How do things get done in Oakland? Very, very slowly.

In May 2006, I had an opportunity to speak with then-Mayoral candidate Ron Dellums. It was pretty informal – I standing outside a downtown bar, enjoying a cigarette, when he and his entourage were walking passed, and I just stopped him and asked a question. I don’t remember my exact inquiry, but it had something to do with his schedule, whether he was going to be at some debate or something, which was listed on the website schedules for the other candidates, but not on his.

To my surprise, he stopped and chatted with me for kind of a while, maybe ten minutes or so. Well, chatted probably isn’t the right word. Lectured, maybe? Basically, he didn’t answer the question, but told me that I shouldn’t go to debates because they’re worthless. It pretty much went like this.

Dellums: I don’t believe in debates. That’s not the kind of government I want to create. A debate is all about asking politicians to tell you want they’re going to do, and I don’t believe in that kind of passive government. You need to have your own ideas, that’s why I’m running. You tell me what you want, and then I can do it. That’s what democracy is all about.

V: Um…okay. Well, I’m actually really concerned about -

Dellums: You see, this is the problem with you young people today. You treat government like a television. You don’t get involved. You can’t just sit back and ask people what their ideas are, you need to have your own ideas!

V: Well, what I’d really like to see Oakland do -

Dellums: You need to get involved! You need to participate! You need to tell your leaders what you want. That’s what I’m here for. To be a vehicle for you. I can’t do it all myself, I need you to tell me what you want to see.

V: There’s this one thing I’m particularly worried about, maybe -

Dellums: See, when I was your age, we weren’t like that. We didn’t sit and wait for elected officials to do things. We told them what we wanted. We were the leaders.

V: Well, what I think –

Dellums: I’m running to empower you. I’m doing all this for you. So you can have a voice. But it’s up to you to use that voice. I’m just a tool to make what you want happen. But you need ideas! You need a vision!

V: Okay, well something I’ve been working on –

Dellums: You can’t just sit around waiting for your Mayor to do what you want. You have to get involved. I don’t know what you want if you don’t tell me. I can’t do what you want if you don’t have any ideas. You need to get active, get engaged! I want to be your vessel, but if you don’t give me anything to work with, then I’m an empty vessel.

V: I really want -

Dellums: If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem. I didn’t come out of retirement to talk down to you, to tell you what I’m here to do. No, I came out of retirement to give you a voice. But it’s up to you to exercise that voice. Don’t sit around and watch debates. Pick up the remote control! Create a vision!

V: I’d really like to see -

Dellums: Look, I can only be as effective as you let me be. I have to go now, but think about what I said. Think about what you want me to do, don’t ask me what I’m going to do. Have a vision.

V: Okay, just one thing I think is really important –

Dellums: Okay, I’m late. But it was a pleasure to talk to you and I hope you will take my words to heart. I came back here to listen to you. That’s what I’m about. But you need to have something to say if this is going to work. [continues walking down the street, entourage follows]

V: Um…thank you?

So…yeah. I couldn’t help but recall this insistence that it isn’t his job to generate ideas yesterday as I was reading the update on the Mayor’s Public Safety Plan (PDF) that the Public Safety Committee will receive tomorrow. It’s, um, pretty much the same as the completely absurd draft he offered back in September, except longer. It’s really, really depressing to read and makes you feel pretty much totally hopeless about the prospect of ever getting anything done in this City. Allow me to share with you a portion of the section on “Communication and Public Information.”

As a first step we must build credibility and trust. The community must understand that Oakland recognizes its various public safety challenges and that a comprehensive public safety strategy is underway to address those challenges. Second, the public must understand what individuals and families can do to prevent crime, how to respond if it happens, and participate in efforts to prevent violence.

Before any specific communications plan or public education campaign can be developed, a Public Safety Communications Team must be established as a subset of the Citywide Public Safety Council. It will include representatives from the Mayor’s Communications Office and Public Safety Team, the Oakland Police Department, the Neighborhood Services Division, Measure Y program staff, street outreach workers and other public safety stakeholders. This group will meet at least twice per month to identify communications challenges and opportunities that each participant faces, identify communications strategies to address the challenges and coordinate the various communications efforts.

Once this Public Safety Communications Team is established, it would develop a strategic communications plan. The plan will outline specific communications goals, identify target audiences, develop specific public safety messages and select communications tools to deliver those messages.

Then we’re going to either create a new staff position or hire a consultant to be in charge of the information campaign that comes at the end of all this, which is estimated to cost $200,000.

Ugh. Creating endless numbers of teams and task forces and committees and subcommittees who strategize together for endless periods of time is not leadership. This does not move Oakland forward. You want to improve public information and communication efforts about public safety? This is what you do. You pick someone and tell them “We need to improve public information and communication about public safety. I particularly want you to address x, y, and z. Figure out how we’re going to do it, and come back to me with the finished plan in a month.” Then, when they come back, if it’s good, you say “Great. Now go do it.” And if it isn’t, you say “I’m sorry, this isn’t acceptable. Do it again and come back in two weeks.” That’s how it’s worked in every job I’ve ever had. That’s how you get things done.

In contrast, this is what you end up with when the person in charge cares more about talking and sitting around waiting to hear from every damn person under the sun about every last thing than actually accomplishing anything, ever.

Don’t even get me started on the MySpace for Oakland public safety they want to build.

39 thoughts on “How do things get done in Oakland? Very, very slowly.

  1. dto510

    It is so typical that the mayor’s staff’s idea of how to combat crime is to create a communications committee. I hope all of these people are thoroughly purged from any responsible position in Oakland once Dellums’ tragic reign has come to an end.

  2. bennett

    It would be interesting if he “walked his talk” –

    The concept of Government being receptive and open is good — if only….responsive and in real time – efficiently deploying resources where they are needed based on reasoned consensus.

    What can we fix today?

    How do we make Oakland better?

    Listen to the people.

  3. Jennifer

    This post made me laugh, then cry a little bit. It sounds like they are blaming the victims of crime because somehow we didn’t communicate?

    I heard this weekend that Dellums is saying he’s “sick” and that he planning to use it as an excuse to resign . . . anyone else hear that?

  4. Chris Kidd

    How can Dellums “listen to us” when his office won’t take complaints (i.e. us telling him what we want) over the phone?

  5. Patrick

    Although I haven’t heard that rumor, I’ve certainly daydreamed about it.

    The suggestion to create a Public Safety Communications Team is ridiculous – and further evidence of Dellums’ loose grasp on reality. Maybe that’s the sickness?

  6. OnTheGoJo/Joanna

    Jennifer, was that in a dream? Wouldn’t that be nice? :) That would make me smile.

    No more task forces. They don’t work. Ask anyone from the Planning, Land Use, and Zoning Task Force. Ask the Parking Task Force. Unless someone got something they wanted by accident, it certainly wasn’t a result of these task forces. I can’t believe I was so gullible and that I got pulled into serving. What a waste of time.

    I love your word play with him, or rather his word play and your attempt to speak. I’ve had two higher ups speak to me that way – one of whom ran against Dellums for Mayor.

    I can only hope that the next Mayoral race brings some better folks out for the running. I’d really like to see someone new and fresh without all the baggage to bring to the position. I’ve said it a million times before and I’ll keep saying it – we need a freaken cheerleader to be out on the streets EVERY day working towards something better for this City rather than the status quo.

  7. Colin

    Myspace is very popular these days…

    I’m guessing he asked someone in their 40s how to get the kids involved and got that as the answer.

  8. V Smoothe Post author

    I was using MySpace as an example – they don’t actually want to make a MySpace page. What they want to do, is, naturally, like a million times dumber.

    We’re going to build our own public safety social networking platform!

    There will be individual profiles with the ability to maintain a friends list, plus on-line forums and discussion boards, with a highly customizable look and feel. It will also feature blogs and chat, offer “one-on-one live conversations with support agents” and “auditorium style events with moderated Q&A.” Robust searching options and “a reputation system, which recognizes contributions, and provides incentives to continue participation, is also an element.”

    As if the whole idea weren’t ridiculous enough, they stick the price tag for all this at $58,000, which (and I would know, since I’ve actually done this before) is so unbelievably delusional I don’t even have words.

  9. Mike Spencer

    V, that whole exchange read like parody. Alas, it wasn’t was it? A cure for endless meetings, rambling, etc., is to have some of the government honchos go try to start and run a business for a year or two. It might open their eyes to how precious time and money really are. The reason Oakland does all this goofy stuff is that it doesn’t actually come out of their wallets. (Sigh) If only Wayne Tucker had MySpace and was not so reliant on his TRS-80…

  10. Colin

    Wow. Touche. I make a dumb little joke, reality turns out to be much, much dumber. I was going to read that pdf, now I just …can’t.

  11. Steve

    Oh yes, getting into (on-line) social networking is so hot right now with public agencies. Gotta be responsive to a 2009 public, you know. Public bureaucracies trying to be cutting edge: what a sad impossibility – especially while 1 year olds are getting shot in the streets.

  12. len raphael

    funny how bureaucracies adopt new communication technology. voice mail for many public employees became a way to totally ignore phone calls.

    i’ve had somewhat positive email results with oakland building and zoning people. the zoning people much better at responding than building. quite a few building people “don’t do” email.

    curious thing is that for the building people who don’t do email, they’ll also warn you not to fax them because there is a limited number of fax machines and the faxes get lost.

    -len raphael
    temescal

  13. livegreen

    One’s left to wonder whether the meandering & often repetitive prose is written to demonstrate something is getting done, or give the impression something is getting done.

    For many politician’s it’s the same thing, like a magic trick.

    Up for the rest of us to decide whether anything is actually being accomplished (including a good amount of lost time trying to figure it out), get frustrated with the results, and discern whether the next politician’s magic trick’s will be real or not.

  14. Bruce Nye

    V, OK, nobody should be surprised that in Mayor Ron’s world, Oakland’s crime problems are a matter of optics that can be solved by better communication. But if you want to really be depressed, take a look at the second installment of Byron Williams’ interview with our would-be next mayor, Don Perata: Does Oakland have a negative perception problem? “The negative reputation of Oakland is not fair and, in my opinion, it started back during the drug wars of (drug kingpin) Felix Mitchell back in the late ’70s. . . ” And he goes on to tell a story about an incident back in the 1980′s where, after a neighborhood leader was burned out of her house, the community came together to rebuild it and managed to get some good press. So, the message seems to be that what we need are better optics. (Links to the two-part interview are on the home page of ABO.)

    Bruce Nye
    Upper Rockridge

  15. Max Allstadt

    Actually, I’ve been advocating for the use of social networking for crime fighting for a while now, and I think it can work. However, I think the Mayor’s plan is hopelessly out of touch. Building a social network from scratch is an incredibly stupid idea. A cyber-boondoggle waiting to happen.

    Instead, OPD and other public safety officials should be trained extensively in how to help the public use existing social networks and other free web resources. They should also coordinate to figure out which resources are best for which tasks, and attempt to standardize where possible.

    Example: Every PSO in Oakland could agree to steer NCPCs to use Yahoo groups rather than other discussion boards. That would ease the learning curve when PSOs have turnover. I’m using yahoo as an example, not because I think it’s best, but you get the drift. Pick a resource that already exists and go with it.

    Flickr could be incredibly useful to OPD as well. As smartphones proliferate, NCPCs with Flickr groups could help track crime. There are applications which upload an image with a date and GPS locations stamp. If a citizen sees drug handoffs, they could take a few pics, and OPD would have dated, location stamped photos to search for suspects at a later date.

    Live webcams could be used as well. There was a recent article about how this went awry in the tenderloin, but it has potential. If the council won’t approve publicly funded security cams, and you have a vice problem on your corner, you can act unilaterally. Point a webcam at the corner, set up a live feed, and quietly give your PSO the url.

    So yeah, social networking has huge potential for public safety. But the form that the Mayor’s office proposed is outdated and wasteful. But what else would you expect from these geniuses? These yokels proposed a municipal WiFi network three years after every other city that tried it wound up failing and losing money.

    New blood. Soon. Please.

  16. Mike d'Okla

    What Max Allstadt says makes a lot of sense. Use new technology to focus on crime effectively and reduce it.

    All the talk about how many police officers we have sounds like bullshit to me. We need use the resources, including officers, in a thoughtful, effective way. For example prioritize violent crime and ease off on busting people for minor driving violations or smoking pot in a park. San Jose has a low violent crime rate and has fewer police officers per capita than Oakland. San Jose also has an effective Police Chief.

    The problem with Oakland is not just Ron Dellums. It’s us. We continue to sit back and watch as political hack follows incompetent into the Mayor’s office. We need to put out a search for someone who really has the leadership skills to do something in Oakland. We need to set the agenda and hire the politicians. As it is, we are going nowhere.

  17. Max Allstadt

    Das,

    It’s not about using a dedicated social network for crimefighting only. It’s about training citizen volunteers and city staffers in how to use popular existing sites to organize and coordinate with each other.

    Flickr, youtube, facebook, google calendars and google spreadsheets are just a few examples of resources allow citizen crimefighters to do things never before possible.

    My suggestion is more about a new standard of literacy and about bridging the digital divide. Rockridge has listserves, community sites, and they’re well known and well used. Can we say the same for Fruitvale and East Oakland? If not, let’s create a program to fix that.

  18. V Smoothe Post author

    The department has had listservs for each police service area for several years. They’re very popular. Neighborhood-specific listservs are widespread throughout Oakland – there are several dozen at least. Although the utility of these as a communication tool of course drops significantly in the many areas where most residents don’t have internet access.

  19. Ralph

    Max, we will need to bridge the digital divide. When I started working with students, I assumed they had computers at home, and they would email me their work. Wrong assumption. The digital divide is real and it’s spectacular. This is one reason why we need to continue funding libraries. For a significant population of Oakland the libraries provide their access to the internet. The libraries would be open longer if it weren’t for those meddling kids.

  20. V Smoothe Post author

    To put a number on that “significant” – 40% of Oakland’s population reports having no source of internet access aside from their public library.

  21. Max Allstadt

    The existing listservs are indeed good and useful. But I still want to see a project to use mainstream, popular sites. The reason is this: as the number of offline Oaklanders slowly shrinks, we can expect new web users to learn most quickly on large commercial sites, because that’s where word-of-mouth will attract them.

    Additionally, commercial megasites can roll out new tech like photo and videosharing much faster. The massive amount if early adopters for these sites helps sort out the bugs and the potentials very quickly. By exploiting these sites and being ready to surf their waves of progress, Oakland can move forward faster.

    It’s also a matter of consensus among technologists that the next phase of the web will be wireless and mobile. This means it will be accessible from cheaper devices, and that the divide will shrink. We need to be ready, as a city, to take advantage of this.

  22. gem s.

    Re: Flickr- so if I’m tired of my neighbors smoking cigarettes under my window at 2am, I can just upload a photo to Flickr, tag it with “pot” “drugs” “crime” “loadies” &c. and the OPD will come by and give them a hard time! Sweet!

  23. V Smoothe Post author

    Honestly, I think trying to incorporate something like Flickr into anti-crime efforts would be a ginormous waste of time. Just like Flickr is for the wider, web-using population, it would be a niche tool used by a small proportion of people. It’s not the sort of thing you can reasonably expect your average Oakland housewife to start incorporating into her life. The actual use of such a tool would be restricted to such a small part of the population that its utility would be basically zero.

  24. bennett

    Actually, Flickr as an “eyes and ears” communication tool that could be valuable – just do not expect it to be some Web 2.0 interactive “feature creeped” database system tool – which it is not.

    By sharing images in groups collections of images that depicted blight conditions, chronic crime, graffiti with GPS/location tag, (the big IF: assuming those who uploaded followed certain rules about content management and posting)

    AND
    (here is the other big IF) Oakland government agreed that they would:

    1) monitor the Flickr collections daily/48 hours
    2) prioritize and schedule review/action by appropriate personnel
    3) managed the content so it moved from “incoming/pending” to “completed”, thus preventing it from being filled with “gray goo”

    THE RESULT IN THEORY:

    You could save the City $ and get more done, as the City could improve deployment of resources if it saw a PICTURE, with condition notes, of the blight condition vs simply a phone call. Commenting ability on Flickr adds to this value.

    More data = easier project management and approach/planning.
    more could get done using this to compile information – again in theory.

    The digital divide and how to make this egalitarian aside – this could be effective to reduce cost and target solutions for various public works, building inspections/blight, road hazard correction, or petty crime matters.

    It is too dangerous to “shoot” photos of serious criminals, but that goes without saying

  25. V Smoothe Post author

    Sure, it could be a useful tool, if people used it on a large scale. The problem is that they won’t.

    I don’t do this anymore, but I spent the last two years working on incorporating emerging technologies into online educational curricula. There’s an enormous amount of potential there, but getting people to use it – and we’re talking about a self-selecting user population consisting of people who are both well educated and highly technologically literate, was like pulling teeth. Maybe several years from now it could be worth pursuing, but for now, it’s just not realistic.

  26. Max Allstadt

    My point is not about the specific examples I cited. It is about the fact that there are free resources all over the web that could be brought to bear for all sorts of municipal issues. We need an administration that sees this new decemtralized paradigm and that knows how to work with it.

  27. MarleenLee

    My neighborhood watch group has a listserv, which we have expanded to encompass several blocks. We use it to keep each other apprised of any suspicious activity, as well as other community events. For people who want to be connected in this way, I think it’s great, and it is far simpler to get periodic e-mails than to have to go to boring and useless NCPC meetings, which I have been to and find are a total waste. I think expanding the use of technology to enhance communication between citizens and City officials could be quite useful, for the people who are interested in using it.

    About a year ago I phoned my Measure Y neighborhood officer and asked him if he could provide my neighborhood watch group with an update of the projects that he was working on in our neighborhood. My idea was that I could use our listserv as a way of keeping my neighbors updated on where the problems were and how they were being addressed. I thought using the information in this way would (a) enhance public safety and (b) enhance accountability. Imagine my shock and horror when the PSO abruptly told me that he would not provide the information because it was “confidential.” This sort of attitude needs to stop, and to the extent that a conversation is at least starting on the topic, that’s good. I think an easy, cheap and efficient way to start the process is to require each PSO to maintain their own blog with a list of projects they’re working on, and the status of those projects, and allow neighbors to comment/post questions/suggestions etc. This would not cost any money at all and would start opening the lines of communication for those that are interested.

    As for adding a whole new position to coordinate all the various public safety people in the city, I think this is ridiculous. If the people who already held such jobs actually did their jobs (e.g. Measure Y coordinator, police chief etc.) and communicated with each other, this would not be necessary. An example of how bad communication is right now is the fact that Jeff Baker, head of Measure Y, had no idea who was on the Community Policing Advisory Board, or how to even get in touch with the members! That’s appalling, and somebody in a position of power needs to just start cracking the whip on this sort of ineptitude.

  28. livegreen

    The idea of expanding the use of listserves is a good one. However the City already has understaffed OPD, PSO and NSC’s. So how would they support yet another function?

    Technology can be an enabler but with a staff that’s underfunded in this area already, are you going to give them yet more work to do? We only got our PSO’s back just very very recently (thanks to Marleen) and they’re still getting a grasp on things, and some of them trained. Our NSC’s currently cover at least 4 service areas each. We need about 2x as many of them than we have now, if not more.

    Finally, besides a digital divide, there’s also a divide in how NW and NCPC’s are implemented in neighborhoods where there’s crime, and that is backed by how NW and NCPC’s are managed: the City can’t just go and sign everybody up because if they did they’d be including criminals. It has to be done in a much more careful and time consuming fashion. That adds time, budget and staff to implementation.

    Using technology in tandem with an increase of staffing would be a good idea. But until then there’s no point putting more work on a system that already can’t support itself. On the other hand IF adequate funding is secured to do this, then the ball game changes.

  29. Victor

    The mayor is a steward of leadership in all city functions, thus having staff to help. People get involved and participate once a program activaty has materialized with city partnership. Once the infrastructure of the activity is in place community members could take over it. It’s understandable that the mayor can’t be in everything- which then council members have to make up the difference. At this point The mayor nor the council haven’t really materialized anything to engage or get community involved.
    If there are members its mainly the older generation who have gotten the councilmembers elected to begin with, and the ‘mentality’ of the economic boom we had in the 90′s is done with. Reality, people are losing homes, schools are being cut to the simple core basics of math, english and fortunately a litlle bit of history as everything else- including geography isn’t emphasized. Road maintanence had been neglected, crime has gone out of control- and the possible stagflation and defict will force Obama to practice Reagonomics after the first two years if the economy doesn’t pick up thus affecting the two things briefly mentioned.
    Then I ask, where is the leadership to plan this out ahead? Where are the proposals of the economic development? Infrastructure? partnership with the school district? At this point I think Oaland has no other choice but community making theiir own policy and encating it through the council.

  30. MarleenLee

    I think some areas of OPD are understaffed, but I’m not convinced that this is the case with PSOs or NSCs. (One Deputy Chief told me that they caught one PSO spending an inordinate amount of time playing video games). I think there’s probably a tremendous amount of inefficiency in the way some staff go about their jobs. For example, communicating with residents via a blog or listserv is far more efficient than going to ridiculous NCPC meetings, where at the meetings I’ve been to, there is no effective moderation, and people tend to rant, no goals are articulated, and no action plans implemented. To the extent that technology makes processes more efficient, people can get more done in less time, and there’s no reason PSOs and NSCs can’t add one more thing to their plate.

  31. livegreen

    Marleen,

    I totally get what you’re saying. But one shouldn’t generalize about all the PSO’s, NSC’s or NCPC’s. If you do, some city officials might use one example as a justification to get rid of the entire system. I haven’t had the same experience in the NCPC meetings I’ve been to, but I certainly can see that it could happen.

    Each neighborhood is different. We’ve found that the meetings depend as much on the citizens who run it. You can’t blame the City for the leaders your neighborhood has chosen to run your NCPC. Ineffective meetings in person aren’t going to suddenly become effective online, esp. if the same people are running it, or if there’s no moderator, or a moderator that doesn’t have time to control the scope (as is often the case).

    Protocols will have to be set up to make the system work, and that process will be both time-consuming and democratic. That means messy. And we’re talking about Public Safety (PS). Watch what happens when NCPC’s become NC’s, and people in wealthier areas report their cat missing every other day. And you want your PSO to wade through that?

    Re. the NSC’s, I’m sorry but there’s no way that one NSC can cover 4 neighborhoods and address all their existing needs, in addition to building up the system.

    I do think there are inefficiencies and shedding a light on them would help improve service and communication. I totally agree with that, and it would help us know how much paperwork and other responsibilities PSO’s and NSC’s have that we don’t even know about (remember they work in a bureaucracy, one the NSA has only burdened with more reports and documentation).

    To do this and make it work any listserve would have to be focussed on Neighborhood Safety at first, get it operating effectively, before exploring increasing it’s scope.

    Besides agreeing with you on transparency, I also agree with you on NW groups expanding to several blocks. It allows for an overlap in blocks within a common area, yet is smaller, more manageable and more relevant than entire NCPC’s. If listserves had a limit in geographic area like this, and a limit in scope to PS, then I think they could work.

  32. livegreen

    BTW, re. Jeff Baker, his official title is Assistant to the City Administrator. Is “head of Measure Y” an unofficial title?

    On the City Clerk’s website he’s not shown as the liaison to the CPAB, but to the MYOB so he probably doesn’t show a lot of interest in the CPAB. That might be seen as stepping on someone else’s toes in a bureaucracy. Besides there are a LOT of CPAB members so if one’s not the liaison with them one might find it hard to remember all their names.

    It does bring up the question about whether the CPAB and Violence Prevention & Public Safety Oversight Commission (VPPSOC? or MYOC for short) have overlapping areas. But from what I recall Jeff Baker was not seen as a good pick by Mayor Dellums to begin with, and he has not been forthcoming with the MYOC for some time. They’ve always had trouble pulling information out of him. It seems the Mayor would rather operate without their oversight.

    BTW, if you speak to Jeff Baker again, you might ask him about any vacancies on the MYOC? If so, you might also ask him why the nominee for that position hasn’t been invited to the meetings or given information about them?

    Esp. as the MYOC hasn’t had a quorum for at least one of it’s recent meetings…
    Or perhaps Jeff and the Mayor prefer that?

  33. len raphael

    LG, please provide fully expanded name in each post for NSO’s, NCPC’s, etc. or you’ll lose many of us.

    While a lot of the usefulness in neighborhood Yahoo type groups or list serves is in the how very localized they are, that localization tends to perpetuate the fragmentation of this town’s electorate.

    yes its better that people coalesesce within a neighborhood than not at all, but there must be a way to automatically link the content of Yahoo groups in such a way that participants in one group can read a summary of what people in each of the other groups talking about. maybe it will just be pages of burglary and shady young men knocking on doors, but even that info might help tie scattered neighborhoods a little more togther into seeing that Oakland’s problems can’t be solved just by “calling 911 to report suspicious behavior” (A direct quote from our current President of the City Council. aka the Smokey the Bear theory of how to reduce Oakland crime. )

    -len raphael
    temescal

  34. californio

    I was going to bring up the acronym issue myself. Especially when there are multiple meanings for acros like NW, NSC, PSO, etc., you spend a good bit of time deciphering. I’m still trying to compare northwest with the National Security Council.