The Mayor’s draft Public Safety Plan (PDF) is out, and it’s…I’m sorry, it’s like a joke. Or it is a joke. I just…I just don’t know. I am in complete shock. Go ahead, read it for yourself. Please! It will only take like 5 minutes of your day.
I mean, at this point, I really don’t expect much from the Mayor. In fact, I expect so little out of that office that I thought I’d reached the point where it would be literally impossible for them to fail to meet my expectations.
BOY, OH BOY, WAS I WRONG! This document, this “plan,” it’s just like, inconcievably pathetic. I would expect that a reasonably bright high school student could produce a more coherent document in a few hours while stoned. If I had turned something like this in as my “strategic plan” assignment in the Management for the Social Sectors class I had to take last year, I’m pretty sure I would not only have failed the class, but they would have probably found a way to kick me out of the program on top of it.
I mean, how is it possible that in a 15 page document (although in fairness, one page is basically blank) allegedly about Public Safety, that there is no mention of crime reduction? Virtually no mention of the police department?
I don’t even know what to say about this. It’s nonsense, it’s jibberish, it’s a joke. “Social justice media and marketing campaign”? “Peace curriculum”? They can’t be serious! Right? “Neighborhood healing centers”? What is that? Is that like a spa?
Even the stuff that isn’t a joke, is. “Comprehensive re-entry services.” Then, elaborating on what that means “Re-entry services accessible and available in all neighborhoods.” Look, the Mayor has been harping on re-entry services since he was campaigning, and personally, I don’t think I know anyone who’s against re-entry services. But it’s been over two years since the Mayor was elected, 21 months since he took office, and he hired his own “re-entry employment specialist.” So at what point are we going to see a service, or a coherent plan for a service, or a proposal for a service, or even a description of a service – something beyond a catchphrase that we can just mindlessly repeat ad nauseum?
If one could summarize the plan, which, honestly, the whole thing is such nonsense that I’m not even sure it’s fair to try to do, but the strategy in here, to the extent that there is one, basically boils down to creating several new layers of bureaucracy and shifting the burden of taking care of the city to the citizens.
It ends with a “call to action.” That’s right everybody, it’s time to do your part. You can help by starting a book club. Or learning your neighbor’s name. Or applying to serve on a City Board or Commission (FYI, I have submitted no less than three applications for a Board or Commission to the Mayor’s office and have never once gotten any response.) Or alerting the editor of your newspaper to a community story not being told.
You know, there are so many amazing and hardworking and caring and dedicated and just totally awesome people in this city who are doing so much for their community. They work with kids, they work to improve their neighborhood, they try to get people engaged, they volunteer their time. I meet them all the time. And I find it, frankly, insulting of the Mayor’s office to sit around and constantly lecture us about not doing our part. The people of Oakland have stepped up, Mr. Mayor, and it is you that has dropped the ball.
Enough is enough. If anyone is serious about starting a recall, and I mean serious enough to actually do it and not just talk about it (realizing that it will be a great deal of work), feel free to contact me. I will help you.