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Lenore Anderson Is Mayor Dellums New Public Safety Director - East Bay Express' Anneli Rufus Hates Her For Some Reason

According to the Newsletter of Ron Dellums, Lenore Anderson's the Mayor's newest public safety diretor. This is what the Mayor's Office reported on November 16th 2007:

Per the recommendations of the Public Safety Task Force, Mayor Dellums appointed Lenore Anderson as public safety director. Lenore job will be to implement the mayor's public safety vision - a vision that incorporates Prevention, Intervention, Enforcement and Sustainability strategies to bring peace to Oakland communities. Since joining the mayor's office, she has been working to expand the number of officers on the street to the current city-mandated ceiling, while partnering with community organizations to provide intensive intervention and prevention options for Oakland.

"Public safety is my Administration's top priority," said Mayor Dellums. "Lenore Anderson is an Oakland resident who understands what our city is facing and knows how to get things done."

Anderson lives in West Oakland, one of the city's most crime-impacted neighborhoods. She most recently served as the director of the Mayor's Office of Criminal Justice, under San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom. In this position, she worked to support law enforcement agencies, strengthen community policing, develop a citywide violence prevention plan, create a gun buy-back program, improve the juvenile justice system, and develop partnerships between city agencies and community agencies.

But for some strange reason Anderson's appointment was met with a salty reponse by East Bay Express writer Anneli Rufus , who wrote:

Anderson seems to prioritize quelling punishment over quelling crime, as if the former might spawn the latter. She formerly headed the prison-reform nonprofit Books not Bars, which according to its mission statement "fights to redirect California's resources away from youth incarceration and towards youth opportunities.

But Rufus didn't stop there; check this out:

BNB is one of three projects run by Oakland's Ella Baker Center for Human Rights. Another is Bay Area Police Watch, devoted to "supporting victims and survivors." What, of crime? No, silly: of police abuse. Photos on its home page depict protesters whose placards read "Stop Killer Cops." Who better to occupy a post devoted to liaising among City Hall, neighborhood watch groups, and the OPD? By the way, OPD lost another nine officers this month. Oaklander Anderson claims to have been a teen troublemaker, but told one reporter that "being white and middle class" kept her out of jail. Unsurprisingly, Infoshop, Indybay, and anarchist groups link to Anderson's BNB memos, as does PrisonActivist.com, which also links helpfully to BoycottIsraeliGoods.com, Mumia.org, and IraqIntifada.com. (Indybay files an Anderson piece under "California: Police State.")

Granted, prison conditions are draconian, but we wouldn't want a crime victims' advocate coordinating community-policing efforts in a violence-besieged city, would we?

To me, this made no sense at all. My take is the idea of appointing Anderson was to have someone who knew the ropes of who to talk to. Rufus failed to mention Anderson came over from San Francisco as director of the Mayor's Office of Criminal Justice. Sloppy work.

If Rufus was trying to do a hit piece, the mark was missed.
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