Based on the comments on last week’s post about your choices for Oakland Mayor, it seems like a lot of you are pretty unhappy with your options. I can’t say I blame you.
So I’m sure that many of you will be happy to know that as of today, you officially might have another choice. At-large Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan, who has been getting a lot of attention as a possible contender, announced this morning that she is forming an exploratory committee for a Mayoral campaign.
From the Trib:
First-term Oakland City Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan has formed a committee that will allow her to begin fundraising for a possible mayoral campaign, Kaplan announced this morning.
Kaplan has not said definitively whether she will run for the post, but statements in a news release gave strong indications she is likely to do so.
“I’m willing to roll up my sleeves and tackle the issues that face Oakland at this important crossroads for our city’s future,” Kaplan said.
I’ll reserve my thoughts for a future post, but I figured the news is something you guys might want to talk about. So here’s a space to do that.
Here’s the full press release:
OAKLAND, CA April 13, 2010 — City Councilmember At Large Rebecca Kaplan announced today that she has filed necessary paper work to form an exploratory committee for the Oakland mayor’s race in the November 2010 election.
“With this economic and political environment, our community is in need of a bold new vision and leadership,” said Kaplan. “I’m looking at the magnitude of what we need to do to strengthen the local economy, attract jobs and make doing business in Oakland easier, and know it will take dedicated effort.”
Through the exploratory committee Kaplan is looking not only to identify key issues but also to invite input and involve supporters. She plans to address critical concerns including the need for more economic revitalization, local hire policies, and livable communities. Her goal is to “continue to build an Oakland we can all be proud of.” Filing an exploratory committee allows fundraising to begin as well.
Kaplan will be hosting a reception and fundraiser party on Wednesday May 12, 2010 at the historic Cathedral Building in Uptown Oakland located at 1615 Broadway Ave., from 5:30 — 7:00pm.
“I’m willing to roll up my sleeves and tackle the issues that face Oakland at this important crossroads for our city’s future.” Kaplan, who was elected to Oakland’s city-wide Council seat with 62% of the vote, is the first openly-lesbian elected official in Oakland. Helping to modernize city hall by improving its efficiency, effectiveness and responsiveness will be part of Kaplan’s top priorities, along with economic revitalization and public safety.
“We need to make it possible to do business more effectively, including providing forms, fees and permits online.’’ Kaplan said. “We need to make creating jobs and doing business in Oakland easier.” Updating our zoning to attract economic opportunity will be part of the groundwork it takes to make the city more serviceable, she added.
Former director for the AC Transit Board, Kaplan, 39, has established herself as a thoughtful policymaker acting for real-world solutions, from updating zoning to landing funds to launch a new free transit shuttle for Oakland’s central corridor. Kaplan’s work experience includes providing financial education and legal referrals to residents facing foreclosure, serving as a State Assembly legislative aide, passing a new vacant/blighted property ordinance, and worked to strengthen the city budget with innovative funding strategies.
Kaplan grew up attending Orthodox Jewish day school, graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a Bachelor’s degree, and earned a law degree from Stanford University.
If nothing else, the election just got a lot more interesting.