Monday, May 5, 2008

Campaign Update: Defeat Patrick McCullough for Oakland District 1!

It's been too long since I have updated this blog on the Campaign to Defeat Patrick McCullough. 

Listen to our first attempt at a Campaign to Defeat Patrick McCullough YouTube video from the campaign. There is more to come!

Here is a recap of the work that we have done in the past month:

Outreach at the Temescal Farmer's Market
We have done outreach on six consecutive Sundays at the Temescal Farmer's Market in the DMV parking lot on Claremont in North Oakland. Many people have already gotten the information and every week we meet folks who were thinking about voting for McCullough and who are rethinking their positions!  We have been set up right next to McCullough himself, so the campaign has been quite lively!  One the first day out, McCullough told one of our members that she "was going to lose her house."  Last Sunday, McCullough, after taking pictures of our table, said that he would "see us in court!"

Candidates Forums
We have attended four different candidates forums - the April 5th forum sponsored by the League of Women Voter's at Oakland City Hall, the April 19th forum in Temescal sponsored by STAND, the April 28th forum sponsored by Black Women United for Political Action and the May 2nd forum sponsored by United Seniors at St. Mary's off of San Pablo Ave.

We reached hundreds of people through leafletting at these forums and have had success in putting McCullough on the spot.  At the STAND forum, he admitted to shooting 15 year old Melvin McHenry. Before the forum, one of his campaigners took one of our leaflets, crumpled it up and threw it on the ground.  (A similar tactic used by McCullough's "security coordinator" Kevin Thomas at the Temescal Farmer's Market.)  At the forum sponsored by Black Women United for Political Action, McCullough lashed out at our questions saying we were "brainwashed" and that these were "falsehoods" (the fact that he has been part of gentrifying Bushrod Park). He also got personal and said to an Uhuru Movement member, "I bet you are not even registered to vote."

People who are still wondering where they stand on McCullough should check the mainstream press. Numerous articles talk about McCullough's actions. Is this the kind of representation you want on your city council? Sure, he has now schooled himself in presenting a more "respectable" face and can quote MLK and Malcolm X at the forums, but the fact is that he shot a child and was put forward as a hero!  He blatantly lies about what happened on that day back in February in 2005. 

The International People's Democratic Uhuru Movement is struggling for leadership that addresses the deep economic and social divisions in Oakland through economic development and social justice, not a "Fix Oakland" platform that continues the criminalization of the African and oppressed communities. McCullough caters to the white community's fears of takeover robberies (which are a reality) and muggings. We aim to look at the fundamental causes of the deep poverty in Oakland that are driving people to desperation. We encourage people to do the same and not settle for the status quo which can only deepen the fear-mongering, oppression, injustice and polarization between the haves and the have-nots in Oakland.  

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