Quan Thanks Oakland
Quan explains that the voter turnout was greater than she expected, writing:
With a record breaking turnout of 121,927 voters, I was declared the next mayor with about 51% of the vote on Wednesday. About 30,000 more voters came out than predicted. I received 53,778 votes -- a record because of the fall election. Jerry Brown (48,124) and Ron Dellums (42,110) won in June elections when typically 40,000 less voters participate.
Sorry this editions is so late. As you may guess, my life has only gotten more intense since I was declared Mayor-Elect two days ago. My family, staff, and I are genuinely overwhelmed by the outpouring of support and joy we have received. We see the outcome as a victory for grassroots organizing; we see our campaign as a movement of neighborhood leaders that will continue to organize for change.
For those who may feel that Quan's effort to win Oakland "block by block" was just a campaign slogan, she says a group of supporters - over 150 in all - met last Thursday to discuss how they were going to continue neighborhood organizing.
Toward that end, they reportedly broke into small groups divided by district and by issues (like public safety) that remind this blogger of Oakland Sharing The Vision, or what my friend Phil Tagami used to call "sharing the ham sandwich."
Oakland Sharing The Vision was an 1990 effort that attracted 500 Oaklanders to the Oakland Convention Center on a Saturday to hammer out a giant set of goals and objectives for the City of Oakland. That ultimately became the foundation for a document of those goals and objectives, with timetables, and a non-profit organization headed by Executive Director Emile Durette. Over time, OSV was watered down from a vision custodian, to a political "cover" organization for elected officials to say "See, we really are doing something," then to a firm that was not doing anything like it's exciting first role.
Hopefully the energy of Quan's supporters isn't watered down in the same way.
Henry Gardner To Assist Quan
Former Oakland City Manager Henry Gardner agreed to help Quan by charing a "Transition Advisory Committee." Quan reports the group will "make recommendations on the priorities of the Mayor's Office for the first 100 days and first year," and include input from other mayoral candidates. That's great, but I have the feeling such an effort's going to get bogged down in egos and jousting really quick. The Mayor-Elect is better off having a simple plan of action that she allows to be altered "here and there" by the political movements of the city.
Jerry Brown had a simple plan that consisted of four objectives around the arts, public safety, services, and if memory serves housing. That was it. The lynchpin of his effort was the "10K plan" where Jerry wanted to add 10,000 units of market rate housing to Oakland. He eventually did it.
But the point is Jerry's plan, which he already had in mind when he was elected, was not such that it could be altered. And he stuck to it. Jean's all-inclusive approach is admirable, but from my experience in Oakland, it could backfire and create more hard feelings from unmet expectations and unstroked egos.
Does that mean Mayor Dellums "bunker of friends" approach was better? No. The idea was to have various task forces which consisted of his friends form plans that the public never saw and never saw the light of day. It was an abysmal failure that signalled the start of a number of perception problems for Mayor Dellums.
In my experience on the Mayor Dellums Sports Task Force, we had four other groups working on the A's issue basically behind our backs. Moreover, the chair, who was a friend I talked to about this, was afraid to take a stand and go to the Mayor. That's why I quit.
Jean's got to make sure that kind of crap - a lot of people trying to jockey for position to gain her attention - doesn't happen. Her supporters are not seasoned political aides, so they don't know that just because they're in the advise giving role all of a sudden, doesn't mean the Mayor has to listen to them.
Let's see how this plays out.
City Slickers, the non-profit organization that's become one of the success stories of the growing Oakland urban farmers movement, earned a $4 million grant to buy land in West Oakland and build a farm. Excellent news! If you're wondering what the organization's all about, this video I created below will give you some idea. Warning: it's long!