Late night local election results

In November 2006, I cried myself to sleep on election night. The next day, I was so despondent, I could barely bring myself to speak to my co-workers all day. When one of them finally cornered me and demanded I tell her what was wrong, all I could manage to say was “I’m upset about the election. I don’t want to talk about it.” She recoiled, then recovered, then whispered, in like, the most sympathetic tone imaginable, “Oh, V! You poor thing! I had no idea you were a Republican.”

Um…I’m not. And I wasn’t then. But national events meant absolutely nothing to me that day. I had poured my heart and soul and, of course, all my available time, into campaigning for Oakland’s library bond, Measure N. At my election night parties, the national returns on the TV were nothing more than a vague blur in the background as I huddled next to a laptop obsessively reloading results from the Alameda County ROV, only able to tear myself away for the occasional cigarette. It took my co-worker’s sweet expression of sympathy to jolt me out of my selfish pouting and realize that something more important than my little library bond had happened.

Never one to learn my lessons, I found myself in a similar mood tonight. Early evening elation shifted to cautious apprehension around nine o’clock or so, and of course, as the night wore on, it became increasingly difficult to remember why I’d been so happy just a few hours earlier. And of course, I, in turn, became increasingly unpleasant company. Usually when elections don’t go my way, I turn to my beloved Herodotus for affirmation, and who knows, I just may break out the lexicon and the grammar and Book III if I don’t feel any better when I wake up. But mostly, right now, I just feel like a jerk, and I don’t think Megabyzos has much chance of changing that. I gave some money, more money than I could afford really, to No on 8 efforts, and I did some phoning. But not that much phoning, and I knew all along I should have done more volunteering this time around, but I just felt so wiped from the spring, like, even after a summer to rest, I just didn’t have anything left in me to give. Last week, I went to the movies (the movies!!) and as we were walking to the theater, I sheepishly acknowledged to my friend that I should have been phone banking instead, and I said (in reference to another race, not 8.) that it was okay, they didn’t really need me, but of course, I’d feel like a total asshole for not spending my time phoning instead of watching a freaking movie if the election didn’t go my way. So, there you go. It didn’t go my way. And I was right, I do feel like a total asshole. Not that that makes any difference now.

Anyway, here you go, bar closing time election results. Some good, some bad. Hooray for Rebecca Kaplan, and, you know, that other thing that happened tonight:

Oakland Councilmember At-large: Rebecca Kaplan 61.95%, Kerry Hamill 37.16%

Measure N: Teacher Pay Parcel Tax: Yes 61.46%, 38.54%

Measure NN: Police Parcel Tax: Yes 54.95%, No 45.05%

Measure OO:Kids First Set-aside: Yes 52.99%, No 47.01%

Measure VV: AC Transit Parcel Tax: Yes 71.6%, No 28.4%

Measure WW: East Bay Regional Parks Bond Extension: Yes 71.4%, No 28.6%

AC Transit Director, At-large: Chris Peeples 64.1%, Joyce Roy 35.0% (Seriously?)

AC Transit Director, Ward 2: Greg Harper 73.23%, James Muhammad 25.63 (Just more proof that people vote at random)

BART Director, District 7: Lynette Sweet 67.3%, Marshall Walker 31.9%

East Bay MUD, Ward 5: Doug Linney 64.73%, Susi Ostlund 34.21%

East Bay MUD, Ward 6: Bill Patterson 54.91%, Bob Feinbaum 43.69%

East Bay Regional Park District Director, Ward 1: Whitney Dotson 56.1%, Norman La Force 43.1%

Peralta Community College District Trustee, Area 2: Marcie Hodge 61.08%, Marlon McWilson 37.91% (That’s disappointing.)

Fremont Mayor: Bob Wasserman 42.67%, Steve Cho 32.26%, Gus Morrison 20.65%, Paul Reeder 4.08%

Santa Clara County Measure B: BART Extension: Yes 65.96%, No 34.04%

Proposition 1A: High-Speed Rail Bond: Yes 52.0%, No 48.0%

Proposition 2: Standards for Confining Farm Animals: Yes 62.9%, No 37.1%

Proposition 3: Children’s Hospital Bond: Yes 53.9%, No 46.1%

Proposition 4: Parental Notification:Yes 47.2%, No 52.8%

Proposition 5: Nonviolent Drug Offense Sentencing: Yes 40.0%, No 60.0%

Proposition 6: Police, Law Enforcement Funding: Yes 30.1%, No 69.9%

Proposition 7: Renewable Energy: Yes 34.6%, No 65.4%

Proposition 8: Eliminates Right of Same-Sex Couples to Marry: Yes 51.8%, No 48.2%

Proposition 9: Criminal Justice System Victims’ Rights: Yes 53.1%, No 46.9%

Proposition 10: Renewable Energy Bonds: Yes 39.4%, No 60.6%

Proposition 11: Redistricting:Yes 50.8%, No 49.2%

Proposition 12: Veterans’ Bond: Yes 63.1%, No 36.9%

I have to admit, I’m a little happy right now just thinking I won’t have to worry about any more elections for a while.

55 thoughts on “Late night local election results

  1. Born in Oakland

    I am truly amazed about NN and OO in this economy and this community. I definitely did not think either would pass.

  2. Ralph

    Last night was good; Last night was bad. While I am disappointed about Measures NN and OO, I am not surprised. People see crime and want something done, damn the cost. People love children and want to give the money. Sadly the people who love children have pretty much assured that Kids First will sunset in 2021. Is there a way to sunset earlier? I guess voting against one’s self interest is not limited to Joe the Plumber.

  3. Izzy Ort

    This is my first post on this site though it came to my attention a while back. I’m an Oakland resident since 2000, and a homeowner since 2005.

    Born in Oakland, NN did not pass. Because it was a property tax measure it needed a 2/3 majority, not a simple majority.

    From the Chron:

    A measure to raise property taxes to beef up Oakland’s police force was ahead according to early voting results but not near the two-thirds vote needed to pass.

  4. len raphael

    OO passage was a failure, or to be precise, absence of leadership from our elected officials and so called community leaders.

    but gotta hand it to the david k and the other ngo apparatcheks, voting yes seemed like such a painless positive way to help children without spending more money.

    on the good side, oo’s passage should force scrutiny of every “kids” program funding and force us to increase the efficiency of the remaining non kids expenditures.

    -len raphael

  5. len raphael

    my two bit hunch of why NN won the popular vote (even though it failed the electoral college 2/3 threshold), is that many older african american homeowners turned out to vote for obama.

    from my highly reliable exit survey of two people at my favorite bbq place, the brick pig, on election night of that group of voters showed that they are willing to pay higher parcel taxes if it got them more security. they are very worried about crime they see every day.

    the same group of voters also voted Yes to OO because they didn’t understand muni finance arcanery how it would hurt other city services but they knew firsthand that there are few effective programs to keep young kids from getting in trouble.

    -len raphael

  6. V Smoothe Post author

    Oh, I should have noted that in the post, sorry. Taxes require a 2/3 vote to pass, so here’s the ballot measure breakdown:

    N – fail
    NN – fail
    OO – pass (incredibly, you need a supermajority to raise new money for things, but not to just take away public money for whatever you want. how fucked up is that?)
    VV – pass
    WW – pass

    B (BART to San Jose extension) – currently failing, could still pass

  7. Max Allstadt

    OO could still be cancelled or undone. There is time to put it back on the ballot before it takes effect. In an off-cycle election, it would go down in flames, because in the off-cycle, the voters are more informed, and union turnout is strong.

    There was indeed a lack of leadership on opposing OO. The council was unanimous, and the mayor was against it too. There should have been a mailer with all of them on it.

  8. len raphael

    other than DLF; the mayor, the cc members (to use my late mother’s expression) “tapped on the window with a sponge” announcing their opposition to OO. I think for most of them their hearts supported OO, but their minds opposed it.

    Kaplan and Hammil didn’t have to stick their necks out, and did not.

    The union’s clueless on organizing an effective information campaign. Their phone bank people all told me to vote against it, but couldn’t explain why.

    -len raphael

  9. Becks

    Thanks for this post V.

    After spending the night celebrating Obama, Kaplan and KK going down in flames, I got home and Prop 8′s passage really sunk in. So it was comforting to read this post, especially since I was feeling similarly guilty about not having done enough to kill 8.

    It’s a bittersweet day today. There’s so much to celebrate, but I just can’t seem to get myself to smile.

  10. Ken

    Great that Obama won, but he still voted for the $810 billion bankster bailout, and the latter are all partying, giving themselves raises and bonus pay with those garnishments of our wages — for risking money in nonsense derivatives, and thus wiping out retirees’ pensions, families’ nest eggs, etc. Not that it was sustainable in the long run.

    Prop8 was stupid, but it shows we might be marching down a bad road overall as a country, which is a useful warning sign. (I would expect more scapegoating in the future as Great Depression ][ ramps up.)

    Too bad NN didn’t pass. You get what you pay for. Glad to see KK fail. San Jose screwed itself with more short-term thinking. (no bart)

  11. David Oertel

    And why does Obama think that Afghanistan is the “right war”? How many times does the US have to learn that it can’t militarily impose its will on cultures that are completely different? Is militarism something that he has to pretend to support in order to survive politically? Wasn’t the same lesson already learned in Viet Nam and Iraq?

  12. Ralph

    The dust has not settled on this election yet, but I am girding up for the fight to abolish OO. Hopefully, in the off year, we can stop this foolishness before the big damage is done. 57K people whose ability to reason I question. But there is some sunshine in this, I have decided to quit my job and open an after school program. Heck, why shouldn’t I get some of the fat?

  13. We Fight Blight


    I am with you. With all the money already tossed around for “kids”, the lack of any real metrics to measure success, the guarantee of yet more money for “kids, and the lack of any real audits to ensure the money is spent appropriately and wisely and that the staff are actually qualified to do what they claim they do, I am going to become a provider of “kids” services–whatever that means. Sounds like easy money. Really is there any easier way to make a living in Oakland?

    Are people really that politically unaware of how this measure will affect City services or did they just get sucked in by the feel good “let’s help kids” cry. Sometimes I wonder about the voting public in Oakland. Dellums, Nancy Nadel, Jean Quan, Jane Brunner, Measure OO…Can’t we do better than this?

  14. Andrew

    It is insane that California imposes a 2/3 requirement to raise taxes but allows a simple majority to rewrite its constitution. I’d support an initiative that changes everything to 60 percent. But in the meantime, a simple majority can UNdo Prop 8, and I hope to see that happen as soon as possible.

  15. Max Allstadt

    Undoing prop 8 may well be feasible in a fairly short time. The elderly vote in droves, and most voted yes on 8. In eight years we’ve seen a shift from 61% support for prop 22 to 52% (thus far) support for prop 8. At this rate all we have to do is wait 2 years for a few more decrepit old bigots to die.

    BTW does the Oakland false endorsement statute cover statewide elections? There were lying mailers from the pro-8 bigots that said that Biden and Obama were for prop 8. Could Yes on 8 or the Moron Church be sanctioned by the city of Oakland for false endorsement?

  16. Max Allstadt

    Ah. “Activist Judges” I love’m. Let’s hope they give us a repeat of their “activism”.

  17. David Oertel

    This is painful information to report, but African Americans and Hispanics overwhelmingly voted for prop 8 on “religious” grounds (though, as usual, they are ignoring the parts of the bible that advocate against judging others). Anyway, I’m afraid that demographic trends work for prop 8 and against social justice. My memory of the local tv news was that 7 of 8 African Americans voted for it according to exit polls. I love both of these communities and support them whenever I can, but this is shameful!

  18. David Oertel

    I was at the OO victory celebration, and it was a beautiful sight to see these tall, gangly, black, male teenagers all excited about Obama and electoral politics. These are the same kids that I see cops picking fights with, but if they (the kids) can be seduced into socially responsible ways of achieving power, it’s a big win for everybody. Of course, the usual disclaimer about fiscal responsibility at this time, applies. But for the far left, spending money on these kids makes a lot more sense than a lot of the adult-vanity economic activity that goes down: fancy restaurants, overbuilt cars (“bulge mobiles”), marble counter tops in fancy condos, etc. (I can sense the hackles rising out there in business land and developer land).

  19. len raphael

    some blame Newsom for campaigning for no on 8 in the castro, but that seemed to be the campaign’s approach in north oakland also: why on election day were canvasser’s sent door to door in rockridge instead of below shattuck or to east o?

  20. David

    David Oertel, the exit poll numbers weren’t quite that dramatic: blacks voted for 8 about 70/30, and among latinos, only a slight majority voted for 8, about 53/47. (You can see V’s link above for the full exit poll breakdown).

  21. David Oertel

    V Smoothe

    The idea was where the wealth of the community is going, up or down? Is it going for selfish things or to support the community. There has been a huge concentration of wealth over the last 20 or 30 years that has brought the US back to where it was in the 30′s. People felt so economically disenfranchised back then that they cheered on the bank robbers in a vain effort to get back at the rich. Sound familiar? Here we go again. It seems like every generation has to make the same mistake. We have to relate as a community and not some kind of economic foot race that everybody loses in the end.

  22. V Smoothe Post author

    I still fail to see the connection here. Measure OO has nothing to do with the “wealth of the community,” it has to do with doubling a set-aside in the City’s budget that goes to private organizations. That extra $16 million per year is coming out of funding for parks, libraries, and senior services, not out of anyone’s dining budget.

  23. David Oertel


    Thanks for the correction, however, 70/30 by black voters is still dramatic. I thought that the black communities would be very sensitive to the issue of a majority taking basic rights away from a minority? As usual, no accounting for human behavior.

  24. David Oertel

    You are coming from an immediate budget perspective, and of course from that perspective, you are right. From that perspective there should be a freeze on spending until the whole budget is stable. But from a broad social perspective, it makes sense to tax the rich and give that money to critical parts of the community. Most people would say that it is important to spend resources on these kids at a key point in their lives when their personalities are forming. Are they going to socialize to being responsible adults or thugs? And yes, if wealth is spread more evenly and not allowed to aggregate in the hands of a few, there would be less money for fancy restaurants, marble counter tops, etc. It is somewhat of a zero sum game. If the cops had gotten their parcel tax, then the home-owners would have been forced to cut back on a couple of fancy meals, no? Fancy meals is just an icon of frivolous, relatively selfish spending.

  25. V Smoothe Post author

    In that case, then, OO supporters should have placed a tax on the ballot, not an unfunded mandate which will strip scare funds from services to our neediest residents. OO is selfish, greedy, and irresponsible, and has nothing to do with “marble countertops” or “fancy restaurants,” or the distribution of wealth in any way whatsoever, no matter how much its supporters would like to pretend it does.

  26. David Oertel

    I voted against it for those reasons. Even David Kakishiba agrees that it was a bad idea given the economic collapse, which he could not have forseen. As for the broader social issues, we could go around-and-around like a bad episode of All in the Family, but what is the point?

  27. Ralph

    David O,

    Why is the below painful information to report?

    “This is painful information to report, but African Americans and Hispanics overwhelmingly voted for prop 8 on “religious” grounds (though, as usual, they are ignoring the parts of the bible that advocate against judging others). ”

    Were you expecting that blacks should vote NO because they know a little about the 14th amendment. The news is neither painful nor disturbing as much as it was to be expected. The DL exist for a reason.

    i am still confused about these marble countertops, redistribution of wealth and Measure OO. On the plus side, now that 57K braindeads have decided that kids program could use $26MM / yr in perpetuity there is no compelling reason for me to donate or even care so I guess I can donate to my favorite 3 alma maters.

    Bad ideas are bad ideas. No? What difference does it makes if i am flush with cash or scraping the barrel for my bottom dollar

  28. annoyed

    It is certainly unfortunate that Prop 8 did not pass. It is regrettable that an overwhelming majority of blacks and Latinos voted it for it. I am one of those “others” and I voted against it.

    It is equally unfortunate that only post here noted the historic election of the first black president. There is more excitement about Obama in Europe than on this blog.

    Given the almost nonstop bashing of any and every black elected official at this blog, I guess I should not be surprised.

  29. SF2OAK

    Since the blog is labeled A Better Oakland I do not view the lack of commentary of an Obama victory as a problem. But here’s a positive since our Mayor dopey actively campaigned for Obama (while neglecting the problems right here) maybe Obama will appoint Dellums to some post and take him out of Oakland, and out of his misery- a face saving gesture where Dellums could exit gracefully and get his butt out of here.

    There I mentioned Obama – are you happy?

  30. David Oertel


    The black people in my progressive-bubble world are very sensitive to civil rights issues for obvious reasons.

    What do you mean by DL?

    Oakland makes value-based decisions on how to allocate resources. The kids over at Street Academy are so resource starved that they take their standardized PE tests in street clothes out on the parking lot. What became of gyms, showers, etc? Contrast that to how the City of Oakland has covered any loses from the Forest City development. These loses are expected to be about 100 million. So you see that clear choices are being made to “support” the rich and abandon the poor. The ramifications in antisocial behavior are clear. These kids will be bitter and therefore don’t expect them to respect you and your property after the establishment has made a clear statement that it doesn’t respect them.

    As a program Kids First really seems to engage kids in constructive behavior and the people in charge seem first rate. I know this from direct experience. The money is not wasted as far as I can tell.


    This blog is somewhat right wing. Definitely pro-business and pro-developer at the expense of the community. And there are these fascistic undertones of identifying poor people as criminals, heralding gentrification, celebrating cops, etc. But I hang in there because I want to understand the people here. And some of the people here have great insights into the workings of city hall, which often seemed bizarre to someone like me heavily anchored in the grass roots. So I hope that understanding can flow in both directions. I could go away and find other progressive people and sit around agreeing with them. And I could leave this blog alone to proclaim how we need cops on every corner etc, but the communication breakdown would impoverish everybody.

    BTW, almost all of the progressive people that I meet are ecstatic over the Obama election. And it has relieved a lot of the embarrassment of us white people who want no part of belonging to a racially privileged class.

  31. Max Allstadt

    Yeah, I thought the city’s subsidy to Forest City was only about $55 million. And the “on the hook” thing is a little odd. It’s not like we didn’t get anything for our money.

    It’s also not like Forest City didn’t get a sweet deal. But they also took a risk. They got $55 mil. But they invested $180 mil. The sweet part of the deal is that they also get a 66 year lease on the land with an option to purchase it at 2005 prices. That’s what makes it a no-brainer. Even if the project gets horrendously messed up, that option to buy is a big fat golden parachute. Land buying, if you have an option and can time it right, is pretty sure to beat the hell out of inflation. The equity that would create for Forest City, if timed right, would be massive. All said, I think Oakland and Forest City both make out rather well.

  32. Chris Kidd

    Instead of “god, nobody’s talking about Obama. You guys are all a bunch of conservative jerks!”, shouldn’t you just start off with “Hey, how awesome is it that Obama is going to be president?” The first option seems like you’re looking for a fight, to which I say DNFTT. That second option is one I can get on board with. President Obama! Woo! I was out dancing in the streets of Oakland that night and it rocked. It’s the only time I’ve seen that many people out in the streets without any looting, defacing or generally anti-social behavior. People were just too deliriously happy to make trouble.

    To address this false Forest Hills vs. OO dichotomy: I’m sure the wonky-er posters here can correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t the $55 million the city dropped on Forest Hills came from the Redevelopment Fund for the CBD? The city isn’t allowed to use redevelopment money for any purpose other than redevelopment projects. It’s not like OO getting a percentage of the entire city’s budget means money goes out of redevelopment. It just means that an amount of money *equivalent* to a certain percentage of the city’s budget has to come out of the general fund. And that definitely means less parks and libraries and whatnot b/c that’s where their funding comes from. OO doesn’t stop any less money going to redevelopment, it just hamstrings other city services that are already on a shoestring.

    If you’ve got an issue with the way the city is required to spend their money, you should push for charter reform, not poorly written legislation like OO. Now don’t get it twisted that I ‘hate kids’ or ‘am not a REAL oaklander’ or any of those other silly reactionary things OO’ers who have made cameos here like to interject (in fact, I’m a 26 year native). I’m not opposed to OO’s goal, just the manner in which it was achieved.

    Also, David: you should separate the views of posters from the view of the blog when identifying it as having “fascistic undertones”. I certainly don’t agree with a lot of posters, but I do think that V does a very good job at keeping an even keel. You’d also do well to “foster communication” by not calling people Nazi’s. Goodwin’s law, y’all.

  33. Ralph

    I know not of your age but allow me to walk you through black america – under 40 advocates of civil rights, under 40 whose religious convictions guide their decision on 8, and a whole lot of older blacks who do not gay marriage as a civil right on par with say the right to vote. That you don’t know what the DL makes me realize you do not understand the opposition. The DL is the downlow. For a long time to be black and gay was just not a thing that blacks announced and thus it was kept on the downlow (hidden out of sight, not discussed in public circles). And living in the Bay Area is like living in a bubble get out – mingle.

    I love kids as much as the next guy; heck, I volunteer at an after school program. However, the damage that OO will do to the city will lead to its demise. Those who can leave will leave and take with them the revenue that OO so covets. So let me ask, do you want 1.5% of general unrestricted funds or 2.5% of nothing because that is what you will get when people start existing the city and businesses don’t come.

    As to gyms and showers nice try but since you are so in love with measure OO, you know that Measure OO won’t change that. I look forward to the off year election when this is repealed.

    And with that this is my last post on Measure OO because the only things I have left to say would have my mother disown me.

  34. len raphael

    DO, this is too much fun to resist responding to your white people comment. absolutely true this blog has a preponderance of pro high density growth supporters.

    just a year or so ago at a temescal rezoning meeting one pro high density advocate accused the lower density people of protecting their white skin privilege by keeping the cost of housing high.

    the last time i had heard that phrase was 1969 from bill ayer’s future wife guilt tripping a bunch of us young white sds’rs.

    -len raphael

  35. V Smoothe Post author

    David, that’s not an “article,” it’s a letter to the editor, and it contains gross factual errors (for example, a claim that 10,000 new people bought condos downtown, when most of the 10k units have not even been built), and wild assertions about the state of downtown resident finances and property values with zero data or information to support them.

  36. David Oertel


    I’m not talking about the original $55 subsidy. I’m talking about a 12% profit guarantee from the City of Oakland to Forest City. And no, the City of Oakland, which is all of us who care about it, is not going to make out well as you say.

  37. Sean Sullivan


    Since when do African Americans make up 52% of the vote in California?

    Maybe its because I am in the thick of the fight and its proposition and its aftermath, but I can not stand to hear one more person Blame African Americans as if this is all their fault. Those who do not want to accept their own guilt or blame in this struggle are quick to find a target to blame. The social justice struggle for civil rights has no place for those who would marginalize people based on race.

    91% of White Republicans voted Yes on Prop 8. Start your blame game there.

    And everybody, get busy, 2010 is a round the corner, we will be ready!

    Thank you for your fundraising and standing in the downpour with me last weekend.


    Thank you for all your donations and all your phone calls, speaking of which….

    And woe, W-O-E, to the Oakland politicians who are up for re-election or running for Mayor in 2010 and did not make One phone call against Prop 8 but jumped in front of every camera every time gay marriage was mentioned. We’ve had enough of that type of “support” as well.

    Peace Out.

  38. David Oertel


    Maybe I’m losing it but where did I say that blacks make up 52% of the vote in California? That’s obviously a very ignorant statement.

    I’m not simply trying to blame people, but it would be nice to understand the dynamics of prop 8′s success so that we can work to protect gay rights in the future. The original point was only that waiting for demographic shifts would not work for the benefit of gays because the groups supporting prop 8 are actually growing and not shrinking. The religious Hispanic voters who were inclined to vote for it are growing in number, so prop 8 would probably be more inclined to pass again next time. Money poring in from the Mormon church was also a factor, even given their long history of persecution for polygamy. Go figure? I’m just trying to understand why somebody would vote for it and why. You are in angry finger-pointing mode, not me.

  39. David Oertel

    V Smoothe

    Ok, so the Debro letter is from the hip, but what about the 12% profit guarantee? Is that part correct? I am sincerely trying to understand the realities, whatever they are.

  40. David Oertel


    The rap that I got from the developers was that they were here to revitalized Oakland and that it was time for us shabby locals to clear out of the way. Of course, their vision of “revitalization” was retail. If you were associated with any of the many ethnic cultural venues or organizations that were persecuted during this time, you probably didn’t feel too “revitalized”. With the dollar due to become worthless because the Fed printing presses going full bore, the cultural vision is probably the one with the greater future.

  41. len raphael

    DO, so this was brown’s urban removal for the retail that has yet to arrive? which blocks and examples of the venues and orgs, because there was radio silence during that period in the media and pre-blog.


  42. Ralph

    David, I would try not use loud mouth bores as proof of dire conditions. The 10K have not been completed. There are probably some who are over extended but exactly what makes them any worse than any other over extended person.

    I don’t know anything about this 12% of which ye speak, but it is not unreasonable for a business to have profit and 12% does not seem greedy. Are these cost + contracts?

    And please someone for the life of dog please do something about the yes on 8 and yes on measure oo people.

  43. David Oertel


    I don’t know a lot about Joe. I think that he lost his house trying to save Malonga Casquelourd Arts Center. And he is very bitter about the sweetheart deals that the developers got. But you have to admit that it is a interesting and provacative viewpoint that you don’t often see in the press. So I was curious to see how all of the wonky people here would deal with it. I can’t answer your question about “costs + contracts”. I am clueless but curious and trying to understand it all myself.

  44. David Oertel


    Some of the venues that I know about are Black Box, Oaklandish at Jack London Square, Cafe Ace Cultural Center, Sweet Jimmy’s, @17, Malonga Casquelourd Center for the Arts, Ely’s Mile High Club, 21 Grand, Humanist Hall, Intertribal Friendship House, Oakland Metro, Black Dot Cafe, Marcus Books, Mama Buzz, Geoffrey’s Inner Circle, Carijama. There were undoubtedly many more. Many were hassled by building inspectors who found that they had financially catastrophic “building problems.” Many were scapegoated for local crime problems. Many were hassled by the fire department as well as the police. They were all treated like low-lifes though they were for the most part very dedicated community and cultural people. It was a social debacle, a heavy-handed local cultural “cleansing” and a source of deep shame for Oakland but rarely talked about. Most of it was downtown though Intertribal was sought after because it was close to the lake on the East side.

  45. V Smoothe Post author

    David, I’m not sure what you were trying to say, but your comments strongly imply that all of those places are venues that were shut down to facilitate development. This is not true.

    Let’s take a look at your list:

    • 21 Grand: still exists, has moved a couple of times, and as I understand it, have ongoing issues with cabaret permits.
    • Black Box: Closed several years ago, owners moved on to other venues, one of which is still operating and one of which I believe is now closed. I don’t know the details of the Black Box’s closure – code and permit issues sound vaguely familiar, but that was a while ago and I just can’t remember. The space is now home to the Uptown Nightclub.
    • Oaklandish at Jack London Square: Gallery closed over building code issues (the owners of the building Oaklandish was leasing space from did not have permits for the subdivided space, and the space was not up to fire code), which is sad. The organization itself, happily, seems to be stronger than ever.
    • Cafe Ace Cultural Center: I assume this is a reference to Cafe Axe? I never went to this place, drum circles aren’t really my thing. I think it closed.
    • Sweet Jimmy’s: Closed a couple years ago after repeated issues with violence and sideshows.
    • @17th: Closed after a shooting last year outside the club, which left two patrons dead and one wounded.
    • Malonga Casquelourd Center for the Arts: This is a City-owned venue. Still open, still having events.
    • Eli’s Mile High Club: On and off, but currently open. I understand that they may also be having cabaret permit issues.
    • Humanist Hall: This isn’t really my scene, but as far as I’m aware, they’re still hosting events. Last time I remember noticing something going on there was in September, when they were having Diop Olugbala speak.
    • Intertribal Friendship House: Still around, still have lots of events.
    • Oakland Metro: Still around. I haven’t been since the Oakland Opera moved to a bigger space, but they’re having a show on Friday.
    • Black Dot Cafe: Is this a reference to Black New World? As far as I know, still operating. Heard secondhand recently that there might be some kind of cabaret permit issue, but I didn’t get any specifics.
    • Marcus Books: Still around, still selling books, still hosting readings and such.
    • Mama Buzz: Still around, still open, have recently had some difficulties relating to cabaret permits.
    • Geoffrey’s Inner Circle: Still open, still having obnoxious parties and shutting down all the streets in the area regularly.
    • Carijama: Not a venue, but an annual party held at Mosswood Park that was shut down after four consecutive years of it ending in violence.

    As noted several times above, there are ongoing issues related to the City’s cabaret permitting requirements. Our cabaret ordinance makes the same demands of clubs regardless of size, placing an unnecessary burden on smaller venues. I don’t believe that this is intentional on the part of the City, just a result of bureaucratic blindness. There is currently an effort underway to reform the ordinance to facilitate operation and relieve undue burdens on smaller spaces. While the details have not yet been worked out, the effort enjoys support from Councilmembers and City staff.

    As for the clubs that got shut down due to violence, I have zero sympathy. If people are getting shot outside your club, that’s an issue of public safety, not “cultural cleansing.”

  46. David

    David O.,

    The generational divide between older voters and younger voters was nearly as pronounced among Latino voters as it was among white voters, so waiting for demographic shifts WOULD probably work to the benefit of same sex marriage (the sample of black voters in the exit poll was too small to be able to break down meaningfully by age, but the same generation gap almost certainly exists among black voters as well). I don’t know what you’re using as the basis for your comment that “the religious Hispanic voters who were inclined to vote for it are growing in number, so prop 8 would probably be more inclined to pass again next time.” Even if Latino voters do increase as a percentage of total voters, you can’t assume that new, younger Latino voters will vote the same as Latino voters have in the past — in fact, all the evidence suggests that they will not.

  47. Robb Johnson for Mayor of Oakland 2010

    In the next mayoral election in 2010, vote for Robb Johnson for Mayor. He is young and innovative. He is very understanding of the city and knows what needs to get done. He will bring a young flair to the city. He has no other agenda other then being the best for the city of Oakland. Robb wants a better Oakland. Robb does not have any desire to work in the state or federal government. His love has been and always will be for the city of Oakland, CA. He knows how to bring Oakland to the next step. He knows how the future will be for Oakland. IN 2010 PLEASE VOTE FOR ROBB JOHNSON FOR MAYOR.

  48. Max Allstadt

    Mama Buzz lost the ability to have shows because Oakland’s cabaret permit process is one size fits all, and targeted toward regulating big clubs. We lack the rules we’d need to facilitate and permit open mic type venues, which is what Mama Buzz was doing. I’m working with a group of activist artists that hopes to fix this soon with a reasonable compromise. Mama Buzz is still operational and the owner, Jade, seems determined to make it work. Their back porch is also one of the best examples of a real salon-type cafe atmosphere. You can have random conversations with strangers, and they’re usually super cool. Don’t let the hipster outfits or the lack of decaf scare you. It is a very pleasant and accepting place to hang out.

    21 Grand had some issues due to some quirky code compliance problems. With any luck, they’ll be on the up and up soon. The city has been accommodating in terms of finding ways for them to continue their program, but in some ways the rules have still been a huge pain. The owners are committed to what they’re doing, and they’re an important anchor for art in Oakland. I’ve been helping them with logistics wherever I can. Please support them by showing up for the events they still put on.