Ok, because Pamela Harris, Nayeli Maxson, and Sheng Thao, all Oakland City Council District Four Candidates, took a photo that implies they’re teaming up (they don’t deny it) and now are appearing at the so-called Block-By-Block Organizing Network (BBBON) Candidates Forum on Wednesday at 8501 International Blvd, Allen Temple Baptist Church, 2nd Floor 5:30 pm – so this Oakland blogger’s giving them a nickname. It’s fitting and well-considered, this nickname, if I do say so myself: The D-4-Three, as in the Oakland City Council District Four, Three.
I look at it this way: if they’re going to work the Oakland Rank Choice Voting (RCV) angle, why not take it all the way, right? Let’s collectively dump the passive-agression that’s come to define life in the San Francisco Bay Area, and go for some good-ol, in-your-face, straight-up, hell-of-a-lot-of-fun aggressive politics. And that starts first with a photo (check) and then with a nickname (double check). Next, they need a campaign manager. Then, they need a flyer. Then they need a message.
No, I’m not tossing my hat in the ring for campaign manager, but you should know why I moved the talk in the direction of branding the trio. It’s because Pamela Harris, Nayeli Maxson, and Sheng Thao happen to be the only names from the Oakland City Council District Four Race who were “invited” to appear at the up-coming Block-By-Block Organizing Network debate.
Yes, the only ones out of a field of, what, now 10 candidates, no one else, save for the D4-Three, were specifically invited to the Block-By-Block Organizing Network Forum? Wow!
And what is the Block-By-Block Organizing Network? It’s a non-profit that was established in 2010 and after Oakland District Four Councilmember Jean Quan became Mayor of Oakland. Now, the Oakland volunteer organization is ran by a steering committee that consists of Sharon Rose, Sheryl Walton, Joy Newhart, José Antonio Dorado, Allene Warren, Floyd Huen (Former Mayor Quan’s Husband), Michael Tigges, Don Link, Eileen Benevides, Barbara Montgomery, Peg Lum, John Claassen, Rich Johnson, Marilyn Lawson, Margaret Cunningham, Pamela Drake, Marcus Montegue, and Joe Lum.
The BBBON Forum is weirdly fixed – if I were running for one of the offices, and wasn’t one of the “selected” candidates, I’d go down to 8501 International Blvd and raise holy hell. Excluding people who take the time to run for any offiice for some made up bullshitery reason is criminal, in my book.
The BBBON can have a candidates forum that is inclusive of everyone. I did it with my Oakland Sports Forum held Wednesday, October 29, 2014 at 6 PM – 8 PM at the Lakeshore Avenue Baptist Church.
In that great and fun event, we, Oakland lawyer Chris Dobbins and the Save Oakland Sports folks, and I teamed up and invited all 15 candidates then-running for Mayor. As it was, 14 of the 15 showed up, and it worked fantastically well. Here’s former Mayor Quan defending her Coliseum City Plan:
Here’s Ken Houston on the Coliseum Joint Powers Authority:
This is Oakland Civil Rights lawyer Dan Siegel talking about his issue with sports owners:
Here’s now Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf defending Coliseum City:
And here’s Saied Kamarooz advocating for baseball at Howard Terminal:
Meanwhile, Joe Tuman blasted Coliseum City as a political promise:
So, the BBBON (I’ll call them “Bib On”) is wrong in selecting some candidates and not giving others a chance to come. It makes the whole event not real – not legitimate. It’s nothing more than the expression of the Bib On’s collective ego, and not any approach that’s fair to all who choose to run for office. For example, Desley Brooks shouild be invited, as the incumbent representative for Oakland City Council District Six. Abel Guillen should be there for District Two. Not cool, the Bib On way.
But they did invite the D4-Three. Next, a rap song!
Zennie Abraham is the CEO of Zennie62Media