Clarence C. Johnson 
Member since Feb 13, 2014


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Recent Comments

Re: “Oakland City Council Should Censure Desley Brooks

Mr. Gammon,

Sorry, you never called on Brooks to be censured, you made a case for the logic behind censuring - and was extremely cautious in your wording:

"A vote for censure by the council would not result in Brooks or Reid being removed from office, but it would be a public rebuke of their actions. It also would serve as a strong and valuable lesson to other councilmembers who may be tempted to interfere with the work of city staffers and order them around.

I know EBX likes to blur lines, but its a big distinction. Outright calling on the city council to censure Brooks would have most likely elicited accusations of racism, the same accusations that were made against Ruby.

You were much more loose with your language on reporting on Lynette McElhaney - using terms like "involved in house flipping scheme", "McElhaney's house-flipping deals " which tried to blue the lines with what actually happened - McElhaney did not personally profit from house flipping, rather her nonprofit loaned money to someone involved in house flipping. Another distinction, but one you were happy to blur the lines on. And why? Maybe because McElhaney was disinterested in all of EBX's fear mongering over their favorite ivory tower progressive bogeyman at the time, the Domain Awareness Center.

Has there ever been any attempt to follow the money on Brooks as with McElhaney? Of course not. Brook will play the race card, and McElhaney won't. Of course in the end, Brooks used the trumped up "house flipping" reporting by EBX to gain the moral high ground on the other African American female on the city council.

Way to go EBX. Instead of now calling out Brooks for whom she is, maybe be honest in your own role in enabling her behavior.

Posted by Clarence C. Johnson on 01/18/2018 at 1:29 PM

Re: “Oakland City Council Should Censure Desley Brooks

EBX has long given Brooks a pass, for the same reason she is able to bully other city council members - they know Brooks will play the race card, play it well, and play it at the drop of a hat. For EBX, and their almost entirely white staff (all white staff?), this is not a fight they want to have. It would require putting at risk all the credibility theyve built portraying themselves as woke journos. The fact that Brooks is keeping silent on this mess (for legal reasons), and Brown is an elderly ex-Black panther, provides just enough cover for EBX to finally come out against Brooks - though they never actually called her out at the time this incident or any of the other incidents mentioned in the article.

Posted by Clarence C. Johnson on 01/17/2018 at 11:25 PM

Re: “Watching the Watchdog

"Not long after Roberts arrived at City Hall, the office's work slowed to a crawl" This is not unintentional. Roberts knows she only has one job - and that's to not rock the boat - dont investigate the city contracts (and upset the unions), don't make enemies with the mayor or city council members, and you can sail into office again with 80% off the vote. This is what she promised in 2014 - not to rock the boat - and she was endorsed by all the special interest groups.

But then how do you manage competent people working for you who feel they lack a sense of purpose or direction? Make them feel that the problem is them.

Posted by Clarence C. Johnson on 10/11/2017 at 9:40 PM

Re: “Town Business: Oakland Discovers Extra $7.13 Million Hidden in Police Department's Proposed Budget

Use of the word "Hidden" in the title, to imply that someone was trying to hide this. But - nobody was trying to hide this, and the error was found by the City of Oakland and disclosed to the public.

Another day at EBX, turning news into propaganda whenever possible.

Posted by Clarence C. Johnson on 06/12/2017 at 11:41 AM

Re: “Town Business: Oakland Isn't Meeting Its Affordable Housing Goals; Is the City Discriminating in Contracting?

Nice trickery with the numbers. A couple of points:

1. You cant assume 100% of market rate housing will be built, when you know this is nowhere near the case based on historical data. The author knows this and leaves it out.

2. In 2014, 78% of housing built in Oakland was affordable
(…) . The Author leaves out what was actually built in 2015 in 2016.

3. This is permits issued. NOT actual units built. You can have less affordable housing units permits issued and yet MORE affordable units built. See above point.

4. The average cost to build an affordable housing in Alameda county, according to the State Housing Department, is $345k. The 59 units being built at Acts Full Gospel Church is closer to $500k/unit. $100million allocated from the city would build at most 300 homes, which would still be less than what the report says we need of 840 affordable units. Yet the author says we need more? Say its 1000 units to make the author happy - that's $300 million, and ~25% of Oaklands budget - how do we raise revenue, or make room in the budget for that? The author has no ideas, of course, but just wants to cherry pick data to make it look like we only have an affordable housing issue, and its the result of the "rich" not caring, rather than we have a housing crisis that's impacting everyone at all income levels, and that everyone is to blame.

Posted by Clarence C. Johnson on 06/05/2017 at 12:30 PM

Re: “Golden Road Brewing's Meg Gill Visits Oakland To Defend Controversial Plan To Open Beer Garden

'Many view Golden Road as yet another gentrifying force out-of-towners parachuting into town simply to cash in on Oakland's trendiness and tech-worker, market-rate-condo clientele"

Says the author (and editor), who just recently moved into town himself, and figures he will establish his bonafides with the "development is bad" audience. I cant stand InBev (and wont drink any of their products) but there are bigger fish to fry in Oakland.

If the author cared more about Oakland maybe he would be less concerned with trying to establish his own credibility with the activist crowd and more time encouraging his writers to tackle real issues affecting Oaklanders.

An entire complex was burned down in Emeryville/Oakland border (for the second time), under suspicious circumstances. Guess you wont be reporting on that at all. Luckily there's the East Bay Times that still takes reporting seriously.

Posted by Clarence C. Johnson on 05/18/2017 at 11:17 AM

Re: “Town Business: Oakland's Proposed $2.6 Billion Budget

The author know very well how much it costs to build affordable housing, but will never report on it because then people will say "Duh, no wonder it's not in the budget". The author likes to keep beating this horse while leaving his readers in the dark.

A recent affordable housing project in East Oakland costs $30million for just 60 units (…). It costs $500k to build a single unit. Who is going to pay for that when people can't afford housing themselves? The entire police academy cost would equal 3 housing units.

The best way to pay for affordable housing is to have developers pay for the affordable housing, and spread the cost over market rate housing. Of course the author doesn't support market rate housing either.

Posted by Clarence C. Johnson on 05/01/2017 at 9:23 PM

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