Let Oakland Be Oakland Again


Oakland Vice Mayor Annie Campbell Washington celebrated her service to the people of Oakland during a "Farewell Party" at the Old Kan Beer & Company on Monday, December 17, 2018. Annie chose not to seek re-election in 2018 and has taken a new position at UC Berkeley. (bryan farley)

 

I was invited to Annie Campbell Washington’s “Farewell Party” at the Old Kan Beer & Company. I brought my camera. Someone else brought the photo booth.

 

I took a few photos. I recommend viewing them as a slideshow.

Oakland Vice Mayor Annie Campbell Washington celebrated her service to the people of Oakland during a "Farewell Party" at the Old Kan Beer & Company on Monday, December 17, 2018. Annie chose not to seek re-election in 2018 and has taken a new position at UC Berkeley. (bryan farley)

Annie is not really going away. After thirteen years working for the City of Oakland, Annie is going back to Cal to work for the Goldman School of Public Policy.

Oakland Vice Mayor Annie Campbell Washington celebrated her service to the people of Oakland during a "Farewell Party" at the Old Kan Beer & Company on Monday, December 17, 2018. Annie chose not to seek re-election in 2018 and has taken a new position at UC Berkeley. (bryan farley)

Speaking from personal experience, I do not know if farewell means forever. I moved to Alameda a little over a year ago, and I haven’t learned the ways of the Alameda Folks yet. I met my new mayor, Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft,¬†at Annie’s event. I reminisced with my old mayor, Libby Schaaf, about the first time we met when she was a city council candidate knocking on my front door.

Oakland Vice Mayor Annie Campbell Washington celebrated her service to the people of Oakland during a "Farewell Party" at the Old Kan Beer & Company on Monday, December 17, 2018. Annie chose not to seek re-election in 2018 and has taken a new position at UC Berkeley. (bryan farley)

As I am still writing during the last hour of One Christmas Eve and forcing creativity between the space of inspiration and appropriation, I realize that it is sometime necessary to step away from something you love before you can return. Maybe Annie will return too.

 (bryan farley)

When I photographed Annie last week, I realized that I captured a few “similar” images. I also wondered if here emotions were the same now as they were when she started as a council member. Was Annie more relaxed at her going away party when her family performed “the wave?”

City Council Member Annie Campbell Washington performs the wave with her family during the City of Oakland Inauguration Ceremony at The Paramount Theater. (Bryan Farley)

Or was Annie more relaxed four years earlier at her inauguration ceremony? During the last four years, I have thought about this picture often. I remember Annie’s enthusiasm… and something I don’t often see in politics. Annie seemed like a genuinely good person. Many politicians are genuinely good people, but Annie didn’t hide it.

 (bryan farley)

This is my favorite photograph of Annie. I took it at the Mayor’s 50th birthday celebration. (Please read more about that 50th Gala Here.)

 (bryan farley)

During Annie’s term, I photographed her often. When she was with her kids last week, she smiled as she had the night of the mayor’s party.

Oakland Vice Mayor Annie Campbell Washington celebrated her service to the people of Oakland during a "Farewell Party" at the Old Kan Beer & Company on Monday, December 17, 2018. Annie chose not to seek re-election in 2018 and has taken a new position at UC Berkeley. (bryan farley)

In politics, waves are often used as metaphors. For example, the last mid-terms were a “wave election.” Perhaps, Annie will create a new wave metaphor when she returns to politics. Waves always return. It’s what they do.

 

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