Nancy Sidebotham

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I am Outraged (once again)

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:

Why Am I Running for this Office?

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:

What is one of the greatest challenges for the City of Oakland?

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:

Oakland was once a vibrant City and has gone down hill for the last 20 years

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!

"Please join me in bringing Oakland back to its people; Vote Me #2 if you've committed to a game player" For more information:

Those that follow Oakland politics know I have had my hat in the ring before

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, 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.

"Please join me in bringing Oakland back to its people; Vote Me #2 if you've committed to a game player" For more information:

Oakland is turning itself into an economic Indian reservation under current leadership

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.)

"Please join me in bringing Oakland back to its people; Vote Me #2 if you've committed to a game player" For more information:

We are no longer a country wherein congressional members of the House represent 10,000 people

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.

"Please join me in bringing Oakland back to its people; Vote Me #2 if you've committed to a game player" For more information:

The Oakland City Council is holding meetings where legislation is being passed without public input

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!!

"Please join me in bringing Oakland back to its people; Vote Me #2 if you've committed to a game player" For more information:

With no disrespect intended to the Native American population, Oakland is becoming a reservation economy

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."

"Please join me in bringing Oakland back to its people; Vote Me #2 if you've committed to a game player" For more information: