Tag Archives: Jean Quan

Oakland ballot measures go down in flames, sending $800K in election expenses down the drain

16 Nov Oakland Ballot 2011

In the midst of Occupy Oakland, some Oaklanders might have forgotten about our municipal mail in only election. Whether they forgot or just decided not to vote, a full 75% of eligible voters did not return their ballots so yesterday evening the election was decided by just under 25% of the electorate. And that quarter of Oakland voters rejected all three ballot measures.

Since I opposed two out of the three measures (and in the case of Measure H – which would have changed the city attorney position from being elected to being appointed by the Council – I vehemently opposed it), I’m pretty happy with the outcome. What I’m not happy about is how much money, time and energy was wasted on this useless election.

Mayor Jean Quan of course blamed the failure of Measure I, the parcel tax, on Occupy Oakland: Continue reading

Mayor Quan’s pedestrian task force unveils Neighborhood Streets Safety model in West Oakland

2 Jun 18th and Adeline

UPDATE: The ribbon-cutting ceremony and celebration has been rescheduled to Saturday, June 25th due to predicted heavy rain this Saturday.

People often ask me what I think of Mayor Quan. My immediate response is that it’s really too soon to judge, as I think it takes some time to find out how a mayor will govern. I also say that I’m happy she’s working much harder than our previous mayor but that I have some serious concerns about her administration, particularly her administration’s lack of transparency and disregard for open government laws. But overall, I’m keeping an open mind and hoping Mayor Quan will be a huge improvement over Mayor Dellums.

There’s one awesome project the Mayor has spearheaded that she deserves credit for and that I don’t think many people have heard of – the Mayor’s Pedestrian Access and Safety Task Force. I know, I know, our last mayor was very fond of task forces. Those task forces did some hard work and came up with some worthy proposals, and for rest of his term, those proposals sat there gathering dust. So I too was somewhat skeptical when I heard about this task force. Continue reading

Mayoral inauguration & City Council swearing in tomorrow

2 Jan

Happy New Year!

I wanted to drop a quick note to let readers know that tomorrow is Jean Quan’s mayoral inauguration and the swearing in of new Councilmember Libby Schaaf and returning members Desley Brooks and Pat Kernighan, as well as City Auditor Courtney Ruby and the Oakland School Board.

The inauguration and swearing in ceremony takes place at 11am at the Fox Theater, but doors open at 10am and the free tickets are on a first come, first served basis so early arrival is recommended.

If you’re not working (or can sneak a way for a bit), this is a great opportunity not only to witness the change in Oakland leadership but also to check out the Fox if you haven’t already. I’ve still yet to see a show there but finally got to sit in a seat and take in the beauty of the architecture at Jerry Brown’s election night party. It was incredible.

If you are working, Jean Quan’s hosting several other events to celebrate her inauguration, including a party tonight at Chabot Space & Science Center, a history walk tomorrow morning, and an open house tomorrow night. Check out her blog for details.

Election blog posts worth reading

20 Oct

I’ve been wanting to write more about the election, particularly the mayor’s race, for weeks now. I even brought home all the Perata and Quan mailers my co-workers brought to me daily over the past weeks (I just re-registered so I haven’t been getting political mail) so I could scan some in and write about them. But after working all day on campaigns and phoning some nights, it’s been hard to motivate to write about the election (it took me a week to write my endorsements post!).

Luckily, other bloggers have written some excellent pieces, some sharing the same thoughts I’ve been having, but written much more thoroughly or eloquently than I have the capacity for right now. Here’s a taste of what’s being written about the election in the blogoaksphere. All of these posts are worth reading in full (and most of them are very short) so please click through.

V Smoothe wrote an awesome post yesterday – “Joe Tuman doesn’t know Jack.” Like her, I’m shocked at how many people I talk to who are enamored with Tuman – many of them are voting for him for their second choice. V Smoothe pulls back the curtain and explains why Tuman isn’t qualified to be mayor – he doesn’t know what neighborhood service coordinators are, what he’ll cut from the budget (he says he’ll figure it out when he’s mayor), or how golden handshakes work. V concludes:

Someone recently told me that they think of Tuman as this year’s Ron Dellums. And as soon as I heard that, I was like OMG, that is exactly what he is (minus the long and admirable record of public service, of course)! He’s a really good speaker, he condescends to his audience, says absolutely nothing, can’t be bothered to learn anything, and yet somehow, people are entranced. I didn’t get it then, and I don’t get it now. Don’t make the same mistake a second time, folks. Vote for a minor candidate who has no chance if you want to, but at least pick one who does their homework.

If you’re even considering voting for Tuman, please read the whole post before doing so.

dc at Fragmentary Evidence writes about one of my other favorite candidates to complain about – Jean Quan in his post “Truthiness in Advertising.” He shares a photo of a Quan mailer that I’m sure every regular voter has seen by now that touts her endorsements by several newspapers that endorsed her for second or third choice and questions this mailer:

This is just one more unexpected complication of our new Instant Runoff Voting system, where we forgo primaries and instead rank our top three choices on the ballot, with 2nd- or 3rd-choice votes only coming into play if one’s 1st-choice candidate is eliminated during the vote-counting process… Even though the Tribune recommended putting Quan as third choice (behind Kaplan and Tuman) and the Guardian recommended putting Quan as second choice (behind Kaplan), Quan has been boasting on Facebook and Twitter, and now in these mailers, that she was “endorsed” by the Trib and the Guardian. This mailer takes that misleading claim beyond those niche markets and into the mailboxes of thousands of potentially low-information voters who won’t bother to look up the actual editorials to see what they say.

I have mixed feelings about this mailer. I can understand why she did it, and there’s no lying involved, but this practice shows me the real power behind a sole endorsement. A lot of Oakland groups struggled over whether to do ranked endorsements this cycle – probably about half did and half didn’t. The benefit of only endorsing for first choice is that a sole endorsement can’t be misconstrued.

On to a more positive note, and leaving Oakland momentarily, A Progressive Alamedan wrote a glowing endorsement of Robert Raburn for BART Board (who if elected will represent not just Alameda but also most of Oakland – east of Broadway and south of MacArthur):

Robert has been a tireless transportation advocate and expert from his Ph. D. training through his recent activism, working with me and Lucy over the years in his capacity in the East Bay Bicycle Coalition. He was instrumental in getting the bike station and the parking garage at Fruitvale BART, both of which I have found invaluable whenever I head over to San Francisco. He’s also been involved in the Alameda County Congestion Management Agency, helped replace the “world’s shortest freeway” in Oakland, and chaired the Measure B Citizens Watchdog Committee.

Robert is the kind of guy who shakes things up and gets things done. He has gotten unanimous endorsement from the Sierra Club, and has lately been racking up endorsements from the City of Alameda Democratic Club (of which I am a member) and other clubs in the area.

Anymore election blog posts or news stories worth reading? Please share them in the comments.

Tweeting BRT

22 Apr

Tuesday night’s Council meeting was long and contentious. I’d love to blog about many things that were discussed, but sadly don’t have the time for it. Instead, I offer you tweets on the BRT discussion.

But before I do, I want to thank everyone who spoke in support of BRT at the Council meeting. There were 45 speakers total, and most were supportive of BRT. I especially want to thank TransForm, and particularly Joel Ramos, who did a kick ass job organizing folks to attend and providing talking points. It was so inspiring to see so many people speak at a Council meeting for the first time. You all did a great job!

Thanks also to everyone who tweeted. If you’re not on Twitter yet, join already! You don’t even have to tweet. Just follow Oaklanders and you’ll see how easy it is to keep up with meetings, events, and local breaking news. Some regulars are featured below – Vsmoothe, dto510, das88, lotormatic, and me. MaxAllstadt and jawnie also regularly tweet Oakland meetings.

I’ll post some video of the discussion next week because some of the comments need to be seen and heard, as Twitter can only capture so much.

OaklandBecks OMG – Reid trying to shift items around to have BRT heard before Central Estuary Plan! Prob hoped advocates wouldn’t have arrived.

lotormatic 45 speakers on BRT – why does this worry me.

OaklandBecks Was it really worth it for Council to take off a week when it lead to this mtg from hell? We’ll be here all night at this rate.

OaklandBecks I think I’ve heard the presentation on BRT so many times now that I could probably give it with help of slides.

Vsmoothe BRT up. Crazy northgate lady speaking now. Big surprise, she’s against it. BRT is redundant b/c she can already take BART to SF.

Vsmoothe Why are Oaklanders so hell-bent on opposing any change to anything ever? Our citizenry is united against all progress. Depressing.

Vsmoothe Senior opposed to BRT: “Seniors don’t need BRT because we are not in a hurry to get anywhere.”

OaklandBecks Joel from TransForm refutes previous anti BRT arguments with map showing convenience of BRT to senior services.

Vsmoothe Joel Ramos of TransForm up now. Talks about extensive outreach, corrects inaccurate information about BRT. Great speech.

dto510 The head of the Slow Food Drive Fast association dramatically decried the possibility of putting people before cars!

lotormatic These commenters on BRT are making me reconsider a career in transportation planning

Vsmoothe Merchant: BRT will put us out of business. We blocked parking in front of our store for 30 minutes and store went completely empty.

Vsmoothe Terence Candell opposes BRT. Infringes on people’s right to walk across the street. Well, he won’t be getting my vote for Mayor.

dto510 CM Larry Reid is way pissed off about BRT and especially transit advocates. Something to do with the OAC perhaps?

Vsmoothe CM Reid repeatedly interrupts, insults, and attacks pro BRT speaker during his speech. Rudeness is shocking, even for Reid.

Vsmoothe CM Kaplan lists things she wants included in BRT project: repave entire street, pedestrian lighting, signalized crosswalks…

OaklandBecks Kaplan mentions that BRT will have service every 5 min. That is the kind of service I dream of.

Vsmoothe CM Kaplan, cont: emergency vehicle access, impact area hiring, preserve nice medians, new nice medians, etc.

Vsmoothe CM Reid: BRT will destroy East Oakland, ruin chance of retail in East Oakland ever.

OaklandBecks You know what else I dream of? Crossing Telegraph w/o fearing for my life. The BRT ped improvements will make that a reality.

OaklandBecks Reid – BRT will destoy East Oakland community. Oh, but the OAC will do no harm?

Vsmoothe CM Reid’s obnoxious self-righteousness is really off putting. Says transit advocates never take bus to his District. I do.

OaklandBecks Reid saying he wants vital retail in East Oakland. Um, BRT has increased retail vitality in every city.

dto510 I also take the bus to D7. i don’t think the enormous road capacity is good for the area.

lotormatic Reid says AC Transit should provide more frequent bus service instead of BRT. Um…

Vsmoothe Now CM Reid is just straight up making shit up. Claims AC Transit will eminent domain houses near BRT route.

OaklandBecks Reid says he’ll take us on tour of his district to prove us wrong. Strange, since he consistently refuses mtgs w transit advocates.

OaklandBecks De La Fuente thinks Oakland should look at all options, which is what staff and and advocates want.

das88 Why is CM Reid so upset? Is OAC on the agenda? Did he receive some secret tweets?

OaklandBecks Note – Reid has never attended the BRT interagency steering committee that he sits on.

OaklandBecks Staffer Bruce Williams explains that Oakland will get to weigh in again after EIR, AC Transit can’t move ahead w/o them.

Vsmoothe CM Kernighan to staff: Are you sure AC Transit does not have eminent domain power to take over our street? Answer is yes.

OaklandBecks Why does everything confuse Brunner? How does she not know what a locally preferred alternative is?

Vsmoothe Jesus. I know the Council doesn’t often deal w/transit, but it’s bizarre to watch them all be so flummoxed by the concept of an EIR.

Vsmoothe CM Kernighan: I don’t really think having buses on the main street is the same as building a freeway through your neighborhood.

Vsmoothe Jean Quan apparently did not bother to read or learn anything about BRT before the meeting. I suppose I should not be surprised.

Vsmoothe Staff tries to explain possible mitigations to CM Brunner, she talks like she didn’t hear one word.

OaklandBecks Kaplan proposed center boarding, which would save half the parking spots. Also, lost parking will be mitigated.

Vsmoothe CM Brunner: I support idea of transit, would like us to be like Portland. But transit seems to cause many problems.

OaklandBecks BRT locally preferred alternative passes unanimously. Yes, even Larry Reid voted for it.

OaklandBecks  OMG – Reid trying to shift items around to have BRT heard before Central Estuary Plan! Prob hoped advocates wouldn’t have arrived.

lotormatic 45 speakers on BRT – why does this worry me.

OaklandBecks  Was it really worth it for Council to take off a week when it lead to this mtg from hell? We’ll be here all night at this rate.

OaklandBecks  I think I’ve heard the presentation on BRT so many times now that I could probably give it with help of slides.

Vsmoothe BRT up. Crazy northgate lady speaking now. Big surprise, she’s against it. BRT is redundant b/c she can already take BART to SF.

Vsmoothe Why are Oaklanders so hell-bent on opposing any change to anything ever? Our citizenry is united against all progress. Depressing.

Vsmoothe Senior opposed to BRT: “Seniors don’t need BRT because we are not in a hurry to get anywhere.”

OaklandBecks  Joel from TransForm refutes previous anti BRT arguments with map showing convenience of BRT to senior services.

Vsmoothe Joel Ramos of TransForm up now. Talks about extensive outreach, corrects inaccurate information about BRT. Great speech.

dto510 The head of the Slow Food Drive Fast association dramatically decried the possibility of putting people before cars!

lotormatic These commenters on BRT are making me reconsider a career in transportation planning

Vsmoothe Merchant: BRT will put us out of business. We blocked parking in front of our store for 30 minutes and store went completely empty.

Vsmoothe Terence Candell opposes BRT. Infringes on people’s right to walk across the street. Well, he won’t be getting my vote for Mayor.

dto510 CM Larry Reid is way pissed off about BRT and especially transit advocates. Something to do with the OAC perhaps?

Vsmoothe CM Reid repeatedly interrupts, insults, and attacks pro BRT speaker during his speech. Rudeness is shocking, even for Reid.

Vsmoothe CM Kaplan lists things she wants included in BRT project: repave entire street, pedestrian lighting, signalized crosswalks…

OaklandBecks  Kaplan mentions that BRT will have service every 5 min. That is the kind of service I dream of.

Vsmoothe CM Kaplan, cont: emergency vehicle access, impact area hiring, preserve nice medians, new nice medians, etc.

Vsmoothe CM Reid: BRT will destroy East Oakland, ruin chance of retail in East Oakland ever.

OaklandBecks  You know what else I dream of? Crossing Telegraph w/o fearing for my life. The BRT ped improvements will make that a reality.

OaklandBecks  Reid – BRT will destoy East Oakland community. Oh, but the OAC will do no harm?

Vsmoothe CM Reid’s obnoxious self-righteousness is really off putting. Says transit advocates never take bus to his District. I do.

OaklandBecks  Reid saying he wants vital retail in East Oakland. Um, BRT has increased retail vitality in every city.

dto510 I also take the bus to D7. i don’t think the enormous road capacity is good for the area.

lotormatic Reid says AC Transit should provide more frequent bus service instead of BRT. Um…

Vsmoothe Now CM Reid is just straight up making shit up. Claims AC Transit will eminent domain houses near BRT route.

OaklandBecks  Reid says he’ll take us on tour of his district to prove us wrong. Strange, since he consistently refuses mtgs w transit advocates.

OaklandBecks  De La Fuente thinks Oakland should look at all options, which is what staff and and advocates want.

das88 Why is CM Reid so upset? Is OAC on the agenda? Did he receive some secret tweets?

OaklandBecks  Note – Reid has never attended the BRT interagency steering committee that he sits on.

OaklandBecks  Staffer Bruce Williams explains that Oakland will get to weigh in again after EIR, AC Transit can’t move ahead w/o them.

Vsmoothe CM Kernighan to staff: Are you sure AC Transit does not have eminent domain power to take over our street? Answer is yes.

OaklandBecks  Why does everything confuse Brunner? How does she not know what a locally preferred alternative is?

Vsmoothe Jesus. I know the Council doesn’t often deal w/transit, but it’s bizarre to watch them all be so flummoxed by the concept of an EIR.

Vsmoothe CM Kernighan: I don’t really think having buses on the main street is the same as building a freeway through your neighborhood.

Vsmoothe Jean Quan apparently did not bother to read or learn anything about BRT before the meeting. I suppose I should not be surprised.

Vsmoothe Staff tries to explain possible mitigations to CM Brunner, she talks like she didn’t hear one word.

OaklandBecks  Kaplan proposed center boarding, which would save half the parking spots. Also, lost parking will be mitigated.

Vsmoothe CM Brunner: I support idea of transit, would like us to be like Portland. But transit seems to cause many problems.

OaklandBecks  BRT locally preferred alternative passes unanimously. Yes, even Larry Reid voted for it.

Did Quan violate City or campaign laws? It depends on the significance of hyperlinks.

2 Mar

Last night’s Public Ethics Commission (PEC) meeting was packed with controversial items and lengthy debate. I didn’t make it through the whole meeting, but I’m guessing it went on well past 11pm. Don’t worry, I’m not going to subject you to a recap of the meeting, which was very interesting but also often maddening. If you want a recap, check #oakmtg on Twitter.

Instead, I’m going to focus on the complaint against mayoral candidate Jean Quan. I know, I know, there was also a complaint about Perata, but that complaint was a bit more clear cut and less interesting. The PEC did ultimately decide to admonish the Oakland Police Officers Association and “request” that they reimburse the City for the city-sponsored event where the Perata endorsement was made. (They don’t have authority to demand a reimbursement.)

The Quan complaint is particularly interesting to me, and to the Commission, because it involves issues regarding online communications that the City has yet deal with. The complaint, filed by Anthony Moglia, alleges that Quan violated Penal Code Section 424(a) by using public funds for campaign purposes. Specifically, Moglia points to Quan’s use of her city-funded website and newsletter to promote her campaign. Moglia’s complaint also points out that Quan encouraged her constituents to lobby for IRV, and Moglia alleges that this was clearly in Quan’s campaign interests and she should have disclosed that in the newsletter.

Back in November, I wrote about this issue:

Jean Quan made a huge mistake by using her City email list to announce her candidacy and ask for support and funding. Why is this problematic? The accumulation of email addresses and the maintenance of that list is done by her council staffers, who are paid by the City. Though I doubt that City staff time was used to write her mayoral announcement, hours of staff time were spent on the email list, and the law makes it clear that this is illegal.

What’s worse is that in her attempt to explain that her Council office and campaign are separate, she violated the law again. In her weekly newsletter following the campaign announcement, she wrote this:

Reminder: In our office we need to keep our City Council work separate from campaign activities for Mayor.  Please do not contact our City Hall office or city email for those communications, please use our temporary website or Facebook for those communications.

By linking to her websites, she again used a list cultivated through staff time to promote her campaign.

As you can see by what I wrote in November, I think it’s pretty clear that Quan violated the law. Even if she didn’t, what she did was unethical.

What I didn’t mention in November is that all of these communications were sent by jquan@oaklandnet.com, a City email address. But the PEC didn’t discuss the emails much, since that wasn’t central to the complaint, and instead focused on the hyperlink issue. The City website, in the City Council section, links to jeanquan.org. That site is not funded by the City, but by funds from Quan’s officeholder account, which are similar to campaign funds and are privately raised. Then, this site links to jeanquanforoakland.org, and OMG, Quan finally has a real website up that’s not that hideous blog, and it actually looks really good!

But back to the issue at hand. The PEC and its executive director, Dan Purnell, discussed whether that hyperlink, which connects the City website to Quan’s campaign website via another site, violates the law. Purnell thought it was far enough removed that it didn’t violate the law. From the staff report:

The preliminary staff report stated that Ms. Quan uses the City’s computer system to link the viewer to her outside website [JeanQuan.org] for the purpose of maintaining an electronic newsletter and communicating with constituents. The staff report also revealed that from this outside website viewers can be linked, upon request, to a second outside website paid for by Ms. Quan’s 2010 mayoral campaign committee. It is at this second website that viewers can sign-up to receive information about her mayoral campaign. It was this degree of attenuation between the City’s computer system and her two outside websites that caused Commission staff to recommend the Commission take no action to refer Mr. Moglia’s allegations that Ms. Quan misused City resources to another law enforcement agency…

As cited in the preliminary staff report, Government Code Section 8314(b)(2) creates an exception from the rule prohibiting the use of public resources for campaign or other personal uses not authorized by law. The exception applies to the so-called “incidental and minimal use” of public resources within which the exception allows “the
referral of unsolicited political mail, telephone calls, and visitors to private political entities.”

Thus it appears that public officials may occasionally refer visitors to “private political entities” so long as such referrals are “incidental and minimal.” What is unclear is whether the ongoing access to a campaign website, directly or indirectly through the City’s computer system, constitutes something more than an “incidental and minimal” use of public resources. Commission staff recommends that the Commission direct staff to work with the Office of the City Attorney to develop more specific guidelines for the use of the City’s internet service by elected officials.

Got that?

In the end, the PEC voted to have Purnell seek an informal opinion from the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) on the hyperlink issue. Once the FPPC weighs in, the complaint will again be brought back to the PEC (it was initially brought to the February meeting).

When the Commission revisits this complaint, I hope they’ll focus on what I think is the much more clear cut issue of using a City email address to send out campaign communications. While the indirect linking is also problematic, the email issue is cut and dry and can be proven.

The PEC also would be wise to consider that Quan continues to use her email list for campaign purposes, even though her practices are currently being investigated by the Commission. This past Saturday, she sent out her weekly newsletter and it included an item urging readers to contact the PEC about Thursday’s special meeting. Here’s the entire item:

An attempt to rush doubled campaign donation limits through the City Council by City Attorney John Russo and Council Member Delafuente was delayed when the Council Rules Committee referred the item to the Public Ethics Commission which has jurisdiction over Campaign Finance Reforms in the City, including contribution and campaign finance limits.  This Thursday, the Public Ethics Commission will hold a special meeting on the issue.

Why Is This So Important?

  • Limits for the Mayor’s Race could go up from $380,000 to $760,000.  Council races would go up from an average of $100,000 to over $200,000. After the new census numbers and with cost of living increases, they will be more.
  • Donation limits would go up from $700 (just raised from $600) per individual donor per election to $1400–the highest per voter in the state.The limit in San Francisco, San Jose, San Diego, and Fremont is $500.  Berkeley, San Mateo, and Santa Monica is $250. Long Beach is $350. The average is around $500.  Some larger cities have higher limits such as Fresno which is more than twice the size of Oakland, but the per voter limit is less.
  • The limits for the District 1 and 4 Council seats would go up to about a quarter of a million dollars!
  • It would defeat the purpose of Instant Run-off voting which was suppose to level the playing field because running one election rather than a possible two elections requires less money.  Since there is only one election, it doesn’t make sense to double the limits. San Francisco has more than twice our population and also has Ranked Choice Voting, their limit is less than ours at $500.
  • Special interests have much more control when campaign limits are higher as pointed out by President Obama in his State of the Union speech.

The Public Ethics Commission meetings are generally broadcast live on KTOP Channel 10. You can send your opinion to Public Ethics Commissioners by email.

Clearly an increase will affect this year’s Mayor’s race.  The Express article by Bob Gammon puts the background in perspective.

An argument could be made that Quan would be passionate about this issue even if she wasn’t running for Mayor, except that Quan has a very similar alert on her mayoral campaign website. Quan is again using her newsletter, sent from her City email address, to lobby her constituents. The PEC complaint centered around her lobbying constituents on IRV, but now she’s lobbying them on campaign contribution limits. The most flagrant part of this is that she’s lobbying her constituents to get them to lobby the PEC, the same Commission that’s investigating her!

The Commission needs to set clear rules on online communication for city elected officials to stop this kind of behavior, which is entirely unacceptable. Commissioner Paul asked in February and last night if it would be acceptable for Quan to have a stack of campaign literature in her Council office. Purnell somehow argued that maybe it would be ok, if Quan didn’t push it on people and only gave it out when it was solicited. Even that seems unethical to me, if not illegal, but even by Purnell’s standards, if websites are to be considered the same as campaign brochures, Quan violated that standard. I and many others signed up for Quan’s newsletter to find out about community and city events. I never solicited her campaign announcement or the continued lobbying via the newsletter.

So the PEC and FPPC decision comes down to this – is a website the same as a campaign brochure? And is a hyperlink from a City website the same as passing out a brochure from a City office?

March 1-7 Oakland Political & Community Events

1 Mar

Monday, March 1st – Public Ethics Commission Meeting

Tonight, the PEC will be hearing complaints about mayoral candidates Don Perata and Jean Quan. The complaint about Perata stems from an Oakland Police Officers Association endorsement made for him at a city-funded event, while the complaint against Quan centers around her use of her email list and city website for transmitting campaign information. The Perata complaint was held over last month, and the Quan complaint was heard but brought back for further discussion. The meeting will be held at 6:30pm in Hearing Room 1, City Hall, 1 Frank Ogawa Plaza. You can read the meeting agenda here. I tweeted the last PEC meeting and should be tweeting tonight’s meeting as well.

Tuesday, March 2nd – Oakland City Council Meeting

At this week’s meeting, the Council will continue its budget discussions and hopefully make some more progress. They’ll also be discussing instant runoff voting implementation, the 12th Street construction project (see V Smoothe’s blog post for background on why this is controversial), amending the times of Council meetings to run from 5:30pm-midnight, applying for a broadband grant, and misuse of disabled parking placards. See the full meeting agenda and check out my post about how to watch and understand City Council meetings if you need some guidance on how or where to view the meeting. The non-ceremonial parts of the meeting start at 7pm in the Council Chambers in City Hall, 1 Frank Ogawa Plaza.

Wednesday, March 3rd – Alameda County Democratic Central Committee Meeting

Every month, the Central Committee meets to discuss party business and to make plans for the future of the Democratic Party in Alameda County. This month, we’ll be discussing the June endorsement process and the California Democratic Party convention. If you’re interested in getting involved with the Democratic Party, this is a great way to do so. The meeting will be held from 7-9pm in the San Leandro Main Library, Dave Karp Room, 300 Estudillo Ave., San Leandro, CA 94577.

Thursday, March 4th – Special Public Ethics Commission Meeting

There are not one, but two PEC meetings this week, and the second one should be just as contentious as the first. The PEC will be discussing a proposal to raise the candidate contribution limit from $700 and raising expenditure limits, which vary by office. The City Attorney has recommended doubling contribution and expenditure limits because there is now only one long election, instead of two shorter elections (in the past, a person could donate the maximum for both the June and November elections). There are a range of opinions on this proposal from City Councilmembers, so it should be interesting to see what the PEC decides. The meeting will be held at 6:30pm in Hearing Room 1, City Hall, 1 Frank Ogawa Plaza. You can read the meeting agenda here.

Thursday, March 4th – Residential Rezoning in the Grand Lake – A Town Hall Meeting Hosted by Grand Lake Neighbors Community Group

The Grand Lake Neighbors (GLN) community group will host a town hall meeting at Barnett Hall behind Lakeshore Avenue Baptist Church, 3534 Lakeshore Ave, starting at 7:00 pm on Thursday, March 4, 2010. The topic will be residential zoning concepts for the Grand Lake neighborhood that are being proposed as part of the city-wide zoning update. Planners from the City’s Planning and Zoning Department will be available to answer questions. This meeting will focus primarily on residential zoning update proposals. A well-attended meeting was held by GLN in December which focused on commercial zoning proposals and there may be a brief time for follow-up questions regarding commercial zoning, but it will not be the focus of this meeting. All property owners and residents are invited and encouraged to participate.

Friday, March 5th – Art Murmur

Check out the monthly evening of art gallery shows and entertainment in Uptown. Read my review of the art murmur here. The Art Murmur runs from 6-10pm but individual art gallery times vary. The galleries are mostly located in Uptown, between Broadway and Telegraph, and Grand and 29th. Visit the Murmur’s website for more info.

Saturday, March 6th – Oakland Kidical Mass

An opportunity to get to know families who get around Oakland by pedal power. Bring the kids on the trail-a-bike, the trailer, the Xtracycle, on their own bikes or however you happen to make it work. No kids? No problem! Come out and share the joy of a casual social ride. We’ll hopefully spend a few minutes talking about the future of Oakland Kidical Mass, so please be ready to share ideas for future rides. Rides normally meet up at 10 am and begin at 11 am. Destination is Union Point Park. Questions contact Mark@walkoaklandbikeoakland.org.

Saturday, March 6th – Greening Oakland Homes Fair

This educational fair will feature exhibitors with solutions to help you save energy, water, and natural resources. It will include presentations on the benefits provided by various types of retrofits and also offer information on financial aid and programs that will save you money. This fair takes place from 11 am-3 pm, at Montclair Women’s Cultural Arts Club, 1650 Mountain Blvd. Learn more at Greening Oakland Homes.

Sunday, March 7th – Women of WOBO: International Women of Mystery Ride

The next Women of WOBO (WOW) ride is in honor of International Women’s Day. Join us to tour around San Leandro Bay, mostly following bicycle paths that are part of the Bay Trail. And the “International Mystery” part means you should bring your favorite international snack to share! Depending on the weather, we’ll stop and share on the edge of the Bay, or somewhere more protected. Any and all female-identified people are invited to participate. Please RSVP to shannon@walkoaklandbikeoakland.org by Wednesday, March 3rd with your name, email, and phone number in case there are any last-minute updates. All participants must sign a waiver and wear a helmet – no exceptions! The ride will take place from 10am-1pm, and starts and ends at Fruitvale BART station (by the bike racks). Approximately 10 miles and pretty darn flat. See the route map (subject to change).

Sunday, March 7thNWPC-AN Susan B. Anthony Celebration

The National Women’s Political Caucus, Alameda North will be hosting their Susan B. Anthony Celebration, honoring Susan Muranishi, Alameda County Administrator; Nancy O’Malley, Alameda County District Attorney; and Nancy Nadel, Oakland City Councilmember. Drink wine, eat hors d’oeuvres, and participate in a silent auction. This event will be held from 3-5pm at the Montclair Women’s Cultural Arts Center, 1630 Mountain Blvd, in Oakland.  Tickets are $50 and benefit the NWPC-AN PAC.

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