Dawn McMahan 
Member since Oct 9, 2012


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Recent Comments

Re: “Ignacio's Successor

I wrote my comment with absolutely no special interest groups supporting me, and a grass-roots campaign. You can see pictures of hand-made signs created by our neighborhood at www.dawnmcmahanforoakland.net.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Dawn McMahan on 10/09/2012 at 10:23 PM

Re: “Ignacio's Successor

I am very curious...why are there only three main candidates? What criterion are you using to measure this? Money? Special Interest Groups supporting me? Being a professional politician? Then yes, you are correct, but are these really accurate measuring tools for a strong, accessible, intelligent leader with a highly developed skill set that is needed - not only for District 5 - but for the well-functioning of the City Council, and Oakland in general? I invite you to interview me. You are welcome to come by the Oak Tree Arts Center; I have been serving the children and families in my community out of my home here, to nurture a village, and it's been for the development of my work for the city...but call first. Sometimes I am picking up neighborhood children from their assigned school 45 blocks away, or taking them to the library. It's just part of what I do with my programs, my company. I speak about curfews and gang injunctions from my training and education in Substance Abuse, Homelessness, Social Services, Conflict Resolution, Mediation, and treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, the Arts as well as the history of Oakland...not from warm fuzzies. What you missed in my view on this, is that our journey out of violence cannot be a simple solution; shaming lectures obviously don't work, nor do threats and imprisonment. We can look at other cities who have been more successful than we have in controlling it, but we have a unique history, our own cultures, our own strengths and weaknesses. The answer cannot be one-dimensional, as badly as we want it to be...unless you are interested in simply running everyone out of town that is causing trouble - like East Palo Alto successfully did in the 80's when they teamed up with the Palo Alto Police (and where did they run to? Wasn't there a violence spike in Oakland then?). For me, the buck stops here. We should be taking care of our own people. It's more difficult to do so, but it's cowardly not to. We have to deal with the cause of it; more police just isn't enough, and it's a systemic infection, it's not just about gangs. There is already a 51% recidivism rate with Santa Rita Jail, and most ex-convicts live here. More arrests? Doesn't that also put the police in harm's way? Do we want to invest more intensity into this dynamic, insuring that it doesn't end, and passing the rage onto generations to come from the ensuing injustices that always happen in circumstances like this? Let's think upon the drug wars for a moment. Let's think upon the LA riots. Let's think upon the Prohibition era. This is part of my inspiration in collaborating with other service organizations to create an intelligent, effective, free, multi-lingual, multi-cultural program to serve our city with my nonprofit, work I started before even considering my candidacy...as well as the work I will do as a city councilperson in this arena; bringing for-profits and non-profits together in support of each other as well as our schools, and create much more communication and collaboration with non-profits and service organizations. We are a city trying to find our way, we need strong leadership. When Mayor Quan was first elected, she stated that she wanted to 'organize the neighborhoods'. I am taking up that banner, especially since it will save the city money, create more revenue, more jobs for the underserved as well as provide more services of high quality, and encourage new businesses to come here. And yes, open hearts. I will be out there with a committee to aid the non-profits that provide services to the city, such as Friends of the Oakland Public Library, to raise money and receive more funding so that those extremely important programs won't be reliant upon the city for money. And before you interview me, you should look on my website at www.dawnmcmahanforoakland.net as I have put a lot of information there. One other thing...Our strength is in our diversity. I do not lump people who speak Spanish as if they all come from the same country or culture called Hispania or Latinoatia, and I invite you to do the same. People come to this country for all sorts of reasons, and our district is incredibly diverse. Here at the Pythia Arts Foundation, we advocate for the sharing of different perceptions of life, the world, beauty, reality...to foster understanding of different cultures, empowerment of human dignity, and expansion of thinking. We have been nurturing a multi-cultured village on an intimate level with the neighboring families at the Oak tree Arts Center. I have been taking this risk of releasing a barrier and opening my home for this, learning and helping with their struggles as a social services provider as well as being a teacher and supporter of cultural sharing. I have created my programs simply because they needed to be done here, from the expressed needs of my neighborhood. I carry this attitude passionately forward into my candidacy. All of us candidates come from different places, classes, education, very different backgrounds; I am sure the others have fascinating stories. I invite you to interview me about mine. I am quite used to living with a high level of transparency. The arts are an important part of this answer too, part of my platform, and another whole discussion. I appreciate that you aren't talking about me in relation to Ignatio, as he has avoided me for years. With all of the community work I have done, he never allowed a conference. I am here to learn. If you haven't heard about me, it's my fault. I usually don't put much effort into advertising, which is not so good in this situation, is it?

2 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Dawn McMahan on 10/09/2012 at 4:56 PM

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