A Letter To All Oaklanders: We Need Your Help Tomorrow

Dear Oaklanders,

Tomorrow, October 29 at 10:00 a.m. at 1148 E. 18th Street, Suite 10, Make Oakland Better Now! co-hosts the kickoff meeting for two critical signature gathering campaigns, one for City Council term limits and one for a budget reform charter amendment imposing a rainy day fund – a forced savings account – on the City once its finances begin to recover.

Those of you receiving this message – the 300+ of you on our e-mail list and the 400+ members of our Facebook Group – have already heard about these measures and tomorrow’s event. But this is a special request to all of you from the MOBN! board – please come out on Saturday; we really need you.

For the past 27 months, here are some of the things we have done:

  • In our posts, first at our web site and now at Oaktalk, we brought you information about what’s going on in City Hall and ideas about how to make our City a safer and better functioning place to live and work.
  • In our “Tasty Pastry” series, we brought you detailed information about Oakland’s budgetand its budget processes.
  • During the Mayor’s race, we obtained answers to detailed questionnaires from nearly allhe mayoral candidates (including all the major candidates). Unlike many unions and other organizations who use candidate questionnaires, we made ours available to the public, publishing them on Oaktalk and at Oakland Local.
  • We are continuing our efforts to be effective advocates at City Hall for the manyOaklanders who believe the crime rate in our beautiful city is morally unacceptable,that our streets cannot be allowed to continue to crumble, that the culture of governmental secrecy must stop, and the broken budget process must be fixed.

Our next step is something we cannot do alone. We need boots on the ground, and that means we need you.

We realize term limits and this budget reform won’t come close to solving all of Oakland’s problems. And in the coming months, you will be hearing from us about more measures. But these are the first steps we must take in order to end the political atrophy at City Hall and prevent our elected officials from engaging in the repeated overpromising and overspending that has caused our current predicament.

We have less than six months to collect almost 40,000 signatures in order to place these measures on the 2012 ballot. This will take hard work, dedication and many, many volunteers. The road to real reform will be a long one. But we take our first steps tomorrow.

Please join us.

If you can make it and you haven’t told us already, please RSVP to


If you can’t make it tomorrow but you still want to help, please send an e-mail with that information to Oaklanders@MakeOaklandBetterNow.org. One of our organizers will contact you soon.

Thanks for any help you can give. We look forward to working with you as we Make Oakland Better.


The Make Oakland Better Now! Executive Board

Make Oakland Better Now!

OakTalk Here is the blog of Make Oakland Better Now!, an Oakland community grassroots group of a grass-roots group of voters, volunteers, and policy advocates committed to improving the City of Oakland by focusing on public safety, public works, and responsible budgets. Founded in 2003, we’ve researched, lobbied, and successfully campaigned for a number of new, impactful policies, including the city’s Rainy Day Fund, Measure Z and Operation Ceasefire.

This Post Has 9 Comments

  1. das88dan

    If you are going to make a request for the MOBN Board, perhaps, you should list on your website the names of the individuals who comprise your boards.

  2. David b Pratt!!

    Wish I could join u tomorrow we do need these things and a recall of the MAYOR Quan too!

  3. ed gerber

    Hi das88dan:
    I’m on the MOBN! and my name is Ed Gerber. Why don’t you fess up and tell us yours!!!!!

  4. Frank Castro

    Frank J. Castro – Executive Board – MOBN! (and proud of it)

  5. Carol Tanenbaum

    When there are good members of the city council that you’d hate to lose, you’d be sorry there are term limits.

  6. ed gerber

    Carol it’s a 3 term limit proposal. Good Council members can get everything done they need to in 12 years. And fresh blood is a necessary ingredient. Our current council is too locked in on everthing.

  7. oaktalk

    Hi das88dan: Bruce Nye, MOBN! board chair. I know who you are, but won’t out you. Why aren’t you posting with your real name?

  8. Winning! I know some of the MOBN folks – and they are good people. I am just now getting back involved in local stuff here. I urge those of you reading this to please support MOBN – I share their vision, and they are linked in with the actual people who can make it happen.

  9. Leonard Raphael

    Lame, pseudo reform.
    Why are you wasting our time?

    A 3 term limit is no limit at all. If one really thought term limits would reduce the advantages of incumbancy, you should have stuck to your original proposal of two terms.

    But term limits don’t touch the source of the bad government problem in Oakland where a disinterested and uninformed electorate faces politicians whose election and re-elections are determined by “volunteer” muni union labor and pac’s funded by muni unions and real estate developers.

    the only thing that term limits will do is possibly stimulate the local economy by pumping more money into printing, advertising, and poliical consultants’ businesses.

    Rainy day fund

    Great idea but considering we’re facing a fiscal hurricane that could last for two decades, what’s the point of this when what we need is serious, deep, fiscal reform that restricts the power of unions to influence elections and gives leverage to officials to get significant wage and vested retirement benefit concessions from existinig baby boomer employees.

    That’s spelled amending the charter to allow for outsourcing everything except safety to non profits and for profit companies. Repeal binding arbitration for public safety.

    -len raphael, cpa
    Vote No on Quan’s H, I, J
    Recall Quan

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