John Henderson 
Member since Sep 8, 2015


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Re: “Updated: Buffy Wicks Defeats Jovanka Beckles in AD 15

We dodged a bullet: in her last gasp as a public official, Jovanka Beckles yet again demonstrates why she is so grossly unqualified to hold any public office, much less that of a state legislator. Here is an excerpt from Mayor Butts daily forum about the antics of Beckles and her gang of RPA nutcases from last nights council meeting:

Last night, Beckles introduced a resolution, Calling on The State Legislature To Introduce Legislation to Value Human Life And to Condemn Racial Injustice And Police Brutality. Who could be against that? Like the Space Weapons resolution, however, the title can be deceiving. You have to read the content.

It turns out that the resolution is an incoherent rant against police in general and has little, if anything, to do with our own police department. It assumes that police are basically bad people and that any officer involved in a shooting is automatically guilty of poor judgment or much worse.

For example, one recommendation is, An officer should be placed on administrative leave without pay during the investigation. Contrary to the foundations of our justice system, no one is considered guilty until tried and convicted. Putting an officer on unpaid leave for using a firearm is punitive, assumes guilt and makes no sense.

Another recommendation is, Police officer's CalPERS Disability Insurance should not be pre-funded by tax dollars. Every employee in California is required to pay for employees disability insurance. For many public employees in California, this is done through PERS. The resolution is asking for something that is patently illegal.

I urge you to read the rest of it for yourself. As expected, however, the City Council voted 5-2 in favor, with Ben Choi and me dissenting.

It goes without saying that, by telling police they lose their pay if they ever fire a weapon, no matter what the situation, is grossly dangerous. Saying their pensions cannot be funded with tax dollars basically prohibits government from providing pensions (Where else would it come from)?

I am for being progressive, but not stupid. This is extremeism at its worst and I hope those who may have voted for Beckles are a little more careful about who they back in the future.

Posted by John Henderson on 12/19/2018 at 10:05 AM

Re: “Analysis: Progressives Failed in Richmond

Nathan is right. It is not uncommon for city council members to seek higher office. In this case the RPA candidates badly miscalculated their appeal to a wider audience like AD15, not to mention a statewide run. The fact is their brand of extreme left ideology doesnt play that well with a broad electorate, and the only reason they were successful for a time in Richmond is that they harnessed the anti Chevron sentiment, and that Richmond council races are typically wide open with many candidates, meaning the winners only need to get a relatively small percentage of the votes. None of them ever got close to a majority of Richmond votes. I for one hope they all follow the lead of Beckles and McLaughlin and crash and burn on the bigger stage.

Posted by John Henderson on 12/05/2018 at 8:48 PM

Re: “Analysis: Progressives Failed in Richmond

Bruce has done wonderful things to promote the Bay Trail and parks in Richmond, and I am not surprised if he wants to see more parks and of course the bay trail at Pt. Molate. The fact is that, even with the development envisioned in the settlement, the vast majority of the acreage out there will still be open space, and the Bay Trial and shoreline access will be a part of it. Those who oppose housing as contemplated by the settlement should be saying what they think the City should have done to deal with the extremely serious exposure presented by the developers litigation. Even the RPA dominated council approved the settlement. It calls for 670 units of housing. What do the naysayers think the city should have done, take a chance on the lawsuit? It could easily have resulted in bankrupting the city. Unfortunately, governing is about compromising and dealing with the situation presented, not living in an ideologically idyllic fantasy world. The RPA is incapable of the former and firmly rooted in the latter.

Posted by John Henderson on 12/05/2018 at 6:09 PM

Re: “Analysis: Progressives Failed in Richmond

This article doesnt mention the many failings of the RPA and seems to suggest they fell short because they were not radical enough. In fact, they botched most of the projects they undertook, even including rent control, which , regardless about how you feel about the policy, has been implemented very poorly. The RPA folks were never really interested in the basic work of government. They pretty much solely focused on their pet issues that would make headlines and didnt want to do the hard work to make sure things functioned well.

Also, Point Molate has been a disaster under RPA leadership. The Navy gave the property to the city to be used for economic development, not to be open space. The city duly approved a development agreement, and then, as a result of the actions primarily of McLaughlin and the RPA, reneged on the deal, after taking $15 million in deposits from the developer (all of which has been squandered). The developer sued, and due to the strength of their case, the city wisely settled with an agreement to allow development of 670 units of badly needed housing. The RPA has since tried every trick they can to frustrate the settlement (which they voted for) by putting completely unrealistic conditions on the project. Many of the prospective developers have pulled out of the competition because of that. The RPA are simply not interested in actually working toward a successful project, but disingenuously have sabotaged it at every turn.

Nat Bates won because he was seen by many as a fiscally responsible adult who could get things done. The candidate he narrowly beat (by 9 votes) was also a fiscal conservative and had been a very effective appointed Councilmember before. My guess is that Martinez won because he captured enough of the Latino vote, not because he is RPA. Melvin Willis, the RPA Mayoral candidate, said he thought the city should cut the police force budget by 20%. This struck most Richmonders as absolute lunacy, and they voted accordingly.

Fact is, the RPA had their chance. They blew it by fumbling many projects and failing to move the city forward with more housing, jobs, a better and more effective police force etc., Their defeat was not because they failed to get even more or their extreme Progressive policy ideas enacted. As a 60 year Richmond resident, I am very glad they are on the decline and hope they will continue to lose influence. They just dont deserve to be in leadership positions.

Posted by John Henderson on 12/05/2018 at 1:20 PM

Re: “Updated: Final Results for the Nov. 6, 2018 Election

Buffy Wicks won by about 7 1/2 points. Beckles said the day after the election she would refuse to concede until every vote is counted, despite being behind by a very large margin. Now that the votes are counted and Buffy has been sworn in, did we finally get a gracious concession from her erstwhile opponent? Not that I have seen. Then again, I was not holding my breath. Despite Beckles apparent lack of decorum, I would at least hope that others who endorsed her, including many of the losing candidates in the primary, would now congratulate Buffy on her victory and pledge to work with her to advance progressive policies. If the Democratic Party is to get anywhere good in 2020, the far left and the moderate left are going to need to work together, not against each other. I dont consider Beckles to be a Democrat anyway (she is really a Green Party person who ran as a Democrat for convenience), but other Democrats need to rally around and present a reasonably united front if we are to beat Individual 1 and his adherents in 2020.

Posted by John Henderson on 12/04/2018 at 5:44 PM

Re: “Demnlus Johnson and Eduardo Martinez Win Richmond Council Seats

I hope Vinay pulls it out. He is a wonderful person, works very hard and is a strong, independent and fiscally responsible voice on the council. It looks like we are finally rid of the RPA majority, and can move forward on important projects like Pt. Molate in a realistic and positive way.

Posted by John Henderson on 11/17/2018 at 6:41 AM

Re: “Pro-Tenant and Pro-Housing

Keep preaching your socialist blather. It isnt working, and wont. We need strong, practical leaders who can do the hard blocking and tackling necessary to make policy by consensus, not ideologues rushing to the barricades on every issue. By the way, Jovanka is the one who tried for higher office. Thankfully she failed.

Posted by John Henderson on 11/17/2018 at 6:31 AM

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