Yesterday, Zennie Abraham posted an interview he did with Rebecca Kaplan at Cafe Verbena earlier this week. There’s quite a bit of background noise, but if you can get past that, it’s a great interview that I recommend watching:
I was prepared to write up an analysis of the interview, but David over at Brooklyn Avenue beat me to it. He’s still undecided in the race but was persuaded by the interview:
Kaplan is an unabashed “progressive” (as am I!), but she does not seem to be stuck in the same mindset that causes many left-leaning Bay Area politicians to cling to discredited or ineffective policies. She is also refreshingly willing to admit that she sometimes revises her positions when she encounters new information or arguments (maybe she picked up her data-focused, results-oriented worldview by hanging out with all the engineers at MIT). Kaplan sounds like someone who is genuinely open to new ideas and innovative solutions. Kaplan also sounds like someone who recognizes that economic development often just requires government getting out of the way of private enterprise, instead of discouraging businesses from coming to Oakland with excessive zoning restrictions, bureacratic red tape, and so on.
In the interview, Kaplan covers some of her main concerns and objectives: improving retail, stopping crime, creating a transit plan, supporting the arts, etc. But this interview also gives some insight into where Rebecca is coming from. She talks about growing up in Toronto and how the socially liberal people there embraced economic development. Rebecca and I were discussing this exact issue on the bus the other day – it’s problematic that some Bay Area liberals do not realize how important economic development is and that development can be positive for the environment and labor.
At the end of the interview, Rebecca invites viewers to join her at her birthday party/campaign headquarters opening next Wednesday, September 17th. Take 20 minutes and watch the whole interview – it’s well worth the time.