A group of 33 activists and neighbors, all from District 2, say that Pat Kernighan is their clear choice for City Council, based on her proven record for achieving tangible results in this district, her careful listening and responding to the needs of her constituents, her bridge-building abilities, and her integrity and civility.

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Our Choice is Clear

We can choose:

  • Tangible results or rhetoric.
  • Community service or self-service.
  • True-blue character and perseverance or convenient re-invention.
  • Someone who builds bridges or someone who builds walls.
  • A consistently effective City Councilwoman or an ambitious campaigner.

Let’s be clear. Our choice is not ideological. Both candidates are antiwar and concerned about human issues. To employ simplistic labels such as “progressive” is to obscure the real distinctions between these two candidates—and the distinctions are great. Community leaders from all corners of District 2 have looked at those distinctions and have overwhelmingly endorsed Pat Kernighan.

Significantly, this includes five of the seven candidates who ran against Pat and Aimee in the May 2005 Special Election, in which Pat was first elected to the City Council. Their support speaks volumes because they, individually, represent very different constituencies and have widely divergent political perspectives. All five have endorsed Pat Kernighan because she has earned their loyalty and respect. They trust that Pat will be a force on the Council sharing their spirit of inclusion and respect for all people. (None of the seven candidates and former opponents has endorsed Aimee.)

In his letter of endorsement, Paul Garrison—former board member of the Public Ethics Commission and President of the Haddon Hill Neighborhood Association—wrote:

I look for the following in my representatives: vision, progressive values and results. To me it’s no contest. I’m voting for Pat Kernighan because of her passionate and Democratic values, her integrity, and proven track record.

In her press release, Shirley Gee—Asian community activist, open government advocate, and founder of the Dragon boat races—wrote:

Promises of deeds to come seldom trump actual history of performance, irregardless of stated policy positions.

In his letter of endorsement, David Kakishiba—President of the Oakland School Board, Executive Director of the East Bay Asian Youth Center, author of Kids First legislation, and leader of the Oak to Ninth Community Benefits Coalition—wrote:

Pat has proven to be an effective and hardworking advocate for the neighborhoods in which I live and work (Eastlake, San Antonio, 23rd Avenue corridor). Whether it’s getting the new stoplight installed at 22nd Avenue & International Boulevard, or her bold efforts to stop the State’s sale of property where 800 neighborhood children go to school, or her organizing community clean-ups along 23rd Avenue, or her leadership in legislating the construction of 500 affordable housing units and 300 construction jobs for neighborhood families at the Oak to Ninth development, Pat Kernighan is the kind of honest and compassionate can-do City Council representative we want and need.

In her endorsement letter, Pamela Drake—a veteran Oakland community, education, and anti-war activist and Director of the Lakeshore Avenue Business Improvement District—wrote:

Pat is ready and willing to work with Mayor elect Dellums. What’s more, she’s in a better position to communicate the needs and concerns of our diverse district to our new mayor since she’s been part of the struggles to implement community policing, develop and maintain our parks, promote neighborhood serving retail, and led the fight for local control of our Oakland school property. Pat is already serving our neighborhoods and for that she deserves our support.

In his endorsement letter Justin Horner—an affordable housing advocate and legislative aide to Councilmember Jane Brunner—wrote:

Pat has proven herself a strong leader, a sensible voice, and a strong advocate for District 2 on the Council. Her personal style has brought more civility and honesty to debates in City Hall. She is a person of great integrity; reasonable and thoughtful. In Pat, there truly are “real vision, real results.”

Pat Kernighan is the embodiment of a real public servant. She is known—to both her constituents and her peers—as a hard working, honest broker; a professional who listens intently; builds coalitions; hammers out solutions which she then works to implement. There are dozens of stories of Pat doing just that in service to her constituents:

Greg and Naomi Hartwig are residents of the San Antonio and Co-Chairs of the Manzanita Neighborhood Crime Prevention Council (NCPC, beat 18Y). They wrote:

In the short time Pat has been in office, District 2 has experienced more improvement than in the 12 previous years we have lived here, and she has maintained her integrity while facing a down and dirty campaign against her. Pat stands as a shining example of excellence in elected leadership.

Greg’s letter to the Tribune—here or here, from October 31st, expanded on these comments.

From Liz Borowiec—Board member of the Lake Merritt Institute and Friends of the San Francisco Estuary, and a member of the Measure DD Community Coalition:

I was disappointed that Pat didn’t get the endorsement of the Sierra Club, because I think the work she’s done with Measure DD makes it a no-brainer; she puts her environmental values to work. Thanks to Pat, in the next few years, Lake Merritt will be both cleaner and safer. As an environmentalist and an activist for Lake Merritt, it’s easy to see the direct improvements that have been and will be made to the environment thanks to Pat’s leadership and dedication.

Carl Chan—from the Oakland Chinatown Chamber Foundation—wrote about Pat’s addressing Chinatown’s needs:

She has delivered on her promises every time. She has been responsive to our concerns for pedestrian safety and crime. Pat has shown her concern for the senior community by providing financial support for Madison Square Park and the Tai Chi Group who exercise daily at the Bart Station. She listened and helped when our residents complained about parking rates at the Oakland Pacific Renaissance Plaza and with Pat’s leadership we’ve been able to help the Oakland Asian Cultural Center. Pat Kernighan is the City Council Representative who works for Chinatown. It’s very important that Pat is reelected to City Council.

Sam Cohen, twelve-year Oakland volunteer says:

Pat is a rarity—a humble politician. Pat Kernighan has earned my vote by taking on dozens of neighborhood issues and helping resolve them one at a time. I’ve seen Pat’s work on drug dealing, violence, blight, code violations and parks to make Oakland a better place to live. That’s why I’m voting for her.

Ann Katz—founder and Director of the East Bay Children’s Book project—provides this perspective:

The Grand Lake Neighborhood Center is a very special and unique place where neighbors gather. It provides access to computers, fax and Xerox machines and hosts meetings, classes and performances. Its walls double as an art gallery. Tutors, artists and musicians hang out there. Home to the Children’s Book Project for just over a year, we’ve given 54,000 free books to needy children. The city of Oakland was ready to close it down until Pat intervened. She had the vision to see the importance of a neighborhood center for this community and worked extremely hard to convince her fellow council members of its relevance. We thank you, Pat.

Arin Hailey Reese—Walker Avenue resident and eight-year Grand Lake resident says:

Chalk it up to the “new mom” perspective: It’s hard to disagree with Allison’s ideals as an antiwar progressive, but this is a City Council District election and I want a candidate who is interested in protecting and improving my city, specifically my neighborhood, for me and my family. I’m in touch with my representatives in state and federal government on my feelings about big issues, but in a city councilperson I want someone who’s really out there in the neighborhood advocating for the things we need and use every day, e.g., a walking beat officer, a quality grocery store, better and safer parks and schools for our kids.

Bob Archibald and Mary Ellen Navas—cofounders of the Grand Lake Grime Busters are grateful for Pat’s actions:

Although she had repeatedly lobbied Chief Tucker to assign a walking beat officer to the Grand Lake area, he resisted due to an understaffed department. It took a tragic murder on Grand Avenue and 150 concerned neighbors who came to a meeting with the Chief that Pat quickly arranged and facilitated to get him to change his mind. Faced with a crisis, Pat didn’t grandstand. She thoughtfully and forcefully acted. Within weeks, Officer Ken Kim was assigned permanently to patrol Grand and Lakeshore. Pat continues to fight for walking beat officers in all commercial districts; for implementation of violence prevention programs; and for a strong commitment to community policing. These are just a few of the many reasons we support Pat’s re-election. She is the person we trust to represent us and do what needs to be done.

The above testimonials reflect a very small sample of Pat’s experience and grassroots support in all corners of District 2. To approximate its true breadth, please visit the League of Women Voters Smart Voters website and scan down the list of individuals and organizations that have endorsed Pat. You’ll find Neighborhood Crime Prevention Councils, school principals, local business associations, neighborhood associations, park improvement organizations and other such groups too numerous to mention.

The undersigned join them in enthusiastically endorsing Pat Kernighan’s re-election. As long time neighborhood activists we have known no other City Council representative who has been able in such a short time to build such a long list of genuine accomplishments and service. Pat’s accomplishments derive not only from her leadership but also from her talented and hardworking staff, who are dedicated to improving our community and contributing to the revitalization of all of Oakland.

The vision is clear: by building a more vibrant and active district, Pat has begun to create a partnership that will serve us all in next four years. Our choice is clear. Our CHOICE is to REELECT PAT KERNIGHAN.


Ann Katz, Founder and Director
East Bay Children's Book Project
Ariel Trost and Jesse Goldhammer
Grand Lake homeowners
Arin Hailey Reese and Amanda Brown Stevens
Walker Avenue Moms for Pat Kernighan
Arvi Dorsey and Maggie Kostoff
Rose Garden Neighborhood Association
Beth Christensen and Jana Hardy
Co-Chairs, Grand Lake Community Council
Byrne Reese and Adam Van de Water
Co-chairs, Walker Watch Association
Carl Chan
Oakland Chinatown Chamber Foundation
Christopher York
Friends of the Morcom Rose Garden
Daniel San Souci
Children's book author /illustrator
Dave Latina
LGBT community activist
Denise Young
Co-director, East Bay Children's Book Project
Ellen Lynch
Brooklyn Block Club; 17Y NCPC
Frank D. Russo, Publisher, California Progress Report,
and Past Chair, Alameda County Democratic Party
Jo Ann Driscoll
Board member, Keep Oakland Beautiful
Dr. Katie Hicks
Faculty, Highland Hospital
Liz Borowiec
Board member, Lake Merritt Institute; Friends of the San Francisco Estuary; Member, Measure DD Community Coalition
Loretta San Souci
Public School teacher/librarian
Marilyn Clark
East Park NCPC (17X)
Mark Daly
Secretary, 17Y NCPC
Dawn Hawk, Community board member
Friends of Bella Vista Park
Mary Ellen Navas and Bob Archibald
Co-founders, Grand Lake Grime Busters
Naomi and Greg Hartwig
Co-Chairs Manzanita NCPC (18Y)
Robert Klinger, elected member
Central City East Redevelopment Board
Sam Cohen
Environmental Engineer & neighborhood volunteer
Susan Bergmann and Dean Morier
NCPC Beat 17 members
Susan Veit
Member, League of Women Voters

Organizations listed are for the purpose of identification only and do not represent endorsements of those groups.