Thursday, December 22, 2011

Re: A Recall is Divisive and Harmful

 Re: A Recall is Divisive and Harmful

As you may know, the Greens have not yet taken a position on this recall effort.
As far as I know, we are the only group to invite both sides to come and speak to one of our meetings.

And as many remember, we did advise voting for Quan as second choice because we found her the lesser evil.
That thought is no longer an easy sell.
But the point is, we are not Quan supporters, so we view the recall from that point of view.

I have not heard anyone say that Quan has done something illegal.
What the public is discussing is a recall, not an impeachment. 

Speaking for myself and not for the Greens, I have some concerns about the recall process.
It does not seem very democratic to only require a 50% vote to recall.
If the vote proceeds with state rules, then only a plurality would elect the replacement.
We could end up with more people voting against the recall than for the replacement mayor.

That said, I am not willing to go so far as to call the money and influence soaked media circus
and advertizing war that passed for an election last time something democratic, or even better
than the recall process.

What we really need is some kind of reforms here to get money out of our local elections and
to get a council composed of community leaders.  I do not hear proposals from MOBN or
Tramutola's (sp?) TOLA other than term limits.  Nothing to make the process of  STARTING a term
any more democratic and nothing to ensure that all views are represented.

How would recalling the Mayor make Oakland any more democratic?

Having the Mayor's ear does not sound very democratic either.
Is this having her ear to do what she told her voters that she would do?
That sounds more like how one deals with a non-profit, not an elected official.

In this, I think the Greens are also the only ones who keep going back to the need for budget and charter reform.
I see no reason to change my mind about that.  Other places do better, so can we.

One group has every right in the world to recall Mayor Quan:  Her supporters.
I would like to hear what the Block-by-Block folk feel and think about all this.
Many of them should feel disappointed in her leadership at the budget and dealing with Occupy.

When I hear people say that a recall would be divisive, harmful, or as the unions say, a distraction,
I have to ask, What unity?  To do what?  What harm?  What is being done that we do not want damaged?
And what is going on that we should be paying attention to if we want to avoid a distraction?

Instead of telling us what we should unify around or pay attention to, let's accept that we have a mayor in crisis and ALL of us are part of the process.  It is easy to ask for unity when it is your  group in power.

I want to ask everyone for responsibility. 

If you support Quan staying office, why?  and if not, why not?


Don Macleay
510 290-1200

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Some questions and comments about Occupy Oakland Questions:

Is it better now? 
Is the area around city hall safer? Cleaner? Is business back up? Are there less homeless at 14th and B-way? 
What was the cooperation about? Was it nation wide?  Why?  
If this was a local sanitation and public safety issue, then why did we need to coordinate with so many other mayors and have all those raids in the same week?  Why were the billionaire mayor of New York and our “progressive” mayor Quan saying the exact same things?  Was it the exact same situation?  Or did we prep the exact same talking points? 

Who are those folk who come and throw bricks? 
Why was this allowed to happen the evening of the general strike?  This is the second major time this has happened.  The other was the Oscar Grant protests.  Are we investigating these instigators of violence or making use of them to justify shutting down protests we do not like?  

What is Mayor Quan doing about the problems of the 99%?  
Has the City of Oakland done anything about the foreclosures?  Have they even asked or tried?   Are we holding the banks we do business with up to any accountability?  Do we rate them for their ethical practices?  Are we getting any of the redevelopment or stimulus money to directly aid common people?  


If there was no violence at the second raid, it was thanks only to the protestors.

Nancy Nadel, council member for District 3, warned the public that this second raid was going to take place.  The police came again in the dead of night armed for a confrontation.  The protestors had already cleared the tents and were standing on the other side of the cordon.  The only people arrested were from a meditation group and the interfaith taskforce and it was a peaceful act of civil disobedience.  Other than that there was one Native American in a tree. 
When Jean Quan and other city officials went through the camp holding their noses at the filth, what they were really doing was walking through abandoned tents and left behind garbage.  Now, compare these verifiable facts with what you were told in the media.  

Occupy is a popular movement with popular support.  ; there are nearly 1400 protests in the USA. 
Tens of thousands of local people came out to support the Occupy Oakland General Strike.  Hundreds, and at times thousands of people have been in the plaza.  Thousands came to protest the West Coast Ports.  People come to the plaza with workshops, theatre, a mobile library, a children’s tent and much more. The original group of young people have been joined by older activists, and the movement is very multi ethnic and growing.  There was a bailout of the banks and Wall Street but no help for the mortgage holders and Main Street. There is a tax holiday for the rich and cutbacks for the rest.  Strong opposition to the economic injustice in our country is taking place for good reasons.

Your neighbor, Green Party activist and Occupy Oakland Supporter, Don Macleay