Abel Guillen, recently elected as the District 2 representative on of the Oakland City Council, has already begun reaching out to fellow councilmembers as he prepares to take office in January.
“During the campaign I met with Desley Brooks, Dan Kalb and Noel Gallo” he said. “My goal is to meet with all the council members. I’m meeting with Rebecca Kaplan this week.”
He plans to plunge from day one into the issues that affect his district and the community as a whole
“Housing is a big issue,” said Guillen.” I will champion efforts citywide to create more affordable housing options linked to public transit programs,” he wrote in his campaign literature.
Among the complex housing problems facing councilmembers and Mayor-elect Libby Schaaf are the need for homes for the thousands of new people moving into Oakland, raising rents and continuing foreclosures that are driving many people out of the city and the pressure to provide space for high-price condominium developments that most people in Oakland cannot afford.
The New Brooklyn Basin development is being built along the Embarcadero, bringing 3,100 market-rate units and many new voters to Guillen’s district.
District 2 incumbent councilmember Pat Kernighan did not run for reelection. The district includes Chinatown, Crocker Highlands, San Antonio, Grand Lake and East Lake neighborhoods.
Guillen said he will also focus on basic city services – public safety and repairing streets – potholes become a greater problem during winter months – and graffiti and blight removal.
Prior to his election, he served on the Peralta Community College District Board of Trustees. He is a professional financial advisor, working with school districts and other public agencies to secure bond funding to build schools and other structures.