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Ken Houston, Kristina Molina, Officially Challenge Libby Schaaf For Oakland Mayoral Race 2018

Ken Houston, Kristina Molina, Officially Challenge Libby Schaaf For Oakland Mayoral Race 2018 Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, after months of being the only one running for mayor (again) in 2018, has not one, but two challengers as 2017 comes to a close: Ken Houston and Kristina Molina. One is well known to many in the Oakland political community, the other not. Ken Houston, the well-known community liason and clean-neighborhood activist, has placed his hat in the ring to run for the office a second time. In 2014, Mr. Houston was one of 15 candidates, and received 518 votes, or one-half of one percent of the total votes cast in the election that made Ms. Schaaf the 50th Mayor of Oakland. Since then, Ken has focused on two issues: homelessness and illegal dumping as the main problems he says Oakland has not effectively addressed. In 2014, he was Chair of the East Oakland Beautification Council. Today, and using the latest social media tools, Houston has developed an Oakland following that's much larger than during his 2014 run. By contrast, Kristina Molina is a first-time-candidate for Mayor of Oakland, and comes to the political arena with a compelling story. She is the Latina Outreach and Youth Camp Coordinator at BAWAR: Bay Area Women Against Rape, America's first rape crisis center. She has worked for BAWAR for eight years, and a recent fundraising outreach page she uploaded explained “In the last 8 years, I have seen a significant change in the number of surviving Latinos asking for our services. In fact, our agency went from providing 1-3 sessions of individual counseling per week to 60-80 sessions per week, from receiving no crisis hotline calls to providing crisis intervention to 30 Spanish-speaking surviving callers per month, and from managing zero Spanish-speaking volunteers to delegating 30 Latino volunteers. Unfortunately, government and federal grants are slow to responds to this capacity issue and BAWAR´s Latino Program is in need of financial support to continue to provide the following key services to surviving Latinos in Alameda County.” At present, neither Mr. Houston nor Ms. Molina has not posted a visible-in-search website or social media page for their mayoral asperations, but I will report when they do. Right now, the news is that according to the City of Oakland's Official Elections Webpage, the Oakland Mayor's Race has three candidates: the incumbent, Libby Schaaf, and Ken Houston and Kristina Molina. Stay tuned.

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