Beyond Oakland

Local Hillary backers are abuzz over Ron Dellums’s endorsement of her yesterday. Since I don’t particularly care for either of them, the move does little to influence my vote. Still, I was somewhat surprised, given Dellums’s historical attitude towards the military and Clinton’s hawkish tendencies. I remain unpersuaded that a Clinton White House will bring meaningfully different policies for urban America, but on the bright side, she certainly can’t be any worse than what we have now.

I don’t really have anything else to say about that (but Zennie Abraham has some thoughts). Instead, I’ll share some news about our neighbors to the south that I found interesting.

  • New media is enjoying a somewhat unwelcome moment in the spotlight down in Santa Ana, where several local bloggers who also serve on city boards and commissions have been asked to either stop writing critically about city officials or resign from their seats.
  • Los Angeles is expecting to end the year with the lowest number of homicides since 1970, in part due to a new gang intervention strategy.
  • The Oakland City Council will have their second reading on the new smoking ordinance tonight. In Beverly Hills, a new (and much less severe) law restricting outdoor smoking took effect yesterday. In marked contrast to the way Oakland officials behaved, Beverly Hills worked with concerned local businesses to pass a more palatable version of the original proposal. Tourists interviewed for the story had some interesting perspectives on the ban:

    On Monday, a British tourist, who preferred not to give his name, sat reading at an outdoor cafe off Beverly Boulevard, puffing on a hand-rolled cigarette.

    Informed of the outdoor smoking ban, he said: “I find it slightly weird considering the number of large cars going by.”

  • Los Angeles boasts an amazingly sophisticated traffic tracking and control system. Sadly, they don’t retain their data after a few days, making it impossible to track long term trends. I’d love to see them start keeping those figures long term.