Oakland has had a slew of mayoral candidate forums and debates, all leading up to the election on November 4. Surprisingly, there has been little coverage of the sports franchises and their impacts, save for the occasional easy-to-dodge question here and there. Thankfully, Zennie Abraham has seen fit to host his own forum. Named the Oakland Sports Forum, the event will be held this Wednesday, October 29, from 6 to 8 PM at Lakeshore Baptist Church in Oakland.
Abraham, who does a lot of video in addition to blogging, will be livestreaming the forum on YouTube as well. If there’s a Game 7, you may have to multitask.
A set of four questions will be posed to mayoral candidates who show up. So far 12 of the 15 have confirmed. Here are the questions:
- Wild card question from audience submitted beforehand, asked by that person. (1 min per candidate, then 10 minute conversation period with moderators.)
- The Golden State Warriors are working to build an arena in San Francisco. Some say the deal is done and its too late to stop it. But others say that the Warriors belong here in Oakland, still owe Oakland and Alameda County rent that would pay off the bond that was issued to pay for arena renovation in 1998, and should not be allowed to skip town. What is your take? (1 min per candidate, then 10 minute conversation period with moderators.)
- The Oakland Raiders and the Oakland A’s need new stadiums. As I speak, Coliseum City is in the early planning stages, but could progress better – financing has not been completely secured. Is Coliseum City the right approach, and if it’s not, then what would you push for as Mayor? The ballpark waterfront proposal? (1 min per candidate, then 10 minute conversation period with moderators.)
- The Oakland / Alameda County Joint Powers Authority was formed to provide a government issuing body for the Raider Bonds. Lately, the JPA has been the focus of strained City and County relationships, and I’m presenting that in an open-ended fashion. What, if anything, should be done with the JPA, and as Mayor what will you do to make that happen? (1 min per candidate, then 10 minute conversation period with moderators.)
It’s a good set of questions which should keep the candidates from being too vague in their responses. The responses will be scored – how very sports – and a winner will be announced at the end of the proceedings.
It’s been eight years sense the “Choose or Lose” forum prior to the 2006 election. This shapes up to be a more substantive event than the last one. Maybe there will even be an adult conversation.