Writer and award-winning illustrator of children’s books, Daniel San Souci, is excited and optimistic about the positive developments in the neighborhood—from Splash Pad Park to Trader Joe’s. And he holds Patricia Kernighan directly responsible.

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Call me an optimist. For twenty seven years I have lived in my Crocker Highlands house, where my wife and I raised our three children. I couldn’t be anymore pleased than I am when I see all the wonderful things that are happening in our neighborhood.

My wife and I will soon start shopping at Trader Joe’s on Lakeshore. No more traveling to Alameda or Emeryville. It’s also exciting to imagine how this will have such a positive effect on all the Grand Lake businesses. Things should really start prospering.

With measure DD, our beloved Lake Merritt will become the “crown jewel” of Oakland. As far back as I can remember, this Lake has been an important part of my life. I’ve seen many ups and downs, but now it will become what it rightfully should be.

And near the lake, sits Splash Pad Park, where neighbors can all congregate in a beautiful and safe area — seniors, children, a wonderfully diverse community at its best. Then on the weekends comes the Farmers’ Market. It has become a ritual of ours to walk down there to meet friends, make new ones, and in the process come back with bags of fresh produce.

Across the street sits my own personal favorite venue — the Children’s Book Project. Not only do they hold events and offer tutoring, but over 50,000 books have been given away to needy children, to encourage them to read. Being a writer and illustrator of children’s books, this has become a home away from home.

These are only a few of the very positive things going on in District 2, with many more upgrades in the works. And they all have one thing in common – they have been the direct result of Council member Patricia Kernighan's vision or her entusiastic support.

Thank you Pat. You have my vote.