Oakland, California municipal elections, 2014

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The city of Oakland, California will hold elections for mayor and city council on November 4, 2014. The filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in this election was August 8, 2014 (if an incumbent did not file, the deadline was extended to August 13, 2014).[1] Three of the eight city council seats are up for election.


As November 4 approaches, key issues have begun to emerge in the 2014 Oakland mayoral race. Below, Ballotpedia highlights what they are and breaks them down.

Ranked-choice voting

One of the most defining features of the race from early on was ranked-choice voting, which some have suspected might account for the large number - fifteen all together - of mayoral candidates.[2] Ranked-choice voting - sometimes referred to as "instant-runoff voting - allows voters to select up to three candidates on the ballot and to rank them from one to three. After the polls have closed, if a single candidate has received a majority of first place votes, then that candidate is declared the winner. If no candidate receives a majority of first place votes, this triggers an elimination process. In the elimination process, the candidate with the fewest amount of first place votes is removed. Then, the first place votes cast for that candidate will be transferred to the next-ranked candidate. This process continues until a candidate holds a majority.[3] Ranked-choice voting has been in place in Oakland since 2010, and some believe that it creates conditions that are less conducive to highly favored candidates than other voting systems.[2]

Public safety

With one of the highest violent crime and recidivism rates in the state of California, public safety is a frequent topic of discussion in Oakland municipal politics. In the 2014 mayoral race, it has become a key issue.[4] Candidates have tackled the city's crime problems from a variety of different perspectives, with some pushing for a larger police presence, while others have focused on creating a higher quality police force through training.[5]

Police militarization

Closely related to the issue of public safety are questions surrounding what some have called police "militarization" - in reference to the use of military grade weaponry and armor by municipal police forces. At a candidate forum on September 4, mayoral candidate and current council member Rebecca Kaplan spoke out against police militarization in Oakland, saying, "Under my administration, we would not hand the police the weapons they’re not allowed to use and then be shocked when they use what we’ve handed them." At the same forum, candidate Joseph Tuman disagreed. Posing the question of how a police officer should react to a criminal armed with an automatic weapon, he asked, "Are they [police officers] supposed to take a service revolver into that situation? Is it taking military weapons if that’s what they need to defend themselves in that situation? I think we’re oversimplifying if we say you can never have those sorts of things."[5]

Economic inequality

In February 2014, a study from the Brookings Institute ranked Oakland seventh in the nation in terms of the city's economic equality. The report found that between 2007 and 2012 Oakland households in the 20th percentile averaged about $17,646 while households in the 95th percentile averaged about $223,965.[6] Only three years before the Brookings Institute study was released, the U.S. Bureau found that approximately %27 of the city's children live in households with an income of $23,000 or less.[7] Many of Oakland's mayoral candidates have made this issue a focal point of their campaigns. Some have stressed job creation measures that utilize the city's health and technology sectors. Others have pointed to improving education in the city or raising the minimum wage.[5]

Candidate list


2014 Mayor of Oakland
Poll Rebecca Kaplan Jean QuannElizabeth ShaafJoe TumanMargin of ErrorSample Size
Survey USA
(September 15-17, 2014)
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to editor@ballotpedia.org.

Note: The above polling information only includes candidates who are polling at %10 or higher

City council

Candidate list

District 2

November 4 General election candidates:

District 4

November 4 General election candidates:

District 6

November 4 General election candidates:

Recent news

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All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.

Oakland California Election News Feed

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See also

External links

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