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Friday, July 15, 2016

Recall Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf Campaign Is Stupid

Recall Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf Campaign Is Stupid - Video

Recall Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf Campaign Is Stupid The drive to recall Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, who just took office to start the year 2015 after winning the 2014 Oakland Mayor's Race, is just plain stupid. Libby may have made some mistakes, but the simple fact is, Mayor Schaaf, born in Oakland, has done a great job of promoting the Oakland brand, or “Made in Oakland.” Moreover, she took office right before the already growing spectre of gentrification became the monster that it is today. While Oakland has, and for the first time in its post war history, overcome institutional investor racism. The problem is that former Oakland Mayor and now California Governor Jerry Brown, a so-called progressive, took away the very tool that fueled the construction of affordable housing in our city and in the state: Redevelopment Agencies. So now, without the large pool of housing money Redevelopment gave Oakland, Libby took the Office of Mayor without any really effective tool to counter the pressure to build new luxury housing and convert existing housing into higher-value dwellings. This is an unprecedented point in Oakland's history – it calls for all of us to pull together and not to be apart. We can fix this, just as we can repair the police department. Which brings me to this: if activists want to recall Mayor Schaaf for the problems that existed in the Oakland Police Department before she took office, why didn't that same group sign on to the recall of Oakland Mayor Jean Quan? Moreover, did that group of good folks (this is not personal) forget that Mayor Quan once picked an officer to be Oakland Police Chief, and he held his job for just 48-hours? Because, for the most part, she's white and female, Libby doesn't get any credit for devoting much of her State of The City Address to a clear and in-your-face support of #BlackLivesMatter. Libby is also the first Oakland Mayor, ever, to specifically point out how some institutions are racist, and she did so in a public speech I recorded on video. I've been in Oakland since 1974, and NO MAYOR has EVER done that – and we have had some great African American mayors. And, as Libby knows, it's not what you've done for someone, or for African Americans, but who do you call your friends? Libby has many people who are black and 'of color' who are her friends and stand with her, and defend her. I'm one of them. So, in closing, rather than be so quick to give Libby your disrespect, please stop and jump in and give her your respect - help her. Help Oakland. This is especially true for those who ran for Mayor of Oakland, and yet now act as if they never did. My friend Ken Houston comes to mind. And I point out Ken because he has the stuff to be a great civic leader, but he prefers to get on social media and scream rather than toss his hat in the ring or help the Mayor in some way. I am getting after Ken because I know he can make a difference, and he has before. Mr. Houston ran for Mayor, and I say this again, if he took his own campaign and himself seriously, he could have won or at least placed within the top five campaigners. So, again, please stop the recall effort – it's just the wrong idea at the wrong time. We need to help the Mayor of Oakland. Period.


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