Election for the Retiree Seat on the CalPERS Board Now Underway

Ballots mailed; Candidate Forum September 10

CalPERS retired members can expect a blue envelope that contains their ballot for the fall board election in their mailboxes in the next few days.

Incumbent Henry Jones and challenger Joseph "JJ" Jelincic, who served two previous terms on the Board are running for the Retired Member Representative seat on the CalPERS Board of Administration.

The candidates will have the opportunity to share their positions on issues during a candidate forum set for September 10 in the CalPERS Auditorium, 400 P Street, Sacramento. The forum will be moderated by the League of Women Voters of Sacramento County and is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. For those who cannot attend, the forum will be streamed live on the CalPERS website and posted there for later viewing at www.calpers.ca.gov/boardelection.

The 13-member CalPERS Board of Administration sets policy for retirement and health benefits on behalf of California public employers, and their active and retired employees. The board also oversees asset allocation of the pension fund's investments. Under the California Constitution, the CalPERS Board has exclusive authority to administer the CalPERS Fund.

Retired members may vote online, by phone, or by mail. Voting instructions are included in the ballot package, along with information about each candidate. Votes must be received by September 30 to be counted. The newly elected member will take his seat on January 16, 2020 to begin a four-year term.

Retired members who do not receive ballots by September 7 should call (855) 292-9956 to ask for a replacement ballot.

Information on the upcoming board election and resources for members and candidates are available at www.calpers.ca.gov/boardelection.

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Editorial comments from your webmaster:

The Jones - Jelincic election has been particularly contentious. Endorsements for Jones have come mainly from unions, teachers groups, and current and former elected officials. Jones does not list any retiree groups among his endorsers. Jelincic's endorsements include two major retiree groups: RPEA (Retired Public Employees Association) and CSR (California State Retirees); and, two current members of the board, Margaret Brown and Jason Perez who were elected on platforms that opposed current CalPERS investment policies.

CSU-ERFSA initially endorsed Jelincic, but later in a split vote of the Executive Committee (6 yes, 4 no, and 1 abstention) withdrew the endorsement over concerns about harassment complaints that surfaced during during Jelincic's first term on the CalPERS Board. CSU-ERFSA now makes no endorsement in the race.

The temperature level in the current race between Jones and Jelincic can be measured by reading the following two articles:

https://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/the-state-worker/article230817654.html

and

https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2019/08/influential-calpers-beneficiaries-charge-sacramento-bee-with-biased-coverage.html

Participation in CalPERS Board elections has been notoriously low in the past; and, that may have given CalPERS staff reason to believe that active and retired members of CalPERS are not interested in the inner workings of our retirement system. Your vote in the current Board election will show that we are interested.