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November 8, 2016 — California General Election
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City Council, District 5 — City of Oakland

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About this office

Members of the city council draft and vote on city laws and appoint certain municipal officers and employees.
This office uses ranked-choice voting, or “instant run-off voting.” When marking your ballot, instead of voting for just one candidate, rank up to three candidates in order of your preference.See the Voting info section for more.
You must select at least 2 candidates to compare them.


You can vote for 3 of these 2 candidates.

Noel Gallo

Incumbent Oakland City Councilmember,...
Top 3 Priorities
  1. Public Safety: Increase numbers of police officers...
  2. Economic Development: Attract investment for new job...
  3. Housing: Increase the range of housing options, including...
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Viola Gonzales

Nonprofit Executive
Top 3 Priorities
  1. Community economic development to create jobs in all...
  2. Address the distrust between our residents and its...
  3. Support quality training and education that leads...
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Councilmember District 5
7,838 votes (56.4%)Winning
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Public Safety: Increase numbers of police officers and firefighters; Establish an Independent Citizens’ Police Commission; Improve Pedestrian/Biking Transportation Safety Services
  • Economic Development: Attract investment for new job creation and assist existing businesses; Re-invest in our neighborhoods and community shopping corridors .
  • Housing: Increase the range of housing options, including affordable, workforce, live-work units; Support programs for the Homeless.



Profession:Incumbent Oakland City Councilmember, District 5
Oakland City Councilmember - District 5, City of Oakland (2013–current)
School Board Director, District 5, Oakland Unified School District — Elected position (1992–2012)


University of California, Berkeley Bachelor of Science, Business Administration (1977)

Who supports this candidate?

Featured Endorsements

  • Alameda County Democratic Party
  • Alameda Labor Council, AFL-CIO
  • California Nurses Association

Organizations (14)

  • Green Party of Alameda County
  • Latino Taskforce
  • Block By Block Organizing Network
  • SEIU Local 1021
  • Transport Oakland
  • IFPTE Local 21
  • Wellstone Democratic Club
  • John George Democratic Club
  • Sierra Club
  • Oakland Builders Alliance
  • International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) - Northern CA District Council
  • National Union of Healthcare Workers Union (NUHW)
  • National Union of Healthcare Workers Union (NUHW)
  • Alameda County Building and Construction Trades Council

Elected Officials (6)

  • Hon. Nate Miley, Alameda County Supervisor
  • Hon. James Harris, Oakland Board of Education
  • Hon. Robert Raburn, BART Director
  • Oakland City Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan
  • Oakland City Councilmember Dan Kalb
  • Hon. Shanthi Gonzales, Oakland Board of Education

Individuals (30)

  • Hayward Blake
  • Jean Quan, Former Oakland Mayor
  • Chris Iglesias, CEO, The Unity Council
  • Alan Brill, Chairperson, Glenview Neighborhood Association
  • Cynthia Elliot, Jingletown Arts & Business Community
  • Bill Phua
  • Hugh Morrison
  • Raul Maya
  • Carl Chan, Chinatown Chamber of Commerce
  • Marin Waukazoo, Executive Director, Native American Health Center
  • Marianne Dreisbach, Dreisbach Enterprises
  • Kathy Chao, Executive Director, Lao Family Community Development
  • Andy Nelsen, Deputy Director, East Bay Asian Youth Center
  • Betty Gray, Park Blvd. Median Project
  • Rev. Michael Moore, Shiloh Church
  • Pastor Robert Holt, First Jerusalem Missionary Baptist Church
  • Pastor Dan Schmitz, New Hope Covenant Church
  • Pastor Toby Montgomery, Patten Christian Cathedral
  • Monsignor Antonio Valdivia
  • Jenna Stauffer, CEO, Lighthouse Charter Schools
  • Jorge Lopez, CEO, Amethod Public Schools
  • Hae-Sin Kim Thomas, CEO, Education for Change Public Schools
  • Aubrey Lane, Principal, Edna Brewer Middle School
  • Chelsea Toller, Principal, Glenview Elementary School
  • Orsolya Nadasdi, PTA President, Glenview Elementary School
  • Christy Getz, PTA President, Edna Brewer Middle School
  • Preston Turner, Chairperson, Melrose High Hopes NCPC
  • Andreas Cluver, Port of Oakland Board of Commissioners
  • Ces Butner, Port of Oakland Commissioners
  • Alan Yee, Port of Oakland Board of Commissioners

Questions & Answers

Questions from League of Women Voters of Oakland (3)

Describe three major issues facing District 5, and touch briefly on how you would try to deal with them
Answer from Noel Gallo:

Three key issues facing District 5 are Public Safety, Need for a range of housing options and Economic Development. These issues are not unique only to District 5. Therefore, is the responsiblity of Oakland's elected leadership to ensure that appropriate and needed resources are available. I consider Public Safety which includes the erdication of graffiti, illegal dumping, prostitution and human trafficking as a critical issue. I have co-authored Measure LL - establishment of a Independent Citizens Police Commission - our community is concerned; this Commission can help build trust and change with the Department. At the same time, I am an advocate for increasing budgets to hire more public safety personnel - Police Officers and Firefighters - our community is asking for additional protection services. I have sponsored and will continue to champion both state and city legislation to increase enforcement actions against individuals, businesses that are conducting illegal dumping in Oakland. Additionally I will continue to work on ways to eradicate prosttitution and human trafficking through stronger enforcement and housing and support services to young women who are victims of these crimes. The City of Oakland must encourage and support a range of housing development options - we lake Affordable Housing options - for low,moderate and Oakland's workforce. It is not only a District 5 issue, it is a Citywide and regional issue. I do support several Voter measures that offer affordable housing options - Oakland Infrastructure Bond Measure KK; County of Alameda County Affordable Housing Bond - A1 and Measure JJ - Renter Protection Act.  In additon, I plan to work on increasing home ownership opportunities and work to ensure that the City is taking advantage of all financing opportunities to increase the supply of affordable and workforce housing development. Economic Development is important.  The City should ensure that existing businesses have access to technical assistance, financing and support by the City. Oakland is a city of small businesses. Most of Oakland's jobs are from small businesses. The City should ensure that we have a business friendly environment, ensure that our policies are fair and that staff is available to support start ups and existing businesses to grow so that we can preserve and create new job opportunities. Job training is critical t ensure that we can offer businesses trained employees.    




Describe three major ways in which life is better in District 5 than it was 4 years ago
Answer from Noel Gallo:

District 5 is one of Oakland's most diverse, vibrant areas. It offers several commercial corridors, strong residential neighborhoods, and opportunities for full and infill residential (mixed use/mixed income) and commercial development. Four years ago, the District 5 issues were major crime, illegal dumping, rampant graffiti, major corridor vacancies and limited investment and development throughout the District.

Today, through the efforts of Council Member Gallo, District 5 is making major strides - related transportation improvements are underway: development of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Project which will infuse close to $180m in major transportation improvements, coupled with the City's new streetscape improvements, this major transportation project can help revitalize commercial corridors in Districts , 2, 3, 5, 6 and 7 and increase use of public transportation. The BRT project will help spark new mixed use/mixed income housing, commercial and retail business opportunities. The City and AC Transit must ensure that existing businesses receive appropriate technical assistance to also benefit. Other transportation improvements include I-880 Caltran Freeway modernization and the incorporation of additional bike and walking improvements. District 5 is also experiencing a range of new housing development (mixed income/mixed use)- Fruitvale Transit Village TOD II and the major renovation of several older industrial facilities that will be adapted to not only housing but job creation opportunities. A major upcoming opportunity in District 5 is the full redevelopment of the former Owens Illinois site - 28-acres of waterfront property. Another way District 5 is improving is that residents, schools and businesses are becoming engaged in their communities. Through weekly events sponsored by Councilmember Gallo's Office, numerous residents and volunteers have worked on neighborhood beautification and safety efforts in all neighborhoods within District 5. Overall over 5,000 volunteers have participated in these activities. 

Which of these local Oakland ballot measures do you think is the most critical one; why do you choose that one?  a) Tax on distribution of sugar-sweetened beverages, b) Just Cause Ordinance amendment, c) Infrastructure bond/affordable housing, d) Citizen police commission
Answer from Noel Gallo:

I support all Oakland Ballot Measures for consideration by Oakland voters.  Each of these Ballot Measures is important in its own way because they address concerns that the public has identified. I cannot say one ballot measure is more important than other. These ballot measures should be evaluted by each voter. 


Videos (1)

— October 3, 2016 ReElect Noel Gallo for City Council - District 5

Noel Gallo is a dedicated leader; he is the current Oakland District 5 City Council Member. Previously, he served for 20 years on the Oakland Unified School District Board of Education. He is a lifelong resident of Oakland; he grew up in the Fruitvale/San Antonio District neighborhoods. The record will show that as a member of the Council for the last four years, Noel has worked hard to reduce neighborhood crime, to increase affordable housing, to attract and retain businesses and advocated and supported efforts to improve the quality of our schools.

Noel is running for reelection because he want to continue to work with residents to achieve our dynamic vision for our City, so that all of Oakland will become an exciting place to live, work, do business and raise our children.   Noel is dedicated to public service. He strongly believes that  - It is not about what we say, but what we do.

ReElect Noel Gallo for Oakland City Council – November 8, 2016.


Nonprofit Executive Director
6,053 votes (43.5%)
Use tab to activate the candidate button. Use "return" to select this candidate. You can access your list by navigating to 'My Choices'.
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Thank candidate for sharing their information on Voter’s Edge.

My Top 3 Priorities

  • Community economic development to create jobs in all areas of our city
  • Address the distrust between our residents and its public safety employees
  • Support quality training and education that leads to good paying jobs



Profession:Nonprofit Executive
Chief Executive Officer, AnewAmerica Community Corporation (2011–2016)
Committee Member, Oakland Fund for Children and Youth — Appointed position (2005–2008)
Executive Director, The Latino Community Foundation (2004–2007)
Member, Oakland Unified School District — Appointed position (2002–2003)
Executive Director, Latino Issues Forum (1999–2002)
Commissioner, City of Oakland Planning Commission — Appointed position (2001–2002)
Assistant to the Mayor for Economic Development and Employment Projects, Mayor's Office, City of Oakland (1992–1995)


Harvard University Master of Business Administration (1972)
St. Mary's University Bachelor of Business Administration, Economics (1969)

Community Activities

Board Member, Health Access Foundation (2005–current)
Community Advisory Board Member, UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center (2005–2010)
Vice Chair, Glenview Neighborhood Association (2010–2010)
Member, The Unity Council (2008–2009)
Chair, Fruitvale Community Development District Council (1991–1992)


I have considerable executive experience to offer the City of Oakland. Most of my professional career has been in managing people and money. I hold a Harvard MBA, and an undergraduate degree in business economics. My diverse work history has straddled private and public sectors. I’ve worked in the accounting and regulatory divisions of a large corporation; I’ve been self-employed and owned a small retail business. As Assistant to former Mayor Elihu M. Harris, I gave leadership to private-public initiatives for economic recovery, conversion of military bases, access to capital-business development, and school-to-work projects.  In the last fifteen years, I have worked primarily as nonprofit executive, giving leadership to agencies that offer direct services to families, advocate for equity and sustainable development and an an emerging philanthropy, enabling people to help themselves. A 37-year resident of Oakland, I’ve served on the Planning Commission, School Board and Oakland Fund for Children & Youth. I know what it's like to be part of a working family, get an education through scholarship, and feel the sting of discrimination. I have extensive experience in board governance, having served on a multitude of community boards with focus on equity: economic and social justice.

Who supports this candidate?

Featured Endorsements

  • Mayor Libby Schaaf
  • Former Mayor Elihu M. Harris
  • East Bay Times

Organizations (3)

  • Evolve California
  • OakPAC
  • Oakland Police Officers' Association

Elected Officials (13)

  • Gilda Gonzales, former Oakland Port Commissioner
  • Mark Salinas, Council Member, City of Hayward
  • John Marquez, Contra Costa Community College District Governing Board Member
  • Zack Wasserman, former Port Commissioner
  • Bryan Parker, former Port Commissioner
  • Kenneth S. Katzoff, former Port Commissioner; former Planning Commissioner, City of Oakland
  • Anthony Batarse, Jr., former Port Commissioner
  • Linda Handy, Peralta Community College District Trustee, Area 3*
  • Kerry Hamill, Manager, BART*; former member of Oakland Board of Education
  • Dick Spees, former Oakland City Council Member, District 4
  • Pat Kernighan, former Oakland City Council Member, District 2
  • Sheila Jordan, former Alameda County Superintendent of Schools
  • Arabella Martinez, Commissioner, Port of Oakland*

Individuals (26)

  • Seth Barad, Professor of Business Practice, Mills College*
  • Mary Gay Ducey
  • Trudy Lynn Martin, Civil Rights Attorney, Retired
  • Rick Mariano, Holliday Development*
  • Abigail Leonard, Development Manager, Rising Sun Energy Center*
  • Maurilio Leon, Chief Operating Officer, Community Housing Opportunity Corporation (CHOC)*
  • Robert Lattimore, Senior Vice President, Lending, Main Street Launch*
  • Vishu Lalchandani, Board Member, Alzheimer's Services of the East Bay*
  • Omar Korin, Owner, Savemore Market
  • Samuel Kang, Civil Rights Attorney
  • Alton Jelks, Lecturer, Public Administration, Cal State University East Bay*
  • Sandra R. Hernández, MD, CEO, California Health Care Foundation*
  • Carol Heard, Regional Director, California Casualty Management Company*
  • Susan Hayes-Smith, retired, Community Liaison, City of Oakland*
  • John Gamboa, Co-Founder, Greenlining Institute*
  • Richard Fuentes, Co-Founder, The Port Bar
  • Elizabeth Frumusa, Owner, Bellanico Restaurant & Wine Bar
  • Bob Feinbaum
  • Christian Downer, Realtor, Pacific Union*
  • Darlene Crane, President, The Crane Works
  • Ana Chretien, President, ABC Security Service, Inc
  • David J. Carlson, Director of Sustainable Development, Parsons Corporation*
  • John T. Betterton, Secretary of the Board, Port of Oakland*
  • Renato Almanzor, Senior Director of Programs, LeaderSpring*
  • Orson Aguilar, Executive Director, Greenlining Institute*
  • Eduardo Jimenez, former Peralta Community College District, Measure A Citizens' Bond Review Oversight Committee*

Political Beliefs

1. Community economic development to create jobs in all areas of our city:

  • Support policies that help local businesses grow. Create jobs by encouraging self-employment, micro enterprise development, business revitalization and larger business development
  • Support quality training & education that leads to good paying jobs
  • Support smart growth and creativity in housing options: transit-oriented development; secondary units, infill and new, et al. 

2. Secure quality management of all city services in all areas of the city, for all of our residents.

  • Our public services need to be well managed whether these are public works, libraries, parks, police or fire departments.
  • We deserve to live in a city where our residents do not fear the very same services that are paid by tax dollars to protect them. 
  • Our city workers should know to what standards they are held accountable, take pride in providing those services and be respected for providing them.

 3. Promote collaboration and bridge building to achieve outcomes

  • Make room for differences: help bring civil discourse to public meetings
  • Work collaboratively with mayor, council and community to build a great city
  • Support dialogue between youth of color and police: programs that humanize all sides

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