Oakland, California municipal elections, 2014

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The city of Oakland, California will hold nonpartisan 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. In Districts 2 and 4, however, the deadline was extended to August 13, 2014, because an incumbent did not file to run.[1] Three of the eight city council seats - Districts 2, 4 and 6 - are up for election.

In the races for mayor and District 6, incumbents Jean Quan and Desley Brooks are running for re-election. Districts 2 and 4, on the other hand, are both open seats. District 2 incumbent Patricia Kernighan decided not to seek re-election, while District 4 incumbent Elizabeth "Libby" Schaaf is running for mayor. The former announced her retirement in December 2013.[2]

A variety of different issues are shaping Oakland's 2014 election cycle. These include public safety, police militarization, economic inequality and professional sports.

Ranked-choice voting

See also: Ranked-choice voting

The Oakland 2014 municipal elections mark the second election cycle in which the city will use ranked-choice voting, or, as it is sometimes referred to, instant-runoff voting.[3] First used in Oakland in 2010, ranked-choice 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 (50%) of first place votes, that candidate is declared the winner. If no candidate has received 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 second place votes on the ballots that ranked the eliminated candidate first are transferred to the respective candidates and calculated as first place votes. This process continues until a single candidate holds a majority.[4][3]

For more information on ranked-choice voting in Oakland, visit the Alameda County Registrar of Voters website or the Center for Voting and Democracy's guide to instant-runoff voting.

Mayor

Candidate list

Polling

2014 Mayor of Oakland (Top 4 Candidates)
Poll Rebecca Kaplan Jean QuanElizabeth SchaafJoe TumanMargin of ErrorSample Size
Survey USA
(September 15-17, 2014)
24%12%12%11%+/-4.2700
*OaklandMayor2014.com
(September 8-14, 2014)
15%13%10%6%+/-3.71,012
AVERAGES 19.5% 12.5% 11% 8.5% +/-3.95 856
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 OaklandMayor2014 poll is based on which candidate voters would pick first in a ranked-choice voting system. The poll was conducted by the research firm Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates.

City council

Candidate list

District 2

Note: Incumbent Patricia Kernighan is not running for re-election.
November 4 General election candidates:

Polling

Oakland City Council, District 2
Poll Dana King Abel GuillenKevin BlackburnAndrew ParkKen MaxeyUndecided/otherMargin of ErrorSample Size
*OaklandMayor2014.com
(September 8-14, 2014)
13%9%7%7%1%62%+/-6.9209
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 OaklandMayor2014 poll is based on which candidate voters would pick first in a ranked-choice voting system. The poll was conducted by the research firm Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates.

District 4

Note: Incumbent Elizabeth "Libby" Schaaf is not running for re-election.
November 4 General election candidates:

Polling

Oakland City Council, District 4
Poll Jill Broadhurst Anne Campbell WashingtonPaul LimUndecided/otherMargin of ErrorSample Size
*OaklandMayor2014.com
(September 8-14, 2014)
22%13%1%64%+/-6.9206
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 OaklandMayor2014 poll is based on which candidate voters would pick first in a ranked-choice voting system. The poll was conducted by the research firm Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates.

District 6

November 4 General election candidates:

Polling

Oakland City Council, District 6
Poll Desley Brooks Michael V. JohnsonJames MooreSherdea F. NosakhareUndecided/otherMargin of ErrorSample Size
*OaklandMayor2014.com
(September 8-14, 2014)
34%10%4%5%47%+/-6.9211
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 OaklandMayor2014 poll is based on which candidate voters would pick first in a ranked-choice voting system. The poll was conducted by the research firm Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates.

Issues

As November 4 rapidly approaches, several key issues have begun to emerge in Oakland's 2014 municipal elections. Below, Ballotpedia highlights what they are and how they are impacting the 2014 election cycle in Oakland.

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 and council races, it has become a key issue.[5] 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.[6]

Oakland police at the Occupy Oakland protests in October 2011.

Police militarization

Closely related to the issue of public safety are questions surrounding what some have called police "militarization" - in reference to the acquisition and use of military grade weaponry and armor by the Oakland police department. The issue has been a point of contention in Oakland ever since an Oakland police officer struck an Iraq war veteran named Scott Olsen in the head with a "flexible baton round" in the Occupy Oakland protests of October 2011 (see image right). Olsen received permanent brain injuries from the incident and filed a federal suit against the city, which ended in March 2014 with a settlement that awarded $4.5 million to Olson. Twelve other Oaklanders, who sustained injuries in the same protests, received $1.17 million.[7] The debate over militarization in Oakland has continued in the wake of the riots in Ferguson, Missouri that occurred in the late summer of 2014 and after a large-scale police training exercise and equipment trade show called Urban Shield took place in the city in early September.[8][9] Opinions on police militarization amongst Oakland's 2014 candidates have varied from outright condemnation to vocal support.[6][10]

Economic inequality

In February 2014, a study from the Brookings Institution ranked Oakland seventh in the nation in terms of the city's economic inequality. The report found that between 2007 and 2012 the average income of Oakland households in the 20th percentile averaged about $17,646 per year while households in the 95th percentile averaged about $223,965 per year.[11] Only three years before the Brookings study was released, the U.S. Census Bureau found that approximately 27% of the city's children live in households with an income of $23,000 or less.[12]

For many of Oakland's 2014 municipal candidates, the question of how to grapple with this issue has become a focal point. Candidate arguments have included creating new job opportunities in the city's port, focusing on education and supporting "Measure FF," a 2014 ballot measure that will ask voters to approve or disapprove raising the city's minimum wage to $12.25 per hour.[6]

Professional sports

The Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum as viewed from the south.

Oakland’s professional sports teams have also entered the mix in 2014. Since 2006, Oaklanders have been faced with the possibility that the city’s professional baseball team, the A’s, could relocate to elsewhere in California. The team's interest in relocating stems largely from its dissatisfaction with their Oakland venue, the Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum, an older stadium that the A's share with the Oakland Raiders, the city’s professional football team. In 2006, the A’s initiated a plan to relocate to the city of Fresno, California under the agreement that Fresno would construct a new stadium. In 2009, however, it was announced that the deal had fallen through.[13] Over the summer of 2014, the city of Oakland made some progress toward keeping the A’s in Oakland when the team agreed to a ten-year contract with the city. The deal dictated that the A’s would pay a $1.7 million penalty per year if they left Oakland before the contract expired. However, the deal also required the city to begin exploring the possibility of constructing of a new stadium. Negotiations between Oakland and the A’s have been ongoing ever since.[14]

The Oakland Raiders have also signaled an interest in relocating. With their contract ending in 2014, the Raiders have entertained offers from other cities such as Santa Clara, California, Los Angeles, California and San Antonio, Texas. Once again, the problem revolves around dissatisfaction with the Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum. In September 2014, it was reported that the city had offered a deal to the Raiders involving the construction a new $1.2 billion stadium. Though projected future revenues from the complex would pay for most of the construction costs, part of the deal requires Oakland to absorb $120 million in debt from renovations to the Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum that were done in the 1990s.[15] As of September 19, negotiations are still ongoing.[16]

The possibility of the A's and/or the Raiders leaving Oakland has become an important political issue in Oakland. Both teams have long histories with the city and are generally considered to be important parts of the Oakland economy. Equally important, however, is the question of how the city would pay off the $120 million debt involved in the potential deal with the Raiders.[6][17]

Recent news

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See also

External links

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References

  1. City of Oakland, "Municipal Election November 4, 2014," accessed March 10, 2014
  2. Contra Costa Times, "Pat Kernighan won't seek re-election to Oakland council," December 16, 2013
  3. 3.0 3.1 SFGate, "Crowded field a challenge for Oakland mayor, voters," August 31, 2014
  4. Alameda County Registrar of Voters, "Ranked-Choice Voting," accessed on September 11, 2014
  5. KTVU "Oakland gets $2M state grant to reduce recidivism, improve policing," August 11, 2014
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 KQED News, "Oakland Mayoral Candidates Talk Tough on Issues Facing the City," September 5, 2014
  7. KPED, "Iraq Vet Scott Olsen Settles ‘Occupy’ Suit Against Oakland," March 21, 2014
  8. CBS News San Francisco, "‘Urban Shield’ Event In Oakland Shines Light On Police Militarization," September 4, 2014
  9. CBS News San Francisco, "Police Militarization Opponents Protest ‘Urban Shield’ Training Exercise In Oakland," September 5, 2014
  10. KTVU, "Kaplan wants half of police officers to be Oakland residents," September 3, 2014
  11. Brookings Institute, "All Cities Are Not Created Unequal," February 20, 2014
  12. The Bay Citizen, "Child Poverty in Oakland Skyrockets," November 29, 2011
  13. Sacramento Business Journal, “A’s abandon plans for Fremont park,” February 24, 2009
  14. ESPN.com, "A's reach deal to stay in Oakland," July 22, 2014
  15. Sports World News, "Oakland Raider Rumors: Mark Davis Reaches Deal for Raiders Future; Black Hole Set to Relocate?," September 3, 2014
  16. Silver and Black Pride, "Mark Davis denies deal has been reached on new stadium in Oakland," September 19, 2014
  17. SFgate, "Oakland mayoral debate: The Scorecard," September 17, 2014