On November 4th, Oakland voters will pick their next mayor. All month on “Crosscurrents,” we are going to bring you the voices of each of the 15 people who are campaigning for the job.
Ken Houston grew up, and still lives, in East Oakland. He went through Oakland's public schools, before opening his own construction business. At the beginning of this year Houston launched the East Oakland Beautification Council to eliminate illegal dumping and graffiti in the area around the Coliseum. He says as a longtime community activist, he decided to enter the mayoral race because he was starting the reach the limits of what he could accomplish as an advocate.
Houston came by our studios earlier this month and spoke with KALW’s Rachel Dornhelm.
KEN HOUSTON: “Community policing is needed. That’s why I’m probably around right now is because of an Officer called Officer Crabtree. He used to come by and see me all the time. He didn’t talk about what I did. He knew I was a bad kid. He knew what I did, but he came and talked to me about fixing the engine on my car. That’s true community policing. So if we have officers like him that will change it. More police is just that Band-Aid. A Band-Aid.”
Click the audio player above to listen to the complete interview with Ken Houston.