Oakland elections occupy a complex political landscape, and the upcoming 2014 mayoral contest is no exception.
The wide range of political experience and platforms make for a landmark election year, and the already large roster of candidates will keep growing through August 8.
Incumbent Jean Quan faces daunting polling numbers. Her decline in public support began after the Occupy arrests in 2011 and continues through her vocal support of the Domain Awareness Center. However, her determination to run for a second term could keep her in office.
Councilmember Libby Schaaf, Port Commissioner Bryan Parker, City Auditor Courtney Ruby, Community Policing Advisory Board member Nancy Sidebotham and former Quan advisor Dan Siegel all enjoy the edge that comes with having ties to city government.
Jason Anderson is a former Occupy Oakland spokesperson, and businessman Peter Liu is running on his own dime, keeping his DIY campaign frugal. Joe Tuman, a government and law professor at SFSU, and Larry Young, Jr., a real estate agent, have prior experience running for mayor—they ran in Oakland’s 2010 election. Sam Washington is a technology consultant.
Gregory Wade, Charles Williams, and Margaret Wrigley-Larson are lesser-known contenders. But with the unpredictable nature of Oakland politics and ranked-choice voting, they have almost six months left in which to outline their platforms, and make the case for their candidacy.
Safety is a key issue, as is the surveillance system embodied in the highly-controversial Domain Awareness Center. Candidates also focus on the city’s street improvement, sports franchises, public education, business development and job creation to bolster the city’s economic state.
At Oakland North, we put together this introduction to the 2014 election season, with mini-profiles of some of the higher profile mayoral candidates who have stepped forward to make an early stand in outlining their signature issues.