From Fruitvale to Rockridge, Oakland North reporters spoke recently to residents about the city council elections. We asked everyone the same question: If you could speak directly to the candidates, what would you like to know? We delivered the most frequent of the residents’ questions, in person to the seven candidates for the District 1 City Council seat. Their edited answers, one question at a time, will appear in Oakland North every week between now and Election Day.
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Spending money on high-priced consultants and economic development is a waste. Instead of spending money on new business, Oakland needs to invest in public safety and education, and reduce its business tax to the rate of Berkeley, San Leandro, Hayward and Walnut Creek. Increasing public safety and improving education will attract businesses to Oakland. A safer city will attract employers, and a better educated workforce will attract higher paying, better jobs. A more competitive business tax policy will keep businesses from passing over Oakland in favor of San Francisco or neighboring East Bay cities. Oakland also needs to invest in high speed internet availability the way San Leandro has with its recently installed dark fibre network. This is a huge factor for businesses looking for a place to settle, and Oakland has fallen behind other cities in this kind of connectivity.