In today’s Chip Johnson:

After six weeks of trying, and threatening to contact the media, a group of residents, businesses and ministers from Martin Luther King Jr. Way between Grand Avenue and 40th Street met with a Dellums aide last week to recount their travails with crime in recent months.

In a meeting attended by nearly 20 people, including more than a half dozen local ministers and a police lieutenant, the mayor’s point man, Victor Ochoa, told the group assembled at Second Bethel Church that he wasn’t aware that their neighborhood was a high-crime area.

“I almost walked out of the room,” said Miltiades Mandros, 63, whose home has been hit with stray bullets. So the community informed him: Since June 8, eight people had been shot or killed in five separate incidents in the neighborhood. Among those hit was a 12-year-old boy struck in his home by a stray bullet last week.

Victor Ochoa is Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums’s deputy chief of staff. I have written about his disrespect for the community before. I really don’t have anything to add to this.

3 thoughts on “Scandalous

  1. Deckin

    I’m very curious to see how this plays out with the electorate of Oakland in general. From Matier and Ross’s story (which was obviously sourced by IDLF), maybe some of our council members are beginning to step out on this one–sensing real weakness from the mayor’s office. Certainly he, who actually raised questions about the whole YBMB mess and voted against at least one round of funding for them, has a leg to stand on. The comment section in both the Trib and Chron are on fire with a ‘Dellums out’ sentiment (your comments there were as usual about the best), but I wonder how deep this is sinking into ordinary folks’ minds. I’m going to my neighborhood watch committee meeting tomorrow night and from the gist of the emails on the listserv, it should be pretty exciting. If this doesn’t peel back the lid on the various and sundry collusions that have been part and parcel of Oakland politics for years, I’m not sure what would. And now Dellums is coming out with his public safety initiative later this week? Well, where you been Ron?

  2. V Smoothe Post author

    Actually, I think the Matier and Ross info was just lazily copied from Chris Thompson’s 2002 East Bay Express story about the group. (The story is worth reading, if anyone hasn’t done so yet.) I am less optimistic than you are about the Council stepping up (they gave Dellums practically everything he wanted in the budget.).

    It will be interesting to see how much tolerance general public opinion will have towards Dellums’s hands-off style of leadership. I am looking forward to seeing the public safety initiatives Dellums produces. I am not optimistic that they will be anything new, but I hope to be proved wrong.

    One thing you may want to bring up at the neighborhood watch meeting is that people need to put pressure on the DA’s office to start prosecuting misdemeanors. Currently, it is their policy not to do so in Oakland, and they say they are following the will of the community. I do not think their gauge of public sentiment is accurate. After all, it doesn’t matter how many CHP officers we have in Oakland picking up people for guns and drugs if the DA is just going to send those same people back onto the streets a few hours later.

    I need to blog about the CHP and Dellums public safety initiative, but I’ve got about a million things to do today, so it will have to wait. I will get something up tomorrow.

  3. Deckin

    Yes, the DA issue needs to be addressed. From my short time on a jury panel, I think the DA is wildly mistaken about what juries in Oakland will or won’t convict for. On the political front, I think what we’re now seeing is the problems with having a monoculture in our political establishment. As in ecology, this lack of competition keeps good things from happening and maladaptive mistakes around for far too long. If there were a pols who really competed in Oakland, then you might see someone stoking the fires under Dellums’ ass and also maybe making some serious noise about a recall. But instead, they are all basically playing for the same team and there’s no politician out there willing to take Dellums on. DLF seems to think his best shot is playing nice for now, but I don’t think the city is well served by that. Think about it, one disgruntled guy (Ted Costa) basically got Davis recalled for nothing and here we have an incompetent mayorality with bodies piling up and no one is doing a thing.