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.

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