I am always asked, why am I running or rather why I continue to run.
It is not because "I love this place" but because Oakland has "there" here. We have an ideal physical location, enviable weather and the most incredible and diverse population.
We have allowed what should be a vibrant, local Oakland economy to be hijacked by corporate interests that sees us as a convenient location to allow dollars to flow through but not stay. We have allowed our gracious climate to invade our Council chambers, polluting the environment, reducing what should be a winning team to become rancorous and myopic, leaving the Administration to be run by a back door cabal whose interests are not those of most Oaklanders. Their lack of appreciation of the local populace, culture and great potential has caused exemplary public servants to leave, stop creating or caring. Our K-12 school and community college system is in total shambles.
Somewhere along the line, our responsible media left, leaving opinionated and abbreviated reporting. Even many of the campaign "forums" have become orchestrated, with selective invitations to some of the candidates; others factory designed, allowing only 30 seconds to respond to self-serving questions written by the host. Do you really know what is going on? Nothing has been done to alleviate the problems we all face and now promises are being made.....until the election is over and then it will be back to business as usual. Our infrastructure is deteriorating, garbage is all over the streets, property taxes are out of control and skyrocketing and our youth wander with no hope due to lack of jobs. There are a number of candidates running; their main theme is the homeless and all the funding that will be provided to them while over 400,000 tax paying Oakland residents are ignored.
Oakland is run by a group of backroom players, who reap the benefits and line their pockets while Oakland continues to be seen as a third world "country". Watch from the perspective of "divide and conquer" and you will get that of which I speak. As another writer recently put it, "To this end, they've relied on misogynoir tropes, dishonest manipulation of the media and the electoral process. But perhaps just as disturbing as any of these; Oakland has finally entered the world of outside big money interfering in local politics."
If you have met our candidates for city council, you know that there are some thoughtful and energetic, if a bit naive, souls who want you at the polls.
However, we do need accurate corporate memory and persons who have been around long enough to know where the specifics (people, policy, contracts, etc) are hidden and how to deal with it.
We need the experience and insight of "mature" folk to merge with the energy, thoughtfulness and intellectually curious of "youth".
So, to the voters of all ages, join with me in restoring our community to what it can be. Beyond voting, get involved....in your neighborhood, in your community institutions, in YOUR city. Involved means learning how and why something functions - or not. Learn potential ways to improve or bring alternatives.
I have been involved in my neighborhood for over 50 years. From missing pets to trash removal, from abandoned cars to petty thievery, from domestic to elder abuse - I've seen and dealt with it all. Just ask anyone.
As a tax consultant I also, have the ability, to read budgets, financial statements and a host of documents that are deemed "boring" or unintelligible to many. There are many secrets buried here in our fine City. I know where they are. I want to focus and correct them. You can help by getting out and voting on November 3th.
As the Chair of Beat 29X NCPC, I understand the delicate balance between public safety and human need for freedom of expression. Until we restore RESPECT as a community value, progress WILL NOT OCCUR. Budgets for policing have no meaning unless the community is healthy and hearty.
So again, join with me. Play the Ranked Choice game and vote me #2 if you've never considered voting for me.
And once the election ends, join with me as we reclaim our town, Oak Town better known as Oakland.
Please pass this on to others on your list serv's/network, who live in Oakland, giving them a chance to know they have choices.
Candidate for City Council At-Large