The Oakland Tribune has just published one of those obligatory good-government pieces that review the positions of candidates for public office. This time, it's Nancy Nadel's City Council seat, which encompasses West Oakland, downtown, and Adams Point. Former school board member Greg Hodge and social worker Sean Sullivan are running against her, so let's review where the candidates stand on the issues!
Crime: Nadel wants the police department fully staffed, social programs, and conflict resolution. Hodge wants the police department fully staffed, social programs, and conflict resolution. Sullivan wants the police department fully staffed and conflict resolution. Oh, and cool crime-fighting software.
The economy: Nadel wants green, sustainable development and more inclusive job-training programs. Hodge wants green, sustainable development and more inclusive job-training programs. Sullivan wants green, sustainable development and more inclusive job-training programs.
Okay, we kid. A little. Actually, there are some mild distinctions among the candidates. Nadel wants to beef up the police investigations arm (more of this, please), Hodge wants "first-time home-buyers programs" to encourage cops and teachers to live in the communities they serve. (Considering the housing market is actually driving prices down, and cops hate living near their patrols, this sounds like a long shot.) Sullivan wants to use workforce housing to lure more cops into the ranks. (See cop animus against Oakland, above.)
But the biggest difference has got to be whether to preserve vacant industrial land for light industry, especially green technology. Nadel wants to keep it industrial, because if those green tech gigs come in, local residents could finally get some decent jobs. Sullivan wants market-rate housing and condos! Finally, some blood in the water! Something to fight about! And where does Hodge fall on this? He favors a "balanced approach." Oh c'mon, Greg. Take a stand.