If you don't want more police, you have a wide range of District 1 candidates to choose from.
First, look at the official election candidate statement booklet to see which candidates called for adding more police from the start of this race. Only two candidates did that: Craig Brandt and myself, Len Raphael. Eliminate us right away and make your ranked choices from the remaining candidates.
Here's where it gets tough. All the other candidates except for the Green Party candidate, Don Macleay, changed their platforms when they started going door-to-door and heard voters demanding more cops.
Since they all now call for more cops, what you need to do is figure out which candidates have no realistic way to pay for them. Those are the ones you want to select.
Endorsements are very helpful in this effort. Look for the candidates endorsed by the big public employee unions. Every candidate supported by those unions has pledged to support the wage protection portion of the city charter's binding arbitration provided only to police and fire fighters. They have stated that police and fire compensation should be preserved and protected.
It doesn’t matter that Alameda County sheriffs get 22% less than OPD or that we could hire retired Special Forces vets with 4 year degrees for 30% less than we pay OPD cops. We now pay cops and fire fighters an average of $200k/year in wages and benefits. That's without counting overtime. If you want to double the cops and keep paying them $200k/year the way Amy Lemley now lists as her top priority, you would have to come up with $126 Million more money per year.
Since Mayor Quan's latest budget press release said that not only is Oakland in the hole but the situation is getting worse ("...expenditures—including those for deferred capital assets and long‐term liabilities—are expected to significantly exceed revenues over the next five years."), Amy is an excellent selection if you want fewer cops. She will tell you how she'll grow the City's tax revenues and find cost savings to grow the current General Fund more than 25% from its total $400Mill. We never reached those lofty revenue heights even at the peak of the real estate bubble. It's guaranteed to fail.
So it's safe to choose Amy if you DON'T want more cops because she'll never come close to getting the money to pay for five or six hundred more $200k/year police. Since Amy has both the official Police and the official Fire union seal of approval, you can be sure she won't be trying to lower their compensation.
Amy should be your first choice.
Richard Raya doesn't make adding more cops a high priority. But to the extent he wants to increase the number of cops, he repeatedly tells us that he'll do it the way he balanced the budget at the Alameda County Health Dept. Richard has publicly conceded that his Alameda Health Department method of cutting budgeted but unfilled job staff positions has already been tried by Deanna Santana. So now he must be depending on a low-budget Ceasefire program to cut crime. Best of luck to Ceasefire on a shoestring with a police department in tatters.
Richard is a good pick for a no-more-cops ranked choice number 2.
Don't overlook Richard's other fiscal experience. He raised $30 Billion for new school construction in cooperation with the construction industry. He did that the old fashioned way: borrowed $30 Billion from Wall Street. That borrowing approach has a lot of appeal to our local politicians, who recently used it on that pesky PFRS pension problem. It is the ultimate kick the can down the road for younger and future residents to pay. That would help ensure we'd never have enough money to pay for more cops at any cost.
Now for Dan Kalb. About a month ago, even before he was mugged, Dan added something to his platform about hiring some more cops and civilian investigators to get us closer to the old 803 staffing promised by the politicians when they sold us the Measure Y parcel tax. After adding some cops, he would commission a study to decide if we need more cops. Studies in Oakland are always a good way to kill something.
He'd also add a modest $20 annual parcel tax on top of our existing $60/year Measure Y tax. Since Kalb supports paying cops and fire $200K/year, his parcel tax would pay for about 33 more cops to bring us up to say 670 police. Since 33 more cops isn't even worth the cost of annoying the voters with yet another parcel tax, Dan is a pretty safe bet in terms of no-more-cops.
Better make Dan your number 3 choice.
For those of you who oppose adding more cops, you have many excellent choices from the field of District 1 Council candidates.
Len Raphael, CPA
Candidate for Oakland City Council, District 1
4521 Telegraph Ave (Original Kasper's Hot Dogs)
Oakland, CA 94609 LensForChange.com
Len and his wife, Betty, serving residents at the Original Kasper's Hot Dogs.