Please note:The OaklandWiki 2014 Mayoral Election Team is making every effort to keep the information on this page up-to-date and neutral as possible. In the spirit of a wiki, however, this page is fully editable. We encourage sourced/sourceable contributions above as well as respectful comments below.
Ken Houston was a candidate for mayor in the 2014 Election. He was eliminated in the 7th round.
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Ken Houston is VP Community Relations/Liason for the Turner Group. Note: Almost every website (including the Turner Group) and news sources says that Houston is a representative of the Turner Group. Houston has claimed repeatedly on twitter that because of an injury two years ago, he is not employed by the Turner Group.
He is chair of the East Oakland Beautification Council (EOBC). Turner Group is one of many stakeholders supporting this organization which was founded in January of 2014. Ken Houston was appointed to chair this organization to address the horrific problem of illegal dumping and graffiti in East Oakland. The EOBC held roundtable discussions inviting stakeholders, public officials, and residents that are fed up with the blight in their neighborhoods. The EOBC launched its first "Operation Clean Sweep" in May of 2014 cleaning graffiti and illegal dumping for a 2.25 mile stretch on San Leandro Street running along the Union Pacific Railroad tracks and today remains 95% (later downgraded to 75%) graffiti free. Of note, within this stretch, Ken Houston designated an area called "Graffiti Cove" where graffiti artists can "legally" throw up their art without penalty. In this way, the EOBC created a zero tolerance plus embracing of graffiti artists -- a tactic that brings two polarized sides together. It is the first of its kind in Oakland, and it claims to have been successful. However, questions around Operation Clean Sweep came up in 2015 when the Community Rejuvenation Project published a series of articles investigating Houston, EOBC and the area where Operation Clean Sweep was conducted. EOBC was revealed to be taking credit for other organization's work while failing to produce the study that demonstrated the 95% effectiveness of the project. Further, it showed that Operation Clean Sweep's methodology contradicted the large, publicly available best practice recommendations set forth by the United States Department of Justice.
Per Campaign manager, Houston is not accepting endorsements or donations. (source)
Other Government Jobs
- Ken Houston candidate information page on oakmayor2014.com
- Jobs - as a contractor Ken Houston has the ability to put many unemployed, unskilled workers to work in the construction jobs that are coming down the pipeline. There are billions of dollars in construction in Oakland, and there is no reason why Oaklanders cannot be hired to share in this wealth.
- Changing the face and image of the City, As Chair of the East Oakland Beautification Council, Ken Houston intends to implement his strategy to eradicate graffiti and illegal dumping across the City.
- Public Safety -- Public Safety will improve once the issue of Jobs and Image are addressed. Then, along with true community policing, public safety will improve. Ken Houston is not in favor of hiring more police officers. He is in favor of reorganizing the police department so that the police are engaged more with the neighborhoods they serve. He is against Urban Shield.
In the News
Pages tagged “Ken Houston”
- Kane, Will. "Oakand’s Rebecca Kaplan leaves a political – and stinky – mess." SFGate.com: June 10, 2014.
The following information was added by the candidate's campaign.
Please note: The OaklandWiki 2014 Mayoral Election Team is making every effort to keep the information on this page up-to-date and neutral as possible. In the spirit of a wiki, however, this page is fully editable. We encourage sourced/sourceable contributions above as well as respectful comments below.