Dellums Watch: Keeping Tabs on Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums

Because we care deeply about Oakland, we want Mayor Dellums to succeed. However, we strongly opposed his election because he never held a municipal position in Oakland and has lived in Washington for the last thirty-five years. We are wary of some of his supporters, and wish to keep a close eye on local political machinations. This blog will be focused on politics and people, not policy perscriptions (unlike FutureOakland).

July 18, 2006

Breaking news: inclusionary zoning?

Tonight's city council agenda includes the "inclusionary zoning" plan drawns up by CEDA (signed by Dan Vanderpriem, who is rumored to be keeping his job under Dellums) at the request of Councilmembers Brunner and Quan, at number 14. Rumors has it that several important city councilmembers received very negative feedback about the bill from their constituents and business interests, and will move to take the measure off the agenda.

Mayor-elect Dellums, among other things, asked the council to hold off on this legislation so that he could draw it up himself. Given that the reason for the council's possible rejection is because the public thinks it's too extreme, not (as Nancy Nadel and Jane Brunner seemed to have expected) that it's not enough, it's now up to him, and he's back to square one.

We'll see what happens tonight. This legislation was on the verge of passing just weeks ago, but its obvious flaws seem to be stopping it. Hopefully Dellums will realize that "inclusionary zoning" doesn't help the poor, is inefficient and unfair, and gets in the way of his vision of high-rises.

Also on the agenda is the final passage (second vote) of the awesome Oak-to-Ninth project. The SF Bay Guardian recently wrote an editorial asking for it to be delayed so that Dellums could change it (which was one of the few things the mayor-elect didn't ask of the council). Its final passage tonight will be another huge step in the revitalization of lower Lake Merritt and the Estuary!

July 17, 2006

Taking the Summer Off

The San Francisco Chronicle's Matier and Ross report that Dellums spokesman Mike Healy confirms Dellums will be taking the summer off. Nobody has mentioned veto power since he asked for it the day after the election, and it seems like that's going away without even a fight.

It would have been impossible to get enough signatures to place the measure on the November ballot anyway. Since the number of signatures that Dellums backers got last summer is less than half of those required to submit a measure to the ballot (and lefty Dellums backers failed earlier this year to float an anti-development measure), it is doubtful that the Dellums machine will be able to get anything on the ballot for 2008 either.

So, there's not really anything to watch until after Labor Day, when Dellums will "hit the ground running."