For this blogger, it seemed Nancy, the 68-year-old tax accountant who’s a friend, was running for the District Six Oakland City Council seat every time it was open. The last time she ran against the current incumbent District Six representative Desley Brooks.
And when she wasn’t doing that, Sidebotham was one of the leaders (with Gene Hazzard and Ken Pratt) of the effort to recall Oakland Mayor Jean Quan in 2011 through 2012. The recall project fell apart under infighting and an eventual lack of the required number of signatures needed for it to be on the voting ballot for that year.
So it comes as a surprise that Nancy Sidebotham sent an email today announcing that she filed papers to run for Mayor of Oakland, but that’s exactly what she’s done. Ms. Sidebotham’s entry puts the list of candidates at seven, and joins Oakland Mayor Jean Quan, Bryan Parker, Joe Tuman, Libby Schaaf, Patrick McCullough, and Dan Siegel in what’s shaping up to be a more exciting race than then 2010 contest that put Quan in.
Can Nancy win? As she told me in a phone conversation “With Rank Choice Voting anything is possible.” But what motivated her to run for Mayor? In listening to her talk, I could not help but think of the movie Network and the famous “Mad as Hell” scene:
Nancy told me she got angry and decided to do it after Oakland Mayor Jean Quan announced she was going to run for re-election, and then Oakland District Four Councilmember Libby Schaaf then tossed her hat into the ring. But the kicker, what really put her into the mode of action, to run was that Joe Tuman didn’t bring her, the Tuman supporter, into his ‘inner circle’ as he told her he was going to do.
That pissed her off.
Nancy explained the details and as she did so went into a high-gear-rant: “I talked to quite a few people about it (running for Mayor of Oakland), including some politicians – they all said ‘go for it.’ I love Joe Tuman, backed him in the last race. But I’ve seen who’s backing him, and I don’t like it. I’ve got questions. Don Perata supports him. The fact that Larry Tramutola is backing him and Libby Schaaf – those are the people that are part of the problem in Oakland.”
Sidebotham then went into an unsolicited attack on California Commercial Group developer and friend Phil Tagami. “Phil Tagami – he owes the city over $33 million in redevelopment funds. Yet, he has the Fox Theater and the Oakland Army Base. These are all political paybacks to him, for what?!”
Sidebotham: “We need to find out where this money is going! One of the things I’ve been pushing for is for Oakland to be audited by an outside agency.”
UPDATE: Phil Tagami posted this response on Facebook:
Zennie Abraham wrote a column today in which he reports on Nancy Sidebotham, who makes some false (and potentially defamatory) statements about me and projects I am involved with.
Sidebotham reportedly said
“Phil Tagami – he owes the city over $33 million in redevelopment funds.
Yet, he has the Fox Theater and the Oakland Army Base.”
1. I do not owe the city $33 million dollars.
2. I do not own the Fox Theater. I did however lead an effort with hundreds of other people to raise over approximately $50m dollars from 28 sources of the approximately $87m+ total spent on the Theater and the Oakland School for the Arts (more than $50m does not have to be paid back), and our company donated almost $2m toward the effort by working for 1/3 of the market fee. After 42 years of being closed it is now open and doing great things for our city. I am proud of the Job our team did there and grateful to the donors and volunteers who made it possible.
3. I do not “have” the Oakland Army Base.
4. My company, and our Partners at Prologis competed for the Oakland Army Base in a multi year process in a field of 13 developers at the cost to our company of over $6.5 million to date (and counting). We will be leasing the land from the city at the Fair Market Value that was established by a third party appraiser hired by the city. We have successfully raised $500 million dollars for phase I, from multiple sources, and our company with our investors will be making a $45.9 million dollar investment in this project. I am proud of the work we are doing to make our city better.
2014 will be a year of factivism
That’s something that falls within the area of Oakland City Auditor but Nancy blasted her too: “Courtney Ruby Courtney doesn’t do those kinds of audits – she can’t get information out of the city administrator’s office and she’s admitted that. The Sacramento organizations that do those kind of audits need to step in – they did with Hercules. But Courtney is an elected official in Oakland, and when the fire assessment district audit came out but she sat on it – she refused to give it to us. The fact that the audit was not put out for public view was just plain wrong.”
“As for fundraising,” Nancy said, “we’re just starting. I’ve got $25, and someone gave me $99. I’m gonna do social media, and Bryan Parker got the right idea (in using online crowdfunded) and Joe Tuman got after him, but that’s the way to go.”
Here’s Nancy’s full press statement, spicing up the Oakland Mayor’s Race:
After looking over the candidates that have thrown their hats into the ring and the rumor of two or
three others considering running, I have decided the residents of Oakland deserve a candidate that
knows the history of Oakland, is a “hands on” activist and has no connections to the political machine
that has devastated Oakland for over 25 years.
A few have made millions off lucrative contracts, corruption and nepotism that engulfs our city; it is
time voters start taking an active role and start thinking outside the frame work that money raised and
prominent endorsers make for a qualified and caring candidate.
We as voters complain and become discouraged because to date those who have sought elected office
and won, have not represented Oakland as a whole. They come with baggage because those who
endorse them now own them.
We need a candidate who comes from the citizens that make up Oakland, has long involved roots,
active, not afraid to represent us and willing to stand shoulder to shoulder with every person on every
street throughout our City. I, Nancy Sidebotham, am that person!
I have lived in Oakland since December 1964 and have been politically active since 1982. I graduated
from Merritt College (the old Grove Street campus) in 1968. From there I attended and graduated from
CSU Hayward (now CSU East Bay) in 1970. I have lived in various neighborhoods throughout Oakland;
Beacon Street near Lake Merritt, Vernon Street off of Santa Clara, Shafter Ave. in North Oakland,
Georgia Street in the Laurel District, Whittle Ave. in the Dimond area and since 1980 on Hillmont Drive in
the Millsmont area.
I have been active over the years in almost every aspect of Oakland’s issues. I have run several times
for the District 6 council seat. I have never walked away from issues, but continue to stay involved,
educating and challenging all who I come in contact with, either in person or via the internet. Fighting
and taking control to bring about positive change to neighborhoods, districts and the City. I have never
been afraid to speak up or fight for the rights of Oakland’s citizens. I have been a participant, a leader
and a helper whenever the opportunity presented itself. Over the years I have demanded accountability
for actions taken and an accounting of monies being asked of Oakland citizens.
I am fed up with Oakland’s current political climate: Handpicked candidates that profess promises
rarely kept and the political machine that continues to keep Oakland in a strangle hold while we, the
citizens continue to be frustrated. This has got to stop.
• We have all seen neighbors and friends relocate to other cities due to frustrations and
mismanagement of City finances over the years.
• High taxes collected year in and year out with little to show for them and no accountability on
how taxes are really spent.
• The continued devastation of a once proud and well-managed police department that the
political machine has brought to its knees. Officers are proud of the work they do and deserve
our respect and support.
• The loss of qualified city staff that earned their positions due to knowledge and skills; not
nepotism and payback. Oakland has been a training ground on what NOT to do for up and
coming talented staff. These individuals have learned their trade and taken their abilities to
other surrounding cities and brought prosperity to those municipalities, along with longtime
businesses who became fed up with Oakland’s stagnation.
Oakland deserves leadership that will demand quality work and give respect and recognition to a work
force that has been ignored and cut to the bone in order to protect those individuals that lack basic
management skills. We need to do the following:
• Reduce over-inflated positions and delegate the workload to the different departments without
• Stop the welfare mentality of City Hall and encourage development of Oakland that equally
• Stop the territorial mentality that highlights the politics of Oakland and keeps areas throughout
the city segregated from each other. This benefits a few while most of Oakland is neglected;
that is until an election occurs.
• Lead by example. Conduct outreach to return jobs to the USA, bring back employment and keep
people in their homes. This is a national crisis and the fight to make change has to start at the
• Lip service needs to stop and real hands on action is needed from the District Attorney’s office.
Start going after banks regarding foreclosures and prosecute those individuals who break the
law so the message gets out that there are consequences for criminal/illegal actions.
We cannot continue to talk about progress, transparency and a bright future, while greed, self-interest
and political maneuvering outshine the respect, freedom and rights individuals are entitled to; that
should be our first priority.
If Oakland as a city expects to progress, it needs to stop living off handouts from the Federal and State
government and start rebuilding itself from the bottom up.
If one were to look at who controls Oakland politics and how elections are manipulated by what will sell
(which is the definition of an Ad Campaign), versus what will work. Then residents as voters will come
to understand why Oakland continues to flounder and never reaches objectives that other surrounding
cities have achieved and flourished with.
Oakland was once the hub for transportation and growth, as well as the center for individuals to make
their wealth and then move on to greener pastures. It became a playground for those who saw a way to
make a financial killing at the expense of its residents.
This needs to change! I am proud to be a 50 year Oakland resident who will continue to fight to make
it the center it once was in the past and has the potential to be again in the future. There are no empty
promises here because I know I cannot do this alone. It will take commitment from each and every one
of us with diverse ideas coming together to solve problems and rebuild the future of this great City. The
talent is here and I have the ability and the passion to guide Oakland.
Are you with me? I ask that you get involved. This is our city and it is going to take hands on action to
bring about positive and real change.
Candidate for Mayor, November 2014
As Nancy’s just getting started, the best way to contact her is via email here: [email protected]