Yes, it's finally over. Ron Dellums is mayor of Oakland. Damn it feels good to win.
I freaked out a little today when I walked by Ignacio de la Fuente's campaign headquarters (on the ground floor of my office building, ironically--Oakland still has a small-town vibe sometimes) and saw tons of people in there. The place had been empty since the day after the election, as everyone waited with bated breath for the final vote tally. There was a camera crew in Ignacio's headquarters, people were smiling and laughing. My heart sank. I thought for sure this meant Dellums was going to have to face Ignacio in the run-off.
Maybe I'm just used to losing, as a progressive in this far-right-leaning, overly-zealously-Christian country (and keep in mind that France, one of the most Catholic nations in Europe, is far more progressive than we are). I thought as I walked home, 'Damn, we've gotta fight this guy for another four months.'
But I was, thankfully, wrong. Dellums is the big man now. And not a moment too soon.
Another bright spot on Oakland's future-horizon: Aimee Allison--a conscientious objector during the First Gulf War (and married to a Pinoy!) has made it to a run-off race with incumbent Pat Kernighan. A true progressive, Aimee would help even out the moderate-Democrat, pro-developer City Council a bit, and with Ron Dellums in office as mayor the progressive agenda in Oakland could actually move forward.
Ah, sigh. Of relief, happiness, hope, a little trepidation (electing progressive candidates, after all, doesn't change everything). BIG sigh. We've still got a long road ahead of us to create the Oakland that we want and need.