Tag Archives: Joe Tuman

Nathan Stalnaker: Moving Oakland Forward

27 Oct

This guest post was written by Nathan Stalnaker, who spends the day organizing in West Oakland and serves on the Board of Make Oakland Better Now! and is an elected at-large member of the East Bay Young Democrats.

The City of Oakland suffers from gridlock and a fiscal crisis that just won’t quit.  Even so, again and again, the same characters are repeatedly elected to the same positions.  Our system is broken.  Our local races are anti-competitive.  New people enter the races and win only when an incumbent steps down.  It begins to seem that to become an elected official in Oakland, you already have to be or have been an elected official or spend your time currying favor with those already in office.

A Catch-22?   Sure.  Could an initiative calling for term limits for City Council stir things up sufficiently enough to get fresh policy thinking in City Hall?   Absolutely.  Read the petition yourself.  To balance experience and fresh ideas, the petition was crafted with a three-term (12 year) lifetime limit. Continue reading

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Election blog posts worth reading

20 Oct

I’ve been wanting to write more about the election, particularly the mayor’s race, for weeks now. I even brought home all the Perata and Quan mailers my co-workers brought to me daily over the past weeks (I just re-registered so I haven’t been getting political mail) so I could scan some in and write about them. But after working all day on campaigns and phoning some nights, it’s been hard to motivate to write about the election (it took me a week to write my endorsements post!).

Luckily, other bloggers have written some excellent pieces, some sharing the same thoughts I’ve been having, but written much more thoroughly or eloquently than I have the capacity for right now. Here’s a taste of what’s being written about the election in the blogoaksphere. All of these posts are worth reading in full (and most of them are very short) so please click through.

V Smoothe wrote an awesome post yesterday – “Joe Tuman doesn’t know Jack.” Like her, I’m shocked at how many people I talk to who are enamored with Tuman – many of them are voting for him for their second choice. V Smoothe pulls back the curtain and explains why Tuman isn’t qualified to be mayor – he doesn’t know what neighborhood service coordinators are, what he’ll cut from the budget (he says he’ll figure it out when he’s mayor), or how golden handshakes work. V concludes:

Someone recently told me that they think of Tuman as this year’s Ron Dellums. And as soon as I heard that, I was like OMG, that is exactly what he is (minus the long and admirable record of public service, of course)! He’s a really good speaker, he condescends to his audience, says absolutely nothing, can’t be bothered to learn anything, and yet somehow, people are entranced. I didn’t get it then, and I don’t get it now. Don’t make the same mistake a second time, folks. Vote for a minor candidate who has no chance if you want to, but at least pick one who does their homework.

If you’re even considering voting for Tuman, please read the whole post before doing so.

dc at Fragmentary Evidence writes about one of my other favorite candidates to complain about – Jean Quan in his post “Truthiness in Advertising.” He shares a photo of a Quan mailer that I’m sure every regular voter has seen by now that touts her endorsements by several newspapers that endorsed her for second or third choice and questions this mailer:

This is just one more unexpected complication of our new Instant Runoff Voting system, where we forgo primaries and instead rank our top three choices on the ballot, with 2nd- or 3rd-choice votes only coming into play if one’s 1st-choice candidate is eliminated during the vote-counting process… Even though the Tribune recommended putting Quan as third choice (behind Kaplan and Tuman) and the Guardian recommended putting Quan as second choice (behind Kaplan), Quan has been boasting on Facebook and Twitter, and now in these mailers, that she was “endorsed” by the Trib and the Guardian. This mailer takes that misleading claim beyond those niche markets and into the mailboxes of thousands of potentially low-information voters who won’t bother to look up the actual editorials to see what they say.

I have mixed feelings about this mailer. I can understand why she did it, and there’s no lying involved, but this practice shows me the real power behind a sole endorsement. A lot of Oakland groups struggled over whether to do ranked endorsements this cycle – probably about half did and half didn’t. The benefit of only endorsing for first choice is that a sole endorsement can’t be misconstrued.

On to a more positive note, and leaving Oakland momentarily, A Progressive Alamedan wrote a glowing endorsement of Robert Raburn for BART Board (who if elected will represent not just Alameda but also most of Oakland – east of Broadway and south of MacArthur):

Robert has been a tireless transportation advocate and expert from his Ph. D. training through his recent activism, working with me and Lucy over the years in his capacity in the East Bay Bicycle Coalition. He was instrumental in getting the bike station and the parking garage at Fruitvale BART, both of which I have found invaluable whenever I head over to San Francisco. He’s also been involved in the Alameda County Congestion Management Agency, helped replace the “world’s shortest freeway” in Oakland, and chaired the Measure B Citizens Watchdog Committee.

Robert is the kind of guy who shakes things up and gets things done. He has gotten unanimous endorsement from the Sierra Club, and has lately been racking up endorsements from the City of Alameda Democratic Club (of which I am a member) and other clubs in the area.

Anymore election blog posts or news stories worth reading? Please share them in the comments.