Health Care in El Cerrito and Contra Costa County

El Cerrito residents are health oriented. However since the closing of Doctors Hospital, hospital services in El Cerrito and West Contra Costa County are sorely lacking.


Kaiser Permanente Richmond Medical Center is a prime membership hospital. But membership is costly for a significant number of El Cerrito residents.

The West County Health Center, while not a full hospital, provides a routine and preventive health care service that focuses on many health needs. But health care at the Center does not include emergency care, in-depth care, or surgical/ICU services.


Planned Parenthood at the El Cerrito Health Center, El Cerrito Plaza, provides certain women’s health services, again with no emergency care.

Evidently at this writing, the latter two facilities are the only evidence of publicly available health care in El Cerrito or West Contra Costa County. Alta Bates Medical Center in Oakland appears to be the closest access to full hospital services.

Medical care, mental health care, and emergency dental care are just a few health challenges El Cerrito residents may meet in their lifetimes. Much of our population is aging and therefore in need of hospitals that extensively cover geriatric services. In addition, national statistics show that 75% of healthcare needs stem from diabetes, obesity, heart disease, lung disease, high blood pressure, and cancer. These ailments not only accelerate the need for hospital dietitians, but can require immediate or future hospital-level care.

We at El Cerrito Progressives therefore advocate strongly for a county hospital or medical center that can house and care for emergency and extreme acute care patients, as well as provide dynamic services in disease diagnostics and treatment analysis for a variety of physical conditions.



CA JUSTICE On Your SmartPhone


    OBSERVE       RECORD         REPORT

For iPhone or Android, Mobile Justice CA is an easy way to record and report interactions with law enforcement. All footage and reports submitted through this app will be sent immediately to your local ACLU affiliate.

Mobile Justice CA has three main functions: Record, Report and Witness. After downloading the app:


To start recording, simply hold down the camera button on the outside of your phone, or open the app and hit the red ‘Record’ button and the app will use your phone’s camera to record both audio and video. To stop recording, simply tap the screen. As soon as you stop recording, the video will be automatically sent to the ACLU.

After each recording you will be prompted to fill out a short survey. You can bypass the survey by simply pressing cancel. However, we encourage you to fill it out, so we can learn more about what you witnessed. Required fields in the survey are marked ‘Required.’ If you are unsure of the information asked in the survey, simply mark ‘Unsure.’ Finally, press the ‘Submit Incident Report’ button to send your survey to the ACLU.

You can also test the record function by clicking on ‘Test’. The video captured in test mode will not be submitted to the ACLU.


This feature allows you to know if people around you are getting stopped by the law enforcement. When others in your area use Mobile Justice CA, you will get a message reporting where the encounter is happening. If the dot by this feature is green, it means the ‘Witness’ feature is activated. If the dot is red it means the ‘Witness’ feature is not activated and you will not receive reports on where officer activity is happening. This feature is especially useful for community groups who monitor law enforcement activity.


This feature allows you to keep up-to-date with important local and statewide alerts and events hosted by your local ACLU affiliate. To enable or disable this function, go to the ‘Settings’ tab of this app.

From: Mobile Justice CA – How It Works

ICE and Local Police Departments


In these times of mass deportations, it is important that those of us who are against these acts, or exposed to them, know of the process.

ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) is used by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to search for, seize, detain, and deport undocumented individuals living in the United States. ICE heavily depends on the cooperation of local law enforcement and local judicial systems to locate and deport those who are without documentation that states they are here lawfully.

Before proceeding further, let’s back up for a moment and realize that many workers flooded the U.S. after NAFTA, and other trade agreements caused their local farms and businesses to be uncompetitive. Most came to the U.S. at the invitation of U.S. employers who were trying to reduce their own wage expenses by illegally paying workers under the table.

Flooding the U.S. ‘shadow’ workforce has been the only option for many out-of-work Mexican farmers, artisans, and laborers, while others have come from unstable countries, fleeing life-threatening conditions. ICE uses local law enforcement to perform unregulated, unspecified, and unaccountable transferral of undocumented persons into detention and deportation.

Cooperation with local criminal justice systems gives ICE access to local jails for detentions, and allows ICE to obtain fingerprints from arrested individuals, guilty or not. The detention and deportation process overlooks the party’s guilt or innocence, while it also encourages racial profiling. Any expansion of the county jail means issues of immigration could significantly impact our local penal system.

For these stated reasons and more, El Cerrito Progressives clearly and assertively supports The City of El Cerrito declaring itself a Sanctuary City.

More information on expansion of ICE raids, read: How ICE Uses Local Criminal Justice Systems to Funnel People Into the Detention and Deportation System

El Cerrito Progressives Stand Against Recent ICE Raids


Recent ICE raids, fracturing families in the Los Angeles area, clearly indicate a shift in federal policy towards deportation. In the first week of the new administration, a Presidential Executive Order demanded removal of anyone accused or found guilty of any offense.

El Cerrito Progressives stand against mass deportations and any sentencing previous to convicition.

More information on recent ICE raids: ICE Raids Speed into Overdrive: Advocates Say Obama’s Deportations Reaching ‘100 MPH’ Under Trump

Politics Is Local


Numerous national demonstrations surfaced in response to the presidential election and recent executive orders, profoundly impacting human awareness both nationally and abroad. In no uncertain terms, whatever the issues, demonstrators are peacefully highlighting and demanding “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”. Upon witnessing the strength, determination, and power of the American people, a show of respect is returned from the world, as they recognize our work in rebuilding our democracy.

Further fueled by the united front, demonstrators and those progressively influenced, return to their communities to highlight, format, and organize points of contention into action items. Organizing happens locally.

Upon seeing the discrepancies between exit polls and actual primary and election results, many progressives became poll workers. The recognition that poll workers and election administrators can clearly commit fraud by rigging votes, not counting or destroying ballots, allowing illegal votes, and generally tampering with ballots, boosted these citizens into action.

To counter corporatists who fill state legislatures and county seats with fellow sympathizers, progressives are locally organizing in support of aligned candidates for city, county, state, and national elections. The mission statement that Progressive Massachusetts sets forth explains: “We organize around progressive issues in Massachusetts, help elect and support progressive candidates for public office who are committed to making a difference on these issues, and hold elected officials accountable to progressive positions and values.”


In response to the court-supported ‘decree’ of Citizens United that corporations are ‘people’, local communities have worked tirelessly to get money out of local politics. Civic efforts continue, while citizens also pressure for a constitutional amendment that overturns the legality of money in politics. Increasingly, citizen support and demands have encouraged local candidates, such as Ken Chiarella of Monroe NJ, to run on a platform of taking money out of local politics.

And within our local communities, El Cerrito Progressives are encouraging the City of El Cerrito to concretely support immigration and immigrants by officially declaring itself a Sanctuary City.

Organizing locally shows would-be supporters that progressives are serious about realizing change. Possibly due to public initiative, Twitter and Netflix are filing a brief opposing the Trump immigration order. Backing from progressively aligned influencers significantly increases as they detect coordinated citizen actions on solidly viable issues.

While partnering with local governments to promote and support pubic interests, progressives are organizing to continuously make civic inroads into reviving American democracy.

Politics is local.