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Comment Archives: stories: News & Opinion: Full Disclosure

Re: “The One Percent Solution

You really don't understand that the Oakland Chamber of Commerce is not like your typcial big city Chameber. It''s a bunch of small fry and some low level corporate employees assigned to do the obilgatory show of civic duty by local retail branches of big corps.

As for ther pac being a kingmaker, if you assume that the biggest single contributor listed on elected official's campaign finance docs must be the biggest influence on the officials, then you don't understand local campaign finance.

The big money comes in the form of independent expendures that never show up on the reports of the favored candidates. Those funds come from various business and unions.

Probably the single most valuable contribution is the in-kind contribution of the free labor of muni union members to go door to door, stuff mailers, phone bank. That in-kind labor never shows up in those campaign reports but if you were to pay for that help it would be worth very big bucks.

Sorry to disappoint you when you think you found the power elite of oakland sitting in the Chamber of Commerce. But like much of DTO, 99% of the members are your basic 99%.

-len raphael

3 likes, 7 dislikes
Posted by Leonard Raphael on 11/19/2011 at 12:14 AM

Re: “The One Percent Solution

Chamber membership starts @$60. I say OO supporters join and organize votes in favor of an OO friendlier board.

9 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Manuel Carrasco on 11/18/2011 at 7:49 PM

Re: “The One Percent Solution

Would love to know how much OakPac, the Chambers PAC, has contributed to the various Council members. I believe they OakPac is the largest spender in Oakland's local elections.

7 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Casey Foster on 11/18/2011 at 7:33 PM

Re: “The One Percent Solution

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

7 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Editor on 11/18/2011 at 5:43 PM

Re: “The One Percent Solution

As someone who works in downtown Oakland (and lives in North Oakland), I felt much safer leaving the office after dark while OO was there than prior to the encampment. "Eyes on the street" make a huge difference, and for once downtown Oakland was vibrant with people. Kind of like what Jerry Brown's 10k plan was supposed to do...but didn't. It's too bad the city spun it the other way, businesses could have stayed open later and made more money if more people had been made aware of the opportunity to experience a thriving downtown Oakland. But now it's back to a ghost town after dark.

26 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by Shannon Tracey on 11/17/2011 at 1:58 PM

Re: “The One Percent Solution

Come on, look, if folks aren't coming downtown to shop, to go to restaurants or patronize business because of a "perception" of danger that's a REAL impact, not fabricated. After 30 years Oakland's Downtown was finally coming back with more restaurants, galleries, great drinking spots and more. Now it's being held hostage by the hodgepodge of unfocused Occupy Oakland groups that really don't reflect who lives and works here.

No doubt the Occupy Oakland and Occupy Wall Street movement has brought up important issues regarding income equity but the reality is it's become lost in the rhetoric of all the different factions from socialists, anti-capitalists to anti-cop and anti-war groups. And, what’s the goal? –make all the Republicans suddenly see the light and tax the rich?

I've got a small business and its clear that we need both the BIG business as well as small to make things work. The BIG business you characterize as part of the 1% in Oakland actually contribute a lot to the city and are committed to making it a better place. Clorox gives tons of money to education and non-profits and has one of the best affirmative action hiring policies. BIG business helps fund the free Broadway shuttle, through a property tax based business improvement district, they pay for events and keep the streets clean, they often make it possible for small businesses to open and thrive because their BIG business employees have to eat lunch and get coffee. It's not all about BIG vs. SMALL business. That's absurd. We all need each other.

Lastly, everyone I know who actually lives in Oakland, has said this is disrespecting the City at this point. It's become a joke and a sad one when there's a murder right in front of City Hall. AND is there ever going to be some serious leadership in Oakland to deal with this? At this point I keep seeing the Recall Quan posters going up everywhere and at this rate I think it's going to happen.

12 likes, 19 dislikes
Posted by Steven Donaldson on 11/17/2011 at 11:06 AM

Re: “The One Percent Solution

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

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Editor on 11/17/2011 at 9:56 AM

Re: “The One Percent Solution

Dear Len, thanks for posting that link. It proves the point, big banks and other conglomerates. Don't know what rock you smoke, but Oakland does have corporate power and there is money in Oakland, namely in Rockridge and the Hills. And of course, their is Piedmont.

If you don't think the COC and the 1% wanted a crackdown, you need to check your meds. And don't forget, it wasn't just businesses that exists or landowners that have properties already. Without any documentation, the COC claimed that some businesses threatened to leave and some new "hires" decided not to come.

Oakland has a lot of open land and is ripe for development. There are numerous plans on the table for new office space and housing. And development leads us right back to big banks and landowners. Wake up bro.

10 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Matthew Smaldone on 11/17/2011 at 9:32 AM

Re: “The One Percent Solution

I sit across the country, watching th OWS movement in NY group and re-group. The Court says they can stay BUT no camping on private property or property that is mandated to have full public access.

More to the point: What is the message? That "things", or somewhat more specific, the economy has to change? Or that the 1% must play nice and share? or that none of the current economic policy-makers should remain? or...

With no clear message the "movement will go nowhere. At least the student protests during Vietnam had a message - "Stop the War"! What is the OWS message, what is its goal(s). It might be a better use of time to find a candidate for the House or the Senate or even CEO of the USA to back in 2012.

If the OWS is strong enough and can get organized enough, it could change the outcome of the primaries and the general election. At this point however, it's getting tiring hearing "We are the 99%", or "Stick it to the Man" (no offense to your advertiser) or "Main Street not Wall Street" or whatever.

The words have been spoken, the photo ops are over - what is next? It is up to OWS if it becomes a force for positive change or just a snapshot in Time and a commemorative issue of Life.

Richard Isacoff

6 likes, 9 dislikes
Posted by Richard Isacoff on 11/17/2011 at 6:00 AM

Re: “The One Percent Solution

Hey Bob Gammon whatcha been smoking???? Why is big biz the enemy? Do you know the odds for a small biz surviving 5 yrs? As a small biz owner I'll tell you this....if there are several big biz/corps in DTO small biz will thrive!

5 likes, 13 dislikes
Posted by Jeffrey Lim on 11/17/2011 at 12:45 AM

Re: “The One Percent Solution

Where's the "...closer look ..." at the Oakland Chamber of Commerce? I looked closer for you and it doesn't fit your neat power elite theory of Oakland business groups.…

You just happened to skip over analyzing their board of directors because the Chamber's board composition doesn't fit your 1% theory very well.

The Pres. of the Board? He's a partner in a tiny local architecture firm.

Those board members of the Chamber from ATT, WFB, etc.? Corporate lightweights stuck there for community window dressing by their bosses.

Most of the board members are a bunch of small business lawyers trying to drum up business, and an 80 year old retired Montclair councilmember.

Don't forget the high powered VP, Mario Chiodo of Chiodo Creature fame.

Anyone who knows Oakland business, would know that the HQ's of big international corporations other than Clorox split Oakland years ago, leaving a few retail banking locations. Maybe you'd have noticed all the empty factories and warehouses in West and East Oakland when you visit from Berkeley.

Or maybe you'd wonder why you can park a car in DTO any hour and day, or ride your bike without only light traffic.

THE BIG COMPANIES left. Gone to the business parks in San Ramon, SJ, or SF.

-len raphael

6 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Leonard Raphael on 11/16/2011 at 11:12 PM

Re: “The One Percent Solution

If anyone thinks that a protest with anarchists capturing public property to make their statement - coupled with police actions to enforce laws against illegal conduct - is "good" for business - then in this economy, one might suppose this article is the new primer for making the best of a bad economy by staging similar protests in every downtown area of every city and town in the nation. Perhaps that will stir the economy to new heights and bring the record-low employment levels back to acceptable levels.

Of course the Chamber and other business related organizations are populated with larger (and big) businesses. They can afford the membership dues and they have the staff members to participate in these organizations. Small businesses often do not consider Chamber membership a necessity - especially when the economy is making them watch every dime they spend. So why would this article throw innuendo after innuendo like - "They CONTENDED that the City Hall encampment was bad for downtown businesses, especially small ones. The chamber and the business groups also PURPORTED to speak on behalf of small businesses in downtown?" It is done to bring an interesting but false counterpoint to the almost certainty that riots and occupations of the public right of ways impede the normal course of commerce - and by attacking the organizations that point this fact out - making them appear as the enemy - the article gets readership among those who would like to think anarchy does no harm. Well think for a moment about the $2.4 million in public tax money spent to police the Oakland demonstrations, and tell us all if that public money - gone forever - would have been spent had the Occupy Oakland siege not occurred. Is that the way to boost the economy, by pouring $2.4 million down the drain, instead of using it for other things to help the community? Try hard to convince us of that!

No, this article is nothing less than a hit piece suggesting that riots and illegal encampments seizing public property are not such a bad thing after all - and those who would say differently are part of some "mafia-like" clique made up of those who are among large businesses. This is an Alice-In-Wonderland premise - and the entire article is straight from the Mad Hatter's mouth.

4 likes, 10 dislikes
Posted by William Thompson on 11/16/2011 at 10:56 PM

Re: “The One Percent Solution

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

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Editor on 11/16/2011 at 10:47 PM

Re: “The One Percent Solution

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

Posted by Editor on 11/16/2011 at 9:57 PM

Re: “The One Percent Solution

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

Posted by Editor on 11/16/2011 at 9:56 PM

Re: “The One Percent Solution

thanks for this, Bob. this more than makes up for anything you may have run in the past three years with "hipster" in the headline.

3 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Eric Arnold on 11/15/2011 at 11:41 PM

Re: “The One Percent Solution

You guys are awesome for reporting this. Keep up the good work. We need to know who really is "running" our community! So it can inspire more the people who actually live here to take action.

5 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Noni Azure on 11/15/2011 at 10:13 PM

Re: “Council Rebuffs Van Jones Protégé

@ Max A -- "Actually, the Council's job is to represent their constituents." While councilmembers are elected by their constituents, and answerable to them at re-election time, actually, their job is supposed to be to represent the best interest of ALL of Oakland, not just their district. When they take their oath of office, that's what they're supposedly swearing to do. That's one of the problems of the current council (and past councils) -- too much parochialism.

Posted by Stu Flashman on 11/09/2011 at 11:11 PM

Re: “Council Rebuffs Van Jones Protégé

Bob Gammons point about council should vote on qualifications, not scheme for their person is correct, but misses the larger issue..

"It's about the fact that the mayor made a choice, and it's up to the council to evaluate that choice and vote him up or down based on his qualifications for the job."

What possibly qualifies this person (and the past political hacks that have been appointed ) to be on the board of the largest economic engine of the
East Bay ??

Engineering expertise ?
Managerial experience in shipping, air transport, airports, railroads ?
Accounting ?
Government bond experience ?
Experience in anything to do with large organizations with a budget ..

Look at the current board... lawyers (with no bond/finance experience)
political cronies (Gilda Gonzales, Union hacks/pr types ...

With the recent news on the state takeover of the Peralta Community College, composed of a board of similar non entities (at least elected),
we should understand that competence matters in managing large organizations. The port of Oakland is heading for the same financial difficulties as other entities - might be nice to have someone on the board who can at least read a financial statement. Note also Quan's long term goal of having the city take over the Port - how would you like to add a billion dollar debt load to the deep thinking of the current city council/Mayor

Posted by Scott Law on 10/14/2011 at 11:46 AM

Re: “Council Rebuffs Van Jones Protégé

@Bob, Fair enough. That answers my question.

Posted by yoyo_guru on 10/14/2011 at 10:27 AM

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