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Oakland voters speak out ahead of local elections

on October 16, 2012

Ahead of the November 6 election, Oakland North asked a few Oakland voters to name the local issues they’re most concerned about. Some people mentioned specific ballot measures, others raised general concerns about crime and education, but everyone talked about issues they have a personal connection to.

Click the audio player under each photo to hear an audio response:


Judith Doner Berne

Age: 72
Occupation: Columnist for The Rockridge News
Oakland neighborhood: Rockridge
Party affiliation: Democrat

Ashley Kirk

Age: 23
Occupation: Administrative Assistant, California Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems
Oakland neighborhood: Adams Point
Party affiliation: Democrat

Jonathan Klein

Age: 37
Occupation: Executive Director, Great Oakland Public Schools
Oakland neighborhood: Mills College area
Party affiliation: Democrat

Natasha Morowei

Age: 27
Occupation: Student at Merritt College
Oakland neighborhood: East Oakland near San Leandro border
Party affiliation: Democrat

Gregory H.

Age: 53
Occupation: Unemployed
Oakland neighborhood: Old Oakland
Party affiliation: Democrat

Pernell Rash Jr.

Age: 19
Occupation: Student at City College of San Francisco
Oakland neighborhood: Broadway Auto Row
Party affiliation: Democrat

Cathy Rosenfeld

Age: 58
Occupation: Educator
Oakland neighborhood: Rockridge
Party affiliation: Democrat

Ken Shaw

Age: 66
Occupation: First-Line Supervisor, Alameda County Social Services
Oakland neighborhood: Mills College area
Party affiliation: Democrat


  1. Carl Anderson on October 16, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    Locally: Several folks mentioned crime in general, to which I agree in part. What they didn’t say is, the role of wrong acts by police officers. I see that as part of Oakland’s crime problem, and one of the reasons the OPD is so ineffective. Government ought to have more control over wrong acts by its employees, than over wrong acts by others. Police Chief Howard Jordan, in his press conf. of 10/12/12 & related acts, has taken a major stand against wrong acts by officers. The Oakland Police Officers Association’s president criticized Jordan on that. The OPOA and their allies are part of the problem.

    Nationally: I have opinions, but I’ll leave them aside for the moment.

    • Adam Haussman on October 16, 2012 at 3:06 pm

      “Several folks mentioned crime in general, to which I agree in part. What they didn’t say is, the role of wrong acts by police officers. I see that as part of Oakland’s crime problem, and one of the reasons the OPD is so ineffective.”
      How about placing blame for Oakland’s out-of-control crime rate on the people who actually commit the crime instead of on Oakland’s beleaguered police officers? OPD does the best they can in the face of an ungrateful citizenry that does nothing but complain, even after 4 Oakland police officers were gunned down in the line of duty only 2 years ago. Please think about what you are saying, and consider that the problem lies not with OPD but with the criminals who rule our streets and with those who bend over backwards to excuse their violent behavior (i.e., people like you).

  2. Ralph Kanz on October 16, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    Measure A1 is a seriously flawed proposal that the press has done a lousy job of covering. The proposal does not provide effective oversight and the Society has not accounted for any monies received from the City of Oakland as required by their agreement. The City Auditor is looking into the matter.
    Why I Oppose Measure A1:
    Letter to Oakland Auditor detailing violations of agreement with the City:

    Vote No on Measure A1!

  3. Karen Smith on October 24, 2012 at 10:50 pm

    I was struck by how much agreement there was among the people you talked to. Seven of the 8 expressed concern for what to me are core issues for the health of our communities: Education, public safety/violence and affordable health care. If only our politicians could bring that kind of consensus to the table and focus the resources we have on solving these problems.

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Oakland North is an online news service produced by students at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism and covering Oakland, California. Our goals are to improve local coverage, innovate with digital media, and listen to you–about the issues that concern you and the reporting you’d like to see in your community. Please send news tips to:

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