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Comment Archives: stories: News & Opinion: Election 2012

Re: “Ignacio's Successor

I wrote my comment with absolutely no special interest groups supporting me, and a grass-roots campaign. You can see pictures of hand-made signs created by our neighborhood at

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Dawn McMahan on 10/09/2012 at 10:23 PM

Re: “There's a Hole in the Bucket

Thank you for a refreshingly fair and accurate article. You are correct that neither proposition will solve California's budget crisis in the long run, but then Prop 38 doesn't make that claim.

Prop 38 makes sense. While politicians form coalitions and work at building their own campaign funds to get re-elected, California has become one of the lowest in the nation in funding each student in school. At best, we get what we pay for. Prop 38 has common-sense safeguards to reduce waste and pay off debts. Only Prop 38 gives its funds directly to the school by side-stepping the political quagmire in the state capital. Let’s set aside our blanket negativity and pass Prop 38 as an investment in the next generation. Let’s do what’s best for our kids.

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by Wayne Dequer on 10/09/2012 at 9:52 PM

Re: “Ignacio's Successor

I am very curious...why are there only three main candidates? What criterion are you using to measure this? Money? Special Interest Groups supporting me? Being a professional politician? Then yes, you are correct, but are these really accurate measuring tools for a strong, accessible, intelligent leader with a highly developed skill set that is needed - not only for District 5 - but for the well-functioning of the City Council, and Oakland in general? I invite you to interview me. You are welcome to come by the Oak Tree Arts Center; I have been serving the children and families in my community out of my home here, to nurture a village, and it's been for the development of my work for the city...but call first. Sometimes I am picking up neighborhood children from their assigned school 45 blocks away, or taking them to the library. It's just part of what I do with my programs, my company. I speak about curfews and gang injunctions from my training and education in Substance Abuse, Homelessness, Social Services, Conflict Resolution, Mediation, and treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, the Arts as well as the history of Oakland...not from warm fuzzies. What you missed in my view on this, is that our journey out of violence cannot be a simple solution; shaming lectures obviously don't work, nor do threats and imprisonment. We can look at other cities who have been more successful than we have in controlling it, but we have a unique history, our own cultures, our own strengths and weaknesses. The answer cannot be one-dimensional, as badly as we want it to be...unless you are interested in simply running everyone out of town that is causing trouble - like East Palo Alto successfully did in the 80's when they teamed up with the Palo Alto Police (and where did they run to? Wasn't there a violence spike in Oakland then?). For me, the buck stops here. We should be taking care of our own people. It's more difficult to do so, but it's cowardly not to. We have to deal with the cause of it; more police just isn't enough, and it's a systemic infection, it's not just about gangs. There is already a 51% recidivism rate with Santa Rita Jail, and most ex-convicts live here. More arrests? Doesn't that also put the police in harm's way? Do we want to invest more intensity into this dynamic, insuring that it doesn't end, and passing the rage onto generations to come from the ensuing injustices that always happen in circumstances like this? Let's think upon the drug wars for a moment. Let's think upon the LA riots. Let's think upon the Prohibition era. This is part of my inspiration in collaborating with other service organizations to create an intelligent, effective, free, multi-lingual, multi-cultural program to serve our city with my nonprofit, work I started before even considering my well as the work I will do as a city councilperson in this arena; bringing for-profits and non-profits together in support of each other as well as our schools, and create much more communication and collaboration with non-profits and service organizations. We are a city trying to find our way, we need strong leadership. When Mayor Quan was first elected, she stated that she wanted to 'organize the neighborhoods'. I am taking up that banner, especially since it will save the city money, create more revenue, more jobs for the underserved as well as provide more services of high quality, and encourage new businesses to come here. And yes, open hearts. I will be out there with a committee to aid the non-profits that provide services to the city, such as Friends of the Oakland Public Library, to raise money and receive more funding so that those extremely important programs won't be reliant upon the city for money. And before you interview me, you should look on my website at as I have put a lot of information there. One other thing...Our strength is in our diversity. I do not lump people who speak Spanish as if they all come from the same country or culture called Hispania or Latinoatia, and I invite you to do the same. People come to this country for all sorts of reasons, and our district is incredibly diverse. Here at the Pythia Arts Foundation, we advocate for the sharing of different perceptions of life, the world, beauty, foster understanding of different cultures, empowerment of human dignity, and expansion of thinking. We have been nurturing a multi-cultured village on an intimate level with the neighboring families at the Oak tree Arts Center. I have been taking this risk of releasing a barrier and opening my home for this, learning and helping with their struggles as a social services provider as well as being a teacher and supporter of cultural sharing. I have created my programs simply because they needed to be done here, from the expressed needs of my neighborhood. I carry this attitude passionately forward into my candidacy. All of us candidates come from different places, classes, education, very different backgrounds; I am sure the others have fascinating stories. I invite you to interview me about mine. I am quite used to living with a high level of transparency. The arts are an important part of this answer too, part of my platform, and another whole discussion. I appreciate that you aren't talking about me in relation to Ignatio, as he has avoided me for years. With all of the community work I have done, he never allowed a conference. I am here to learn. If you haven't heard about me, it's my fault. I usually don't put much effort into advertising, which is not so good in this situation, is it?

2 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Dawn McMahan on 10/09/2012 at 4:56 PM

Re: “Funding the Future

Thank you for covering Measure B1 (B1) in “Funding the Future,” by Darwin BondGraham. As a member of Urban Habitat, one of the advocate organizations that spent more than a year working to ensure that B1 resulted in a fair and environmentally sustainable set of transportation investments, I appreciate the article’s effort at a balanced assessment of the final measure.

However, it does not go far enough in addressing specific concerns about B1 that often get lost when touting its many benefits.

Below, I highlight those concerns, primarily around the permanent and regressive tax proposed in B1, and also clear up a few inaccuracies.

First, through its regressive tax, B1 does put a lot of needed funding into AC Transit operations to support the needs of bus riders who are overwhelmingly low-income, people of color, youth, seniors and people with disabilities.

But this kind tax hits the people it’s trying to help the hardest, as the lowest income households will pay, as a portion of their income, four times as much as the highest income households. Using sales tax to fund transportation continues California’s ugly habit of having the poor and working class subsidize the transportation of the rich and corporations.

Second, B1 makes the tax permanent. This means voters won’t have a chance to say no to the tax, if in the future, better and less regressive means of funding transportation are adopted. Additionally, community groups and advocacy organizations, such as Urban Habitat and others that worked with TransForm and East Bay Bicycle Coalition, will have much less power to influence the spending priorities of future iterations of the tax.

Alameda County voters will no longer have the leverage that a 2/3 voter threshold for tax measures grants us, as we did this round. Because of this leverage, transportation advocates and community groups were able to increase funding for transit in the proposed B1 by more than $300 million.

For these two reasons – tax regressivity and permanence – many organizations that are supportive of the B1 funding priorities are still unable to endorse the measure. Urban Habitat is just one of them.

Also, please note that B1 allows for up to 4% of proceeds to be used toward administrative costs (not 1% as was written in the article).

Again, there are several good reasons to vote for the measure and many good reasons to vote against it. Our focus is on ensuring that people understand the tradeoffs and on continuing to work on the difficult task of establishing more progressive ways to fund transportation.

For more information, see our website:

Lindsay Imai
Transportation Justice Program, Urban Habitat

2 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by LindsayImai on 10/08/2012 at 3:06 PM

Re: “Executing the Death Penalty

Judy Kerr:

Those who have lost loved ones to death penalty eligible murders, if not all murders, support the death penalty above 95%, based upon the anecdotal evidence (2).

Why do you want to hurt other murder victim survivors, who wish to retain the death penalty, finding it to be justice in their cases?

They are not trying to take away your punishent choices, are they?

I suspect that the overwhelming majority of your 400 murder vicitm family members supportive of Prop 34 represent crimes which are not death penalty eligible and/or are relatives of those on death row, as these groups often equate murderers on death row with innocents murdered.

My sympathies for their losses, regardless. But my distain for their efforts opposing justice, the goal of all sanctions.


(2) Victims' Families for Death Penalty Repeal: More Hurt For Victims…

Posted by Dudley Sharp on 10/06/2012 at 9:11 AM

Re: “Three's Company

Because incumbents rarely if ever are unseated, this is a very important race. The energy and apparent intentions to make a real difference from this pack is good, and if the winner can deal with the politics of the council by joining hands with other new council members MAYBE Oakland City Council can become more functional in really addressing our problems.

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Mary Ellen Navas on 10/06/2012 at 9:08 AM

Re: “Executing the Death Penalty

Judy Kerr does not identify one inaccuracy, because she cannot.

The inaccuracies are Joaquin's, which I have identified.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Dudley Sharp on 10/05/2012 at 9:30 PM

Re: “Executing the Death Penalty

Oh my, here comes Dudley with his inaccuracies again.

There are over 400 murder victim family member who endorse replacing the death penalty with life without parole and restitution to victims services. I am one of them. The death penalty is broken and fixing it will cost billions more than we are already wasting.

It is time for justice that works for everyone. YES ON 34!

1 like, 2 dislikes
Posted by Judy Kerr on 10/05/2012 at 8:12 PM

Re: “Executing the Death Penalty


What is a greater risk to innocents?

Life without parole or the death penalty?

Dudley Sharp

Innocents Matter

Do anti death penalty folks really care about innocents at risk? Of course.

But, for their leadership, they would prefer to see an additional 6.3 murdered innocents, instead of the execution of 1250 known murderers (2).


For some very well known leaders of the anti death penalty movement, their motivation is not protecting innocents, but protecting the lives of all murderers, no matter the cost in innocent lives.

That's their moral choice.


Depending upon review, possibly we have sent from 25-40 actually innocent people to death row, or about 0.4% of the 8400 so sentenced in the modern era, post Furman v Georgia (1972) (1).

So far, the evidence is that the death penalty is 99.6% accurate in finding actually guilty murderers guilty and 100% accurate in sparing those actually innocent from an unjust execution.

It is unlikely that there is a more accurate system.

There appears to be no proof of an innocent executed in the US, at least since the 1930's.

That includes the Troy Davis, Cameron Willingham and Carlos DeLuna cases.

It is much more likely that an actual innocent, sentenced to life, will die in prison, than it is that an actual innocent will be executed.

About 5000 prisoners, on average, under custody, die every year in the US (2).

On average, we have executed about 33 murderers per year since 1973.

In addition, at least 14,000 additional innocents have been murdered by murderers we have allowed to harm, again, since 1973, the year that US states started to re-enact new death penalty statutes after Furman v Georgia (2).

Since 1973, somewhere between 40,000 and 200,000 actual innocents have been murdered in the US by criminals who were under the government supervision of parole or probation, at the time of the murders. (2).

But, somehow, the priority is getting rid of the death penalty??!!
====== ==================



Innocents are more at risk without the death penalty.

Of all endeavors that put innocents at risk, is there one with a better record of sparing innocent lives than the US death penalty? Unlikely.

1) The Death Penalty: Saving More Innocent Lives…

2) Innocents More At Risk Without Death Penalty…

Posted by Dudley Sharp on 10/05/2012 at 2:49 PM

Re: “Executing the Death Penalty


you write:

"Maybe Virginia has a superior death penalty system. But the ACLU certainly doesn't think so. In a 2003 report, they wrote that; "there are, in fact, many errors taking place in Virginia capital cases. The appellate courts simply are not reviewing them, and thus are not reversing convictions or sentences."

Did you actually believe this?

It's complete nonsence, of course, as anyone would know.

Last time I checked, about 15% of their capital cases are overturned on appeal.

Did you chewck, at all?

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Dudley Sharp on 10/05/2012 at 2:46 PM

Re: “Executing the Death Penalty


I am a former anti death penalty person who decided to fact check the claims.

What I found was this:

"Anti death penalty arguments are either false or the pro death penalty arguments are stronger."

And your article offers more support for that claim.

"The Death Penalty: Neither Hatred nor Revenge"…

"The Death Penalty: Not a Human Rights Violation"…

"Killing Equals Killing: The Amoral Confusion of Death Penalty Opponents"…


1) Saint (& Pope) Pius V: "The just use of (executions), far from involving the crime of murder, is an act of paramount obedience to this (Fifth) Commandment which prohibits murder." "The Roman Catechism of the Council of Trent" (1566).

2) Pope Pius XII; "When it is a question of the execution of a man condemned to death it is then reserved to the public power to deprive the condemned of the benefit of life, in expiation of his fault, when already, by his fault, he has dispossessed himself of the right to live." 9/14/52.

3) John Murray: "Nothing shows the moral bankruptcy of a people or of a generation more than disregard for the sanctity of human life."

"... it is this same atrophy of moral fiber that appears in the plea for the abolition of the death penalty."

"It is the sanctity of life that validates the death penalty for the crime of murder. It is the sense of this sanctity that constrains the demand for the infliction of this penalty. The deeper our regard for life the firmer will be our hold upon the penal sanction which the violation of that sanctity merit." (Page 122 of Principles of Conduct).

4) Immanuel Kant: "If an offender has committed murder, he must die. In this case, no possible substitute can satisfy justice. For there is no parallel between death and even the most miserable life, so that there is no equality of crime and retribution unless the perpetrator is judicially put to death.".

"A society that is not willing to demand a life of somebody who has taken somebody else's life is simply immoral."

5) Billy Graham: "God will not tolerate sin. He condemns it and demands payment for it. God could not remain a righteous God and compromise with sin. His holiness and His justice demand the death penalty." ( "The Power of the Cross," published in the Apr. 2007 issue of Decision magazine ).

6) Theodore Roosevelt: "It was really heartrending to have to see the kinfolk and friends of murderers who were condemned to death, and among the very rare occasions when anything governmental or official caused me to lose sleep were times when I had to listen to some poor mother making a plea for a criminal so wicked, so utterly brutal and depraved, that it would have been a crime on my part to remit his punishment.".

7) Jean-Jacques Rousseau: "Again, every rogue who criminously attacks social rights becomes, by his wrong, a rebel and a traitor to his fatherland. By contravening its laws, he ceases to be one of its citizens: he even wages war against it. In such circumstances, the State and he cannot both be saved: one or the other must perish. In killing the criminal, we destroy not so much a citizen as an enemy. The trial and judgments are proofs that he has broken the Social Contract, and so is no longer a member of the State." (The Social Contract).

8) John Locke: "A criminal who, having renounced reason... hath, by the unjust violence and slaughter he hath committed upon one, declared war against all mankind, and therefore may be destroyed as a lion or tyger, one of those wild savage beasts with whom men can have no society nor security." And upon this is grounded the great law of Nature, "Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed." Second Treatise of Civil Government.

"Moral/ethical Death Penalty Support: Christian and secular Scholars"…

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Dudley Sharp on 10/05/2012 at 7:30 AM

Re: “Ignacio De La Fuente's Big Gamble

This comment was removed because it violates our policy against anonymous comments. It will be reposted if the commenter chooses to use his or her real name.

Posted by Editor on 10/05/2012 at 7:30 AM

Re: “Ignacio De La Fuente's Big Gamble

This comment was removed because it violates our policy against anonymous comments. It will be reposted if the commenter chooses to use his or her real name.

Posted by Editor on 10/04/2012 at 4:27 PM

Re: “Ignacio De La Fuente's Big Gamble

Yes, very thorough coverage for Kaplan and De la Fuente. I was at the debate in Rockridge, and from what I could tell, Mick Storm is the only person who got any positive response. As journalists, should you not take the time to cover all the candidates?

5 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Ginny Radley on 10/04/2012 at 2:11 PM

Re: “Executing the Death Penalty

Did you fact check this?

You write:

"But Gascón has seen instances in which people sentenced to death have later been found innocent. Over the past forty years, 130 death row inmates have been exonerated nationwide. "


The 130 (now 141) death row "innocents" scam…



Of all endeavors that put innocents at risk, is there one with a better record of sparing innocent lives than the US death penalty? Unlikely.

1) The Death Penalty: Saving More Innocent Lives…

2) Innocents More At Risk Without Death Penalty…

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Dudley Sharp on 10/04/2012 at 1:59 PM

Re: “Ignacio De La Fuente's Big Gamble

Thank you for your very thorough coverage of the race - for more information on Councilmember Kaplan, please visit our website at

Jason Overman, Campaign Manager

4 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Jason Overman on 10/04/2012 at 12:39 PM

Re: “Funding the Future

Thank you, Darwin, for another fine article that quickly explains what is going on related to why we need Measure B to pass this November. We should also see Measure B as an investment towards a better future for our children and grandchildren as well as for ourselves away from fossil fuels, greenhouse gases and global warming. Without funding for actual services, especially for AC Transit, we won't be able to make the kind of progress needed to transition our constantly commuting population into a sustainable and environmentally friendlier situation that gets everyone from point A to B, while at the same time helping to save our region of the planet.

The cost of transportation has always been great, but losing our local public transit services and our environment is an even greater expense that no one wants to pay for. Measure B will also keep our economy going because jobs will be brought back and created, and people who depend on public transit will be able to get to school and to their places of employment. Please support and vote for Measure B. It's for all of our future here in Alameda County.

4 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Kit Vaq on 10/04/2012 at 9:11 AM

Re: “Welcome to the 2012 Election

Many people express dismay that, "my vote doesn't really matter, doesn't really count." This is sad but true. Voting should be seen as one of our most cherished rights, and I believe it is everyones responsibility to stand up and be counted by VOTING. There are several measures on the ballot where a voter has the opportunity to make a big difference. A case in point is Alameda County measure A1. A no vote becomes the greatest chance to date of halting the Oakland zoos proposed destruction of an amazing, free and open space which is Knowland Park. They do this under the mantel of "conservation." This is an instance of where EVERY VOTE COUNTS. Please take the time to read the actual wording of this deceptive measure, and for more information go to As someone who will vote, I strongly urge the Express to stand up in favor of the environment and take a NO stance on measure A1 Do not allow the zoo to "take paradise and put up a parking lot."

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by terry sayre on 10/04/2012 at 8:14 AM

Re: “Questions Swirl Around Zoo Tax Measure

The Society has not accounted for the funds they have received from the City of Oakland, even though it is a part of the Agreement with the City.…

Can they be trusted to account for more public monies? Vote NO!

12 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Ralph Kanz on 10/04/2012 at 6:58 AM

Re: “Executing the Death Penalty


Note that in Connecticut, New Mexico, Illinois, and New Jersey, states which have all recently abandoned the death penalty, that the majority of those state's populations supported the death penalty, that in Illinois and New Jersey, the vote was snuck within lame duck sessions, otherwise it wouldn't have passed and that they all did so with a majority Democratic legislature and Democratic Governors, otherwise all those states would have retained the death penalty, with the people's approval, instead of in defiance of it.

Posted by Dudley Sharp on 10/04/2012 at 3:57 AM

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