The plastic bag ban passed through the Public Works Committee yesterday and will now move on to the full Council, who will, of course, also pass it. Desley Brooks abstained from the vote, claiming she needed more information before she could endorse the ordinance.
The lengthy discussion of the ordinance revealed just how fatally flawed the proposal is. When asked how many businesses would be affected by the ordinance, Carol Misseldine, the city’s sustainability coordinator and author of the ordinance, admitted that she had absolutely no idea. The threshold for businesses covered by the ban is $1 million in gross sales annually. That translates to roughly $2700 in sales daily. So the answer is most businesses. The Committee didn’t care.
The staff report attempts to confuse the issue by speaking frequently about the dangers of “plastics” in general rather than focusing on specific problems caused by plastic bags. The discussion at the Committee hearing mimicked this approach. When opposition speakers complained about this conflation, Pat Kernighan, revealing her total lack of interest in practicality, told the audience that the bag ban is simply a first step towards banning all plastic within the city. Last time I spoke Ms. Kernighan, she was drinking out of a plastic water bottle.
In other Oakland news, Uhuru Furniture & Collectibles is sponsoring a meeting tonight on economic development within the city called “Town Hall Meeting on Economic Development in Oakland, Not Police Containment and Vigilantism.” Councilmember Pat Kernighan will be present for the discussion. The meeting will take place at Kehilla Community Synangogue, 1300 Grand Ave. in Piedmont at 7 PM. From the press release:
Join Uhuru Furniture & Collectibles, the UNIA of West Oakland, the All African People’s Revolutionary Party, the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement, Colored Ink, the African People’s Solidarity Committee, Councilmember Pat Kernighan and other community members and businesses for a Town Hall Meeting on Economic Development to formulate a people’s plan that puts economic development in the hands of the African community and creates equal prosperity for the entire city.
True security for Oakland’s residents means economic development in which the African community owns and controls the economy, property and profits and development in their own community, and comprehensive campaigns that provide Oakland residents and businesses with the information and means to access economic development monies.
Come out to participate in formulating a people’s plan that puts economic development into the hands of the African community and creates equal prosperity for the entire city.
Residents concerned about these issues should attend and make their voices heard.