Hey Oaklander! So, your friend tells you to vote for City Of Oakland Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan for Mayor of Oakland or Cat Brooks and Saied Kamarooz, but you don’t know where to look for official fundraising information about any one of them? Or you have another friend who swears by Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, but you’re also un-informed about her campaign filings. And then yet another friend tells you there are just three candidates running for the District Two Oakland City Council Seat, but you say “I’ve only heard Abel Guillen and Nikki Bas’ names, and I don’t know anything about Bas, and I do know Mr. Guillen’s my councilmember, but that’s it. How can I find out what’s going on.”
This is how.
First, go to your computer or tablet (smartphones can work, but using a desktop or laptop computer really provides the best browsing experience). Second, go to your favorite browser, like FireFox or Chrome, and open it. Then, in the search field, type “oakland elections”, and press on the field and wait for the page to change over. Chances are, you’re using Google, so let’s assume it’s Google.
You will be taken to the search results for “oakland elections” (you shouldn’t use the quotation marks), and then scroll down until you see a page with the title “Elections and Compliance”. Click on it, asap. That page will appear, and viola, you’re in the City of Oakland’s main website. Welcome!
The specific page is called “City Cletk / Elections and Compliance”; scroll down, because now you’re looking for “Campaign Disclosure Reports” and the sentence “To view campaign statements, visit the Campaign Filing Portal.” – click on the words in blue. They will take you to a page with the words “Welcome to the City of Oakland Public Ethics Commission Public Portal for Campaign Finance and Lobbyist Disclosure.” Again, scroll down and look for “Browse Candidates & Measures by Election”, where you will see a field of dates next to the repeated word “General Election”.
In order to see who’s who among those running for office in Oakland, you have to click on the cross in the square, and not the words, because it’s not a standard hyperlink code. So you have to aim your cursor at the cross and gently press on it. So do this for 6/05/2018 and you will see three more squares with crosses, and the words “Candidates, Measures, and Independent Expenditures.” Click on the cross for “Candidates” and you will see that no one in Oakland is up for Tuesday’s California Primary. Do the same for “ Measures” and you will learn about the Library Parcel Tax. This space is not to tell you more about that, or the candidates, it’s just kinda leading you to water in the hope that you will drink. (No, you’re not a horse.)
But you want know who’s who, and that means names of people. So, go up to the date 11/06/2018, and that’s for the November 6th 2018 mid-term election. Bingo, baby! You’re getting hot. You will see the same “Candidates, Measures, and Independent Expenditures” square with cross list, so click on the cross for “ Candidates” and you get a lot of information you came for.
What’s listed are, in order: City Auditor, City Council (City of Oakland) 2, City Council (City of Oakland) 4, City Council (City of Oakland) 6, Director – Oakland Unified School District 2, Director – Oakland Unified School District 4, Director – Oakland Unified School District 6, Mayor of Oakland.
For City Auditor, there’s only Brenda Roberts, running for re-election and unchallenged. (A bad thing, as no seat should ever go unchallenged.)
For Oakland City Council District Two, there’s the incumbent Abel Guillen and Nikki Bas – so there’s just those two and no one else – not three people.
The Oakland City Council District Four Seat held by Annie Campbell Washington is now red-hot, with 10 candidates listed: Ahmad Anderson, Anne Campbell Washington, Pamela Harris, Nayeli Maxson, Charlie Michelson, Jonathan Selsley, Joseph Simmons, Joseph Tanios, Sheng Thao, and Chris Young. Of them, Annie Campbell Washington swears up and down she’s not running for re-election, but until she avoids putting in her list of support signatures, her name remains on the site, and therefore her candidacy for re-election is active.
The Oakland City Council District Six Seat has the incumbent Desley Brooks and she’s challenged by Natasha Middleton, Maria Rodriguez, Loren Taylor, and Mya Whitaker.
For Oakland School Board Director, Aimee Eng is running without opposition in District Two; Clarissa Doutherd is unopposed in District Four; In District Six Ebony Edgerson is up against Shanthi Gonzales.
For Mayor Of Oakland, click on the cross in the square, and you will learn that there are 11 candidates at present: Cat Brooks, Shelton Duncan, Ken Houston, Saied Karamooz, Kristina Molina, the afforementioned Sidebotham, Jesse A. J. Smith, Marchon Tatmom, Cedric Troupe, and Randolph Wilkins, and the incumbent Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf.
(And look, no Rebecca Kaplan running for Mayor. What gives? Nancy Sidebotham said…)
So now you know where to go to find out not only who’s running for what open seat for elected office in Oakland, but what filings they’ve uploaded to the City of Oakland to date.
As for what to file, the website tells you what each candidate needs to have in his or her file area on the Campaign Disclosure Reports page of the City of Oakland website: “Typical forms include Statement of Intention Form 501; Statement of Organization Form 410; Semi-Annual Campaign Disclosure Statement Form 460; Pre-Election Campaign Disclosure Form 460; Pre- and Post- City Supplemental Campaign Disclosure Statement Form 460; Quarterly Measure Campaign Disclosure Statement Form 460; Supplemental Independent Expenditure Report Form 465 (Measure or Independent Expenditure Committees); Late Independent Expenditure Report Form 496; or Late Contribution Report Form 497.”
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