This photo -- from the Oakland Post -- tells it all. District 6 Councilmember Delsy Brooks points an accusatory finger at Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown during a recently-held town hall meeting. The full story is at The Oakland Post, and the article can be seen with a click on the title of this post.
Here's an excerpt, but click the title of this post to read the full article.:
Oakland City Attorney John Russo said communities of color were very much a part of two issues his office handled lately: liability insurance rates tied to zip codes, and the city's agreement with Caltrans to remove blight.
Russo said he supports a plan by Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi to ask insurance companies to stop relying on where persons live when rates are set for policies.
And, he said, it took the city filing a lawsuit to get Caltrans to step up and agree to clean up its properties many of which were in minority communities in East and West Oakland.
Dressed in a white shirt, blue slacks and sneakers, Russo was playing Dad as his two small sons played a Madden video game football in his City Hall office where there's a photo of Martin Luther King Jr. on a wall and a small figurine of another one of Russo's heroes: former New York Knicks star Willis Reed.
A native of Brooklyn, N.Y., Russo said: "I have been concerned about redlining since 1979." Redlining is the practice of discrimination by financial institutions when they set rates for consumers.
Speaking in a conference room, Russo, a former Oakland City Councilmember and now a candidate for the 16th State Assembly seat, said fair insurance rates and blight abatement are important for Oaklanders.
Seventeen years ago when the voters approved Prop. 103, he said, the insurance industry spent tens of millions of dollars to get voters to vote no.
"(The voters said) your driving record, how far you drive, and how many years you've been driving were the most important factors. Not where you live. Zip code is a proxy for race... it allows insurance companies to write higher premiums in urban areas."...
This is Oakland Focus' early endorsement for the Oakland Mayors' Race and the California Government Assembly contest.
Ron Dellums is not only an Oakland legend, but the person least warped by Oakland's internal politics. Thus, he can't be influnced by greedy developers who say they can build a structure without public subsidy just to get city approval, then come back and say "We need public money" after they've gotten the contractual "go-ahead" they begged for.
So when you hear some Oaklander say that with Dellums "Everyone's hand will be out asking for something" just say "Well, doesn't Ignacio De La Fuente have his hand out to get donations from developers? Didn't De La Fuente try to use city money to purchase the 'black church vote?' And if so, is that action just a reminder of how some of his supporters may see Oakland's African American community? As just having it's hand out?" Don't stand for that anti-intellectual garbage.
Oh, then ask that person what they have to gain from a Dellums Adminstration -- if they answer "nothing" that's the point; they can't buy Ron.
Vote for Dellums.
Similarly, Oakland City Attorney John Russo's become the City's first elected lawyer not by making promises and looking for developer contributions -- Ok, he gets some -- but by making independent stands far more often than anyone else in Oakland politics. Look Russo's my friend, so I know him very well.
I'm more than comfortable backing him because I know he will represent the community without being "trapped" by Sacramento relationships. Indeed, he has done this in Oakland's City Hall, and always manages to stay above the fray and out of the muck of two-faced relationships that has come to define the work and political environment there.
If he can make it in Oakland, he can excel in Sacramento.