As a result of the very hard work of one of MOBN!’s board members, we are now able to offer an updated video of the April 3 debate featuring nine mayoral candidates. The video and audio are now in sync, and just about all of the missing audio has been restored.
Make Oakland Better Now! and MGO are expecting more than 200 people at the mayoral candidate public safety debate on Thursday, April 3, 2014 at 6:30 p.m. at Temple Sinai. See the original announcement here, and RSVP here. We have notified all of the participating candidates of the protocol and ground rules, and here is what we have told them:
Dear Mayoral Candidates:
Thanks to all of you for agreeing to participate in the MGO / MOBN! Mayoral Candidate Public Safety Debate, which as we have advised, will take place on Thursday, April 3 from 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at Temple Sinai. We look forward to the contributions each of you make toward the public dialog about what it takes to make Oakland safer.
Our debate committee, journalist panelists and moderator have met, and agreed on the following protocol and ground rules:
Make Oakland Better Now! is pleased to join the Oakland Police Foundation and Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce in co-sponsoring tomorrow’s Neighborhood Champions Awards Event. Come join us as we will celebrate “Community Policing Partnerships That Work” by honoring the police officers, district attorneys, outreach workers, citizens, and the faith-based community who actively contributed to East Oakland’s 28% reduction in violent crime.
Date: Saturday, March 8, 2014
Time: 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Place: Acts Full Gospel Church, 1034 66th Avenue, Oakland
Last week, Oaklanders who live in the hills received their mail-in ballots for Measure A. This measure, which creates and funds the Oakland Wildlife Prevention District, replaces the expiring Wildfire Prevention Assessment District. For the past ten years, the WPAD has successfully provided funding for prudent fire-reduction measures in the hills-based wild lands interface. The previous district has been supported by a parcel tax of $65, which expires at the end of this year. With the new district, this tax will increase by $13… While we are critical of many things Oakland’s city government does, MOBN! supports this initiative.
We are concerned that the campaign against Measure A is based on half-truths, innuendo and irrelevancies. We believe that when voters within the district know the facts, they will join us in voting to maintain the effective public safety efforts previously supported by the Assessment District, and now supported by the WPD.
Make Oakland Better Now! believes that the Oakland should regularly conduct scientifically valid polls of its citizens to learn what Oaklanders feel about how the police department is doing, and how the city’s budget process is meeting Oaklanders’ needs.
Valid polls typically cost about $25,000, and we believe the money would be well-spent. We will continue to urge Oakland to conduct this type of survey. But until it does, Oaklanders should take participate in two non-scientific surveys that will allow them to provide their views on the Oakland Police Department and the city’s budget process. Make Oakland Better Now! urges all Oaklanders to take the 15 minutes it will take to respond to both of these surveys:
Tonight, beginning sometime after 6:30pm, the Oakland City Council is expected to adopt the fiscal year 2013-2015 budget (item #9). The importance of the budget can hardly be understated: this document will control the City’s expenditures over the next two years. The budget is where the Council is called upon to put its money where its mouth is; more than any other document, it reflects the values and priorities of our elected leadership.
In April the Mayor submitted her budget to the City Council, which proposes $487 million in appropriations over two years. You can find MOBN!’s discussion of the Mayor’s budget here, here, and here.
At the June 20th joint Rockridge Community Planning Council/Greater Rockridge Neighborhood Crime Prevention Council meeting, Mayor Jean Quan was asked how many police she thought Oakland needs.
First, she said that it is not a matter of what we need, but what we can afford, given that California policemen cost more than East Coast policemen, and she quoted that CA officers cost $200,000 per officer vs $100,000 on the East Coast. She then stated that her goal was to return Oakland to 800 officers that we had “before the recession.” Although the current budget only gets us to 700, she said she is confident that as the economy continues to improve Oakland will be able to afford more police in the long term.
On June 13, Make Oakland Better Now! will be present at the Oakland City Council Meeting at 6:30 p.m., urging the City Council to adopt the Mayor’s proposed budget with Council President Kernighan’s proposed changes. This post is the first in a series to look at the budget amendments proposed by Council President Kernighan and those proposed by Council Members Brooks, Reid, and Gallo. More information can be found in the Oakland Tribune’s Coverage, here, and Chip Johnson’s column in the San Francisco Chronicle, here (paywall). We encourage all Oaklanders to join us at council in urging your representatives to adopt a budget reflecting the city’s need for public safety and fiscal responsibility.
Oaklanders who follow these things know what’s happening with the city budget. As our City Council gets ready to pass a new two-year budget between now and July 1, we have the following:
Close to 100 Oaklanders attended our forum on Sunday, April 28, and heard presentations on Oakland’s public safety budget challenges from City Administrator Deanna Santana, Assistant Andrew Murray, then (now retired) Police Chief Howard Jordan, then Captain, now Assistant Chief of Police Paul Figueroa, and Deputy Director, Bureau of Services Gil Garcia. We are presently editing, and expect to post video clips from the presentations next week. In the meantime, here are the city’s slides. You can also download them here.
We will have much more to say about recent events and their impact on public safety very soon, so watch this space.