|Oakand Mayor Ron Dellums|
This blogger learned the news from a good friend who's been involved in Oakland political and nonprofit circles for over 3 decades. In the "funny who you see on the same plane flight" book, this person was on the same San Francisco to Chicago flight late Tuesday night. That's when the information that's been largely hidden from the public was shared.
"Dellums is going to give it a go and see what happens" the person said. Also Mayor Dellums had a fund-raiser over the weekend. The foundation for Ron Dellums' campaign for reelection as Mayor of Oakland has started.
While, as of this writing, I still don't think Dellums can win, the Mayor does have three things going for him. First, he's the incumbent and he's theoretically able to defend his record better than anyone else. Second, and perhaps this may be the first asset, he's the only African American candidate for Mayor of Oakland as of this writing. Third, reportedly some Oaklanders are looking at the other current choices for the Mayor's race - Councilmembers Jean Quan (District 4) and Rebecca Kaplan (At Large), Green Party candidate Don Macleay, and the legendary former State Senator Don Perata and are taking another look, a more positive one, at Mayor Dellums.
|Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan|
Insiders I've talked to observe that the only thing she's known for is passing "Oakland Mai Tai Day." Moreover, personally, Councilmember Kaplan has been prone to not see the side of those who disagree with her.
This is not something personally seen in the past by this blogger; but it did become starkly obvious at an event at Ozumo's Restaurant. We were talking about the Oakland Parking issue, when I observed that it seems Oakland's trying to balance its budget on the backs of its poor.
Rather than disagree in a way I was used to, which is calmly and intelligently, the Councilmember yelled at me at the top of her lungs that I was wrong, and fired off several choice words.
I maintained calm and listened to her massive, unexpected rant. Rebecca Kaplan's best asset is her Chief of Staff Andre Jones. He's a reasoned, intelligent, excellent representative of her office. The fear in this space is that if Kaplan runs for Mayor of Oakland and wins, she will act in a way that's not fitting for the office. In my case, Rebecca did not apologize to me and still has not as of this writing.
I've held back on this for some time because I really have supported and do like Rebecca. But being in the office - achieving the objective for which she's long struggled to obtain - has changed her. When Rebecca Kaplan the candidate needed this blogger's support, she never acted that way. And while some may get a childish kick out of this, it's a sad day when such behavior is rewarded in an elected official. I don't mind being disliked, but being disrespected is uncalled for.
While others have stories, I'll not repeat them. This is written with the objective of causing Councilmember Kaplan to be a better Oakland elected official. A person who can not only want to be mayor, but have everyone say she should be mayor. I get that she has a powerful base in the Oakland LGBT community and the time has come for a person from the LGBT community to be mayor, but that does not mean Rebecca is ready to be mayor.
A good mayoral candidate listens to people and wants to represent all of Oakland, not just a part of it. Rebecca can be that person, but 2010 is not the right time as she needs to grow.
Here's hoping she does.