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Zombie Voters Propel Libby Schaaf Campaign
by ntuit
Sunday Oct 7th, 2018 2:57 PM
Another Debate In The Oakland Mayor's Race. Will We Ever See A Real Progressive Leading Our City?
Last Friday (Oct 6th) another in a series of debates was held at Oakland City Hall for the mayoral race in Oakland.

This was the second debate that I attended and it was another pathetic performance from the sitting mayor, Libby Schaaf. She actually seemed like someone who was lost in the building and stumbled into the debate setting and took a seat at the main table. You know – a deer caught in the headlights. Her main selling point seems to be her endorsement by other career democratic politicians. After, all she is a protégé of Jerry Brown and her basic experience comes from “public” service – if you know what I mean.

She also tried to sell her solution to homelessness as her Tuff Shed program – which is mainly a concentration camp system for homeless people. Part of her solution to the school funding problem is in two years a ballot initiative will reform prop 13. Sorry Libby – it ain’t gonna happen and our kids can’t wait two years for the help they need. Basically Libby has ruled over a total destruction of the culture of Oakland where many of our residents have been forced out of the city or into homelessness, multiple small businesses such as Genova Deli, Just Desserts and Laurel Bookstore have closed up or left the city. We are losing the Raiders and The Warriors. There was a major police scandal involving underage sex and the loss of many lives in a horrible fire in an East Oakland warehouse/living space. Not a very good record and that doesn’t include the massive wealth that has come into our city to take over the real estate market and disrupt traffic. The streets are crowed, blocked and the good feel that we used to have about Oakland is gone. Not a good record.

None the less, there are a mass of zombie like people who seem to propel Libby’s campaign. Apparently blind to what has happened to the city and insensitive to the plight of the homeless or minorities being forced out, they pretend to be liberal, progressive democrats who fail to do any analysis of the real situation. They actually think the democratic party is progressive and is going to solve things. Don’t think so. Who are they, really?

There are opponents who appear to have the passion and creativity towards Oakland’S problems that Libby is missing and that we sorely need.

They appear to be hitting at the establishment and the power structures that exist in the US that allow the perpetuation of police abuse, accumulation of wealth, dispossession of economic and political power in favor of the ultra-wealthy and global corporations.

Both Pamela Price and Cat Brooks lead in this attack. Both are attacking the actual fundamental structure and nature of our systems of power. Both seem to envision a city run by the people who live there – not career politicians and professional managers with more interest in their careers than our community. Both have stressed homelessness and dispossession as the number one problem in city. They will prioritize this effort and attack the vested interests such as the police department – whose abuse – has sucked up so many of the financial resources of our community.

They appear to be on the same page in many ways and Pamela Price is asking her voters to vote for Brooks as a second choice. In this debate, Brooks said that she wants to unify the community and while that seems a needed thing and probably a move in the right direction for her, her past comments and thoughts seem to put the African-American community before the others and some of her comments have seemed divisive rather than unifying. Maybe she is moving in the right direction but Price seems to already be there and, of course, the problems that have faced African-American citizens are severe and need prioritization. We still need to have leadership that will not divide us by race or polarize us in some way, but leadership that will unite for the betterment of the entire community.

Saied Karamooz gave another impressive presentation and he seems to have powerful combinations that make him appealing and worthy. He has business and administrative skills but he also seems to have a strong progressive bent and understands the nature of the systems that are undermining our communities. He has said he will go out and spend time living with the homeless. He wants to focus on building our public schools before allowing charter schools. He seems to have the same values as Brooks and Price but with a strong managerial and business capacity. Price or Brooks might be well advised to consider Karamooz for the City Manager position if they are elected. He would bring the needed passion, knowledge and skill to the position. He is a formidable candidate but doesn’t seem to have the roots in the community although he has been endorsed by the Green Party.

Ken Houston touted that he is a get things done kind of person who is doing things today that are making differences. He was visibly impressive, has some good ideas but lacks the community awareness that put Scaff, Brooks and Price in the limelight for this position. That is true of the other candidates as well. They do not appear to have the public profile that will give them the support they need to be elected. Nancy Sidebotham has some good ideas about practical financial and management reform and a common sense approach to government. She seems to have too much faith in the Oakland police department as a solution to our problems of crime. Tatmon Marchon has shown as strong commitment to the community, has education and leadership skills that are impressive and has sympathy for those who work for the City of Oakland. There was a sense of bitterness that the city employees have helped the city in rough times only to be run over and disregarded by the Schaaf administration. Jesse Smith proposed radical reform for the police department with the leadership positions filled not by career police but by local, competent citizens committed to change. Cedric Troupe seemed to have a good background and ideas but his speaking was so unclear that it was very difficult to actually understand what he was saying.

The entertainment for the night came from Candidate Peter Liu, who provided a caricature of Donald Trump where our parks will be outsourced with giant theme parks with water slides taking over and kids being taught how to make $30,000 a month. It was entertaining and sad and distorted from the importance of the event and the issues. But maybe we do need humor and the moderator had no humor and tried to keep the audience from showing any approval or disfavor for the comments of the candidates. She was like some third grade teacher of the worst kind who wanted total silence and absolute conformity. Can’t we – the public – show some of our feelings without just filling our those little white cards with questions that are pre-approved by…????

Afterwards, there was a forum for the congressional race with Congresswoman Barbara Lee sitting with Green Party candidate Laura Wells. Essentially they had the same vision and position on things and were cordial however one question brought up financial support for Israel, and one of the audience members was vocal in calling out Lee and her support for financial assistance to Israel. This, of course, called for a fierce rebuke from the rigid moderator. It was refreshing to see Lee willing to sit with her opponent when we all know she is going to win and didn’t really need this event. I think it shows that she does have some humility and a respect for the sharing of ideas in a community forum.

We will see what happens but radical reform seems most likely to come from a Brooks or Price administration. I have to say that overall, it is an impressive group who have passion, concern and creative ideas towards solving our problems. If only the current mayor fit that category as versus a career politician somehow missing in action.
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All Incumbents should be required to debate all candidatesRegister Peace & Freedom or GreenSunday Oct 7th, 2018 8:34 PM