For Oakland politicos, Joe Tuman has become a household name. The San Francisco State Professor and San Francisco CBS Channel Five Political Commentator made a name for himself in 2010 with an aggressive, if late-starting run to be Mayor of Oakland, losing – along with nine other candidates including the winner of the most first place votes, Don Perata – to then-Oakland Councilmember Jean Quan.
Since then Joe Tuman has remained locally visible via his television appearances talking about whatever the political news happens to be of interest, and has kept a watchful eye on the Oakland scene, apparently waiting to jump into his next political office chase with all the gusto of Baltimore Ravens Linebacker Ray Lewis going to sack Peyton Manning. First Joe made noise about wanting to be Mayor if Jean Quan were ousted at the end of a successful recall vote campaign. Then, when that effort fizzled, Tuman filed papers to challenge incumbent At-Large Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan. But after a poll was conducted with the information that both were competitive, but that he would have to “go negative on her” to win, Joe dropped out of the race before it really started.
Most recently Joe spun an opinion that, to this video-blogger, seemed to imply that Oakland should not try to keep the Golden State Warriors. My difference of views with my friend led to our meeting last week at Lakeshore Cafe at 3257 Lakeshore Avenue, here in Oakland, not far from Lake Merritt. We had a great brunch, then talked, and that’s where the video starts.
On Running Against Rebecca Kaplan
On the idea that Joe was going to run against Councilmember Kaplan, he said “How do I announce a non-announcement? …I’d filed papers to run for city council. The papers I had filed was to get what’s called an FPPC number to open a bank account to raise money for that – if I ran. (I’d already had the paper work a long time ago.) Ultimately, I decided not to run for city council and will continue working with the city, with the different groups I work with, and if I’m going to run for office again, I will probably look at 2014.” And Joe says that he may seek the Office Of Mayor, yet again.
What Joe did reveal was that he didn’t back the recall effort, but “didn’t want to sit on the sidelines” either. It’s one thing to have that comment fly by you as you’re talking, but another to hear it played again on video. That’s an interesting approach I’ll have to ask Joe about in the future: being against something but using it to advance an agenda.
Tuman added that people have said to him that he should move to another city council district to run for an open seat, but that seems silly to him “My wife and I have lived the same house for 22 years and we’re not gonna move.” He loves living in District Two and thinks Oakland Councilmember Pat Kernighan is doing a great job. Translation: no plans to challenge Pat should she run for re-election.
On Rebecca, Tuman, to repeat my point earlier, said that he’s not going to go negative on Rebecca and likes her to begin with. Then we turned to the Golden State Warriors matter, and Mayor Quan within that.
Joe And I Have Different Views On The Warriors And Oakland
It’s hard to repeat a lively conversation via text – that’s what the video is for – but where Joe and I differ is that I see trying to keep the Warriors here as the top act of civic boosters and Oakland lacks them. Tuman says that we have to draw private investment that he (not me) doesn’t think Oakland’s capable of doing. Moreover he says that Jean Quan lacks the leadership chops to make this happen – he says that on camera.
I strongly disagree (and praised Quan for her work in at least getting Clorox to help keep the Oakland A’s), and point to, as one example, in Chicago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel is working to form a board that will draw private money for public works projects.
Called the Chicago Infrastructure Trust Board, it would, according to its ordinance,…
will serve the following purposes and objectives: provide funding and credit support to qualiffing
transformative infrastructure projects; play an important coordinating and facilitative role in
attracting private investment for these infrastructure projects; have associated grant-making
capabilities for select infrastructure projects; facilitate funding of infrastructure projects affecting
one or more co-ordinate units of local government that will enable the sharing of labor, resources
and knowledge between and among such units of local government; and establish high standards
of transparency regarding the types of capital and investments received, the infrastructure
projects funded, the investment returns on such projects and other information that will be easily
accessible to the public and subject to rigorous oversight and audit; and will be capitalized by a combination of moneys appropriated by the City Council of the City and capital provided by a range of third-party investors and
So, in the Oakland context, the Oakland version of the Chicago Infrastructure Trust Board would essentially replace the Oakland Redevelopment Agency. We can use that to gain the money not just to build a new stadium for the Warriors, and create new jobs here, but to improve our education infrastructure, too. Just saying.
Joe’s idea – to me – is of a smaller, cooler Oakland. I don’t think Oakland needs to be small just because we don’t have redevelopment. Look, we have to escape this idea that we have too many problems to save the Warriors. Every city has problems – but we have to build infrastructure (like the Oakland Army base) to increase our city’s capacity to provide good jobs and excellent quality of life.
Sports are a major part of that.