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Last Build Date: Wed, 09 Nov 2011 00:00:53 +0000


Why defend the indefensible?

Mon, 07 Nov 2011 22:55:50 +0000

CORRECTED, at bottom. Though support for Occupy Oakland is clearly plunging quickly, I’m amazed there is any organized support left for the encampment following the utterly predictable events of Occupy’s big protest last Wednesday. The next day the City Council heard public testimony and a staff report about the illegal encampment that has forced them […]

Cuts to basic services jeopardize Oakland’s recovery

Mon, 20 Jun 2011 18:06:28 +0000

Tomorrow two groups of four Councilmembers will present competing budgets for adoption by the City of Oakland. By far the most controversial of all proposed cuts is Mayor Jean Quan’s threat to cut 90% of the staff of the Oakland Public Library, violating the terms of the 2004 Measure Q parcel tax that provides additional […]

Five years of Oakland’s Future

Mon, 18 Apr 2011 18:31:06 +0000

It’s been five years since FutureOakland was launched into the wild (originally at, then V Smoothe and I started FutureOakland because we felt that our viewpoint was not being heard in the debate over the future of Oakland during the 2006 election. Dissatisfied with Ron Dellums’ evasive and vague answers to questions, we […]

Is Mayor Quan’s visibility also productivity?

Thu, 14 Apr 2011 21:24:01 +0000

After the four-year snoozefest of Ron Dellums’ administration, Mayor Jean Quan is enjoying a honeymoon with voters who approve of her high visibility. To solve Oakland’s enormous budget deficit and make a dent in unemployment, she will need to produce significant gains in jobs and business taxes. Given her anti-business stances on the City Council, […]

Mayor Quan as secretive as Mayor Dellums?

Thu, 10 Mar 2011 16:30:25 +0000

Oakland is two months into the administration of Mayor Jean Quan. In one mayoral campaign mailer from 2010, Ms. Quan compared her approach to governance to an open door, in contrast with the closed, secretive decision-making of former Mayor Dellums or rival candidate Don Perata. Unfortunately, because of steps the Mayor and some Council Members […]

Blog on hiatus

Wed, 30 Jun 2010 19:00:15 +0000

Dear friends and readers, This blog will be on hiatus until the election on November 2, 2010. I have accepted a position with Rebecca Kaplan’s campaign for Mayor of Oakland, and I cannot fully aid her exciting campaign if I continue to post my thoughts about public policy. I will spend the next four months […]

Transportation is Oakland’s key environmental opportunity

Tue, 30 Mar 2010 15:00:55 +0000

This afternoon the Climate Action Coalition, made up of social-justice and transit advocacy organizations, will rally before a City Council meeting on the Energy and Climate Action Plan (ECAP). Their demand? Improve Oakland’s environment while creating opportunities for job growth and public health. Transportation is the source of two-thirds of Oakland’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions, and […]

The grassroots case for increased campaign finance limits

Wed, 03 Mar 2010 16:00:58 +0000

Tomorrow the Public Ethics Commission takes up campaign-finance rules (PDF). Campaign donation and spending limits are justified by a vague but widely-accepted notion that money is not great for politics, and limited money levels the playing field, encouraging grassroots candidates and competitive elections. As someone who served on the campaign committee of a grassroots challenger […]

Election year begins, campaigns not yet

Mon, 25 Jan 2010 17:00:36 +0000

2010 is of course an election year, and it’s looking like an exciting one in Oakland, with a likely open mayoral seat, perhaps an open Council seat, and two open County Supervisor seats. Two x-factors complicate the elections: the adoption of Ranked Choice Voting and November City elections; and the effect of campaign finance rules […]

Save local transit, contact the MTC today!

Mon, 25 Jan 2010 17:00:06 +0000

As I wrote on InOakland today, a recent Federal Transit Administration ruling comes as close as legally possible to promising that BART’s deeply flawed Oakland Airport Connector will be denied federal funding. The FTA ruling was based on a complaint filed by Public Advocates on behalf of Urban Habitat and TransForm, pointing out that BART’s […]