City Council: AC Transit Director Rebecca Kaplan
Though I first met Rebecca Kaplan seven years ago during an internship at a transit advocacy organization where she worked, I was slow to support her for this November’s election. I didn’t vote for her in 2000. I endorsed Clinton Killian in June, because of his experience as a transit director, a planning commissioner, a businessman, and a supporter of the arts. I definitely consider Kerry Hamill to be Oakland’s best School Board member, and I appreciate her endorsements from elected officials I respect, particularly Councilmembers De La Fuente and Kernighan, and State Senator Perata. But I’m voting for Rebecca Kaplan, and I fully endorse her to any engaged Oaklander.
I didn’t follow most of Mr. Killian’s endorsers to Rebecca Kaplan, and I didn’t decide to favor her just because Sean Sullivan urged his supporters to volunteer for her. Ms. Kaplan earned my vote herself. She earned it by engaging the blogoaksphere and new media to communicate policy priorities that support her pro-growth progressive agenda; by providing detailed and well-thought-out answers to questions in the mainstream media, at debates, and in endorsement interviews; and by out-campaigning her opponent. I especially appreciate how visible and accessible Ms. Kaplan has been at community events throughout the city, and I look forward to her continuing to be accountable and accessible as a Councilmember. Vote Kaplan.
AC Transit Director: Director Chris Peeples
I’ve had many opportunities to talk to Chris Peeples about transit over the last two years, and I have found him to be competent, engaged and well-informed, as a longtime Transit Director should be. As a former Oakland City Council aide, Mr. Peeples understands the need to work closely with Oakland. His endorsements from many local elected officials underscore his ability to see how AC Transit can support plans of other government bodies and agencies. He prioritizes increasing service on the East Bay’s high-capacity trunk lines, which dovetails with East Bay cities’ need for transportation improvements and transit-oriented development. Mr. Peeples is fairly accessible and impressive in endorsement interviews. He deserves another term.
Challenger Joyce Roy, a retired architect, does not share the perspective needed to create a more transit-oriented community. In my professional life, I have found her to be an opponent of transit-oriented developments in the DTO and not understanding of pedestrian commutes made possible by mixed-use cities, though she is a leader of pro-growth Temescal group ULTRA. She doesn’t support Bus Rapid Transit, the world’s most successful and cost-effective transportation system, and it’s not clear why. Her criticism of the Van Hool buses does not acknowledge that they speed ingress and egress and have more standing room, which has greatly improved trips I take on high-capacity lines like the 1 and 51. She also overstates the alternatives to European bus manufacturing. Chris Peeples will continue to do a good job, and steady leadership is needed for AC Transit to implement its ambitious projects.
Judge: Phil Daly
I decided to vote for Phil Daly because Dennis Hayashi’s message is too political. He talks about his work in Clinton’s Civil Rights office and as a public-interest attorney, and as the spouse of San Leandro (and parts of East Oakland) Assemblymember Mary Hayashi, has the endorsements of labor and Democratic Party groups, which is unnecessary. Alameda County Superior Court is not the place for a judge with an agenda, as Mr. Hayashi’s literature implies. Phil Daly has been a competent Deputy District Attorney and has a strong understanding of local criminal law, and has the endorsements of respected officials. His email about his son being a victim of a restaurant robbery in Oakland is more relevant than Hayashi’s ideological message. Vote Phil Daly for Judge.
Measure N: NO
We just passed a tax for the schools, and the way this tax was conceived is fishy. I do not think that the problem with the Oakland Unified School District is money. This decade, the number of students has plummeted but tax receipts have increased. The OUSD may have one of the highest per-student funding levels in the country. Voters must demand administrative reform, and not continue to subsidize a failing district with additional funding. Vote no.
Measure NN: NO
Like Measure N, Measure NN rewards a failing and overfunded bureaucracy with more money. The Oakland Police Department is a total disaster. As the number of officers rises, overtime has increased and arrests have fallen. A senior officer characterized Sgt. Longmire’s too-close relationship with Your Black Muslim Bakery as “community policing.” Oakland desperately needs a new, outside Chief who will shake up the department and reduce overtime and waste. Oakland does not need a new tax to support business as usual. Vote no.
Measure OO: NO!
Oakland’s budget problems were put pretty starkly two weeks ago, with the city slashing countless services and only managing to restore a portion of arts funding even after a public outcry. The existing Kids First set-aside has increased in value even as the number of children in Oakland has fallen. The programs are poorly-monitored and not independently audited. Besides the fact the city can’t afford doubling any set-aside, outside programs are not the first place funding should be dedicated. Libraries, anyone? Vote no.
Measure VV: YES
Read an excellent endorsement of it at Living in the O.
Measure WW: YES
Read A Better Oakland’s endorsement of this tax extension for the East Bay Regional Park District.