By Bishop Bob Jackson, Father Jay Matthews, Pastor Russell Duley
We are writing today about the Oakland Mayor’s Race. We encourage you to vote for Bryan Parker. We think he is committed to uplifting East and West Oakland.
As Pastors in East and West Oakland, we know better than anyone, the need for investment in our communities. Our communities suffer in the areas of education and safety, but most of all in the area of jobs.
The unemployment rate in our communities is more than 30 percent. Bryan has a solid and robust jobs plan for Oakland.
We believe his business acumen and concern for all communities are why both the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and the SF Chronicle gave Bryan their sole endorsement.
The Pastors in Oakland and the Oakland African American Chamber of Commerce have also endorsed him.
We believe good jobs allow families to get good housing, put food on their tables and send their kids to college. Furthermore, more jobs will lead to a reduction in crime.
We believe Bryan correctly ties together the message that education and good jobs, in all communities, are the best way out of poverty and the best path to a safe city for all.
Notwithstanding Mr. Parker’s considerable credentials, he needs your help to win. The New York Times has placed him in the top candidates who can win this election.
With 40 percent of voters in this election undecided, polls as to where any candidates might place are unreliable.
African Americans make up more than one half of the undecided population, and if we account for occasional voters, the number would be even higher. We can shape this election.
The Pastors in Oakland just completed a drive to register 100 percent of their members. But, sadly, many of us, despite fighting, sometimes to the point of death for the right to vote, still don’t go to the polls.
If African American voters go to the polls in the numbers in which they are registered or in which they voted for the president, we would shape this election.
As a famous president once said, “Yes we can”…By volunteering with the churches to “Get Out the Vote,” we can make a tremendous difference!
We ask that you go to the polls. We ask that you vote for Bryan Parker. We believe Bryan Parker as Oakland’s next mayor represents an excellent opportunity for our city to move in a new direction.