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).

January 19, 2007

Good luck, Mayor Dellums

My very first vote, on an absentee ballot while away at college, was for Jerry Brown as mayor of Oakland. Later, when he announced the 10k plan and spoke of his ambitions for Oakland, he articulated my own hopes and dreams for our beautiful city. Since high school I was determined to be a part of downtown, and to see it regain its rightful place as the center of the East Bay. As I wrote in my blogger profile, Oakland is amazing and more people should live here. The benefits of our growth include entrepreneurial and cultural opportunities, civic resources, environmental justice, and political clout. Conservatism, by which I mean a reluctance to embrace change, is the greatest threat to our dynamic culture and economy. I started this blog to support moving Oakland forward, by explaining how arguments against our growth and success are narrow, illogical, and even selfish.

While obviously the namesake of this blog won the election, I feel that I accomplished the goal of adding a culturally and economically informed voice to the very important election-year discussion of our future. While Ignacio de la Fuente’s mayoral agenda of bureaucratic accountability and aggressive economic expansion best described my priorities, I also share Mayor Ron Dellums’ desire to inspire Oaklanders and emphasize unity. The election is behind us, and now our arguments are over legislation and ideas, not personalities or politics. I am eager to be part of moving Oakland forward, to again repeat both Ignacio’s and Dellums’ campaign slogans, but I can do this best by working constructively, not by blogging as DellumsWatch.

As I wrote before, the shrill tone of local left contributed to the divisive display at Dellums’ inauguration. This blog is obviously polemical; it was meant to create an issues-based but negative campaign against our former congressman, in response to the Stop De La Fuente blog. I don’t regret any of my posts, and it’s completely appropriate to attack political candidates in a truthful, well-supported, and explicit manner, especially to a self-selected audience. That tone is no longer appropriate, as there are no candidates to attack, only sitting elected officials who have the power and desire to improve Oakland. The Grand Lake Guardian, NovoMetro, the East Bay Express, and Tribune blogs all started after the mayoral election, and I look forward to even more people taking Dellums up on his call for involvement by sharing their opinions. I will be doing so on an oh-so-polite and constructive blog, to be named soon.

35 Comments:

At January 19, 2007 12:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you going to be posting on www.futureoakland.com now?

 
At January 19, 2007 12:37 PM, Blogger deckin said...

While obviously in the heat of things, personalities can and do get involved, but I think Oakland Native has been clear that it's policies that matter here. For my part, had you taken any other politician or human and placed the policies espoused by De La Fuente as against the policies of Dellums, I'd have posted everything the same, for that person. And if you'd taken someone else, with the policies of Dellums, the same same. It's not a personal issue for me: I think Pamela Drake is as wrong as Dellums who's as wrong as PUEBLO who's as wrong as all the other coalitions against Brown. It's progressivism (as interpreted around here) that's the problem for me.

I certainly don't hope Dellums fails, inasmuch as that would mean that Oakland fails and I know many of us, of all persuasions, have substantial personal investment in this city. I just still doubt, and will continue to doubt until I see evidence otherwise, that the Dellums model, as he articulates it publicly (as opposed to what he'll actually do behind closed doors) won't work. But if it does, then I'll change my tune.

 
At January 19, 2007 1:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope to read your essays again soon!

 
At January 20, 2007 2:07 AM, Anonymous A person who *HELLA* hearts Oakland said...

I am SO glad this trashy blog is coming to an end. You have done nothing but spew negativity about Ron on the internet, and now you want to work with him? Comical. I would never trust you inside the administration or even as a volunteer. If you want to give back to Oakland focus on helping to stop the violence and not putting more condos downtown.

Your obsession with economics is to your fault, a city like Oakland needs more than money honey.

Please do us all a favor and stay off the net and keep your horrible ideas to yourself. Write them in a little journal and read them to your Mommy. Or boyfriend.

 
At January 20, 2007 8:05 AM, Blogger deckin said...

Hella Heart:

I'll try to get in a few cents before this closes down. You say we should focus on ending violence in Oakland and not putting up condos. Well,
1. Putting up condos (and other development) is actually what does end violence. It's worked everywhere it's been tried and nothing else has. You can do the research yourself.
2. But really, who should be doing the focusing? Last I checked, Jerry Brown, developers, Phil Tagami, Carlos whatever, you name it, never murdered anyone. Maybe the people doing the violence should do some focusing, no?
3. Everyone agrees that money alone doesn't solve problems. But it's not the lack of money (or jobs) that's causing the violence either. There are cities that are way poorer than Oakland (Fresno, for one) that don't have near the rate of violence. So what does Oakland need? An interfaith prayer initiative? Do the religious leaders of this city need to start preaching peace as St. Ron says? Well, what have they been preaching before? War? When people stop putting their faith in prayer vigils, marches, and saints, and start thinking about what actually works, then the violence will end.

 
At January 20, 2007 1:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the person who allegedly "hella hearts" Oakland: the wizzard behind the curtain might be able to help you get "hella brain" but you'll have to stop being the progressive scarecrow. People have long since become hardened to interminable, mindless progressive bluster and are not afraid to speak their minds. None of the sentiments expressed on this blog heretofore will go away just because this blog goes down. People who "hella heart" Oakland but who don't share your views will still be part of the Oakland community and will still be unafraid to express their views. Get used to it!

 
At January 22, 2007 10:43 AM, Blogger Oakland Native said...

Thanks, Anonymous - you're right. Just because it's no longer an election year doesn't mean that logic-driven and optimistic viewpoints are going anywhere. I hope to see such voices raised in new contexts: pro-growth neighborhood groups have already formed downtown and in Temescal; City Council meetings have been dominated for too long by the same cast of characters and their unproductive comment; and there will be many other opportunities for the majority of Oaklanders who support progress to get their message across, using emails to councilmembers or letters to the editor. A good opportunity to speak up is January 31st, when Nancy Nadel and Pat Kernighan host a meeting perhaps aimed at kickstarting anti-high-rise legislation.*

Everyone who supports Mayor Brown's and Mayor Dellums' visions to reach for the sky should go. Otherwise, the forum will be just an echo chamber for view-obsessed long-time residents who already have their piece of the pie, and don't want anyone else to get a chance at a lakeside home. It's next Weds, Jan 31, from 6 to 9pm at the Lakeside Garden Center (666 Bellevue).

* Representatives from the OHA and CALM have spoken about the need for Lake Merritt-area height restrictions, presumably lower than the lakeside Ordway Building's 400+ feet. The uproar of the aged over a 460ft proposed building on Schilling Garden shows that there is a deep well of anti-high-rise sentiment, especially among our elderly residents.

 
At January 22, 2007 10:56 AM, Anonymous Steve R. said...

Thanks for posting this blog--I've enjoyed reading your perspectives and look forward to whatever reincarnation you come up with.

Oakland Native: What are the pro-growth neighborhood groups you're referring to?

 
At January 22, 2007 11:16 AM, Blogger Oakland Native said...

Thanks, Steve. I'll announce a new blog in a week.

There are two competing neighborhood groups in Temescal, one pro-growth and one anti-growth. I believe that their names are basically switched: the anti-growth one is something about sustainability, and the pro-growth group is something like Temescal for a Livable Neighborhood. It was started by Joyce Roy of the Sierra Club, who was a leading opponent of Oak-to-Ninth but supports development that is more obviously infill. I unfortunately don't know much about them, but they fielded a lot of advocates at a City Council meeting I attended.

An activist downtown started a group called Downtown Lake Merritt Neighborhood Group to advocate for resident-oriented street policies and to support increased development. It's a Yahoo group.

 
At April 04, 2007 9:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Come back, Oakland Native! The "Mayor" is doing nothing...literally, nothing...and no one's saying anything about it. No Trib, no EBX, no bloggers, nothing. So far the signature phrase of this administration is "Mayor Dellums was unavailable for comment."

 
At April 15, 2007 4:52 PM, Blogger Zach said...

Hello-
I created the Downtown Lake Merritt Neighborhood Group. would you mind clarifying what you mean when you say the DLMNG "supports increased development." I'm curious to know how others perceive our group on on what they base their perceptions.

Thanks,
zach

 
At May 03, 2007 3:43 PM, Blogger Oakland Native said...

Zach - I said that because your group, for awhile, said THIS IS NOT AN ANTI-DEVELOPMENT GROUP across its introduction. However, based on your confused anti-development op-ed in the Trib, clearly that's no longer the case.

 
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