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Re: “Oaklanders Understood Ranked Choice Voting

The complication is not how to check boxes, but how to check boxes so that we don't have another disaster. Or allow me to vote for the same candidate for first and second place. Last time the winner was not the city's top choice, it was our third place choice, if I remember correctly.
Even though, this time, my candidate won, I still prefer the old way. Let the candidate with the majority win in the first round, if not have a run off and allow voters time to adequately review and compare candidates. We had what?...13...candidates in the race. I didn't have time to vet each one.

0 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by TBGunther on 11/20/2014 at 7:54 AM

Re: “When the Mind Splits

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.

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Posted by Editor on 11/19/2014 at 11:23 PM

Re: “Chevron's Misguided Campaign

Mike Parker is correct in saying that these victories are the result of 10 years of work, organizing, learning, adjusting, working harder. The RPA has developed over the years some solid political skills, and this was a collective victory of all the RPA and allies who worked so hard.

However one man merits a special mention: Mike Parker.

Mike jumped in the race when this it was necessary to rally the movement for an electoral battle, and he jumped out months later when remaining in the race would have given Bates/Chevron the mayoral victory.

We had, and have, winning candidates. Leaders like Gayle and Jovanka who have done incredible work to build a Better Richmond...but we had and incredible ground game organization lead by Mike Parker with a dedication, a generosity, and a revolutionary humility that I find well represented in the early chanting words of the Zapatistas:

"For all of us, everything. For us, nothing", in other words:
"For Richmond we want everything; for ourselves (the RPA), nothing"

Join the RPA. Make history with us. Build a better Richmond.

Juan Reardon
Co-founder of the RPA

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Ana Clemens on 11/19/2014 at 8:28 PM

Re: “Berkeley's Unequal Punishment of Teachers

Hi Ms. Wasseman, brave comments. Please send me an email if you get this:

crowell.brian809@gmail.com

Best,
Brian Crowell

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Brian Crowell on 11/19/2014 at 7:12 PM

Re: “Chevron's Misguided Campaign

It wasn't just Chevron screwing up, which they did, big time. It wasn't just Chevron angering people and totally turning them off with the annoying and insulting flood of bogus messages. It was also an unbelievable amount of dedication and months of hard work by a large group of campaign volunteers who supported the RPA and Tom Butt. People who are passionate about what happens in Richmond and who worked against all odds to defeat Chevron. Those unpaid volunteers are a huge part of "exactly how an overmatched and underfunded grassroots organization was able to soundly defeat Chevron." So many aspects of life in Richmond have improved in the last 8 years, thanks to Mayor McLaughlin, Tom Butt, the RPA, our incredible chief of police, and the many competent, caring City employees who are unsung but much appreciated. Now the threat of domination is past and our future is bright once again.

6 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Jessie West on 11/19/2014 at 5:48 PM

Re: “Oaklanders Understood Ranked Choice Voting

Chessin: "@Hobart Johnson: The numbers indicate that most registered voters in Oakland (over 50%) simply did not vote in this election." "And from that you conclude they didn't understand RCV?!?"

Nope. What I said was that Gammon's conclusion about voter understanding of RCV was fatuous. Perhaps equally fatuous as what I said, if it matters. Stupid is stupid period where I come from.

You all got your fantasies and I've got mine. I'm just not busily trying to assure others that all's well, we're in good hands and there's nothing to worry about. Which is about as reactionary a position as could be taken, despite its being labeled as "progressive" or something of the sort.

Jordan: "If Schaaf and Kaplan had gone head to head in a separate runoff, and Schaaf had won with 63% of the vote, everyone would consider it a landslide."

Possibly, but again that's an "if" and it's something that never happened. That's where RCV falls down. A separate runoff based on an inconclusive first ballot isn't at all the same thing despite your fantasy to the contrary.

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Posted by Hobart Johnson on 11/19/2014 at 5:35 PM

Re: “Oaklanders Understood Ranked Choice Voting

@Hobart Johnson: "The numbers indicate that most registered voters in Oakland (over 50%) simply did not vote in this election. " And from that you conclude they didn't understand RCV?!? You might just as easily argue that they didn't understand how to vote in the runoff elections between the top two candidates for the statewide, Congressional, and legislative elections.

A more plausible argument is that most of the folks who didn't vote didn't find anything of interest to them on the ballot. With no exciting (for them) "top-of-the-ticket" race, they decided to sit this one out.

6 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Steve Chessin on 11/19/2014 at 5:01 PM

Re: “When the Mind Splits

Hi, Elyse of the Hydracorn system here.

To the very first person who commented: The focus was actually spot-on. The goal wasn't to try to prevent anything, not child abuse, nor DID itself, nor PTSD or anything else. The aim was to spread awareness about DID, get CORRECT information out to the public, and to let other systems know they're not alone, and that there are people like them out fighting for our rights to be treated with respect and dignity. With spreading awareness, regular people start talking about it, and then mental healthcare professionals start talking about it, which leads to better understanding, more research on DID, and more knowledge on the part of professionals--which means we get better, more informed treatment, a faster diagnosis, and overall better treatment.

I've talked with nearly fifty systems about all of this, after they read the article. They are all so very happy and proud of me for doing this for our community. I'm grateful to have their support and to have had this opportunity to get the message out there that we exist, we are real, and we deserve basic human rights and compassion. We want our world to be able to, one day, accept us for who we are, and not try to shove us into stereotypes or force us into integration, which could traumatize and split a system further.

Be careful about your criticism, people. Those with DID have grown used to a pattern of being doubted and told they are lying or seeking attention. Any accusation that turns out false can do real damage. Now, why would you purposely do that, hm? There's no need. Just be civil, and talk with a person and get to know them before pointing your finger.

Awareness for and prevention of child abuse is another step in reforming our mental healthcare system. It won't be easy. It is another goal of ours, because it means so very much to us to help children to get out of the situation we used to be in. To educate them on what is okay and what is not okay, in how they are treated, and to let them know the truth (the opposite of what an abuser would tell them): It is okay to tell someone. Someone who is safe, someone you trust. You will be believed. You can get out.

It is such an important goal. One day, I will be marching along for their cause as well (besides just volunteering with an organization who does go to schools to educate children on these matters--I'm starting the program soon). But for now, I lead this campaign for our disorder, DID, and I fight for our right to be seen as human beings--all of us, all of the alters. That is what this article is about, and this is what I'm fighting for.

-Elyse, Mae, and Nevan (co-consciously writing)

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Elyse Rose on 11/19/2014 at 1:50 PM

Re: “Oaklanders Understood Ranked Choice Voting

@Hobart Johnson If Schaaf and Kaplan had gone head to head in a separate runoff, and Schaaf had won with 63% of the vote, everyone would consider it a landslide. That is just the same as what RCV does though.

As for trying to make RCV responsible for low turnout, even a casual familiarity with turnout data shows that is not the case. There is no correlation between RCV and low turnout. Actually, quite the opposite. A smaller percentage of voters that go to the polls skip RCV than non-RCV races.

I can't figure out why the political class does not like RCV. Brown's statement can't be taken at face value because he is a smart guy. He must have had some political purpose in making it. One idea that crosses my mind is that it might be a gender issue. Politics is generally dominated by men, particularly moving up through the levels of government. Men tend to like the mano a mano combat of traditional election methods (the "fight" part of "fight or flight"). RCV creates a more multi-polar situation that women might find easier to deal with and navigate successfully ("tend and befriend" as women's stress response first described http://dx.doi.org/10.1037%2F0033-295X.107.3.411).

8 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Preston Jordan on 11/19/2014 at 12:56 PM

Re: “Chevron's Misguided Campaign

.. Butt it didn't!

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Posted by Kit Eakle on 11/19/2014 at 12:30 PM

Re: “Oaklanders Understood Ranked Choice Voting

Conclusion not actually borne out by the numbers. The opposite conclusion, that most voters do not understand RCV would be equally valid.

The numbers indicate that most registered voters in Oakland (over 50%) simply did not vote in this election. What does that suggest about RCV and some fantasy about what voters understand?

The essential problem with RCV remains. The problem is related to the matter of voter turnout and the way in which the RCV process sorts through the three layers of voter preferences.

You may interpret this as a "landslide" for Schaaf. The numbers, all considered together, suggest an alternative view: Schaaf squeezed by as a relatively unfavored choice in the electorate as a whole after several iterations of the RCV selection process. This means, in democratic terms, and we do live these days in some version of democracy light, that Schaaf has no real mandate from the electorate as a whole and thus will be very vulnerable, as was Quan, in her inevitable changes of direction and policy failures. Schaaf is an intellectual lightweight just like Quan.

The bottom line for democracy is meaningful representation of the electorate's perspective. RCV is far from an effective tool for this. This is a more important governance matter than "saving money."

2 likes, 7 dislikes
Posted by Hobart Johnson on 11/19/2014 at 9:35 AM

Re: “A New War on Smoking

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Posted by Editor on 11/18/2014 at 1:48 PM

Re: “The Age of Fear and Disillusionment

Awesome article! However, in addition to the marijuana and gay marriage conversation in America. The progressives, need to be more mindful to end our own stigmatization of those who are addicted to pain-killers/heroin, those who sell it for economic survival and those who are in/released (from) prisons and jails who are struggling to shake off their past. It's about moving forward together with the spirit of redemption and change. But again, we still hold those people who really want to be forgiven as deviants. For this reasons, these folks didn't see a compelling reason to get out and vote either!

Posted by Michael Alan Bailey on 11/17/2014 at 11:30 AM

Re: “East Bay Progressives Dominated the Election

I agree that EBX is a little flaky in its use of the liberal and progressive terms. In Oakland Libby Schaaf was a founding member of Make Oakland Better Now, an advocacy group dedicated to increasing the number of police and cutting everything else in City government. MOBN also advocated for a rainy day fund / reserve instead of worker pay increases. She was an austerity politician until she ran for mayor and realized she needed left wing votes to win. Hopefully the Express is not an unwitting pawn in a plan to defraud Oakland voters (it remains to be seen who the real Schaaf is). Unfortunately your endorsement of her obscured decidedly unprogressive votes such as trying to prevent protests at the Port of Oakland.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by MichaelSiegel on 11/15/2014 at 9:46 PM

Re: “Oakland's Threat to Sex Workers

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.

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Posted by Editor on 11/15/2014 at 7:46 PM

Re: “The Turkey Invasion

Sadaya,

Many of us loved the abundance of small wildlife that those turkeys consume. Get closer to the ground and see what native species are locally missing and/or less abundant to observe now.

It's not a matter of "in addition to", but one of "instead of".

Peter

Sadaya stated: "there are many of us out there who love to see the turkeys---I have worked on a campus where we have a flock and live near a flock for years now, and the novelty has never worn off--they are magnificent birds and I am thankful every day I get to see them in addition to rest of the limited wildlife we are privy to in an urban environment."

Posted by Peter Rauch on 11/15/2014 at 12:57 PM

Re: “Berkeley's Unequal Punishment of Teachers

The Truth about PAR:

Take it from a former PAR Coach. PAR is a scam.
We were taught how to do backwards mapping- this is when we are told by administration what the candidate's score will be, and then we fill in the blanks and justify the score we give them.The candidate has no control over what score he or she will get. We have absolutely been given a score to give them. Nothing they do or don't do will change that.

We are also taught Gas-lighting Techniques to break the candidate down and get them to resign without finishing the PAR process or holding the district and union to task.The technique of Gas-lightings is used to completely break down the candidate and confuse the candidate. As PAR coaches are instructed to be vague, so the candidate doesn't really know what is expected. We were told never to model and we given many conversation workshops on how to answer questions without answering questions.We were given more money and promised advancement if we helped them fail out candidates. It was scary and I only did it one year.I'm always haunted by my involvement in PAR. Everyone should know the signs that you are being Gas-lighted
Here are the signs you are being Gas-lighted :
1. You are constantly second-guessing yourself
2. You ask yourself, "Am I too sensitive?" a dozen times a day.
3. You often feel confused and even crazy at work.
4. You're always apologizing to your boss/PAR coach
5. You can't understand why, with so many apparently good things in your life, you aren't happier.
6. You frequently make excuses for your employer/PAR coaches behavior to friends and family.
7. You find yourself withholding information from friends and family so you don't have to explain or make excuses.
8. You know something is terribly wrong, but you can never quite express what it is, even to yourself. This is accomplished through the PAR coach being vague and constantly moving the target of accomplishment - you can't hit it, cause it is purposely being moved.
9. You start lying to avoid the put downs and reality twists.
10. You have trouble making simple decisions.**** This is major. When you are in PAR, you are so broken down, you won't make simple decisions without extreme self doubt.
11. You have the sense that you used to be a very different person - more confident, more fun-loving, more relaxed.
12. You feel hopeless and joyless.
13. You feel as though you can't do anything right. Again, this was done deliberately by the PAR program.
14. You wonder if you are a "good enough" employee.
15. You find yourself withholding information from friends and family so you don't have to explain or make excuses.


Remember your employer can be an abuser. PAR coaches are specially trained to carry this out in a legal manner. PAR coaches learn how to Gas-light in stages, but they do move fast.
PAR Coaches wil never help you as a teacher and they are not sent to do that.

I'm so ashamed of my year as a PAR Coach. When I think of it, I can hardly live with myself. I hope that by educating others, I can begin to pay it forward a little.

Namaste and Be Well.

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Posted by Heidi Wasseman on 11/14/2014 at 9:58 PM

Re: “Oakland's Threat to Sex Workers

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2 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Editor on 11/14/2014 at 4:48 PM

Re: “Ask Legalization Nation: Weeding Out Hemp Oil Hustlers.

This comment was deleted because it violates our website's Terms Of Use. People who repeatedly violate our policies will lose their right to post comments. You can read our entire Terms Of Use here.

Posted by Editor on 11/14/2014 at 1:15 PM

Re: “Zoo Gone Wild

Per Chip's chirpy column in the Chron yesterday, final vote on this is Tuesday.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Mary Eisenhart on 11/14/2014 at 10:51 AM

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