District 4 Race: So Early, So Important

Oakland’s District 4 council seat is getting vacated by mayoral candidate Jean Quan – and that move has attracted a flurry of early candidates.  A group of District 4 neighborhood leaders plan to interview all comers this weekend, and endorse a candidate thereafter.

With that vetting underway, Today in Montclair wanted to introduce as many candidates as possible.  Remember that candidate filings don’t even take place until August (!) for the November election.  It’s a little unfair to push for positions this early, but the outcomes matters to everyone.

Over the past couple weeks, your faithful blogger has begun reaching many aspirants by e-mail, phone or in person – and they are a truly impressive line-up.  My goal has been to create a very level playing field, and I sent these questions to gauge their differences:

  1. Why are you running for District 4?
  2. Why should people vote for you?
  3. What do you hope to change for District 4 residents?
  4. How would you balance needs of different neighborhoods?
  5. How would you balance needs of District 4 and all Oakland?
  6. What will be different when you are seated versus Jean Quan?
  7. How does District 4 connect with other districts now?
  8. How would District 4 connect if you’re in the council seat?
  9. What are your top three priorities, after becoming council rep?
  10. What have you accomplished, one year after becoming council rep?
  11. What else would you like to share with Montclarions and other readers?

At first, the ideal plan was to collect all Q&As and publish them simultaneously.  Falling short of time as well as this ideal, six candidates were reached and have responded admirably.  You may read Q&As from Scott Jackson, Clinton Killian and Libby Schaaf, along with an introduction from Melanie Shelby.

In coming days and weeks, Jill Broadhurst (added May 3rd), Melanie Shelby and Daniel Swafford have assured this blogger that they plan to share more information and responses.  There are several more candidates who are starting to declare their intentions as well.

Welcome to the almost-election season! At Today in Montclair, we hope to provide an interest-free zone where candidates communicate directly – and where materials will be shared and linked from other places.  We’re hearing that national anthem finishing up, and turn to the first game now.

District 4 Seat: Scott Jackson

We’re pleased to introduce District 4 candidate Scott Jackson.  He provided responses to questions Today in Montclair posed in April 2010, below.

Q.  Why are you running for District 4?

Oakland is a wonderful city but it is broken.  I am running for City Council to try to fix it.  Living in District 4 for the past 9 years has given me an understanding of the District’s needs and my experience has a Deputy District Attorney has given me a perspective on Oakland’s needs as a whole. Too many of our politicians and city leaders are representing their own interests and not the interests of the people they are elected to represent.  I am running to represent the people of District 4 and our interests.  Our district deserves a leader who will work hard to deliver basic city services like keeping us safe, fixing our streets, and creating and maintaining a vibrant economy.

Q.  Why should people vote for you?

First, as a Deputy District Attorney, I have prosecuted all types of crimes in Oakland. I understand crime and how to address the public safety concerns of District 4 residents.

Second, as a resident of District 4 for the past 9 years, I too am frustrated by the lack of basic city services.  I will fight hard to deliver those services.

Finally, as a former teacher and a parent who is raising 3 children in District 4, I understand what families are going through in our District. The District needs someone to fight hard for our families so that we don’t lose them to other cities/towns.

Q.  What do you hope to change for District 4 residents?

I would like to change Oakland’s response to our District needs.  I would like more patrols on our streets, an increase in CORE funding, and fixing our broken streets.

Q.  How would you balance needs of different neighborhoods?

As I talk to people from all over the District, our needs are not that much different.  First, everyone is concerned (and rightfully so) about public safety right now.  The key will be to focus on the “hot spots” and continue to pursue other criminal activity from there.  Second, the news of earthquakes around the globe has everyone in our District concerned about our preparedness when the Hayward Fault has a dramatic shift.  Our goal as a District has to be preparedness and responsiveness.  Third, everyone in our District seems to have a pothole they want fixed, a tree they want removed, a street lamp fixed, or a blight they want addressed. Oakland must provide these services.

Finally, our District has some wonderful businesses that we must support.  Our girls have participated in Kids N Dance in the Laurel; we shop for food at Farmer Joe’s in the Dimond; we shop for toys at Toyhouse in Montclair; and we get our dry cleaning done in Lincoln Square.  Our District has it all – not to mention all of the excellent restaurants in our District. We must support these businesses as they support local jobs and provide for revenue that the City so desperately needs.

Q.  How would you balance needs of District 4 and all Oakland?

I think we connect over issues.  For example, vocational schools/training. I have talked to people all over Oakland, and I see these young people who come into our courtrooms everyday, and there is no doubt that many of these kids could benefit from vocational training.  If we teach these kids a skill that they could carry with them for the rest of their lives, get them into a union or start them on the path of starting their own business, Oakland would benefit greatly.  How does this connect with District 4?  If people are working, they are not robbing. And maybe these kids will not enter our homes with the intent to steal, but with the intent to fix our pipes or install solar paneling.

Q.  What will be different when you are seated versus Jean Quan?

First of all, let me say that Jean is to be commended for her dedicated service to the District and the City.

I think the major difference between Jean and I will be my ability to connect with young families in our District and with Oakland as a whole. As a parent of 3, currently raising school aged children in the District, I understand what families are going through.  I understand that there are people in our District living paycheck to paycheck who are concerned about their children’s education, their jobs, and their mortgages.  The expense and sacrifice of living in the District is causing many families a lot of stress. Many of our District residents are not asking for much from the City, just the basics – keeping us safe, fixing our streets, making sure we are prepared for the “Big One,” and supporting local retail. I believe that I can provide a voice for these families.

I think another difference will be putting different face on District 4.  As an African-American, I believe that other Oaklanders will see District 4 in a new light.  I believe that I will be able to connect District 4 with the rest of Oakland in a way that Jean could not. This could help District 4 increase its influence in the City.

Q.  How does District 4 connect with other districts now?

It doesn’t.  For example, look at the increase in parking fees fiasco.  If you read the papers during that period, District 4 residents were portrayed as a bunch of rich folks who did not want to pay our fair share – even though the vast majority of Oaklanders opposed the increases.  Our District residents care about the welfare of this City and the People of Oakland as much as anyone else in this City.

Q.  How would District 4 connect if you’re in the council seat?

As I mentioned above, I believe that I can connect with the all of People of Oakland.  In my capacity as Deputy District Attorney, I have been fortunate to meet and speak with people from all over Oakland, and we are not much different.  We all want Oakland to work again, and we want Oakland to reach its full potential.  When I am on the Council, the People of Oakland will know that we stand behind them in our common pursuit of safe streets and economic vitality.

Q.  What are your top three priorities, after becoming council rep?

First, getting more cops on the streets of District 4.  I believe my experience and relationships in law enforcement will get the ear of the police brass and help us get the police resources we need.

Second, extending and increasing funding for CORE.  We are going to take the brunt of the impact of the impending earthquake and we must be prepared.

Third, fixing our streets.  From potholes, to street lights, to blight, our streets have become a quality of life issue that needs to be addressed.

Q.  What have you accomplished, one year after becoming council rep?

All of the above. We need to stop aiming low and start aiming high.  Moreover, Oakland needs to do a better job attracting and encouraging business growth. There are lots of empty stores even in wealthy areas of Oakland. I will encourage and support small business development in District 4.

Q.  What else would you like to share with Montclarions and other readers?

I am originally from Chicago and went to Williams College in Massachusetts.  After two years of teaching (U.S. and Civil Rights History) I went to law school at George Washington in Washington, DC. I was offered a job with the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office and my wife and I moved to Oakland in 1997 after we graduated from law school.  We moved to District 4 in 2001 after our first child was born. We live in the Crestmont area with our 3 kids and my 77 year-old mother-in law- who helps with the kids. She has given me a great perspective of the needs of the Seniors in our District.

I coach for Montclair Soccer Club, NOLL/SOLL baseball, Oakland Girls Softball League; and I even did a stint with Skyline Lacrosse!  I am committed to the youth our district and will be a strong advocate for the needs of residents of District 4.

June 1st Update: At the Piedmont Pines Neighborhood Association’s gathering for candidates, we learned that Scott Jackson won’t be throwing his hat in the District 4 ring.

District 4 Seat: Clinton Killian

We’re pleased to introduce District 4 candidate Clinton Killian.  He provided responses to questions Today in Montclair posed in April 2010, below.

Q.  Why are you running for District 4?

I believe in Oakland and the quality of this city.  We are blessed with great citizens, cultural diversity and a tradition of forward-looking progressiveness. We, the residents and businesses of District 4, deserve safe neighborhoods, the best pubic schools, jobs and quality city services.  I have personal hands-on experience and an understanding of the issues to work to get things done, not just talk about them. Working together, we can make Oakland work again!

I am committed to Oakland and in addition to my law practice, have worked for many years to improve our quality of life here in Oakland, such as:

  • Served on the AC Transit Board and Oakland Planning Commission
  • Development board member of the Center for Elder Independence (CEI)
  • Co-founder Oakland Free Legal Clinic
  • Legal counsel for several non-profit and community organizations
  • Board member Paramount Theatre
  • Board member Oakland Builders Alliance

Q.  Why should people vote for you?

A vote for me is a vote for committed work to improve Oakland.  I live in our neighborhood and share our hope for Oakland to grow into a great city.  In order to make this a reality, we must have dedicated public servants willing to tackle our tough problems.  I want to reduce crime in our neighborhoods, so that our residents and businesses are safe; I want our public schools to be the best, so that our children can receive the education that will help them succeed;   I want better quality of life city services for our residents; all of which will attract more jobs and businesses.

Q.  What do you hope to change for District 4 residents?

Delivery of basic quality of life services like clean parks, safe neighborhoods and repaired streets. Our residents to be a part of the innovative solutions we must form to make Oakland and our neighborhoods a better place.  I will continue the process we developed on the planning commission of reaching out to neighborhoods and affected residents long before the public hearing to inform and involve them in the decision making process.  Our District 4 residents serve on city commissions.  I will work hard to promote the qualities of District 4, highlight and enhance our neighborhood retail areas and working together, we will make District 4 a better place to live.

Q.  How would you balance needs of different neighborhoods?

We are blessed with numerous quality neighborhoods here in District 4.  There is no conflict that each neighborhood needs has basic needs such as safety, basic schools, and quality of life services.  I would reach out to each neighborhood, identity their more pressing needs and with them to improve them. For example, zoning issues in Montclair are not the same as in the Laurel, but they each require citizen input, review and innovative solutions. I will use my experience working with diverse groups to reach quality solutions.

Q.  How would you balance needs of District 4 and all Oakland?

I have lived in various parts of Oakland from North and West Oakland, Crocker Highlands, and now Montclair.  All our neighborhoods have the basic concerns regarding public services, like safety, schools, and parks.  Others are more private services like housing, jobs, and basic retail like grocery and drug stores.  There has to be recognition that all neighborhood areas are different, have different needs and does different solutions.   Then we need innovative solutions to meet those needs.  For example, higher crime neighbors need more concentrated police services, while other neighborhoods need a public safety presence, not necessarily a full compliment of police.  We all recognize that all of Oakland needs to develop an economy to sustain our city.

Q.  What will be different when you are seated versus Jean Quan?

Ms. Quan has done has provided a lot of service to District 4. I would enhance her outreach process and institute more discussion forums of issues that affect our various neighborhoods here in District 4.  There cannot be a one size fits all solution to our diverse district. The council member must put in the time to understand the concerns of the various neighborhoods and work with them to create innovative solutions. I believe less in the top down approach but rather interactive consensus building discussion.

Q.  How does District 4 connect with other districts now?

At times, not very well.  The perception in most of Oakland is that District 4 is the privileged area that has everything it needs.  Our concerns and needs are not well highlighted.  We need better safety services, quality schools, and the economic activity of jobs and business as well.  I want to see more District 4 residents serving on city commissions and involved in creating solutions to the issues that face Oakland.  I want to see other Oakland neighborhoods join us at our festivals/events and patronize our retail and services.  They can discover and enjoy the numerous hidden jewels here in District 4.

Q.  How would District 4 connect if you’re in the council seat?

My job is to be the ambassador of District 4.  I would work to publicize and outreach to the rest of the city.    I will actively push to open more appointments to District 4 residents.  We will highlight our needs and concerns so the rest of the city understands we need innovative solutions as well.  Through my energy and dedication, we will be treated as an equal part of the Oakland fabric.

Q.  What are your top three priorities, after becoming council rep?

1.  Combat Crime

We deserve safe homes and businesses. I will bring new solutions and commitments to reduce crime in our neighborhoods.  We must create a public safety presence throughout District 4. Understanding the budget constraints for full equip police officers, then we have to use new ideas to increase a presence so that crime prevention and response time becomes a priority.  We will expand police services in our neighborhoods, work with our new Police Chief, Anthony W. Batts to reform the police department, obtain resources to tackle the roots of crime, like drug trafficking and rehabilitation, and  find resources to rehabilitate and supervise parolees.

2.  Innovative Cooperation for Better Schools

Our children need a quality education to succeed. This critical issue requires the courage from city officials to work with the district to reform schools. Better education is in the best interest of our children:  improve schools so families can remain in Oakland, expand cooperation between the public schools, City, and residents, support new superintendent, Dr. Tony Smith, a local educator who knows urban education, ,and  reduce the number of Oakland truants.

3.  Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

We must improve Oakland’s economy.  We have to bring job producing businesses into our city, we have to create opportunities for our residents and expanded tax base to pay for services.  We must support and enhance the business who have invested and committed in Oakland and ensure that they thrive.  We have to make sure every neighborhood has the basic quality of life private sector services for its residents.  We must make sure the city does its job to deliver quality basic neighborhood services like, clean parks, repaired streets responsive to our citizens.  We can and will improve the quality of life in Oakland.

Q.  What have you accomplished, one year after becoming council rep?

Build a can do attitude in District 4 and our city.   Develop quality outreach and interaction with citizens to develop innovative solutions.  Begin the path for safer neighborhoods, quality schools, and more in an economic vibrancy in Oakland.  Better highlighting of the quality of District 4 areas and more District 4 citizen participation in City Hall.

Q.  What else would you like to share with Montclarions and other readers?

My wife Katrina and I are longtime residents of District 4 and love this community.  We are avid daily dog walkers of our two puppies, Tigger and Piglet, throughout our District 4 neighborhoods and parks.  We actively bring our friends from other cities to show them the beauty and jewels of Oakland.

I am dedicated to public service and have worked extensively in a volunteer capacity to improve our city.  I have the experience and dedication to continue to improve the quality of life in Oakland.  I have been apart of the innovative solutions that maintain quality service, grow our city, create new jobs, housing and opportunities for all of Oakland.  We can have a better city.  Let’s work together to get Oakland working again.

I have an extensive track record of being involved in issues facing our city.  I write a weekly column that appears in several publications including:  Oakbook Magazine; CrossCurrents, KALW News; Oakland Globe; and Vision Hispana.

If you want more information, you can visit my website (www.clintonkillian.com) or facebook (facebook/clintonkillian).  Or just call or email me at 510 .625.8823 or email Clinton@clintonkillian.com.  I look forward to working with you for a better Oakland.

District 4 Seat: Libby Schaaf

We’re pleased to introduce District 4 candidate Libby Schaaf.  She provided responses to questions Today in Montclair posed in April 2010, below.

Q.  Why are you running for District 4?

Born and raised in District 4, I’ve centered my life and career on building community, solving problems, and leading change in my hometown. I’m running for City Council because I love this community.  I want to use my experience, creativity and persistence to help us fulfill our amazing potential – to make change you can see and feel.

I’ll work hard every day to reduce crime, build a thriving local economy, support our schools, and make our government more responsive and responsible. As a life-long Oakland resident and mother of young children, my decisions will be driven by this community’s long-term interests.

Oakland is suffering from the most severe economic crisis of our time. I believe my extensive knowledge of government and effectiveness as a community-organizer is needed now more than ever.

Q.  Why should people vote for you?

Oakland faces painful decisions. I am the only candidate with a deep understanding of the City’s complex services and budget, along with a network of community resources. I won’t waste time getting up to speed or learning the ropes — I know what’s broken and have concrete plans on how to fix it.  From day one, I’ll focus my time and energy on community concerns in the District.

Public service is in my DNA. I spent my youth earning Girl Scout service badges, interning at the Oakland Zoo, playing characters at Children’s Fairyland and volunteering as a Ranger’s Aide at Joaquin Miller Park.  I graduated from Skyline High, earned a political science degree from Rollins College and law degree from Loyola.

As an attorney in my late 20s, my mom and I founded the non-profit Oakland Cares, which organized and implemented hundreds of volunteer community improvement projects across Oakland. I found my calling was in public service, so left a lucrative career at Oakland’s largest law firm to go create the first centralized volunteer program for Oakland public schools at the Marcus Foster Educational Institute.  There, I placed more than 4,000 volunteers into Oakland classrooms and led the most successful NetDay Technology Volunteer effort in the country.

I was later recruited by Council President Ignacio De La Fuente to serve as his Chief of Staff and then by Mayor Jerry Brown. As Brown’s point-person on Violence Prevention, I successfully led the community input process on the Measure Y Violence Prevention Plan and served on the Project Choice Re-entry Steering Committee, whose juvenile parolees had an 83% lower recidivism rate.

Later as Public Affairs Director for the Port of Oakland, I helped secure millions in state and federal funds for community-driven pollution reduction programs. I most recently served as Senior Policy Advisor for Economic Development to the Oakland City Council.

Over my 14 years in local government, some my favorite accomplishments include: reclaiming a waterfront brown-field to build Union Point Park; championing Oakland’s first transit-oriented development at Fruitvale Village; building and supporting some of the highest-performing new public schools in Oakland, revitalizing the Park Blvd. median strip; authoring legislation to protect neighborhood commercial areas from big box superstores; streamlining bureaucracy; and promoting Oakland as the greatest place to live, work, play and do business!

Even during this challenging career, I’ve managed to serve as a Board Director or Advisor to twelve Oakland non-profits and have been appointed to three City of Oakland Commissions — all fueled by my passion for the arts, education, civic engagement and social justice.

Although I’m now enjoying the added responsibility of raising two small children, I recently revived the Bridgeview Neighborhood Watch in Oakmore and continue to volunteer for Make Oakland Better Now!, the Oakland Schools Foundation, the Museum of Children’s Art (MOCHA) and the League of Women Voters of Oakland.

People should vote for me because I bring the most extensive understanding of local government, the best track-record of implementing community-driven projects and legislation, and – most importantly — a life-time of service and passion for this community.

Q.  What are your top three priorities, after becoming council rep?
Q.  What do you hope to change for District 4 residents?
Q.  What have you accomplished, one year after becoming council rep?

My top priorities are to reduce crime, build a thriving local economy, and support our public schools. These issues are inextricably connected.

In my first months, I would introduce legislation providing Chief Batts with the managerial flexibility he needs to expand community policing and support other progressive initiatives. I would champion better integration of prevention and enforcement efforts and use of civilians in the police department.  I will continue supporting community organizing by creating new Neighborhood Watch groups and helping activate existing ones.

I would forge a partnership with District 4’s school board member, explore cost-saving operational collaborations and lend resources to truancy prevention efforts.

I would create a campaign to attract new tenants to vacant storefronts based on community preference.  I would author an initiative requiring more city processes to be available on-line, as well as an Express Building Permit for residents making minor home improvements.

I’d work my network of private and public funding sources to bring new resources for implementing the many community-driven plans that District 4 residents have developed over recent years – including the school-to-village path, Fruitvale Alive, Montclair Rail Road Trail, Shepard Canyon and Joaquin Miller Park Master Plans, Dimond Tot Lot, Laurel Access to Mills, Maxwell Park & Seminary (LAMMPS) project and more!

After my first year in office, I’d like to see these measurable results:

  • A lower crime rate in District 4 and city-wide;
  • Police patrol coverage of all District 4 Beats;
  • Problem-solving & Walking Patrol Officers fully staffed;
  • Increased number of active Neighborhood Watch & CORE Groups;
  • Increased gross receipts & decreased vacancy rate in District Commercial Areas;
  • Increased number of District 4 Schools with an API Score over 800;
  • Decreased truancy rate in District 4 Schools;
  • Increased number of city processes and service requests available on-line;
  • First/next phase implementation of neighborhood plans in at least 5 different neighborhoods (including, the new Tot Lot in Dimond Park!), including at least one new source of outside funding.

Q.  How would you balance needs of different neighborhoods?

I would focus on the top priorities for each neighborhood and monitor discretionary spending to ensure even distribution of resources. I would keep an eye on my staff’s time and effort and make sure I have strong community liaisons in each neighborhood.  I would work to nurture and develop community leadership to ensure every neighborhood has strong, active voices.

Q.  How would you balance needs of District 4 and all Oakland?
Q.  How does District 4 connect with other districts now?
Q.  How would District 4 connect if you’re in the council seat?

District 4 is connected to other districts in every way. Most District 4 residents work, shop and play throughout Oakland and the region. We hold so many of this city’s greatest assets – our high-performing schools, municipal and East Bay Regional Parks, Woodminster Amphitheater, Chabot Space and Science Center and so much more.  We also are interconnected in our challenges. District 4 residents I’ve talked with recognize that violent crime in other parts of the City hurts this community as well. Our neighborhoods, our city, our region, our state, our nation, and our planet – we are all interconnected.

I would support transparent funding mechanisms that ensure a fair-share distribution of resources according to objective criteria. Rather than fighting “others” for limited resources, I would use my knowledge, relationships, and experience to build cooperative relationships that leverage and stretch resources to their fullest potential.

I have a track record of bringing new money to Oakland, and I would do so to improve the District and the City as a whole.  I’ve successfully attracted hundreds of millions of private, state and federal funds for projects like Port of Oakland pollution reduction; I-880 operational improvements (including new ped/bike-friendly overpasses at 23rd and 29th Avenues) and Union Point Park.  While I’m a tireless advocate known for my persistence, my first focus will always be on collaboration and creativity.

Q.  What will be different when you are seated versus Jean Quan?

Actually, I plan to continue much of Jean Quan’s work.  Like Jean, I have lots of energy and am a hard worker. I believe in spending as much time as possible out of City Hall and in the District.

I share Jean’s commitment to social justice. I’ll continue Jean’s leadership in supporting youth and schools – including combating the sexual exploitation of minors (an issue Jean acknowledges I helped get her involved with).  I’ll continue her tradition of organizing neighborhoods through CORE, Neighborhood Watch, NCPCs and community events.

I’ll continue her comprehensive electronic newsletter and build on it with more opportunities for interactive, two-way communications. I’ll continue and expand her Local Heroes recognition program and other means of nurturing and building community leadership and volunteerism.

Like Jean, I’ll take on challenges and deliver changes you can see and feel – like demolishing that seedy motel at Lincoln and MacArthur and replacing it with the new Lincoln Courts senior housing. My years of experience and knowledge of the City will allow me to provide the responsiveness and effectiveness that District 4 residents are accustomed to from my first day on the job!

As a new Councilmember, I will bring more experience with economic development, including specific knowledge of Port-related industries and Oakland’s arts sector. I will bring a track record of converting community plans into completed projects. I will be less likely to support new taxes or set-asides.

I will bring the Council a new generational perspective.  If elected, I’d be the Council’s only Oakland native and only parent of young children. I hope my infectious optimism for Oakland and positive spirit will be a welcome addition to the Council.

Q.  What else would you like to share with Montclarions and other readers?

Although this election is more than five months away, I am proud to already have endorsements from many community leaders, including:

Elected and Appointed Officials: *

Hon. Betty Yee, Chair of the California State Board of Equalization
Hon. Ignacio De La Fuente, Oakland City Council Member
Hon. Pat Kernighan, Oakland City Council Member
Hon. Judge John Sutter, East Bay Regional Parks Director
Hon. Bob Franklin, BART Director
Hon. Doug Linney, East Bay MUD Director
Hon. Elsa Ortiz, A.C. Transit Director
Hon. Noel Gallo, Oakland School Board Member
Doug Boxer, Oakland Planning Commissioner
Lori Zook, Chair, Oakland Cultural Affairs Commission
Jonathan Bair, Chair, Oakland Bicycle & Pedestrian Advisory Commission
Daniel Schulman, Oakland Landmarks Preservation Advisory Board
Caryn Bortnick, Past Chair, Oakland Public Ethics Commission
Don Link, Past Chair, Oakland Community Policing Advisory Board
Phil Tagami, Past President, Board of Port Commissioners
John Protopappas, Past President, Board of Port Commissioners

(* organizations are listed for identification purposes only)

District 4 Leaders:

Kevin Alston, Ken Betts, Claudia Jimenez Burgos, Kevin Cardenas, Vanessa Coleman, Jose Corona, Tom & Sue  Davies, Joe DeCredico, Dennis Donnegan, Faith Du Bois, Margo Dunlap, Mike Ferro, Ed Gerber, Corrine Jan, Conway & Leslie Jones, Robert Kidd, Jonathan Klein, Richard & Alice Kulka, Terry Kulka, Glen & Jean Lambertson, Lynette Lee, Lindy Lowe, Daphne Markham, Bernard & Anne Metais, Joyce Meyers, Jim Mittelberger, Annie Mudge, Helen Nicholas, Cameron Polmanteer, Gary & Kathleen Rogers, Lisa Ruhland, Joan Story, Alva Svoboda, Rebecca Lasky Thomas, Anne Campbell Washington, and Gene J. Zahas.

To see my complete list of endorsers and learn more about me, please visit www.libbyforoakland.com or become a fan of “Libby Schaaf for Oakland City Council” on Facebook.  I can be reached at (510) 479-7196 or libbyforoakland@gmail.com – I look forward to meeting you soon and hope to have your support!

District 4 Seat: Melanie Shelby

We’re pleased to introduce District 4 candidate Melanie Shelby.  She provided this material in April 2010, and will share additional information to Today in Montclair as her campaign gets underway.

New Leadership for a New Oakland

Melanie Shelby brings new leadership and a fresh perspective to Oakland’s City Council. A small businesswoman and former executive, Melanie has experience balancing multi-million dollar budgets and managing large organizations effectively. She is not beholden to City Hall political interests and with Oakland’s growing budget deficit, will make the tough decisions necessary to protect neighborhood services from cuts.

Melanie has the strong track record of successful fiscal management we need in today’s economy. She currently owns her own business and understands what it means to manage a bottom line. Previously as an executive, she managed a $600 million budget, allocating dollars to small businesses throughout California and the county with a focus on communities of color, service disabled veterans and women. She also directed a $10 million charitable giving program to nonprofits focused on K-12 education, economic development/job training, affordable housing, and emergency energy assistance. As a former Commissioner on the Oakland Housing Authority, Melanie ensured the agency’s $230 million budget was focused on housing and services for 14,000 of Oakland’s most vulnerable families.

Melanie has been able to leverage public-private partnerships to help those in need. She played a leading role in increasing federal funds for the low-income home energy assistance program by $1 billion, directing $175 million in federal dollars to California and helping thousands of Californians keep their homes warm. She also managed a $105 million tax credit investment portfolio responsible for building 3,000 units of affordable housing throughout Northern and Central California.

As a City Councilmember, Melanie will apply her thoughtful, get-it-done approach to solving Oakland’s problems, such as:

  • Focusing on Safety and Blight
  • Improving Schools and Education
  • Protecting Neighborhood Services
  • Encouraging Economic Recovery
  • Demanding Fiscal Accountability

A long-time Oakland advocate, Melanie has served on the Oakland Housing Authority and Health and Human Services Commission, Board of Directors of the Oakland Museum of Children’s Art (MOCHA), Education Advisory Board for United Way of the Bay Area, and is a graduate of the 2000 “Leadership Oakland” class. Melanie received her B.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles

Her current contacts:   Visit Supporters of Melanie Shelby for City Council 2010 at www.shelby4oakland.com – 4100 Redwood Road #377, Oakland CA 94619 – melanie@shelby4oakland.com or 510-735-8803.