The State Worker

CalPERS retirees have an election this fall. Check out candidates at Tuesday forum

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CalPERS, California Public Employees Retirement System, aims to build retirement and health security for state workers. Here's a quick look at the retirement system.
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CalPERS, California Public Employees Retirement System, aims to build retirement and health security for state workers. Here's a quick look at the retirement system.

CalPERS retirees will get a chance Tuesday in Sacramento to hear from the two candidates vying for their votes in the pension fund’s Board of Administration election.

J.J. Jelincic, a former CalPERS board member who previously worked for the pension fund, is challenging incumbent Henry Jones, the board’s president, in the election.

Eligible voters should have received a ballot in a blue envelope in the mail last week. Retirees can mail the filled-in ballot to CalPERS or vote online or by phone. The deadline to vote is Sept. 30.

Tuesday’s candidate forum will be held from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the CalPERS auditorium in its building at 400 P Street. The League of Women Voters of Sacramento County will moderate. The forum will be live-streamed and posted online at www.calpers.ca.gov/boardelection.

Jones, first elected in 2008, is the board’s first African American president. He’s a former chief financial officer of Los Angeles Unified School District who has been endorsed by former Gov. Jerry Brown and several unions in the race.

Jelincic’s outspoken approach to governance and his willingness to criticize CalPERS staff members often put him at odds with other board members during his two terms, which ran through 2017. It also contributed to his garnering the endorsements of two retiree groups, the Retired Public Employees’ Association and California State Retirees.

In 2011, the State Personnel Board found merit to allegations that Jelincic had harassed three women, making them uncomfortable with “up and down” looks and inappropriate comments. Two women sitting on the CalPERS board, along with state Sen. Connie Leyva, D-Chino, in July urged Jelincic to drop out of this year’s election over the harassment finding.

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Wes Venteicher anchors The Bee’s popular State Worker coverage in the newspaper’s Capitol Bureau. He covers taxes, pensions, unions, state spending and California government. A Montana native, he reported on health care and politics in Chicago and Pittsburgh before joining The Bee in 2018.
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