Mary Vail 
Member since Apr 20, 2015


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Recent Comments

Re: “Meet the Selection Panel that will Appoint the Members of Oakland's New Police Commission

In response to Julia's question......Selection Committee service is volunteer---no financial compensation involved.....

Posted by Mary Vail on 04/20/2017 at 6:01 PM

Re: “New Lawsuit Alleges Oakland Police Conspiracy to Cover Up Home Invasion by Drunk Cops

Thank you for this article...No one can say with any credibility that the home invasion incident is just about poor screening of young/recent hired officers or that the problem with misconduct and corruptionwill be fixed by fixing officer recruitment and training. What about Officer Turner, the supervisor of officer Faeth...more critically what about Lt. Holmgren (supposed head of OPD's homicide Unit and his role in this.? Why hasn't he already been suspended? More critically, why is someone with his workplace ethics still employed by OPD, let alone in a critical supervisory position? OPD is overdue for a full receivership and Yes on LL.....

Posted by Mary Vail on 10/29/2016 at 7:26 PM

Re: “Oakland Police Union Spending Thousands on Effort to Unseat Councilmembers Kalb and Gallo

And to add to Ann's comments pertaining to Don Perata, when looking at our underfunded non-police services and crumbling civic and physical infra-structure, a big reason is the Raiders return deal of 1995, which not only constructively evicted the A's and grossly re-muddled the Coliseum, but put the County and City of Oakland on the hook for 12 million a year in Raiders Tax. Shame the Don can't be forced to pay it himself.......Libby's no subsidy/Raiders Tax 2 one thing she is doing right.

Posted by Mary Vail on 10/12/2016 at 2:26 PM

Re: “Oakland Police Union Spending Thousands on Effort to Unseat Councilmembers Kalb and Gallo

For District 5 residents, virtually everything good that's happened has happened while Noel Gallo has been our councilman:

1) The basics: Noel's predecessor, Ignacio de la Fuente, spent most of his time consulting with his mentors (e.g., Don Perata), running for higher City officD 5 residents, rast, constituent service and consulting with community organizations and , not so much. The IDLF years were for me and too many other residents, like being in political Siberia, but with lots, lots more company.

2) Housing and public safety: There's a reason so many of my neighbors involved in public safety. street safety and and housing issues support Noel's re-election. Ignacio has endorsed Viola Gonzales. Viola Gonzalez has said that Council-members need to be nicer/more cooperative with housing developers and that she will repair the public-OPD -community relationship with (gist) 'more talking and dialogue'....I don't want to go back to the IDLF way of being "represented" (OPOA wishes first) and I certainly don't think OPD's issues with sex trafficking, s.uggish- 'compliance' with the Riders case NSA and racial profiling can be 'talked away'. I have and will give credit where its due for reforms that OPD has implemented, usually only after relentless pressure fromthe Federal Court, but Council person who's in the OPOA's pocket and is likely to buy in to idea that Oakland is safer by throwing love and money at the OPD and OPOA is going backwards

3) The Oakland Animal Shelter------Gonzalez's patron, IDLF, constantly talked about selling or closing the shelter and stated his budgetary vision was of Oakland as a 'basic services only' City. Noel from the start of his term advocated for correcting budget and staffing shortfalls at OAS, then for a new civilian-community governance structure....Since late 2014 OAS has been on the rebound in its service level and relationships with its volunteer and animal welfare non-profit partners.......I don't want to go back to the past where OAS was first up on the chopping block at budget time.

4) Protection of our non-police civic and physical infrastructure-----Noel. again after both reaching out to constituents and being asked by constituents, is a strong advocate for our libraries, senior and youth services, parks, schools and libraries. During his first term, he has built strong relationships with neighborhood school communities and the traffic and street safety working group in my neighborhood. Viola Gonzalez will be the go-t0 Council member for a few interests and an advocate for City 'police first' budgets that cut and starve other City services.

Let's move forward together....

Mary Vail,
31 year Oakland-Glenview-District 5 resident

Posted by Mary Vail on 10/11/2016 at 2:41 PM

Re: “Make Voting Great Again: On Oakland's Police Commission Ballot Initiative and 2016 City Council Races

The only major loss on the police commission charter amendment was Mayor having 3 direct appointments-----As I told the Council, in SF in the 1990's we all thought we'd be getting beyond days where every Commission vote was heavily influenced by SFPOA and then found splitting appointments between multiple elected officials didn't change that at all.----Post the 1997 change, we got a better and more diverse Commission, but still one unduly influenced by politics and particularly the SFPOA. So for me its not about 'the community' picking commissioners , or preserving the powers of the Mayor, or who is Mayor, it's about firewall between OPOA pressure and Commissioners. Time will tell if 2/3's of a loaf on the appointments issue will be enough

Posted by Mary Vail on 08/03/2016 at 11:40 PM

Re: “Mayor's Power Will Grow if Voters Approve Oakland Police Commission

The argument over all appointments thru selection/nomination ctee. or having Mayor directly appointment three was not about increasing or decreasing the power of the Mayor, it was so not about Libby...it was not about saving democracy and Mayoral accountability.........It was about both removing direct influence of the OPOA over who gets nominated and more importantly, getting the OPOA and electoral politics influences out of the Commission's decision making. In a City where the police union both bullies politicians and has a substantial role in running OPD, that separation is essential. The Oakland Post reports that the Mayor told Council members that she would run an opponent against them if they voted against her direct appointments.....And believe me, if Post has facts right, that threat is not about her career or preserving the executive powers as Mayor.....it's Libby going to war on behalf of the OPOA. Lastly, the undue influence of police unions is a problem throughout CA (they bully the State Legislautre, too). As I told the Council, in SF (Police Commission appointments are direct by the electeds and shared between Bd. of Supes and Mayor).....SF District Attorney Task Force (made up of retired judges) issued study earlier this month saying SFPOA had way too much influence over SFPD policy and operaions and that the SF Commission, to the City's detriment had failed to exercise many of its policy oversight prerogatives....

Posted by Mary Vail on 07/29/2016 at 8:46 PM

Re: “Why are Oakland's City-Worker Unions Making it Harder to Fire Bad Cops?

The Ortiz case supports my suspicion since the June scandal started-----it's not just the cops who had encounters with Celeste Guap and Ms. Guap is not the only Oakland sex worker or trafficking victim to have been victimized by OPD officers. Keep digging til we know whether the OPD officer-sex worker scandal is limited and or whether OPD IA is a straight-shooting internal watchdog/professional standards organization or instead is using the same playbook as the Catholic church in Boston...

And the next time the Mayor, OPD reps or other City officials say stuff like "it's just the rookies"...."it' will all be fixed by auditing and revising screening and training", call them on that. Some of the officers in the sex and cover-up scandals were rookies, but some were not. The OPD supervisors who cover stuff up (Holmgren, home invasion case) are not rookies/recent recruits and are at the center of OPD's bad culture. Obviously, an officer who has used lethal force, cost the city millions in a settlement, has had his discipline overturned in arbitration and then offends again shows that OPD management spends more time bemoaning arbitration, little if any time correcting any management mistakes that led to the arbitration loss and zero time retraining the subject, formerly fired officers ......

Posted by Mary Vail on 07/15/2016 at 3:20 PM

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