Oakland City Auditor’s Report: “A Culture of Interference”

The city auditor’s report on Non-Interference in Administrative Affairs Performance Audit found that five council members or their aides interfered in administrative affairs and violated section 218 of the Oakland City Charter, which states that council members or their aides cannot interfere with daily activities such as “contracting, hiring, appointing or firing City employees, or giving orders to City employees who are under the City Administrator’s supervision.” City Auditor Courtney Ruby called this provision “the underpinning of an ethical structure” that was created to protect citizens and businesses of Oakland alike. According to the report this ethical structure is being threatened, something that is troubling at a time when Oakland is working to earn the trust of its citizens.

The audit, conducted from 2009 through 2012, analyzed 27 anonymous reports, 67 hotline tips, 40 individual interviews, tens of thousands of emails and all applicable phone calls. The audit found that the administrative interferences originated from two council members’ offices and that those two council members “violated the law by exerting inappropriate influence in City contracting and operations.” The council members will remain on the Oakland City Council, but if they are found guilty of a misdemeanor crime for administrative interference they will be removed.

The first finding was that District 6 Council Member Desley Brooks interfered in management and renovations of two city recreation centers: The Rainbow Teen Center, for which the city auditor received many anonymous calls about interference, and The Arroyo Viejo Center. Brooks was involved in selecting and negotiating contractors, as well as hiring staff — clearly a violation of section 218. More than that, Council Member Brooks serves on the Finance and Management Committee, clearly the kind of conflict of interest the section 218 provision was created to protect against. If the council member from District 6 wants to be involved in the daily activities of managing the recreation centers she can do so when she retires from City Council.

The second finding was that Council Member Brooks and District 7 Council Member Larry Reid interfered in the administration of the redevelopment and contracting process for Oakland’s Army Base demolition contract, also known as the Building 6 contract — worth approximately $2 million dollars. To make matters worse, Council Member Reid is a member of the Rules and Legislation Committee. He should know better.

The third finding was that Council Member Brooks threatened to remove city staff from a redevelopment project in her district — an egregious abuse of her power. The last instances of interference the audit found were of council aides from District 7: one council aide who directed the parking department to eliminate two of the council aide’s personal parking tickets and one council aide who is continuously abusive and unprofessional to staff working at Sobrante Park on the City-Council Neighborhood Project.

The city auditor’s report found that “there is a general culture of interference within the city … across many City Departments … from multiple Councilmembers.” This is called corruption. While some Oakland City Council Members obey the rules and regulations others do not, which is not to say that they do not have the city’s best interest in mind; just that they have other interests. That is not okay. City interests, business interests and personal interests must be kept separately and the consequences must be fully enforced.

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 33 Comments

  1. Four thoughts:

    1. The report looks like it took hundreds, or even *thousands* of hours to create. It seems to me that this time would have been better spent actually, you know – doing “substantive” things. If we have attorneys and other “apparatchiks” at city hall who have this much “extra time,” perhaps they can help our DA’s office prosecute the people who are killing us, instead of doing little deck chair rearragenment actions like “this” here.

    In fact, if I didn’t know better, it seems that most of what city hall does, is kind of use various politically-motivated reports to adroitly “shift blame.”

    2. This whole thing also reeks of old school city hall “power” politics. For example, I personally *know* some of the people referred to in this, and I also know that there is a culture of racism and classism at city hall, and I have personally seen it and witnessed it. In fact, isn’t the author of this, someone who is kind of on record as not really spending a lot of time out here in Deep East? I say this from my house here **in** Sobrante Park. I simply don’t see those folks out here, much, if at all. . .

    3. What will this report change, realistically? Will the tends of thousands of dollars of our taxpayer money spent on writing this little gem, do anything other than create yet another political crap storm here? Seriously, what ***tangible*** effects will this document have, other than just creating more division? Will anything here change, or get better? I think not. I think this will just create more problems than it will solve.

    4. The absolute problem in this town is lack of visionary leadership. Should Larry retire, I will run for D7, and *I* will start to use my ***national*** contacts to clean up the mess down there at city hall, and from where I sit, the “mess” isn’t being caused by folks in the flats.

    It is being caused by the entitled “hill people,” who continue to set politicies, for entire regions of town, that they are literally AFRAID to even visit.

    Like I say – I LIVE HERE, and I have never once felt any sense of danger. Quite the opposite, I feel safer here than downtown.

    It is because *I* live among friends and neighbors. Perhaps the “tofu and Pruis” set, down at city hall, could try thinking of us down here as people, for a change. That is how *I* do things, and that is why I have local support, in an area of town that most of the people who are connected to this report, won’t even VISIT, without armed escort.

    You all really need to change your thinking on things.

  2. AKC

    Angry much?

    We would do a lot better for each other and ourselves if we’d quit with the us against them.

  3. Peter Rukin

    The above post highlights the dysfunction that plagues Oakland. Where I grew up (Chicago), reformers were aligned with Harold Washington, and cleaning up government and getting rid of crony politics were viewed as good things. Mr. Thomason, meet Mr. Orwell.

  4. ELM

    Kevin: First of all (and for what it’s worth) This report was prepared by Courtney Ruby — the City Auditor. This IS her job. http://www.oaklandauditor.com/ruby/responsibility “The City Auditor’s job is to analyze the City’s operations and programs, as well as to issue reports to the public, elected decision-makers and City administration – detailing her findings, conclusions and recommendations.” Second, we all “live here.” ‘Here’ being Oakland. All districts are part of one city. Your concerns and opinions and ideas are no more (or less) important — and carry no more (or less) weight — than any other resident, regardless of what part of Oakland they live in. Finally, it’s “Prius.”

  5. Kodi

    Totally agree with AKC, Peter Rukin and ELM. Oakland doesn’t need more of this kind of “stirring the pot” as illustrated by Mr.Thomason’s post. We all live here.

  6. charlie stephen

    Council members cannot and must not tell city staff what to do. Period, full stop. For the benefit of “Kevin Lee Thompson,” or anyone else who is unclear on this concept, I’d suggest a short course on American urban politics circa 1880-1950.

  7. ELM

    To MOBN: I think Courtney Ruby has done a good and thorough job here – as usual. Unfortunately (and also ‘as usual’), it will mean little if Nancy O’Malley declines to prosecute. Councilmember Brooks, in particular, has a long history of thumbing her nose at the City Charter and Council rules with no consequences. We’ll have to wait and see if Nancy O’Malley has the will to take this up.

  8. ELM – you are completely misreading the politics.

    IF O’Malley had wanted to prosecute, she would not have let Ruby do the report. Now it is going to look like a SLAP lawsuit. By Ruby doing this, and it getting media, it basically PREVENTS O’Malley from touching the issue at all.

    In fact, if it happens – I will make it a goal to blow this out into national social media. . .

    Seriously, “this” is the reason that MOBN does not really get a lot done.

    And there is a reason I help lead large groups.

  9. ELM – what you are suggesting is so close to this, that O’Malley could actually get sanctioned by the Bar for prosecuting.


    That would not be the case, if Ruby had not issued the report, and if the matter had been handled differently. This is *now* what I call “a polititcal lock.” In other words, nothing can happen now.




    PLEASE – try to understand that this is *all* politics. Ruby has “a reason” to do this, I do not know what it is – but I am certain it has nothing to do with improving Oakland.

  10. Mike

    The race card rises to the top of the deck once again thanks to ZennieA. Zennie evidently cannot distinguish between justifiable inquiries, requests and suggestions from Council members to city staffers and unlawful demands, deadlines and threats. Also it’s quite clear in the report that it was written before the 2012 election when three old school Council members self-deleted from their “public service.” The Auditor’s report points out that, before the election, a majority of the Council had been in office for a total of nearly 100 years. No wonder Oakland has been stuck. Here’s hoping that real change is on its way.

  11. Mike – I think you and I have talked about this. In politics, unfortunately – what does *not* matter is “what is true,” what matters is what people “perceive as true.”

    If Z says race is involved, then others are also seeing it this way.

    I see it this way, a bit – and I am white. I think that race is a proxy for class, and see this as some sort of political power grab. I have my theories as to whom is behind it, and I will know more this week after meeting with some people who are going to remain anonymous.

    My “gut” is that Ruby was played/gamed by someone smarter (more politcally savvy) than her. She is a numbers person, and she is likely not even aware of how these “social” things play out.

    And my gut is telling me that “this” relates to redevelopment money. I am not saying she took money to do this report, but what I am saying is that there are large financial drivers behind this. Another truism in politics is that it is driven by money and power.

    People are HIGHLY naive if they think this has anything to do with “cleaning up city hall.” I also think there will be a backlash, and the backlash could possibly cause the current power structure to lose much credibility.

    In other words, I am predicting a rallying that will now happen behind those two people mentioned in the report, and since race has been alleged, I am predicting a “falling away” of suppport, for the report.

    i.e., a reverse effect over what was intended.

    Let me put it this way – I have run these theories ny people who have been “in” the political scene here since polyester was considered a valid fashion choice, and they are agreeing with me. Again, I do not get to do the fun stuff because I am a stupid person.

    And you also know that my “predictions” are more like my “plans.”

  12. Mike,

    I know you are a theophilic, so let me kind of preach some knowledge here.

    Let me break things down further, and I am not doing it in the spirit of hate. I say things, and I do things – because I love my family here in Deep East Oakland. I have been through a lot in life. I lost everything after my first divorce. But I gained more than I lost. I do not do things now for “money and fame,” I do things because our system is not fair.

    And I am not a dummy, and I know it is impossible to make the system fair.

    But I also know that some level of justice can and will prevail, if people all start to agree on a single aspirational vision.

    Very serious people discern that I am sincere, and they also know I am good at resolving conflict. That is why I have support BOTH from our communities, and from law enforcement. And when I say “our communities,” I am talking about the people who live here, like me.

    Mike, think about what I did before I got involved in “the scene” here (and I still do it, a bit). I helped organize around 3 million GUN OWNERS in this state. I say this literally. There are two main people who are behind the whole movement here in California. Both are personal friends. Both were at my birthday party in 2011 where the top 100 people in the state attended, and I was the *moderator* for the discussion panel that we had at this event. Nobody knows who I am because I am good at staying out of main media. This comes from me doing both law AND media for nearly 20 years.

    I know what I am doing, when I do things.

    And I know what I am saying, when I say things.

    And my faith tells me that it’s not “me” – rather, all glory DOES go to God. I know that is hard for some to swallow, but that is on them. What others think is not my worry.

    All I care about is what “actions” happen here. I care about what others “do.”

    At the same time, except for a brief stay in Sonora California, I have lived in East Oakland for 11 years now. DEEP EAST OAKLAND. I help organize here a bit now. I am a full tithing member of the largest church here, and I hang out socially with church leadership.

    I AM also a biker, and I have also been asked to help organize and lead other bikers. And again, there is a structure, and I know leadership, and they generally like me and listen to me when I make suggestions.

    That is all I do now.

    I just “suggest.”

    The way I help lead is basically just by pointing out simple things.

    Generally, spiritual things at this point. I have no actual control over anything. If there was an “org” chart, I would be something like “Of Counsel” – and that is actually my title with two of the above groups. I kind of counsel people on strategies and concepts, and I do this using social media and face to face meetings and interactions.

    Anyone with access to google can just start googling my name, and they will find evidence that I am not blowing smoke here.

    I just have this “thing” about standing up for people who have been kicked to the curb in life. Someone needs to do it, and it may as well be me.

    Ironically, what “ties” all of this together, is that people are now using social media, not just to look up resumes, but ALSO to see that they have consistently been lied to by main media. People are seeing that things are not what they seem, and that the people in power lie to them. People are looking for ways to resist this, and they are using social media, both to learn truth, and to resist. And I am the guy saying “do things by using the system itself.” And “brick throwing and flag burning only piss people off.”

    NOW – to tie all of THIS together, think about this objectively discernible truth:

    All *you* know is what you read in the Ruby press release, and what was in that “report.” You also know things based on blog articles that comment about it, and main media that just parrots back the original documents.

    You may have some access to rumors. But again – look at the source of everything. It is all “from” people who have a dog in the fight.

    But there is a separate “truth” here – and that truth is that no large political move like this, is EVER EVER EVER done – unless someone (usually a group of some sort) gains money and/or political power. “We” here in Deep East – well, I will bet you money I don’t have, that WE will not gain from this.

    YET – our problems and issues here in the flats, well – those drive the crime problem here, and the poverty problem here. And by HERE I MEAN ALL OF OAKLAND.

    In my faith, there is a concept that “what you do to the least of me, you do to me.”

    If the hill people wanted to “make oakland better” – they would start helping young men DOWN HERE not lose their fathers. They would help the mothers DOWN HERE put down the crack pipe. They would help us DOWN HERE find jobs, create jobs, and improve our economy.

    Instead, we get ebonics, midnight basketball, a mayor with ego problems who was “installed” by the use of real estate money from across the Bay, candelight vigils, and blood.

    Lots of our own blood.

    Running on the streets.

    We get dog and pony, when we need food and water instead.

    Amd groups like MOBN are lart of the problem because they churn these issues, and create drama where drama should not exist. And where there should be “drama” or “passion,” they remain mute.


    In other words, MOBN should just “stop” with the polical gamesmanship. They are simply not even good at it. Rather, they should copy what my own church does. That alone, would make Oakland better.

    And you have been to my house, and so has Bruce. You know that I am not making it up that I am financially “poor.” but I am spiritually rich, and like I said – I have the support of a lot of people who agree with me on this stuff.

    I say this with no ego. I am now saying that people would do well to listen to me. I have the support of a lot of people, and like I say – this INCLUDES law enforcement. A safer Oakland makes us down here better, and it makes work less risky for those who help us serve and protect.

    Oakland WILL GET SAFER if people listen to me. The reason is that this is not “me” saying these things. IT IS US SAYING THESE THINGS.

  13. Alton Jelks

    Alton Jelks, Is this an Opportunity?
    The Oakland City Auditor’s recent report appears at first to be a matter of breach of protocol. It is a misdemeanor for an elected official to give a direct order to a city employee, and two members seem to have violated that law. Elected members of the City Council, and their staff, have been issued warnings by the City Attorney’s office for years. Hence this, on its face, is one more incident, albeit one that seems to carry a more serious tone.
    This conflict between administration and elected leadership, however, is a much more profound issue, one that Oakland citizens should have the opportunity to consider and take action on. But it’s a contentious issue, and one that won’t be as easy to resolve as establishing censure enforcement procedures.
    It involves what academics in public administration call the political-administration split. First articulated by Woodrow Wilson when he was a college professor, it states that the business of making policy belongs to elected leaders, and the work of implementing policy goes to a neutral administration, that is, the public bureaucracy. This divide is a hard and fast rule that has generated intense conflict between people elected to represent local citizens and those hired to run their government. It means that whatever mandate elected officials feel they have from the people, they are severely limited in their interaction with, and control over, the bureaucracy, even if those very same citizens want them to have control of the bureaucracy. The current issue in Oakland is one more manifestation of this conflict.
    When someone is elected to serve citizens, they carry with them the belief that they have been empowered to reflect the will and wishes of the people. The elected leader is supposed to articulate what it is the people seek, and to fight for those values and rights deemed essential to the well being of the community. Overall, the elected leadership is supposed to have a vision for the community, and to work for its implementation through the development of appropriate public policies and other actions. Implementation is where the administration comes in.
    The administration is not hired to have a vision or to solicit on its own volition the will of the people. They are, in theory, simply to implement that will as reflected in the various policies and programs initiated by the elected leadership. They do this while maintaining a tightly structured, and often closed, bureaucratic arrangement.
    The problem here, as perhaps many can see, is that the real world does not function according to this academic scenario. Elected leaders cannot just create a policy without being interested in and concerned about how it might be carried out by administration. Similarly, administrative staff plays a major role in shaping the language and substance of the policies that are enacted by elected leadership. It is a process already comingled and deeply intertwined. The political-administrative split thus promotes a false reality.
    What we have, then, is an elected leadership with a mandate from the voters (however weak the elected leader might reflect it) and an administration that operates completely separate from that mandate unless pushed to do otherwise by the elected leaders. From a management point of view, this separation makes sense. But from the point of view of a government that must respond to and serve the Public Good, it’s a disjointed relationship of tension and conflict.
    So, if things were not challenging enough, Oakland’s elected leadership and the City’s administrative staff are, like virtually all city governments nation-wide, locked in an old model that a cadre of enlightened scholars have been severely criticizing for decades. Unfortunately, while putting forward an articulate critique, they all but admit they do not have a resolution.
    The key to resolving this lies, as with most public issues, in intense citizen participation. Putting aside political considerations, and reflecting on the sense of altruism that pervades every neighborhood in our city, Oakland must articulate its broad vision as a city, and bring elected leaders and the administrative staff together with a new sense of purpose and direction. Intense, continuous dialogue and the development of a collaborative-based civil society has to rise up and set a direction based on an engaged community. Acting inappropriately and in one’s personal self-interest and so forth are things that we have to constantly keep a vigil against. Sometimes councilmembers do this, and sometimes administrators do it. Citizens do it as well. But this incident brings out one more reason why Oakland must become the model for the nation on how people, working together, can create the true modern urban living environment. This is not an issue of simple public policy or administrative action. Instead of taking the position that we can’t trust our elected leaders, or that the administration is too bureaucratic and closed (with Woodrow Wilson still standing guard), we have to redefine relationships and develop a list of priorities that lend themselves to a true vision for Oakland.
    People all across Oakland want us to rise above these kinds of conflicts. The vision for Oakland, as articulated by its elected leaders and its citizens, must also be the vision of the city’s administration, the only people paid full time to see it through. This divide must be bridged.

  14. Mike


    As the ever-courageous Larry Reid invariably says “I don’t disagree with you.”

    It’s not just a case of Courtney Ruby’s naivete, or the agenda of some mystery movers-and-shakers. It’s the universal leadership failure in Oakland not only among each and every elected official, but also in each and every community organization or would-be change agent. Instead of coming up with feasible strategies for getting beyond Oakland’s deeply-embedded political (race or class) divisions, we continue to feed the same fires. More cops vs fewer or reformed cops. It’s much easier to push the familiar and handy hot buttons of division. This has kept our same old electeds in office for a very long time. I’d like to see Reid and Brooks gone because they have not been leaders, have exploited Oakland’s divisions and don’t have any useful ideas on change.

    The bottom line is that Oakland failure to move forward socially and economically is a community failure that no person or group currently accepts responsibility for. Moving forward demands the articulation of holistic approaches to reducing violence and building a community and an economy, all together.

  15. Kevin Yet Again

    YES! If people can just agree on simple things (like “we need vision”) – that will go far.

    I humbly submit that labor and strong families should be the vision. That is direct from Maslow. Jobs and morals.

    ALSO – what matters is not what the bourgeoise think will work. What matters is what the proletariats think will work. Very basic structural concept. The “target audience” has control over what works here or not. IF it is our own vision, it will work. If it is overlaid on us, from above – it won’t stick.

    I am a capitalist, but as you know, I use Marxist concepts to analyze problems. Plus, it bugs the hippies, since I know Marxism better than they do, and that cracks me up! 😉

  16. ELM

    My goodness – the stench of self-promoting, self-important gassbaggery is getting a bit thick around here. ::Kevin::

    1. Kevin

      I am telling people things so they know who I am. Note that I am not insulting you. Please do not continue to degrade yourself by attacking someone who lives what he writes about. It serves nothing other than making you look petty. I do things that help people, and I do them at my own expense and peril. Please think about this before you insult me again.

      It has zero effect on me, this insult. Rather, it makes you seem angry and entitled. Again, everything I say is true. Please deal with it. But please do not insult me again. I have done nothing to deserve your vitriol.

      1. ELM

        Kevin, I think most people who read your none

  17. Elm, this is my last response to you. Please think about the dynamics here. You continue to simply misread the politics on things, and that is why I do what I do, and you do not do anything except complain.

    I *know* MOBN – about 1/2 of them have been to my house. I met with one of their leaders last week. I was the one who called the meeting. They work with my church here in East Oakland as well. I do not dislike them, I just like giving them a hard time. They are as sincere as I am – and I am trying to help them understand that sometimes we see things different down here.

    Your continued insults simply have no effect, other than damaging your credibililty as someone who can cause change. You do not cause change by insulting people like me. In fact, nothing you say has any effect on anything. What matters in life is what people do. Not what they say.

    I do a lot, and I have a solid track record of getting things done. I admit that I self promote, and if I did not, there are some things I could not get done. I know if rubs some people the wrong way – but the deal is – they are people like you, who simply do cause postive change.

    The people who *can cause change know damn well who I am, and what I can do.

    That is why they listen to me, and why I can call meetings with them.

    Please understand that your words have no meaning, only your actions.

    And the only actions in this life that have lasting effect, are POSITIVE actions. When you have done positive things, come back, and we will chat.

    But as of this minute, from where I sit, East of 105th, you and people like you – actually “are” the problem.

    Just stop complaining and take positive action, like I do, and like I have done for most of the last 25 years.

  18. ELM

    Oops. Cut off! Kevin, what I meant to say is that I think everyone who reads your posts just feels sorry for you. I know I do. It’s obvious that you want so desperately to be a “mover and shaker and ‘important’ person” in Oakland politics but you are such a complete foolio…nobody takes you seriously.

  19. ELM

    Goodnight Mr. Self Importance Pants.

  20. At least we can both still laugh!

    Or at least I can!


    What I am getting at is not so much that I self promote, which it true. But that I do it for a reason, and the reason is that in a sense, we all need to self promote. We need to speak truth, we need to talk about the issues, we need to engage in dialog. Even with people we may not agree with. And we need to do it without anger, even though “that” is not easy.

    One of Oakland’s problems “is” the vitriol. People just get mad at each other, hurl insults around, and then can’t even work together. I just don’t hold grudges. I don’t really care about too many things except my family here in Deep East. If there is someone I don’t like, I just generally ignore that person. You are an exception, for some reason.

    Anyways. . .

    I think you and I will agree that there is much unfairness here. And while it is impossible to get total fairness, we CAN have a more functional government, and we can have more functional people supporting our elected officials.

    To do these things, we need to look past the press releases, and look at primary drivers. The primary driver for this report, according to what I know as of this minute, is money.

    It has ZERO to do with cleaning up city hall, and after more facts come out, I think it will make city hall look even more corrupt. “This” is what I am trying to warn MOBN about. They hitched their horse to the wrong wagon this time. This report, is not commendable, it is embarrassing for Oakland. What will likely happen next is that the ACLU and/or NAACP will get involved, and there will be some serious charges of “race-based” politics, around this whole event.

    IMHO, MOBN would do well to distance itself from this.

    They just miscalculated the political drivers here, it is much deeper and more corrupt than it appears, and my prediction is that this will come out in the coming weeks. Very powerful people are involved on both sides of the issue, and those who live in glass houses, should not throw gemstones around.

    One final point, I am not really involved in traditional Oakland politics. It is like a dance, and nothing ever changes here. I do something else in Oakland, entirely.

    However, I am interested in this, since I know both Desley and Larry, and my personal opinion is that they are the victims of a power play, again – having to do with redevelopment interests. I have this thing about people getting treated unfairly, and that is what I see here.

  21. ELM

    Kevin, anyone who hopes to enter the Oakland political arena under the tired old paradigm of “us vs. them” and “flats vs. hills” is destined to fail. That garbage simply will not fly here any more. I don’t care “who you know” or what “national policy” you claim to be setting as a “civil rights lawyer” or what your “intel” is. OMFG. Did you really say that? Yes, you did. Unless you’re part of the CIA you should probably leave that verbiage behind. If you’re moving in under cover of the “divide” of race and class (as you seem to be doing) you’ve already lost the support of most of the city. Good luck with that. Also? If you feel (as you said) that people in the hills are “outvoting” you and tanking your self-serving agenda by doing so? The answer to that little problem is more voting. Not disparaging the people who actually show up to vote.

  22. Thank you for the advice ELM, but the reality is that I already do politics, and that I do set and influence national civil rights policy, and that I already influence certain things here.

    Again, you confuse action, with results. One does not need to attend 1000 meetings to effect change.

    I will take your advice, under advisement – but the truth is that certain things in Oakland *already* change because of what I do here.

    Again – you do not understand how things work, and this is apparent from your words. Your last 8 posts have basically been telling me, in kind of increasingly *nicer* words (for some reason, which I think has to do with your concience finally kicking in) – that “I suck.”

    I am not going to keep telling you that I do not suck. I do not wish to be mean, but you are nothing more than pixels on a screen to me. I know you are a real person, but I know of no effect you have on me, on MOBN, on Oakland, or even on the people reading this thread.

    I am legitimately trying to help people here in Oakland. You simply do not understand how things happen. I would almost *guess* that you either belong to an NCPC, or that you go to a lot of similar meetings.

    Those have ZERO effect ELM, they have never had effect – and the smart people know it.

    I think I know generally who you are, and again – you are doing things wrong. Action alone does not cause change, positive loving action causes change.

    There is no love in your words. And since I am not aware of any of your actions, I will assume they lack love as well.

    And again, from your words here, you are (1) misreading the politics on simple things, and (2) literally being rude to someone who is trying to help.

    And for what reason, sister?

    Do you think you are helping me?

    Do you think you are helping Oakland?

    No – I will tell you what you are doing:

    You do not like my words, but you lack the context and education in which to logically refute my words, so for the last 8 posts, you are attempting various forms of insults and ad hominum attacks. People who do not understand how things work, *may* read your words and some will agree. BUT – by definition of reality – they are people who simply do not matter on this issue.

    People who “do” understand things, WILL read your words and realize that you are an angry woman, who feels like she lacks power, who is frustrated at the Oakland scene, and who is therefore lashing out at someone who is already causing some positive change here.

    We can go back and forth like this forever. It *helps* me actually, and even that – you do not realize. Every time you say something bad about me, it makes you seem more petty. And that does not help you. People simply do not like to be around petty or angry people.

    Again – my defense is simply truth – everything I say is true – and anyone with 10 minutes and access to Google can learn who I am, what I have done, what I do, where I live, who I know, etc.

    That’s why I used Kevin Lee Thomason in my first posts.


    You again, at this point, are nothing more than three angry alphabet letters. And anger does not win, sister.

    Love wins, and I am not seeing or feeling any love from you.

    Please really think about why you type what you type. Look into your own heart and think about what motivates you. I am almost certain it is fear of change, and some hatred for someone you have never even met.

    I do not work from hate, but the issues in Oakland are most certainly class based, and race based.

    And I say those things with love.

  23. Kevin

    It is a year later. The person who is developing the Army base grilled hot dogs with me recently, and I just had the pleasure of hanging out with a member of the Kennedy family. Where is “ELM” – and what have you done, “ELM” to make Oakland better?

    For my part, I strongly suspect that I have played a part of getting some jobs here on this end of town. OPD brass actually thinks I have helped drive down violent crime. ONE PERSON.

    Have you been able to achieve a leadership role in your local NCPC? Was that gratifying for you, sister?

    Please let me know how your “political career” is going. And please let me know what tangible things, you – PERSONALLY – have changed.

  24. Kevin

    How is that “hate and fear” thing working for you? I would like to know. And you are welcome here at Sobrante Park, any time. . . Same goes to all of MOBN. . .

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