Steve Lowe 
Member since May 29, 2008


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Recent Comments

Re: “Endorsements Part IV: Vote Barbara Parker, Jody London, and Sheryl Walton

Jumoke is indeed the right choice: she's been an active participant in West Oakland's various community forums for well over a decade and helped create the WOPAC to advise the Redevelopment. It's curious that her opponent, Fuentes, should always shout out that "she voted to close schools!" when the closure of some schools was all anyone could do – and the entire Board did vote that way – if fiscal responsibility means anything at the Board level. Is he saying that he wouldn't have voted to close the schools on the list? And wouldn't have hired Tony Cook? What exactly does he stand for and how would he be any improvement over Jumoke's incumbency?

3 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Steve Lowe on 10/31/2012 at 11:37 AM

Re: “Dellums Fails to Pay at Least $239,000 in Taxes

I agree with M. Ortega, Ron has been an improvement over Jerry, and the Task Force process may turn out to be a legacy for Oakland and other governmental systems that should adopt it or something similar as a way of breaking through the kiss-my-signet-ring attitude of far too many electeds.

As to the taxes; big deal. When he pays them off after resolving his dispute with the IRS, that'll be great: we will then all rest assured that justice has been done, and the one agency that has done so much to end confusion in this country can claim another victory over one of the 100 or so million people who have filed improperly or have some sort of beef with the IRS's method of calculating what you owe. Remember the famous study where the same tax info was presented to 20 or so different IRS employees and every one them came back with different amount owing?

Meanwhile, let's keep hoping that this Mayor will continue to bring stimuli to Oakland even though he doesn't make nearly so much as the Director of the Port of Oakland, the City Manager, numerous University Presidents, etc., none of whom have jobs that can ever be described from an urbanological point of view as half as intrinsically critical to the overall economy of the greater Bay Area metropolitan region.

I know this is a great opportunity to find fault with one of our icons (the well-tailored-suits item is kind of left field, though, compared to the way others drape themselves), but let's see what the response is before going entirely ballistic and calling up the National Guard to keep the sky from falliing.


- S

Posted by Steve Lowe on 11/03/2009 at 11:31 AM

Re: “Chamber Spends Load on Oakland Races

Well, V, it's all moot now, as Sean ran a competent campaign but couldn't get through to a runoff in November – and, had he somehow managed to do that, the result would most likely have been the same, no matter how much money OakPAC might have put up.

So the question is, Sean, Nancy or Greg notwithsanding (nor their endorsors), why in the world would OakPAC work so hard to unseat Nancy when the Industrial Land Use policy is essential to the implementation of the Oakland Partnership's recommendations? Here we have a Chamber of Commerce initiative that, validated through its association with the Mayor's Task Forces, has taken more than a year's worth of intense volunteer effort from the community – bigwigs and smallwigs alike – and the OakPAC is actively seeking to torpedo it?

As a participant in the Oakland Partnership process, it seems bizarre to me that the PAC should be collecting money from (mostly) Chamber members and then using it to subvert those who championed the OP strategy. Seems a little small-minded and vindictive to me, but then those who believe that the OakPAC might somehow have a shred of decency when it comes to civic responsibility must have fallen off the turnip truck and boinked their pointy little heads pretty darn hard back during the Nixon era.

As to why the Chair of the ZUC supported Sean while that same Committe's former Chairs (the ones who stayed with the issue the longest and did all the heavy liftiing) supported Nancy, who's to say? Maybe it had something to do with principle?


- Steve Lowe

Posted by Steve Lowe on 06/19/2008 at 12:38 PM

Re: “Chamber Spends Load on Oakland Races

Nancy has not "totally failed" to attract businesses, as V very smoothly asserts. Instead, working with the West Oakland Commerce Association (WOCA), she formed the West Oakland Economic Development Working Group (WOEDWG) in an effort to ensure that West Oakland might remain as pro-business as possible. Because of her longtime belief that our Oakland economy must deliberately embrace the basic principles of environmental justice if we are to survive in the coming years (and look at how many cities are clamoring today to be one greener than the other), WOEDWG participants are now focusing more than ever on Business Retention & Expansion (BRE) services and, as much as possible, helping old line businesses convert to the new paradigm.

Well, gosh and all getout if that doesn't fly in the face of those who want to make more money off their land speculation schemes than they could if Industrial Land Use Zoning holds. Angry in the same way that suburban speculators get when agricultural land zoning stays in place and yet another ranch or pasture can't be paved over, these vengeful power brokers will, like their country cousins, seek to remove from office those who dare oppose their will - indeed, their right to make a profit at the expense of the best interests of the community.

If the race goes into a runoff, it'll be interesting to how close to the bone this issue will cut, and who will defend the long and hard work of the Zoning Update Committee (ZUC) of the Planning Commission after some seven years of wrestling with this serious problem that affests not only Oakland but, according to former Interior Secretary Bruce Babbit, is the number one problem facing America today.


- Steve

Posted by Steve Lowe on 05/31/2008 at 7:06 PM

Re: “Endorsements and Predictions

I think it's all about the Industrial Land Use policy which Nancy defended and several of the developers in OakPAC did not. So the hit pieces in questionable taste that were paid for by OakPAC represent a move to sneak around the Chamber's own stated policy on a matter that is fundamental the Oakland Partnership or OP as it's known at the Chamber.

City Hall watchers may recall that OP was the Mayor's effort to marry up the Chamber with the Task Forces, done in hopes of gaining an Oakland-wide consensus of what its citizens might actually want to see their city look like, as opposed to usual the top-down dictates of whoever we've made the mistake of voting for in the past - and I think we'd all agree there have been plenty.

The democratic approach of OP, of course, is anathema to those who believe that being elected to office, even if on a fluke, is tantamount to being given the keys to the kingdom, as is evidenced by their arrogance when dealing with the legions of pathetic peons who might dare approach. What happens in the White House is, when it comes to psychological profiles, really not all that much different from what happens here on our wonderful City Council - or any other hierarchical system.

If you think that all the Cheney-type of arm-twisting and power plays are really what government is all about, then go ahead and believe in the OakPAC message, just as they're betting you're buffaloed enough to do, especially with all the disinformation out there. It's worked before, and they sure wouldn't be shelling out all that moola if they weren't pretty sure Oaklanders will respond right on cue.

For those however who believe that Planet Earth is in real trouble and that we now all have to make the kind of environmental justice and ecological changes that Nancy and maybe a handful of others have been advocating for years, maybe it's time to think about voting for principle instead of still more princes and princesses.


- S

Posted by Steve Lowe on 05/29/2008 at 7:22 PM

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