Carol Lee TolbertBy Carol Lee Tolbert
Before entering the race, I asked myself three questions. Am I satisfied with the functioning of City Hall? Do I want four more years of the same? If not, what am I willing to do? The answer was to be a ‘Voice for Change’. In my work with youth, I counsel them on making a difference. I found myself having to take my own advice.
My decision to seek the At-Large Council seat was motivated by the ever- increasing crime rate, the Federal Consent Decree that may lead to a takeover of our police department, an unemployment rate of 15%, school closures, growing mistrust in City Hall, lack of recreational activities for youth, limited retail businesses downtown, and the fact that sixty percent of juveniles on probation in Alameda County live in Oakland. This is unacceptable!
In August, according to the FBI, Oakland was the 5th most dangerous city in the nation – it is now the fourth. The City has a looming $2.2 billion unfunded liability and rising. The Council approved the Bus Rapid Transit project with no Hire Oakland First or local contract guarantees. Coliseum City and the Oakland Army Base projects still remain in the planning stages. The Warriors have gone. The Oakland A’s are still considering a move.
I will be your voice for positive change at City Hall. I will restore your trust in the Council’s ability to lead our city. As your At-Large Councilwoman, I will tackle the tough issues of crime, local jobs, business growth, the budget, school closures, youth and resident services as well as our environment. I will work to put teeth in our Hire Oakland First Policy that I helped to draft, along with other community residents, almost 25 years ago.
I will host quarterly community forums throughout the City to keep you informed and solicit your input on issues that affect our lives. I will strengthen the partnership between the City and School District to promote educational equity for Oakland students, support the District’s Community Schools Strategic Plan, and help keep quality neighborhood schools open. I will work with other council members to get things done. I will maintain an open door and ‘open government’ policy to promote transparency, access and accountability. I will support efforts to develop a long-term budgeting process, increase general fund revenue, and maintain fiscal solvency.
Your vote for me is a vote to change the leadership at City Hall. This is our moment. Together, we can make our city a great place to live, work and grow for all Oakland residents. I ask for your first place vote on November 6.