Tonight I went to a forum between District 2 City Council candidates Pat Kernighan and Jennifer Pae held at Lakeshore Avenue Baptist Church.
I enjoyed every minute. The church was very nice inside.
Pat Kernighan is the incumbent and has been in the Council for 5 years. I had been part of the Grand Lake Neighborhood group for a couple of weeks. Our neighborhood has suffered from a couple of power outages and Pat Kernighan has been emailing us offering support in working with PG&E. I was all for offering Pat my support on the outset. I had never heard of Jennifer Pae.
However, Jennifer held her own and gave me something to think about. She gave clear solutions to various questions highlighting the problems that Oakland and District Two is facing.
Truancy in Schools: Programs are understaffed and under-resourced.
Work with the community and link it to the school system. Ask
non-profits and local businesses to participate in programs that would
Measure BB (continue funding the police and other programs to reduce
violence in Oakland- via measure Y): Sad that this issue has to be taken to
the voters, but she does support it. If the measure fails, then she would
support a program to civilianize police positions to support community
Reducing Crime: Let’s look at the root causes for the increase in crime.
Lack of jobs and good opportunities and a school system that needs work.
We need to think about crime in different ways. While Measure Y worked in
some neighborhoods- others like East Oakland and West Oakland find it
difficult to work with the police out of fear of retribution. We need to work
together to empower the people of Oakland to act on their own behalf.
Pat Kernighan defended her seat and also made some good points as well!
Maintenance of Lake Merritt: She worked hard to make sure that renovation
of Lake Merritt started in the first place, however she realizes that continued
maintenance will be difficult because of funding. Work is being done to put
together a possible Lake Merritt Conservancy, to support the day to day
maintenance of the Lake.
Jennifer mentioned we need to look at safety as well, but I liked Pat’s answer best!
Oakland Army Base: A wonderful opportunity to build our local economy.
The council sent requests for developers of the Army Base and got a couple
of responses. The one they accepted was from a developer who is interested
in making good use of the Port of Oakland, creating jobs and developing
the area near the port. However, it will take a while because the Army Base
infrastructure needs to be worked on.
So who to choose? I have made my decision. You should make yours. Visit each candidates website to get more information. 🙂
To see the debate on video.. join the Grand Lake Neighborhood yahoo group:
Tomorrow: Oakland Mayoral Debate at City Hall
ps I know I was supposed to write about the one two weeks ago, but I was busy. Sorry! I will combine my report on tomorrow’s debate with last weeks.