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Re: “Oakland City Council Should Censure Desley Brooks

There are plenty of Oakland community activists who could 'push the most difficult and anti-racist policies' without being an abusive bully (which Brooks has been as long as she's been in the limelight) who attacks small, elderly people (even tough, fiery ones like Elaine Brown).

Brooks is very smart - and has used her intellect to ride roughshod over some of the less bright bulbs on the City Council - but she has gone too far this time. Hopefully the voters of her district have seen enough.

Posted by John Seal on 01/17/2018 at 3:15 PM

Re: “Oakland City Council Should Censure Desley Brooks

K. Epstein: "Desley...effectively pushes the most difficult and anti-racist policies...the Department of Race and Equity is just one example."

The problems with this perspective are that institutional racism is deeply embedded in Oakland social and government structures. Oakland may adopt well-intended policies but good intentions do not compensate for
all the failures to perform. That's the reality, TV or whatever.

Longtime residents of Oakland's city hall, citizens and staffers like Epstein as well as electeds, may be full of good intentions but remain incapable of thinking outside the box, of being transparent, of being proactive rather than reactive and, fundamentally, of actually producing results. Outside the box means insight into the destructiveness of capitalism and finance, rather than the embrace of neoliberalism.

Whatever Brooks' intentions, she has deep personal problems and her performance as a public servant is thus compromised.

Posted by Hobart Johnson on 01/17/2018 at 2:06 PM

Re: “Oakland May Welcome Hoteliers Who Violated Labor Law

When will somebody in the City of Oakland provide some actual leadership that allows the city to move forward in constructive ways? Leadership means that sometimes the City Council needs to be told no and redirected in a different way that may achieve their objective in a legal and appropriate way.The Planning Director and City Attorney both need to tell the City Council that the Planning Department is not the convenient repository for all things. The legal purview of the Planning Department and Planning Commission is based on the powers granted in State law to regulate land use. The wages of workers employed in a hotel may be an interesting conversation, but it is not a land use issue. The Planning Commission cannot use this discussion as a basis to approve or deny a project. Moreover, conditions of approval with requirements related to wages of future employees are legally questionable, unless there is an agreement of some kind that includes public financing. If the project require an EIR or a more detailed environmental review, a more detailed discussion of economic impacts is normally included. However, developing thresholds of significance for wages of future employees would be conceptually problematic and extremely subjective. The Planning Commission does not review of the incomes of future buyers when they approve development of new housing. If the City Council wants to control wages of future workers in hotels, they need to write an ordinance that requires a special process or permit for transient habitation (hotels) and require detailed review of wages of future employees. If that is what they want, they can get there that way, but don't try make it a land use issue when it is clearly is not.

Posted by Gary Patton on 01/17/2018 at 1:56 PM

Re: “Oakland City Council Should Censure Desley Brooks

Oh lordy...gotta put that pretentious PhD after your name so it sounds like you know what you're talking about...but you don't.

Posted by Vincent Blafard on 01/17/2018 at 12:00 PM

Re: “Oakland City Council Should Censure Desley Brooks

To address Kitty Kelly Epstein, PhD:

Desley Brooks routinely talks up racial disparity in Oakland when she, herself, is under attack. Very little has improved during her 16 year tenure. In fact, the overwhelming increase of the newly homeless are African-American amongst continued discriminatory city policies, SRO shortages and school closures.

Above all, she has no interest in Oakland other than what can be bartered to her benefit and her office reflects that. No policy or legislative analyst-Just Desley.

We will be better served with anyone else in office. BYE DESLEY!

Posted by Mari jones on 01/17/2018 at 10:25 AM

Re: “Oakland City Council Should Censure Desley Brooks

Oy vey. Listen to Kitty Kelly Epstein, PhD, goyim. We gotta solve this racism problem at all costs, up to and including the millions of dollars in settlements for the conduct of criminal council members. Expectations are racist, goyim.

Posted by Arthur Weinstein on 01/17/2018 at 8:23 AM

Re: “Oakland City Council Should Censure Desley Brooks

OK, I have to respond to this "everything else is just Oakland's version of reality TV comment by Kitty Kelly Epstein above:
1. People who produce "reality TV" get PAID for it - what Brooks did - if the verdict is just - may COST THE CITY $3M. This not just a case of someone acting like they are on Jerry Springer - this is real taxpayer money.
But besides just blowing off that loss, Epstein promotes the idea that Brooks is actually doing something about wealth disparity in the US with local city policies - I question that claim. The main thing the city to effect incomes is pay people salaries -and the city is notorious for paying sky high salaries to administrators and upper management police - like around $300K counting benefits for police captains - besides draining the city financially, doesn't that further the wealth gap?

Posted by boatbrain85fb on 01/17/2018 at 8:11 AM

Re: “Oakland City Council Should Censure Desley Brooks

Riiiiight!!!! Being unable to contain ones self to the point that it costs the city over 3 million tax payer dollars (real fiduciary harm to the tax payers and to the office) should be simply overlooked in the name of "effective(?) policies".

That's MY definition of reality TV... Tammany Hall style!

Posted by Bruce Ferrell on 01/17/2018 at 1:23 AM

Re: “Coal Company Attorneys Criticize City of Oakland's Health Impact Study Supporting Coal Ban

Unfortunately, the lawyer has a point. Our local Sierra Club is a player.

Posted by Don Macleay on 01/16/2018 at 10:10 PM

Re: “Oakland City Council Should Censure Desley Brooks

Desley Brooks is the only council person who consistently and effectively pushes the most difficult and anti-racist policies - the department of Race and Equity is just one example.

We need to pay more attention to the few people who actually produce on policies that can to any extent reduce the 13 to 1 racial wealth gap. All the other stuff is just Oaklands version of reality TV

Kitty Kelly Epstein, PhD

Posted by Kitty Kelly Epstein 1 on 01/16/2018 at 8:59 PM

Re: “Oakland's Ability to Clamp Down on Blight Threatened

Why is it so onerous for Oakland to allow appeals to its "blight" decrees? Not everyone who is cited is an evil landlord; they hand these things out to individual property owners like candy. Citations for graffiti, for instance, are given not to the perpetrators but to the victims, who are forced to paint out tags that reappear overnight. Citations for "overgrown vegetation" are enforced selectively - it's strictly forbidden in the flatlands, although in the hills it's considered part of the natural landscape. "Garbage cans stored in public view" is a citable "blight" offense, for some reason - it's hard to believe Oakland officials have nothing better to do than cite people for things like this.

The ability to appeal arbitrary punishments meted out by the authorities is a basic right all citizens need to preserve, and that our news media should stand behind. If the Express news racks are deemed "blight" by some tidy-minded official (as has happened in many cities), shouldn't the newspaper be able to appeal that decision?

Posted by awerby on 01/16/2018 at 3:20 PM

Re: “Oakland Police Chief Lacked Authority to Make Arrests and Enforce Laws for First Ten Months on the Job

No one wants to see Oakland burn. That's why there are articles such as these to point out the bumbling moves the Mayor's office continuously makes.
First Oakland had no police chief for several months and then when we do she can't even enforce any laws! What a joke.

Posted by Vincent Blafard on 01/16/2018 at 11:04 AM

Re: “Oakland School Board Denies Charter School Petition Renewal

OUSD board: where three to two is a tie vote and children take a backseat to adult politics.

Posted by Addison Sims on 01/15/2018 at 1:38 PM

Re: “'The Village' Is Helping Build a Self-Organized Homeless Camp in East Oakland

Help the poor get clean decent and affordable tiny homes in permanent places

Posted by Rabia Yamazawa on 01/14/2018 at 5:39 PM

Re: “Broken Pipes, Broken System

The Public Works department, like many, has seriously lacked competent people, systems and leadership for years. It is no surprise that they fail or under report sewer mitigation monitoring, this kind of willful manipulation of requirements or failure to disclose information to the public is business as usual to these people. In the mid 2000's, when confronted with the fact that they had mismanaged a parking contract by failing to collect millions of dollars for years at a city garage on Pill Hill (30th st), a Deputy Public Works Director responded by complaining that the information may become public. Really? Public Works staff in all areas reeks of incompetence and lack of leadership. It seems that the main priority for years has been to make as little noise as possible, keep getting paid and retire with full benefits as soon as possible. The former Public Works Director was not even a civil engineer and only had experience managing a creek program. Only in the City of Oakland is that even possible!

Posted by Gary Patton on 01/14/2018 at 10:59 AM

Re: “Friday’s Briefing: Bill to Reinstate Rent Control Defeated; Diablo Canyon Nuclear Plant to Shut Down

Alas, the tenant orgs don't want any compromise because they believe the rental housing business should be regulated like utilities. The just cause eviction language they use is takes away most property owner rights without costly litigation, the cpi numbers they use for increases is completely out of step with actual labor/material costs along with all the increases that come with ownership, and they mistakenly equate the risk of ownership with that of tenancy. Simply stated that's just 3 of several areas tenant orgs are so out of step.

Posted by Mike Mitchell on 01/14/2018 at 7:49 AM

Re: “Five Great Dining Deals During Oakland Restaurant Week

Hi!
Thank you so much for the mention!!
Im the PR & Digital Social Media manager for Dragon Gate and saw the mention about the latter menu, our $50 menu.

The courses is 5 dishes. Appetizers you will get is Celery Dumpling Soup, Chicken Katsu, AND Ocean Salad! Entrees you can choose Basil Clam or Oyster Tofu and then Beef/Lamb Stew over Rice or Sha-Cha Lamb Fried Noodle or Rice. Complimentary two cocktails of our signature drinks Dragon Lord or Dragon Warrior.

Celebrate Chinese New Year with a Laisee Raffle Drawing on February 15-16. Receive a raffle ticket for every $25 spent from now until CNY. Winnings of up to $100 are possible.

In celebration and wrap up of Oakland Restaurant Week #orw18 & to celebrate Oakland #oaklandloveit, we will have an encore episode watch party of Cooking Channel's & Jordan Andino's show, Late Nite Eats on January 20th at 7:30pm, with Tsingtao Beer Tasting, shwag giveaways and promos, Visit Oakland will also setup their mobile visitors center, and more details to come!!

Come in and dine at Dragon Gate Bar & Grille during Oakland Restaurant Week (Jan 11-21) #ORW18 #oaklandloveit and post on FB, Instagram @dragongateoak #dragongatebar, and/or a 4-5 star Yelp review, show your server at the end of your meal for a complimentary well shot or a skewer from our Signature Taiwanese Skewer Menu!

A plethora of food to feed your soul!

Posted by Darlene Wong on 01/13/2018 at 7:57 PM

Re: “Broken Pipes, Broken System

Thank you so much Gabrielle Canon for writing this and other articles. Our NextDoor forum is discussing this. I made the following suggested reforms:
1. Restore Loren Little to his job as senior supervisor in the sewage department or make him the head. He was removed after becoming a whistleblower.
2. Get rid of Littles boss, the current sewage director Jason Mitchell, who transferred Little to the drainage department after he complained about sewage department practices
3. Recall or vote out City Auditor Brenda Roberts who didnt protect him, but instead notified his department, and he was suddenly transferred from sewage to drainage after 30 years.
4. Replace Oakland City Councilmember Annie Campbell Washington with someone more competent.
5. Andes Construction is spectacularly incompetent and should no longer receive the multi-million dollar contracts theyve received since 1986 whose work is so bad the sewage department often has to come back to actually fix the problem.
6. Make the sewer department fix the sewage running into Lake Temescal, and make them report the leaks to the public as they were mandated to do by the EPA
7. Get rid of the sewage department employees and supervisors who alter reports to underreport how much damage was done. When the city submits reports, department officials have to sign a certification statement under penalty of perjury. But Oakland has a history of failing to comply with regulatory standards and of underreporting sewage spills.

Gabrielle, or anyone else, have I missed anything? I've never received a reply, or acknowledgment of my letters from Dan Kalb the past few years, but he pays attention to NextDoor, and said "I have scheduled a staff report/response about these sewer-related problems to come to the City Councils Public Works Committee. Council members Campbell Washington and Guillen are co-sponsoring this with me." I asked him to do the above and keep us posted on nextdoor and his email list. Anything else I should add?

Posted by energyskeptic on 01/13/2018 at 7:23 PM

Re: “Oakland Police Chief Lacked Authority to Make Arrests and Enforce Laws for First Ten Months on the Job

Another hit piece masquerading as reporting on the part of Darwin Bond-Graham. As Bruce Ferrell notes, this article has basically no point besides casting aspersions against the OPD; slandering the OPD being Bond-Grahams and the EBXs raison detre.

Bringing in anyone as chief who had not previously been a CA peace officer, especially with tenure like Chief Kirkpatricks whose formal training was far in the past, would have brought on the same issues. But this matters not to Bond-Graham; like most at his newspaper, he cares not for what is true, he just wants to watch Oakland burn and spout banalities about how those he does not like are solely responsible.

Posted by John Tremain on 01/13/2018 at 2:55 PM

Re: “Oakland School Board Denies Charter School Petition Renewal

Rosie torres absent? I don't believe it....

Posted by Francisco Nieto Salazar on 01/13/2018 at 5:42 AM

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