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Re: “Make Voting Great Again: Introducing the Express' Weekly Election 2016 Column

Just to be clear: what I meant by "Goldilocks" was that the rent ordinance adopted by Council in March and that we recently placed on the November ballot rests neatly in between the rent control activists' initiative ("too strong") and the California Apartment Association's initiative ("too weak") -- our ordinance, as Goldilocks would say, is "not too strong, not too weak, but something in between that's just right." Thanks! : )

/s/ tony
tdaysog@alamedaca.gov

Posted by Tony Daysog on 07/27/2016 at 10:27 AM

Re: “Oakland Cell Phone Surveillance Vote Postponed to Improve Privacy Protections

What are the penalties for police violating the policy, or using the surveillance equipment to spy on people without justification? If they can still use the gear to wrongfully invade our privacy and no one is held accountable, that's not acceptable.

Posted by Starchild on 07/27/2016 at 12:21 AM

Re: “Mayor Schaaf's Protest Plan Misses the Mark

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Posted by Robby Mohr on 07/26/2016 at 11:56 PM

Re: “City Forcing West Oakland’s Alliance Metals to Close on August 20, But Supporters Argue Recyclers Have No Safety Net

Super unfortunate and unjust. If the reason for closing is theft and compromised-hygiene in the nearby area, I imagine the city could think of more clever and useful means of regulation and maintenance than simply closing Alliance.

What if Alliance needed to see proof of purchase or ownership for certain metals (fancy copper and lead; BBQs, etc.) , and not for others (cans, bottles, old scrap)? Or something similar?

What if the city helped set up a homeless outreach clinic in the vicinity? Teamed up with the Berkeley Suitcase Clinic, create an Oakland buddy project. With a restroom or two? Or teamed with UC Berkeley's Haas Business School or School of Social Welfare to find a more just solution?

Instead of shutting down these humans' means for sustenance, they could put in some more energy and time and find ways to reach a compromise.

Posted by William Renauld on 07/26/2016 at 2:22 PM

Re: “Best of the East Bay 2016

There's no list here. What gives east bay express. Very misleading

Posted by Jack Blangy on 07/26/2016 at 11:32 AM

Re: “Town Business: Did OPOA Gut Oakland's Police Commission?

I am glad to hear that Rashidah Grinage and Pamela Drake of the Coalition are still positive about the likely benefits of the prospective Police Commission.

It is a sad fact that the realization of the Commission is coming at possibly the worst possible time with the Police Officers Association with its hackles up so the process is fraught with a great deal of mistrust. And of course the Mayor is concerned above all with protecting her administrative power. The Council is having to do a lot of work in a very short period of time in their characteristic reactive "last minute" mode rather than in an extended process of democratic outreach and reflection and planning ahead. This sort of policymaking, although typical of Oakland, isn't guaranteed to produce the best possible outcomes.

Although I have for many years supported a Police Commission for Oakland, these days I am also feeling very sympathetic with our cops because of the revolving door of the Chiefs, the ongoing low morale and constant high level of attrition and the Mayor's utter irrationality and incompetence.

I'm also very concerned about the citizens who don't have nearly the level of police service they need and deserve, and who at the same time bear the high dollar costs of our department due to lawsuits and constant turnover. All this in a time when there is no evident leadership or vision for the future.

Posted by Hobart Johnson on 07/25/2016 at 11:38 PM

Re: “Town Business: Did OPOA Gut Oakland's Police Commission?

Pamela is correct. Does the Commission still have 'teeth?' It may not have wisdom teeth, but it still has molars. The most important accomplishment of the measure is that it cuts the City Administrator out of the disciplinary process. This is a major reform. Although the Coalition is not getting everything we wanted, placing this item on the ballot is a significant step in what will be an ongoing process to bring the Oakland community into the process of how it is policed and will strengthen the ability to hold accountable officers who abuse their authority, racially profile and violate Department policy. The glass is not full, but it is more full than empty. No doubt there will be more work needed in the future, but make no mistake: this is a victory that should be celebrated and the work will soon begin to ensure a win in November!

Posted by Rashida Grinage on 07/25/2016 at 9:45 PM

Re: “Why Does the Berkeley City Council Care About a Dog Meat Festival in China?

I can't wait for a branch group of Direct Action in Mumbai to take exception to Americans devouring cows.

Do something real people.

Posted by Bruce Ferrell on 07/25/2016 at 6:12 PM

Re: “Town Business: Did OPOA Gut Oakland's Police Commission?

Wow. How many more teeth will get pulled out of this thing by Tuesday?

Christopher Fallis
Oakland, CA

Posted by Christopher Fallis on 07/25/2016 at 1:40 PM

Re: “East Bay Environmentalists at Odds Over Future of Eucalyptus Trees

Eucalyptus are no more flammable than our native chaparral. They do not crowd out or poison other plants. WHat you see are old plantations, where they were planted densely. A little thinning, as I've seen in bits of Tilden Park, creates a more natural open forest. I quit the Sierra Club because of its ignorant tree-hating. Read the facts at sutroforest.com/eucalyptus-myths

Posted by Robert ANderson on 07/25/2016 at 12:35 PM

Re: “Town Business: Did OPOA Gut Oakland's Police Commission?

This "strong Mayor" proposal smacks of Jerry Brown's administration...
Let's make the police officers get private insurance for firearms, that way if they engage in activity that results in unjustified use of force with a firearm it will come directly out of their pocket or the pocket of the police union....
Read my Facebook pages for the rest of the solution to the problems facing Oakland and the rest of California...
" Real Estate Crisis or Government Sanctioned Racketeering?"
Regards, Allen Sanford

Posted by Allen Sanford on 07/25/2016 at 10:27 AM

Re: “Town Business: Did OPOA Gut Oakland's Police Commission?

I am still formulating my thoughts on the final proposal and the coalition will set a date to meet and vote on whether to endorse it after Tuesday's final council vote.
At one point we had discussed an "elastic clause" with CM Kalb and CM Gallo to prevent the scope from being narrowed. We'll continue to lobby for that language until Tuesday evening.
We are disappointed in the mayor and council's inflexibility on the issue of her appointments. It seems a compromise to this
mayor is that she gets everything she wants.

But it is NOT gutted and is stronger than the original council proposal. We hope people will understand the level of hard work put in by both the coalition-all of us, including people who emailed, called or spoke at council and the CMs who struggled with us and each other. This is landmark legislation that many said couldn't be done. In a city with a tradition of terrible police misconduct and little credibility, change has come.

Posted by Pamela Drake on 07/25/2016 at 9:25 AM

Re: “City Forcing West Oakland’s Alliance Metals to Close on August 20, But Supporters Argue Recyclers Have No Safety Net

Here is what one resident of the area reported, "My house was broken in for the fourth time in two months today. A $600 barbecue was stolen out of my back yard. ... I am at a loss as how to deal with the 'clients' at Alliance Metals. A good number are decent folks, but there are just as many if not more who are serious trouble. The amount of drug dealing and using, public defecation, urinating, etc. by the shopping cart folk is bad enough. ... shopping cart customers from Alliance Metals simply loiter on our street all day long looking at our houses, when people come and go from their homes, and what cars people drive."

And Randall Reed of Reed Brothers Security reported that thieves stole $800 of welding leads (large gauge expensive copper wire) from a company truck. The leads "had been bolted to the welder and locked with a chain and padlock to the ladder rack." Doing his own detective work, Reed found the thief, who even admitted his crime. It was "Sonny," a morning regular at Alliance Metals.

Posted by Charlie Pine on 07/25/2016 at 8:36 AM

Re: “Town Business: Did OPOA Gut Oakland's Police Commission?

Sounds gutted to me.

Posted by JP Massar on 07/25/2016 at 7:42 AM

Re: “Marijuana Laws On The Ballot in Seven States And Climbing This November Election

Of course, the "old Guard" republicans in Michigan, have pulled out all the tricks they could and have silence the voices & will of the citizens in Michigan. The Kingdom has put the kibosh to a rec. marijuana vote. (for now only - it will be back)

Posted by Mark Chartier on 07/24/2016 at 2:32 PM

Re: “All Hail Jasmine Infiniti, the Self-Proclaimed Queen of Hell

I love you forever and a day Jasmine!!!

Posted by Maya Ivy on 07/23/2016 at 6:42 PM

Re: “What A Trump Presidency Would Mean for Marijuana Law Reform: Worry

I sure it becomes legal all over the world. I live on the Big Island & grow the best smoke on the island. If I could burn with Trump he'd be all for it. Come on Mr. Trump, let's burn some.

Posted by Keatz Mcintosh on 07/23/2016 at 3:17 PM

Re: “Survivor, Oakland City Hall: Power Struggle Led to Expulsion of City Clerk from Closed Session

This is a very timely article due to the fact that Oakland lacks transparency, and has struggled with issues of equity for years. Oakland has paid several high profile lawsuits that span wrongful termination to police corruption. Oakland is lucky to have a City Clerk who can sit between the City Council and the City Administrators without being conflicted or controlled. This helps to eliminate bias and improves public trust. When we start allowing City Officials private spaces to meet without someone to keep a record of the actions, we allow obfuscation of the political process. The public is completely in the dark as to their actions, intent, and policy motivations.

Above I read someone speak on the Clerk having a 10th grade education and found that interesting because it sounds like an attempt to insult Ms. Simmons personally and professionally. Boasting a credential or formal education in an attempt to use it as some type of a trump card is an act of immaturity and likely some form of jealousy. I would respond to that by saying John D. Rockefeller, nor Henry Ford had a high school education and became billionaires and both contributed significantly to the world we live in today. Moreover, Rachel Ray, Dave Thomas, Steve Jobs, Madam CJ Walker, Richard Branson, Michael Dell and several other people worked hard and built legacies. None of these people graduated from high school. While I do not reduce the idea of formal education, because I have plenty (AA -2, BA, BS, MSA, PMP), sitting in a classroom collecting credit hours is not the only way to gain vital experience.

I wanted to add that many of the Ivy league schools offer free online classes now. You do not earn credit hours, but you are able to get a command of the educational materials. Doesn't Ms. Simmons have all of the Clerk designations and certifications, project management education, etc? How can someone stay in a job for more than a decade if they are incapable of doing it? Why did I belabor this point so much? I have a problem with people who think they are better than other because they have a formal education and others may not. It is a divide that has history in my community. Ms. Simmons is from my community and is a beacon of light and hope for others.

In a simple math equation, it takes approximately 120 credit hours for someone to earn an undergraduate degree, and an additional 48 to 60 to earn graduate level credentials. When I looked over Ms. Simmons background it appears she has worked approximately 48,000 hours in administrative positions with significant levels of responsibility managing others, processes, dealing with budgets, organizational restructuring, etc. I couldn't ignore that type of experience unless I was simply immature, foolish or suffering from some form of narcissism, deeply arrogant or just having delusions.

Oakland needs to address the lack of affordable housing and jobs for their citizens, get their police in line, and bring some recreation back for their kids. The last thing we need in the city I love and cherish is for our valuable resources to be squandered harassing the clerk and trying to hide actions from Joe and Josette Public. What I find most astounding about this article is that the City of Oakland wants to control whistleblowers and information that should be public and accessible. Ms. Simmons is the perfect person to be at the table because she has the history of the city, is well versed in the rules and processes and has been a staunch advocate for transparency and public access.

Posted by Mason Cooper on 07/23/2016 at 12:25 PM

Re: “City Forcing West Oakland’s Alliance Metals to Close on August 20, But Supporters Argue Recyclers Have No Safety Net

Man you're literally talking about removing a huge help to that community. I lived near there, im from West Oakland and say this is absolutely bonkers.

Posted by Ronald Tre Brown on 07/22/2016 at 6:19 PM

Re: “City Forcing West Oakland’s Alliance Metals to Close on August 20, But Supporters Argue Recyclers Have No Safety Net

Not mentioning being cited for excepting stolen property makes this bad journalism

Posted by Trevor Latham on 07/22/2016 at 5:29 PM

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