Councilmember Larry Reid entered the Oakland City Council chambers last Thursday evening to a wave of cheers from supporters on hand early for a truly raucous, yet divisive night. Their exuberance was mixed with calls urging for a run for mayor next year by Reid. As he strode to his council seat, he stopped, grinned widely and tried to wave off his supporter’s plea in the same way a comedian feigns modesty from adoring fans by telling them to halt their applause with one hand while employing the other to continue with their good cheer.

After Thursday’s censure meeting for Councilmember Desley Brooks, Reid acknowledged the support slowly bubbling in recent weeks. If he can raise upwards of $400,000 in campaign donations, Reid said, he will take a swing at unseating former council mate Mayor Jean Quan next year.

“I’m considering it,” said Reid. “I’m giving myself until October to decide whether or not I’m going to run. If I’m going to get into the mayor’s race, I don’t want to get into it half-ass. I just don’t want to jump into the race and I have taken all the means to raise all the money to put a campaign together to communicate my message to the voters up in the hills and precincts you can’t walk. If I can raise $400 grand, I’m in the race.” Last month, during another City Council meeting, Reid famously said his mayoral aspirations were awaiting a sign from God.

Reid says he is currently in talks with political allies and fundraisers to help him amass a suitable campaign war chest. However, it has been quite awhile since Reid has been forced to make requisite phone calls hoping to cajole wealthy donors to part with their money. Reid, for instance, needed just $1,000 in fundraising to defeat a host of no-names for re-election last year.

In addition to Quan, others already declared their candidacy for mayor include university professor Joe Tuman and Port of Oakland Commissioner Bryan Parker. Based on demographics alone, the current field, including Reid, if he indeed runs for mayor, strongly favors Quan as the incumbent, but also as the only woman in the race.

Antics by Reid, like those that occurred last Thursday night when he pointedly accused his council colleagues of being racist and hinted at threatening Oakland City Auditor Courtney Ruby, might make crafting a strategy for winning votes in the more wealthy and white Oakland highlands quite difficult.

“I don’t like to use racism,” said Reid Thursday, “but in this institution that I’m a part of, on this council that I’m a part of, racism is alive and well.” The comments left Councilmembers Lynette Gibson McElhaney, Dan Kalb and several staff members behind them with their mouth agape. Later, Reid hurled aspersions at Ruby, who charged him and Councilmember Desley Brooks of violating the City Charter’s non-interference laws. “I’m not saying what the city auditor said about me is true,” said Reid. “And I’d loved just to have her in front of me.”

When asked afterwards whether the racial tenor of his comments were overheated, Reid exclaimed, “No! Because it’s the truth!”

 

 

11 Responses

  1. Jonatton Yeah?

    Please, Oakland, don’t elect this race-baiting, stuck in the ’60’s dimwit.

    “I don’t like to use racism,” said Reid Thursday, “but in this institution that I’m a part of, on this council that I’m a part of, racism is alive and well.”

    Yes. It is. It’s used by you and Brooks at any and every opportunity. Pathetic.

    Reply
  2. Oakie

    Brooks and Reid are the poster kids for why we should not give this City Clowncil another penny of taxpayer money to waste. Vote NO when they ask for new parcel taxes.

    If our city leaders believe they have a right to break city ordinances, then why should any of us be required to follow those same ordinances? Why should we pay our parking tickets if they are above the law? Who gave them the right? The rabble they drag to public meetings when they are called on the carpet for misbehavior?

    There is no rule of law in Oakland. This is how Detroit became Detroit. Do we really want this for our city? If we do not fight back we will get what we deserve.

    A Reid mayoralship will make Dellums’ look like heaven incarnate.

    Reply
  3. A

    “Based on demographics alone, the current field, including Reid, if he indeed runs for mayor, strongly favors Quan as the incumbent, but also as the only woman in the race.”

    I can’t believe I read this, Quan is strongly favored?!?! Based on what assumption? I really hope Reid runs and loses big time. Oakland is never going to change for the better if we keep electing these narcissists.

    Reply
  4. KL

    I like Reid.

    He seems to care passionately for the people of Oakland. He’s unpretentious. He’s direct–which is what this city government needs. He is practical and not “progressive.”

    I would not call him a race-baiter. He simply does not dodge the topic and pretend it is not an issue.

    Reply
  5. i'mthatsucka

    You cannot put any faith in elections in Oakland as long as there is ranked choice voting. That’s how that fraud Quan slithered into the mayor’s office.

    Reply
  6. Danny

    We don’t have look any farther than Larry Reid, Desley Brooks and the rest of the city council to understand why Oakland is dysfunctional.
    Thugs running city hall.
    Thugs running the streets.

    Reply
  7. MIchelle t

    KL
    “I would not call him a race-baiter. He simply does not dodge the topic and pretend it is not an issue.”

    But he can invent an issue?

    Reply
  8. Leslie L

    I hope Mayor Jean Quan gets re-elected. She passionately cares for Oakland. I see her all the time at the Ceasefire: NightWalk. She walks the whole way with the group which takes around 1.5 hour.

    For those who does not know, Ceasefire is the official violent crime fighting strategy for Oakland. Nightwalk is the community part of the strategy. Everyone can join. We, the community, walk NEAR parts of Oakland where the most violent crime happened. Another group, sponsored by Measure Y walks right into area where crimes occurred and offer help.

    I think of it as a night patrol. The more people on the street, the more people feel safe and the less crime happens.

    Reply
  9. blatantly truthful

    To think Brooks and Reid are the only ones breaking ordinances is absurd….Kernighan and Schaff do the same thing but because it’s for the white population in Oakland(Montclair piedmont, etc), it is ignored

    Reply
  10. KL

    Truthful,

    You bring up an important point–something we are to “pretend” we don’t see.

    Former councilman de la Fuente says they all, including Kernighan, has gone to staff to get something done. He called Kernighan, and other councilmenbers favoring the censure, hypocrites.

    So why are Brooks and Reid being singled out? Is it the dreaded “r” word (meaning race)?

    Reply

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