Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Full Recap: Candidates for District 5 Council seat face off

Candidates for District 5 Council seat face off

The four candidates running for the City Council seat representing District 5 left vacant by Ignacio De La Fuente squared off earlier this evening at the Fruitvale-San Antonio Senior Center, 3301 E. 12th St.

The debate, sponsored by the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, was the fourth 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 5 face-off, held in front of nearly 65 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 – David Tucker, municipal affairs manager at Waste Management of Alameda County; and Kerry Hamill, manager of government and community relations for BART.

The four candidates vying for the City Council District 5 seat are Shelly Garza, Noel Gallo, Mario Juarez and Dawn McMahan. The candidates answered a myriad of questions regarding policy positions and shared meaningful exchanges regarding current and potential issues.

A hot topic on all of the Chamber’s debates for City Council spots has been public safety, and that topic continued to be on the front burner in Fruitvale. “Yes, we need more police,” said Gallo. “If we agree that public safety is our number one priority, we’re going to have to pay for it.”

Juarez, a local business owner, insisted that more police could be hired with a user fee at Oakland International Airport, which is run by the Port of Oakland. “If we charge $7.95 per person,” he said, “do the math. We’ll bring in $111 million.”

McMahan, the creator of the Phoenix Rising Homeless Project and other nonprofits, called Fruitvale “a war zone,” and said that she sometimes must go to sleep while hearing the sounds of gunfire.

Garza describes herself as a government insider and insists that the next City Councilmember must implement partnerships. “Together we can be the solution” she said.

The candidates also discussed investing in the arts, education, economic development, and working together to create a welcoming environment in which to do business. Garza, in fact, went a step further, saying that she wants Fruitvale to be an Oakland destination.

The Chamber’s candidate debates continue tomorrow, Wednesday, August 29, with a face-off for the At-Large Council seat at 6:30 p.m. at Kaiser Auditorium, 300 Lakeside Drive in downtown Oakland.

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At August 28, 2012 at 9:34 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I personally did attend this debate and i believe SHELLY GARZA did the best, she answeredthe questions and stayed extremely focused She will receive my vote!!!


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