District Two Candidates Debate
The pivotal council race between Aimee Allison and one-year inclumbent Pat Kernighan may be close - certainly the campaigning is vigorous. The district includes much of the DTO southeast of 14th and Broadway (ie, Chinatown and Laney College), Eastlake, San Antonio, Park Boulevard, Grand Lake, Trestle Glen and Crocker Highlands. It is ground zero for some of the city's most controversial issues, from downtown condo construction to the school board headquarters to Oak-to-Ninth. It is probably the most diverse district in one of the most diverse cities in the world. The candidates couldn't offer a sharper contrast: an experienced, compromise-minded liberal do-gooder versus a firebrand ideologue looking to capitalize on anti-war fervor.
The two meet across the street from the district line, at City Hall, on Friday. The League of Women Voters sponsors a debate at 6:30 (or perhaps 6, it's not clear). This should be interesting and hopefully well-covered by the local media. Recent developments in the race include Pat's endorsement from third-place primary finisher Shirley Gee, and the Guardian's lack of a mention of Allison in their current endorsement issue (they found space to urge us to vote for Sandre Swanson, though).
In other news, also across the street from District 2, a long-time downtown Oakland bar is closing after this weekend. The Golden Bull, on 14th next to Geoffrey's, is closing after fifteen years of operation by Ms. Lee and, recently, her son Jamal. Jamal is taking his liquor license with him to a new place down the street (to open in a few months), but downtown is losing its best place to get a martini at noon.