The City of Oakland’s true new colors are showing in the wake of my finding that Howard Terminal Ballpark Project boss Molly Maybrun bragged about working with her “old friend and colleague” Betsy Lake in her Linkedin post, openly pointing to the appearance that the way she got the position was because of her relationship with Ms. Lake, the Assistant City Manager who was with Oakland well before Ms. Mayburn arrived.
My long-time friend Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf (who must do better since I’m the one who told her to run for Mayor in the first place) opened up this vlogger’s look into the matter when she admitted repeatedly that her current Howard Terminal-focused staff lacked the proper expertise in tax increment financing-related (TIF) economic development (which explains the glaring lack of projects using Enhanced Infrastructure Financing District (EIFD) legislation, and using TIF to get money to businesses and people who need help recovering from the Pandemic, as AB 464 (Mullen) allows. AB 464 (Mullen) was signed into law by Governor Newsom last summer.
But what this long time, and not-to-be-named City of Oakland staffer revealed to me in an out-of-the-blue text was damning. Here’s what this person sent to me, and after sharing my post on Ms. Lake and Ms. Maybrun, but not realizing it was me to wrote it. When I informed the person it was me, out came a flood of new and sad information. This boils down to something, a problem my long-time friend Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf can solve, and must do so ASAP.
The info from my source:
A lot of things going wrong! Ed Reiskin and Betsy Lake are hiring their friends!
Also Betsy had no experience in public works or DOT Ashe manages the two departments most of the 800 people in the two departments do not even know her.
(Then, my source let loose sharing what is their personal opinion about a public figure.) “She is $%%^*( #$%. Does not give the damn about oakland or the people. She is Libby friend give her high paying post and now staying to boost her benefit and retirement. Her and Ed favors DOT and making high level positions for his friends and former staff from SFMTA that were fired from San Francisco. bringing most of his former staff from sfmta and giving them assistant directors and managers posts.”
“It’s sad. No equality. No justice. And the bias and discrimination are at the highest at the City of Oakland (ever). They hire one black person but that person does not give a $$% about anyone else.
They cater to Betsy and Ed only not to the staff or community.
The public works director is inexperienced and promotes white women.
He is not from Oakland has no public works experience was fired from multiple agencies
Last job he had as city manager for 12 people city smaller than Emeryville. Betsy and Ed did not promote black guy was in the city or another assistant director with more experience Betsy hired him
It is a mess.
Last week he promoted white lady to a department that she had no experience in that field and by passed black manger who is been doing this job for 33 years.
I have never seen Oakland this way in the 30 years I have lived here.
A Continuation Of A City of Oakland Process That Chased Away More-Than Qualified Black Personnel Since Strong Mayor
From this vlogger’s long-term view, the story reports the continuation of a City of Oakland practice that has chased away African American talent since Oakland voters approved Jerry Brown’s version of “Strong Mayor” in 1998. From City Manager then City Administrator Robert Bobb, to Redevelopment Agency boss Fred Blackwell, and now Santa Rosa City Manager Maraskeshia Smith, and many people in between, and currently, Oakland’s established a sad track record of chasing away amazingly-well-qualified black city workers.
And while Mayor Schaaf has made efforts to fill positions at the top with African American workers over the last two years, from the news I am constantly receiving, that is overwhelmed by what’s happening under them, and the bad track record prior to the last two years. And that brings us back to the matter of Betsy Lake and Molly Maybrun.
The problem is, to repeat my initial message, that when Jerry Brown was running for Mayor of Oakland in 1998, he openly and shamelessly pointed to the City of Oakland’s black professional class as unresponsive and built on a process of “friends hiring friends”. Brown then claimed voters put him in as the City’s first “Strong Mayor” to stop what Jerry used a racist lens to see as a problem. Now, there’s clearly an institutional racism problem in the City of Oakland. The assertions of my friend and source are not to be taken as hyperbole, because I have also known this person to correct me regarding City of Oakland actions of the past that I perceived as racist. He’s going out and making a solid argument that there’s a problem.
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