Carrying bowls of pasta salad, watermelon, and meat to grill, on Tuesday night people left their houses and streamed into hundreds of neighborhood gatherings being hosted throughout the city as part of National Night Out—a nationwide block party that encourages people to get to know their neighbors and promotes community safety.

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On Wednesday, City Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan officially announced that she is running for mayor of Oakland in this year’s November election. After being Oakland’s representative on the AC Transit Board of Directors for six years, then serving as Oakland’s at-large city councilmember from 2008 to present, she has decided to take it up a notch.

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