Philip Alexander 
Member since Sep 17, 2013


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Recent Comments

Re: “What's Driving Oakland's Robbery Epidemic?

Bob, you're a real piece of work there with your snippy-snip talk.

Anyway, so many of these robberies could be prevented if people would just keep their phones in their pockets. Is it really that hard? Don't tune out with earbuds, and greet your neighbors enthusiastically. I like to go with a big old "well, howdy-ho there neighbor!" Really Flanders it up and all.

So far most of my neighbors and/or possible muggers think I'm really weird and I haven't been robbed. So I've got that going for me.

And then there's Bob, who makes me look sane in comparison. Bob, you know who else wanted forced sterilization? HITLER.

2 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Philip Alexander on 11/05/2013 at 3:54 PM

Re: “Can Realtors Rebrand Oakland?

Quick, get these people some private security!

0 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Philip Alexander on 10/14/2013 at 3:12 PM

Re: “The Case for Private Security Guards

This report came across my Twitter feed while I was writing my previous comment. I guess "some people may argue" (how I hate that rhetorical device) that private policing to catch burglars would free up more cops to stop this type of gun battle, but the problem is much greater than that with no simple answers. Oakland doesn't have an adequate tax base in part because parents (even those living in so-called good neighborhoods) don't want their children, THEIR baby or 5-year-old, injured or killed by gunfire. So they leave. Let's address the larger issues here--how about solutions that include providing the public services that tax dollars should pay for. Hire cops, for all neighborhoods. Fix the schools. Find the money somewhere--this is the future of a city we're talking about and a world-class one at that. We all deserve better and passing the buck as suggested here is facile and shameful.

6 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Philip Alexander on 09/17/2013 at 7:01 PM

Re: “The Case for Private Security Guards

Private security "makes sense" only when contrasted with the senselessness offered up by the Quan administration. This editorial correctly points out (though a bit late in the piece) the link between a weak tax base and inability to afford police officers. However, instead of suggesting ways in which the city can do better when it comes to attracting businesses (making sure they don't have to worry about their windows being broken every month would be a decent start), the author's response is to shrug and go with "most hills residents are well-off and can afford to pay more..."

Private security is not the answer. Electing a mayor who understands the complex social and fiscal issues Oakland faces and is willing to do whatever it takes to put more law enforcement boots on the ground and take back our neighborhoods--all of them, not just "the hills" or "the flatlands"--from the thieves, the pimps, and the murderers who put decent tax-paying citizens at risk every day. It is no longer sufficient (was it ever?) to just allocate resources to so-called bad neighborhoods. The violence in Oakland effects everyone who lives, works, or visits. It keeps businesses from moving in and, when coupled with the nightmare that is Oakland Unified schools, causes much of the civilian tax base (think young families with children) to move out.

Also interesting in this editorial is the focus on burglaries, when the larger problems are robberies, carjackings, murders, and other crimes that involve guns. A whole editorial on policing in Oakland and no mention of the extremely visible epidemic gun violence--I'm not sure whether to view this as an oversight or conscious omission, but it's one worth noting.

It might look cost-effective in the short term, but private policing will cost Oakland more than dollars in the long run. This city is already divided enough along racial and economic lines and privatizing security does nothing to improve the situation. It just makes some rich people feel a little safer in their homes for the time being and establishes a dangerous precedent of outsourcing public safety to the lowest bidder.

4 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Philip Alexander on 09/17/2013 at 6:41 PM

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