Bryan Parker, the Port of Oakland Commissioner and tech executive who’s running for Mayor Of Oakland, met with me on Wednesday morning at The Lakeshore Cafe (3257 Lakeshore Ave.) for a wide-ranging, 24-minute interview where he gave an update of where his campaign to become Oakland’s next government head is as of now.
The big news is that Parker has raised close to $200,000, and while he did not say it was that number, Bryan did explain that the campaign went past their projections for the upcoming reporting period and they will release the information in just over one week.
Parker has the advantage of starting his effort early, back in August, and with a strong kick out of the gate, raising $24,000 within a 24-hour span alone. The entrance of the incumbent Oakland Mayor Jean Quan, North Oakland Resident Patrick McCullough, then Professor Joe Tuman, District Four Councilmember Libby Schaaf, Oakland Lawyer Dan Siegel, and Oakland Tax Attorney Nancy Sidebotham, would seem to diminish Parker’s fund-raising ability. But he’s used a number of sources via fundraisers in other cities (something Oakland At Large Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan did when she ran for Mayor in 2010), and even (as is appropriate for his tech professional background) a proposed Bitcoin fundraising effort, to keep the dollars following to his campaign organization.
While campaign dollars are the big news, Parker and I spent most of the video time talking about his vision for Oakland, public safety concerns, Coliseum City and the problem of maintaining our sports teams, and dispelling a rumor that he planned to hire former Oakland City Council President Ignacio De La Fuente as Chief Administrative Officer should he win the election. While Mr. Parker’s still putting more details on his plans, the central theme can be distilled to this:
Parker wants to equalize economic wealth between the hills and the flatlands, and use innovating programs to cause more homes to be affordable to Oaklanders. He believes our public safety goals should be around the objective of as close to zero homicides as possible, and has talked to the Oakland Police Officers Association about several ways to do this and to grow the police force. “We will make this city safe by evening out the playing field,” he said. Parker also says he’s the only one who has a plan to fully fund the addition of new police officers. All of this is part of what he says is a “five-point plan” that he will roll out in the coming months.
Regarding sports and push for stadiums for the Oakland A’s, Raiders, and Warriors, Parker, like the other candidates, is not willing to spend public money for a sports stadium if the private sector can fund it. I think Parker, and the other candidates, need to offer specifics here and not just express dismay with Coliseum City. Parker agrees.
For Bryan Parker’s entire view, take time to watch the video, and also watch the entire set of 26 videos of conversations with all of the Oakland Mayor’s Race candidates. You can see that here: