From left to right: Assemblymember Sandre Swanson, Oakland City Councilmember-elect At-Large Rebecca Kaplan, Alameda Labor Council Secretary/Treasurer Sharon Cornu.
By Ken A. Epstein
Supporters came out Friday evening to the 19th and Broadway campaign headquarters to celebrate Rebecca Kaplan’s recent landslide victory in the race for the Oakland City Council at-large seat.
Kaplan, a member of the AC Transit board, won 62 percent of the vote against Kerry Hamill, a member of the Oakland Board of Education.
“The partnership of the Democratic Party, the labor movement and the community brought about this victory,” said Sharon Cornu, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the Alameda County Central Labor Council, speaking at the celebration. Kaplan represents “a new way of operating, a new of listening to diverse constituencies,” Cornu said.
Assemblymember Sandre Swanson pointed out parallels between the grassroots coalitions that energized both the Kaplan and Obama campaigns. “This campaign was clearly won on the ground, he said. “The paradigm has shifted – it was a powerful coalition that elected Barack Obama, and it was a powerful coalition that elected Rebecca Kaplan.”
Kaplan said that she was creating transition committees that will help her work on transportation, foreclosure relief, universal health care, the arts and jobs.
Referring to coming struggles, including efforts to reverse Prop. 8, Kaplan urged people to be willing to talk to those with whom they disagree. “This is not just about Prop. 8,” she said. “We have to bring everyone to the table and into the dialog.”