of Glazer, who organized campaigns to provide billions of dollars for homeless shelters, affordable housing and residences for abused women and foster children. The city of Orinda broke ground this month on an affordable senior housing village and Glazer provided important assistance to the city of Lafayette for its affordable housing project.
Although Orinda was in a different Assembly district from the San Ramon and Tri valleys until last year, Glazer said he is looking forward to meeting with various local officials to discuss his candidacy and learn about local issues.
"Our communities are very similar, we have a great love of our schools, we both share a need to have a modern, efficient transportation network and all of our communities have an appreciation for fiscal constraints and government budgeting," he said.
The top vote-getter in November's election, Glazer was re-elected to a third term on the City Council and has a $44,000 surplus in his city council account which can be transferred to his new legislative campaign.
Glazer was elected to the Orinda City Council in 2004 and first began his involvement in local politics after being shot in the neck by a high-powered pellet rifle while driving with his family in 2003. The .17-caliber projectile just missed his carotid artery and lodged next to his spine; the perpetrator was caught but never charged with a crime because pellet guns were classified as toys in the criminal code.
After recovering from his injury, Glazer worked with then-Senator Tom Torlakson to author legislation establishing penalties for pellet-gun attacks. The bill was signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Glazer is married to Melba Muscarolas, an AT&T executive. They have two daughters.