Bryan Parker For Mayor Of Oakland
Bryan Parker, who was Oakland Mayor Jean Quan’s appointee on the Board Of Commissioners Of The Port Of Oakland, has not only announced and filed papers to run for Mayor of Oakland, but has a nice, if not well- search-enging-optimized, website up here: BryanParker.org
I’ve met and talked to Mr. Parker at length, both at Obama functions and privately, and think he would make an excellent Mayor of Oakland, so I’m supporting his run (but that does not mean I will not cover other candidates for the Oakland Mayors Race).
It’s not that Bryan is the division manager of Davita Healthcare, or Chair of the Oakland Workforce Investment Board, or a Trustee on the Board of Trustees at Holy Names University or that he’s on the Executive Leadership Council, but that he, like Lynette Gibson-McElhney, Libby Schaaf, and Rebecca Kaplan, represents a new generation of Oaklanders in politics, who are engaged, yet bring a new perspective to Oakland Politics.
To cut to the chase, Mr. Parker is a 21st Century Oaklander who’s not afraid to be a good-hearted policy wonk who wants to know and understand and work for everyone. Bryan Parker has the right temperament for today’s Oakland: perhaps one of the most complex urban social systems in the World.
Some detractors will say that Mr. Parker is now running against the one person, Oakland Mayor Jean Quan, who appointed him. But my take is that Jean Quan should not run for another term as Oakland’s Mayor, so a second go at it for her and for our city would be a huge mistake. I like Jean personally, but I don’t think she’s the best candidate for Mayor of Oakland, and for a host of reasons that would fill a book.
Briefly, Jean Quan did not win one district in either East Oakland or West Oakland, and if Oakland’s common habit of stupid infighting did not surface, would have been recalled by now. She’s allowed San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee to punk her in sports economics issues, and in my video, Joe Lacob referred to San Francisco’s “being aggressive” as the reason he was lured away from Oakland.
Give Bryan Parker a look – you will not be disappointed.
Other Oakland Mayor Candidates, Real And Immagined
Bryan Parker is the only person who’s actually filed papers to run for Mayor Of Oakland. And while some would say it’s too early, 2014 is the year of the next election, so Bryan’s jumping on at the right time. But here’s the list of those rumored to be considering a run:
1) Oakland Mayor Jean Quan
2) Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan
3) Oakland City Auditor Courtney Ruby
4) Joe Tuman
So far, that’s it, but remember in 2010, we had a record number of candidates for Mayor, 10 of them. My hypothesis is we may have a smaller number this next time around. I say that because it doesn’t seem that the electorate as a whole is as politically engaged as it was before.
Oakland’s population turnover has been such that many of the people I talk to are new to the city, mostly white, below 35, and not only know very little of Oakland’s political history, if any, but just aren’t politically engaged. What does unite this group is when they think of Jean Quan, they think of the Occupy Oakland Riot, and thus judge her from that perspective, today.
And then there are Oaklanders like Councilmember Larry Reid, who have some powerful complaints against her, like the 100 Block Plan controversy…
And then, of course, Larry Lionel Young could decide to throw his hat into the ring again, money permitting.
Which brings us to…
Oakland Budget Issues
Here’s the first of my issues with the Oakland Budget: it complains about losing Redevelopment revenue, but offers no solutions to replace it. Here’s mine:
1) Establish an Oakland Investment Board. The Board, a mix of Oaklanders from the community, government, and business sectors, would work to match global investors with projects around the City of Oakland that are identified by the board and Oaklanders.
2) Use Mello Roos Financing. This is where a group of Oakland property owners elect to tax themselves to pay for public improvements.
The second issue is that of the $6 million in one-time revenues that have caused an overall increase in Oakland revenue, one-third of that comes from parking tickets, to the tune of $2 million. That is an outrage. It means that Oakland’s cannibalizing the quality of life of its own citizens to make a buck. Shameful.
No Significant Budget Change To Mayor, City Clerk, Oakland City Auditor, Oakland City Council, or Oakland City Attorney
That’s according to the Oakland Budget. If Oakland’s supposed to be saving money, why are those offices largely untouched? Oakland has not recovered from its largest dip in property tax revenue in history between 2011 and 2012. Thus, all departments should be cut back, not just those of the line workers of the City of Oakland.
More on this in my next post, in two days.
San Francisco Invades Oakland
Mayor Quan’s dropping the ball with sports economics is one thing, but the new private sector, far less burdened by racism, is not afraid to invest in Oakland. Take the San Francisco law firm Gordon & Rees LLP, which leased 24,000 square feet of space at 1111 Broadway here in Oakland, moving 120 of its employees, according to The San Francisco Business Times‘ Blanca Torres.
And then there’s A16. The popular San Francisco Marina District Restaurant, and venue for many a story of a date success or failure, is making a grand opening in Oakland this week, and at the old Girabaldi’s space at 5356 College Ave – in fact, it opened on Thursday.
And all that’s on top of the number of people who come over from San Francisco just to hang out in Oakland. 12 years ago, that was considered a weird thing to do.