In the months after the 2010 mayoral campaign, many of you asked me to stay involved with Oakland. I promised you then that I would remain engaged, and for nearly three years I have kept that promise, serving on multiple nonprofit boards, and involved with organizations dedicated to public safety, economic development, infrastructure improvement, transparency and fiscal reform, education and the arts.
In recent months, many of you have asked if I would be running for Mayor in 2014. I know there has been speculation about this in the news media. Here is what I can tell you today: I am exploring a candidacy for the 2014 race. What "exploring" means is although I have not filed papers, opened accounts, solicited money or declared for office, I have had a significant number of meetings and conversations with individuals and groups from all parts of our city for the last six months. Key to my decision about whether to run has been the need to identify and prioritize all the challenges facing Oakland, and more importantly to assess what I could commit to deliver as Mayor in solving these problems. Oakland is a tough city to govern. It's very important to possess institutional knowledge, have forged relationships with the necessary stakeholders, and have a clear vision about solutions. The details matter.
While some important conversations remain, for me this process of exploration is nearing a conclusion. I fully expect to announce a decision about my candidacy in mid-July. It's easy to get swept up in the excitement and momentum of a campaign-believe me, I know that. But running for office and governing if you win are two different things. If we're going to really change Oakland, it's critical to have a candidate and eventual mayor who gets the details right. I am a detail-oriented person. You'll have my answer in less than two weeks.
Please let me know your thoughts at joeaboutoakland.com.