NY TIMES– In 2008, church leaders from Oakland were on the front lines of the campaign to ban same-sex marriage. Two years later, some of those same leaders are surprisingly backing Rebecca Kaplan, a City Council member who would become the first openly gay mayor of a major Bay Area city.
A former rabbinical student, Ms. Kaplan makes campaign stops with her well-thumbed, gold-trimmed bible, as she did Wednesday at the mayoral debate at Allen Temple Baptist Church, one of the largest black churches in the city.
Dressed in a dark suit and an open-collared shirt, Ms. Kaplan, who enunciates with the clarity and precision of a preacher, used part of Psalm 118 to make a campaign point: “The rock that the builder rejected shall become the topmost cornerstone, and Oakland will become the most desirable place to live.” The audience applauded. “You have got a Jewish lesbian white woman who comes to black churches and sings with the choir and quotes Scripture better than the members — I just love her,” said Pastor Ray Williams of First Morning Star Baptist Church, who spoke at rallies in favor of Proposition 8, the bar to same-sex marriage.
He is now endorsing Ms. Kaplan. Ms. Kaplan, 40, was elected to the Council in 2008 after serving on the AC Transit board, and political consultants said her broad challenge will be to woo older voters who are familiar with the two front-runners in the race —Don Perata, 65, a former state senator, and Jean Quan, 60, a longtime councilwoman. Ms. Kaplan appeals to the younger, hipper demographic in the city.
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© NY Times, 2010
Pam Moore interviews Rebecca Kaplan about public safety, economic development, and being a relative political newcomer with substantial support.
Oakland Mayoral candidate Rebecca Kaplan lists her top three priorities for Oakland at the Mayoral Forum sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce.
Learn more at KaplanForMayor.org