Dellums’s State of the City in 100 Words

27 Jan

A few years ago, in a writing class I took at the Writing Salon, we had to do an exercise of writing about something in 100 words exactly. It was one of my favorite writing exercises so I thought I’d do it again today, with Dellums’s State of the City address. It’s kind of amazing that everything Dellums said can be condensed into a hundred words:

Dellums shares lofty words from Obama, MLK, and Kennedy, but not much else. We face challenges, like the recession and crime, but we’ve made unprecedented progress. “Peddlers of doom” said we couldn’t, but we got to 803 police officers. We just need another commission to oversee police, creating transparency and trust. The federal government and state will save us – I met with important government officials who promised they would. Now if the rest of you would just get active and start doing your part. As for city staff, stop worrying about making the trains run on time and start innovating.

The next step in this exercise is to condense it down to 50 words, 25 words, 10 words, and finally 1 word. If anyone has the time and inclination, feel free to complete any part of the rest of the exercise in the comments. Or share your own hundred word version of Dellums’s speech.

For a more thorough analysis of the State of the City address, head over to A Better Oakland later today. V Smoothe took copious notes so I’m hoping she’ll post something about it. But you should be cautious when reading her writing, since she’s a “peddler of doom.”

8 Responses to “Dellums’s State of the City in 100 Words”

  1. Sean Sullivan January 27, 2009 at 9:13 am #

    Are “Peddlers of Doom” like Bill O’Reilly’s “smear merchants”, you know those people who call him out for his b.s.? I’m just asking.

  2. Carlos Plazola January 27, 2009 at 9:48 am #

    Five words: “It’s your fault. Not mine.

  3. das88 January 27, 2009 at 10:16 am #

    I’ll try a more positive 5 words. Besides Carlos cheated by using a contraction.

    Barney Frank will save us.

  4. dto510 January 27, 2009 at 12:18 pm #

    This is an accurate and complete summary. Here’s my five-word stab:

    Oakland’s bureaucracy runs late trains.

    Having to write something with a severely restricted word limit is a great exercise. In college, my favorite professor would give us really complex questions to answer in an essay with less than 200 words. I aim for under 700 words in my blog.

  5. V Smoothe January 27, 2009 at 2:15 pm #

    Wow, way to pressure a girl on her vacation, Becks! I give in, I’ll post something tomorrow. But I think you summed it up pretty well.

  6. Becks January 27, 2009 at 2:19 pm #

    Sorry V, I couldn’t help it. It’s really your own fault for doing such a thorough and incredible job analyzing last year’s State of the City address.

    Carlos, das, and dto – thanks for making me laugh.

  7. Frank January 27, 2009 at 3:54 pm #

    Three words: “What, me worry?”

  8. AustinOAK January 29, 2009 at 6:27 am #

    Ron Ron Ron Ron Runaway!

    Anyone taking any bets how many days-weeks-months until he flies the coop?

    The rumors are out there.

    I’d at least put a dollar on the 70-to-1 spot at the table the the rumors are true and soon takes and Obama Administration Position.

    The Oakland Tribune Editorial section was not kind to him this morning. I’m glad. The address was startling in it’s lack of anything resembling an appropriate “State of the City” address in any way-shape-or-fashion. Unreal times we are living these days in Oaktown.

    Oh and you can blame me for Dellums – I was one “those” that helped circulate the petition drive to get Delums in the Mayors race.

    I really thought he’d be so much better than the gawd awful we see day-n day-out these last 2 years. It a nightmare.

    Thanks LITO for this post about the address..

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