City Hall

Jan 142015
 
Choices for Art Commission Show Nepotism at Play

Note: this article has been slightly expanded. If you start seeing a lot of sad and mediocre public art in San Leandro, you know whom you have to blame: the past and current members of the City Council who chose to appoint friends to the newly created Arts Commission instead of people with any sort of knowledge or experience in the Arts. When the City Council created an Arts Commission to decide on how to beautify San Leandro though art, they had the opportunity to populate it with outstanding artists and arts professionals.  Instead, three Councilmembers, Michael Gregory, Ursula Reed [Continue Reading]

Jan 102015
 
My Message to the SLPD: The Bearcat is Not a Good Idea

This was my speech at the “community meeting” on the SLPD‘s planned acquisition of a Ballistic Engineered Armored Response Counter Attack Truck (Bearcat).  I addressed my comments to the SLPD, as the City Council has made it clear that their role is simply to rubber stamp any proposal brought by the Police. In other words, we officially have a police state in San Leandro. You can find Tim Holmes remarks here. While it may seem hard to believe, I appreciate our police officers.    Every single SLPD officer I have met, has treated me with politeness, courtesy and professionalism.  I think [Continue Reading]

Jan 032015
 
New City Council Set to Start Year by Violating the Brown Act

City Manager evaluation, new “Hostage Negotiation” vehicle & new Vice Mayor also on agenda Update: I have heard back from City Attorney Richard Pio Roda.  He says that the City does not believe that the potential plaintiffs in the case that will be discussed in closed session are aware of the facts and circumstances that will enable their lawsuit.  He confirmed that the case in question did not involve “an accident, disaster, incident, or transaction”, for example, a police shooting, where the potential plaintiff is aware that they have been harmed. — The first City Council meeting of the year [Continue Reading]

Dec 162014
 
I give up

I give up.  Local democracy does not work at any level. Tonight, a plethora of mostly white, middle-class, middle-aged parents told the San Leandro City Council: “This is where we draw the line. Don’t spy on our kids, don’t criminalize them from kindergarten on”.  In essence they said: “this is your chance to release some steam, show that you are something other than a rubber stamp for the police, show that citizens have a chance to have their voices heard”. The arguments were intelligent, well-reasoned and researched and made politely.  They came from a law professor, a poverty expert, a [Continue Reading]

Dec 082014
 
SLPD Shoot at Fleeing Suspects Twice in 3 Days

Over the last three days, we’ve had two shootings of women  driving allegedly stolen cars by San Leandro Police Department officers.  One of them is in critical condition.   Police missed the other, a 16 year-old girl, though one bullet wheezed past a bystander and another hit a parked car a block away.  Fortunately, nobody was reportedly injured in that incident.  Shooting at a fleeing subject who is not a threat to the life of others is against the law. There is no doubt that moral blame lies on the officers who did shoot. But the real culprits, the ones [Continue Reading]