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?
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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.
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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