So, unfortunately, I had a little too much Pancake Day fun to make it to the SFBT’s Mayor’s Economic Forecast at the inhuman hour of 7:15 in the morning yesterday. Luckily, I had excellent correspondents there to assure me that I missed exactly nothing.
Apparently Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums began his remarks by informing the audience that he had been up since 2 AM mulling over his latest grand epiphany – Oakland’s problems are all Bush’s fault. (If only Dellums read BeyondChron, he would have known that months ago.) That’s why he’s working so hard for Hillary Clinton. (Too bad he decided to back the losing horse.)
Then, when asked by SFBT managing editor Jim Gardner how the police reorganization was going, Dellums’s response was that it was premature to say, and that the question was “lazy.”
Anyway, the Trib has a story about the event today, and yeah, it looks like it’s pretty much cobbled together from the Dellums automatic speech generator as usual (although I’m happy to see that “I don’t have an S on my chest” seems to have been dropped from the rotation):
“Sixteen thousand people were murdered in the streets of America” in 2006, Dellums said, and even more were murdered in 2007.
Sigh. I already addressed this in my State of the City post. The short version: he’s wrong about the number of murders in 2006, and I have no idea where he got the idea that they went up. The only measurement I can find is the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report, and their preliminary 2007 figures show a drop in homicides over last year.
Of course, whether the number of homicides is right is irrelevant to Dellums’s point. He’s just throwing it out there so he can say this:
“If 16,000 people died of AIDS we would have a national strategy to deal with the epidemic,” he continued. “If 16,000 people died of bird flu we would have a national strategy. We have 16,000 people die of murder and yet each mayor is left to deal with it alone.”
Except…more than 16,000 people did die from HIV/AIDS in the US in 2005.
I was sad to hear Newsom jumping on the same “blame the White House” bandwagon, particularly in light of the refreshingly realistic attitude he had towards the issue of depending on State and Federal funding last time I saw him speak.
Granted, he was talking about transportation issues, not crime. But I fail to see the difference. What the federal government should be doing is not the issue. Dellums cannot repeatedly inform us that “the buck stops here,” and then pass it every time he gets criticized. Of course we don’t have enough resources. But we have to figure out a way to work with what we have. Waiting for rescue is not realistic, nor is it sustainable.
Dellums said his Green Jobs Corps is an example of a program working to address all those issues.
The program, funded with a $250,000 grant from the city council, will recruit and train inner city youth, low-income people and the formerly incarcerated for jobs in green businesses, such as solar installation and recycling.
I’m getting increasingly irritated with this Green Jobs Corps talk. We don’t have a Green Jobs Corps. The City hasn’t even issued an RFP for the program they funded last June. You don’t get to use something as an example of things you’re doing to address the situation until you, you know, actually do it.