Monday, August 27, 2012

District 1: Debate Wrap Up

Candidates for District 1 Council seat face off

The seven candidates vying for the City Council seat representing District 1 left vacant by Jane Brunner, who stepped down to run for the office of City Attorney, squared off earlier this evening at College Avenue Presbyterian Church at 5951 College Ave.

The debate, sponsored by the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, was the third 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 1 face off, held in front of some 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 three-person panel – Julie Hadnot, director of public affairs for Kaiser Permanente; Gregory Chan, senior community affairs officer for the East Bay Municipal Utility District; and Jessica Reynolds, director of government affairs for the Oakland Association of Realtors.

The seven candidates running for the City Council District 1 seat are Craig Brandt, Dan Kalb, Amy Lemley, Don Link, Donald Macleay, Leonard Raphael and Richard Raya. The candidates answered a range of questions regarding policy positions, public safety, and collaborative working relationships with other council members.

Discussions ranged from job development, gang injunctions and increasing the Oakland police force to economic development issues and education.

Brandt, who said that he’d push for a reduction of the business tax, admitted that he’d like to place another parcel tax on the ballot -- $80 per year for the next four years. “We might not reach 800 police,” he said, “but we’d be moving in the right direction.”

Lemley wants to see 800 sworn police, she said, affordable housing for needy children, and more business and investment in Oakland.

“Fix the crime,” said Raphael, “and business will come.” He said that he’d like to double the number of police.

The candidates also agreed that there must be a restoration of trust and confidence in City Hall. “That’s very important,” said Kalb.

But the issue of public safety kept coming up in every discussion. Candidates differed on the subject of gang injunctions, whether they work, and how they’re tracked. Besides demanding more police on the Oakland force, Raya insisted that the city also needs to reduce crime, “but also improve the relationship between the police and people of color.”

The Chamber’s next candidate debate will be tomorrow, Tuesday, August 28 at 6:30 p.m.  when candidates for District 5 meet at the Fruitvale-San Antonio Senior Center, 3301 E. 12th Street near the Fruitvale BART station.

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At August 28, 2012 at 9:34 AM , Anonymous Scott Law said...

Whoever wrote this comments did a great job. I was there and the summaries are pretty accurate and took some fast typing skills...

Well done

At August 28, 2012 at 11:59 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aw Shucks, thanks for the kind feedback. See you again tonight for the District 5 fast typing contest (eerrr.. debate)


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