A Progressive Alamedan

Various writings from a resident of Alameda regarding the political scene. The local perspective of local, state and national politics and a few other odds and ends of local concern. May not be particularly interesting to people outside of the Alameda area.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

My Endorsements for Alameda Mayor and City Council

Today, Lauren Do posted here election roundup page. I guess that means I had better get on the ball and put my endorsements up; maybe if I ask nicely, Lauren will include these on her chart.

I'll write these over the course of a few days; I'll start with my endorsements for Mayor and City Council.

For Mayor I recommmend Marie Gilmore. This decision does not come lightly; I like several of the other candidates, so this was hard — at first. But I have noticed of late how Ms. Gilmore is one of the only two people on the City Council that seem to really give a darn about the terrible abuses of power that have been going on by our (current) Mayor, our City Attorney, and our Interim City Manager. Of the mayoral candidates, Gilmore is the only one who has spoken out, publicly and privately, against these abuses of power. I was really hoping that we would hear more, proactively, out of the other candidates, but the others have been disappointing.

Of course, that's just one issue — but a big one, because we need a leader who is willing to stand up to the staffers who seem to have a stranglehold on City Hall. City staff is supposed to answer to the City Council (who is supposed to answer to us), not the other way around.

I have observed the leadership styles of Gilmore, Matarrese, DeHaan, and Daysog on the council over the years. I have not really liked DeHaan's style, though away from the council seat he's truly a nice guy. Daysog and Matarrese have their hearts in the right places, but they haven't been as effective at turning the values they espouse into realities as I would like. Gilmore has a different style. She is often quiet and reflective, but then has a lot of insight, and jumps into action.

Though it is clear from looking around Alameda that Doug DeHaan is winning the "how many yard signs" race, I have noticed that most of the people I know (or know of) in Alameda that are really involved and interested in local politics are supporting Marie Gilmore. That probably explains the many endorsements she's been racking up from local organizations.

City Council: Lena Tam and Rob Bonta (with an honorary mention of Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft).

(Three names? Well, we can only vote for two — but if Marie Gilmore becomes mayor, vacating her council seat, the third-place winner will likely fill that spot. So I'm hoping that these are the three we get.)

If you look at Lauren's Chart, you will see that Tam and Bonta are racking up endorsements left and right. That's pretty impressive considering how an endorsement from an organization requires a pretty hefty super-majority, and the fact that we have so many candidates for council.

So am I just playing "me too" here? Well, no — I've actually known — and been a supporter of — both Rob and Lena for a while now. I have found that both of these candidates are super-intelligent and interested in making Alameda a better place.

Of all the candidates vying for a new spot on the city council, I think that Rob has the best mixture of qualifications, enthusiasm, intelligence, and values. (And Marilyn is right up there too; her experience on the planning board and her approachability have been stellar.)

Lena deserves another term on the City Council; I hope that enough people will understand that all of the controversy that was dragging her name through the mud was nothing but a politically motivated attack. For some, unfortunately, it seems that even an official exoneration is not enough. I hope that this is just a vocal minority.


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