My name is Nancy S. Sidebotham and I am running in the November 2 Election to represent District 6 residents on the Oakland City Council.
OAKLAND IS OUR CITY!
My name is Nancy Sidebotham and I am running for the City of Oakland's District 6 council seat. I have been a resident of this wonderful city for 46 years and have lived in District 6 for 30 years. I have an investment in working with you to make this city and our district safe and economically self-sustaining. I have run for this seat a number of times and I have never lost because I am still here working with you to improve our quality of life despite those who pop in and try to mess it up for us. Working to improve this district is my passion. I have, over the last 25 years, been an advocate for open space and creeks, economic revitalization and jobs, community policing, full strength police and fire departments, Neighborhood Watch, CORE, and open/transparent and fair representation in government. I spear headed the move to build the new animal shelter, campaigned successfully to keep out big box development at Leona Quarry, led the fight against the widening of 73rd/Edwards, fought the development of the quarry, worked to clean up the car washing/detail business on the church grounds at the top of 73rd, and joined with the community to shut down the OneStop Liquor store at 60th and MacArthur. I have been involved one way or another on many issues that have impacted our,neighborhoods, district and the city as a whole.
I continue to work for the community as Chair of the Beat 29X (Burbank Millsbrae) Neighborhood Crime Prevention Council and member of the Community Policing Advisory Board (CPAB). Through the use of an extensive email network I get information out regarding issues that affect neighborhoods and citizens throughout Oakland. I helped get the word out about the management problems at the animal shelter and the plan to cut hundreds of old growth trees at Lake Merritt. I worked with neighbors and businesses to clean up problem locations. I formed Merchant Associations and sat on the board of Shop Oakland. I am against parcel taxation in order to fund programs and services that we are already paying for with our hard earned and scarce dollars. We have a budget that is out of control and a leadership that just does not get it! I am calling for a full audit of all (General and Redevelopment) of Oakland's books, going back a minimum of 10 years, by an outside agency overseen by the Federal Government. We can not continuously asked to pay and to place the burden of Oakland's fiscal problems on the property owners. To date there has been no open discussion or an honest/true depiction of how and where Oakland spends it's huge budget. This has got to stop! To get loans, documentation and disclosure is a requirement. To continue to ask the property owners to pay for services which have little or no oversight and becomes a shell game that Oakland's leadership has become quite good at, is a disgrace and an insult to the residents of this wonderful City.
I have also been a strong advocate denouncing redevelopment. The lack of substantive progress and waste of the millions of tax dollars that have gone into this program since it's inception 60 years ago to end urban blight, needs a full blown audit. This is a State run program with little oversight and a boon for developers. There have been a few developers who have become multi millionaires and have had their debts forgiven, because of this greed incentive program. Redevelopment has been constantly mismanaged and the areas that should be impacted are paying to fund other parts of the City at a high cost from what Redevelopment was originally designed for.
I have stated some of the things I have been involved with but you might ask what I will bring to the District and City if I am elected. I will bring passion, hard work, honesty, integrity, and a demand for open/transparent government run by clean money. Backroom deals need to stop and honest, open discussions with us, the stakeholders, have to be at the forefront and be the guide in developing the future of Oakland.
I am a very strong advocate of hiring qualified individuals to become Oakland Police Officers and fully staffing the Department to the level that represents the population of this wonderful city. Micro-management of OPD by politics and the politicians has got to stop. The laws are very clear; OPD's function is to uphold them and to serve and protect the citizen's of Oakland. The crime in Oakland is citywide not just in one or two neighborhoods. Once OPD is allowed to function as a full department vs. one of maintenance, we will start to see positive change, which in turn will bring down crime. Through the great programs of Neighborhood Watch (NW), Neighborhood Crime Prevention Council's (NCPC) and the philosophy of Community Policing, until recently,these have been a driving force that has brought partnering to a new level between the community and OPD. This partnering along with the Community Policing philosophy needs to be integrated throughout all the departments of the City. There has to be interdepartmental communication that starts with a strong City Administrator and a hands off approach by the City Council who blatantly breaks the law which in Oakland is governed by the City Charter.
Crime has to be curtailed so retail will want to come to Oakland. Our industrial areas need to be protected from greedy developers and those who ride on their coat tails looking to make a killing at the expense of the neighborhoods. The lack of jobs and businesses has allowed rampant crime to overtake our city. We need to stop building housing and instead concentrate on retail, economic growth and cleaning up the blight that predominates throughout East Oakland.
The Army Base is an example of poor planning. This should be the largest retail center for the East Bay. The developer chosen to date has been forgiven over $26 Million Dollars which is owed back to the City. The Council which had the chance to hire a qualified group, who made the bid for the project and bringing in their own financing...costing the city nothing, chose instead to go with the developer who has become a millionaire on our dime and has been forgiven the $26 Million.
There are over 400,000+ residents in this city and yet all I hear from the politicians is that we need to build more housing. I never hear that we need to fix our infrastructure, fill our pot-holes and sidewalks, or take care of the needs of the people who have kept the faith, stayed to continue the fight, and who love and believe in Oakland.
I can continue to mention issues that all of you are concerned about, issues that you believe are unique to your neighborhood. Though the complaints, solutions and experiences are yours they also are part of a bigger picture. I have been honored to work with neighbors and activists throughout Oakland who continue to make sure that we are not forgotten or taken for granted.
Please vote on November 2nd to make a difference. I know that many of you have given up voting because you believe your vote does not count! If all of you who have chosen not to vote in past elections, get out and vote this time, think of the impact your vote will have. Let's break the hold that machine politics and a small number of individuals have held over Oakland for a number of years and bring back control and oversight to the citizens of Oakland.
I would consider it an honor to serve as your next representative for District 6 on the City Council.