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Showing posts from June, 2006

Ignacio De La Fuente Concession Speech Video

On June 19th, Oakland Council President Ignacio De La Fuente gave a concession speech at his headquarters and after learning that Ron Dellums secured enough votes to become Mayor-Elect of Oakland. De La Fuente pledged to keep working hard for Oakland, and indeed has done so, presiding over last night's Oakland City Council meeting, where the council approved the plan for a new Kaiser Hospital complex. Here's the video:

Jerry Brown's Oakland Crime Record Attacked By Republican Opponent Poochigian

In both a funny commercial and a good use of the Internet, Jerry Brown's record on crime in Oakland is attacked by his Republican AG opponent Chuck Poochigian. The commerical compares Jerry Brown to such fictional crime fighters as Batman and Dirty Harry, and not in a favorable way. It's totally funny. But it's also a weird kind of boost for Jerry in that it uses his name rather than Poochigian's, who's name recognition is far lower than Brown's. It goes like this: "There have been some classical fictional crime fighters: Batman, Dick Tracy, Sherlock Holmes and Dirty Harry. But for sheer audacity, one stands alone ... Jerry Brown. During Jerry Brown's time as mayor of Oakland, burglaries are up 9 percent, robberiesup 18 percent, auto theft up 84 percent, and homicides up a staggering 54 percent. And now this caped crusader wannabe says he wants to do for all of California what he's done for Oakland. ... Holy scary thought, Batman!"

Are There More Whites Than Blacks In Oakland? City Seems To Be At Least More Segregated

I remarked to a friend that a visit to the Oakland Lake Merritt Farmers Market -- and to stores on Lakeshore -- revealed something I've never seen before: very few African Americans. It was the first time in all my life that I was able to look into a place like the Lake Merritt Cafe and see not even one black person for a time. The friend remarked that Oakland had more white people than black -- so I found this article below. And while it may not be accurate, it does seem that the flight from San Francisco's high housing costs have produced this dynamic. And it also may -- in fact I assert that it does -- explain the rising level of racism in the City's core neighborhood. Oakland historically has been the most diverse and less segregated city in America. I fear that era may be coming to an end. To be sure, the picture is more complex. There are more interracial couples than in the past, but the city itself seems to have divided into black, Latino, and white areas, wi

"Easy" - Some People Still Don't Get It -- Still

Wow. One person keeps sending comments about the incident at Easy, and no, I didn't post them. First, the matter is a painful one for me. Second, this person not of color doesn't seem to get that. Third, I made my point. Fourth, the owner sent an appology. Fifth, the person wasn't there. Sixth, someone else made the same "explain it away" comment -- with insults. Enough. What's equally hard for me to experience is the constant example of the racial dvide that exists -- and is growing -- in Oakland as based on the fact that African Americans I talk to understand what I experienced and some -- not all by any stretch, thank God -- white Oaklanders try to explain the matter away. Again, the owner of Easy emailed an appology. When I was a columnist with the Montclarion, we didn't publish every letter we received, but we knew who wrote it. By contrast, the people who tend to comment don't want you to know who they are, which (they think) leaves

"The Queens of the Night" In Oakland - Tribune

A nice story that shows a different side of Oakland. Transvestites charm macho Fruitvale bar Glamorous performers dazzle crowds with their weekly show By Angela Hill, STAFF WRITER - OAKLAND TRIBUNE OAKLAND — Danny Hernandez came out of the closet-sized dressing room in a gown that was sequined enough for a woman but made for a man. A little thicker in the shoulders. A little straighter in the hips. Techno-mariachi music throbbed a deep pulse -- not the kind of loud that hurts your ears, but the kind of loud that hurts your internal organs. A rainbow of colored spotlights twirled. A smoke machine puffed. The crowd in the tiny bar went wild, and the Mexican transvestite show was on. "The Queens of the Night" -- a troupe of four transvestites and one transsexual — perform at La Frontera nightclub in Oakland every Tuesday night. Kind of an odd sight to behold in this straight bar in the middle of the Fruitvale, and often an uneasy fit with macho Mexican traditions. But there'

Lakeview Dog Park Community Meeting - Thursday June 29th, 7 PM to 9 PM

PRESS ADVISORY FROM Office of Councilmember Nancy Nadel, District Three Contact: Marisa Arrona, (510) 238-7031 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 23, 2006 OAKLAND CITY COUNCILMEMBER NANCY NADEL INVITES COMMUNITY INPUT ON PRELIMINARY DESIGN OF THE LAKEVIEW LIBRARY DOG PARK. Thursday, June 29, 2006, 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm. Resurrection Lutheran Church, 397 Euclid Avenue at Van Buren. Oakland, CA - Please join Oakland City Councilmember Nancy Nadel, the Department of Public Works, the Northlake Neighborhood Group, and O'DOG at a public meeting to review and comment on the preliminary design of the Lakeview Dog Park. The Community Meeting will take place on Thursday, June 29th, at 7:00 pm at the Resurrection Lutheran Church in Oakland. The idea of a dog park near Lake Merritt was first proposed by the Northlake Neighborhood Group back in 1998. This unique park-within-a- park will have garden pergolas at both ends and the outer fencing will be covered with hummingbird and butterfly friendly plants.

Lionel Wilson Formerly Honored - Oakland Tribune

Two of the best hours of mu life were spent talking to a very wise Lionel Wilson at a table in front of Starbucks on Lakeshore in 1997, just one year before he passed away. We talked about what it means to carry on with your goals regardless of opposition. He gave me a lot of advise. But the best thing he told me to do was to listen to people. After five years, the downtown building that carries his name-- the terminal also known as the "Southwest Terminal" also has his name -- finally has the appropriate designation. Rededication honors Oakland's first black mayor Name of Lionel J. Wilson, who fought against discrimination, emblazoned on city building By Zuri Berry, CORRESPONDENT - OAKLAND TRIBUNE OAKLAND — In his 13 years as Oakland mayor, Lionel J. Wilson worked to stop discrimination in the city, rebuild downtown Oakland and create jobs for minorities. Wilson, who died of cancer in 1998, was elected the first black mayor of Oakland. He became mayor in 1977 after

Why I Resigned From The City of Oakland - Zennie Abraham

Someone recently asked me why I quit the City of Oakland after our Super Bowl work. I state "our" because the Oakland Alameda County Sports Commission, which I created and grew to a board of over 45 people, did do a lot of work. The handwriting was on the wall for me when, during a October 25th 2000 meeting with the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority to gain a vote to approve a contract between the NFL and the authority for the use of the stadium and arena for the 2005 Super Bowl, I learned from Ignacio De La Fuente -- the authority's president -- that he and Mayor Jerry Brown and a few others (including California Commercial Investments; Phil Tagami) had held meetings on the Super Bowl behind my back. That news also fit with callls from the NFL asking me why certain members of the City of Oakland were calling them to ask questions about the Super Bowl rather than ask me those questions. But when I got that information from Ignacio, I hit the ceiling. Enough wa
"Choose or Lose The A's" Meeting - June 20th 2006 Watch the video While many -- probably you -- were watching the epic Miami Heat, Dallas Mavericks NBA Finals game, a giant handful of Oaklanders were holding the third meeting of a group called "Choose or Lose The A's". Hey, I didn't make up the title. That honor belongs That honor belongs to Robert Limon, who organized this effort which has picked up steam and will be marked by it's first event, a July 7th tailgate party at the Oakland Coliseum in the "B" parking lot. The group's idea is to drum up enough fan outrage to force elected officials to pay attention to and take real action leading to the retention of the Oakland A's in Oakland. This vlog shows one of the planning meetings of the group, of which I'm a member. But we encourage you to get involved in any way large or small -- even if it's just sending an email link to this vlog to someone you k

"Easy" - Some People Just Don't Get It: Racism Is Not Something to "Explain Away"

This guy -- see "V Smoothe" comments several "Easy" posts below -- keeps sending comments basically trying to explain away what happened to me at "Easy." The owner sent an appology, but since I've learned this guy hangs out there, I'll not return to Easy at all. I have neither the time nor the inclination to deal with people like that. He's part of the problem; he doesn't understand what modern racism is and how many African Americans endure subtle forms of racism every day. Perhaps from him. He claims to know the employee who should have been fired for the way he treated me, and if this is the case, it seems to be as if he's trying to justify his actions without seeing a thing. Moreover, he's just effectively undone the work the owner of the establishment did in making me feel comfortable about the idea of returning to "Easy" -- forget it. A 1998 poll conducted by the San Francisco Chronicle seems still to apply h

Two Guys Fighting At Gaylords On 41st and Piedmont Tonight - 10:30 PM

Ok, so I'm sitting here at Gaylord's working on my computer when a Asian guy who's obviously without a home walks in to the establishment's door and takes a right turn, but before he can do anything this super-skinny, two day-old stuble (no mustasche) white guy with a painter's cap and a blue shirt-not-tucked-in and jeans and a face not unlike that of "Chucky" just gets up from his table, and angrily points at the man saying "You're coming in here asking for money." As he says this for me everything seemed to just slow down, as I was wondering if I should move now to protect my computer. So, the homeless guy picks up a chair and the painter cap guy picks up one and they kind of go at it in a weird way. Then some other patron -- a white man in a brown leather jacket with short hair -- rushes in and tries to subdue the Painter's Cap guy and ends up pushing him to the ground of the cafe. While this goes on I and others moved away and I c

Measure "B" Wins! Oakland Once Again Supports Needed Bond Issue - Oakland Tribune

I've never missed an election since I was old enough to vote and attending Skyline High School. And in all those years, I can only recall once -- I think 1998, but I'm not sure -- when Oakland voters rejected a bond issue. This time was not one of them. Bond victory thrills Oakland schools Administrators are eager to fix infrastructure, but proposition's opponents fear lack of oversight By Grace Rauh, STAFF WRITER - Oakland Tribune OAKLAND — Caroline Yee can hardly contain her excitement about Measure B, the $435 million Oakland school district bond that snagged 77 percent of unofficial votes in Tuesday's election, far more than the 55 percent required to approve it. The principal of Lincoln Elementary School in Oakland's Chinatown is thrilled, elated and delighted, she said, letting the adjectives trip over each other Wednesday. "No kid deserves to be in a portable (classroom) with broken window shades, poor ventilation, crowded over," she said, referr

Oakland Has A New Mayor - Ron Dellums - Oakland Tribune

On Friday, Oakland Council President Ignacio De La Fuente called Ron Dellums to congradulate him after learning that 50.18 percent of voting Oaklanders chose him as the next Mayor of Oakland. Here's the full Oakland Tribune report: Mayor race ends with concession De La Fuente calls to congratulate Dellums, pledges 'to continue working very hard By Heather MacDonald, STAFF WRITER - OAKLAND TRIBUNE OAKLAND — Oakland City Council President Ignacio De La Fuente called former U.S. Rep. Ron Dellums on Saturday morning to concede the hard-fought race to become Oakland's next mayor. During a brief afternoon news conference at his Fruitvale home, De La Fuente said he congratulated Dellums and pledged to work with him as mayor of Oakland. "I will continue working very hard on those issues that got me into this mayor's race," De La Fuente said. Standing on his back porch, flanked by aides as well as his wife and daughter, he did not take questions. Mike Healy, a spokesma

"Easy" - Controversy Uncovers A Desire To "Explain Away" Race Problems

After I posted my problem in the way I was treated by a staffer at "Easy" I received a number of responses, most sympathetic, then some just plain pathetic. The ones in the "pathetic" category seemed to run a consistent thread of wanting to explain away the staffers behavior when the writer wasn't even at Easy at the time of the incident -- let alone at all. It's this desire to avoid adressing a problem that keeps us as a society from making sure such scenarios don't happen again. I must also report that no one African American wrote to disagree. The main point is that if a person explains that something in the way they were treated was racist, don't try to explain it away if you were not there to witness it. Remember there are really a limited number of ways one can treat someone else: mean or nice. The reasons this is done vary from person to person. Thus one can be mean to someone for reasons of racial difference and express the same behavi

"Easy" - Owner Appologies For Employee's Behavior

I received this email from a person who identified himself as one of the owners of "Easy" and regarding the problem I blogged about. I removed his name and contact information to protect his privacy. As an FYI, I had not contacted the establishment, so I can only determine that the blog post was so widely read, it was passed to him. Hello! I am one of the owners at Easy, and I'm really disappointed to hear that you feel that you were not treated with respect at our new establishment. With that all said, a couple of points (not in any particular order of importance): 1) All of the owners (4 in total), myself included, were present at the time of the incident. While I personally heard third-hand of what happened after close, had an owner actually been approached about the matter we most certainly would have sat down with you to resolve it amicably. 2) We do indeed have a number of black male staffers. 3) A large portion of my wife's family is African American, inclu

"Easy" - A Reponse To My Post From An Adams Point Neighbor

I wrote about a race-based problem I experienced at a new establishment called "Easy." My post spawned this reponse from a neighbor in Adams Point who asked not to be identified for this post. Hi- I saw your blog article. I grew up in the lakeshore area and still live there. I drove by the place the other day and was suprised to see that the 5th amendment had closed and sort of excited to see the easy sign. I dreaded what I saw the other night when I drove by (9 pm, weeknight) there were tons of white waspy youngish, looking folks that definitely don't look like the normal folks of the neighborhood. Don't get me wrong...It wasn't' that they were all white is what scared me, it jsut looked sort of exclusive to them but definitely had a bad vibe so when I saw your headline I was like "oh great!!, I was right" I am not surprised. But trust me I am going tell all my friends and family about your experience. As I don't put up with that __

"Easy" - New Replacement Of "Fifth Amendment" Seems Hostile To African American Men

Is this the Oakland of the future? A place where black men are singled out and treated in less-than-human ways? It sure seems that way with the opening of "Easy", a restaurant and bar that opened in the space once used by the legendary Fifth Amendment on Lakeshore Avenue and in the business district that includes establishments such as Pete's Coffee and Arzimendi's. Thursday, June 15th was the opening of "Easy" and to those not familar with Oakland lore, it was an occasion to be observed. Long time Oaklanders -- like me -- wandered in to see how this new place was going to treat the neighborhood. Look. I understand more than anyone the need for owners to close an establishment at 2 AM. I also know that many bars have "after 2 AM parties" for friends, and whomever. Some of these gatherings feature the use of drugs, so it's better to sweep out the clientele before 2 AM so they can have real fun. Without naming names, there's one busin

Oakland Police Drop Ball On Community Policing; Move Impacts Adams Point - Oakland Tribune

The Oakland Police's failure to implement community policing is making our neighborhoods less safe, and Adams Point has borne the full weight of their mistakes. But to be fair the department is understaffed. I contend that the City of Oakland does not know how to develop creative financing measures to provide good service. Residents protest police redeployment Officers pulled from beats to answer emergency calls By Heather MacDonald, STAFF WRITER -- OAKLAND TRIBUNE OAKLAND -- Dozens of angry Oakland residents are accusing police Chief Wayne Tucker of betraying the city's commitment to community policing. They deluged the City Council's Public Safety Committee meeting Tuesday night with their complaints. Because the department -- with 100 vacancies -- has been stretched by the upsurge in violent crime, Tucker ordered his community police officers to spend one day a week responding to 9-1-1 calls. The stopgap measure, which began at the end of April as the outcry over incr

Oakland Mayor's Race - Dellums Lead Shrinking Below Outright Win

Last night at The Alley, a friend walked up to me and said "Dellums' lead is smaller than a ____ hair." I'll leave you to fill in that blank, but the vote count is now such that it appears the Oakland Mayors Race may be headed toward a runoff. That's both good and bad for Dellums supporters - myself included. Good, because it's a chance to really sharpen the knifes and get the campaign in a position to better reach out to the people of Oakland. Bad, because it means that De La Fuente gets another shot. Dellums' hopes of outright mayoral victory are fading Runoff seems more likely, but thousands of ballots still must be tallied By Heather MacDonald, STAFF WRITER - OAKLAND TRIBUNE OAKLAND — Former U.S. Rep. Ron Dellums' razor-thin lead in the race to become Oakland's next mayor slipped away Friday afternoon, as he dropped below the 50 percent threshold needed to avoid a runoff against City Council President Ignacio De La Fuente. Alameda County e

Brain-Dead Oakland Planning Commission Approves Hulk-Like Building For Adams Point Between Euclid and Bellevue

Adams Pointers, your population is about to increase by one big apartment complex right on Grand Avenue. Read it and weep. Or just kick out the planning commission. Hmmm.....Maybe a citywide initiative taking planning commssion appointment powers away from the City Council? Good idea! City approves Grand Ave. condo complex Developers have made few concessions after proposal was previously rejected by committee By Eric Kurhi STAFF WRITER - CONTRA COSTA TIMES A large condominium unit slated for Grand Avenue won approval from city planners, despite the fact the developers made few concessions after being rejected by a committee earlier this year. The project, which is expected to be appealed to the City Council, would fill out a block of Grand between Bellevue and Euclid avenues with a six-story, 74-unit building. The building would take up a front lot and snake to a back lot between existing buildings. The plan's opponents were surprised to see it resurface, unchanged, just mon

Reported Sexual Assault In Adams Point June 7th at 8 AM

This was from the Adams Point Yahoo! Message Board: Concerned Citizens especially in the Adams Point 14x area, today 7 Jun 06 at 8:00 AM., there was a sexual assault and robbery on Orange St. A woman walking on Orange was taken to the rear of 243 Orange St. where she was robbed and sexually assaulted. The man is described as a Male, Black, 20-25yrs, 5'2" to 5'4" in height, dark complexion w/ short natural hair wearing white T-shirt and blue jeans. He was a lone man on foot and fled in an unknown direction. The suspect was first seen at 29th St and Harrison. Please be aware, be careful and watch out for each other. Jill Encinias Problems Solving Officer

Tribune Article Points To Racial Divisions In Oakland Voting

Well, I could have told you this. To me the election revealed just how backward Oakland can be at times. Oakland voters show division By Paul T. Rosynsky and Momo Chang, STAFF WRITERS OAKLAND — A smiling Jeffrey Miller walked briskly, sample ballot in hand, to the front door of his precinct at the Redwood Heights Community Center on Tuesday afternoon. Miller, 54, said he is excited to finally vote in a mayoral contest that has at least three qualified candidates on the ballot. "I have great respect for (Ron) Dellums, but he has been away for a while," Miller said. "De La Fuente has been more involved and, I think, can get things done." Although Miller chose De La Fuente, his thoughts on one of the closest mayoral contests in recent history illustrated how many of the voters interviewed Tuesday were divided among De La Fuente, Dellums and Nancy Nadel. Although split, the voters made their choice with conviction. "I just can't stand De La Fuente, he's o

Ron Dellums v. White Media - Writer Accuses Bay Area "White Media" Of Racism

I just read this article on how the Bay Area's white media has launched a weird campaign against Ron Dellums and I could not agree more. What continues to read as illogical is how the media and some totally unformed so-called Oaklanders of little note hold against Dellums the same things they praised Jerry Brown for: vision for example. No one has explained this at all. Let's see: Jerry Brown's white; Ron Dellums is black. I'm sorry, where there's smoke, there's fire. I would like to see a day when Oakland has several black mayoral candidates, not just one.

Annoying and Rude De La Fuente Lawn Sign Posters!

I've got to write that of all the political lawn posters, those representing Ignacio De La Fuente are just plain rude. They don't ask for permission to post on grass areas of condo complexes, they just do it. They don't request to get clearance to post a sign on the facade of a building, they just do it. How do I know this? They did it to my building. I took them down. It's not cool to maintain such a practice. ..Another reason to vote for Ron Dellums.

"Block Party Oakland" August 1st - Sign Up For It

One simple way to battle crime is to know your neighbor. I've found that few people in Oakland who live next to each other know each other. The best way to change this is the block party. Tuesday August 1st is "National Night Out" and the sponsors want Oakland to have a lot of block parties. You should sign up to host one at National Night Out

Challengers Lying About John Russo

I got this email from other supporters of John Russo, but it speaks for me. I think the negative campaign mailer on John Russo came from ex-Nate Miley Aide and Montclair-Greater Oakland Democratic Club President Pam Drake, as she said a similar message to me at the gym last fall. I guess no one knows about Sandre Swanson taking money from Jack Abramoff's firm, but whatever. Dear Friend: As you may know, we are strong supporters of John Russo for State Assembly. We know that John is the person we need in Sacramento. We also know John personally and he has been a passionate, outspoken champion for our kids and for our neighborhoods for nearly 20 years. The Russo for Assembly campaign is going well. John has done 75 House Parties and has knocked on more than one thousand doors. The campaign is ready for the final push. In fact, the Russo campaign has gone so well that John's opponents have resorted to distorting John's record. WE NEED YOUR HELP to get the truth out abo

Richard Liberman -- "Big Vinny" -- To Become New Online Editor For Matier and Ross of SF Chronicle

My long time friend -- all the way back to Bret Harte junior high school and Skyline High School-- car salesman (I bought mine from him, as did KNBR's Gary Radnich), actor, and all around "Man about town" Richard Liberman is going to be the online columnist for "Matier and Ross", the popular muckracking columnists of the San Francisco Chronicle. I am very proud of Richard, and as I told him, they're grooming him to become the next Herb Caine. People -- like me -- are already sending him items. You may remember that for a time, Richard played "Big Vinny" in the Round Table Pizza commercials of about four years ago. There was even talk of Richard playing a role on "The Sopranos." Richard was born to be a star. I can remember when he talked the Women's Pro Tennis reps into letting me onto court to photograph Margaret Court in a tennis match while we were in high school. Richard's always had great media connections, and even L

Oakland Mayor's Race - Ron Oz Takes Out Page In SF Chronicle For Ad

I was reading the SF Chronicle at Gold's Gym yesterday, and noticed that Ron Oz took out an entire page in the news section to tell people why he's the best choice for Oakland Mayor. The problem was that he had too many words. I wonder who's going to read it. He should have had big 64-point letters reading "Ron Oz For Mayor of Oakland." That's enough.