The number of pages to fill out in responding to various groups are too voluminous and repetitious to reprint all here, so I have listed the name of the group and extracted a few question/responses in an attempt to give you a wide representation of my answers.
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League of Women Voters
What are your qualifications to be an Oakland City Councilmember?
For the last 38 years I have worked for and been active in fighting for the legislated rights of the residents of Oakland. I have run before; my goal has been to educate and elevate the community voice. . I have never been involved under the guise of seeking "higher" office outside of the City of Oakland, nor do seek " from "donations" or endorsements from corporations or PACs.
I have lived here since 1964 and seen the changes that have left us in a wasteland while surrounding communities have flourished. I have analyzed them and have mitigation/proposals from which to start true community conversations, actions and implementation. Over the years I have been involved in economic development, neighborhood issues, NCPC's, closed liquor stores, and served as a resource of information, assistance and help to those who have reached out to me. Every day I engage in a grassroots activity. Oakland is taxed for services that are never delivered. There has to be accountability, deep audit and transparency in city government instead of so much of the behind-doors-backstabbing that has become our public face.
With a career in tax preparation, I certainly can analyze budget and spending information, share strategies and best practices and facilitate dialogue over barrier issues.
If elected, what will be your top 3 priorities?
1. Call for a complete outside deep (fiscal and performance) audit of the City of Oakland.
2. Call for the removal of the Promise Program illegally added to the City Charter and repayment of the $4 Million that was illegally taken, in $2 Million increments, from the last two City budgets.
3. Serving as the At-Large Councilperson, to be the bridge that ensures that city services and resources are equally accessible and distributed throughout the seven districts. Assisting each District to articulate, conceptualize, cost-out projects for their unique needs
By how much do you support cutting the police budget? Note that the John George Democratic Club is strongly in favor of reimagining the police.
Other: I concur with reimagine the police (for starters reimagine all related (fire, EMT, etc) into Public Safety Personnel. I do not think blindly picking a blank percentage gets to the root or an appropriate solution. Each budget item should be reviewed with a grid chart of impacts/possibilities that include
1. impact on current contracts
2. impact on existing benefit contracts
3. ability to maintain function through other resources
4. actual existing Oakland code violation
5. violation of state or federal code/contract
6. other legal/fiscal implications
7. equitable distribution of resource/service throughout city
8. function may be handled by volunteers/specialty teams
9. listing of potential unintended consequences at the conclusion of this exercise, the amount/service that can be eliminated/reduced or transferred to another department can be calculated and turned into a percentage for public consumption and ratification.
How would you reimagine the police?
They used to be called peace officers. The public is appropriately clamoring for "change" but without specifics and often without knowledge of administrative process, rules, budget, etc. It makes for great headlines, but two weeks later…………… So first there must be massive public education which provides transparent transmission of this information, ie publishing of existing formats and then a mechanism for edit/rewrite.
The Manual of Rules defines standards a code of conduct and ethics for the Oakland Police Department was published in 2010………and despite a decade of federal "supervision" and a lot of posturing by city council members, this has not been publicly reviewed. This body of words is what officers swear to uphold and the document that provides legal status.
Where is the responsible edit and legislation? Do most people know what Code 103 represents?
1. Strengthening the Oakland Police Commission and making it more independent.
The Commission has little to no training and is manipulated by outside influence. Their work and "track record" is based on vindictiveness, not on expertise. The appointed public group have little to no knowledge of the needed requirements for a complete Commission that represents a well-rounded membership that represents the whole of Oakland.
2. Allowing anyone 15 and older to vote for Oakland Unified School District directors.
While today's teens are more aware of the world in some ways because of so much communicative technology, this becomes emotional political measure that has little substance when you have a system that does not even teach Civics anymore and barely Social Studies.
You are involved in voter education and know the necessity and value thereof. The lack of education becomes a failure to implement a process, allowing outside forces to drive any subject. Their vote should be advisory as we step into this model.
3. Removing the $1,000 cap on fines for ordinance violations.
The Charter stipulates this and the fact that Rebecca Kaplan bypassed this legality when she put the $6000.00 fine in Measure W (Vacant Parcel) Measure. She is now attempting to cover her outright negligence.
The City Council voted on some controversial and major policies over the past six months. Please tell us how you would have voted on the following, and what you think the next steps should be:
4. The council adopted the goal of reducing the Police Department's share of the general fund budget by 50% in the 2021-2023 budget.
"Defunding" is an abhorrent term. Examining and reassigning duties for public safety and response among different entities is completely appropriate, if not overdue. There needs to be a comprehensive, not a knee-jerk response.
How would you respond to intersectionality?
Someone once famously said, "I look forward to the day when I can judge a person for the content of their character…" I live by those words and look to serve and work with people of all "persuasions". Yes, every public policy and ordinance needs to be examined for its impact, unintended consequences, and/or and semblance of institutional discrimination on the different sectors of city residents. In a term coined by Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw, intersectionality recognizes some individuals face multiple and intersecting forms of structural discrimination. Thus, it is important for us to work together to incorporate different communities’ experiences with culture, policies, and media. Good public policy, then, takes stock of where people are located, where they want to be and how a good society can build bridges to help them get there.
The At-Large Member of the Council is supposed to be the bridge between the District Councilpersons, but also to the different entities throughout our population. This is who I pledge to be.
There is a projected deficit and you must have a balanced budget. What options other than real estate related taxes would you prefer?
Oakland is long overdue to have a full outside audit as Brenda Roberts is the only auditor who did all the required audits as required by the Charter. Brenda was finding money and was set up because she did her job and did it well! Rosen and Associates, an auditing firm out of SF, then was hired to do an audit by the City and started finding questionable issues and was abruptly fired by the Mayor. The fact that the City gave away $74 Million to OUSD in the 2018 budget for their Justice Programs should wake residents up to the out-of-control leadership that has not a clue how to run much less represent the residents they where elected to represent.
Our current auditor, though a CPA, knows nothing about auditing. All the cities in the Bay area have flourished and this is in part due to staff personnel who came thinking that they could build Oakland back up and instead found that they have gained knowledge of what not to do when working in government. Subsequently they leave, going to other jurisdictions.
Do you believe homeownership is an integral part of your community?
Yes, homeownership is an integral part of any community. Remember it was one half the focus of the GI Bill for very pragmatic reasons.
If so, what type of long term policies would you implement, or refrain from implementing, to ensure more homeownership opportunities in your community?
Until recently, home ownership has been the growth engine that has built cities. As has greed and a court ruling changed the picture of who should own and what entitlement has led to. Greed through profit by a few is killing off the middle class. Development projects must be analyzed, not only for their profitability to the developer, but for the integration of the site, residents and subsequent/related activities as a profit in human capital.
How would you ensure the ongoing cost of owning a home is kept affordable?
* Prohibition of usury.
* True financing education.
* Neighborhood groups for basic maintenance/repair.
* Continue programs like Tool Lending Libraries.
* Career development/skill training/service learning programs with youth/young families.
As to policies and the City Council… Council oversees building codes, zoning, business licensing/contracting, quality-of-life standards and other components of creating an appropriate environment for thoughtful development and placement of housing. I have ideas on all.
East Bay for Everyone
Dedicated bus lanes have been shown to improve transit times for buses that often get trapped behind cars in traffic jams. Do you support dedicated bus lanes? Do you support dedicated bus lanes across the Bay Bridge?
The original bridge design had auto traffic on top, train and bus on bottom. Look at the new design and tell me what foresight was used and what commitment to public transit was an underlying design concept. As was with the design, current administration of bridge policy is beyond the scope of a sitting Oakland Councilperson.
How much money have you raised so far? Who are your top endorsers? How do you plan to win the campaign? (Same response sent to John George Club).
I do not seek "endorsements" as it has become a game of favorship/patronage and often members of the endorsor vote contrary to what appears on a campaign site. I seek the endorsement of persons who know that I am truthful, honest and knowledgeable about Oakland City Government, its beauty and warts notwithstanding.
I seek the votes of your membership; should the leadership endorse me, that would be validating the daily toil and contribution with which your membership makes this a diverse, engaged, and conversational organization.
What is your position on the A’s development at Howard Terminal and the redevelopment of the Oakland Coliseum land?
Absolutely opposed to Howard Terminal and compromising potential of Port. Coliseum can be a jewel ballpark as well as an economic development catalyst for Districts Six and Seven.
Is there anything else you would like to convey to East Bay for Everyone (optional)?
Love the name