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Re: “Campaign Contributions from Oakland Luxury Tower Developer May Have Been Illegal

Shocking how cheap the developer, architect, lobbyist are- 100 bucks to a campaign that's not a donation that's an insult! And of course the city attorney is mum, because she's consistent. As detialed in these pages Lynette GM has some interesting ties to city planning, architects & developers.

Hoo Haa OAK showing it is a city not yet ready for prime time. Joakland!

Posted by Jeff Diver on 05/04/2015 at 10:02 PM

Re: “I am Annoyed and Disappointed

Is it worth it to say, ... all people hired need to be fully informed regarding all this. Then they know this is not the usual job situation. None of them - jobs - really is anymore - usual - with all the ass-licking, water-cooler undermining, fake bossing to make that manager feel important that goes on. And - I'll send a piece I saved, from an employees group that is clearly describing their abused relationship to their employment - wanting to stop it -
But this one is pretty much different. So, fully informed.
Then, if people have the sense to say no after they get into it - not having believed it could be what it turns out to be!, it'll be obvious they don't belong; that their retirement from that employ makes sense to both sides. The employee's difference with the employer cannot be expected to change the employer/the job.
Here's that piece, It's extremely clear.
Norma J F – There's a new petition gaining momentum on, and we think you might be interested in learning more about it. Bank of America employees plan to deliver the petition to bank leaders next month.
Petitioning Bank of America:
"Independent, federally-guided training must be implemented for employees and managers alike."

We are Bank of America call center workers. Every day, we help customers with their daily account needs from handling deposits to opening credit card accounts. We are dedicated employees, and value giving our customers the best service possible. However, the bank often does not provide us with training that prepares us to adequately and ethically serve our customers.

Sign the Petition…
Why this is important:

Much of the training call center employees do receive happens online with no facilitator and no opportunity to ask questions. At work, neither our team leaders nor company’s help desk are able to answer many of our questions that arise. What’s worse: our team leaders and managers are never held accountable when they give us inaccurate information which means that we’re the ones who end up being disciplined and even fired. Team leaders and managers should receive a higher level of training than the associates who report to them, so that they are experts in our policies and procedures.

When we take leaves of absence, we’re not given enough time to be trained on new procedures to ensure we’re doing everything according to up-to-date standards.

Not only is this frustrating for us as employees, it means that customers won’t get the best possible service. In fact, due to strict performance metrics for employees, we are encouraged to limit our time spent with clients instead of taking the time to answer all of their concerns.

We want to be able to do right by our customers and keep our jobs. We have seen too many of our co-workers get fired for making mistakes that adequate training could have prevented. We are asking that independent, federally-guided training be implemented immediately for employees and managers alike.

Since we started speaking out about these issues, we’ve seen some improvements to our training. For example, Bank of America introduced a new online banking feature called “cobrowse.” This feature allows employees and clients to connect online so that we can use the mouse to guide the client and navigate them through the online system.

But we still need more improvements. Specifically, we would like to see more and up-to-date training on credit cards (that takes into account federal regulations and training); better online banking training; and diligent training and cross training of managers to ensure that they are fully prepared to assist us in handling any difficult situations that arise. We need this to be consistent and up to date so that it reflects the needs of customers and accountability of the bank.

Click here… to sign the petition. Photo credit: is a digital platform to win change in the workplace.

Posted by NormaJFHarrison on 05/02/2015 at 7:14 PM

Re: “Campaign Contributions from Oakland Luxury Tower Developer May Have Been Illegal

The Bay Area's very own Baltimore!

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Ken White on 05/02/2015 at 9:42 AM

Re: “Rap's Poetic License: Revoked

Go find youself.

Posted by Amicus Curia on 05/02/2015 at 2:13 AM

Re: “Deadly Oakland Fire Ignites Tenant-Landlord Dispute

A couple of daid liberals.

A good start.

0 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by matthew.barnes.79069 on 05/01/2015 at 9:11 PM

Re: “Campaign Contributions from Oakland Luxury Tower Developer May Have Been Illegal

Thank you, thank you, for your your committed reporting on these character issues surrounding players in Oakland politics. With so much positive grassroots momentum in our town, a transparent, efficient, data-driven, and compassionate City Hall is the last missing keystone from Oakland's return to municipal ascendancy. Many thanks for your attention to the improprieties in Oakland government; your scrutiny is helping to raise expectations for good governance.

5 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by joe chojnacki on 05/01/2015 at 2:13 PM

Re: “Campaign Contributions from Oakland Luxury Tower Developer May Have Been Illegal

Do we know what they donated to school board candidates? OUSD is also planning to sell to Urban Core

2 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Mike Hutchinson on 05/01/2015 at 12:10 PM

Re: “Rap's Poetic License: Revoked

Yeah, and "Catcher in the Rye" can be blamed for all your crimes.

3 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Dolly Fine on 04/30/2015 at 8:56 PM

Re: “Campaign Contributions from Oakland Luxury Tower Developer May Have Been Illegal

To think that city officials can be "bought" for such paltry sums speaks volumes to their integrity (lack thereof). Who was it that said that one can understand corruption when it amounts to substantial sums, but to be bought for a pittance, well, that is rather like finding dog poop on one's shoes? They have no shame, thinking that when caught with their hand in the cookie jar they can just put the half-eaten bit back. Ah well, stay tuned.

6 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Franklin Graham on 04/30/2015 at 4:58 PM

Re: “Affordable Housing Now

This opinion piece is error ridden and while the authors' decline to remain silent they do seem ignorant. I too share the concern that there are no BMR units in this development, however I'm not so upset as to upend the deal. We certainly don't need this site to remain vacant. I do not see how a vacant site displaces anyone. New market rate development brings in obviously people who can afford the prices and they need a whole host of services- restaurants, cleaning, shopping, medical, automotive, entertainment this is where the opportunity lies.

The demands from 2 people are quite strident: We want the working class people able to stay (to paraphrase demand #1)- this development will provide construction jobs and future opportunities.

demand #2 that this parcel be "100% affordable" that means the city has $5 million less dollars and tax revenues (property tax,sales tax) and you can bet that there might business people that set up businesses that live in this development. I find this demand egregious and frankly apparently so do city officials.

The demand that the city put a halt to these negotiations would signal to all developers that the process in OAK is subject to after the fact negotiations which generally then constricts available developers which in turn generate lower prices for properties, shows again that city hall cannot do a deal (which does not bode well for developments like Coliseum city which already looks bad for OAK.)
Demand 4 is what you have local representatives for.
Demand 5 is not uneasonable- that the city have a plan for workforce housing. This development could be part of it if the authors' could see this and the amount in excess of $5 million this brings to the table (and for the umpteenth time displaces no one!

11 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Jeff Diver on 04/30/2015 at 2:51 PM

Re: “Campaign Contributions from Oakland Luxury Tower Developer May Have Been Illegal

It seems to me it sort of smells like the same sort of thing going on with Oaklands Knowland park land being handed over by the City Council to the a private entity called the Oakland Zoo. That land the zoo wants to develop has many native plant varieties growing together that's found almost no where else anymore plus mountain lions & other animals use it as part of their habitat. Now the zoo wants to take this magnificent 50 acre hillside in the park, fence it in, build a cage for the mountain lions as well as a interpretative center named after Stephen Bechtel Jr. because he has a lot of money to give.

6 likes, 8 dislikes
Posted by Steve Cooper on 04/30/2015 at 10:25 AM

Re: “Rap's Poetic License: Revoked

In paragraph four of my earlier comment, the word "Farmers'" should have been spelled Framers'.

Posted by William H. Thompson on 04/30/2015 at 1:57 AM

Re: “Rap's Poetic License: Revoked

Some might say it cuts both ways! In one Texas murder trial Ronald Howard, a convicted murderer, got his death penalty sentence reduced to life in prison because he was influenced by rap music.

In April 1992, Howard was driving through the state in a stolen car. He was pulled over by Texas state trooper Bill Davidson for a possible traffic violation and became uneasy about the stolen car. During the encounter, Howard removed a nine millimeter Glock pistol from his glove compartment and shot officer Davidson, killing him at the scene. At the time of the incident, Howard had a pirated copy of the gangster rap tape "2Pacalypse Now" performed by Tupac Shakur playing in his automobile's cassette deck.

Howard's attorney, Allen Tanner presented the influence of music to reduce Howard's sentence from the death penalty to life in prison. The fact that Howard killed Davidson did not have to be debated. Tanner commented: "I think when he was pulled over down near Victoria, those songs blasting in his ears…it all just stressed him out at the moment, and he did a terrible thing." Later he added, "The only people who are doing any good out of this music are the musicians and the big companies who are making millions of dollars. They're out in California enjoying all the money they've made... and Ronald Howard is facing the death penalty." Tanner also used the knowledge of Joseph Stuessy, head of the music division at the University of Texas-San Antonio. Stuessy had testified before a U.S. Senate committee on the effects of heavy metal music on behavior earlier in his career and testified again on behalf of Howard. "If you get a kid already at risk, with a matrix of problems... the music can be a triggering device."

Officer Davidson's family sought damages from Tupac and the record companies for gross negligence in writing and distributing music intended to 'incite immediate lawless action. The courts did not rule in favor of them. On March 28, 1997, United States District Court Judge John D. Rainey concluded: "2Pacalypse Now is both disgusting and offensive. That the album has sold hundreds of thousands of copies is an indication of society's aesthetic and moral decay. However, the First Amendment became part of the Constitution because the Crown sought to suppress the Farmers' own rebellious, sometimes violent views. Thus, although the Court cannot recommend 2Facalypse Now to anyone, it will not strip Shakur's free speech rights based on the evidence presented by the Davidsons."

Lives have probably been lost and people have probably suffered, yet the gangster rap industry is still flourishing. Society has noticed the negative influence this music has had, yet we still continue to make it succeed through number of record sales. Is there a way to completely solve this problem? The answer is no. Referring back to the words of Judge Rainey, gangster rap is not a commendable thing, but there is no way to get by the First Amendment's guarantee of freedom of speech, making it impossible to restrict the words and messages given off by the gangster rap genre. While it literally is still only a type of music, gangster rap has definite influence and power.

While the above case is not the same as using a rapper's work to enhance his own conviction and penalty, if other facts convict the rapper of crimes, some might say it is kharma that the penalty is enhanced a bit in consideration of the influence that rapper's profitable "art" probably had and probably will have on others.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by William H. Thompson on 04/30/2015 at 1:43 AM

Re: “Affordable Housing Now

I'm not white, I grew up in Oakland (in fact in the Eastlake on E.19th above Park Blvd), lived in Oakland for better part of my life from 1972 through 2001. Always been very proud of my hometown and it's diversity...I am a product of that. After living in SF and LA, I moved back in 2013 and I like this new vibe that Oakland is so deserving of. From my perspective, Oakland feels more alive than it has ever feels vibrant like a city should be....while maintaining it's diversity:….

I believe if ANY city can do right by it's history/culture, all of its residents and investment/ is Oakland...however not without it's challenges.

I also agree with the author's specific demand: "We want the mayor and the city council to create a real affordable housing plan that ensures sustainable investment in our communities, not development that leads to displacement".

However, I do not agree with the extreme liberties/tactics the author takes to state his/her point:

"We will not be manipulated or ignored by government officials and profit-driven business persons who have zero interest in the wellbeing, security, and quality of life for Black, Brown, and Asian communities." Really? "Zero interest" - Pretty extreme....the most recent development breaking ground in downtown Oakland is an affordable housing project that according to this article was made possible in part by a grant from Oakland:….

And then.... "We demand an Oakland in which Black families feel free to enjoy Lake Merritt without fear of suspicion that could end in their death — another Trayvon Martin gunned down for being in the "wrong neighborhood." Really? Like I said, I recently returned to Oakland and I love the new vibe. I've never seen Lake Merritt so alive with diversity including people of color in the 40+ years that I've come to love this city. I would ask the author of this opinion piece and EBX to go to the Lake Merritt Facebook page and really see if their claim that "Black families can't enjoy Lake Merritt" is a founded assertion:…. (Or Google "Lake Merritt Sundays" on Google Images for that matter).

Finally "we reject all major capital projects in this city that serve to gentrify neighborhoods and callously displace long-term residents."... There are absolutely ZERO construction cranes in Oakland, despite the fact the fact that people are moving to Oakland, despite the fact that Oakland is the geographical center of the Bay Area and Oakland is NOT getting it's FAIR SHARE of economic investment that other cities in the region are getting in the current economic boom cycle. And if we keep protesting it, we will miss the boat... AGAIN.

So yes, there are many "projects" in the pipeline, but what exactly are you rejecting or protesting? The displacement is happening in large part because absolutely no market rate housing is or has been built in Oakland since the Bay Area has boomed post-recession.

Instead of protesting this ONE project with misleading commentary/tactics or any of the other 1 or 2 in Downtown Oakland projects that MIGHT break ground this year....why not promote constructive dialog that will advance Oakland without being so devisive? And in the process why not give our new mayor the chance to execute her vision that "Oakland cannot afford to sell its soul for growth. Our soul is way too beautiful." ?

30 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by rossrich66 on 04/29/2015 at 11:43 PM

Re: “Rap's Poetic License: Revoked

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.

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Editor on 04/29/2015 at 10:28 PM

Re: “Affordable Housing Now

I actually thought this issue was about more than just the blacks being displaced. I mean most blacks that lived in Oakland have already moved on. This new Oakland don't care nothing about black people that have been here for decades and just for note not all black people in Oakland or low are middle class. It's been made plain and clear with the comments and attitudes displayed that non black Oakland don't care about the displacement of anyone. All they see is opportunity. Their answer is "if you can't afford to live here then move somewhere you can afford" There is so much wrong with that statement I won't even get into it here. I think the saddest part of this all is that by looking at gentrification nationwide and genocide as a blueprint, is that some people don't want to co habit at all with anyone that is not like them, they just want to take over. Sometimes you can wash a city so clean it losing it's flavor. That is where Oakland is headed. Development is always welcomed but why does that have to include the systematic strategic displacement of it's long time residents. It also has nothing to do with blacks destroying and not taking care of the neighborhood. I am JUST now seeing THE CITY actually cut the grass in the parks and providing more trash cans around Lake Merritt neighborhoods and safer sidewalks. The residents can only do so much without city official involvements. Blacks care about the landscape just as much as anyone other race but if the city is not making an effort to provide that it won't get done. They know see reason to provide those services. So the unheard remains unheard. Until now

10 likes, 20 dislikes
Posted by John Blaze on 04/29/2015 at 9:36 PM

Re: “Affordable Housing Now

While I'm not unsympathetic to the need for affordable housing. I'm somewhat offended by this letter. The housing and economic issues are important to ALL working residents of Oakland. Not just people of "color." The lives of "all" residents of Oakland matter. Once again Oakland "activists" come across as uninformed and self-serving. Also the statement that there is "rampant" killings of black people by the Oakland police is patently false. There is a real issue with the over militarization of police in our country. The rampant killing of people of color in Oakland is perpetrated mainly by thugs, drug dealers and gang members NOT the police. But the "Black" residents of Oakland don't seem willing to stand up against this much bigger problem.

30 likes, 11 dislikes
Posted by Fred Jones on 04/29/2015 at 9:08 PM

Re: “Affordable Housing Now

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.

8 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Editor on 04/29/2015 at 6:30 PM

Re: “Affordable Housing Now

It's important to look at what was built not just in one year, but over the long run. For the period 1999-2014, which covers the last two Housing Element periods and includes both boom and bust cycles, the City's own figures show that only 26% of all new housing was affordable. The rest was market rate housing, at costs that are two to three times what the average Oaklander can afford. With the elimination of redevelopment, the City cannot even maintain that level of affordable housing production going forward.

The issue isn't whether there should be market-rate development. The issue is whether scarce public land, rather than other privately-owned land, should be used for luxury housing or should be used to ensure that there's at least a modicum of affordable housing built in areas that are being planned for gentrification.

19 likes, 7 dislikes
Posted by Jeffrey Levin on 04/29/2015 at 5:18 PM

Re: “Affordable Housing Now

I am sickened to read that the city of Oakland is going to sell city-owned land and then allow luxury housing to be built on it. Building a highrise of affordable housing on CITY OWNED LAND is one of the optimal ways to add to affordable housing.

I am sure a nonprofit affordable housing developer would love to build on that land.

It is a sin for Oakland to sell public land for a private luxury development, privatizing all profit and all potential housing for the rich.

The public scoundrels who have worked on this deal in violation of public meetings laws and with a lack of transparency with the people who own the land (all the residents of Oakland own it) will, I hope, at least have to answer to their maker. Right now they only seem to answer to rich donors.

11 likes, 22 dislikes
Posted by Therese Fitzpatrick on 04/29/2015 at 4:54 PM

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