Abel Guillen, who ran against Rob Bonta for the California Assembly District 18 Seat in 2012, has officially tossed his hat in the ring for the Oakland City Council District Two Seat. He’s got some hot competition in Sokham Mao, Dana King, Andrew Park, Michael Colbruno, and Kevin Blackburn, and on top of that Colbruno has not yet dropped out of the race, as he said he would do. (I’m not questioning Colbruno’s tactics, but just stating the truth.)
Still, Able, who’s got a late start, is pressing on. Here’s his press release, which I just received 10 minutes ago:
Community Coalition Backs Abel Guillen for Oakland City Council
Peralta Colleges Trustee announces run for City Council District 2 with broad base of support
Oakland, CA – Backed by a broad base of Oakland community, business and elected leaders, Abel Guillen announced his candidacy today for Oakland City Council District 2. The current District 2 Councilmember, Pat Kernighan, is not running for re-election in November.
“I simply love this city. Oakland has played big role in my life, shaping my character and instilling my dedication to community service. Oakland’s challenges are many and varied, but the solutions lie in our neighborhoods, our communities, our schools and the people of our city. I want to make District 2 an example of how we can move Oakland forward, together and build together,” said Guillen. “My long-standing commitment toward consensus-building and getting things done will be a key in working to best represent the needs of our communities at City Hall.”
Council District 2 is well-known as one of the most diverse areas in Oakland, and includes the Grand Lake, Gold Coast, Eastlake, Chinatown, Trestle Glen, Crocker Highlands, Bella Vista, Haddon Hill and San Antonio neighborhoods.
Guillen has served as a Trustee on the Peralta Community College District Board since 2006. As Trustee, Guillen secured over $20 million in grants for career education and green jobs and raised over $50,000 for scholarships for students from underserved communities. He also advocated for students collaborating with Alameda County and local clinics to make the Peralta Health and Wellness Center a reality. In partnership with AC Transit, he created the Peralta Easy Pass that saves students over $1,000 a year and has provided more than 1.2 million bus rides for students since its inception. He reformed the Peralta Colleges’ fiscal management to eliminate bureaucratic waste and successfully implemented measures to increase public accountability and transparency.
Guillen serves as vice president of a public finance consulting firm, where he helped raise more than $2.5 billion in bond funding for public schools and colleges throughout California. He previously served as a research associate for the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund.
Guillen earned his master’s degree in public policy from UC Berkeley’s Goldman School of Public Policy, and also served as a Coro Fellow in Public Affairs. He received his bachelor’s degree in sociology from UC Berkeley.
Guillen, 38, has received early support from Assemblymember Rob Bonta (AD18), State Board of Equalization Member Betty Yee, former Assemblymember Sandre Swanson, former Alameda County Supervisor Alice Lai-Bitkter, Peralta Trustees William Riley and Cy Gulassa, AC Transit Director Chris Peeples, Chinatown community leader Carl Chan, business leader and Tribune Tower owner Tom Henderson, community leader and activist Aimee Allison, Lakeshore BID manager Pamela Drake, and many other residents throughout Oakland’s District 2.
”Abel brings the right combination of professional experience in finance and a proven record of working effectively on the issues that face our Oakland neighborhoods, like educational opportunity, safe neighborhoods and jobs. I’ve seen Abel in action, and he gets things done. I strongly support him for the Oakland City Council,” said Assemblymember Bonta. “At this critical time, the City needs Abel’s skills and extensive experience to stand up for our progressive values. He is the best choice for the job and will move Oakland forward.”
”Guillen has represented a large portion of District 2 during his tenure on the Board of Trustees of the Peralta Colleges, which includes Laney College. More than anyone, Abel understands the link between education and the needs of the Oakland business community. That’s why I am backing Guillen,” said Carl Chan, a longtime Chinatown community leader.