Mayor’s Economic Forecast = cloudy

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.

3 thoughts on “Mayor’s Economic Forecast = cloudy

  1. dto510

    It sounds like the speech was pretty pathetic. Businesspeople don’t need to hear the mayor whine and say that there’s nothing he can do. And it’s pretty shameful that the mayor doesn’t know the number of murders or the number of AIDS victims when he’s constantly talking about both.

    I don’t know how city leaders can get away with saying that we have a green job corps when we simply don’t. Thanks for keeping up with the facts.

  2. V Smoothe Post author

    From what I was told, Newsom gave a length speech detailing San Francisco’s business and economic issues (the Examiner has a story discussing some of it). Dellums, following Newsom, devoted his entire time to blaming a lack of federal investment for our problems with crime, crumbling infrastructure, lack of jobs, housing issues, and climate change.

    I don’t disagree with Dellums that our nation’s urban centers deserve more federal attention, but I also can’t see what whining about it is going to do to solve our problems. You can’t tell people every time you give a speech that “The buck stops here,” and then try to pass it in the next breath.

  3. len raphael

    you really shouldn’t be so hard on dellums, because he campaigned for mayor promising he could bring home the federal bacon. at least what little campaigning he had to do, because most people in oakland voted for him like robots.

    we knowingly voted for a guy who spent much of his adult life believing that the Federal government is the most important American institution. a mayor who has the federal building bearing his name.

    as for blaming bush, most of oakland’s residents would still agree with dellums that Oakland would get a huge increase in Federal money if we withdrew from Iraq. (dream on dept.)

    dellum’s little problem is that the voters are showing signs of waking from their trance, and starting to worry that they might be the victims of crime before the coming of hilary/obama nirvana.