East Bay Endorsements 2012

Our recommendations in key Alameda County, Berkeley and Oakland races

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(22)
Vote Rebecca Kaplan for Oakland City Council
PHOTO BY MIKE KOOZMIN. SF NEWSPAPER CO.

The East Bay ballot is crowded, with races for mayor, city council and school board in Berkeley and Oakland, plus a long list of ballot measures. We're weighing in on what we see as the most important races.

 

OAKLAND CITY ATTORNEY

 

BARBARA PARKER

This one's simple: Progressives on the council like Parker, who's a pretty unbiased attorney. Her challenger, Jane Brunner, is a supporter of Ignacio De La Fuente. Vote for Parker.

 

OAKLAND CITY COUNCIL

 

AT-LARGE

 

REBECCA KAPLAN

In some ways, this is a replay of the 2010 mayor's race, where Rebecca Kaplan and Jean Quan, running as allies in a ranked-choice voting system, took on and beat Don Perata, the longtime powerbroker who left town soon after his defeat. This time around, it's Kaplan, the popular incumbent, facing Ignacio De La Fuente, a Perata ally, for the one at-large council seat.

De La Fuente, who currently represents District 3, would have easily won re-election if he stuck to home. But for reasons he's never clearly articulated, he decided to go after Kaplan. The general consensus among observers: De La Fuente wants to be mayor (he's tried twice and failed), thinks Quan is vulnerable, and figures winning the at-large seat would give him a citywide base.

It's a clear choice: Kaplan is one of the best elected officials in the Bay Area, a bright, progressive, practical, and hardworking council member who is full of creative ideas. De La Fuente is an old Perata Machine hack who wanted to kick out Occupy Oakland the first day, wants curfews for youth, and can't even get his story straight on cutting the size of the Oakland Police Department.

De La Fuente is all about law and order, and he blasts Kaplan for — literally — "coddling criminals." But actually, as the East Bay Express has reported in detail, De La Fuente, in a fit of anger at the police union, led the movement to lay off 80 cops. And the crime rate in Oakland spiked shortly afterward. Kaplan opposed that motion, and tried later to rehire many of those cops — but De La Fuente objected.

Public safety is one of the top local issues, and Kaplan not only supports community policing (and more cops) but is working on root causes, including the lack of services for people released into Oakland from state prison and county jail. She's also a strong transit advocate who's working on new bike lanes and a free shuttle on Broadway. She helped write the county transportation measure, B1. She richly deserves another term — and De La Fuente deserves retirement.

 

BERKELEY MAYOR

 

KRISS WORTHINGTON

It would be nice to have a Berkeley person as mayor of Berkeley again.

The city's still among the most progressive outposts in the country — and Mayor Tom Bates, for all his history as one of the leading progressive voices in the state Legislature and a key part of the city's left-liberal political operation, has taken the city in a decidedly centrist direction. Bates these days is all about development. He's a big supporter of the sit-lie law (hard to imagine the old Tom Bates ever supporting an anti-homeless measure). He didn't even seek the mayoral endorsement of Berkeley Citizens Action, which he helped build, and instead hypes the Berkeley Democratic Club, which he used to fight. After ten years, we're ready for a new Berkeley mayor.

Worthington is the voice of the left on the City Council. He's an aggressive legislator who is never short of ideas. He's talking about the basics (holding separate council meetings on major issues so people who want to speak don't have to wait until midnight), to the visionary (a 21-point plan for revitalizing Telegraph Avenue). He's against sit-lie and wants developers to offer credible community benefits agreements before they build. We're with Worthington.

Comments

Huge thanks to the Guardian for this incredible endorsement! For more information on Councilmember Kaplan, visit www.kaplanforoakland.org - and for our San Francisco supporters, please join Senator Mark Leno, Assemblymember Tom Ammiano, Milk Club President Glendon Hyde & other esteemed leaders at a reception on Wednesday 10/17 from 6-7:30pm at Per Diem (43 Sutter) - details: http://www.kaplanforoakland.org/2012/10/sf-for-kaplan-fundraiser/

Jason Overman, Campaign Manager
jason@kaplanforoakland.org
T: @Kaplan4Oakland #OaklandOnTheRise

Posted by Jason Overman on Oct. 11, 2012 @ 3:51 pm

I don't agree with all of these endorsements, though I do agree about Parker and Kaplan.

But what I do agree with is this: the SFBay Guardian editorial staff has finally figured out that they don't know enough about the East Bay to make district level city council candidate recommendations.

In past years, it essentially looked like the Guardian staff skimmed articles about East Bay city council candidates, made a knee jerk decision about which was the most progressive, and endorsed that person. It was a disservice to the East Bay voters.

Frankly, I think the Guardian should just drop "bay" from it's name altogether, and own the fact that it has limited resources and knowledge outside the city of San Francisco, but that would probably be asking too much.

Posted by Max Allstadt on Oct. 11, 2012 @ 4:12 pm

Interesting how you can't even get De La Fuente's district correct. Who could take this seriously?

Posted by Guest on Oct. 11, 2012 @ 4:16 pm

I agree that Berkeley needs a real Berkeley mayor again (Kriss) - someone who cares about the character and tradition of Berkeley, and not more folks (Bates, etc) licking their chops over creating a "Walnut Creek West" of I've-Got-Mine-Screw-You types who have crept into Berkeley and long for an authoritarian, sterile, soulless Leggo-ville of condos and inflated property "values." There was a time when Berkeley folks got together and creatively addressed transportation issues, built tot lots, swapped veggies & child care and generally did what good folks do together. The people who want a Walnut Creek lifestyle should go live there, not here.
The push to "develop" west Berkeley into more cutsey boutiques & boxy overpriced condos is short sighted. Look at the economy (which has not 'recovered.') People only have so much to spend. We know that we need to bring manufacturing back to the U.S. and that the 80's corridor, its proximity to tech, universities, creative and skilled workers and major transportation hubs makes west Berkeley ideal for leading the charge to revive manufacturing and trades-crafts. Where will it exist after everything has been torn up & changed into little notions shops & yet more restaurants? How will this effect the businesses already in swing downtown?
We need to support the existing crafts and tradespeople currently in west Berkeley and develop (instead) support for new small manufacturing enterprises. The U.S. (and along with it, Berkeley and our region) must stop being stuck in the service industry sector and instead hang on tight to the enterprises that create, invent, tool and repair.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 12, 2012 @ 11:49 am

Measure V is perhaps the most important Measure on the Berkeley ballot for which residents should vote "YES". It is a non-partisan, citizen supported effort requiring the City to be forthright on the fiscal status of our community.

The premise is clear. Until Berkeley citizens have a clear idea of our true long-term balance sheet and our accumulated debt it is impossible to make informed decisions on assuming yet more debt.

Towards that end, and for over 5 years citizens have attempted to get independent audits of Berkeley's accounts. The city has energetically refused. To mollify the public 2 years ago the council unanimously passed a toothless resolution directing the City Manager (hardly independent) to provide such a report. Flagging his nose at both council and the public, the City Manager simply ignored the resolution, not even pretending that he meant to comply. How knowingly complicit was council? One council member told us, laughingly, "Oh, we pass resolutions all the time and don't expect them to be followed."

Why should Measure V be passed? The City Manager can choose to ignore council resolutions, but he can't do the same when such a report is mandated by the public. After 5 years of stonewalling and eroding the public's trust, council and the City Manager need to "cough up" this report. Short of petitioning State Controller Chang to initiate a state audit (as was done in neighboring Hercules) Measure V is the only mechanism for Berkeley to get "a reasonably accurate" and comprehensive picture of our financial profile and long-term indebtedness.

Neighboring communities such as San Jose, San Francisco, and even Oakland, have provided constituents with just such an accounting such that the public can evaluate and choose which proposed public measures they wish to support or not, based on the context of their public balance sheets. Berkeley deserves the same basic information that its Bay Area sister-cities enjoy.

Finally, I ask you to consider lessons learned from the housing market melt-down. Many people bought mortgages they were told they could afford, but which in fact they couldn't. The result was foreclosure and/or bankruptcy.

The only way for Berkeley to know what we can or can't afford is to know how much we already owe, to whom and for what period of time. The only way to get this information at this juncture is to pass The FACTS Initiative.

To all, no matter where you situate yourself on the spectrum of Berkeley politics, it is vital to know the financial posture and viability of your city.

I urge every voter in Berkeley to support getting the FACTS and to Vote "YES" on MEASURE V. It will be a "Victory" for us all.

Posted by Guest Victoria on Oct. 13, 2012 @ 1:02 pm

Measure V is perhaps the most important Measure on the Berkeley ballot for which residents should vote "YES". It is a non-partisan, citizen supported effort requiring the City to be forthright on the fiscal status of our community.

The premise is clear. Until Berkeley citizens have a clear idea of our true long-term balance sheet and our accumulated debt it is impossible to make informed decisions on assuming yet more debt.

Towards that end, and for over 5 years citizens have attempted to get independent audits of Berkeley's accounts. The city has energetically refused. To mollify the public 2 years ago the council unanimously passed a toothless resolution directing the City Manager (hardly independent) to provide such a report. Flagging his nose at both council and the public, the City Manager simply ignored the resolution, not even pretending that he meant to comply. How knowingly complicit was council? One council member told us, laughingly, "Oh, we pass resolutions all the time and don't expect them to be followed."

Why should Measure V be passed? The City Manager can choose to ignore council resolutions, but he can't do the same when such a report is mandated by the public. After 5 years of stonewalling and eroding the public's trust, council and the City Manager need to "cough up" this report. Short of petitioning State Controller Chang to initiate a state audit (as was done in neighboring Hercules) Measure V is the only mechanism for Berkeley to get "a reasonably accurate" and comprehensive picture of our financial profile and long-term indebtedness.

Neighboring communities such as San Jose, San Francisco, and even Oakland, have provided constituents with just such an accounting such that the public can evaluate and choose which proposed public measures they wish to support or not, based on the context of their public balance sheets. Berkeley deserves the same basic information that its Bay Area sister-cities enjoy.

Finally, I ask you to consider lessons learned from the housing market melt-down. Many people bought mortgages they were told they could afford, but which in fact they couldn't. The result was foreclosure and/or bankruptcy.

The only way for Berkeley to know what we can or can't afford is to know how much we already owe, to whom and for what period of time. The only way to get this information at this juncture is to pass The FACTS Initiative.

To all, no matter where you situate yourself on the spectrum of Berkeley politics, it is vital to know the financial posture and viability of your city.

I urge every voter in Berkeley to support getting the FACTS and to Vote "YES" on MEASURE V. It will be a "Victory" for us all.

Posted by Guest Victoria on Oct. 13, 2012 @ 1:12 pm

I'm disappointed the Bay Guardian hasn't done it's homework on measure A1 you endorse.
You endorse it because "it's a nice zoo and it's cheap"?

This is a 25 year irrevocable tax measure that will give the Zoo executives carte blanche to fence off 57acres of public open space in YOUR Knowland Park.
They intend to build a 37,000 square foot three story bay view office building, restaurant, visitor center and 'theme park' on the top of an environmentally sensitive ridge. This theme park is so far from the rest of the zoo, you'll have to take the gondola to get to it!
The kicker is it's all being done in the name of 'conservation', when they intend to pave over native grassland, rare chapparal and endangered species habitat.
See www.saveknowland.org to get the rest of the story.
With so many new taxes on the ballot, I'm sure voters will see better priorities for their money, like schools, police and firefighters.

Posted by Tyler on Oct. 18, 2012 @ 9:02 am

Ah, it seems some of the zoo's deceptions and legal violations are coming to light...
http://www.eastbayexpress.com/92510/archives/2012/10/18/oakland-zoo-oper...

Posted by Tyler on Oct. 18, 2012 @ 3:46 pm

What does that have to do with measure A1?

Posted by Guest on Oct. 24, 2012 @ 6:31 pm

You've missed the point. Measure A1 goes for 25 years. It can't be revoked. The Zoo board refuses to give up the option of taking even more of Knowland Park, if they do indeed get the money for the first expansion. There will be more expansions into a sacred space, a public park, with the now rare plant and animal habitat intact that should be protected as habitat loss is the major reason for native plant and animal decline. What the zoo says now will not matter in 5 - 10 years when further expansion plans are designed. The way to save animal species is to save their habitat. Why can't the zoo showcase this rare and unusual plant and animal habitat instead of bulldozing it?

Posted by Guest on Oct. 18, 2012 @ 9:07 am

I am very disappointed but new that the San Francisco chronicle would endorse measure A1. This measure is very deceptive. The zoo is claiming that it needs more money to care for their animals and keep educational programs open and that it has nothing to do with funding their expansion. When you look at the full text of the measure and find part Section 2.30.010. Definitions. Go to H. "Services and projects" it clearly states
" other Zoo-related programs;
community outreach; CONSTRUCTING, EXPANDING, remodeling, renovating, furnishing, equipping, or financing of facilities"
Dr. Parrott said at the Piedmont league of woman voters meeting that this has nothing to do with the expansion. So why put it in the measure? He said A1 funds legally can't be used for expanding. I believe the funds can be used toward expanding if it's stated in the measure that they can.
I find it appalling that sfgate is willing to endorse a measure who's beneficiaries are lying about how our tax dollars will be spent. I don't want my tax dollars to go toward destroying a native plant and animal habitat. To get the other side of the story go to saveknowland.org. Vote no on Measure A1!

Posted by Alexa Fraser on Oct. 18, 2012 @ 9:12 am

I meant Sf Guardian. I just keep losing track of all these SF newspaper A1 endorsements. The Oakland zoo in obviously very influential in SF. These papers obviously like to report on measures before reading them fully. Not a great way to help the public become more informed about voting.

Posted by Alexa Fraser on Oct. 18, 2012 @ 1:28 pm

Before you consider following the Guardian's shallow recommendation on this measure, do yourself a favor and take a trip up to Knowland Park. See for yourself what's in danger of being lost. The view alone--from the undeveloped ridge where a 34,000 building would be located--will make it worth your while. And it's not just about the view. You'll be surrounded by a rare native plant and animal habitat that the zoo wants to fence in to make way for an exhibit ironically named "California."
The Guardian says that "the expansion is happening anyway." Yes, the first phase is already funded, but Measure A1 would open the door, over the next 25 years, for further expansion into this precious public space.

In the words of Joni Mitchell, "Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone."

Vote No on A1.

Posted by Mary Ann on Oct. 18, 2012 @ 11:19 am

"...pave paradise and put up a parking lot!"- Joanie Mitchell

I did a walk up there just last weekend and was just stunned. I talked to a fellow who had never been there before who was just as enchanted with Knowland Park as I was.
It's just an inconceivably huge land grab the zoo is doing here. You owe it to yourself to just go up there and walk around before you give the zoo carte blanche and a guaranteed 25 year tax revenue stream to do it with.

Posted by Tyler on Oct. 18, 2012 @ 12:55 pm

The zoo's controversial plan to expand on acres of native habitat in Knowland Park is, according to zoo CEO Dr. Parrott, only about halfway funded, so it is certainly not true that it's a done deal. Very conveniently, Measure A1 is carefully worded to allow A1 tax money to be used to fund that expansion, and any other construction project the zoo comes up with in the next 25 years of A1 tax income. Zoo management is using the slogans of "humane animal care" and "children's educational programs" to sell A1 to voters, hoping we won't read the full text and see what A1 funds can actually be used for. It's a cheap trick, and it is more than disappointing that the Bay Guardian not only fell for it, but is perpetuating it by endorsing A1.

The new vet hospital has been lumped with the Knowland Park expansion, as if they are one construction project, but that is also misleading . The vet hospital is sanely located down by existing zoo facilities. The Knowland Park expansion is way up the hill, requiring a gondoal ride to get there. This is not sane use of taxpayer money, even if you think it's cheap. Vote No on A1.

Posted by Karen on Oct. 18, 2012 @ 3:43 pm

Oakland Schools and Libraries are closing at an alarming rate. Our crime is skyrocketing. We have MAJOR issues in Oakland.

Just because the zoo is waving photos of cute animals in front of you, don't be manipulated! They made a $6.1 million net surplus in the most recent tax year available. And from 2008 through 2010, they reported net surpluses averaging $2.6 million a year. Yet, they want you to think the animals will die if you don't vote affirmatively on A1.

If they really took on too many animals that their recent surplus can't cover, that is a sign of horrible, selfish, greedy management! Don't let their failure be yours. They need to take responsibility for their bad decisions not expect tax payers to cover for the money they are lining their pockets.

I pay over $200 if I want to take my family to the zoo, with lunch included. The line of cars to the entrance backs up on to I-580 on a regular basis. They are profitable. They don't need more of our hard-earned money! They need to use what they have responsibly.

VOTE NO ON A1! Just because they have cute furry animals does not mean they aren't a greedy company using your emotions to get more cash!

Posted by Jennifer Smith on Oct. 20, 2012 @ 5:30 pm

Oakland Schools and Libraries are closing at an alarming rate. Our crime is skyrocketing. We have MAJOR issues in Oakland.

Just because the zoo is waving photos of cute animals in front of you, don't be manipulated! They made a $6.1 million net surplus in the most recent tax year available. And from 2008 through 2010, they reported net surpluses averaging $2.6 million a year. Yet, they want you to think the animals will die if you don't vote affirmatively on A1.

If they really took on too many animals that their recent surplus can't cover, that is a sign of horrible, selfish, greedy management! Don't let their failure be yours. They need to take responsibility for their bad decisions not expect tax payers to cover for the money they are lining their pockets.

I pay over $200 if I want to take my family to the zoo, with lunch included. The line of cars to the entrance backs up on to I-580 on a regular basis. They are profitable. They don't need more of our hard-earned money! They need to use what they have responsibly.

VOTE NO ON A1! Just because they have cute furry animals does not mean they aren't a greedy company using your emotions to get more cash!

Posted by Jennifer Smith on Oct. 20, 2012 @ 5:32 pm

Oakland Schools and Libraries are closing at an alarming rate. Our crime is skyrocketing. We have MAJOR issues in Oakland.

Just because the zoo is waving photos of cute animals in front of you, don't be manipulated! They made a $6.1 million net surplus in the most recent tax year available. And from 2008 through 2010, they reported net surpluses averaging $2.6 million a year. Yet, they want you to think the animals will die if you don't vote affirmatively on A1.

If they really took on too many animals that their recent surplus can't cover, that is a sign of horrible, selfish, greedy management! Don't let their failure be yours. They need to take responsibility for their bad decisions not expect tax payers to cover for the money they are lining their pockets.

I pay over $200 if I want to take my family to the zoo, with lunch included. The line of cars to the entrance backs up on to I-580 on a regular basis. They are profitable. They don't need more of our hard-earned money! They need to use what they have responsibly.

VOTE NO ON A1! Just because they have cute furry animals does not mean they aren't a greedy company using your emotions to get more cash!

Posted by Jim on Oct. 20, 2012 @ 5:35 pm

Oakland Schools and Libraries are closing at an alarming rate. Our crime is skyrocketing. We have MAJOR issues in Oakland.

Just because the zoo is waving photos of cute animals in front of you, don't be manipulated! They made a $6.1 million net surplus in the most recent tax year available. And from 2008 through 2010, they reported net surpluses averaging $2.6 million a year. Yet, they want you to think the animals will die if you don't vote affirmatively on A1.

If they really took on too many animals that their recent surplus can't cover, that is a sign of horrible, selfish, greedy management! Don't let their failure be yours. They need to take responsibility for their bad decisions not expect tax payers to cover for the money they are lining their pockets.

I pay over $200 if I want to take my family to the zoo, with lunch included. The line of cars to the entrance backs up on to I-580 on a regular basis. They are profitable. They don't need more of our hard-earned money! They need to use what they have responsibly.

VOTE NO ON A1! Just because they have cute furry animals does not mean they aren't a greedy company using your emotions to get more cash!

Posted by Jim on Oct. 20, 2012 @ 5:36 pm

Oakland Schools and Libraries are closing at an alarming rate. Our crime is skyrocketing. We have MAJOR issues in Oakland.

Just because the zoo is waving photos of cute animals in front of you, don't be manipulated! They made a $6.1 million net surplus in the most recent tax year available. And from 2008 through 2010, they reported net surpluses averaging $2.6 million a year. Yet, they want you to think the animals will die if you don't vote affirmatively on A1.

If they really took on too many animals that their recent surplus can't cover, that is a sign of horrible, selfish, greedy management! Don't let their failure be yours. They need to take responsibility for their bad decisions not expect tax payers to cover for the money they are lining their pockets.

I pay over $200 if I want to take my family to the zoo, with lunch included. The line of cars to the entrance backs up on to I-580 on a regular basis. They are profitable. They don't need more of our hard-earned money! They need to use what they have responsibly.

VOTE NO ON A1! Just because they have cute furry animals does not mean they aren't a greedy company using your emotions to get more cash!

Posted by Jim on Oct. 20, 2012 @ 5:37 pm

Oakland Schools and Libraries are closing at an alarming rate. Our crime is skyrocketing. We have MAJOR issues in Oakland.

Just because the zoo is waving photos of cute animals in front of you, don't be manipulated! They made a $6.1 million net surplus in the most recent tax year available. And from 2008 through 2010, they reported net surpluses averaging $2.6 million a year. Yet, they want you to think the animals will die if you don't vote affirmatively on A1.

If they really took on too many animals that their recent surplus can't cover, that is a sign of horrible, selfish, greedy management! Don't let their failure be yours. They need to take responsibility for their bad decisions not expect tax payers to cover for the money they are lining their pockets.

I pay over $200 if I want to take my family to the zoo, with lunch included. The line of cars to the entrance backs up on to I-580 on a regular basis. They are profitable. They don't need more of our hard-earned money! They need to use what they have responsibly.

VOTE NO ON A1! Just because they have cute furry animals does not mean they aren't a greedy company using your emotions to get more cash!

Posted by Jim on Oct. 20, 2012 @ 5:39 pm

I have 2 bones to pick with the Bay Guardian. You have always been a clear eyed beacon for election information. Not so with this issue. First bone to pick is
the way that the campaign for yes on A1 has been waged, putting their headquarters on zoo grounds, putting Yes on A1 cutesy yard signs in the animal enclosures, and spending a million bucks that could have been better spent on improving the animal enclosures and funding a small expansion. Secondly, this is a private corporation on land given to Oakland by the state that is not to be developed as the zoo corporation wants to do. Knowland Park is a wildlife corridor between the bits and pieces of Oakland open land and many wild animals, birds, reptiles, amphibians & insects native to this area use it to connect for territory, hunting, water access, nesting sites. There are endangered plants that grow there. There is a stunning view of 5 bridges from the ridge on which the zoo wants to put it's restaurant, administration building, etc. with access by gondola. I have no problem with a $12 parcel tax, but I have a big problem with this kind of fast and loose playing with publicly collected tax monies by private entities and their self appointed oversight committees.

Posted by Sandi Morey on Oct. 31, 2012 @ 11:06 am

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