Nancy Sidebotham is running for public office in Oakland, yet again. The long-time tax specialist has ran for some seat on the Oakland City Council, councilmember or Mayor, seven times now. To take a look working backward, Nancy (who’s lived in Oakland since 1962 and is 69 years old) is running for Mayor of Oakland in 2018, ran for the Oakland At-Large City Council Seat in 2016, ran for Mayor of Oakland in 2014, ran for the District 6 seat 2010, 2006, and 2002, and 2001.
From the point this author started covering Ms.Sidebotham’s campaigns in 2010, the message has always been that Oakland’s lacking in great leadership. She believed that in the case of Oakland City Council District 6, but has been a supporter of Councilmember Desley Brooks for several years now. But that message remains the same today (that Oakland’s gone downhill, needs leadership help, and it’s not getting it), just turned toward Oakland’s highest office yet again, as she runs as one of 10 candidates challenging the incumbent Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf.
There are 24 Zennie62 on YouTube videos on Nancy (to date), and of them, 9 are interviews with her of some length, including Tuesday night, May 29th. Of all of them, last night’s talk, which ran for 1 hour, 34 minutes, and seven seconds, was by far her most informative, provacative, and explosive of all of them.
The talk was supposed to focus mostly on Oakland and sports: the relocations of the Raiders and the Golden State Warriors, and the Oakland A’s quest to build a new stadium in Oakland. But, as Nancy’s running for Mayor, and Oakland has a ton of pressing issues, and she’s not afraid to express her view in an unvarnished way.
On the matter of the homeless problem, she said “the homeless issue is one that is national as well as county. Oakland doesn’t have the means to take care of the homeless. Oakland’s paid into, Measure, I believe it’s KK, I don’t know which is which these days. But money has been paid in to start building and stuff, but nothing is happening. The homeless are coming from other cities. Berkeley is in the midst of kicking them out. Berkeley used to be the standard place for homeless to come when they came – welcomed them with open arms…” Nancy says Oakland takes on more projects, but does not pay for them and insists Oakland does not have the means to take care of the homeless.
On the problem of gentrification, Nancy blames the EB-5 visa program for the affordable housing problem Oakland faces today and is the cause, in part, of the population change called “ gentrification.” The EB-5 program allows, say, a foreign national who’s a tech startup investor, to spend over $1 million and start a business employing over 10 people in America – and thus become a lawful permanent resident. “And that’s where all the gentrification is happening,” Nancy says (in the interview that you can watch and is posted above) that the gentrification problem is because of homes available for auction that have foreclosed and are being bought up mostly by foreign nationals. “It’s not all whites causing gentrification (in Oakland),” Nancy says. “Houses around here are going for $4,000 a month, what is wrong with this picture?”, she asks.
Nancy also has strong words for a number of notable California and Oakland elected officials, most notably now California Governor, then Oakland Mayor, Jerry Brown, who she says has given up Oakland to developers.
From here, this author will resist the temptation to render a judgment on everything Nancy has said (we have a few strong exchanges in the livestream toward the end) because the objective is to make sure you the Oakland voter has as much information as you feel you need decide who to vote for in the Oakland Mayoral Election. Watch and listen to the entire conversation. Some of the viewers like Nancy’s fire, perhaps you will, too.