Peralta Community College District's Only Student-Run Publication
Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Breaking: PCCD appoints former San Leandro police chief to Interim Executive Director of Public Safety
Breaking: PCCD appoints former San Leandro police chief to Interim Executive Director of Public Safety
Abdul Pridgen will lead the district’s community-based safety program
Li Khan, Editor in Chief • June 21, 2024
Carpentry instructor spruces up department
Carpentry instructor spruces up department
Rym-Maya Kherbache, Staff Writer • April 24, 2024
A cap at the Laney College commencement ceremony on May 24 reads in Spanish, This is for my mom who gave me everything. (Photo: Marcus Creel/PCCD)
Graduations, resignations and more: PCCD Trustees wrap up school year at 5/28 meeting
Romi Bales, Staff Writer • June 17, 2024
Student Trustee Natasha Masand believes her voice has the power to impact the PCCD community.
Student Trustee Natasha Masand finds her voice
Isabelly Sabô Barbosa, Social Media Editor • March 19, 2024

Bill Withrow wins 5th term as Area 1 Trustee

Incumbent prevails in combative campaign

Peralta Trustee Bill Withrow handily defeated challenger Jeff Heyman to retain the Area 1 seat on the Peralta board of trustees. Area 1 includes the city of Alameda and a small part of Oakland.

Incumbent Bill Withrow easily won reelection for the Area 1 seat on the Peralta board of trustees by virtue of his high name recognition in Alameda and tactics such as this campaign mailer.

With 100 percent of precincts counted on November 4, Withrow leads Heyman by 3,007 votes out of a total of 19,248 votes counted, according to AC Vote, the official election site of Alameda County. Withrow received 57.6 percent of the votes compared to 41.98 percent for Heyman. There were 81 write-in votes representing the remaining 0.42 percent. 

This was the only contested race for the Peralta board of trustees. Heyman was a last-minute entry, filing a day before the August 7 deadline. Withrow, a former mayor of Alameda, had not faced an opponent for his seat since his initial campaign in 2004. As previously reported in The Citizen, Withrow attempted to persuade Heyman to withdraw from the race in exchange for a chairmanship of a special committee. 

In a phone conversation with The Citizen on Wednesday, Withrow extended thanks to his friends, colleagues, and family “who meant a great deal” in his successful reelection bid. He and Heyman had what Withrow described as “a cordial phone call” after the results were announced. Withrow reiterated his pride in being associated with the Peralta district and his strong feelings about the importance of education, particularly the type provided by community colleges, which he believes are more important than ever. 

Challenger Jeff Heyman, former Executive Director of Public Information, Communications & Media for the Peralta district, did not accept outside donations and had to rely on guerilla tactics such as social media posts and yard signs. (Source: Heyman4Students Facebook page)

Heyman’s decision not to accept outside contributions made the task of defeating an entrenched incumbent with high name recognition even more difficult. Withrow was able to send costly campaign mailers to registered voters, whereas Heyman was limited to low-budget tactics, such as posting on social media and waving signs at passing motorists near busy intersections.   

Heyman conceded the race via Facebook, Tuesday evening. He thanked his supporters and encouraged them to “keep up the struggle for teaching and learning.” In a subsequent text message to The Citizen, Heyman characterized his campaign as ”a great experience” and expressed hope that he “shed light on some of the issues facing Peralta.”

Withrow has not yet met Kevin Jenkins or Dyana Delfín Polk, the two newly-elected board members, but plans to reach out to them soon.

About the Contributor
David Rowe
David Rowe, Associate Editor
After a 40 year career in advertising, David is considering journalism as his “second act” and preparing himself for that new profession by taking classes at Laney. During his days in advertising, Rowe headed up the media departments for a number of leading ad agencies in San Francisco and Salt Lake City. In this capacity, he was responsible for the planning and placement of tens of millions of dollars of paid media. A high point of his career was placing Intel’s first Super Bowl TV ad in 1997. Rowe has a lifelong interest in journalism dating back to high school in San Jose where he started an underground newspaper called, appropriately enough, The Del Mar Free Press. The school administration threatened to suspend him, so Rowe, with the help of his attorney father, sued the school district in Federal Court and won and injunction. Ultimately, the case was decided in his favor and California state law regarding the rights of high school students was re-written as a result. Rowe is a political junkie who enjoys watching all the Sunday morning news programs and is actively involved in the Joe Biden presidential campaign this year.
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