Oakland News: Mayor Quan Fundraiser Draws Just Four People; Visit Oakland Office Party

UPDATE: Oakland News: A’s One Game From AL West; Whole Foods Oakland; Oakland Cabs

In this Oakland News, a fundraiser for Oakland Mayor Jean Quan recently held in the Oakland Fruitvale area has got the mouths of insiders both wagging and agape, and all because of the staggering total of attendees: four people.

Yep, just four people. And that information has been communicated by a number of people I know who don’t even know each other. It’s the surest sign yet that Mayor Quan’s reelection bid is already tanking and we’ve not even got into the real campaigning period. Personally, after a lot of discussion, I don’t think it’s a good idea for Jean Quan to run for re-election.

The reasons why Mayor Quan should just sit this out are plain and simple: scant few, if anyone, likes her as Mayor of Oakland – it’s not personal for those who share the observation, but a cold read of her performance. If it’s not complaints like the way the Mayor’s Office is ran – for example, no steady receptionist or persons who professionally answer phone calls – then it’s a story about something she said in a meeting that upset a business owner.

And even without those details, 80 percent of the Oaklanders I’ve talked to on the street or in a restaurant or shop or bar give Mayor Quan thumbs down. And of those people I’ve talked to about 70 percent of them have only lived in Oakland for less than five years. And of that, no one person has been able to tell me who their district councilmember is. Not one.

So, if you’re an incumbent Oakland City Council person, consider yourself warned. It’s a fair bet 70 percent of the people in your district don’t know who you are. If you’re running for re-election, that’s a scary stat, and should be. It means you have to run as if no one knows you, and yet explain why they are dealing with seemingly constant reports of crime. Good luck.

The point is, this is a new Oakland population, and one that’s not as politically well-connected or concerned as the one that was active prior to the 2010 Oakland Mayor’s Race, and certainly not as involved as the pre-2008 Oakland electorate. But with that, they’re all united in their dislike for Mayor Quan. As one person told me, “I don’t know who’s running, but it’s anyone but Quan for me.”

And that woman is new to Oakland, and has been here only about three months from Florida. Think about that.

Personally, I like Jean, and on top of that I have a rule that I treat the sitting Mayor of a town with respect. That means not trying to make that person look bad on video or put words in their mouth. I believe you get more valuable out of an elected official that way. But I digress.

This opens the door for the current fiscal front runner in the 2014 Mayor’ Race Bryan Parker, as well as for his challenger, Joe Tuman and also District One politico Patrick McCullough and also Anne Gust Brown, who has not denied my story that she’s running for Mayor, as of this writing. Even wet-behind-the-ears Green Party candidate Randy Menjivar has a wee-bit of a shot, although some observers think his desire is borne more of ego than substance.

Personally, being 24-years-old should not be considered a handicap to being Mayor of Oakland, if a candidate has the right message – let’s see if he does. Randy’s issue with me is he’s upset that I’ve announced I’m supporting Parker for Mayor, but as I told him on Twitter that does stop me from interviewing other candidates like Joe Tuman. Plus, it’s ranked choice voting, and I’d prefer to see Brian Parker and Joe Tuman run as a kind of ticket.

The reason I announce my intent early is because, in 2010, it was clear the non-blog media had favorites, but would not openly say it, just show it in coverage. That’s wrong. I believe you state your intentions as a media person, then given everyone a shot to tell their story. That’s my way. It’s called being transparent.

Now, I have to add that a seasoned campaign manager will read this and think that it means a low-voter turnout for the 2014 Mayor’s Race. While it will be low compared to the 2012 Presidential Race, the question is will it be so low that an incumbent can win even with the giant factor of being unknown?

That depends on the get-out-the-vote effort by each candidate and social media. A good campaign needs both, and so far I’ve not seen a good effort in the social media space by anyone except for Bryan Parker, and his needs improvement too. No one is using YouTube to spread their message; most seem to think Facebook and Twitter is all they need.

Big mistake.

Joe Tuman Hires Doug Linney

Joe Tuman my friend and candidate for Oakland Mayor announced he has hired the Oakland-based campaign consulting firm The Next Generation to manage his 2014 campaign.

The Next Generation, headed by Doug Linney, has helped to get half of the current Oakland City Council, as well as City Attorney Barbara Parker, elected. (Correcting the press release that made Linney sound like a dictator.)

“I am thrilled to be joining forces with The Next Generation in my campaign for Mayor of Oakland,” says Tuman, a longtime community leader and Chair of the SF State Department of Communications. “This team knows Oakland, and they have a stellar record of helping good Oakland candidates win.”

“Oakland is in big trouble and we need a change,” says Doug Linney, President and Founder of The Next Generation. “Joe Tuman is a highly qualified candidate, with the leadership qualities, independence, and vision we need to help turn Oakland around and lead this city in a new direction.”

According to my friends, Joe has been holding house parties on a regular basis, but I’ve not seen any sign that he’s close to catching up with Bryan Parker in fundraising to this point. The Tuman camp reportedly seems to think Parker’s negative is that he’s still on the Port of Oakland Board, whereas I see Joe’s negative as not being on a board or commission. This is the focus of an intense debate and it’s related to the idea that only an outsider can get elected in this Mayor’s race. I don’t think you can be too outside, if you will. You have to show you have some skin in the game.

Visit Oakland Office Party A Lot Of Fun

Last week on Thursday, Visit Oakland, the newest version of the long-running Oakland Convention and Visitors Bureau (where the late Manette Y. Belliveau opened the business in 1999, and helped me form the bid to bring the Super Bowl to Oakland, we lost to Jacksonville, and I miss her) opened at 481 Water Street in Jack London Square. Visit Oakland is charged with promoting tourism in Oakland.

The event opened the new office that Mayor Quan was happy to say came as the result of a successfully self-funded effort by Visit Oakland,and attracted 150 people. Everyone from long-time friends like Mike Taylor of The Oakland Raiders and Robert Brown, and Christopher Weills, the publisher of the Ultimate Sports Guide, as well as great salesperson Ann Cooke, to new friends Traci Reed of the California Music Industry Summit, The Raiderettes who attended, as well as Katinka Partridge of PETA Oakland, to name some of the people I talked to.

Here’s my video, and I’m happy to say that I got the legendary Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Joe Haraburda to open it for me. And before I continue, I’d like to thank Visit Oakland President Allison Best and PR honco Kim Bardakhian for the event, as well as Carl Chan, President of the Chinatown Chamber of Commerce for his time.

Manette Y. Belliveau July 4, 1958 – March 25, 2012

I just learned that Manette Y. Belliveau, who I met when she established the Oakland Convention and Visitors Bureau in 1999, passed away last year. Wow, how you can lose touch with a person.

In 1999, Manette and her staff were the driving force behind getting all of the NFL Super Bowl Oakland hotel contracts out to the over 200 hotels we contacted around the Bay Area, as well as putting together the meeting we had with SF Bay Area hotel general managers to brief them on the Super Bowl Oakland Bid and help them fill out the documents. We got 7,800 rooms signed and a letter of commitment from the Santa Clara County CVB for 15,000 more rooms. With all of the negatives and then-Oakland Mayor and now Governor Jerry Brown not putting his best foot forward to help us, Manette Y. Belliveau was one of the brightest spots. She believed we could win.

I found her obituary, which explained “In October of 2010 Manette came down with Breast Cancer and started a combination of chemotherapies and radiation. In November 2011 her cancer metastasized to her liver, lymph nodes and bones…In February of 2012 knowing that she had very little time, Manette and Ike would go on her last cruise. It was at the top of her Bucket List, a 9 night cruise from San Diego to Manzanillo Mexico. Although she was in a lot of pain during the cruise she still held her composure, grace and beauty. Ike always said that she was like a fine wine, becoming more beautiful with age!”

This goes with something I said to Haraburda at the Visit Oakland event: that too many people who contributed a lot to what Oakland has become are passing away. In the coming months, I’m going to try to give at least some video spotlight to those people, at least so we can have something that gives others and idea of what they were like. If you want to help, you can by interviewing someone you know and then sending that .Mov or Mp4 file (that’s the preferred set of formats) to me. Just contact me before hand. The email’s here at the top of the blog post page in the “contact” area.

Mayor Quan Responds To Citizen Police Review Board Complaints

Don Macleay and Rashidah Grinage, the 2010 Oakland Green Party Candidate for Mayor of Oakland, friend, and Oakland Computer business man, and she the representative of PUEBLO, respectively, wrote guest blog posts on the Oakland Citizens Police Review Board and how it was reformed such that the police and not the citizens are in control of it. I asked Mayor Quan a very open-ended question regarding the controversy, who was kind enough to talk with me on video, and she disagreed that there was one.

She said that at first, when she was on the Oakland City Council, all the complaints had to go through internal affairs but “no one wants to talk to a police officer,” but now, Thomas Frazier, the $337,000 court-appointed monitor, believes that Oakland needs to have intake employees in the police department, but not a lot of them as in the past, and to focus on more important complaints. Quan’s objective is not to take away citizen review of police activities, but to follow the court-appointed monitor, yet maintain citizen review at the same time.

Here’s the video.

Need A Stop Sign At Grand And Bellevue

Lastly, for now, Grand Avenue At Bellevue, where the Ann’s Burger is, and the coffee cafe on the opposite corner, is perhaps the most dangerous intersection in Adams Point, if not one of the tops in all of Oakland. Cars barrel through there at speeds up to 50 mph, and with no break. Earlier this year a young couple was killed while crossing Grand at Grand Avenue At Bellevue – an awful scene. What would stop this situation is the placement of a simple stop sign there.

That’s my project.

Stay tuned.