In this Oakland News, Kathy Neal, best known as former Oakland Mayor Elihu Harris’ wife, is reportedly throwing her hat into the 2012 California Assembly District 16 Seat currently held by the legendary (love that word, especially when it’s true) Sandre Swanson, who’s set to be termed-out.

Neal, still very politically active, has the full backing of Mayor Harris: “She’s definitely no push-over for anyone and can hold her own,” my former boss said, in what could be either a cake walk for her or a tough election race. The bet here is a cake walk.

Joel Young, once considered by some the front-runner in the District 16 race, has seen his star fall of late, and some have been talking to him about dropping the idea of running altogether to make room for Neal.

While I like the idea of Ms. Neal in Sandre’s seat, Young must have the right to stick in and battle it out, if he feels he’s the better choice. To the degree he can visualize such a future for himself, it will help him overcome his current issues. Can Young do that? Time will tell.

District 16 A Black Seat?

The normal idea is that the District 16 seat is a “black seat” and now-Alameda County City Manager John Russo tried to test that idea when he ran and lost against Sandre in 2006. Now, the California Redistricting process threatens to take some of District 16’s Oakland Focus away, and make it less of a black seat. The latest plan for redistricting, if it holds, actually retains much of Oakland, which has changed demographically. I’ll say this: I think it’s far more important to grow black candidates that can run anywhere and win, than the district lines.

My point is that, there should be a black Emily’s list or Emerge, and the fact that such an organization doesn’t exist points to how little African American invest in our own political future.

So, here we are, fearful of losing representation, rather than grooming leaders to represent not just us, but everyone.

Oakland News: Oakland Versus Alameda For LBL Expansion

Alameda’s going for the proposed Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory expansion, and guess what? It’s competing against Oakland. But Alameda has a new ally working in its favor: Alameda City Manager John Russo. You think Russo wouldn’t like to stick it in Oakland and Mayor Jean Quan’s collective eye and and the prized economic development? Both Oakland and Alameda have had parties, but the Alameda Patch reports that Alameda’s event was “Standing room only.”

Oakland versus Alameda? More like Russo versus Quan.

Oakland Raiderette’s Bring In A Grandma

Congratulations to Susie Sanchez, 37, who’s a new Oakland Raiders Raiderette, and a grandma! Look, if she was selected to be a Raiderette, she must be hot. Susie can give “grandma” new meaning!

Oakland’s Unemployment Down 2 Percent

Oakland’s improving in one area: unemployment. Yes, it’s still high, but it’s down by one percent or two percent depending on where you turn. The lowest estimate I’ve seen is 15 percent, where the official one from 2010 is 17.5 percent, and that’s better than the 18 percent-plus estimate of 2009. What’s the reason? I’m going to guess it’s outmigration – no job, no dwelling. So, expect to see Oakland’s overall population continue its decline – unless we bring a Super Bowl here.

Slice Of Hollywood

A slice of Oakland News.

I went to Slice of Hollywood one late night for the first time. It’s located on 3306 Lakeshore Ave in the space of what used to be The Java House Cafe years ago, and right in the middle of a bustling Lakeshore business district. Slice Of Hollywood has great, big, cheap salads, but the pizza is just this side of awful. It’s the cheese they use on the Pepperoni Pizza that I just hate. Yuck! Get the salad, skip the pizza.

Stay tuned.

By Zennie Abraham

Zennie Abraham | Zennie Abraham or "Zennie62" is the founder of Zennie62Media which consists of and a multimedia blog news aggregator and video network, and 78-blog network, with social media and content development services and consulting. Zennie is a pioneer video blogger, YouTube Partner, social media practitioner, game developer, and pundit. Note: news aggregator content does not reflect the personal views of Mr. Abraham.