10.4 Answering a senior forum ADVERTISE AND MAKE BIKE LANES ALSO DESIGNATED FOR SENIOR SCOOTERS We are never going back to “normal”. More people are going to be working from home. Technology is providing all sorts of exciting options for people with mobility issues. “Slow streets” and other neighborhood options for health and safety can now go far beyond “school zones”.
10.3 Oakland's Budget Advisory Commission has advised the city to explore ways to increase revenues. Recently, a blue ribbon commission to explore revisions to Oakland business tax rules has been created. What ideas will you bring about raising revenue in Oakland?
10.2 Answering a query: I have been involved with many aspects of the City and Chair of my NCNP for quite a few years. My Beat has one of the lowest crime stats in the City. As to to my commendation, I work extremely hard for my Beat as well as assist other Beats AND NW. CRIME is an on going problem in a welfare city with no services and spikes continuously depending on the wind! MY position on women's Health is as important as the Health rights of anyone! I am pro choice.
Teacher's are neglected and deserve wages and respect that fits their role in society. Management is over paid and OUSD waste's money at the expense of education! And ever since the killing of Marcus Foster OUSD has been a disaster!
I am very proactive on climate change and have been aware of it since college days! As to police funding? It depends where you live as to ones perspective of it as it relates to issues that have long passed in Oakland.
If one lives in a relatively "safe" neighborhood one would assume the position of "defunding" because the media does it's job! If one lives in the 80% of the rest of the City one would let those know that they need and respect the officers and do not want "defunding". Reorganizing and use of the resources which are and have been around for a while is the first step. Becoming part of the solution and reimplementing Community Policing is the next step. OPD is understaffed and response is based on the whim of the Mayor and Council.
The whole City needs to be re examined and the residents need to get involved and work to make those changes and stop pointing fingers and expecting others to come up with solutions and the work! I hope this answers your concerns. Be Safe.
10.1 Oaklandside 9.31 Provide high-quality pre-K and quality education for all. Add a jobs guarantee, so that instead of forcing workers onto unemployment when the economy slows or their company goes belly up, they can move to a public job doing work that is necessary — from retrofitting buildings for solar heating to caring for our public parks to providing care for the elderly and more. -Jesse Jackson
9.30 Alameda County has announced that it will have four days of in-person voting, SaturdayOctober 31, Sunday-November 1, Monday-November 2 and Tuesday-November 3.
Please remember to vote for me!
9.29 Here is the link to the EAC forum recording: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4OKIUlvzetw
All measures that come before the Council should be reviewed for impact(s) on Seniors;
mitigations to amend if necessary.
Every department should be challenged to determine what they can do better for
seniors, i.e. So many services are now done by smart. How are those without
one to be served. Are grab bars included in our building codes, not just senior housing
(seniors don't always stay home!)
Every department/program should be challenged to determine where they might use
seniors to volunteer, demonstrating that seniors should continue to contribute
throughout their lifetime.
As the At-Large Councilperson I would also institute a Senior Focus in a var
9.28 East Bay Housing Organization forum: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vT_POOTCmkY&feature=youtu.be&eType=EmailBlastContent&eId=4fe6082e-c0d1-42d1-833a-8fc681555ab0
9.27 "Deja que el mundo te cambia y tú puedes cambiar el mundo" —Ernesto Che Guevara.
9.26 Awards Encourage Healthy Aging Worldwide
The Fit for Life Foundation is dedicated to improving the quality of life of older people in aging societies worldwide.
Support for Efforts to Address Workers' Issues
The Workers Lab envisions a society where workers are powerful drivers of economic, political, and social transformation.
9.25 Student Behavioral Health Programs Funded
School-Based Healthcare Solutions Network supports under-resourced public and charter schools to implement and expand access to quality behavioral health and general pediatric services on school campuses to children living in rural and urban communities throughout the U.S.
Solar Energy Assistance for BIPOC Organizations
The Honnold Foundation envisions a world where all people have equal access to energy
9.24 Program Assists Public Housing Residents
The Resident Opportunity and Self-Sufficiency (ROSS) Grant Program seeks to assist residents of public and Indian housing in making progress towards economic and housing self-sufficiency by removing the educational, professional, and health barriers they face. ~~~~~~~~~~
9.23 Tu sueñas; Yo legislo. Juntos lo hacemos. ¡Podemos crear el Oakland que queremos!
9.22 It annoys me that the incumbent At Large Council president continuously talks about black and brown (despite having abandoned D5,6,&7 for a decade). We are a beautiful weave of people that also includes red, white, and yellow - pejorative terms in their own right but together a beautiful display. The At-Large Councilperson's responsibility is to all. ~~~~~~~~~~~
9.21 from the Wall Street Journal
1999 article in the Wall Street Journal reported that Mayor Jerry Brown in his campaign had “promised to dismantle the African American-dominated political machine that presided over much of the city’s decoutline since the 1970s.”
Some of the city’s African American leadership had warned that a Jerry Brown administration with its ambitious plans to move 10,000 new residents into the city’s downtown area would lead to gentrification—and a loss of black lower-income residents. They had a point. Mayor Brown’s development plans became so synonymous with gentrification that Oakland activists began calling the phenomenon “jerryfication.” Though Oakland had already been losing its African American population before Brown was elected—it dropped by 21,000 between 1990 and 2000—during his two terms in office that trend accelerated and the city lost another 34,000 blacks from 2000 to 2008. Many left because of a lack of jobs, others because they could no longer afford the rents in their neighborhoods, yet others because many of the lower-income African American neighborhoods have been unable to rise above the squalor, drug dealing, crime and violence for years. It is one of the largest movements of a population in California since African Americans poured into Oakland during World War II to work in nearby factories and shipyards.
9.19 One of the best things about this City Election is the exciting number of bright, dedicated and thoughtful candidates. So good to hear some of my (old, ignored) ideas brought forth. Looking forward to working with all this new talent!
9.17 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uE98Uwy5DPY ~~~~~~~~~~~
9.16 “It's the land, Katy Scarlett, it's the land”. Gerald O’Hara intoned this ethic to his daughter in “Gone With the Wind”.
He meant what is true in Oakland today. One does not sell any of our municipal land. Period.
With an exploding population, aging infrastructure, and advent of 21st Century lifestyles, Oakland needs to keep title to the one physical asset that allows for “wiggle room” and innovation.
Long term leases for a dollar can be used creatively with developers for projects beyond the city’s fiscal or bonding capacity. Another development alternative is community trusts. But the legacy to future generations should not be destroyed with ink on a sale contract.
9.15 Oakland has given so many gifts to the country and world. From musicians and singers to dancers and artists, from poets and writers to politicians and industrialists. We have the first Bird Sanctuary in the country and so much more. Let's do more!!
9.14 Former President Carter said: -This President wants to wear us down -- I need you to choose resilience. -His Republicans want us to be weak -- I need you to choose strength. -Their special interests want to drown us out -- I need you to prove that this election cannot be bought. All politics are local; the same applies. I need you to vote for me.
9.13 Elections are only a few weeks away. it's not too late to register to vote. check your voter registration status. Make sure you are registered at your current address so you get your mail ballot on time and can easily participate in the election.
9.12 Another Oakland gem: FreeUp Oakland! Located at Coolidge and MacArthur in the Loards' strip mall, this place brings art and gardening to the neighborhood. As a social experiment, a visitor may take something with no charge once a day. Other items require they buyer to pay what they think the item is worth. You may choose from an eclectic selection of antique to new household items like decor, books, records, fabric, linens, purses, knicknack…
9.10 We face so many "crisises"…climate, homelessness, economic collapse. We need to ask "not what the city can do for you", but what you can do for the city. We have to look inward and take advantage of our own human resources who know what is needed and how they'd like to do it. If it is a code or ordinance that is a barrier, let's examine it. If it is is an administrative process that is in the way, let's examine it. If it is money in the way, let's collaborate with other financial institutions who say they have an obligation to us but never show up. Let's create a financial nexus that serves Oakland. Let's legislate business license policies with teeth that help create a safe, clean living environment.
9.6 Another place to love is Jingletown, home to Jack London, in the past few decades, home to some incredible artists and the Oakland Museum's White Elephant Sale warehouse. The famous Jingletown Cotton Mill, converted into artists lofts started a trend to condo conversion.
9.5 Provide high-quality pre-K and quality education for all. Add a jobs guarantee, so that instead of forcing workers onto unemployment when the economy slows or their company goes belly up, they can move to a public job doing work that is necessary — from retrofitting buildings for solar heating to caring for our public parks to providing care for the elderly and more. - Jesse Jackson
9.4 • Diversity Leadership Project is a national organization dedicated to bringing the voices of high school students to the forefront on issues of diversity, racism, and inclusion, as well as other related issues teens face today. Our blog offers a place where the most forward-thinking students from across the nation can participate in conversations about these topics. Diversity Leadership Project offers a 1,000 scholarship to the best 500-1,000 word essay on one of the following topics: "How would you help your peers experience learn more about one another?"; or "How do you contribute to diversity and inclusion at your school or in another group?"; or "How have your personal experiences affected your understanding of diversity?" For more information or to apply, please visit the scholarship provider's website. Scholarship Committee 1124 Brentwood Pointe Brentwood, TN 37027 • email@example.com 615-714-0139
9.3 "We have become, by the power of a glorious evolutionary accident called intelligence, the stewards of life’s continuity on earth. We did not ask for this role, but we cannot abjure it. We may not be suited to it, but here we are." “Homo sapiens [are] a tiny twig on an improbable branch of a contingent limb on a fortunate tree. ___Stephen Jay Gould
• The Good Tidings Foundation is a non-profit, 501-c-3 children's charity that
encourages and supports the growth of marginalized children in the Bay Area by
creating environments for athletics, artistic activities, education, and wonder.
Applicants must be a low-income high school senior residing in one of the
following California counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, Lake, Marin, Monterey,
Napa, Sacramento, San Benito, San Francisco, San Joaquin, San Mateo, Santa
Cruz, Santa Clara, Solano, Sonoma, Stanislaus, Yolo. Applicants must agree to
volunteer 1 shift at Good Tidings' annual Toy Giveaway Program in December.
For more information or to apply, please visit the scholarship provider's website.
• Scholarship Committee 1469 Rollins Road Burlingame, CA 94010
• firstname.lastname@example.org 800-824-7366
9.1 It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.” - Henry Ford
• The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program is the United States’
largest youth recognition program based exclusively on volunteer community
service. The program honors high school students for outstanding service to
others at the local, state and national level. Applicants must be high school
students who are U.S. citizens or legal residents of any state, have engaged in
volunteer activity that occurred 12 months prior to the application, and submit a
completed application to
their school or head of an
official designated local
group. Applicants will
compete at the local, state
and national level. For more
information or to apply,
please visit the scholarship
•1321 Murfreesboro Road
Suite 800 Nashville, TN
“The problem with the
world is that intelligent
people are full of
doubts, while the stupid
ones are full of
confidence.” - Charles
8.29 The Regeneron Science Talent Search (Regeneron STS) is the nation’s oldest and most prestigious science competition for high school seniors, providing an important forum for original research that is recognized and reviewed by a national jury of professional scientists. Annually, over 1,800 high school seniors from around the country accept the challenge of conducting independent science, math or engineering research and completing an entry for the Regeneron Science Talent Search. The competition recognizes 300 student scholars and their schools each year and invites 40 student finalists to Washington, D.C. to participate in final judging, display their work to the public, and meet with notable scientists and government leaders. Applicants must be students who are enrolled and attending their senior year of high school in the U.S. or territories, or are a U.S. citizen studying abroad. For more information or to apply, please visit the scholarship provider's website. Scholarship Committee 1719 N Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20036
8.28 Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery; None but ourselves can free our mind. — Bob Marley
8.27 I do not practice the politics of partisanship. I do not seek “higher” office or corporate placement after my term of service. I do practice the politics of “We the People”. I am in favor of making Oakland “a now perfect place”.
8.21 What do I love about Oakland? So many things but for starters the history and architecture: Lake Merritt Bird Sanctuary, Joaquin Miller Park, Dunsmuir House, the old International High School nee Oakland City College, the old Safeway Headquarters,
8.20 So touched by the story of an Oakland Fireman who entered a threatened cottage and noticed a memorial (pics, etc) to a recently departed occupant which he scooped up to safety before spraying the area.
Some look for scapegoats, others look for conspiracies, but this much is clear: violence breeds
violence, repression brings retaliation, and only a cleansing of our whole society can remove this
sickness from our soul. For there is another kind of violence, slower but just as deadly destructive as
the shot or the bomb in the night. This is the violence of institutions; indifference and inaction and
slow decay. This is the violence that afflicts the poor, that poisons relations between men because their
skin has different colors. This is the slow destruction of a child by hunger, and schools without books
and homes without heat in the winter. This is the breaking of a man’s spirit by denying him the chance
to stand as a father and as a man among other men. And this too afflicts us all. —RFK ~~~~~~~~~
8.18 In 1999, when Jerry Brown was inaugurated mayor of Oakland, Ishmael Reed read this poem to mark the day:
and the litters clean up gardens after their litter be cultivated.
Let Oaklanders treat the streets Let our hotels be filled to capacity as though they were their living
Let our convention centers be rooms teeming
Let people refrain from copping an with delegates attitude when asked to turn their
Let jobs be as abundant boom boxes down as geese in Oakland's estuary
Let road rage and excessive
Let our senior citizens be honking be treated with dignity and reverence removed from our public life for they are our walking libraries
Let Oakland be a city of civility Let them play bocce ball
Let those who are packing AK-47s do Tai Chi and Uzis move to another town mentor our children
Let the Superflies who use our and get lucky in Reno teenagers as prostitutes and
Let Oakland be a city of civility crack dealers move with them
Let our cultural bouillabaisse cook Let their suburbanite customers
Let our Symphony regale us stay home in the suburbs with their
Let the Blues blow us away wives and children
Let our Jazz clubs be smoking
Let the gun dealers stay there too
Let our painters mural our history
Let suburbanites treat Oakland
Let our dancers fascinate us with with Arabesques, tap, stop, Jazz respect instead of place dance they invade in the morning
Modern dance, Neo-African dance and leave with the money at night Mamba
Let Oakland be a city of civility Salsa and Cha Cha Cha
Let the pupils respect the teachers
Let our Hip-Hoppers break dance
and let the teachers respect the rap and graffiti ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
8.17 Love the Wednesday GAGA GIrls at the Hollywood intersection of Park Blvd. One sign
reads: LOVE Your Neighbor* *black, brown, immigrant, disabled, religiously different,
LGBTQ, fully human neighbor.
One of them said, "Paraphrasing those that are amazed they can wear a mask and go into a
bank to ask for money, I'm amazed we're standing on the street corner asking for honks!"
Dear Neighbors: Update on Voting for this fall
Here it is:
There will be no local polling places.
There will be 100 Alternative Voting Centers and 66 drop off Ballot Boxes for the whole county.
Vote by mail ballots will begin being sent to voters starting Oct. 5th.
There is no return postage required for mail in ballots.
It is best to check your registration by early September to see that it is correct as the Registrar of Voters (ROV) will use September addresses to send out ballots.
You can check your voter registration at https://www.acgov.org/rovmvp_app/mvp.do
Here are some dates related to voter registration from the ROV:
September 24th = Last date to corrected your voter registration to receive and early ballot
October 19th = Last date to register to vote on line
October 27th = Best date to have sent in your ballot by to make sure it arrives timely at the ROV
There will be 100 Alternative Voting Centers and 66 Drop Off Ballot Boxes for the whole county.
The location of these Alternative Voting Centers and the Ballot Drop Boxes is yet to be determined.
You may register to vote at the Alternative Voting Centers once they are open.
You may register to vote on election day, but you will likely have to wait in a long line at one of the designated voting centers.
Your vote has never been more important, so spread the word about the changes for voting this Fall.
I just attended a forum for District 7 candidates.
Most of the questions to which they responded were regarding the Coliseum and the Oakland A's.
Most profess to love football and baseball.
All did not want to see the A's leave or the Howard Terminal site built.
My views on the Coliseum as an industrial center with appurtenant community development is well-known, if not ignored by press and incumbents. It was gratifying to hear some of the candidates proffer ideas I have discussed with them in the past.
Behind this was the voice of a community clamoring for jobs, for economic livelihood.
And yet, the Councilperson at Large has let this District go without an economic development plan for a decade, all the while supporting the Howard Terminal development and other policies supporting issuance of business licenses to those that continue to pilfer and neuter the City.
Please elect me to the position of Councilman at Large so that this District, as well as other that have been treated the same way, can enjoy a new era in which they, the People, have a voice and an advocate.
"Please join me in bringing Oakland back to its people; Vote Me #2 if you've committed to a game player" For more information: www.nancysidebotham.com
Why do I run every time?
Like many of you, though not a native Oaklander, I came here almost 6 decades ago and fell in love with the Community. Diversity, art, culture and a progressive outlook engendered an environment where the birds sang and the residents flourished.
American citizenship gives everyone the right - and the responsibility - to become involved at some level of self governance. My neighborhood experienced some challenges and became cohesive in its efforts to address negative issues. That led to interacting with City departments and ultimately the City Council.
Better than a day-time soap or evening sit-com, Council watching has entertained and saddened me for over two decades. I have watched city employees, so proud of their charge, attempt to uphold a high standard of community service only to be bruised and battered by elected officials, if not publicly, then be covert actions with budgets and lapsed oversight.
For twelve years I have watched my opponent obfuscate to and elude her constituency.
The At-Large Council member is the one who should tie district representatives together, to create a spirit of cooperation and support, and to foster policies that impact the whole.
Instead we have bickering and backstabbing. We have illegal budgets, no real audits, no economic development plans for several districts.
We have had a trash/dumping policy for years. The At-Large response was to install a camera....that did not work. Public health issues are under the jurisdiction of the County but there has been no effort to prosecute the responsibility - just erratic sound bites on the news.
As another constituent stated (two years ago) " The main task of government is to allocate scarce resources not try to appease everyone by creating new departments when there is no real funding." And yet, we have another committee funded with no deliverables.
Being an active observer has educated me. I do know all the city departments, how they function (or should). I also know the streets, the gossip and the realities. I do know where skeletons are buried. That makes me dangerous to some but also able to cut through the rhetoric the public is fed.
I have specifics and will be sharing them on website on facebook etc
Join with me to make this truly a new decade.
"Please join me in bringing Oakland back to its people; Vote Me #2 if you've committed to a game player" For more information: www.nancysidebotham.com
We have very few private sector jobs. Business will not come because crime drives them out.
Safeways are being robbed two or three times a day. We were bamboozled into voting for Prop 47 which let a whole slew of convicted felons out of jail. Then the laws where changed that made certain crimes a misdemeanor rather than a felony. Our cars have been vandalized, broken into or stolen; our mail stolen; home break-ins ignored. If arrests are made, wrists are slapped and the process starts all over again!
OPD has downsized and reports unless a gun is involved for the most part complaints have to be filed on line!
So much for the health and safety of Oakland residents that Council members have sworn to provide.
Now Council President Kaplan is canceling scheduled meetings and introducing police-related legislation without public hearings, characterized by the Chamber of Commerce as "an abuse of power". They further state, "our leaders need to be the best versions of themselves and abandon infighting and petty games. If Council President Kaplan is committed to an open and transparent legislative process then she owes it to the community to resume normal public noticing and committee meeting practices for this and the many other policy and leadership issues with which Oakland is faced."
We have an election coming up in November and we all need to look real hard to those running and whom you want to see in office!
Everyone - from new residents to teenagers coming of age; from longtime voters to those that have never registered need to study some of these issues, be in contact with their Council Member, and bring their energy and talent to aid their City. We can no longer allow our leaders to play games with the public process.
"Please join me in bringing Oakland back to its people; Vote Me #2 if you've committed to a game player" For more information: www.nancysidebotham.com
This slide to oblivion is being exacerbated by a City Council that continues to ignore its own law and flaunts the concept that elected officials work for their constituents.
To be specific the Council has held meeting where legislation is passed with no public input. Notification of meetings has been in violation of the Brown Act and Sunshine Ordinances. Zoom meetings are controlled and muted. We need to start holding those who represent us and are elected to a very high standard and not continue to let them believe they have powers that they don't.
The City Attorney has allowed so many laws to be side stepped or broken for so many years that Oakland is on the precipice of financial ruin should any of these violations go to court. Other negative repercussions from these shenanigans will cost Oakland residents a lot - if not in more taxes, the reduction or cessation of service.
Already staff is being laid off and it will continue at a dizzying rate, despite the reality of an increasing population and infrastructure needs. Current staff, those that know their City, are also leaving because of non-competitive salaries, while high-priced administrators with no community knowledge are hired, using their positions to seek "higher" office, just as several Council members operate.
The auditing firm Rosen & Associates was hired by Oakland to do an audit a while back, found discrepancies and was immediately fired. It is your money and your integrity that is being compromised. Those passing legislation forget who pay the taxes, expecting a return on their investment.
We need to wake up and realize that we own and we run this City. Those holding office work for us! We give them the authority to oversee and run our City; we need to let them know that we are taking our City back!
Those that are paying attention also know that the press often leaves me out in their reporting; that forums often do not invite me to attend. Why?
I've been told I know too much. Yes, I probably do. Years of attending community meetings, city council, neighborhood crime prevention councils and interacting with every department of city government have given me a strong knowledge base about inner workings and the gift of knowing so many wonderful public servants. It also means that I know where the skeletons are, where and how the good, bad and ugly operate.
And as a tax preparer for over 30 years I am quite proficient in understanding budgets, investments, balance sheets, debt...........as well as the games people play in presenting fiscal information. I suppose that makes me dangerous.
To quote our Mayor: "I'm used to getting criticized. I'm used to being protested. I get angry when people are misled about my record." I do too.
So if you are interested in a candidate that has Oakland-specific knowledge, fiscal ability, passion for our entire community, and no political ambitions beyond that of restoring Oakland to the vibrant, diverse and energetic community we all loved, I seek you support and vote to be the Councilperson At Large on the City Council.
For those unfamiliar with US-tribal relations, the abbreviated version is that the US invaded tribal territories, subdued or annihilated the residents, devastated their trading economies and destroyed any means of economic activity on the part of "wards".
Economic activity became US Government largesse with "rations". Mineral and other rights were leased out by Bureau of Indian Affairs, the income theoretically going into bank accounts of the tribe or its individuals. Any tribal individual wishing to access their "funds", such as a quarter to buy a package of cigarettes, had to ask the BIA Superintendent for a draw down, sometimes granted, sometimes not.
In 1934, the "Indian Reorganization Act" brought some turnaround with this "New Deal" for tribes. As tribes began to organize as corporations and access the capital available under the IRA, they began to see an economic life again. WWII impeded this trajectory but ultimately brought about the "Indian Claims Act" (1946), because conversations in war time trenches offended so many hearing of government abuses.
The ICC scared many of the "power" elite leading to the "Indian Termination Act" (1954)(yes, just as it sounds).
Other reversals came with Johnson's "Office of Economic Opportunity" and Nixon's "Indian Self-Determination Act". The rest becomes contemporary history.
Tobacco sales and then casinos have liberated some groups who are doing very well. But one must look at the underlying economic history to understand that just as the "Colonies" resented being the butt of mercantilism, tribes became the face of money in, money out. In other words, government and institutional (religious/civic) sent money through the res, in the name of the people, but the goods and services purchased were from off reservation vendors, so the economic impact bypassed the theoretical recipients.
Enough history; what does this have to do with Oakland?
We have no local economy.
We have been sold out to developers who may pay a paltry property tax, but their real income goes elsewhere. The same may be said of many franchise operations who do not choose to locate corporate headquarters here.
We have no manufacturing base. Capital does not even circulate three times before leaving town.
The opportunity to build a 21st Century economic engine, owned by the public at the Coliseum, has been squandered into a little sports venue, even as sports writers say crowds are dwindling.
So much of the good community service and programs are delivered by non-profits. What does this mean? Non-profit boards spend a majority of their time raising funds to support their administration, thus deflecting energy, good intentions and well meaning dollars going to real services for larger population impact. In/out res economy.
This does provide a benefit to city coffers; by not paying benefits/retirement for these social pioneers, their work is truly that a labor of love and averts public attention from the City's financial gorilla, an issue the City Council continues to avoid.
As each public institution crumbles, we get federal supervision. Welcome to Indian Country.
(Writer note: this article is in no way meant to denigrate anyone. Our Native population, both indigenous and from tribes around the country) is one of the biggest in the USA, and is an integral component of our diversity and cultural life.)
At 425,195 Oakland's population is bigger than any state save Virginia in 1789. At that time the two biggest cities were NYC with 33,131 and Philadelphia with 28,544.
Thus many jurisdictions set up committees to ensure interaction between their constituencies and various departments. The aspiration is that meaningful numbers of constituents may have representation and voice to a larger body; conversely, those charged with executing a public service can reach out effectively at a neighborhood level. And administrator then has to weigh the concerns of each small component to make an educated decision about the whole.
Not everyone is happy with outcomes all of the time, "No one can please all of the people all of the time". But at least we have a vigorous forum that offers opportunities for civic involvement.
Civic involvement at a committee level is often a door to political involvement. It also can be an incubator for strong personalities to bully and cow their committee members and take the committee's business outside its parameters.
When personality politics reign supreme, the public is disserved. Accusations and innuendos make for good headlines; fact and truth get obsificated (sp?). In this day, with the POTUS editing documents in the National Archives, to local press struggling to cover a burgeoning population, it is up to the public to ask the hard questions and to examine the official record(s).
Remember that most meetings are recorded, both on video and transcripts. If you hear a rumor or accusation, be sure to ask for "hard" evidence. "He said, she said" is not information upon which to make a decision or determine who is a credible player and who is not.
When one is a public figure, one becomes a target for publicity, good and bad. Elected officials are often given guidelines regarding public behavior by their jurisdiction. There are laws that cover this subject. These vary community to community.
Committee members are often not given parameters of behavior or lines of jurisdiction. The purpose for which they are intended, civic discourse and "extra brain power" for administrators and elected officials, sometimes are seemingly being abused.
Just as we must be prodigious in guarding our health and safety, we must be zealous in guarding our civil society. Do not become a dupe to misinformation and lack of relevant data. Get involved at whatever level piques your interest. You have something to give. Listen and learn.
The Zoom meetings are controlled and the muted agenda addresses legislation which affects the entire City of Oakland; again there is no discussion or public input! Notification of meetings are barely occurring which ignores the Brown Act and the Sunshine Ordinance; something that is required under these two laws. Council members are slipping in and voting on legislation with little to no public input.
Under this Council with assistance from outside individuals, legislation is being drawn up that will lead to major repercussions for the City placing it in financial jeopardy.
Money is flowing into Oakland but we still have a homeless crisis and garbage and illegal dumping covers our streets. Mayor Schaaf is sitting on a Rainy Day fund and her goal is to lay off City workers in the middle of a world wide pandemic. This Council has placed a couple of measures on the ballot, W and Q both which allows the City to find and raise money at the expense of property owners and City staff.
Elected officials appear to forget who placed them in office and believe it is the homeless who they represent! There are very few jobs in Oakland; businesses will not come because the high crime rate is a deterrent.
Oakland properties are taxed at the highest level in the state and yet we have very little to show in the way of services! Oakland is the Welfare City of Alameda County....Voters believe they are doing the right thing voting for programs; when the programs pass, the money is collected and the programs become bogged down in bureaucratic red tape. Yet the City continues to collect our tax dollars! Show me the money!! Where is the money????????????
Oakland lost a very effective City Auditor in the last election. Certain powers that be set her up and several voters fell for the lies! A while back, the auditing firm Rosen & Associates was hired by Oakland to do an audit of the City. They found discrepancies and as a result of this their services were terminated.
There is an election occurring in November and we need to take a real hard look at the individuals running for office. Ask yourself do we want the same old folks back in office?! Oakland was once a vibrant City and in the last twenty years it has steadily gone down hill. Safeway and other stores are being robbed two or three times a day. Voters were bamboozled into voting for Prop 47 which allowed certain crimes to be reduced from felonies to misdemeanors and misdemeanor crimes reduced to infractions. Cars are vandalized, burglarized or stolen, our mail is stolen, or home burglaries and are just ignored. If an arrest is made wrists are slapped, criminals are freed and the process begins all over again!
OPD has been downsized and reports, unless it's violent in nature, have to be filed on line or over the phone.
Our elected officials need to be held to a higher standard. They need to understand they DO NOT have the power they believe they do. Gentrification is blamed on whites and private corporations coming to Oakland and buying up property. But the reality is gentrification is being driven by legislation that is driving property owners into bankruptcy, property foreclosures or just the desire to sell and get away from a city that offers limited resources. Oakland is a city that has little to no SALES TAX unlike the other surrounding cities. To generate city revenue the City continues to raise fines, permit fees and pass ridiculous property tax increases. Oakland employees are way under paid compared to other cities in Alameda County. Those being hired to head City departments are extremely over paid, come from outside the City if not the state and have little to no Oakland history and no clue how Oakland was, is, and could be.
The reality is there is no leadership in this city. Seasoned workers are leaving because of Oakland's continuous downward trend and its political atmosphere. Working in a toxic environment is not what Oakland workers desire. Letters have been sent out letting City Staff now that layoffs will soon begin!
We need to wake up and realize we own and run this City; those who have perceived power work for us! We gave them the authority to oversee and run our City, not run it into the ground!! We need to let them know we are taking our City back!!
Those that understand the war waged against Native Americans for the last three hundred years understand how reservations are economic engines for superintendents, agents and administrators. Money for programs comes in; money goes out. It seldom provides direct service to residents.
Money has been flowing into Oakland and yet we still have a homeless crisis and garbage covers our streets.
Oakland has no SALES TAX base; thus operating revenues must be raised by taxing residents (a good portion of which goes to the County which has the legal responsibility for the above).
Yet the Council gave away the potentially most lucrative parcel of property to the Oakland A's who will be free to develop it to their internal profit, not encompassing the potential of development for East Oakland, nor an equitable tax structure to contribute to the City. To date, several districts STILL have no economic development plan, a failure of those councilmen and the representative -at-large to ensure the viability of the land and the economics of residents.
Gentrification is happening. Often blamed on techies and corporations coming in and buying up property; the reality is that gentrification is being driven by Council legislation that drives property owners into bankruptcy, foreclosures or just selling to get away. Properties are taxed at the highest level but there are no services. This violates the social contract.
Gorillas in the City Budget continue to be closeted or unaddressed publicly. We have no leadership, just representatives running amok. Voters who believe they are doing the right thing vote for programs, when passed the money is collected and the programs ceases to exist. Yet the City continues to collect the tax dollars! Where is the money????????????
A generation ago typing class adage, "Now is the time for good men to come to the aid of their country" is pertinent today. "We the People" of Oakland need to stop the economic war being waged against them by their Council. It is time to again be "An All-American City."