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It's Voting Day!

Please, everyone, make sure you get to the polls today. You can vote until 8 PM! If you don’t know where your polling place is, you can find out here. If your polling place is inconvenient for you, know that everyone in Alameda County can vote at the County Courthouse at 12th and Fallon in downtown Oakland.

In addition to supporting Ignacio De La Fuente for Mayor, the authors of this blog endorse Pat Kernighan for District 2 (keep anti-nail shop activist Aimee Allison off the City Council), Jerry Brown for State Attorney General, Phil Angelides for Govenor, John Russo for Assembly, John Bernard for County Superintendent of Schools, and Courtney Ruby for City Auditor.

Whether you agree with us or not, it’s very important to vote.

Posted in california, elections, oakland.

3 Responses

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  1. ron oz says

    My compliments to this blog and the organizers of it. I wish I had seen it before today, but alas only discovered it while Googling for a few moments today. I could have learned a lot, gotten great ideas for follow-up, tested my own assumptions, adjusted my positions, and enjoyed the writings of others.

    It is very difficult to have an unbiased mindset during the team sports of any political race. This has been my first venture into politics, and I didn’t do it to aggrandize my ego or enhance any sort of power trip. At least I don’t think so. I believe Oakland has been stagnant and I’d like to do something about it, and work with those who want to do something constructive about it.

    I tried to meet with Ignacio many times over the past five months, before and after announcing my candidacy (March 17). Had I met with him before, I thought then, I would merely have given him my two cents worth about the City and the Police Department. He rebuffed every attempt. So after I announced I immediately cornered him at the first debate about being able to answer his “challenge” for 50 neighborhood debates. I hadn’t even yet met Nadel or Dellums at that point. DLF told me, “No Problem.” But soon his campaign manager Tramutola emailed me with a terse no-way. Since then DLF has avoided me while it has been much easier to approach and talk with Nadel or Dellums.

    By the way, DLF is not alone. Last time I approached Brown I extended my hand and told him I was still in the race. He said, “Who are you?” I told him who I was, and that we had already met six times in the past two months. I told him we met at the OPOA offices and talked alone on the patio. He said, “What’s an OPOA?” [Oakland Police Officers Association]

    Naive as it may sound, I would love to see a Mayor’s race where everyone is trying out for the same team. Surely each person has something unique to offer. Why does it have to be cut-throat? Wouldn’t it be better for Oakland for the best person to win? The one walking with the most barking dogs might not be the best choice to run a Billion Dollar City organization.

    If there is disagreement I find that to be a good thing. I am very leary when everyone is singing the same tune.

    For example, as long as this is a DLF blog, does it make sense to plug a $21 million dollar school for 300 kids anywhere in the City? I’m sure Kansas City and Marin can demonstrate amply that all the money in the world (for physical facilities)isn’t what our kids need. Just look at the best elementary schools in Oakland and note they are operating out of portables. Besides, to do the same throughout Oakland, as DLF has promised, would cost $5 Billion… I don’t think so. I think our teachers need to be selected, respected, paid adequately (City bonuses and incentives(, and encouraged to live in Oakland (Tied to bonuses and incentives).

    I mentioned Oakland’s apparent population exodus, and the ostrich reaction has been striking (head in sand and feet flailing). Let’s find out. Why has the registered voter base reduced from 222,000 (1996) to 187,000 in ten years? Why has the number of Oakland students decreased for the Oakland Budget’s figure of 49,000 to the School District’s 40,000 +/-? If the population has been steadily increasing as DLF says, then can’t someone offer proofs? I hope it has increased. I would be much more impressed by those who would have taken the time to find indications of an increasing population rather than just blast the messengers.

    If the population has been decreasing, and if DLF is the man he would want to know. Adjustments have to be made. Sure, some people can blame him and his Council efforts if there is a decrease, but then it’s up to him to convince the voters at this point in time he should be Mayor and for him to reverse the obvious trend.

    If we constantly demean the other side in a political race the end result is continued City wide fractures. If DLF wins the Mayor’s race we should all back him. If he doesn’t, then DLF should back the winner. It would be nice to demonstrate to the voters that we’re all on the same side.

    I have many questions, and they should stand the test of cooperation in seeking future direction, not suffer the foils of cynicism. For example, I don’t see the sense in Brown’s 10,000 people in 6000 units downtown. That’s only 1.67 persons per unit. I don’t see the sense of hurrying to minimally exploit our valuable properties. Let’s wait until the time is right, when high density high rises make sense. We should all know that the only way to increase the health of Oakland is to increase its economy. That comes about by making Oakland more attractive (safety first), and then increasing its population will come naturally.

    If people think DLF is the best person to be Mayor, then great. He’ll be elected because he has hopefully convinced them by the truth of his words and actions. For this blog, or for others, to waste their time arguing why the other candidates are no good is a sure indication that there is not enough confidence in the qualities of the candidate actually being backed. I would say this to any supporters of any candidate.

    DLF is known as guy who can fix things. Let’s hear what he’s fixed in specific terms and let’s hear what and how he intends to fix what and when. Let’s hear what specific expertise he brings to the table to fix things. It’s the same for all the candidates.

    Anyway, good luck to you guys and your favorite candidate. Your site is awesome. I’m cheering for Oakland all the way, and no matter who is elected mayor I’ll do all I can to support Oakland by supporting the new Mayor. That means of course, that I will definitely not be a “yes” man, but rather tell it as I think it is if I can back it up.

    Bottom line, a new Mayor will be best served by those who will argue and debate with reason and logic, but then give the Mayor support when the decisions are made.

    Cheers, ron oz

  2. V Smoothe says

    Ron –

    Thank you for stopping by. There’s much to respond to in your comment, but unfortunately I’m very rushed for time. I wish I had been able to devote more energy to this blog during the race (I have about 20 half-finished posts I never got to put up). And I agree that it is unfortunate that some much time has had to be devoted to analysis against, rather than for. But in the limited amounts of time I had (I work two jobs, plus I have several other time consuming committments), I felt it more important to explain why certain candidates were so dangerous to Oakland. Here’s a post elsewhere that I wrote which gets a little more specific about why I like Ignacio so much.

    I’m sorry for your experiences trying to speak to candidates. Of those running, I had only personally spoken to my Councilwoman, Nancy Nadel, before the race, but shortly into it I was able to meet everyone running. Ignacio was the candidate I felt treated me the best. He spent time to listen to me, respond to my questions, and explain his positions to me. Ron Dellums, by far the worst – he was utterly dismissive of me and rather rude. And given your frustrating experience with other cadidates, I’m sorry to say that when I spoke with you, Ron, I felt slighted as well. I waited for you to finish speaking with several people, and when my turn finally came, it seemed like you were trying to get rid of me as soon as possible. In fact, I tried to respond to something you told me, and you just walked away from me and went over to talk to someone else. Nor did you ever respond to the e-mails I sent you, even after you promised me in person that you would. So, it seems that every newcomers to the political scene frequently make their potential constituents feel unimportant, no matter how well intentioned they may be.

    I’ll comment about population on the population post, but here I’ll just say that no, we are not shrinking. Registered voters in Oakland have increased by roughly 10,000 since 2000 (you assert that we’ve lost more than 30,000 residents since that year), so there’s one bit of evidence to the contrary.

  3. V Smoothe says

    Oh, another thing Ron. I hope that while you were perusing today, you were able to find some time to check out deckin’s blog Common Sense Oakland. He’s been a much more consistent poster than I or my partner here have, and I can’t speak highly enough of his writing.