6 thoughts on “It’s all Bush’s fault.

  1. marlena

    the writer of that article has a good point. crime was a problem in oakland before dellums and it is not fair to blame him entirely for it all the problems now.

  2. Owen

    Sure, crime was a problem pre-Dellums, but the guy could at least *act* like he gives a crap. This quote from the Aug. 11 Chronicle piece listed on the right-hand side of this page says it all:

    * * *

    A TV reporter, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of her employer’s policy against being interviewed, said the public expects mayors to show up at photo ops, something Dellums is reluctant to do – whether it be empathizing with residents whose garbage is piling up in the streets, or at the ad hoc shrine to slain journalist Chauncey Bailey.

    “It’s not that they’re necessarily doing anything there, but that’s what people expect of a mayor,” the reporter said. “Dellums would think of that as self-aggrandizing. It’s more important for him to work behind the scenes.

    “The problem with that is if he doesn’t tell us what he’s doing, how are we supposed to know it’s happening? If the mayor was more visible in the media, it might shore up confidence that something is getting done.”

    * * *

    He’s so out of touch, and seemingly uninterested in the plight of Oaklanders. It’s so infuriating. If Ignacio had been mayor, that garbage strike would have been over in less than a week. Is it too late to try and get Shannon Reeves to enter the local political scene?

  3. V Smoothe

    I doubt anyone would argue that Oakland’s crime problem is entirely Dellums’s fault. But that’s the problem with Shaw’s article – he is defending Dellums against a charge that no one has made.

    I do not blame Dellums for all murders in Oakland. I condemn him for failing to take action in response to them.

    Shaw writes:

    Johnson now claims Dellums lacks a strategy to reduce violence.

    Rarely has a journalist made such a demonstrably false and unfair statement.

    Then he tries to back up his claim by talking about Dellums’s work while in Congress, saying “If Ron Dellums’ alternative budget had been enacted in the 1970’s or 1980’s, America’s current prison population would be dramatically smaller.”

    That may be true, but it is hardly relevant. Dellums has not been a member of Congress in 10 years. His budgets were not enacted, and he is now Mayor of Oakland. His entire public safety “strategy” relies on begging for help from the Federal and State governments, coupled with a disturbing “blame the victims” attitude. I expect more from my Mayor, and so should everyone else who lives here.

  4. Dogtowner

    I agree that Dellums has been too invisible and inactive, but I don’t think asking the community to get more informed and involved is a case of blaming the victim. While more police are obviously needed, it’s not the entire answer, partly because no matter how many police you have, they can’t be everywhere at all times, and partly because you want to fight the perception that police are a hostile occupying force. There’s such widespread suspicion of the police already, adding more police without also trying to get the community involved is risky. (I’ll admit that Ochoa is terrible at outreach, and everything he says seems to come out all wrong.)

  5. V Smoothe Post author

    Dogtowner –

    What frustrates me is that Ochoa (and lately, Howard Jordan as well) treats more community involvement as the only answer, not as just one piece of the puzzle. Dellums never says anything about increasing the size of our police force. Why? Federal money for anti-violence programs is nice, but if he’s been trying to bring it here for 40 years and it hasn’t happened yet, maybe it’s time to switch strategies.

    I’d like to see Dellums explore ways to maximize our own resources. Trying to add more positions to the Mayor’s Summer Jobs program was a start. (He said he wanted to increase the number of placements from 800 last year to 1,000 this year. 100 of the extra jobs would come from the private sector and the city hired another 100.) I hope they were able to meet the new goals.