Ratio of power at Oakland City Hall?

I took the old photo of our city “leadership” and pasted in faces of current staff and soon-to-be sworn in councilmembers-elect. I don’t know who the two ladies are with “?” marks but assume one of them is the City Clerk.

What is the ratio of power at Oakland City Hall? Between city departments, city council, mayor and city administrator. (Ignoring for a moment our city attorney and auditor, and all the politically well connected non-profits, unions and developers, lobbying business interests – they are in power by proxy anyway.)

The power ratio is certainly not 1:1:1:1.

It’s probably more like 9:8:1:1. Continue reading

Very worrisome. My dear Jewish friends and acquaintances in Oakland should consider taking a peek at this analysis of what’s going on in Israel, written by a Jewish woman in New York. Not that the world won’t end in December anyway ūüėČ but why not have a relaxing go of it…

Culture of Life News

Shocking leaked video:what Israeli Zionists actually believe! ‚Äď YouTubeThe US media editorialists are nearly totally and uniformly Zionist radicals who prevent any honest discussion of the Middle East‚Äôs very explosive religious and ethnic warfare situations. ¬†One major help given to imperialists in Israel and Japan is how our media actively hides what the far right wing in both countries say and do. ¬†For example, I got the news via Japan‚Äôs media about Japan‚Äôs top mayor in Tokyo calling for nuclear bombs for land disputes with China whereas the US media didn‚Äôt cover this story at all. ¬†With the Jewish-dominated media in the US, the Neo-Nazi character of Jewish political parties is also very carefully hidden from view.¬†

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See who the only public speaker was at this #OakMtg about borrowing $250,000,000 more in debt from Wall Street Banks – deals orchestrated by Oakland City Council reps Jane Brunner and Rebecca Kaplan. #OWS #OO

the war on civil liberties continues. we need civilian control of OPD before we let OPD use tools like this.

and that won’t happen until the city council and mayor stand up to OPD’s police union, OPOA, which endorses and funds city council candidates and effectively runs OPD.

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

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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