OCTOBER 2010 UPDATE: I am endorsing Don Perata for Oakland Mayor. No one else in the race has actually produced a tangible proposal to deal with the City’s budget, nor can anyone else in the race match his tremendous record of leadership and accomplishment on environmental and social issues. Oakland desperately needs his leadership. I hope you’ll cast your vote for him too.
Tomorrow evening, Oakland voters have an opportunity to hear from a number of the Mayoral candidates at a forum on public safety issues at Lakeshore Baptist Church (3534 Lakeshore Avenue, 7PM).
A couple of new candidates have jumped into the Oakland Mayor’s race since we last examined the field, so I thought it would be an appropriate, in anticipation of tomorrow’s forum, to take another look.
Since I don’t know that much about like half of the candidates, I’m not going to try to write up little intros. Instead, I’ll share some excerpts from their websites and videos if they have them, so you can get a feel for how they’re selling themselves.
Let’s start with the candidates you may not know as much about.
Joe Tuman began his career in politics as a young man in the San Joaquin Valley, watching his parents take part in Democratic Party campaigns in the 1960s and 70s. Moving to the Bay Area for college, Joe quickly became involved in local politics as a consultant and later as a speechwriter for candidates and elected officials as well as people in business. Joe holds a B.A. in Political Science (with highest honors and great distinction, as well as Phi Beta Kappa) from the University of California, Berkeley (1980) and a Juris Doctorate from Boalt Hall (1983). In 1984 he became a television analyst for CNN during the presidential debates. Since that time, his work in television, news, and printed media has spanned two decades on both the local and national fronts.
The threat to public safety affects consideration of other issues like economic development and jobs, effective government, and improved education. Fears about crime cause businesses to leave Oakland, robbing the city of jobs and economic benefit, and also discourages migration to Oakland for those who would buy homes here and become residents. Crime is a serious contributing cause to depressed property values, which in turn affects property valuations, and property taxes-thus robbing our schools of badly needed funding. The fight against crime consumes a disproportionate share of already depleted city revenues from the general fund. Worst of all, crime-especially violent crime-claims many victims, and is usually suffered most by the poor.
His first start-up business was a small chain of retail clothing stores based in Manhattan Beach. After five years, he sold that business, and started a clothing manufacturing business, which employed over 50 employees. After four years, the employees formed a cooperative and bought the company. Then Greg started a computer software/hardware company, which he eventually sold to his partner after two years so he could return to the Bay Area.
After moving back to the Bay Area, he owned and operated two restaurants over a span of ten years, both of which were eventually sold. Greg is now retired and lives with his wife of twenty years, Joan, in Oakland.
Oakland has to be a city that works for everyone. We need to build a strong economy by attracting businesses that will create enough jobs to give us full employment. We need safe streets where every citizen can feel comfortable. I want Oakland to be sought out for our great public schools. We need a city government that runs efficiently and is responsive to its residents.
All of this is possible if we decide to do it. I’m ready; so join me in my vision and let’s make Oakland the best city in the Bay Area.
My name is Terence Candell. I was born and raised in Oakland and have lived here all my life, I am one of the 10 children raised by Shirley Etter, raised largely without a father in a highly dysfunctional family.
Still, I knew that if I used my God-given intelligence, I could make things better. If I loved hard enough, I could make things better. I love it here. So, I can make it better.
I have used this approach my entire adult life, with my wife, Dyra, who I love so very much. who was raised here; with the angel from heaven I am proud to call my daughter, Dyra the second, who has special needs and has taught me a different kind of love without measure; and with my genius son, the youngest in history to graduate from Cal State East Bay and the youngest African American to graduate from a university in the history of the United States at 14, and who demonstrates for me daily what love a man can be! Both of my children were born and are being raised in Oakland.
Politicians will only tell you what you want to hear in order to receive your vote. Many have and will continue to bleed the city dry monetarily. It is time to restore Oakland’s beauty. Vote for someone who is not caught-up or tied down to greedy corporations or bad business ventures.
I learned that political campaigns are dependent on knowledgeable hard working staff and dependable volunteers. my mission is to support block-by-block organizing through logistics support, and taking the lead from the grassroots. I have worked to keep young people informed and involved. I also worked on the Oak-to-Ninth referendum petition gathering drive. This was a clear example of a favored developer receiving a public gift of land that would have ended up an environmental disaster, a public rip-off, and a total ignoring of a public input process. I learned how valuable legal input is to the development process. I have learned how the City Council works and the importance of everybody being aware and involved in the decision making process.
One way or another, I will work to build a strong grassroots network in Oakland that is capable of resisting gentrification, injustice, and oppression. I know that running for mayor of Oakland Ca can give me experience in the kind of organizing that will increase the effectiveness and the smarts that we need to build that network. I am a conscious person who is willing to learn new ways of doing things. I also have lived long enough to learn that I must accept things that I can not change. But I know that through assertive commitment that much can be done.
Orlando Johnson 2010 Mayor candidate
Orlando | MySpace Video
He graduated from a machinist program in a Montreal trade school and followed that up with welding programs and CNC training. He got a GED in California and went on to graduate from Laney and then San Francisco State (Phi Beta Kappa)
Don believes in continuing adult education and still takes courses at Laney when possible. Most recently he took a course in Accounting.
Don was a machinist for 19 years, most of that time as a member of the machinist union (IAM). He was a IAM shop steward at Caral Mfg. of Albany CA. In his youth he worked to organize fellow plastic manufacturing workers at Rehau Plastics into the CNTU (the CSN of Quebec, Canada). Don believes strongly that all who work have a right to organize and be represented by the union of their choice.
Currently, Don owns and manages a small computer networking business in Oakland; East Bay Computer Services, Inc. He came to this occupation after a crippling industrial accident in a local machine shop left him unable to do the heavy lifting required of a machinist.
Our strength as a city rests in honestly addressing the crisis in which we now find ourselves. This starts with asking the right questions. Success requires we apply proven research, programs, and solutions to a number of our city’s most critical challenges and opportunities.
As Mayor I will set priorities to examine and solve some of our most pressing issues:
- Social Issues: substance abuse, homelessness, parolee recidivism, and truancy need to be acknowledged and confronted through aggressive community involvement, sustained action, and on-going support.
- Economic Growth: is realized when we set priorities that properly support public safety and security, encourage creative and meaningful business and employment opportunities for citizens, and develop housing for the most vulnerable members of our city.
- Infrastructure and Development: planning and capital projects need to enhance our City’s communities and business environments in ways that best serve the majority of our citizens and businesses.
- Fiscal Responsibility and Governance: requires being responsive—not reactive—to Oakland’s fiscal crisis by aligning resources where they are most needed, and benefit the majority of our citizens. It also requires disciplined planning and forecasting of the future growth of Oakland into a viable, sustainable, and safe city.
Don Perata has a distinguished record of civic engagement as a public servant and elected public official, rising from the ranks of school teacher to become president of the California State Senate.
A native and life-long resident of the East Bay, Don is the son of immigrant parents who taught him the value of hard work. As a youngster, he toiled at his father’s side, delivering milk door-to-door, and applied this grassroots approach throughout his career. Don has garnered a well deserved reputation as an elected public official who is accountable to his constituents – and gets things done.
Oakland can do better. I believe it, I know it. It is unacceptable to call 911 and get a busy signal, to wait months to fix a pothole or a street light, to cut library and recreation facilities’ hours. If city hall can’t do the little things, it will never reach heights equal to Oakland’s magnificent possibilities.
President Obama said “Yes We Can.” So we can in Oakland. It’s the mayor’s job to set the tone, provide the answers and make city hall work. A mayor doesn’t blame. He listens, assesses and assists. A mayor doesn’t offer excuses. He makes government work so there are no excuses needed.
I want to be mayor of Oakland to help get this city back on track and reach its full potential. If Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Portland and Houston can, so can Oakland, with its tremendous natural, cultural and social resources, and above all, its wonderful, generous people.
Rebecca serves as Oakland’s sole at-large City Councilmember. She has been an elected official representing Oaklanders for eight years, working to solve everyday problems of mobility, affordability, and quality of life.
Rebecca earned a Bachelor of Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and was awarded the Phi Beta Kappa academic honor. She holds a Master of Arts in Urban & Environmental Policy from Tufts University and a Juris Doctorate from Stanford Law School. A dual citizen born in Toronto, Canada, Rebecca has made Oakland her home for the past two decades. Before devoting herself full-time to public service, she worked for the California State Legislature, in the Oakland City Attorney’s office, and at TransForm.
As the Council Member for the entire City I’ve taken a solutions-oriented approach to the City’s problems. I know the immediate need for a new direction of City leadership. In my time on the City Council, I have raised City revenues without increasing taxes on residents, cut red tape for small businesses, reformed outdated and discriminatory legislation, and expanded transit service. But there is much more to be done.
Oakland needs to be a City that works for us, to create jobs and economic opportunity, to assure public safety, to promote healthy and livable neighborhoods, and to have an efficient and transparent City government.
As your Mayor, I will draw on my energy, my experience, and my education to identify and adopt the best practices used by cities nationwide to deliver vital services, address community needs, and promote economic well-being.
As a 30-year Oakland resident, I have dedicated my life to making government work for its residents — linking people to resources, empowering residents to make changes in their neighborhoods, and creating policy and institutions that help our youth, seniors and families thrive.
Oakland is my home. My family has been part of this city for over a century, since my great-grandfather, grandfather and his two brothers took the ferry to Oakland after the 1906 earthquake to become a part of the new Chinatown.
Oakland’s most urgent needs are Jean’s highest priorities…
- Ethical, Transparent, Effective City Hall
Oaklanders deserve responsive and honest public officials who work hard to make resources accessible. With the right leadership, we can end pay-to-play backroom politics in Oakland. Our city is not for sale.
- City-Wide Leadership for Quality Education
To strengthen communities, build our economy and reduce crime, city government must help organize support for all schools and children to set and reach their goals.
- Comprehensive Neighborhood Safety
Our family’s security depends on effective violence prevention and community policing, neighborhoods organized and empowered block by block, and preparedness for earthquakes and fires.
- Community and Economic Development
Oakland can flourish with more local business incentives and jobs, equitable opportunities, smart planning for thriving local districts, affordable housing, access to services and resourced parks, libraries and arts.
- A Cleaner, Greener, Healthier Oakland for All
By creating a sustainable city, we promote a green economy and healthy environment that benefits us all.
More thoughts on Friday
Okay, that seems like enough to digest for today. I’m sure I’ll have more to say on the subject after tomorrow’s forum. For those who want to attend the forum, it’s tomorrow night (Thursday, June 15th) at Lakeshore Baptist Church (3534 Lakeshore Avenue) from 7 to 9 PM.
I don’t know how many of the candidates are going to be there. Greg Harland, Rebecca Kaplan, Don Macleay, Joe Tuman, and Terence Candell have it listed on their websites, so I assume they will all be in attendance. Orlando Johnson does not, but he seems to have website problems, so I wouldn’t take that to mean he’s necessarily not going. Jean Quan isn’t listing it on her site or her Facebook, so I’m guessing that means she won’t attend. And of course, Don Perata won’t be going to any debates until after the filling deadling is closed, because he bizarrely thinks that giving voters an opportunity to ask you questions is “undemocratic”.
Oh! One more thing!
I wanted to extend my heartfelt appreciation to those of you who voted for me as “Best Blogger” in the East Bay Express Best of the East Bay Reader’s Poll. It’s extremely flattering to win the title for the third year in a row, and even more so since I have been so awful about keeping up the blog for the past few months.
But those who kept the faith and picked me anyway get a payoff for their kindness. You have succeeded in guilting me into returning to blogging. I don’t know if daily posting is in the cards for me right now, but I think that three a week is an achievable goal. I have to confess, I was really enjoying all the free time that opened up with the blog off my plate, and I had been considering abandoning it entirely. But writing about Oakland is fun too. So on the whole, I’m happy to be back.