Category: Oakland Politics

Oakland City Council Votes to Advance Adult Use Cannabis – With Kaplan’s Amendments

OAKLAND, CA – Tonight, Oakland City Council unanimously voted to advance adult use cannabis, with amendments authored by Councilmember Kaplan to ensure effective implementation. Councilmember Kaplan’s amendments include: the community request to make sure approvals don’t get stuck in Revenue and Planning departments due to cross-departmental delays, and protecting applicant information from the Federal government.

Oakland Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan, who has been a leader in regulating and taxing cannabis, authored the nation’s first cannabis tax in 2009, which was placed on the ballot by the Council and passed overwhelmingly by Oakland voters.

https://ballotpedia.org/City_of_Oakland_Marijuana_Tax,_Measure_F_(July_2009)

Under Proposition 64, California will allow the sale of cannabis to Californians age 21 and over, but businesses can’t actually sell cannabis unless they get permits from their local city. By passing this legislation, Oakland cannabis businesses can now qualify for state and local authorization.

Kaplan says: “By permitting and taxing cannabis manufacturing, cultivation, and sales, Oakland will be better positioned to fund expansion of vital public services, including homeless solutions, and to remedy illegal dumping which threatens public health. Tonight’s vote made clear that Oakland will not miss the opportunity to bring in vitally needed tax dollars, by harnessing California’s coming legalization of cannabis for adult use. The people of Oakland voted overwhelmingly to support the legalization, taxation, and regulation of cannabis, and our city has successfully provided permitted medical cannabis dispensaries for over a decade — leading the nation in this effort. Now, as Adult Use cannabis sales are about to become legal in California, Oakland has built on this work by providing for adult use sales, in compliance with state and local laws.”

As many California cities have chosen to ban cannabis facilities, and others are enmeshed in lengthy ongoing debates, tonight’s action means that Oakland has now passed our revised cannabis ordinance, and is positioned to be one of the few cities in California prepared to have licensed adult-use sales by January 2018, when the State law allowing them goes into effect.

Oakland Unified School District Budget Town Hall Meeting Livestream Video 11-20-2017

Oakland Unified School District Budget Town Hall Meeting Livestream Video 11-20-2017

Posted by Kim Davis on Monday, November 20, 2017

And if you have not done so, please take my Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf Performance Survey.

Survey: https://survey.zohopublic.com/zs/4xB57l

About the survey: http://oaklandnewsonline.com/2017/10/19/oakland-mayor-libby-schaaf-report-card-based-on-her-stated-positions-priorities-oakland-sharing-the-vision/

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf

Oakland Mayor Schaaf Tells Business Group City Service Problems Are “Indefensible”

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf
Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf

According to a number of friends who were there, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf told members of the Oakland Jobs and Housing Coalition that the city service problems they identified were indefensible.

The setting was the Thursday November 16th morning meeting where Mayor Schaaf was the main guest, and to present her proposed ballot initiative to expand housing affordability and to improve the quality of pre-school education for Oakland students.

After her presentation, a number of members of the Jobs and Housing Coalition expressed disappointment with various city departments, and in areas like the permitting process, and in the lack of direct accountability for failures that occur. My sources said that Mayor Schaaf responded that some of the problems they mentioned were “indefensible.”

The real question is does Mayor Schaaf regard the problems as reparable, and if so, how?

One way to tell the Mayor where she and the City of Oakland are going well, and not, is to take my Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf Performamce Survey. It’s a 60 question online active list of questions taken directly from the Mayor’s own list of priorities and positions, as presented on her original website for her 2014 campaign run.

As of this writing, there are 304 completed responses and 2,367 survey visits. Check it out: https://survey.zohopublic.com/zs/4xB57l

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf Performance Survey Scores For Nov 12th 2017

The Survey Report Card For Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf

15.07

63.72

21.21

What those numbers represent are the percentage of people who, overall, answered yes, no, or not sure to a set of 59 questions on Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf’s Performance Survey designed by me, Zennie Abraham and for my new Oakland News Online .com blog. The questions were taken directly from her 2014 list of “positions and priorities.” The objective was to determine if Oaklanders believed the Mayor did the job she told the public she would do, and by laying out that list of “positions and priorities.”

My overall concern was the formation of a performance evaluation that was unbiased. By using the Mayor’s own list of objectives, and just placing the words “Did the Mayor:” in from of each one, and then a “?” after each one, a question was formed. For example, the priority of “Connect with Communities and Restore Community Policing” became “Did The Mayor: Connect with Communities and Restore Community Policing?” – and so on.

Thus formed what I contend is the best evaluation system for an incumbent ever created, and something that can form a model for future efforts. Every candidate has a set of such “positions and priorities” – why not form a way for residents of a city to evaluate if that person did what they, themselves, said they were going to do.

Not A Push Poll

This is not a “push poll.” A push poll is, as political observer and blogger Taegan Goddard put it, “a seemingly unbiased survey that is actually conducted by supporters of a particular candidate that intends to disseminate negative or misleading information about an opponent. Its intent is primarily to distribute propaganda rather than to understand the views and opinions of the public.”

By providing simple question responses “yes”, “no”, or “not sure”, the Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf Performance Survey provides the Oakland voter with a chance to give their opinion on if the mayor attended to the priorities and maintained the positions she created a list of in 2014. There is no pre-survey negative information or positive information on Mayor Schaaf or any other candidate for the Oakland’s Mayor’s Race for 2018. Thus, it is not a push poll, and any claims to the contrary are from the uninformed.

Results for November 12th

To the date and time of this download of survey data, which was November 12th 2017 at 7 PM EST, there were 135 responses and 1,885 overall survey visits. I created one formula set that formed an average response for the categories “yes”, “no”, or “not sure” combining each of the 59 questions.

This way, over the life of the survey, we can track change in overall response: the more Oaklanders who respond to the poll, the more likely we are to obtain a true picture of how the electorate views Mayor’s Schaaf’s performance in meeting her own barometer of success.

Where we are today is that the Mayor has not attended to most of the priorities or maintained most of the positions she established in 2014. The survey’s overall opinion is that she has misfired 63.72 percent of the time (a note vote) or scored positively 15.07 percent of the time (a yes vote), with respondents to questions saying that 21.21 percent of the they were “not sure” if the Mayor attended to most of the priorities or maintained most of the positions she established in 2014.

Where The Mayor Did Well

The area the Mayor received the best score in was for “Did The Mayor: Grow Bikesharing and Safe Cycling Routes Across Oakland?” Here, the scores were “yes” 56 percent, “no” 30 percent, and “not sure” 14 percent. As reported here, before, the highly visible Ford-sponsored blue bike rental racks around town helped a lot. In fact, it’s fair to say that without them, the Mayor would have scored a “not sure” or “no” reflecting a lack of other visible evidence that the Mayor was working to grow bikesharing and safe cycling in Oakland.

Mayor Schaaf also scored well with the question “Did The Mayor: Fund Street and Pothole Repair?”. 41 percent said she did, whereas 50 percent said she did not, and just nine percent were not sure. This, as I’ve said before, points to a clear communications problem, as the City of Oakland and the Mayor via social media have worked to get the word out about the massive, multi-year effort to improve Oakland’s streets via repaving. But the methods used have employed more of a traditional media approach, where a more comprehensive 21st Century media approach would work better.

Where The Mayor Did Not Do Well

Given the massive problem with affordable housing and the homeless, it should surprise no one that Libby had the highest “no” votes for the question “Did The Mayor: Bring Down the Cost of Living?” – 87 percent said no, with 7 percent yes, and 6 percent not sure. And remember, that question was based on a priority Mayor Schaaf established before she was elected in 2014, and the problem of lack of affordable housing started spiraling to massive proportions.

Indeed, the vast majority of Mayor Schaaf’s poorest scores were in areas concerning cost of living related issues.

Scores Updated Weekly

These scores will be updated once a week between now and the 2018 Election Day. That way, as the number of respondents grows, we will get a better view of how the total electorate feels about how Mayor Schaaf has done. Moreover, it will give Mayor Schaaf a chance to go out and tell her story to Oaklanders who may not have got the message.

Of course the best way to for the Mayor to focus on better quality of life cost of living responses is by bringing in more new, and ideally low-skilled but well-paying jobs and not just tech positions, and aggressively reducing housing costs – by any means necessary. And fast: the November 2018 Election will be hear before we know it.

Here’s the full list of questions and statistics for November 12th 2017:

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf Performance Survey Scores For Nov 12th 2017

What follows are the raw numbers, and next to them, the percentage representation for “yes”, “no”, and “not sure”.

1 Did The Mayor: Connect with Communities and Restore Community Policing? Average Main Scores

Yes 14 0.10 15.07%
No 107 0.79 63.72%
Not sure 14 0.10 21.21%
100.00% 100.00%

2 Did The Mayor: Strengthen Police Force –maintain a baseline of 800 officers and a goal of 925?

Yes 17 0.13
No 78 0.58
Not sure. 40 0.30
100.00%

3 Did The Mayor: Hire More Civilian OPD Employees?

Yes 17 0.13
No 59 0.44
Not sure 59 0.44
100.00%

4 Did The Mayor Speed Up Police and Emergency Response with an Improved 911 System?

Yes 13 0.10
No 98 0.73
Not sure 23 0.17
100.00%

5 Did The Mayor Get Maximum Benefit from Violence Prevention and Intervention Programs?

Yes. 14 0.11
No. 83 0.63
Not sure. 34 0.26
100.00%

6 Did The Mayor Keep Youth Out of Prison?

Yes 11 0.08
No 100 0.75
Not sure 23 0.17
100.00%

7 Did The Mayor: Focus on Root Causes of Crime, Starting with Jobs, Better Wages and Education?

Yes 19 0.14
No 106 0.78
Not sure 11 0.08
100.00%

8 Did The Mayor: Will Appoint a Vice Mayor for Community Safety?

Yes 16 0.12
No 71 0.53
Not sure 48 0.36
100.00%

9 Did The Mayor: Learn from Successes and Failures of Other Cities?

Yes 15 0.11
No 97 0.72
Not sure 22 0.16
100.00%

10 Did The Mayor: Work with City Attorney to Reduce Payments of Claims for Police Misconduct by Half?

Yes 12 0.09
No 82 0.62
Not sure 39 0.29
100.00%

11 Did The Mayor: End Federal Supervision on OPD saving $2M per year?

Yes 17 0.13
No 83 0.62
Not sure 34 0.25
100.00%

12 Did The Mayor: Expand Access to High-Quality Education for All Oakland Students?

Yes 20 0.15
No 96 0.72
Not sure 17 0.13
100.00%

13 Did The Mayor: Expand Student Access to Personalized Learning and Technology?

Yes 17 0.13
No 86 0.64
Not sure 31 0.23
100.00%

14 Did The Mayor: Strengthen and Expand Pathways to College and Career?

Yes 29 0.22
No 84 0.63
Not sure 20 0.15
100.00%

15 Did The Mayor: Develop Restorative Practices for Youth Across City Agencies?

Yes 18 0.14
No 87 0.65
Not sure 28 0.21
100.00%

16 Did The Mayor: Make Oakland “Teacher Town USA”?

Yes 13 0.10
No 103 0.77
Not sure 18 0.13
100.00%

17 Did The Mayor: Implement 311 System for Better Service Delivery?

Yes 16 0.12
No 62 0.47
Not sure 54 0.41
100.00%

18 Did The Mayor: Implement CityStat Performance Accountability System for City Employees?

Yes 10 0.08
No 77 0.58
Not sure 46 0.35
100.00%

19 Did The Mayor: Embrace Public-Private Partnerships?

Yes 34 0.26
No 60 0.45
Not sure 38 0.29
100.00%

20 Did The Mayor: Combat the “Digital Divide” and Engage Residents?

Yes 17 0.13
No 95 0.71
Not sure 21 0.16
100.00%

21 Did The Mayor: Innovation Fellowships for City Employees?

Yes 13 0.10
No 68 0.51
Not sure 52 0.39
100.00%

22 Did The Mayor: Invest in Infrastructure, Use Bonding Against Future Revenue?

Yes 21 0.16
No 75 0.57
Not sure 35 0.27
100.00%

23 Did The Mayor: Create a 5- and 10-year Capital Planning Program?

Yes 14 0.11
No 68 0.52
Not sure 48 0.37
100.00%

24 Did The Mayor: Fund Street and Pothole Repair?

Yes 56 0.41
No 67 0.50
Not sure 12 0.09
100.00%

25 Did The Mayor: Pursue State Funding for Streets?

Yes 28 0.21
No 59 0.45
Not sure 45 0.34
100.00%

26 Did The Mayor: Assess the Value of City-Owned Assets?

Yes 13 0.10
No 68 0.52
Not sure 49 0.38
100.00%

27 Did The Mayor: Save Money and Hassles on Repaving Projects?

Yes 16 0.12
No 79 0.61
Not sure 35 0.27
100.00%

28 Did The Mayor: Make Oakland Responsible and Collaborative About Deferred Liabilities?

Yes 14 0.11
No 70 0.53
Not sure 47 0.36
100.00%

29 Did The Mayor: Cultivate Additional Revenues and Cost-Savings?

Yes 15 0.11
No 83 0.62
Not sure 35 0.26
100.00%

30 Did The Mayor: Capture Value from Real Estate and New Growth?

Yes 25 0.19
No 78 0.60
Not sure 28 0.21
100.00%

31 Did The Mayor: Respond Strategically to the Dissolution of Redevelopment?

Yes 14 0.10
No 97 0.72
Not sure 24 0.18
100.00%

32 Did The Mayor: Speed Up the Transformation of Parks and Open Spaces?

Yes 13 0.10
No 104 0.79
Not sure 15 0.11
100.00%

33 Did The Mayor: Care for Our Libraries, Community, Sports and Cultural Facilities?

Yes 16 0.12
No 104 0.78
Not sure 13 0.10
100.00%

34 Did The Mayor: Make Transportation a Priority in City Hall?

Yes 27 0.20
No 75 0.57
Not sure 30 0.23
100.00%

35 Did The Mayor: Slow Down Neighborhood Streets?

Yes 24 0.19
No 83 0.64
Not sure 22 0.17
100.00%

36 Did The Mayor: Grow Bikesharing and Safe Cycling Routes Across Oakland?

Yes 74 0.56
No 40 0.30
Not sure 18 0.14
100.00%

37 Did The Mayor: Make Transit a Great Option?

Yes 20 0.15
No 90 0.67
Not sure 24 0.18
100.00%

38 Did The Mayor: Make Streets Good Places for People?

Yes 13 0.10
No 104 0.79
Not sure 15 0.11
100.00%

39 Did The Mayor: Make Parking Make Sense?

Yes 11 0.08
No 97 0.74
Not sure 23 0.18
100.00%

40 Did The Mayor: Plan Our Neighborhoods for Appropriate Development?

Yes 12 0.09
No 103 0.77
Not sure 19 0.14
100.00%

41 Did The Mayor: Help Get New Housing Built?

Yes 31 0.23
No 75 0.56
Not sure 27 0.20
100.00%

42 Did The Mayor: Look for New Housing Funds and Use Affordable Housing Funding Strategies That Work?

Yes 22 0.17
No 85 0.64
Not sure 25 0.19
100.00%

43 Did The Mayor: Pursue Additional Sources of Funding for Affordable Housing?

Yes 23 0.17
No 77 0.58
Not sure 33 0.25
100.00%

44 Did The Mayor: Prioritize Protection of Current Rentals?

Yes 23 0.17
No 93 0.70
Not sure 17 0.13
100.00%

45 Did The Mayor: Incentivize the Creation of Affordable Units?

Yes 21 0.16
No 94 0.71
Not sure 17 0.13
100.00%

46 Did The Mayor: Get Tough on Bad Landlords?

Yes 15 0.11
No 97 0.73
Not sure 20 0.15
100.00%

47 Did The Mayor: Fight for Oakland’s Fair Share?

Yes 17 0.13
No 95 0.73
Not sure 19 0.15
100.00%

48 Did The Mayor: Raise the Minimum Wage to a Livable Wage?

Yes 28 0.21
No 89 0.67
Not sure 16 0.12
100.00%

49 Did The Mayor: Bring Down the Cost of Living?

Yes 9 0.07
No 117 0.87
Not sure 8 0.06
100.00%

50 Did The Mayor: Support New Business Formation?

Yes 31 0.23
No 74 0.55
Not sure 30 0.22
100.00%

51 Did The Mayor: Retain and Expand Existing Businesses?

Yes 18 0.14
No 88 0.67
Not sure 26 0.20
100.00%

52 Did The Mayor: Market Oakland as a Great Place for Business?

Yes 40 0.30
No 69 0.52
Not sure 24 0.18
100.00%

53 Did The Mayor: Partner with Businesses to Create Training?

Yes 17 0.13
No 78 0.59
Not sure 38 0.29
100.00%

54 Did The Mayor: Help Workers Secure Jobs and Prepare for Careers?

Yes 16 0.12
No 92 0.69
Not sure 25 0.19
100.00%

55 Did The Mayor: Lift Up Our Small Businesses?

Yes 21 0.16
No 88 0.67
Not sure 22 0.17
100.00%

56 Did The Mayor: Make “Made in Oakland” a Reality?

Yes 16 0.12
No 96 0.73
Not sure 20 0.15
100.00%

57 Did The Mayor: Attract New Employers?

Yes 30 0.22
No 77 0.57
Not sure 29 0.21
100.00%

58 Did The Mayor: Cut Red Tape for New and Expanding Businesses?

Yes 12 0.09
No 85 0.65
Not sure 33 0.25
100.00%

59 Did The Mayor: Make Neighborhoods with the Highest Unemployment “Job Creation Zones”?

Yes 13 0.10
No 98 0.74
Not sure 22 0.17
100.00%

60 What Oakland City Council District Do You Live In?

District One (North Oakland-Rockridge) 4
District Two (East Lake Merritt – Chinatown) 4
District Three (Adams Point – Downtown – West Oakland) 3
District Four (Montclair – Oakland Hills – Central Oakland Laurel Heights ) 2
District Five (Fruitvale / San Antonio to Central East Oakland ) 3
District Six (Central East Oakland) 3
District Seven (East Oakland) 7

Restorative Justice For Oakland Youth

Restorative Justice In Oakland And The East Bay – Morgan Bach

Restorative Justice For Oakland Youth
Restorative Justice For Oakland Youth

In 2015, I went through a restorative justice training in Oakland with RJOY (Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth), and I learned that it takes a community to heal a community.

When I found out that restorative justice was starting to replace suspensions and expulsions in Oakland schools, it made so much sense. Young people obviously benefit more from being called in to their communities than being shamed or exiled. By then I also understood that making sense is a kind of resistance, because our current policies aren’t designed to reduce harm. They actively destroy communities and perpetuate cycles of trauma.

What if a young person who caused harm was told that they matter, that they have it in them to make better choices, and that they’ll be supported? That’s what a restorative justice circle does, and the investment that Oakland schools have put into RJ practices has resulted in more than just a symbolic showing of care for students.

The Oakland Public Schools Restorative Justice effort has employed staff in schools whose sole purpose is to promote social and emotional health. It has created safe places for students to express themselves without shame or judgement. It has even trained and empowered students to practice calling in their peers when they face conflict, without any intervention. I wish my classmates and I had had that kind of education in school.

As a young person, I learned that punishing people and banning things were the way to solve problems in society. I wasn’t really challenged to think outside of that box. I wasn’t shown an alternative, or taught about indigenous practices, like restorative justice. It took a lot of learning and unlearning to become a harm reduction enthusiast.

Another organization I’ve trained with is the SEEDS Community Resolution Center in Berkeley. There I learned the basics of mediation, which is another restorative practice that is becoming a more popular way of settling disputes outside of court. The beauty of mediation is that it doesn’t involve an external judge or expensive lawyer – it is at its heart a safe container for a conflict to be resolved by the people affected. Mediators are trained to create and maintain this space, and it’s not an easy task. Often there are differences in power that haven’t been addressed, and painful histories, traumas, and emotions that emerge.

Like restorative justice, mediation empowers people by getting to the heart of the conflict, rather than escalating, isolating, or punishing. I see the rise in popularity of these models as extremely promising for the East Bay and any community in need of justice that empowers and heals.

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf’s State Of The City Speech, Thursday Nov 3rd, 2017

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf’s staff for some reason used this Facebook page to post her State of The City Speech, even though the result was not used to be distributed via other social media. Sad.

The City’s residents needs to have a look at The Islamic Cultural Center, located at 1433 Madison, Steet. This gives them that chance – and it’s one reason why I reposted the speech here.

Sit back and watch and listen – and click on this link to hear the speech:

Stay tuned.

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf Report Card Survey: Respondents Say Mayor Not Fulfilling Agenda In Preliminary Analysis

The Survey Report Card For Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf

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:

Yes: 10
No: 69
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

Public Safety
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

Education
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

Finances
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

Economic Revitalization
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”

Stay tuned.

Reports Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf Survey Report Card Preliminary PDF File by Zennie Abraham on Scribd

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf Preliminary Survey Tally by Zennie Abraham by Zennie Abraham on Scribd

Oakland Councilmember Lynette Gibson McElhaney Talks City of Oakland’s Race and Gender Disparity Study

As part of what’s called The Oakland Disparity Study, Mason Tillman Associates held a poorly publicized meeting to interested members of the Oakland Minority Business Community on October 24th at Oakland City Hall, that featured a speech by Oakland Councilmember Lynette Gibson McElhaney. Here’s the link and embed of her talk, but click on the link here, because the embed will not play her speech from the start of her talk due to Periscope’s crappy coding.

Now, what is the “Oakland Disparity Study”? Well, according to Mason Tillman Associates it…

was commissioned in June 2017. The Study will determine how many contracts and contract dollars the City and its prime contractors have awarded to businesses that are owned by people of color and women. In the Study process, input will be solicited from business owners who have contracted with the City or who have tried to contract with the City. Policy and administrative recommendations based on the Study’s findings will be provided to the City.

The Study will be conducted by Oakland-based firm, Mason Tillman Associates, Ltd. Mason Tillman is a nationally recognized disparity study expert. Mason Tillman will analyze construction, professional services, and goods and services contracts and grants that were awarded from July 1, 2011, to June 30, 2016. As a key component of the Study, Mason Tillman will identify ready, willing and able local businesses, including businesses owned by people of color and women, in the City’s market area.

The success of the Study requires the involvement of the local business community. You are invited to participate in the Study by:

Attending a business outreach meeting and providing public comment
Submitting a business information survey to affirm your willingness and ability to contract with the City: Oakland Disparity Study Business Survey
Agreeing to be interviewed regarding your contracting experiences
Providing membership lists and directories from local business and professional organizations

They did a crappy job of letting people know about these meetings in Oakland – the social media outreach was laughable at best. Heck, they could have contracted with me to do this! I’m a local black small business in Zennie62Media with a huge reach.

Right?

But, I digress.

Here’s the website: http://oaklanddisparitystudy.com/

Stay tuned.

Oakland Gun Storage Focus Of Alameda County DA Nancy O’Malley’s Message

The problem of guns stored in some Oakland homes in a way that can cause loss of life has been a problem for some time. A concerned Oakland City Council and Alameda County DA Nancy O’Malley have taken steps to reduce the problem.

Take January 5th 2016 for example, the Oakland City Council, led by Councilmembers Rebecca Kaplan (At Large), Dan Kalb (District One), and Anne Campbell Washington (District Four) passed an ordinance to ban all high capacity weapons magazines and require gun owners to safely store their guns in lock boxes both at home and in automobiles.

And take this month, where Oakland electeds have embarked on a campaign to remind you to store your weapons safely. Here’s Alameda County DA Nancy O’Malley, from her website:

““The message is strong and clear and it will save lives,” says DA O’Malley. If there are children living in or visiting your home, your gun must be secured and locked in a place that no child can access. This is the law in our state. When gun owners follow this law, lives are saved and tragedies are prevented.”

As these public service announcements were in final production, the nation witnessed the deadliest mass shooting in our country’s modern history in Las Vegas, Nevada. While the messaging of this public service campaign is devoted to the safe storage of firearms, it is clearly a part of a much broader campaign centered on reducing gun violence and its tragic consequences.
Children are naturally curious and love nothing more than looking into hiding places. When an adult’s negligent gun storage is combined with a child’s interest in exploration, deadly consequences are far too common.

The tragedies are seemingly never-ending. Within just the past several weeks, the media reported stories from around the country of little children shooting themselves or others with guns they found. In late September, a 4-year-old boy in Parma, Ohio, got his hands on a gun in the family car and died after shooting himself in the head. Earlier in the month, a 4-year-old Florida girl put her hand into her grandmother’s purse looking for candy, came upon a handgun, and accidentally shot and killed herself. News reports in St. Louis describe a 4-year-old boy who shot himself in the face with a gun he had found in his home, and, in a separate incident the same week, a 2-year-old boy shot and killed his father while playing with a handgun he found in the home. Had the guns been locked away, inaccessible to children, lives would not have been lost nor children seriously injured.

California is one of several states in the nation that has laws prohibiting ‘criminal storage’ of firearms. These laws are aimed at preventing teens and children from gaining access to loaded guns and shooting themselves or others. This campaign aims to inform every gun owner of his or her legal responsibility to ensure that no child can access the firearm.

A study published in June of 2017 in the American Journal of Pediatrics reports that on average, 19 U.S. children per day are killed by or receive emergency treatment for gunshot wounds, and that among injury-related deaths, firearms are the second leading cause behind car accidents for children aged 1-17.

In the months ahead, the District Attorney’s Office will continue the campaign to address gun violence, highlighting important messages such as safe storage to reduce the theft of firearms that are often then used in violent crimes.

So, be sure to store your guns in a way that’s safe and lawful.

Stay tuned.