Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Candidates for Oakland City Council At Large Seat Set to Debate Tonight at the Kaiser Center

 Live Blogging #oakdebates | 6:30pm
Four of the five candidates for Oakland’s City Council At Large Seat are set to debate tonight in an open forum at the Kaiser Center, located on the shores of Lake Merritt in Oakland. The debate, produced by the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce Public Policy Committee will start at 6:30pm.  Paul Junge, the Chamber’s Vice-President and Director of Public Policy will moderate, and the candidates will be presented with a series of questions by a three-person panel – Barbara Leslie, of AT&T; Dan Cohen of Full Court Press and Jill Broadhurst, from East Bay Rental Housing. Questions will also be solicited from the audience.
There are seven council districts total in Oakland, and one at-large member for a total of eight seats. The At Large council seat has often been considered a more city-wide policy focused position, as the 8th council member doesn’t have just one district of constituents to represent, and can instead have more flexibility to view issues with a city-wide scope. Some even consider it a stepping stone to a future run for city-wide Mayor. Incumbent Rebecca Kaplan has held the Oakland City Council At-Large seat since 2008.

Oakland Council At-Large Debate Begins, Four Candidates Discuss the Issues
Program Starts
A group of about 65 are in the audience tonight at the Kaiser Center Auditorium. Incumbent Rebecca Kaplan appeared enthused wearing a dark vest. Candidate De La Fuente arrived with a patterned tie and his trademark spectacles, and Anderson-Downs looked nice in a tan skirt and white shirt and Lee Tolbert looked sharp with a snappy white collared shirt and dark suit. The fifth candidate Mick Storm, declined to participate in the debate citing a personal schedule conflict. The candidates are settled on the dais and soon the opening statements will be underway!

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