Congressman Mark DeSaulnier Backs Rochelle Pardue-Okimoto for State Assembly

Congressman Mark DeSaulnier has officially endorsed Registered Nurse and El Cerrito Mayor Pro Tem Rochelle Pardue-Okimoto for State Assembly. Adding his name to a long list of supporters that also includes State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson, Assemblymember Tony Thurmond and former  Assemblymember Sandré Swanson.

"Rochelle Pardue-Okimoto is the next generation of local leader that we need in the State Assembly - a proven progressive, a local activist with a record of results and someone who has been part of this community for almost 20 years working as a nurse at Alta Bates. Rochelle has my full support State Assembly," said Congressman Mark DeSaulnier.

DeSaulnier has been a long time elected leader in Contra Costa County. Starting as a member of the Concord City Council, his service has also included the Board of Supervisors, the State Assembly, the State Senate and the past four years as a member of Congress.

“I’m honored to have the support of Congressman DeSaulnier who continues to lead this community on so many issues, “said Pardue-Okimoto. “I look forward to working with him on a progressive agenda that helps our community as we move forward.”

William Rumford Family Endorses Rochelle Pardue-Okimoto for Assembly

The family of William Rumford has officially endorsed Rochelle for State Assembly. A trailblazer in his own right, William Rumford was the first African American elected official from Northern California. He represented the Berkeley area in the State Assembly from 1948-66 where he fought for fair housing and employment. The Rumford Fair Housing Act, signed by Governor Edmund G. Brown, Sr. in 1963, outlawed discrimination in housing.

“Our father set the bar high, as a certified pharmacist and an advocate for fair housing,” said William B. Rumford, Jr. “We see Rochelle Pardue-Okimoto as the best choice to follow his path, being a nurse and an activist who has fought against hate and for reforms that focused on increased mental health services.”

In addition to the support of the Rumford family, former Berkeley Vice Mayor Carole Kennerly officially endorsed Pardue-Okimoto.

The Rumford family, Ms. Kennerly and Rochelle recently met at the memorial Rumford Sculpture to honor the memory of William Rumford. The Rumford Sculpture is a South Berkeley neighborhood project led by Carole Kennerly and was unveiled two years ago as the first every sculpture in Berkeley dedicated to an African American. Carole has been a long-time friend of the Rumford family and credits the late Assemblyman as important to her growth and development as a young activist and politician.

After single-payer battles, is the Assembly ready for a nurse?

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Rochelle Pardue-Okimoto, dressed in her grey and pink nurses uniform, stands in front the building that used to be Doctors Medical Center in San Pablo.

After years of struggling to balance its budget, Doctors Medical Center closed in 2015. The large numbers of low-income residents the hospital served were paying with Medi-Cal or Medicare, which reimburse the hospital at a lower rate than private insurers.

Now, construction crews roam the property, preparing the building for its next life as a casino parking lot.

When she's not serving on El Cerrito's city council, Pardue-Okimoto works as a nurse in the newborn intensive care unit at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center in Berkeley. Alta Bates is facing a similar fate to Doctors Medical Center: Sutter Health says it will close the facility in the next dozen years, rather than take on expensive earthquake retrofits.

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Rochelle Pardue-Okimoto for State Assembly Kicks off Ground Game Surrounded by local leaders and volunteers

Registered Nurse and El Cerrito Mayor Pro Tem Rochelle Pardue-Okimoto kicked off her ground game this past weekend. Joining her was Assemblymember Tony Thurmond and a host of community leaders and supporters. They gathered at Well Grounded before hitting the streets to talk to voters. 

“Voters are just starting to pay attention to the upcoming election and I will be out there – walking or at house parties throughout the district,” said Pardue-Okimoto. “I want to thank Assemblymember Thurmond, the volunteer organizers and my committed friends and family who made this event a success – it truly is a grassroots movement that will make a difference in this race.”

In addition to dozens of volunteers, Assemblymember Tony Thurmond kicked off with a rousing speech that can be viewed here -

Joining Assemblymember Thurmond were other local elected officials including: Gabe Quinto, El Cerrito Mayor, Janet Abelson, El Cerrito City Council, Paul Fadelli, El Cerrito City Council, Mark Friedman, former El Cerrito Mayor, Genoveva Calloway, San Pablo Mayor, Elizabeth Pabon-Alvardo, San Pablo City Clerk, Nick Pilch, Albany City Council, John Marquez, President, Contra Costa Community College District, Greg Enholm, Contra Costa Community College District Trustee, María Alegría Chair, Democratic Party of CCC, former Mayor of Pinole,  Alex Griffin, member Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges, Harry Wiener, Director, West County Wastewater District.



Contra Costa Firefighters Back Registered Nurse Rochelle Pardue-Okimoto for State Assembly

The United Professional Firefighters of Contra Costa County, Local 1230 has officially endorsed El Cerrito Councilmember Rochelle Pardue-Okimoto in the race for the State Assembly.

“Rochelle as a nurse knows that first-responders play vital roles in communities and are an integral part of public protection. She will bring her local experience as a City Councilmember and proven leadership to create statewide policies that foster interprofessional collaboration to assure that public health and safety are a priority,” said Vince Wells, President of the United Professional Firefighters of Contra Costa County, Local 1230.

“I am proud to have the endorsement of folks who are on the frontlines,” said Pardue-Okimoto. “I look forward to working with them on the issues that matter to working families across this community.”

Assemblymember Tony Thurmond Backs Registered Nurse Rochelle Pardue-Okimoto

Assemblymember Tony Thurmond who’s been serving the district and the state for over 10 years in elected office endorses Rochelle Pardue-Okimoto for the State Assembly. As a former school board member and member of the Assembly Committee on Education, he has been a champion for kids and education in West Contra Costa and California.

“I am officially endorsing Rochelle Pardue-Okimoto in her bid for my Assembly seat,” said Assemblymember Tony Thurmond. "Its been an honor to work along side Rochelle, a labor leader and activist, in our ongoing efforts to prevent the closure of hospitals that provide critical services to the people of the 15th Assembly District. An experienced nurse who will always put patients first, a community leader fighting for criminal justice reform and a true progressive fighting for working families every day make her the best candidate in this race." 

More Community Support for Rochelle's Campaign

Coming on the heels of the endorsement from Fiona Ma, a key member
of the Board of Equalization, Rochelle Pardue-Okimoto campaign for State Assembly
announced the endorsements of a diverse list of state leader, community activists
and local elected officials.

“I’m humbled by the support that I have received in this race, but we are just getting
started,” said Pardue-Okimoto. “Every day my grassroots movement grows and I am
confident that as more people meet me and hear my story they will join my
campaign to help make a real difference.”

California Legislative Black Caucus Endorses Rochelle Pardue-Okimoto

The California Legislative Black Caucus, comprised of eleven members of the legislature, have officially endorsed El Cerrito Councilmember, Rochelle Pardue-Okimoto for the State Assembly. This endorsement follows the endorsements by the CA Nurses and former Assemblymember Sandre Swanson.

“Rochelle Pardue-Okimoto overcame obstacles growing up in Fresno, but she thrived in school and went on to college before becoming a nurse at Alta Bates Hospital where she has worked for the past 17 years,” said Caucus Chair Chris Holden. “These life experiences combined with her work as a community leader on the El Cerrito Human Relations Commission and as a member of the El Cerrito City Council make her the best candidate for the State Assembly,” Holden continued. 

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Former Assemblymember Sandré Swanson Endorses Rochelle Pardue-Okimoto for the State Assembly

Former Assemblymember Sandré Swanson announced his endorsement of El Cerrito Councilmember, Rochelle Pardue-Okimoto for the State Assembly.

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Assembly Candidate Rochelle Pardue-Okimoto Gains Early Endorsement from California Nurses

Democratic Assembly candidate Rochelle Pardue-Okimoto gained an early endorsement from the California Nurses Association.  Pardue-Okimoto has been a nurse for the past 17 year at Alta Bates Hospital in Berkeley.

“I am proud to receive the support of the California Nurses Association, but this campaign is just getting started,” said Rochelle.  “I will continue to work hard to make sure every voter knows my record as a patient advocate, community leader and my vision for California’s future.” 

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