Tag Archives: police

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?

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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.

* * * * *

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

What OPD needs?

Besides a decent chief, good working relationship with community and politicians, more “sworn members,” Federal compliance, fewer “officer involved shootings” of unarmed civilians, more foot and bike patrols (community policing), smaller/ distributed offices (koban style), earthquake-safe headquarters and reworked finances? Better cars.

HEMIed or not, Dodge’s Charger Pursuit looks pretty decent. Street respectable.


As long as they don’t spontaneously combust. And really, a Challenger (or in this town, a Prius – ha!) might be better. As Romans note, it is almost “enjoyable” to be pulled over by a police Lamborghini…

#OccupyOakland General Strike Recon 11/2

Photos below are from just before noon today along likely General Strike march route.

The port police are ready, OPD is ready. Make sure to stay visible to BART riders. Bring lots of water, energy bars, clothing (will be cold later!!), led flashlights… coordinate with your peeps by social media and RADIO. If police can check up on us with infiltrators, we can do same with police band radio checkups. Perhaps carry fingernail clippers in your back pocket to clip zipties. Onward!

Port police patrolling 7th Street, above.

Below you’ll find OPD squad cars, motorcycle patrolmen, City of Oakland Public Works trucks… all hands on deck today. For better or worse.

Very glad to see and hear today on KPFA that protestors demonstrated in front of all the BIG TAPEWORM BANKS I’ve railed against repeatedly here on my blog in 2008, 2009, 2010.

People are finally getting it.  How many Oakland “progressives” bank with these zombie banks which are sucking us dry?

Lest I repeat myself… big banks who received bailout “tarp” money 2008+:

  1. Bank of America/ Merril Lynch (more recently, $75 Trillion of derivatives moved to “Fed”/Treasury books!! unholy bailout of 2011!)
  2. Wells Fargo/Wachovia (drug money launderers, not to mention mortgage nonsense)
  3. J. P. Morgan Chase  / WaMu
  4. HSBC
  5. ING – another Euro bank we bailed out
  6. CitiBank – massive fail
  7. Societie Generale – FRENCH bank we bailed out due to their own risky “mortgage-backed securities” fraud schemes failing – to the tune of billions of dollars

The elites/oligarchs/plutocracy doesn’t count every vote. They buy votes. What they DO count is every DOLLAR. Move your Dollars!!

2:30PM Update: More great photos from today so far:

Aerial view of city hall plaza

Challenge Corporate Power banner (“skyscraper” format for you ad network folks)

Crowd at Bway/14th this morning

One of two streetlamp climbers hoisting anti-zombie bank banner by CHASE Bank this morning at Webster/20th

And… where is FRANK CHU??? (12 Galaxies)


Behind Government Budget Problems

Sutro Baths Steps by sirgious
Sutro Baths Steps, a photo by sirgious on Flickr.

This month’s post by Gail the Actuary explains our country’s (and the world’s) economic situation better than I ever could, so here it is.

This obviously speaks for Oakland as well, since we’re one of hundreds of US cities built upon a once lustrous but increasingly potholed and cracked foundation of cheap (and now all burnt up) oil and gasoline.

We’ll need to find other means of social lubrication, and in the meantime, don’t be poor!

The ramifications touch every part of our society, and thus I’ve tagged this with all categories. Put on your systems thinking cap and get reading!

Oakland Police Foundation Launched!!

After so many years of waiting on my part, the Oakland Police Foundation is finally a going concern! Hooooray! LA and NYC have had these for years.

So… if you have a few million $$ you don’t know what to do with, take a portion of it and donate today! I already have. You can also volunteer, sponsor, etc.

Why should you donate to the OPF?

Continue reading

Police foundation update

This is by now a bit of old news, but I want to pre-announce that Oakland Police Foundation should be launching this summer. The silent majority will finally have a way to support a properly run PD in light of City of Oakland’s ongoing financial disaster. Stay tuned.

Needless to say, Oakland’s financial descent was brought about by many things including, but not limited to, council member Jean Quan(ficomm head)’s use of budget reserves during tax reveune “boom times.” This left Oakland’s budget without a cushion for inevitable lean times.  Also many CA cities voted for “3% per year worked” retirement salaries in and after 1999, to attract talent.  This exploded many cities’ pension liabilities — the kind of financial issue in which Oakland’s former city workers now retire with up to 90% of their old salaries, in retirement, in perpetuity.

Clearly an unsustainable ponzi/pyramid scheme which will fall any year now.  So why should I worry, anyway? Nature sorts things out eventually.

Sidenote: I definitely wouldn’t vote for Quan as Oakland’s next Mayor — and she’s running. Ditto for Don “No Specific Programs” Perata.  Hopefully Rebecka Kaplan will run for Mayor.

Back to the main point of this post — OPF is working through various IRS paperwork right now and should go live in Q3 2010.

Oakland’s Police Foundation… Waiting for a BattSignal

Oakland’s Police Foundation… Waiting for a Batt Signal

By Ken O

In today’s SJMerc, columnist Tammerlin Drummond reflects on our new OPD Chief after the  unveiling of his 5-year strategy last week.  Mainly, Chief Batts won’t give up trying to improve Oakland policing and community engagement without a good attempt. Anyone would applaud that.

Then Chief Batts says something odd.  He wants to “start a foundation” to support OPD’s mission and better the city.

Continue reading