Last night (August 29th) I attended the debate between four of the five Candidates At-Large for a seat on Oakland’s City Council at the Kaiser Center. In attendance were candidates Incumbent At-Large Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan, District Five Councilmember Ignacio De La Fuente, Theresa Anderson-Downs and Carol Lee Tolbert and the big topic of the night: gun violence. This wasn’t too much of a surprise of course as Oakland has kept its lofty position on America’s Most Dangerous Cities top ten list for quite some time now.
Incumbent Kaplan who has held her seat on the Oakland City Council since 2008, came out very strongly against the illegal firearm trade, and for creating jobs in Oakland. She reiterated some of the projects that she has worked on during her term like Measure F which she proposed in 2009 that increased taxes on medical cannabis dispensaries bringing in much needed revenue to the city. She also mentioned her more recent work encouraging businesses to move to Oakland with the Free Broadway Shuttle that has made downtown Oakland even more accessible for citizens.
Councilmember De La Fuente came out with his laundry list of achievements in his extensive 20-year long Oakland political career including building upon the Fruitvale Shopping Center and his work on Union Point Park. De La Fuente’s main intentions seemed to also steer toward gun violence and other criminal activity in the city, because violent crimes are on the rise.
At-Large Candidates Anderson-Downs and Tolbert while equally concerned with the violence focused on the the city’s suffering school system, they are both parents and natives of Oakland it is clear why these important matters caught their attention.
All in all it was a great debate, if I had to pick a winner I would edge it toward the Incumbent, Rebecca Kaplan because she seemed very prepared and has had a strong voice in the community since her election. This should be an interesting race to watch, Keep it locked to Zennie62Blog.com for more coverage!
Zennie Note: Videos coming…