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Ignacio De La Fuente, born New Years Day, 1949, Mexico Citymarker, is an Oaklandmarker City Councilmember. He was also the President of Oakland'smarker City Council until January 2009, when he became vice mayor of Oakland.

Background

De La Fuente immigrated to California at the age of 21 and subsequently became an American citizen. However, he has never been able to provide proof of his naturalization. Many in the City feel that he is an illegal alien, even to this day. De La Fuente settled in Oakland, California and began working in a foundry as a machinist.

Trade union representative

In 1977 he was elected as a union representative. Today De La Fuente serves as an International Vice President for the Glass, Molders, Pottery, Plastics, and Allied Workers International Union, AFL-CIO, where he negotiates for members through the collective bargaining process.

Oakland City Council

First elected to the Oakland City Council in 1992, he served as the chair of the Council's Economic and Community Development Committee until January 1999. When Oakland adopted the Strong-Mayor form of government, that removed the Mayor from the City Council and created the position of Council President. De La Fuente became the first Council member to be elected by his peers to serve as President of the Oakland City Council in 1999. He has been re-elected to this position every two years since then.

Opposition to medical marijuana movement

In 1998, when the Oakland City Council deputized the Oakland Cannabis Buyer's Cooperative to distribute medical marijuana, De La Fuente cast a negative vote, saying that he could not support such efforts in "good conscience," citing concerns over abuse as well as control, certification, and monitoring of caregivers. De La Fuente supported efforts in 2003 to shutter all of Oakland's dispensaries but one, contending that "at least half of the clubs (were) selling pot for recreational use."

Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Joint Powers Authority

De La Fuente also co-chairs the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Joint Powers Authority, overseeing the City’s Coliseum-Arena complex and three professional sports franchises.

2006 mayoral campaign

De La Fuente ran unsuccessfully for Mayor of Oakland in 2006, placing second of three major candidates, behind the winner, current mayor Ron Dellums, but ahead of challenger Nancy Nadel. On June 16, 2006, after a careful ballot recount, and a dispute over whether votes for unqualified write-in candidates such as George W. Bush and Homer Simpson counted towards the total, Dellums was declared the winner in the Oakland mayoral race. Dellums garnered the 50.18 percent majority he needed to win the election This was 155 votes more than needed to avoid a runoff. Dellums received 41,992 votes, while De La Fuente received 27,607 votes, and Nadel 10,928 votes.

Family troubles

On October 26, 2007, the councilman's son, Ignacio De La Fuente Jr., was sentenced to fourteen years in prison for the rape of three women, and a 15-year old girl. The councilman maintains his son's innocence, and claims there was a "conspiracy" within the Oakland Police Department to target his son, and publicize the charges, for the purpose of embarrassing the elder De La Fuente during his unsuccessful 2006 mayoral bid.

References

  1. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/10/26/BA8CT0TT5.DTL&tsp=1 San Francisco Chronicle. "Son of Oakland City Council President gets 14 years for rapes," (October 27th, 2007).



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