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

1 comment:

  1. Recall is an instrument of democracy that goes back to ancient Athens. For more in defense of recall see