Endorsements for the November Election

12 Oct

Even though Obama’s not on the ballot (and neither is McCain), there’s plenty to be excited about (or terrified of) on the November 2010 ballot. I know, I know, the election’s not for another month, but absentee ballots went out last week and many people have already voted so I wanted to post this right away.

There’s a LOT on the ballot this time, so to save some space and in hopes that folks would get through this entire post, I’ve left off some local races where the outcome is a foregone conclusion (like my friend Andy Katz who’s running unopposed for EBMUD or Joel Young who might as well be running unopposed for AC Transit), and I’ve skipped descriptions of some of the statewide candidates and initiatives because you can find those in many other places.

Instant runoff voting will be in place for the Oakland races. If you’re still confused about how it works, please read either the explanation I wrote last year or V Smoothe’s more recent explanation. It’s important to understand how voting works before you cast your 1st, 2nd and 3rd choice votes!

(I’m working on several campaigns and the firm I work for is working on many more. I’ve marked all of those campaigns with asterisks.)

Statewide Candidates

As you can probably tell, I’m voting the Democratic slate. One race I want to especially point out is the Attorney General race. Kamala Harris is an excellent candidate, and there are probably few people I would choose over her, but what you might not know is that her opponent is seriously bad news. Steve Cooley is anti-marriage equality, anti-environment, and anti-medical marijuana. For more on why not to vote for Cooley, check out the Not Cooley website, created by some of my very good friends and colleagues in the medical marijuana community.

Statewide Ballot Initiatives

I’m reluctantly linking to the Courage Campaign Voter Guide for descriptions. Reluctantly because I think they are off on Prop 22, which would protect local governments and transit agencies from having their funds raided by the state legislature. As is crystal clear here in Oakland, our local agencies are in huge financial trouble and the last thing they need is the state stealing their money. If Prop 22 had been passed in 2008, it’s likely AC Transit could have avoided many of its most drastic service cuts. Vote Yes on 22 to protect Oakland and East Bay agencies!

The other initiative I want to point out is Prop 19.  I’ve been working on marijuana policy reform for a decade, and I must admit that ten years ago I never could have imagined that marijuana legalization would be on the ballot so soon. Thanks to Richard Lee, it is, and thanks to the amazing team of people I’ve been working with for the past year, it looks like marijuana will soon be legal in California. This is a historic measure and even though I feel good going into our last month of campaigning, we’re going to need every last vote. It’s time to end cannabis prohibition, end the arrests of marijuana users and grower, and provide much needed tax revenue to our state and city. Vote yes and talk to everyone you know about this measure – there are few undecided voters left but we need ever supportive voter to turn out.

Local Candidates:

*Alameda County Superior Court – Victoria Kolakowski

I’m working on Vicky’s campaign, but even if I wasn’t, I’d vote for her, just as I did in 2008 when she first ran to be judge. I feel so lucky that I’ve gotten the opportunity to get to know Vicky over the past several months. I immediately knew she was dedicated and experienced, but over time I’ve learned about her level-headed temperament and compassion, which are very important qualities to me in judges. She has served for several years as an administrative law judge, and she is the only one in the race with extensive civil law experience. Why is this important? Well, governors tend to appoint prosecutors to be judges and it’s important to have a diversity of legal experience on the bench because many cases are not criminal. Issues like divorce, family conflicts, employment issues, etc. come before the court frequently.

Vicky would also bring a different kind of diversity to the courts. In Alameda County, less than a third of the judges are women! When Vicky wins, she will make history by becoming the first transgendered trial court judge in the entire country. There’s no way I can explain this as eloquently or powerfully as she does, but having a transgendered judge on the bench would be huge for the transgendered community. Transgendered people often struggle with the legal system, with issues ranging from changing their names to being the victims of violence so its important for this community to be represented well. Though I am not a person who votes for someone simply because of gender or sexual orientation, Vicky brings both diversity and experience so she is the clear choice. Please cast your vote for Victoria Kolakowski to help make history.

*BART Board, District 4: Robert Raburn

I’m not sure I could be much more excited about this race, especially since I recently moved into the district and now get to vote – both for Robert Raburn and against Carol Ward Allen. Regular blog readers shouldn’t be surprised that Ward Allen is one of my least favorite elected officials in the East Bay. She was the major champion of the Oakland Airport Connector, the half billion dollar boondoggle that will do nothing for Oakland and very little for transit riders. But beyond that, she’s incredibly rude to her constituents, telling at least one of her constituents that if he didn’t like how she voted, he should move. Luckily, I won’t just be casting a vote against Ward Allen because Raburn is a very qualified candidate for this seat. He used to run the East Bay Bicycle Coalition and has been involved with improvements at just about every BART station in the district. He’s a transit wonk, exactly what we need on this board, and has the interests of BART riders (and potential BART riders) in mind. I hope you’ll join me in enthusiastically voting for Robert Raburn for BART Board!

Oakland Mayor: Rebecca Kaplan

Though on policy Kaplan is often in line with my ideologies, that’s not the main reason I’m supporting her. There are a few qualities I’m looking for in a mayor, and Rebecca has all of them:

  1. Managerial skills & the ability to get things done
  2. Fresh ideas & the willingness to thing outside of the box
  3. Ability to work well with others

Policy is taking a back seat for me in this race because what we need right now is someone who’s ready to manage this city hands on. We need someone who will hire the right city administrator and who isn’t afraid to shake up department leadership. We need someone who will bring people together to fix our city. We need someone who’s innovative and who can get things done with basically no money. That person is Rebecca Kaplan. In her two years on the Council she’s accomplished so much, including passing a blighted property ordinance that had been stalled for years, authoring and helping pass the first cannabis tax measure in the country, and bringing Oakland the free Broadway shuttle. I can’t wait to see what she’ll accomplish as mayor.

Oakland Mayor, 2nd Choice: Don Perata

I know there are a lot of people going around saying “anybody but Don,” and my response is “anybody but Quan.” I know, I know, Don hasn’t played nicely in this race and his people have done some pretty bad things. But ultimately, it comes back to the three things I’m looking for in a mayor, and Don exhibits most of those qualities. Quan, meanwhile, doesn’t exhibit any of them. She’s not a leaders. She doesn’t get along well with people. She doesn’t get stuff done (though she often takes credit for stuff other people do). She drove the Oakland schools budget into the ground, as president of the school board, and Oakland’s budget into the ground, as chair of the finance committee. I think she’d be a disaster for Oakland, just as Dellums has been. So for 2nd choice, I’m voting for Perata, and for 3rd choice, anybody but Quan.

*Oakland City Council, District 2: No Position

I’m sure I’ll get shit for doing this, but I’m not taking a position in this race. The firm I work for is running Pat Kernighan’s race, and Jenn Pae’s on the board of East Bay Young Dems with me. I know and respect both of the candidates and don’t feel comfortable taking a position in this race. I don’t live in the district so won’t have to make a choice on who to vote for either. For those who do live in the district or have opinions, feel free to discuss in the comments here.

*Oakland City Council, District 4: Libby Schaaf

The only good thing about Jean Quan running for mayor is that her council seat is opening up. Seven candidates are vying for her seat, but only one has the experience needed – both in City Hall and in the community – to be ready on day one to deal with the financial and other crises the City is dealing with. I told Libby early on that I would support her (long before I started working on her campaign) because I’ve seen how effective, intelligent, and accessible she was while working for Ignacio De La Fuente. But since working on her campaign and getting to know her even better, I feel much more strongly that we need her on the Council. Though Libby understands the deep, structural problems the City has, she maintains hope and optimism. She focuses on the strengths Oakland has and how we can improve those strengths. Another quality of hers that has immensely impressed me is how well she gets along with basically everyone. Her supporters include environmentalists, business people, housing advocates, developers, labor leaders, and just about everyone in between. We need more councilmembers who can bring people together like Libby does. I don’t live in District 4 so won’t be able to vote for Libby, but I strongly urge District 4 residents to vote for her. And if you’re already supporting her, join us at the East Bay Young Dems phone bank for her tonight at the Oakland UDC.

Oakland City Council, District 6: Desley Brooks

I know there are mixed feelings about Desley Brooks – she sticks to what she believes in and sometimes that rubs people the wrong way. But I think it’s incredibly important to have a councilmember who’s willing to say what she believes, even if it’s not popular. It’s important to have a councilmember who will question an incredibly popular project for good reason when no one else is willing to. As I’ve watched council meetings over the past years, I’ve grown to greatly appreciate this quality in Desley. Beyond that, though I don’t live there, I’ve heard much from district residents about what she’s accomplished for her district, including a huge focus on parks. If you live in District 6, please re-elect Desley Brooks.

Local Measures:

  • Alameda County Measure F: Yes
  • Oakland Measure L: Yes
  • Oakland Measure V: Yes
  • Oakland Measure W: Yes
  • Oakland Measure X: No
  • Oakland Measure BB: Yes
I know there are some people who are going to look at the slate of local measures and cringe because they’re all taxes and fees, but some of them are very important. Measure F is an obvious yes – it’s just a $10 vehicle license fee and will mostly be used to fix local streets. There would also be some funding set aside for bicycle, pedestrian, and transit improvements, and since it’s a relatively small pot of money, none of the funds would be used for highways or transit boondoggles like the Oakland Airport Connector. Measure L is also super important – Oakland schools are terribly funded and we’re losing teachers because pay is so low. The one measure I’m conflicted about is Measure V – the marijuana tax. I think it’s inappropriate to tax medicine at such a high rate, but I fully support the other half of the measure – taxing recreational marijuana so that immediately after Prop 19 passes, our city will be able to tax and regulate the sales of marijuana immediately. I’m reluctantly supporting the measure but am disappointed about the trend of cities viewing a medicine as a revenue source.

38 Responses to “Endorsements for the November Election”

  1. Rebecca October 12, 2010 at 9:38 am #

    I just wanted to post a note in favor of Pat Kernighan for Oakland City Council, District 2. I live on Wallace Street in the San Antionio neighborhood. You may remember Wallace street as the Hill from Hell http://www.eastbayexpress.com/eastbay/the-hill-from-hell . Pat successfully drove the city council to use development funds to demolish the ruins, clear the ruble and secure the area. When the houses came down, so did the crimes on the street. When no one else would touch the issue – Pat stepped in and made things happen. I will always be grateful.

  2. Sean Sullivan October 12, 2010 at 10:27 am #

    I am not endorsing Pat Kernighan simply because she endorsed me when I ran 2 years ago. I was so proud to have Pat’s support because she represented then and represents now a true voice of rationality and independence that is sorely needed on the council. When the Council needed someone to over see the mess of the Workforce Investment Board they sent Pat for her no-nonsense, detail watching acumen to provide some accountability. She doesn’t always vote the way that I like but that’s not the point. Her votes come from a thoughtful decision making process that puts the needs of Oaklanders first.

  3. Naomi Schiff October 12, 2010 at 11:58 am #

    I’m supporting Jean Quan, but beyond that I can’t see why you would support Don for number 2, when he is so clearly beholden to charming groups such as the prison guards union, big developers, mercury insurance, and has no roots in the neighborhoods. Beyond that, he would be number four in a line of retreads from Sacto and D.C. This is just a way to subject Oakland to big money, without any of the advantages of true involvement in the local issues over which we have the most influence. Despite my high respect for you, I think you are way wrong on this.

    • Becks October 12, 2010 at 12:44 pm #

      My first choice, by leaps and bounds, is Rebecca Kaplan. If I only had one choice, that’s who I would be supporting. But I need to make a second choice, and I cannot vote for Jean Quan. Perata might not do things the way I’d like an elected official to, but he does get things done. And that’s the number one thing we need right now – a mayor who will be engaged, someone who’s an excellent manager, and someone who can tackle the huge problems the city faces. I think Don can and will do that. Will I always agree with what he does or how he does it? Of course not, but he would still be a huge improvement over Dellums. Again, Rebecca Kaplan is my number one choice and I’m volunteering for her campaign, since I think she would be an incredible mayor. But I’d choose Perata over Quan in a heartbeat.

      • Andy K October 12, 2010 at 3:05 pm #

        I could choose just about anyone (well almost) over Quan or Don. Tuman? He seems like his head and heart are in it for the right reasons – though I certainly don’t agree with him on every issue, and I know he would have a hell of a time working with the entrenched interests, he will most likely be my 2nd choice.

        With RCV, are any candidates actively trying to get the 2nd and 3rd choice votes of the fringe candidates by making promises of appointments, etc.?

        • Hometown grrl October 13, 2010 at 2:05 pm #

          This would not seem to be a wise use of scarce resources. If a voter is inclined to vote for either Harland or Candell, I would be surprised if they would even consider KPQ.

      • Max Allstadt October 13, 2010 at 9:46 pm #

        I agree with Becks.

        Kaplan is fantastic, and I support her enthusiastically. I make 30 bucks an hour and I donated 700 to her campaign because I’m convinced she’s the face of the next generation of Oakland’s leadership. She’s brilliant, accessible. She’s also utterly without malice, which is refreshing because it’s so rare in a politician.

        My second choice is Tuman. He won’t win, but I’m giving him my second choice vote because it will enhance his post-election statistics. While I don’t think he’s ready to be mayor, he should be commended for running an almost viable campaign as a complete outsider, and I hope decent post election stats encourage others to do the same in the future.

        My third choice is Don Perata. Mainly because he is not Jean Quan. I’m with Becks on this one. Jean Quan’s record of fiscal irresponsibility scares me more than Perata’s wealthy donors and questionable tactics.

        At the end of the day, our biggest problem in Oakland is our budget, and Quan had a big hand in getting us there. I think Kaplan can get us out of the mess. I’m not sure Perata can. I’m almost positive Quan will make it worse.

        It’s also important to note that Kaplan supports many of the same progressive social causes that Jean Quan does, and that’s part of the reason I’m supporting Kaplan. Unfortunately, Quan’s support for progressivism is paired with reckless spending.

        Kaplan is a practical progressive, but she’s still very much a real progressive. She does all the good that can be done, but she won’t cross the line and put us into debt or stagnation in the name of social justice, because government debt and urban stagnation are inherently worse for the poorest among us.

        Practical progressivism is the only true progressivism, and Kaplan gets that. Kaplan, for the win!

  4. Zoe Robinette October 12, 2010 at 2:28 pm #

    I am excited to see all the endorsements for Rebecca Kaplan! She get’s my #1 Vote for Mayor of Oakland as well for all the above mentioned reasons.

    Unlike some writers, I don’t have a #2 or #3 pick so leaving them blank…I don’t see where we have to pick top 3 as a requirement for choosing one candidate. Is that correct?

    • Becks October 12, 2010 at 2:35 pm #

      Nope – you definitely don’t have to pick a 2nd or 3rd choice. But if your 1st choice vote doesn’t get so many votes, if you don’t mark a 2nd choice, your vote gets tossed on the second round of counting. That’s why I have a 2nd choice for mayor.

      • Chuck October 12, 2010 at 3:00 pm #

        I’m sure this is quite clear to everyone here but it’s worth reiterating:

        Your 1st choice vote gets thrown out *if and only if* your first choice has the least votes of all candidates remaining AND no one candidate has yet received more than 50% of the vote.

        Like you, Becks, and a lot of people ’round these parts, I share your first choice sentiment and am stuck at whether I want to cast a “lesser of two evils” second-place vote just in case… Or if I simply don’t want to be on the record supporting either Quan or Perata.

        Hopefully that’s irrelevant when Kaplan wins the thing 🙂

        • Becks October 12, 2010 at 3:10 pm #

          Thanks for clarifying – that’s what I meant just was trying to write something quickly.

          If anyone’s confused, please click through to either my blog post or V Smoothe’s blog post above about IRV.

        • Zoe Robinette October 19, 2010 at 6:07 pm #

          So true! I am of the opinion that Kaplan is the ONLY choice for Mayor of Oakland and therefore my #1. On the rest of it–there are no ‘lesser of 2-8″ evils–and the end of the day it still sounds like evil:)

          Kaplan took her city wide seat for city council at large by 62 percent of the vote! Let’s just get out the vote!

  5. Hometown grrl October 13, 2010 at 1:24 pm #

    I believe in and support Pat Kernighan for District 2 110%. She is measured and balanced in her approach and is consistently “a true voice of rationality and independence.” She has been good for the district and Oakland.

  6. Hometown grrl October 13, 2010 at 2:31 pm #

    Acevedo and Tolarkson for Superintendent of Public Instruction is a toss-up. But I give the nod to Larry Aceved.

    Acevedo is not beholden to the unions and believes in accountability and performance. He is first and foremost an educator, not a legislator. He understands that bubble test are not going to prepare students for the future. Not all students are going to attend college; thus, he advocates for education and vocation. All students should benefit from the arts not just the wealthy. And as an educator, he has found private resources to advance programs.

    Acevedo has my vote for SPI.

  7. Hometown grrl October 13, 2010 at 2:36 pm #

    Okay, this is why multi-tasking is bad, Acevedo co-worker. Aceves SPI candidate

    Aceves for SPI.

  8. Max Allstadt October 13, 2010 at 9:54 pm #

    Also, I totally disagree with Becks’ endorsement of Tom Torlakson for Superintendent of Public Schools.

    I saw Torlakson and Larry Aceves at a Bay Area Young Dems forum, and my date for the event was a total education policy wonk. I felt like Torlakson dodged questions, and changed the subject too often.

    My date was equally unimpressed, and said that Aceves gave straight answers and knew what he was talking about from an inside-the-classroom perspective, and from a parent-teacher-relationship perspective.

    Aceves is also wonderfully warm and charismatic, and Torlakson came across cold and contrived.

    Aceves all the way for Superintendent of Public Schools!

  9. Naomi Schiff October 16, 2010 at 10:05 am #

    “Don would get things done” –what things are you talking about? making sweetheart deals with the prison guards, way too chummy with land speculators and out-of-town developers, eager to sell off public assets, and untrustworthy on schools. Beholden to way too many special interests, and unlikely to focus on the local citizens. This is a guy who took money from the infamous Ameriquest mortgage lenders, and tried to help Mercury Insurance sabotage our state. I don’t think he deserves your votes. He is by no means necessarily a stronger candidate than Dellums was, and has the similar disability of coming to city hall from decades in big money politics. Nope.

    I believe that “get things done” is a synonym for “not female.”

  10. Max Allstadt October 17, 2010 at 6:36 pm #

    Naomi, how the hell do you get to the “not female” conclusion, when most of our top endorsements are going to Rebecca Kaplan?

  11. Naomi Schiff October 18, 2010 at 9:25 am #

    I’m not saying that’s your position. But I have been hearing that phrase from Perata supporters and I believe they aren’t thinking it through. It is kind of like that yard sign he has with the hulking big guy on the porch. The big guy who will take care of little infantile Oakland. Either Quan or Kaplan would be stronger as mayor, because they seem truly interested in the city and its people. Whereas Don is interested in two aspects: money and power. He is remarkably uninformed on the detail of city governance and neighborhood issues. Anyone but Perata.

  12. livegreen October 18, 2010 at 11:46 pm #

    I’m not sure I understand your choice for District 4. I agree Libby has been productive in the City, including writing the language for Measure Y. I understand she was born & raised in part of District 4.

    But she hasn’t had a recent connection to District 4 and only moved their recently. I assume that’s to run for the Office? I also have viewed her website and can’t tell what she’s done in District 4, or what she wants to do for District 4. It’s mostly generalities for the entire City, but nothing about any neighborhood in the District she’s running in.

    In the meantime there are several opponents who’ve been active in the District 4 community for many recent years, and done much for it. Yet you endorse Libby from a City Hall perspective without shedding any light as to what she has actually done or will do for District 4.


    • Becks October 19, 2010 at 8:22 am #

      It’s true that for part of her adult life Libby lived outside of District 4, but she was still connected to the district while she lived outside of it because her family and friends still lived in the district. For example, she volunteered in every school in the district, and re-started the neighborhood watch group in her neighborhood. I’m always amazed at Libby’s events just how many people from the district support her – many who she’s known for many years or decades.

      It’s true that much of Libby’s policy accomplishments have been citywide or in other districts (because she worked for Mayor Brown and Councilmember De La Fuente), but she knows the district well and would apply her citywide experience to the district.

  13. livegreen October 19, 2010 at 12:21 pm #


    Exactly how has she volunteered in every school? Though she’s had more time recently, is this a meaningful long-term activity or did she just do it as a smart run up to the election?

    She “re-started” the NW group in her neighborhood. NW typically runs block-by-block, sometimes encompassing neighboring blocks. So did the NW cover her “neighborhood” or her block(s)?

    There’s a big difference…

    • Becks October 19, 2010 at 12:32 pm #

      She’s volunteered in schools for decades, not just as a run up to her campaign. She’s also done a lot of volunteering cleaning up parks, again, for decades, not just since running for council.

      I’m honestly not very familiar with neighborhood watch programs (I’ve never been part of one) so I can’t answer the second question.

  14. livegreen October 19, 2010 at 1:58 pm #

    Re. schools, I’m asking for specifics in her district. Volunteering in all the schools for years doesn’t apply to her district and it isn’t specific in any meaningful way.

    Re. NW, there’s a big difference between 1 block and “her neighborhood”. It being that she lives in Oakmore and they already have one of the most active NCPC’s (which encompass many NW’s), it’s great that she got her NW block going, but it’s nothing compared to the volunteers who got the NCPC going.

    Frankly, it looks like you’re repeating what somebody told you and you haven’t substantiated it. How can you base your endorsement on unsubstantiated information?

    PS. Cleaning up Parks sounds like a Don Perata photo-op tactic. Are they on the same ticket?
    (It might be unrelated, I’m just asking).

    • Becks October 19, 2010 at 2:15 pm #

      She has volunteered at schools throughout the district – in her 20s she left practicing law to start a centralized volunteer program for Oakland’s public schools. Many of the schools she’s volunteered at are in the district. She participated in the principal for a day program in one of the district schools (I believe in Maxwell Park).

      I’m working on her campaign (as I stated) so have talked to her about all of these things. The neighborhood watch was something she mentioned in passing that I thought was impressive but isn’t something that’s been a central message to her campaign (if you live in the district, you’ve probably seen that in her mail).

      Again, cleaning up parks is something she’s done over decades. I’ve seen photos of her cleaning up parks as a child, in her 20s, and much more recently. She’s not doing this as a campaign stunt (right now she’s focusing on talking to voters).

      I’m not sure what you’re looking for here, but if you’re a D4 resident, I’m sure Libby would be happy to talk to you directly if you have further questions.

    • V Smoothe October 19, 2010 at 3:00 pm #

      I don’t think I understand where you’re coming from, livegreen. Libby quit her job at Oakland’s top lawfirm to start a centralized volunteer program for the Oakland schools, and you’re saying that it doesn’t count because she helped schools that were outside of District 4 as well as those inside it? That just doesn’t make sense to me.

      I’m sure that Libby could list plenty of things she’s done specifically in the District – she did once for me when I asked. But I don’t recall all the details because 1) it was a really long list, and 2) I am more concerned with her record of service to Oakland as a whole. People don’t live their lives according to Council district boundaries, and Councilmembers make decisions that impact the whole city.

      Nobody else running for this seat comes close to matching Libby’s record of service in either length or scope. That doesn’t mean they couldn’t become good Councilmembers. I think there are a number of candidates running who would make competent Councilmembers and have done very admirable things in their neighborhoods. If Libby wasn’t running for the same seat, I would probably be happy to support Jill Broadhurst or Daniel Swafford in this race. But the fact is that only one person can be the District 4 Councilmember, and you have to pick the best out of the field. And I think that Libby is just hands-down the best.

      She knows the City better than almost anyone around. Her passion for Oakland exceeds that of pretty much anyone I’ve ever met. I have always found her willing to listen and open to persuasion on issues where we disagree. I don’t always manage to bring her over to my side, but she always thoughtfully considers the arguments I give her, and I deeply appreciate that openness of mind. It’s in short supply around City Hall.

      Another thing I especially admire about Libby is her eagerness to get people involved in Oakland. We desperately need more active and engaged residents. But a lot of people in City Hall and long time activists can have a tendency to act very territorial and be unwelcoming to new voices. Libby is the opposite of that! She is always trying to get people involved in the City and to learn more about their government. This is reflected in her service on the League of Women Voters Board and currently the Make Oakland Better Now! Board. And on a more personal note, Libby is one of a very small number of people I credit for my involvement in Oakland politics. Without her encouragement and support more than four years ago, I would have never started my blog and certainly would never have kept it up or become engaged in the City to this degree. Without her relentless nagging, I would never have joined the League of Women Voters, an organization I could not be prouder to be part of. Oakland would be a much better place if more our leaders shared her open arms attitude towards aspiring activists.

      Anyway, I’ve gone on way too long. If you want to learn more about Libby’s positions, you might be interested in this video I compiled of all her answers to the questions asked at a District 4 candidate forum a couple weeks ago.

      • livegreen October 20, 2010 at 10:35 am #

        V, You’ve made some good arguments for Libby. I agree with you on a City-wide basis Libby has the most experience. Though I don’t believe she has a monopoly on the potential solutions).

        But I find it interesting how many Oakland residents who live outside District 4 seem to think they know what’s best for District 4, or are “more concerned with her record of service to Oakland as a whole.” than what she will do for District 4 residents as opposed to the whole City.

        That’s good for the rest of us, but is it good for the needs of District 4? I can see from her website some of what she says going to do for the City. Which I agree with you is part of it, and I agree with you she has some good ideas for (especially as I live outside Dist 4 too).

        But based on her website I can’t tell what she’s done in Dist 4 any time recently, what issues & problems there she thinks need to be addressed, or what she’s going to do for the District.

        Isn’t that important? Even if we can’t vote for District 4 (like they can vote cross-district in San Leandro), if you’re going to endorse somebody in another District, shouldn’t you be at least equally interested in why the candidate is the one that best understands their issues, will address those, and best represents them?

        If so, how & why? Specifically.

        • Becks October 20, 2010 at 10:39 am #

          Just to clarify livegreen – do you live in District 4?

        • V Smoothe October 20, 2010 at 11:37 am #

          Well, livegreen, if you’re specifically concerned with what people in District 4 think, I would point you to Libby’s list of endorsements from District 4 community leaders, which is far lengthier than that of any of her opponents (and might be longer than all of them combined), and of course includes the locally beloved long-time District 4 Councilmember Dick Spees and the District 4 Neighborhood Endorsement Committee.

          But I still find your fixation on the District to the exclusion of all else very odd. Most people don’t even know what Council District they live in. Why should they? There’s not a forcefield at the border. People don’t live their lives around these boundaries because they’re arbitrary. They’re drawn every 10 years based on population counts and politics. Most of what is going to make any particular District healthier are the same things that are going to make all the other Districts healthier – a balanced budget, reduced crime, improved government responsiveness, and so on. That’s why it’s important to pick the candidate who is going to be the best able to deal with these large issues. And, of course, Libby’s deep knowledge of the City budget and City operations puts her in the best position of all the candidates to deliver not only citywide, but also specifically for D4.

          Here’s one example that may help you see what I’m talking about. At a District 4 candidate forum that I video recorded, the candidates were asked what was the most serious problem facing District 4 specifically, and how they would deal with it. All the candidates (except for Clinton Killian, who said that the main problem is that people in other parts of the city don’t use District 4’s parks enough) said that the issues in District 4 are the same issues neighborhoods face citywide – the budget, public safety, street repair. Out of all the candidates, Libby was the only one who was able to tie those issues back into something specifically related to District 4, explaining how the Council’s starvation of the Capital Improvement Budget over the past several years hurts District 4 particularly, because other Districts can rely on redevelopment funds for their capital needs, but District 4 can’t. That was the best answer, and the most specific to the District, but the reason Libby was able to give it is because of her experience working to help the City as a whole.

  15. Zoe Robinette October 19, 2010 at 5:53 pm #

    When Oakland deserves an honest leader with strength in character, we get this ranked voting process mucking up the shark infested waters. To mess with your mind a bit more, endorsement ranking is pretty tricky too!

    Rebecca Kaplan won the Sierra Club and the Oakland Tribune endorsement, but in recent mass mailers, Quan proudly announced that she had the Sierra Club and the Tribune endorsement! Evidently, second place or even third place doesn’t have to be mentioned when listing your endorsements these days! Quan’s magic illusion endorsement trick is disrespectful of Kaplan, the endorsement groups and Oakland voters!

    Oakland, rank voting is ‘rank’; candidate endorsements are being misrepresented by omission of critical facts; campaign spending rules are not rules at all, it’s all just magic! Voters, it is in our hands now, it is incumbent upon us to vote right. For me, Kaplan is the right choice!

    • Becks October 19, 2010 at 6:03 pm #

      Yeah, the Quan mailer, which says she’s endorsed by the Trib, Guardian and Express is really frustrating. This is part of the reason East Bay Young Dems didn’t do ranked choice endorsements – endorsements lose their meaning when three candidates can tout them.

      • Zoe Robinette October 19, 2010 at 6:12 pm #

        Candidates coming in second or third on endorsements have NOT won an endorsement; only the #1 candidate can claim that endorsement.

        I would have no problem with Quan stating, Sierra Club endorsed me as their #2 pick and the Tribune mentioned me as their #3 pick, but she did not do that, instead she implied she was their #1 pick by omitting the ranking she did get!

        Clearly the omission was intentionally misleading and deceptive.

      • Zoe Robinette October 19, 2010 at 6:28 pm #

        By the way, good move Young Dems!!!!

  16. livegreen October 21, 2010 at 1:09 pm #

    Becks, No reply icon under your question (guess it ran out after the long thread?). As I mentioned in my last post, I live outside District 4.

  17. Julia for strong Oakland candidates October 28, 2010 at 4:03 pm #

    The author decided to opt out of an open endorsement for District 2 so the people will decide. Pat Kernighan had her chance to improving the community but the same issues keep resurfacing. Small businesses are continuing to close down, safety is still a concern, and the schools– don’t get me started.

    I don’t doubt that she’s a nice person but we need fresh leadership that will get the job done better. Better. That leaves candidate Jennifer Pae as the natural forerunner for this position. She has innovative ideas and she’s won me over that she’s the best fit for the job. She has the enthusiasm, energy, and support of labor and community groups. Let’s elect her for District 2 to strengthen Oakland.

  18. Hometown grrl October 29, 2010 at 8:17 am #

    When selecting a candidate, I think what you want to examine is the person’s record. Have they been able to build coalitions. Have they been able to engage people. It should not matter if they did this in or outside of their district. One can live in the district their entire life and not know a thing about it. The question is will they listen to residents. On these points, Libby has demonstrated an ability to listen and work for the betterment of those she serves.

  19. Anders October 29, 2010 at 11:39 pm #

    @Julia for weak, nimble minded candidates

    You offer no real reason to vote Pat Kernighan’s opponent other than she has an opponent and that we’re in a recession. By your measure I should vote for Carly Fiorina and that crazy climate change denier candy store guy running against Barbara Lee. Kernighan’s opponent hasn’t offered one strong policy position in her entire year of running against the strong, accomplished Kernighan.

  20. Hometown grrl November 2, 2010 at 10:15 am #

    Prop 24 – Vote NO. Carryforwards and Carrybacks are not corporate loopholes. They are a long established tax policy. Furthermore, deciding tax policy at the ballot box is bad policy. Both the old and new policy are bad but we can not afford to ballot box budget tax law. The only way it gets changed in the future is through the vote. And finally, it will more than likely result in businesses leaving CA. Prop 24 is BAD. No on 24.

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