Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Jerry Brown's Disservice to Oakland - Part 1

I had to write this, or at least get it started, while it's on my mind. Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown has failed his city. Jerry has used the City to bring attention only to himself, and has no real notable victories to crow about.

I write this because the San Francisco Bay Area media gives him a free pass. For example, the San Francisco Chronicle had an extensive interview on him in the middle of last year. But it only focused on the issue of crime and how the rate of crime had decreased. I don't credit Jerry for that. I say he's the happy receipient of changing demographics: an overall older population that's less likely to go out and cause trouble than was the case of the 80s. Plus, Oakland, like every part of the Bay Area, is more expensive to live in, squeezing out the less fortunate who are more likely to commit violent public crimes. It's also more diverse, and the rate of black on black crime, the main problem in Oakland, has decreased as poor African Americans have moved out and more moneyed blacks and Asians and whites and Latinos have come in over the past 10 years.

The Chronicle didn't ask Jerry about the failure to redevelop Oakland's downtown. Or the overall lack of revenue generators to fill government coffers and close the city's massive budget deficit. Or the terrible morale of workers in the City of Oakland. None of that hit the article, making it one of the worst I've ever seen in my years in the Bay Area.

So, Jerry gets away with murder. Literally the murder of the city's image as he uses the crime issue to bolster his campaign for California Attorney General. See the connection? Oakland comes off looking like this bad city he tried to save, but it's too hard to do so, and so he takes off from the City to be a state official locking up the bad people. Right. Meanwhile, he leaves a lot of undone and unfinished work. Foremost is Oakland's image.

When Jerry was campaigning in 1998, someone said he would do this: come into the office and really not do much. Some Oaklanders are so blinded by his celebrity they can't think straight.

In my next post, I'll explain why Jerry came into power and the vast set of mistakes he's made while here.

I'll bet this: if he's elected AG, he'll leave Oakland. A carpetbagger who does not care about Oakland. That's typical of our city. We give the most respect to those who care the least.


Paris Hilton's Personal Info Stolen - Why?

According to this CNN article Paris' Hilton's personal information, including cell phone numbers, was stolen and then posted on the web.

My question is why? Why would I want to have the phone numbers of entertainers that don't want to talk to me? This is -- in my view -- entirely different than the Associated Press reporter who managed to send out his phone numbers of every notable sports person in the World.

If you're a sports writer, that's of value. Plus, many of the numbers (which I saw) were office phone digits, so one could call and set an interview on a topic.

This is different. I feel sorry for Paris, in that she's been filmed, sued, and now violated, and really for what reason? Still we live in what seems to be an ever increasingly nutty world, so it's good to be careful. In other words, don't put your numbers of friends on a public server.