Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Mayoral Candidates Don Macleay and Rebecca Kaplan
1. If you are elected Mayor, do you commit to ensuring that the
Citizens? Police Review Board (CPRB) will continue to be funded by the
2. Do you commit to providing sufficient funding to allow the
CPRB to staff up to enable them to receive all citizen complaints.
This policy change, approved by the City Council overwhelmingly, would
allow for the redeployment of at least eight IAD officers to be
reassigned to functions that promote public safety and will become
cost-neutral by the third year and cost-savings thereafter.
We are writing jointly with our shared vision and plan to preserve and
strengthen civilian police review and improve public safety in
By Don Macleay and Rebecca Kaplan.
First, we would like to make clear that our answers to the two
questions above are both an unequivocal and strong Yes. Furthermore,
we have discussed this issue at length and want to make it known to
the public where we stand on the issue of the relationship between the
police the public.
Public safety is an essential goal for our city. All parts of our
community must be safe. Ensuring widespread public safety requires a
coherent set of actions, including effective use of police resources,
violence prevention, and strengthened community-police relationships.
Maintaining and strengthening the Citizens Police Review Board (CPRB)
is vital, not only because it is legally-mandated, but also because it
is good public policy and it is fiscally responsible.
>From a public policy perspective, we believe in the principal of
democratic civilian control, including over police. It is incumbent on
the elected officials, as the civilian government, to have the final
say over all police matters including, but not limited to, budgeting,
internal controls, and public complaints.
Intake of public complaints should be handled by civilians, for several reasons:
a) In order to provide effective policing, and to be fiscally
responsible, we should be working to ensure that as many police
officers as possible are deployed in a way that provides safety to the
public. When a task can be handled by a civilian, doing so makes it
possible to re-deploy sworn officers to the essential task of fighting
crime, while saving money due to the lower cost of civilian staffing.
Therefore, civilianizing this process is an important part of
providing effective policing for our city while reducing our budget
crisis for the long-term.
b) We believe that a member of the public who has been mistreated
by a police officer should have the right to speak to someone who is a
civilian when filing that complaint. A person who claims to have been
abused by a peace officer should not be forced to come to an officer
or be confronted by an officer in order to file their complaint.
c) Any reforms to the charter or budget should incorporate
principals of civilian control, review and oversight.
d) Our police officers work very hard, and should be treated with
respect, and should be expected to treat the community with respect.
In addition to the issue of handling complaints, we believe that
civilianization and improved connections with our local Oakland
communities should be used as a broader public safety strategy:
e) We propose that the police department itself become the
employer of more civilians. Trained civilians can do supportive
investigative work at the crime scene, in the lab, and in
neighborhoods. These strategies can be used to strengthen evidence
gathering and analysis, blight and illegal dumping enforcement, and
more. Use of trained civilians can help improve response times, ensure
that police officers are deployed to fight crime, and improve
community safety while balancing the budget.
f) We also want to see a police force with a higher percentage of
officers living in our city, which will improve neighborhood safety
and strengthen community-police relationships. Without violating legal
prohibitions on ordering officers to live in Oakland, we can improve
this situation by: recruiting Oakland residents to the police
department, including through strategies like the ?cadet? program;
providing homebuyer assistance to purchase homes in Oakland; and
ensuring that officers live close enough to respond quickly in an
emergency. In addition, we should ensure that a prior conviction does
not bar someone who has turned their life around from joining our
g) Lastly, we would like to add that there are additional
?civilian-based? strategies that should be strengthened to improve
public safety in the long-run, like Restorative Justice. Programs like
the McCullum Youth Court can be a very effective tool, by providing a
system in which victims receive restoration, and preventing a new
generation from entering the cycle of crime and revenge. People can
be held accountable for the harms they cause, and required to make
amends to those they have harmed, in a process that increases (rather
than decreases) the chances to then go on and lead a non-violent life.
h) Since California?s prison system is greatly harming our State
budget and our State economy, while simultaneously failing utterly at
the goal of ?corrections? ? with a recidivism rate so high that that
our incarceration system as a whole has actually been causing more
crime -- we must be willing to employ more effective options.
Monday, September 20, 2010
MAYORAL CANDIDATE QUESTIONNAIRE
Please complete, sign and e-mail to
Candidate Name: Don Macleay
1. Please state your position on the following November ballot measures:
Measure V (increased medical cannabis tax and new non-medical cannabis tax). Answer:
Measure W (telephone trunk line and access line taxes). Answer:
Measure X ($360 parcel tax). Answer:
Measure Y (suspends police staffing appropriation requirements for collection of 2004 Measure Y parcel tax). Answer:
I have the same answer for all four. These tax measures are a bad idea, product of a bad budget process. Despite that I will vote for all four of them. My view is that we have to decide if the hardship of the new taxes is worse than the hardship that the budget cuts will cause. If these measures do not pass, key city resources will become even more substandard during a time when the civil society is least able to help out.
Some feel that voting these taxes down will “draw the line” or force city hall to clean up its act. If that were true the budget mess in Sacramento and in many of our California cities and counties would have been solved years ago. Reform will be done by electing reform minded officials, not by sending some vague negative message voting ballot initiatives up or down.
I answer questions 2, 3 and 4 together, because my proposals link them together. They are part and parcel of a flawed budget process.
2. In June, the City Budget director reported that Oakland faced a five-year general purpose fund structural deficit of $589 million. (See page 19 of City Administrator’s report at http://tiny.cc/5jytp and a spread sheet adding the numbers at http://tiny.cc/9sowf). After the City Council’s recent budget amendments, much of that structural deficit remains. As mayor, what steps will you take to eliminate that deficit? Answer:
3. Budgeted expenditures reflect a city’s priorities. When you present your first budget to the City Council for consideration, what current city functions will you give the highest priority, and how will your proposed budget reflect that prioritization? For what city functions will you reduce or eliminate expenditures? Answer:
4. Each of the city’s labor agreements will open during your term as mayor, which means that wages and benefits will be up for negotiation. As mayor, what will be your plan for balancing the city’s interests in maximizing taxpayer services per tax dollar and retaining and attracting skilled and motivated employees? Answer:
I think the city administrator has the facts straight.
If elected, I will call a budget summit, and kind of budget “constitutional convention” where we put the whole budget on the table. A mayor who convenes such a summit can not predict or dictate the outcome. What I will advocate in the process will include:
- Negotiate a transfer of the existing retirement plan to the employees.
- Start a new retirement plan that pays its liabilities on pay day.
- Have a plan for the ups and downs of the business cycle
- Focus outside funding on LONG TERM infrastructure projects.
- Mandates, such as Measure Y need to become part of the law and policy of city government, but not the budget handcuffs we now have.
- Prioritize civilian services to abate, reform and prevent crime.
- Prioritize city services that most improve the quality of life.
- Set budget goals that stabilize the different departments.
- Increased independent oversight and auditing.
Working for the city should be a good, stable job. Maybe not the best paid, but with good conditions, good benefits, security and the room for city employees to treat their jobs as a vocation and as a social service. This has been the deal for public employees. We need to increase the partnership with our city workers, as represented by their unions in order to restore this promise. As each city contract comes up for negotiation we need to keep this goal in mind. Staff is a big cost, but remember that it is nor an evenly distributed cost. We will not get the partnership we need from our employees and our unions if we do not live up to this promise of good conditions, good benefits, JOB SECURITY and a positive working environment. If we do, then we can work out viable contracts.
A new budget and a new budget process will need to be taken to the voters for a mandate,
for an authorization to change the tax plans and to allow it to replace the mess we now have.
5. Under recent adjustments to the 2010-11 budget, 120 police officers are scheduled to be laid off in January 2011 (in addition to the 80 laid off in July 2010) if Measure V, W, X and Y do not pass. If you are elected in November and these measures are not enacted, will these layoffs take place? If not, what specific budgetary steps will you take to prevent them? Answer:
If I am elected and the budget items did not pass, I will have to declare a budget emergency.
That may end up being a good thing if the process leads to a real budget reform.
There are many things we can do; to be specific does not make sense because the real budget outcome will be the result of a series of government and union negotiations and a complicated political process with our city council, our county and our state.
EVEN IF THEY DO PASS WE HAVE A HORRIBLE PROBLEM and the next mayor should treat our public safety budget as an emergency on day one. It has been an emergency for a long time.
6. Several citizens groups have advocated “civilianizing” police functions that do not require the use of sworn officers, arguing that using civilians for such functions as police misconduct complaint intake, press relations and property crime investigations can substantially cut personnel costs and maximize the availability and effectiveness of sworn officers. Chief Garcon of San Francisco implemented civilianization in Mesa, Arizona and has begun doing so in San Francisco. Do you support civilianization, and if so, for what functions? Answer:
Yes to the civilian jobs and yes to the civilian oversight, but they are two different questions.
The police needs civilian employees to do police work. The back end of investigations (such as fingerprinting, data collections, background research) , community policing, restorative justice, truancy control, substance abuse issues, homelessness, parolee outreach and mental health issues, just to name a few, would all be done well, if not better by a trained civilian. Those civilians should have more appropriate training to their tasks. Social service support will allow the uniformed, armed police officers to focus where they are most effective. Currently they waste a lot of their time.
Civilian oversight of those in uniform is a basic fundamental of American Democracy.
It gives the civilians the guarantee that no-one in uniform is above the law and it gives us collectively the ability to review what our police are doing in a checks-and-balance system.
I not only advocate independent civilian oversight of the police, but I think we need independent oversight of ALL of the city departments. Nobody should be in charge of their own cookie jar. Every staffer, and every outside vendor and contractor should be inspected, reviewed and supervised.
I will propose that we enhance the Auditor’s office to an Audit, Review and Oversight office.
7. At the end of your first term as mayor, how many sworn police officers do you believe Oakland should have, and what steps will you take to accomplish that goal? Answer:
I have no idea and have no target number. I think dreaming one up is just posturing.
We need to see what funding we have, we need to see what jobs become civilian and we need to do something about the large amount of overtime hours we now pay.
8. In recent years, key components of community policing in Oakland have been the interactions between the Measure Y Neighborhood Beat Officers, Neighborhood Safety Coordinators, community members and Neighborhood Crime Prevention Councils. The Neighborhood Beat Officers have now been eliminated, and the functions of the NSC’s have been consolidated. To what extent do you believe community policing is important, and if you believe it is important, how can it be accomplished in Oakland? Answer:
I am an avid member of my own NCPC, a strong supporter of Beat Officers and the Problem Solving Officers. My own now works somewhere else. These last layoffs, followed by the decision to sacrifice community policing in favor of patrol duty has done a lot of damage. This is a case of short term, hand to mouth; budget thinking causing us to lose much of what has been painstakingly accomplished over the last few years.
You can find my statement on public safety here:
To answer the question directly, I think the public outreach is the LAST thing that they should ever cut and for some reason it is always the first one. There is no law enforcement – crime study to support doing this. The research on restorative justice is the same. At its worst, restorative justice never does worse than the current revolving door jail criminal justice system at its best.
I agree with the goals of Prop Y, but not Prop Y itself.
To start with community policing and community sentencing COST LESS than standard policing.
So why do we need more funds to make this policy work?
Richmond did not, they are saving money and making headway using community policing and did not need any Prop Y equivalent to get going. They just got a mayor and a council that would stick to the policy and hired a chief of police who wants to do it. http://articles.sfgate.com/2009-01-13/bay-area/17198437_1_patrol-districts-richmond-police-address-problems
I plan to be such a mayor.
9. In its April, 2009 performance audit of the Oakland Public Works department (http://tiny.cc/afihq), Matrix Consulting Group, which conducted the audit, recommended that:
a. The City should be replacing or rehabilitating an average of 1% to 2% of its sanitary sewer mains each year” at a cost of about $7.5 million; and
b. The City should be spending approximately $30 million annually for the repair and replacement of the City’s streets (at the time of the audit, the annual expenditure was $7.2 million).
Matrix also noted that the General Purpose Fund contribution to the Public Works budget was far less than that of comparable California cities, and made a series of recommendations (at pages 24-25) for adequate funding of the city’s public works needs. Which of these recommendations do you support, and how will Oakland meet its obligations to repair and replace sanitary sewers, streets and infrastructure if you are mayor? Answer:
This is exactly the kind of issue that makes me think we should have a budget reform and better oversight. This is not the only Auditor’s report worthy of attention. The report on Hiring Practices should also be part of our discussions when electing our next mayor.
Our local library, which houses the tool lending library is badly damaged because of the state of our sewers. Many other examples abound, but here in Temescal, this one stands out.
As part of the budget reform that I propose, we need to include this. I am not sure how we can deal with our infrastructure problem without a reform. If we ever get to the point that we actually will put money aside during good times and spend it during downturns in the business cycle, then we could do this in spurts about every 10 years when unemployment is high.
Another source of funding MAY be the stimulus funds and the redevelopment funds, but the get them focused on real long term infrastructure instead of speculative projects is a reform of its own.
Management, Leadership, Accountability and Transparency
10. Oakland is a large and very complex entity with a $1.1+ billion budget and thousands of employees. Please describe:
a. Your specific experience that qualifies you to oversee an enterprise of this size and complexity;
b. Your theory of management, with examples of how you have applied that theory;
c. Your philosophy of executive leadership, with examples of when and where you have shown that philosophy. Answer:
I am running for Mayor. I am not running for City Administrator. The reason that I feel ready to do the job is because I am ready to provide political leadership to the residents of Oakland and the employees of the City. To that end I have a lifetime of political activism and leadership that I will bring to bear on leading the city. My knowledge of the languages spoken in Oakland gives me perspective inside many of the communities here. My mix of a working class background and current life as a small business owner gives me affinity with a cross section of social classes. When I speak with the unions, it will be as representative of the city, but also as a dedicated union member. My technical background will be a major contribution as our city plans projects in a time when America is changing the technology of its infrastructure. My environmental background puts me at the leading edge of the major problems of our time. As a trade school graduate and a trade school teacher, I know what our young people are going through in this job crisis and I have a good idea of what needs to happen to really provide training.
But the most important things I have to offer the people of Oakland are a vision for the reform of our city, the will to do it, the ethics to keep on course and the independence to stay and advocate for the city of Oakland and only the city of Oakland.
11. The City Administrator is the day-to-day head of city government. What criteria will you employ and what qualifications will you look for in appointing the City Administrator? Answer:
The three sub questions above would make good questions for a potential city administrator.
What I will do is search first among people closer to the process, including among my fellow candidates for mayor for talent. I do plan to hire from within. I also plan an administration that includes the people who contested the election. We will need a unity government.
12. What will you do as mayor to ensure that your agenda is being executed? Answer:
Outreach. I will be the kind of mayor who is at the council meeting, goes to Sacramento when needed, meets with the business community, who reviews all the open contracts for compliance, who calls, comes and acts. In other words, a mayor who is on campaign for the agenda all the time.
13. What metrics or benchmarks will you establish for your performance and the performance of City department heads? How will Oaklanders know whether benchmarks are being met? Answer:
The next mayor has to fix the budget. All Oakland will know how well we do.
They will also know how safe the streets are.
They will know if they have jobs.
And they will know how well the schools are doing.
14. How can Oakland’s television station, its web site and other media be used to more effectively inform and engage Oaklanders concerning city government activities and issues? Answer:
Do you mean KTOP or Channel 2?
The answer to KTOP is to make it more available, and make it more relevant, mostly on line.
The answer to Channel 2 is to turn the current situation on its ear. The press should not be asking where the mayor is, the mayor should be on the ground asking where the press is.
15. Should the City be taking other steps to more effectively engage the citizenry in city issues, and if so, what steps? Answer:
Good leadership should always encourage the public to be engaged, empower and informed.
I think that there is a lot of room for changes to how we deal with our grass roots groups.
Have we considered ELECTED neighborhood committees? Ones with some control and budget?
Are we looking at our council districts? Do they represent the neighborhoods or cut them up?
This question makes me want to ask the questions of why the public is not more effectively engaged and start knocking down the barriers to public service and civic involvement.
As mayor I will be asking this question of the public and taking the time to listen to the answers.
16. Many Oakland candidates and office-holders express the opinion that Oakland city government systemically business-unfriendly. Do you agree or disagree? If you disagree, explain how the city has established a favorable climate for business development. If you agree, describe what you see as the systemic problems and explain how you, as mayor, would fix them. Answer:
I disagree, but I know why business owners feel this way. The problems come in how we handle Permitting, Zoning, and Code and from having the highest business taxes in the Bay Area. There are times when asking for an authorization to put up a sign, to sell beer in a restaurant, or adding a pizza oven becomes a ridicules series of trials and tribulations. The new Business Assistance Center is a beginning of moving things in another direction. The taxes are another issue, and would be accepted if we had the advantages of city life more in the front and the disadvantages more under control.
That the city administration needs to become user friendly, is without any doubt, but to call that “anti-business” is a bit of a stretch. There are a long list of home owners, non-profits organizations, artists and other groups will tell very similar stories of frustration dealing with the city.
17. What, if anything, does Oakland have to learn from Emeryville, Berkeley or other cities about how to effectively use Enterprise Zones and redevelopment funding to attract and retain businesses? What, if anything, have other cities done that Oakland will start doing if you are mayor? Answer:
On this I will keep quiet for the most part, but there is much for us to learn from others.
San Jose has made some strides in Restorative Justice.
Richmond moves forward with some good ideas in policing.
A local enterprise zone took in companies that could have been here.
18. What, if anything, can Oakland city government learn from other cities about how to maximize its ability to provide quality services to its citizens in difficult economic times? Answer:
I would like to have us open our view and not only look around our area, state and country, but also look around more internationally. Many parts of the world do a lot of civic improvement without spending so much money, because they never had it. Our core communities include a large number or Mexicans and Central Americans who have personally experienced different urban models that are closer to us than New York and more relevant to our way of life. All of our immigrant communities have stories to tell and can show leadership in brining in fresh ideas. Oakland has personal contact with such ideas, so instead of just picking which ones I think are good, I would like to engage our grass roots groups to propose and hold up other projects as examples of what we would like here.
19. The majority of Oaklanders love their city, and believe it has unparalleled positive elements that are simply not recognized in the rest of the state and country, including history, diversity, and vibrant activity in its culture, arts, restaurants, etc. Does the mayor have a role in getting this message out there, and how should the city send this message? Answer:
I have been asked by a lot of journalists what I think of Oakland image out in the world, in the press and in our own eyes. That question has made me conclude that I will not work on the image. I will work on the reality. We need to get the schools further up, the crime further down, the employment and business environment more healthy and we need to value and nurture our multi ethnic community. If we do that, then the image will take care of itself.
Dated: Monday, September 20, 2010 By:
Saturday, September 18, 2010
Your answers to the following questions will allow OakPAC to make an informed judgment about your candidacy. This questionnaire is a first interview and will assist OakPAC in making the fully informed decisions and make our interview process efficient.
- What best describes your motivation for running for office?
A strong desire to see the office of Mayor play a more positive role in our city.
- How does your prior experience prepare you for elected office?
My background is that of a trade school graduate, general machinist (19 years), trade school teacher and on the job training instructor. Since 1998 I have worked in computer network administration, starting as an employee, becoming self employed and currently a small business owner with 4 employees.
My qualifications for leadership in Oakland comes from 4 parts of my background.
I am a long time Oakland resident and civic volunteer. My sons are both born here and one is currently enrolled in Oakland public school. My business and my home are both located in a building I own here. Having come here 20 years ago, my life is fully committed to this community
As a world citizen I know much of the communities that make up our multicultural city. I speak both Spanish and Mandarin as well as four other languages. I have lived and worked in many other countries and have been exposed to a wide spectrum of what it is possible for us to do with out city. I have seen other possibilities and so have most of our immigrant residents.
As a working class person who has been able to return to school and obtain a college degree, start my own business and become a landlord I am part of how our economy works. My perspective of it is much more varied than probably anyone else running in this race. My knowledge of environmental issues, technical issues, engineering, recycling, construction, as well as service and retail allows me to understand the transit, development and industrial projects Oakland has involved itself in from the implementation side.
I bring to Oakland a life time of working for social justice and the environment. I have been project director of a small scale hydro project, I have worked in the environmental movement and I have been a community activist in Oakland for the past 10 years. This is not what a main stream political office holder calls being a politician, but it is the kind of politician that I have been. From that perspective I have a wide grasp of city issues as viewed from the resident point of view. That includes our crime problems, our school problems and our budget.
- What do you consider the three biggest challenges facing Oakland? What will you do to address these during your term in office?
Crime, schools and budget.
On crime I am an advocate of the community policing and restorative justice model that has already been started.
On the schools I believe that the city should support the schools as a complement of their activities and STAY out of school district business. The schools need help with social problems, especially families in crisis and truancy, and they need infrastructure support. For infrastructure I am a supporter of the civic center model and duel use of the school grounds together with the libraries, parks and recs, etc.
The budget and the budget process need a global reform. If elected I will call a budget convention designed to replace our Byzantine budget with a new global budget. Kids First! Measure Y and other mandates need to become policies and laws, not handcuffs, and we need a pay-as-we-go method of funding. In that convention I will push for a budget would have a plan for both the upswings and the downsides of the business cycles. The most important thing that a budget convention needs to produce is a budget and budget process that will earn the trust and support of the public.
Once we have this new budget and a new budget process we will need to take it to the voters in order to have it fully replace the mixed up mess we have now and give the city a mandate to implement it.
- What do you consider the largest impediments to attracting, growing and starting a business in Oakland and how will you eliminate or minimize these impediments?
These are very different problems and only a few policies will help them all.
Attracting an existing business to either move to Oakland or expand into Oakland is one of the things that the city can play a lead role in, especially with our enterprise zones.
Growing existing business requires an overall healthy economy and that is beyond the scope of what can be discussed in one of these questionnaires. Much depends on the area the business is in, and if it involves real estate, then it involves when that real estate was purchased and what the cost of mortgage and property taxes are. There is much the city can do for the overall business environment if we keep in mind that Prop 13 has created a situation where different businesses doing exactly the same thing have wildly different costs.
Starting a business in Oakland brings the city in on permitting, zoning and code.
This is another large subject where the city needs to improve its services and practices. I think the Business Assistance Center is a good start. We will need to have a model where the city’s middle managers are in contact with the business community and have the authority to fix snags in the permitting and licensing process.
- What businesses and industries do you view as Oakland’s greatest current economic assets and how would you stimulate their continued growth and success in Oakland?
Oakland has a good diversified portfolio of employment and businesses.
We have a big government sector and a big non-profit sector that we should cultivate.
Oakland, like most of the USA, has a large small business base crossing all kinds of sectors of the economy. Collectively small businesses are our largest employer. Even if this not a “high growth potential” part of the economy, moderate grown in small business can produce more jobs and local investment than many other plans.
The small business area in Oakland is the one hurt most by the bureaucratic delays in the permitting and licensing process. Wanting a 4 digit fee just to APPLY for a beer and wine license, or causing a 6 month wait to install a pizza oven is typical of dealing with the city. Changing that would be a big priority for me.
In all these things what I think the business community needs most from its mayor is the constituent advocacy and service. When one business owner is having a problem, it may be best to take that problem to a city council member, but when a pattern of a problem becomes apparent, the Mayor should step in on behalf of the lager community.
I see this as part of the Mayor’s job to back the business community and the rest of the community in this kind of constituent service mode.
- What businesses and industries do you believe Oakland should work to attract to the city and what specific efforts would you undertake during your term in office to effectively compete with other cities for these jobs and economic development?
I think the city should listen more to the market, focus more on the overall infrastructure and environment and get out of the business of speculative investments. I will focus on lower crime, better schools, better transit, and better government and then reach out to the businesses that are interested. We have a lot to offer and we are the hub of the bay area. We need to make this a place anyone would be happy to work in, send their children to schools in and live and make sure we work to make all our businesses a success.
- What do you think should be done to help Oakland businesses attract and retain a qualified workforce?
Schools for the skills, schools for the workers children and better public safety.
- What have you done in your career to advance a healthy business climate or promote sustainable economic development?
I have been a community volunteer and activist for most of the 21 years I have lived either in Oakland or in the nearby bay area.
The OMCC knows me as an advocate of the chamber itself and as a strong advocate of small business. I have also been there when we were searching for solutions to problems such as with the parking problems last year, even if those kinds of problems are not what I am most focused on or affected by.
- Will you make a public pledge in your campaign to “Promote Oakland Jobs and Businesses” if elected? Will you make a pledge to oppose the appointment of nominees for any City Board or Commission that are opposed to job and business growth in Oakland?
Of course I will promote Oakland jobs and businesses. How could any Mayor not do so?
There will be some very different ideas of what that means and what we expect from each member of our community as we resolve our serious problems around the budget. As a business owner myself, I know that business can do a lot, as long as it can stay healthy and in business. As a resident, I also will ask those who are benefiting most to contribute the most. To get there will require serious engagement and leadership towards all the communities that make up this city.
- How do you think public safety can be improved?
HOW I propose to deal with public safety and crime:
With broad based public support
We need to do the hard work of bridging the divisions, disdain and distrust in our community.
Since we agree that there should be enforcement, prevention and community policing, then we should focus on that and spend our time on outreach to all sectors of the community. Volunteer community groups across the city and across our society are working hard on social outreach, violence and crime prevention and neighborhood law enforcement. City government can reach out to all of them and bring disparate groups together, but it is going to be a long, difficult campaign and each and every one of us will need to be willing to LISTEN to the other views.
Some actions, such as the recent gang injunction, provoke more disagreement and distrust dividing the community.
Using law enforcement as a way to collect more taxes cheapens the reputation of the city and the police in the eyes of the residents. The same can be said for the recent blame game of political posturing, photo opportunities, endorsements, budget deadline pressure tactics, robo-calls and fear mongering. Vote against it.
The public has a right to know that our crime prevention and enforcement policies are based on solid research and proven methods based on real, full information including a study of unreported crime.
We have to face the fact that the California justice system is a failure from trial to parole and we in Oakland will have to deal with the consequences. To say otherwise is to ignore the global problem.
No resident should ever feel that they are on their own without police protection, yet many do. We need to make plans that include extending the circle of protection to everyone, not just those who complain most or have the most money.
The police force, like all of city government, needs to be held accountable to civilian oversight.
Measure Y funding and all other programs need transparency, managerial review and inspection.
Every public official should be accountable and not present any conflicts of interest.
The current hand to mouth budget process is a large part of our general security problem. To get a good program up and running can take years of work and canceling it for a few months at a time is a major setback. A more modest, but reliable funding plan would be more effective than constantly coming up short and changing the plan. We need to get away from complicated, inflexible plans like measure Y and have fair, progressive taxes that the public can support. City government must gain the public trust in how the money is spent and stop reorganizing every couple of years.
What I suggest we do about crime:
One of 4 factors is part of most of our city’s crime: Substance abuse, homelessness, truancy, and recidivism.
When we work on crime prevention programs we need to know that we are always staying focused on at least one or more of these four social problems. These four are the priority.
The best crime prevention plan we could come up with is a better economy. Less poverty, better housing, better health care, more jobs, and more educational opportunities can only help and should be part of every decision a mayor makes.
Our goal should always be to repair the damage. It is fair to ask those who have done damage to make amends and restitution to those who have been hurt. It is also fair, to lend support to the families of offenders and potential offenders. If a youth is acting out, they should be expected to stop, but if the reason they act out is that their parents are in crisis, we all should be expected to help.
The District Attorney’s Office, local judges and local civil society groups have started to break the vicious circle of punishment, incarceration and separation from the community that needs the city’s whole hearted support. Community sentencing involving the perpetrators, victims, families and the general community provide an alternative. This is called Restorative Justice and it has been proven to work as well as or better than incarceration.
The Mayor’s job is also to lead a high moral, ethical, honorable and successful police force.
I support giving the police the flexibility to concentrate their resources, to take the initiative and bring the enforcement to the crime. The element of surprise should always be in law enforcement’s favor.
Crimes of intimidation and retaliation against residents who have asked for police protection need priority status
Our police need to be protected and supported when they takes risks.
Work conditions should be healthy for the officers and their families and supportive of long term service.
They need to be supported in better relations with the community including foreign language training.
And we should ALWAYS fulfill our commitment to community policing keeping those positions staffed first.
I hereby apply for OakPAC’s consideration of and support for my candidacy for public office. I have read the terms above and agree to them. I certify that I have answered truthfully and completely to each of the questions asked in this application.
Signed: Don Macleay Date: Sept 17th 2010