As Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf prepares to deliver her State of The City Address on Thursday, and just before the 2018 Election Season unofficially starts in November, this blogger designed a unique online survey of her performance that you can see and answer at this link, here. The first respondents to the survey posted at Oakland News Online, the newest blog in the 96-blog Zennie62Media Network that features Zennie62.com, show that the vast majority don’t believe the Mayor has done what she herself said she was going to do when she ran for the office and won in 2014.
We know this because of the way I formed the questionaire: it’s based entirely on the Mayor’s priorities list from her 2014 election website. What I did was take a priority like “Connect with Communities and Restore Community Policing”, put “Did The Mayor:” in front of it, and a question mark behind it, and we get the survey question “Did The Mayor: Connect with Communities and Restore Community Policing?”
Finally, I used a simple set of three responses to each question: “yes”, “no”, and “not sure”. Overall, my objective was to avoid any accusation of bias. Plus, we can get a true reading on what people think of how Mayor Schaaf has performed to date.
I used that approach for each of the 59 listed positions and priorities that were listed, and which I have posted at the end of this blog entry.
Most Respondents Say Mayor Did Not Meet Priorities
The survey I developed employed the Zoho Survey “Software As Service” Platform. With this, entries are scored automatically and a report is created in a PDF format. That PDF report gives summary answers for each question. In other words, if 32 people answer one question, the most frequently picked answer is posted as the final answer in the PDF report, for that individual question.
But what the Zoho Platform does not do is give one a fully summary tally: or one answer that combines the statistics of all of the questions. To get that, I had to make a spreadsheet of the percentage answers for each question. (As a note, because some respondents skipped a question here or there, the final percentages add up to just over 100 percent, rather than 100 percent.)
The spreadsheet, which I also posted at Scribd.com, reported this summary tally:
Not Sure: 22
In other words, just less than 70 percent of of time in the survey, respondents reported that the Mayor did not meet her priorities. Where Mayor Schaaf did do so was in the area of biking, and with this question: Did The Mayor: Grow Bikesharing and Safe Cycling Routes Across Oakland?
For that question, 52 percent answered “yes”, whereas 29 percent answered “no”, and 19 percent reported that they were “not sure”.
A Visible Oakland Bike Presence, Thanks To The Ford Motor Company
Why did Libby score so well in the bike question, and so poorly in the question about road repair, even though the City of Oakland has embarked on a pot hole elimination program? I think it’s because of the bike rental stations set up by The Ford Motor Company, and very visible in many areas of the City. Here’s an example from a video-blog I made July 27th 2017: this a station on Grand Avenue near Perkins in Adams Point:
By contrast, there’s no visible, on-the-street evidence that Oakland’s streets and roads are better, even if they may be. There’s no sign that says “this road repaired by Oakland Public Works”, so no one has a visual that can be connected back to Mayor Schaaf.
The Mayor Hasn’t Reported Her, Or Oakland’s, Good Works, And That Other Issue…
The basic problem for Mayor Schaaf is she hasn’t reported on her, or the City of Oakland’s, good works. The major reason here is a complete lack of a true communications strategy to get the word out, and when any outreach is done, it’s to traditional, and dying, forms of media. In addition to that, the Mayor’s social media approach, as is true for the City of Oakland and the Oakland City Council, is haphazzard and uncoordinated.
And then, there’s that other issue about how some regard Mayor Schaaf. It’s a view I completely disagree with, but its a perception that Mayor Schaaf does not score well with minority and millenial communities. Again, this is a function of people not really knowing Libby, the horribly bad affordable housing problem, the giant homeless problem it’s created, and the afforementioned communications issue.
On top of that, Mayor Schaaf has not formed an organizational and procedural replacement for the terminated Oakland Redevelopment Agency – this, as California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law provisions that, taken together, allow for the creation of a new type of redevelopment agency that can focus on the creation of affordable housing. So, the affordablity crisis worsens, with only a slowing economy to stop it – and that does not benefit Mayor Schaaf, either.
The Ongoing Mayor Schaaf Survey
To close, this blog post constitutes a preliminary report. I have just 32 respondents, and have not yet done a giant email send campaign for the survey. But what prompted me to make a report this early was the completely lopsided pattern of the responses and the upcoming “State of The City” speech this Thursday at the Islamic Cultural Center at 1455 Madison. Since the focus is on the Mayor, and this pattern of “no’s” was so obvious, so early, I had to reported it before her event.
As for the priorities list that formed the basis for the survey, here’s it is from a file I saved sometime ago:
Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf – Stated Positions and Priorities
Connect with Communities and Restore Community Policing
Strengthen Police Force –maintain a baseline of 800 officers and a goal of 925
Hire More Civilian OPD Employees
Speed Up Police and Emergency Response with an Improved 911 System
Get Maximum Benefit from Violence Prevention and Intervention Programs
Keep Youth Out of Prison
Focus on Root Causes of Crime, Starting with Jobs, Better Wages and Education
Will Appoint a Vice Mayor for Community Safety
Learn from Successes and Failures of Other Cities
Work with City Attorney to Reduce Payments of Claims for Police Misconduct by Half
End Federal Supervision on OPD saving $2M per year
Expand Access to High-Quality Education for All Oakland Students
Expand Student Access to Personalized Learning and Technology
Strengthen and Expand Pathways to College and Career
Develop Restorative Practices for Youth Across City Agencies
Make Oakland “Teacher Town USA”
21st Century Government
Implement 311 System for Better Service Delivery
Implement CityStat Performance Accountability System for City Employees
Embrace Public-Private Partnerships
Combat the “Digital Divide” and Engage Residents
Innovation Fellowships for City Employees
Invest in Infrastructure, Use Bonding Against Future Revenue
Create a 5- and 10-year Capital Planning Program
Fund Street and Pothole Repair
Pursue State Funding for Streets
Assess the Value of City-Owned Assets
Saving Money and Hassles on Repaving Projects
Be Responsible and Collaborative About Deferred Liabilities
Cultivate Additional Revenues and Cost-Savings
Capture Value from Real Estate and New Growth
Respond Strategically to the Dissolution of Redevelopment
Livable Neighborhoods and Sustainable Transportation
Speed Up the Transformation of Parks and Open Spaces
Care for Our Libraries, Community, Sports and Cultural Facilities
Make Transportation a Priority in City Hall
Slow Down Neighborhood Streets
Grow Bikesharing and Safe Cycling Routes Across Oakland
Make Transit a Great Option
Make Streets Good Places for People
Make Parking Make Sense
Plan Our Neighborhoods for Appropriate Development
Preserving Affordability and Cultural Identity
Help Get New Housing Built
Look for New Housing Funds and Use Affordable Housing Funding Strategies That Work
Pursue Additional Sources of Funding for Affordable Housing
Prioritize Protection of Current Rentals
Incentivize the Creation of Affordable Units
Get Tough on Bad Landlords
Fight for Oakland’s Fair Share
Raise the Minimum Wage to a Livable Wage
Bring Down the Cost of Living
Support New Business Formation
Retain and Expand Existing Businesses
Market Oakland as a Great Place for Business
Partner with Businesses to Create Training
Help Workers Secure Jobs and Prepare for Careers
Lift Up Our Small Businesses
Make “Made in Oakland” a Reality
Attract New Employers
Cut Red Tape for New and Expanding Businesses
Make Neighborhoods with the Highest Unemployment “Job Creation Zones”