I have already written about my endorsement of Dan Siegel for Mayor of Oakland.
I am making no endorsements in the Oakland City Council District 2 race. I was a strong supporter of Abel Guillen when he ran for State Assembly, and I still have a lot of respect for him. However, I am very concerned that he put political considerations before principle and did not speak out against the Domain Awareness Center. For that reason, I cannot endorse him.
I had a long and very productive conversation with Dana King. I found her to be an intelligent, prepared, caring woman who is running for City Council for all the right reasons. Friends who have dealt with her in her non-profit work hold a lot of respect for both her commitment to social justice and her ability to get stuff done. I think she will be a breath of fresh air in a very political and dysfunctional City Council, and I think her research skills and commitment for the truth will serve Oaklanders well. I am not endorsing her, however, because as I didn’t ask her to speak out against the DAC, I cannot be sure what her response would have been. Therefore I’m just staying out of this race.
City Council District 4: Annie Campbell Washington
Endorsing Annie Campbell Washington for Oakland City Council District 4 is a no brainer. She is smart, competent, a good listener, friendly and has a good sense of humor. She exudes humanity and lacks that airs of superiority so many politicians seem to have developed. I’m confident that if she’s elected, she will listen to all her constituents, find the validity in all voices and weigh different interests to come up with a policy that makes sense for the community.
Politically, Campbell Washington is your typical Oakland progressive. Her concerns include transit oriented development, developing a better system of bike lanes, supporting small businesses and trying to bring functionality to a deeply divided council. She is also deeply committed to education and having the City support schools and working together. She’s currently in the School Board and has two children who go to Oakland schools.
While I don’t believe we will always coincide, I can respect Campbell Washington’s thought process. Basically, she’s the sort of person whom I wish would run for Council here in San Leandro.
Her opponent is Jill Broadhurst, the Executive Director of the East Bay Rental Housing Association, an organization that works against the rights of tenants. One of their major accomplishments is stopping legislation that would have made landlords pay interest on security deposits they hold for years/decades.
City Council District 6: Desley Brooks
I will be the first to admit that I have not followed the Oakland City Council’s doing that closely. Brooks has been in office for many years, and I don’t have a clear picture of all her decisions. However, I did watch all the hearings that related to the Domain Awareness Center – a facility that would integrate mass surveillance throughout Oakland –, and I was very impressed with how Brooks performed in the final hearing.
She was prepared, she understood the issues, it was clear that she had spoken with the ACLU and other stakeholders and understood their concerns; she did not let staff, who had been less than candid with the Council about this project, get away with half-truths and misrepresentations and finally she advocated an intelligent compromise. I was very impressed.
Brooks has definitely made enemies, but as far as I can see this is based on the fact that she has a strong personality, she stands up for what she believes and the people she represents and she doesn’t back down. That’s exactly the type of leaders that I want to see elected. And it’s also exactly the type of criticism that is freely given to strong women, in particular strong women of color, by those who are uncomfortable when they rock the boat.
I reached out to most candidates for Oakland City Council and invited them to meet/speak with me and/or respond to a candidate questionnaire. I only endorse candidates who are strong liberals, are committed to accountability, transparency and fact-based legislating and who are intelligent, competent and knowledgeable.
See Marga’s 2014 Voter Guide for recommendations on propositions and other local endorsements.