Neighborhood Endorsers Make First District 4 Council Picks

Tonight a group of active neighborhood leaders made three picks for the upcoming District 4 council race, after meeting and interviewing candidates a week ago.  They endorsed Libby Schaaf and Daniel Swafford as “most qualified,” and Melanie Shelby as “very strong.”

Although the election is next November, there’s high interest in assessing who might follow Jean Quan into this position.  The  District 4 Neighborhood Endorsement Committee is comprised of neighborhood volunteers, listed below.  Their group recommendations are perhaps the earliest ones to come down the pike.

Here’s the group press release, in its entirety:

DISTRICT  4  NEIGHBORHOOD  ENDORSEMENT COMMITTEE
CANDIDATE  RECOMMENDATIONS

Oakland, CA – May 10, 2010. The District 4 Neighborhood Endorsement Committee is made up of a volunteer group of District 4 residents who are involved in a range of neighborhood initiatives and activities in this district.  This Committee came together to identify preferred qualities in a candidate for City Council.  The goal was to recommend a candidate who will continue to support local neighborhoods. The Committee has decided to recommend three candidates for consideration by District 4 voters.

Potential candidates for the District 4 City Council office submitted a short application and one hour interviews were scheduled.  Following the interview process with seven candidates the weekend of May 1 and 2, and Committee deliberations, the Committee deemed Libby Schaaf and Daniel Swafford the most qualified to represent District 4.  Melanie Shelby is also a very strong candidate.

All three candidates are strongly committed to supporting neighborhood-based initiatives that will help empower the residents of District 4.  These candidates are also able to address critical citywide issues in the areas of finance, public safety and economic development.

All three candidates spoke to the importance of maintaining the highest ethical standard and transparency in government and how they would work to achieve these standards.  These candidates indicated they intend to be full time council members.  They all possess an understanding and appreciation of the diversity of District 4.

Libby Schaaf has a strong policy and neighborhood organization background, with considerable experience in city government, which gives her the knowledge to both maximize revenue sources and eliminate inefficiencies in existing programs.

Daniel Swafford has an extensive record of leadership in local organizations in District 4.  His experience includes the development of economic corridors in neighborhoods and the capability of creating and managing major merchant and neighborhood events.

Melanie Shelby, with experience in running both large and small businesses, is a consensus builder and will work to bring divergent viewpoints together.  She has served on the boards of several Oakland based commissions and is knowledgeable about the city as well as state and federal agencies.

To review a copy of the District 4 Neighborhood Endorsement Committee mission statement, questions posed to the candidates, and candidate application forms for participation in this interview process, email krussell@russell-gordon.com.

The members of the District 4 Neighborhood Endorsement Committee include Roger Brett (Montclair West), Jim Clardy (Fernwood), Jose Corona (Allendale; youth member), Krista Gulbransen (Maxwell Park), Nancy Karigaca (Maxwell Park), Jeanne Nixon (Fairfax), Dale Risden (Joaquin Miller Hights), Sharon Rose (Dimond), Kathleen Russell (Dimond), Nick Vigilante (Shepherd Canyon), Stan Weisner, chair (Montclair).

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Census Workers, At A Coffee Shop Near You

Well, the U.S. Census of 2010 is underway.

Temporary workers are knocking on doors across America, and Oaklanders who haven’t sent back their forms are getting targeted for visits.  It’s a marvel of old-fashioned organization, with people and all their sweat equity aimed at counting us.

Lately, we have been stumbling across Census workers in the Village.  Try hanging out at a coffee shop for a half hour, and a few will magically appear.  During the past week alone, we have spotted a boss holding court with numerous workers, as well as multiple meet-ups between two workers swapping war stories.

These workers do need to meet somewhere and the coffee shops make sense.  There’s plenty of paperwork exchanging hands, along with schedules getting hammered out.  We bet the per-store sales of coffee and cakes will go up this month.

A decade ago, we wonder where the Census workers gathered.  Did Uncle Sam arrange for temporary space?  Were the libraries used instead?  Dunno, but workers are in full view this go-around.