Monday, August 27, 2012

Oakland Council District 1 Debate Begins, Seven Candidates Discuss the Issues

Live Blogging #oakdebates | 6:15pm
The seven leading candidates for Oakland’s District 1 City Council Seat will debate tonight in an open forum at the College Avenue Presbyterian Church (CAPC), located in Rockridge.  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 – 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. Questions will also be solicited from the audience.
The District 1 boundaries border Berkeley and Emeryville to the north and west, the City of Piedmont to the south and Grizzly Peak to the east. It also includes landmarks like the Claremont Hotel, portions of Piedmont Avenue, and the Rockridge and Temescal neighborhoods. There are seven council districts total in Oakland, and one at-large member for a total of eight seats. There are no term limits for the city council members. In fact, long time North Oakland resident Jane Brunner has held the District 1 seat since 1996, for nearly 16 full years (4 consecutive terms).

Program Starts
A group of about 85 are in the audience tonight, in CAPC’s church space and the intersection of College Ave and Ross Streets. It is unknown whom Councilmember Brunner will show her support for at this time, and with ranked choice voting, an incumbent’s support may prove to be less crucial to electoral success. The candidates are settled on the dais and now the opening statements are underway!

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