Monthly Archives: September 2012

Oakland Voter Guide: Why Oakland Sucks & How We Will Improve It

Oakland has lots going for it, except for a dysfunctional OPD and City Hall. And ultimately, voter ignorance of both. Here’s how you can make a difference and actually change your city.

The short and long answer: spend 30 minutes reading about your city council candidates before filling in your ballot every four years. City Hall affects you far more than national policies will. If you can’t control your own neighborhood and city, what chance do you have to affect national decisions about how the federal government spends our income taxes?

Read up on the people (and organizations backing them) who will be holding power over you and deciding where our tax money goes in Oakland. Is that too much to ask?

* * *

Oakland can’t afford more cops or proper cop training because we’re not paying them, firemen and every other city employee at affordable levels.

OPD pay package: $200-250,000 per year. This is according to the Len Raphael campaign website.

Minority communities don’t cooperate with police partly due to many incidences of actual and perceived police brutality and profiling.

*** We could FIRE repeatedly abusive OPD cops IF city council would repeal “binding arbitration.”

*** We could pay police/fire (75% of city budget*) less and use the savings for better OPD training, and hire more good police, IF city council would repeal “binding arbitration.”

*$170k-250k/year total compensation package for every police and fire guy/gal. Not sustainable! Most other Oakland city employees are overpaid by 10-20% vs other bay area cities too.

With all the savings from actually adjusting pay packages down to Earth, we’d have money to immediately hire more police.

“And this is why we can’t have nice things.”

The city used to publish an internal salary survey on its website, but lately that’s too embarrassing so they removed it in 2009. Sounds just like Deanna Santana’s plan to limit public access to Oakland city council meetings.

* * * * *

What is “binding arbitration”?

It’s part of Oakland’s city charter (our “constitution”) and prevents city council from re-negotiating any city union pay packages or firing Oakland cops for flagrant, repeat abuses. Continue reading

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Oakland Crime Rate High, Stays Higher – and not because of any Blue Dream [CrimeStats: Oakland vs NYC, SF, LA…]

photo by Jim OBrien, Ice City Almanac

Oakland Crime Rate High, Stays Higher – and not because of any Blue Dream

It’s been forever since I last posted about Oakland specifically, and I miss A Better Oakland (by intrepid Echa) so here’s a crime brief.

Oakland murders in 2012 to date: 84.

New York City murders in 2012 to date: 299.

So, Oakland has one third of the murders that NYC has and less than 5% of the population. Some will say Baltimore and New Orleans are worse but I don’t want to emulate the bad parts of any city.  And anyway, ex-OPD Chief Batts just landed in Baltimore. (youtubes here)

Oakland: 84/pop x 10,000 = 21 murders per capita, 2012

NYC: 299/pop x 10,000 = 4 murders per capita, 2012

Raw Stats: OAK pop 395,817 ; NYC pop 8,244,910 – Jul 2011, Source: U.S. Census Bureau. Oakland murder figure as of 9/7/12. 84 is Oaktown’s homicide count according to NBC and others. Incorrectly, KGORadio states “the 94 homicides in Oakland this year is one less than all of last year. Last year at this time there were 65 homicides in the city.”

That’s right. Oakland has FIVE as many murders per 10,000 people as New York City.  Okay okay. It would be lower without the Oikos mass shooting by an unhinged person. Yet, less murder is always preferable right?

Unfair? Let’s compare with SF, LA, Stockton, Fresno, Richmond and a few other cities.

City Murders as of 9/11/12 Population as of 2011 Murders per capita
Honduras 82.100
Ciudad Juarez 625 1,300,000 48.077
New Orleans 128 360740 35.483
Colombia 33.400
Mexico City 8851080 24.000
Baltimore 146 619493 23.568
Oakland 84 395,817 21.222
Kenya 20.100
Uganda 17.100
Stockton 46 296357 15.522
Richmond 15 105,380 14.234
Chicago 300 3,000,000 10.000
L.A. 375 3819702 9.818
Fresno 32 501362 6.383
San Francisco 45 750,000 6.000
NYC 299 8,244,910 3.626
San Jose 31 967487 3.204

And I can’t speak to Baltimore/NOLA but Oakland clearly needs 5-600 more poh-leese on the streets. If you have a cop in every neighborhood, s/he can mediate for that neighborhood, help direct people to resources, GET TO KNOW people, people will GET TO KNOW her/him. Real community policing happens with adequate staffing.

No men or women are angels, so we will always need to police ourselves — either internally (social code, customs, tight knit communitas) or externally (police, security).

Is Oakland a “police state”? Hardly. It’s a “thug state” and all current city politicians (and the police union OPOA, higher up OPD who sit at their desks, criminals (underground businessmen), certain neighborhoods and “anti-violence” nonprofits with no-bid city contracts) are happy to let this continue indefinitely.

I hate this game.  More cops will fix it over a 5-6 year period. This November election matters. Vote for city “leaders” who will actually hire up 5-600 MORE cops — at lower salary/pension levels — on November 6, 2012.

The national elections are a sham. But you have a chance to bring REAL policing to Oakland.  Policing where cops know their hood, every hood knows their cop, and we have REAL “bridging the gap” between COMMUNITY and POLICE.  This must happen if we will have a nurturing city for residents — and businesses (ie, “more jobs for people who give a shit in East/West Oakland”).

You pay for security. Your choice is how: police, or private patrol/alarm. Do we all want our own alarm? NO.

data sources: news reports, city websites. (google)

Culture of Life News

The above picture is a screen shot of The New York Times front page.  The fact that Mitt Romney Attacks President Obama Over Libya Crisis  has gotten him a lot of bad press.  Of course, what isn’t being explained very well in the media is how the Libyan chaos was engineered by the CIA and the US pushed very hard and quite illegally to hamstring Gaddafi after he disarmed at US request and then deposed him quite violently.  The US praised the rioters and revolting forces back then and has tried, quite in vain, to now suppress them as the NATO powers seek mainly to exploit the oil profits, redirecting these from social services towards EU and US banks.

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Incredulous thoughts about “Credo Mobile”

The Real Credo: Motion, Not Action.

although i’ve ‘liked’ CREDO Mobile on fb to keep up with news, i see it as more of a feel-good service for progressives similar to Change, Huffpo, Unicef halloween donation boxes we toted as kids, or DemocracyTooLate since they all haven’t been able to accomplish the largest most important objectives of the so-called left. Continue reading