The future mayor of Oakland: a rundown of the options
on August 18, 2010
Oakland’s gearing up for mayoral election season again, with thirteen – strike that – ten candidates competing for Mayor Ron Dellums’ spot.
Last week after Wednesday’s filing deadline, it was widely reported that 13 people were running for mayor of Oakland. However, the City Clerk excluded three candidates who filed nomination papers because they each had an insufficient number of validated signatures.
Oakland requires each would-be mayor to pay $300 to declare themselves as a candidate, as well as provide 50 valid signatures from Oakland residents, along with proof that they have been registered to vote in Oakland for the past 30 days. Niki Okuk, Tim Brown, and Sharika Gregory all told Oakland North that enough of their signatures were thrown out to disqualify them for the election. Dellums announced on August 4 that he wouldn’t run for another term.
So, who’s left? Here is a rundown of the ten remaining candidates, in alphabetical order, based on biographical details provided by the candidates or their campaigns.
He’s 47, a Democrat, and directs Candell’s College Preparatory Academy, his own education business. Last week, various media reported – incorrectly – that he was a minister, perhaps because Candell announced that he has widespread support from Oakland’s Baptist churches. He has never previously run for political office and lives in the Eastmont neighborhood. He has a B.A. in politics from UC Santa Cruz, an M.A. in education from the Western Institute for Social Research, and a Ph.D. in education from University of Bedford, an online university based in England.
Fields is 44, an Independent, and a registered real estate broker. He calls himself an affordable housing advocate and runs a business renovating old buildings and renting them out. He and his wife own Revolution Café on 7th Street in West Oakland. Fields ran for Oakland mayor in 2006 and received 1 percent of the votes, coming in fifth. He lives in the Dimond neighborhood. Fields attended real estate broker school.
Harland is 63 years old, retired, and has been an entrepreneur in clothing manufacture, computers, and restaurants, according to his campaign website. He didn’t reply to Oakland North’s request for more information. He lives in the Montclair area, and his website says he attended Merritt College and was trained as a scuba diving instructor at the Professional Diving Instructors Corporation in Monterey.
A 36-year-old Democrat, Hodge is on the board of trustees for the Peralta Community Colleges. She’s been a marriage and family therapist and a public school teacher. She also served on the Oakland Budget Advisory Committee and lives near Chabot Regional Park. She went to Cal State Hayward and also has a masters in counseling psychology from Holy Names College, as well as a Ph.D. in organizational psychology from Alliant University.
Kaplan, 39, is the first openly lesbian member of the Oakland City Council, currently serving as the councilmember-at-large. She’s a Democrat and, before being elected in 2008, worked for the California legislature and for the Oakland City Attorney’s office, as well as serving on the board of directors for AC Transit. She lives in Jack London Square. Kaplan has a B.S. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, an M.A. in urban and environmental policy from Tufts University, and a J.D. from Stanford Law School.
Macleay is 52 and a 15-year member of the Green Party. He grew up in Canada and has never run for political office or worked for the U.S. government, though he once worked for the government of Nicaragua. He used to be a machinist but now owns and manages a small computer networking business in Oakland. Macleay lives in Temescal and attended Laney College and San Francisco State, where he received a B.A. in Liberal Studies.
At 65, Perata, a Democrat, has had the longest political record of all the candidates. He was a civics teacher before his political career began, according to his campaign. Perata joined the Alameda County’s Board of Supervisors in 1986 and served as a State Assembly representative for Oakland, Piedmont and Alameda from 1996 to 1998, when he was elected to the California State Senate. In the Senate he served until 2008, at times as the Senate President Pro Tem. Perata’s already been endorsed by Jerry Brown, Willie Brown, and Dianne Feinstein. He lives in the Montclair and has a B.A. in Literature and Theology from St. Mary’s College.
Quan, 60, is a Democrat and the first Asian-American woman to be elected to the Oakland City Council. She’s in her second term on the council, representing District 4. She is on a handful of the council’s committees and works with several other groups in city government; she also chairs the board of directors for the Chabot Space and Science Center. Quan began her political career through working with her children’s school and served on the Oakland school board for two terms, beginning in 1989. She lives in Oakmore. Quan received a B.A. in Ethnic Studies from UC Berkeley, though she was suspended because of her participation in the 1969 Third World Strike, part of the – eventually successful – effort to create an ethnic studies department.
Tuman, 51, is a Democrat and a professor at San Francisco State University teaching politics, law, and communications. He’s been a speechwriter and political consultant for many years, and published several books, including Freedom of Expression in the Marketplace of Ideas (Sage, 2011), Communicating Terror; The Rhetorical Dimensions of Terror and Political Communication in American Campaigns. Though Tuman has taught classes about politics and been paid to be a political consultant, he has never run for office himself. He lives in the Crocker Highlands. He has a B.A. in political science from UC Berkeley and a J.D. from Boalt School of Law at UC Berkeley.
Young is, indeed, the youngest candidate at age 30. Registered Independent, he works for Prudential California as a real estate agent but has been a substitute teacher in Oakland’s public schools for four years. He has also worked in adult education and at the West County and Marsh Creek detention centers. He lives in Adam’s Point and has a B.A. in speech communication from Cal Poly and an MBA from the University of Phoenix.
This version of the story has been corrected. A previous version stated incorrectly that Donald Macleay worked for the Canadian government.
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