WHY I SHOULD BE MAYOR OF OAKLAND
I have the experience, education, and high integrity it takes to do what’s best for Oakland and solve its problems. I have a history of actually going first and standing in the face of adversity to be truthful and do the right thing.
For twenty years, while others have just talked and posed – or hid from controversy, I have been the “boots on the ground”, dealing with the courts and the thugs and the politicians – and shedding my blood, sweat and tears in the process.
As a home owner, public employee, union member, and taxpayer, I've been closely observing the inner workings and operations of local governments for 20 years. I've been collaborative and I've been in battles with governments. But instead of fighting City Hall and constantly criticizing the abounding ineptness, upon my election I will join with everyone who is willing and work tirelessly to lead us away from the past and to actualizing our shared goal of being a much safer and more prosperous city.
WHY I RARELY GET ENDORSEMENT
I don’t ask or expect anybody holding or running for office -- or planning to be, or for any organization, or, for every friend to publicly endorse me. I've been a homebody and don't get around much any more. Since the 2008 election, I've been busy rebuilding my house and being dad and husband -- in addition to working overtime at a real job and going to courts. As much as I love the company of other people, I haven't had time to maintain old friendships -- much less develop knew ones, exclusively focusing on my family and home was a sacrifice that had to be made. Now that the house is basically finished and my son is off to college, I'm ready to be popular.
Because I'm a sometimes controversial outsider who won't be controlled by central committees or special interests, entities that deal with those power brokers know that publicly liking me could be bad for them. Some folks are afraid to see me get elected, knowing that I am a critical thinker, independent, and incorruptible -- and would herald a new day in politics that would necessarily be bad for those clinging to the old ways. Because I don’t lust for favor, don’t always follow tradition, and am seen as a danger to people who do, publicly supporting me carries political risks few have shown willingness to take.
In the murky world of politics, favors, money and cost/benefit analyses of personal principles and public positions are the key factors in most endorsement decisions. Based purely on the money I’ve raised and the favors I’ve traded, (zero!!), few political commentators see me as a viable candidate. And some friends hold it against me that I refuse to do the traditional campaigning: one friend told me that I campaign as if I’m doing homework; another posted that I’m a lazy campaigner. The truth is, between rebuilding my home, working overtime, dealing with courts, and spending time with my family, I've just been too busy to get around town. The downside is I don't have an organization -- or even a lot of friends supporting me. The upside is I haven't been corrupted by trying to move up the political ladder and playing succession politics. When I'm elected Mayor, it will be as a person free of corrupting influences. I know the way other people get along, and because I reject that model, the votes may not be there for me. Nevertheless, I'm doing it my way.
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly –
ENDORSEMENTS I’VE MADE
Knowing well that some people don't like me or what they purport is my politics, and not wanting to see another person unfairly vilified, I've cautioned friends that they may not want to be seen standing next to me. Even so, I've given my opinion at times, and sometimes with unforeseen consequences.
Though unsolicited – and unimportant as it was, I did endorse Jerry Brown. But when my friend, the late Frank Rose, ran for City Council-at-large at the same time my comrade Charles Pine was running, I thought the only fair thing to do was not promote one over the other, so I didn't publicize my satisfaction with both of them. Only too late did I realize I should have strongly endorsed them both.
In 2012, my dear friend and trusted adviser Len Raphael ran for the District 1 council seat I ran for in 2008. And so did Don Link, an old friend to whom I owe my long tenure in Oakland. Len heeded my caution to wait (he was undeclared at that point), but later, without solicitation or telling Len, I casually endorsed Don.