EBMUD board welcomes newest member Marguerite Young

The new year brings a new voice to the East Bay Municipal Utility District board with the swearing-in today of Marguerite Young, who represents the cities of Piedmont, Orinda and El Sobrante, town of Moraga, as well as portions of Oakland, Pinole and Richmond.

“Protecting our biggest asset, the Mokelumne River, its watershed and the rights to some of the finest quality drinking water in the nation, is what drove me to run for this position,” said Young.

For the next four years, Young will represent Ward 3, replacing Katy Foulkes of Piedmont who served for nearly two decades. EBMUD has a seven-member board of directors publicly elected from wards within the 331-square mile service area. They represent 1.3 million people in Alameda and Contra Costa counties.

Young is a third-generation Californian who grew up in Kensington and has been an Oakland resident for 24 years. She graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a Bachelor of Science degree from the College of Natural Resources. Her professional career has been dedicated to environmental and labor causes as an organizer, campaign strategist and policy advocate for the California League of Conservation Voters, Clean Water Action and the Service Employees International Union.

“I look forward to working with the rest of the board, the communities we serve and other stakeholders to address our response to the ongoing drought and the long-term challenges of climate change. I am also eager to tackle the generational challenge we face of modernizing our region’s aging water pipelines,” said Young.

Three other board members also were sworn in for new terms today: John A. Coleman, who ran unopposed, will serve his seventh term representing Ward 2, which includes Alamo, Lafayette, Walnut Creek, the Town of Danville, communities of Blackhawk and Diablo, and portions of Pleasant Hill and San Ramon. Coleman, a Walnut Creek resident, is executive director of the Bay Planning Coalition, which represents maritime and shoreline interests and issues in the Bay-Delta region. He is the president of the Association of California Water Agencies Board of Directors.

Andy Katz was reelected unopposed to his third term to serve Ward 4, which includes Albany, Berkeley, El Cerrito, Emeryville, Kensington and portions of Oakland. Katz was first elected to the EBMUD board in 2006 and is a clean air attorney and public health advocate for Breathe California. He also has served on the Berkeley Zoning Adjustments Board.

Frank Mellon, of Ward 7, which includes Castro Valley, portions of San Leandro, Hayward and San Ramon, also was reelected unopposed this past November. Mellon, a Castro Valley resident and U.S. Navy veteran, was first elected in 1994. He is a human resources and labor relations consultant serving the public and private sectors.

Today, the board members unanimously elected Mellon president of the EBMUD board of directors through 2016. They elected William B. Patterson to serve as board vice-president.

“I am confident that EBMUD will continue to be an environmental leader in California. We will continue to demonstrate that water wars are a relic of the past. Regional partnerships are the future and the solution to our state’s water supply challenges, and we will work to address those challenges,” said Mellon.