Pamela Price, the Oakland lawyer who challenged Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley in this year’s election contest, and who represented Jasmine Abuslin (AKA Celeste Guap), the woman at the center of the Oakland Police Sex Scandal, is officially running for Mayor of Oakland.
That’s right. With her website from her race for the Alameda County District Attorney seat still up as is her Facebook Page, even as she lost the battle to Madame Counsel, and no (findable) website for her Oakland mayoral bid, Ms. Price has filed an OCRA 310 (Oakland Campaign Reform Act Candidate Expenditute Limit Statement) and an FPPC 410 (California Fair Political Practices Commission Organizational Statement) and FPPC 510 (Candidate Intent Statement) document with the Oakland City Clerk’s Office, all reading “Pamela Price For Mayor of Oakland”, and on file as of July 17 2018.
It’s hard to find content about her decision to run at this point (that will change), but East Oakland Teacher Bronwyn Harris did post this message on Facebook (I do wish people would go back to making their own blogs rather than this crack-like additiction to Facebook) on August 2nd :
She asked me about how I think the city of Oakland, which is separate from the school district, could support the students and families that I had worked with. We brainstormed ideas and talked about taking care of the whole child and not just trying to cram academic information into their brain.
She has a very compelling story that includes being in foster care and being homeless as a teenager, then graduating from Yale and finally lost school at UC Berkeley! She’s been a civil rights lawyer and would like to give back to Oakland at this point.
I really liked her as a person and as a mayoral candidate and can’t vote in Oakland but would encourage oakland residents to check her out!
The talk all over is that Ms. Price will team up with Cat Brooks and form a rank choice voting tag team act against the incumbent Mayor Libby Schaaf. But everyone seems to forget that another formidable challenger to the Oakland Mayor has thrown her hat in the ring, and that’s Oakland’s At Large Councilmember (and practicioner of the political head-fake) Rebecca Kaplan. Even as Councilmember Kaplan told this blogger she was not running for Mayor of Oakland, she filed to run for Mayor of Oakland. And she did so after declaring her endorsement for Cat Brooks as Mayor of Oakland. If that fails to make your head spin, boy you’re not just not human. But can it work to win against Schaaf? Google Trends provides a look at the future.
Google Trends is the internet organizations online device for measuring the degree to which its user base searches for topics at any one time. Launched May 11th 2006, Google Trends has become a fantasic political predictive tool. According to The Huffington Post, Google Trends predicted Donald Trump’s rise. Stewart Media explains that Google Trends has predicted every presidential election since it was created. And Google Trends accurately predicted that both Gavin Newsom and John Cox would be the top two in this year’s 2018 California Gubenatorial Race. So, with that evidence, and much more, it’s safe to say that Google Trends will give us an accurate picture of the state of the Oakland Mayoral Election. And right now, it’s closer than even I thought it would be before I looked at the most recent run of Google Trends data.
Using the last 90 days as the timeline for the measurement of search intensity, Google Trends shows an Oakland Mayor’s Race that’s closer than ever, but has Mayor Schaaf in the lead. Comparing Mayor Schaaf, Cat Brooks, Pamela Price, Rebecca Kaplan, and Ken Houston, and for data Oakland the results look like this: Mayor Schaaf 30, Cat Brooks 12, Pamela Price 52, Rebecca Kaplan 6, and Ken Houston 0.
As to the field presented, there are a record 17 candidates for Mayor of Oakland, but Google Trends can’t fit all of them at the same time. Here’s the list:
Jesse A.J. Smith
Of them, only Price, Schaaf, and Brooks and Kaplan and Peter Liu register over a one or two in search interest on Google Trends. I did not include Liu for this round because I wanted to see how Ken Houston performed. That written, Peter Liu was also at a 2, as was Kaplan.
Here’s the chart:
The overall San Francisco – Oakland – San Jose data has Mayor Schaaf ahead but when we drill down to Oakland, a different story emerges.
The obvious surprise is that Ms. Price is ahead of both Mayor Schaaf and Ms. Brooks over this period in Oakland. And what this represents is interest in the candidates. Pamela Price (listed as “Legal services in Oakland California” in Google Trends) and Cat Brooks combined equal 62 percent of the total search interest. Now, it’s important to keep in mind that the reasons for these results vary per person: for Pamela Price, it’s the unique combination of her representation of Jasmine Absulin in the Oakland Police Sex Scandal and her run for Alameda County District Attorney that are the reasons for these large numbers. And it should be noted that in the Alameda County District Attorney Race, Price was well ahead of Nancy O’Malley in Google Trends search interest 88 to 12 in Oakland, but ultimately lost significantly to the incumbent DA in the primary election.
And proving that Google Trends is not the accurate predictor for local election outcome that it its for state, regional, and national political battles. Still, it’s a notable development – and sends a message to Mayor Schaaf that her main challengers Price and Brooks can draw online search interest, but the question is can they translate that into real political votes.
It must be noted, too, that Price and Brooks are both black, whereas Schaaf is white, and while Libby would say she has worked to mend racial problems, the fact is that hate crimes in California have increased 69 percent from 2014 to 2017, and from 46 in Alameda County in 2015 to 89 in Alameda County in 2017, and in direct proportion to housing costs. The number of people running for Mayor of Oakland, and the number of blacks and people of color, are a reflection of a growing concern with a California society, and Oakland within it, that has become more racist and classist over the last four years.
Zennie Abraham is the CEO of Zennie62Media