Guest Post: Paying Homage To Montclarions

Over Thanksgiving weekend, your blogging alumna decided to appreciate her old neighbors.  It’s easy to pay homage to Montclarions, who have somehow joined forces to create their unique Valhalla.

Top Ten Reasons To Appreciate Your Valhalla

  1. Amazing people — Everyone seems to have an expansive world view or passion they pursue.  No one’s boring.
  2. Food, real food — Remember those great avocados, fused cuisines, and bakeries?   Even non-foodies eat well.
  3. Political spectrum — While the spectrum’s left-of-center, there’s discourse and range.  You don’t notice it.
  4. Local elections — Bless the energy out there, and congrats to Libby, Jean and Jerry.  Some voters might care.
  5. School funding — At least you try to find money to use.  And you try to figure out better ways to spend it.
  6. Debate is good — On any subject, on any day, in the Hills.  Try that debate in places that are, well, more patriarchal.
  7. Protected nature — Yeah, you have done that forever.  When there’s any available land, it’s ready to protect.
  8. Culture anytime — Check out music, art, readings and other events.  There’s almost too much happening.
  9. Disasters anytime — The “gotta prepare” attitude?  Just live well and through a earthquake, fire or mudslide.
  10. Weather perfection — Cool summers and comfy winters are par, and nothing remarkable for all Oaklanders.

Last summer, your faithful blogger left the Bay Area.  The Utah scenery and cultural mores are other worldly!   However Montclair’s Valhalla is more rooted in the real world.  To my old neighbors, take this time to give thanks for your unsung every-days.

Montclarions Are Bookish

We are bookish types, at least collectively!  According to the U.S. Census, people living in our fair zip code definitely stayed in school.

The chart above shows education levels in our zip and state.  It looks like more than twice the average bachelor’s degrees and three times more grad school degrees here.

Why are we the over-educated clan?  Maybe its due to our Berkeley contingent, but that can’t describe all 36,000 of us living in the zip.  Please let us know your theories, thanks.

Montclarions Creating Youth Mentoring Program

When it comes to Oakland kids, it seems like volunteer efforts make all the difference.  There are so many ways to help, whether at the local schools, libraries or through non-profit groups.

The Montclair Community Action Group (MCAG) recently surveyed their volunteers, and there was plenty of interest in mentoring youth.  So now it’s time to figure out practical ways…to get to work.  Neighbors are invited to MCAG’s brainstorming session this Tuesday evening, where they will help define and create a special youth mentoring program.

Date: Tuesday, November 16th
Time: 7:00pm ~ 9:00pm
Where: Montclair Women’s Club – 1650 Mountain Blvd.

“We are the ones we’ve been waiting for,” said community organizer Barack Obama in a recent video from Oakland Mayor-Elect Jean Quan.  Who are we to argue with that point?

First Ranked Choice Votes In!

Ranked choice elections are so interesting.

Although the results are unofficial, the District 4 Council seat will surely be filled by Libby Schaaf.  She garnered over half the vote (52.31%), followed by Jill Broadhurst (30.44%) and Daniel Swafford (17.24%) respectively.

While ranked-choices haven’t changed the District 4 outcome, they reveal the playing field as promised years ago — when we voted for and approved this new methodology.  In the first round, Libby Schaaf earned 42 percent and ran 1.9x ahead of Jill Broadhurst.  After the next choices were counted, she reached a majority of votes with a slightly smaller 1.7x lead.

Meanwhile, there’s an upset brewing in the Oakland Mayoral race from ranked choices.  Don Perata had the most first-place votes, without a majority.  When the next choices were counted from other candidates, things changed.  Our outgoing District 4 Council Rep, Jean Quan, received that majority (51.03%) with Perata behind her (48.91%).  Third-place finisher and Council Rep Rebecca Kaplan’s voters picked Quan by 3:1 ratio.  Got that?

We’re keeping a close watch, as the remaining ballots get counted this weekend — and hope you do, too.

District 4 Council Race: Libby In Lead

In yesterday’s District 4 City Council race, some 42 percent voted for Libby Schaaf and 22 percent voted for Jill Broadhurst.  Since no candidate received more than 50 percent of the first-choice vote, there will now be a ranked choice run-off.  We’ll know the outcome and official winner by Friday, at the latest.

With 100% of the 13,323 votes cast, here’s how all seven candidates fared:

  • Jill Broadhurst — 22.42%
  • Jason Gillen — 2.56%
  • Ralph Kanz — 4.12%
  • Clinton Killian — 5.81%
  • Libby Schaaf — 42.36%
  • Melanie Shelby — 11.47%
  • Daniel Swafford — 11.26%

Also in District 4, Oakland Board of Education representative Gary Yee garnered 69.43% of the vote and bested his opponent Benjamin Visnick, with 30.57%. Some 11,849 voted in this race.