Bob Valladon wrote a great endorsement of Sean from the OPOA. He seems to have a lot of the same reasons as I have for supporting Sean, which actually surprised me a little. But the whole thing is great and everyone should read it.
The OPOA fully and eagerly endorses Sean Sullivan, who is running for Nancy Nadel’s District 3 seat. You may visit his website by “Googling” his name and notice that his headline announces him as, “The Change Oakland Needs Now.”
We aren’t necessarily impressed by words that often have cheap currency in politics. There is much to be said for certain incumbent City Council members who have the contacts and experience necessary to make changes, against the uncertainty of newcomers who have yet to build a working influence. In this case, we definitely feel that long-term do-little Nancy Nadel should be replaced. Sean Sullivan isn’t merely a replacement. He is a well qualified and earnest individual who can make a difference. Council Members Desley Brooks and Pat Kernighan endorse him, as do a long list of recognized supporters. This doesn’t mean we all agree on everything, but agreeing on Sean Sullivan is significant for a City thus far stuck in long-term status quo. If there’s any place Oakland that could use new blood in politics, if maybe not the only place, to overturn Nancy Nadel is a good start.
Sullivan says on his website, “The District is in shambles. The City is in a crisis when it comes to crime.” We agree on both counts. Just drive around Nancy Nadel’s industrial waste land, the junk piles on the sidewalks, the cyclone fences with barbed wire, the empty and neglected structures, the barking junk yard dogs, the lack of any economic base, and the remnants of a once proud area of flatland West Oakland. You can just feel the fear in the eyes, voices, and defensive actions of all who live, work and visit anywhere in her District. Adams Point and Pill Hill are especially frightened because the violence has spread. She is indeed a preservationist. Nadel wants to “preserve” what’s decaying, and do little that would be effective in changing her “preserve” of crime.
We listened carefully to Sean Sullivan and read what we could about him. He simply is better than Nancy Nadel. His attributes and priorities are in stark contrast to hers. He has a youthful energy, and is optimistic and constructive in his vision and priorities. He is cooperative and positive. He has new ideas and appreciates old ways. He wants to offer encouragement and support to the OPD, which includes promoting our efforts and not demeaning them. He won’t automatically fall in line with the Chief or accept promises at face value. He wants real results as much as we do, not frosting on a bad cake. We all want a better City. We can only do it together, and not fragmented with each of us pulling in a different direction. We believe Sean Sullivan will lend his weight to the heavy lifting that we must all do together.
It is not easy to unseat an incumbent. Nancy Nadel has had the weight of her office to make a pretty strong nest from which to feel comfortable. She has had millions of dollars of accessible funds by which to “buy” support. She has had the influence to indulge the interests of many who will rubber stamp their votes to retain her favors. She has the name recognition that many will simply default in the voting booth. There are those who rely on her promises, and will wonder what will happen if she’s unseated. She has the advantage of years of glad-handing. We strongly urge that everyone voting in her District will look around and ask themselves, “Has anything changed that much?” “Couldn’t things be much better?” We hope enough people still trust their police enough to listen to us. We regret that the distrust has been fostered in the politics typical of Nancy Nadel. Our support of Sean Sullivan is in support of Oakland.
We are not ordinarily a political body. However, in the effort to better our OPD and the conditions for those men and women who serve, we are sincerely committed to a better Oakland. We feel these goals are mutually inclusive. You may have noticed that we also support Ignacio De La Fuente. Everyone must have noted that we don’t always see eye to eye, but the recent East Bay Express article has indicated that we did the right thing. De La Fuente has energy and he wants to see a more effective OPD in order to have a better Oakland. That’s all we’re asking for – support for the best ways to do our job. For Oakland to thrive into economic growth, the real answer to poverty and crime, it needs to have politicians who will roll up their sleeves for real visionary change, and not sit back saying how wonderful everything is thanks to them. Sullivan and De La Fuente are not just getting our one time support; we will hold them accountable for a better Oakland. That means foremost, greater confidence in and support for public safety.
Bob Valladon, OPOA President