In this Oakland News, the Oakland City Council District Three Race is heating up. First, Alex Miller-Cole, considered an upstart by some, scored two key endorsements that have changed the face of the election, and helped to define the difference between himself and the other Oaklanders running for office. Alex got the backing of Margaret Gordon, who some consider the unofficial Mayor of West Oakland, and then Oakland Councilmember Nancy Nadel followed suit with her own endorsement of Miller-Cole. I talked with a long-time Oakland political observer about the development, who offered an interesting take:
“Part of this is a kind of ‘play-it-safe’ vote because Alex is both Latino and gay…There’s a kind of discrimination against Sean Sullivan by some on West Oakland. Because Alex is also minority, backing him is OK.”
That’s an unvarnished point of view by a friend of mine who’s also running for local office in the East Bay. It’s a sad story, if it’s true, and I have no reason to believe it’s not true. The idea is that the District Three race is one between two gay men, Sean and Alex, and that’s it.
The problem is that’s a point of view that comes from a set of insiders who are not tied into black West Oakland, are white, and social-media savvy. Since I’m something of an Oreo, I suppose, I have enough of a connection to that group that I hear that view again and again. But there’s a candidate who’s making news of her own as a force to be dealt with, and that’s Lynette McElhaney.
Lynette’s campaign got into high gear on Sunday with a stop at the new and great Cafe Lakeview at the corner of Lakeshore and El Embarcadero next to Lake Merritt. Ms. McElhaney talked to everyone who entered the cafe, and even those who were outside. I later talked to her about her endorsement list, which as of this writing lacks a name. Her response was that Oaklanders aren’t concerned about names, they’re concerned about results. I like her energy and can-do attitude; if others aren’t careful, Lynette could wind up the winner in the race.
But Sean’s the person who has his face on the windows of some businesses on Grand Avenue, and has raised the most money. She knows this, and so is trying to position herself as everyone’s second choice.
Zennie62 off to the Democratic National Convention
This blogger’s off to the 2012 Democratic National Convention with Tout.com. Stay tuned!