The Oakland Post endorses challenger Nikki Fortunato Bas in the District 2 race for Oakland City Council.
Bas, an experienced organizer on behalf of garment workers and for jobs and affordable housing in Oakland’s low-income communities, has lived for 21 years in District 2.
“We’re at a crossroads here in Oakland,” she said in her interview with the Oakland Post’s community endorsement committee. “Our city is evicting unsheltered neighbors living around the Lake. Our Black and Brown neighbors are being pushed out. I don’t want to see that kind of displacement, that kind of cruelty in Oakland,” she said.
Some of the city’s leaders and council members “(show) a lack of political will and lack of action in terms of affordable housing and homelessness,” said Bas.
“In the midst of riches, our resources are mismanaged,” Bas says in her platform statement. “We under-invest in our youth, small businesses, and quality jobs. This public crisis is creating real tension between old residents and new, dividing residents across racial lines. Because City Hall has failed to take action, Oakland may lose its heart and soul forever.”
Among the elected leaders supporting Bas are: Assemblymember Rob Bonta, Oakland City Councilmember-at-Large Rebecca Kaplan, Richmond City Councilmember Jovanka Beckles, and BART Boardmember Lateefah Simon.
Her organizational endorsements include the Alameda Labor Council AFL-CIO, Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE) Action, Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN) Action, California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee, Harvey Milk LGBTQ Democratic Club, John George Democratic Club and The National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW). For more information on the Nikki Fortunato Bas campaign, go to www.nikki4oakland.com.
Bas’ opponent, incumbent Abel Guillén, has served four years on the City Council. His record shows he is not someone who willing to stand up for progressive change against big money developers or City Hall corporate Democrats.
Guillén was silent and voted against jobs for Black and Brown residents when a ballot measure for voters to decide whether to provide additional support for job training was proposed. He has not been strong on issues of police accountability, nor did he call for building housing that Oakland residents can afford or for utilizing public land for the public good.
As the community has pressed for remedies, he has not stepped up to demand that the Mayor and the City Council take adequate steps to solve Oakland’s tragic and growing homeless crisis.
During the debate over the city’s budget last year, Guillén did not back the People’s Budget proposal, which was supported by over 200 community leaders. He helped broker the deal that passed Mayor’s budget, which gave more money to the police department and less resources for homelessness, fire safety and illegal dumping clean-up.
During the council’s debate over the measure to create Oakland’s independent police commission, he backed the resolution to allow Mayor Schaaf to appoint three out the seven seats on the commission.