This article does a good job describing the increasingly crowded field in this year's Oakland City Council race. I was disappointed, though not surprised, to see that neo-socialist Jane Brunner is still running unopposed.
This is not to say that whoever we might get instead of Jane would be any better. Take a look at Oakland's City Council district map [pdf]. Notice anything odd? Oakland has cleverly drawn its districts to completely disenfranchise the more affluent parts of the city.
So, for example, Jane's district 1 represents Rockridge, Hiller Highlands, and part of the burn area of the hills. But, most of the population in the district is the area down near MLK in the flats.
Now, I have no problem with everyone in the city having reasonable representation, but this districting system is partly to blame for the council's complete lack of concern about economic development in the city. It's also partly to blame for the ever-increasing spiral of taxes--property and otherwise. I mean, consider the fact that the biggest contributors to residential property taxes in the city have effectively zero representation on the City Council.
That said, I believe Jane's district is the most amenable to a candidate who caters to the less-Leftist elements of the city's population. We need to see a viable candidate run against her to try and inject at least one rational voice into the dialog.
So Please, Please, Please, someone run against Jane Brunner. The city needs it.