Unambiguous Promises

A trustworthy candidate with sensible solutions.

Principles and practices are necessary, but not sufficient, for a candidate to earn our votes. They must commit to accomplishing specific outcomes on which they would be willing to be evaluated. Somehow this concept applies to all other aspects of our society, except our political system. From CEOs to line workers, from teachers to students, and from trainers to athletes, everyone is held accountable to achieving a set of pre-established outcomes, but not our politicians. In a stark contrast to this anomaly, I have listed explicit, measurable, and verifiable outcomes that I pledge to accomplish, and expect to be judged by, in the first three years of my term as your mayor.

  • Refuse Undue Influence. I will donate all campaign contributions above $45, or from corporation, developers or non-Oaklanders to Causa Justa or other Oakland-based housing advocacy non-profits.
  • Be Transparent. I will publish my entire calendar and report on progress on established metrics on the city website every 90 days.
  • Return Power to the People. Sponsor a ballot initiative to reduce number of signatures needed for a ballot initiative by 50%, similar to surrounding municipalities (e.g., San Francisco, Berkeley, etc.).
  • Restore Democracy. Sponsor an ordinance to grant voting rights to parolees for city-wide elections.
  • Implement Participatory Budgeting Process. Create a structured, objective, and actionable mechanism for collecting input from all to ensure that the city’s budgets reflects the city’s priorities, not mine or the city council’s.
  • De-uglify All Gateways to Oakland. Create a welcome feeling at every entry point (freeway ramps, airport, train/bus stations) with a combination of landscaping and artscaping.
  • Bring Oak back to Oakland. Embark on an initiative to create a canopy along all major streets in Oakland by planting hundreds of oak trees per year for a pleasant, comfortable, and healthy experience throughout the city.
  • Eradicate All Unused Railroad Tracks. Either remove or pave over all railroad tracks that are not in use.
  • Prepare for Transportation Revolution. Widen sidewalks, expand bike paths, and modify streets in preparation for autonomous vehicles and reduced street parking demand.
  • Expand Safe Public Spaces. Introduce legislation to grant public access to vacant lots and to impose a one-time fee to improve them for use by the community as mini-parks, playgrounds, urban gardens, etc. The property owner will continue to retain full rights for future development.
  • End Graffiti. Employ an aggressive plan to cover graffiti within 24 hours, impose tax on sale of spray paint, and provide alternative means for expression of creativity to street artists. As the old adage goes, we have a tremendous opportunity to make lemonade from lemons in this case. We just need to think creatively and collaborate with street artists.
  • Draft Fair Housing Policies. Form a coalition with representation from housing advocates, homeless residents, landlords, and government agencies to draft a comprehensive housing policy that encompasses affordable homes, proper renter protections, and programs and services to assist our homeless residents.
  • Provide Homeless Services. Provide hygiene facilities consisting of showers, grooming services, and laundry throughout Oakland and expand availability of public restrooms in city-owned properties, such as parks, city hall, OPD HQ, etc. with no fewer than 1 restroom per 50 homeless individuals open around the clock and maintained regularly.
  • Combat Alcohol and Drug Abuse. Introduce legislation to tax alcohol sales and direct funds for building public bathrooms and offering substance abuse recovery programs, housing assistance, and job search and skill training services.
  • Address Public Safety at its Core. To achieve true public safety, we must address our housing, jobs, and education inadequacies. As such, my budget will reallocate no less than 30% of OPD’s budget in equal amounts to affordable housing, jobs training, and quality education initiatives.
  • Hire Oakland officers. To have Community Policing, we must have Police from the Community. Each year, I will personally and actively recruit 40-60 Oakland-based cadets to join OPD. In three years, we will have tripled the number of Oakland-based officers in OPD.
  • Withdraw from Urban Shield. Instead of participating in an event that promotes militaristic tactics against our community, I will mandate that our police officers attend de-escalation and community integration training events.
  • Encourage Building Occupancy. Sponsor a ballot initiative to levy fees on unoccupied/abandoned buildings and use the funds for Restorative Justice and Community Policing initiatives and other programs to strengthen community relationship with OPD.
  • Honor the Loss of Every Life. I refuse to treat loss of life in Oakland as just a nameless statistic! My administration will recognize the loss of every life caused by violence in Oakland by lowering the city flags and mandate that the Chief of Police conduct an in-depth analysis of the incident with specific recommendations to prevent future recurrence to be presented to the public within 90 days.
  • Delegate Mayor-appointed Police Commissioners to Selection Panel. Delegate appointment of the Mayor’s three Police Commission appointees to the Selection Panel.
  • Publish An Unambiguous Policy on Releasing Police Videos. To gain public trust in our law enforcement, we must be transparent in our policing policies, particularly in sensitive situations where public trust is at risk.
  • Increase Minimum Wage. Introduce legislation to increase minimum wage to $16 by 2020, and $1 per year thereafter to $20 by 2024, with provisions to protect small business owners against unintended collateral costs, such as escalating rent, Workers’ Compensation insurance, etc.
  • Establish Public Bank of Oakland. Introduce legislation for formation of a Public Bank in Oakland to handle city’s finances, serve as a source of commercial financing, and banking option for the cannabis industry. 
  • Dump Waste Management. Introduce legislation to initiate transition of trash collection from Waste Management to the City of Oakland, thereby generating 100s of jobs and saving the city hundreds of millions of dollars.
  • Combat Exploitation of the Unbanked. Work with Oakland-based non-profit community-based services to offer short-term loans and financial education to the unbanked as an alternative to the predatory check cashing services.
  • Implement Free College Tuition. Solicit financial support from high net worth individuals in the area to fund an endowment to pay for college tuition of low-income families in Oakland, similar to Kalamazoo, Michigan.
  • Institute Fair Penalties. Introduce legislation to institute Means-Adjusted Traffic Fines AND payable via Public Service.