Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Candidates for District 3 Council seat face off

Candidates for District 3 Council seat face off

The six candidates vying for the City Council seat representing District 3 left vacant by the retiring Nancy Nadel squared off earlier this evening at Z Café near downtown Oakland in the heart of Auto Row.

The debate, sponsored by the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, was the second in a series of six debates to introduce the candidates for City Council and City Attorney positions who are running for office in the November election.

The District 3 face off, held in front of nearly 100 potential voters and business leaders, was moderated by Paul Junge, the Chamber’s Vice President and Director of Public Policy. The candidates were presented with a series of questions by a two-person panel – Kerry Hamill, manager of government and community relations for BART, and Kim Winston, senior manager of government affairs for Starbucks Coffee.

The six candidates vying for the City Council District 3 seat are Alex Miller-Cole, Derrick Muhammad, Larry Lionel Young Jr., Lynette Gibson-McElhaney, Nyeisha DeWitt and Sean Sullivan. The candidates answered a myriad of questions regarding policy positions and shared meaningful exchanges regarding current and potential issues.

While there are many agreements about expanding the port and promoting city gems like Art Murmur, the candidates also had something personal to say about their individual qualifications. For example, Miller-Cole stated, “I understand the frustrations that all of our business owners have, and I offer you my tireless energy.” As a city council member he said that he would judge issues by “sustainability, responsibility and fairness.” 

Derrick Muhammad, the older brother of an Oakland murder victim in 2008, promised “conflict resolution to create a better city for all.” He also is a strong advocate for business development and calls himself a “bridge builder.”

Larry Lionel Young Jr., envisions Oakland as “the best place to live, work and vacation” and says that he is committed to that vision. Throughout the debate he trumpeted the refrain, “Vote for LL and Oakland will be well.”

Lynette Gibson-McElhaney on the other hand, pointed to her depth of experience in housing and community development as keys to effective leadership. She said she is “committed to having every child share the dreams of safety, economic opportunities and quality education.”

Nyeisha DeWitt promised to listen to the concerns of people in District Three and to “look to small businesses to help create jobs.” She urged that Oakland must do more to attract businesses so we can “spend our money locally.”

The creator of Covenant House, which features 30 beds for at risk youth, Sean Sullivan is a neighborhood leader who has made Oakland “greener, more beautiful and a little safer.” Sullivan is the co-founder of OMCC’s non-profit roundtable committee.

The Chamber’s series of candidate debates will continue on Monday, August 27 with candidates from District 1 meeting at the College Avenue Presbyterian Church at 5951 College Ave.

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At September 5, 2012 at 10:14 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

“Vote for LL and Oakland will be well.”


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