Tri-Valley legislators fill key staffing vacancies

Area council members among recent hires to administrative posts

Three East Bay locals have been selected to serve on top administrative posts of Tri-Valley legislators over the past several months, two of whom are city council members in the region.

To start, State Sen. Steve Glazer (D-Orinda) promoted 38-year-old George Escutia Jr., to serve as his new district director in May. In his new role, Escutia is tasked with managing Glazer's district office and helping engage with the public over services it can provide.

"George has been a dedicated and effective district field representative for the past four years," Glazer said in a statement. "He has built and sustained strong relationships with local government and community leaders. He is very familiar with our unique cities and towns that make our area deserving of special protection and advocacy. That is why he is perfectly suited to assume the position of district director."

Having served as a senior district representative since Glazer's inaugural election to the State Senate in May 2015, Escutia has proven to be an effective part of the senator's team, particularly on issues such as addressing constituent needs and serving as a liaison to other government officials, the senator's office said.

Officials from Glazer's office added that Escutia's own experience with poverty, housing and food insecurity have provided Glazer's office with an important perspective on the many issues affecting the 7th Senate District, which includes the Tri-Valley.

Escutia succeeded Teresa Gerringer, who stepped down from Glazer's office in February citing the need to focus on her role as a Lafayette City Council member. Then several weeks later, Gerringer was hired to serve as communications director for Contra Costa County Supervisor Diane Burgis, helping the supervisor in a variety of special projects, including the county's 2020 census efforts.

"I am very excited to add Teresa's extensive background and expertise to my team. She knows the district, has strong relationships with local leaders, and has a good grasp of the opportunities and challenges facing the district," said Burgis, whose East County district includes Tri-Valley communities of Blackhawk, Diablo and Tassajara Valley.

Gerringer was elected to the Lafayette City Council in November, after serving as a longtime member of the Lafayette School District Governing Board.

And in the office of State Assemblywoman Rebecca Bauer-Kahan (D-Orinda), Dublin City Councilman Shawn Kumagai has been selected to serve as the new district director for Bauer-Kahan's 16th Assembly District, which includes the Tri-Valley.

"He's great. We thought he would be an excellent fit for our staff and district and we're really happy to have him on board," said Jordan Curley, Bauer-Kahan's chief of staff. "Shawn is an excellent communicator he is smart (and) extremely capable."

Starting at the position in April, Kumagai will continue to serve in his duties on the Dublin City Council and has already announced his intent to run for re-election to the council come 2022.

In other recent hiring news, former Livermore City Councilman Steven Spedowfski (2014-18) was promoted in his day job in the spring to become the new deputy city manager for the city of San Ramon.

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