By Howard Dyckoff
East Oakland residents – if you’re looking for a City Council member who will best represent your interests, then don’t miss the District 7 Candidate’s Forum tonight at 6pm at the Allen Temple.
Here’s your chance to hear from all 3 candidates – 16-year incumbent Larry Reid, plus challengers Sheryl Walton and Beverly Williams. They are all seeking your vote this November. This is the only community event to date.
Allen Temple Allen Temple is hosting the free event, which is sponsored by Oakland Community Organizations (OCO), the NAACP, the Block by Block Organizing Network (BBBON) and the League of Women Voters. Stan Weisner, A BBBON representative working on the forum, said, “As one of the co-sponsors, BBBON hopes that the District 7 Candidate’s Forum will help inform all community residents about the candidates and what they stand for as voters decide .”
Pastor Billy G. Dixon of the At Thy Word Ministry was more specific in what he expects. “The first issue is crime. What are their plans for stopping crime? Crime prevents businesses from coming to East Oakland. They need to have a detailed plan on what they intend to do as council members.”
Dixon said the candidates need to have a plan for the east, and the rest of the city. “Schooling is another issue. We know young Black and Latino men are lost before the 4th grade. We need to know how they plan on motivating young people.”
Also concerned about Oakland’s economy, Dixon asked, “how are they going to fix the budget and how are we going to keep from becoming like Stockton? What are their plans for bringing businesses to Oakland? And how are we going to keep our sport teams? And can we bring jobs in for the people of Oakland ? We need to hold them more accountable to the community.”
The event will be held in the J. Alfred Smith Hall of Allen Temple, and it is open to the public. Allen Temple is at 8501 International Blvd, with its parking lot on 86th Avenue.
District 7 is the southern-most City Council district in Oakland and is representative of Deep East Oakland, including the Elmhurst and Stonehurst neighborhoods.
I live in D7 and I know there are many structural problems that need to be addressed. Public safety and economic development are major concerns here, as are opportunities for youth, the lack of fresh food outlets, and the high rate of foreclosures, which are tearing our fragile communities apart. I look forward to hearing what approaches and solutions the candidates will propose.
Please come hear the candidates at the forum and ask your own questions to find out who would be best as the City Council person from Deep East.
Questions about the meeting should be directed to BBBON coordinator Evans Daniels, at (510) 388-4599, or Kimblyn Bryant, OCO Organizer, at (510) 435-6244.