Ratna Amin 
Member since May 13, 2008


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Re: “Oakland Candidate Mario Juarez Offices Vandalized

The following letter was submitted by Council President Ignacio De La Fuente to the Chronicle and the Tribune.

Let's Bring Civility to the District 5 Campaign
One month ago, on April 5th, on the evening of my Campaign kick-off, someone threw a brick through my campaign office window at the Fruitvale Transit Village. My campaign staff filed a police report, and the issue is now in the hands of the police.
On the weekend of May 10th, someone smashed in the windows of the campaign office of another candidate running for the District 5 seat, and I ask that the police investigate this matter, as well. Both of these incidences are wrong and reprehensible. Emotions seem to be running higher than usual in this campaign, and while I have my thoughts about why this is, the reasons are really irrelevant. Even in the recent Mayor's race, where we also saw a brick get thrown through our campaign office window, there was generally an atmosphere of civility.
While elections can become very intense and emotional for people, we must not let our emotions cause us to have poor judgment. This current election has had a few negative distractions, resulting in acts of vandalism. This is particularly troubling in these times when we all agree we want this campaign to be about the issues, particularly reducing crime.
I write this open letter to ask everyone to immediately refrain from these types of criminal activities and other forms of negative expressions of emotion, and to focus, instead, on having a positive campaign.
I am aware that there are very strong feelings in the community. It is important that these feelings get translated into positive campaign activities, and are not allowed to manifest into the same acts of violence or criminal activity that we are actively trying to prevent.
If someone has strong feelings, they should go walk a precinct for their desired candidate, or make phone calls, or distribute flyers, or even stand on a street corner and spread their message. But we must keep this campaign civil.
We must be the change we desire. We have many things we have to do to improve our communities—from fixing our parks to repairing our infrastructure to creating more jobs. Of highest concern to all of us is reducing crime.
I do not want to believe that any candidate, or supporter of any candidate, is involved. Let's let the police do their work and find the people who committed the crimes, and let's hope these were just senseless acts of vandalism, and nothing more. Meanwhile, let's all get back to discussing the issues that affect our lives in Council District 5. And let's all of us who are running for elected office be examples of the positive change we are trying to bring to our community.

Ignacio De La Fuente
President, Oakland City Council, District 5

Posted by Ratna Amin on 05/13/2008 at 6:01 PM

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