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A look at candidate endorsements – Education

I think that a good way to gauge how a candidate will perform in any aspect of their job is to look at whom the real stakeholders in the community are backing. I’ve been looking at the endorsements each candidate for Oakland Mayor has received, and I found the results quite striking. (Lists of endorsements are from their websites – Ron Dellums, Nancy Nadel, Ignacio De La Fuente.

**As I was writing this, I realized that it was getting insanely long, so I’m going to break this down into a series of posts focusing on specific areas of concern. See previous posts for my reflections on endorsements involving public safety and business**

Schools & Education
This is one area where Ron Dellums might seem, on the surface, to fare better than Ignacio De La Fuente. (Nancy Nadel is once again completely left out of the endorsement race, with zero leaders in the field of education supporting her candidacy.) Ron Dellums advertises the support of three members of the Oakland School Board and two members of the Alameda County School Board, former Oakland superintendent Dennis Chaconas and Gay Cobb (best known for wasting massive amounts of taxpayer money over at Oakland Private Industry Council, where she provides job training for ex-felons at five times the cost of every other group that performs the task). At first glace, this seems encouraging, until you remember how that same former superintendent drove our schools into the ground with a $57 million dollar deficit, forcing the a state takeover.

In contrast, Ignacio De La Fuente’s education endorsements illustrate his support from a number of local school principals and PTA presidents, plus two Oakland school board members. Every time I’ve seen Ron Dellums speak about education, he emphasizes the importance of regaining local control of our schools, but offers no ideas as to how we will do that (a common theme in his campaign). Ignacio De La Fuente prefers to focus on finding new ways for the city to partner with our schools in the form of before and after-school programs, and advocating increased vocational and subject-specialized education to encourage our children’s engagement in their education. And once again, we see a vote of confidence in his ability to do so from people who spend every day dealing with these issues.

Ron Dellums also is endorsed by three members of the Peralta Community College Board and the Presidents of two of their colleges (Laney and Merrit), which, as deckin points out, is hardly a model educational institution.

Ron Dellums also receives the endorsement of the Oakland Educational Association, hardly a surprise, given that he supported and encouraged their strike. (deckin and oakland native both have good posts about the inappropriateness and danger of this position).


Stay tuned for reflections on endorsements involving labor, neighborhood groups, and other elected officials.

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Posted in delafuente, dellums, elections, endorsements, nadel, oakland.