Tag Archives: oakland

Explosions Rock East Oakland Neighborhood : Car Fire

26 May 2017

In the early morning hours, just after two o’clock, the neighborhood near Allendale and 38th Avenue in East Oakland was awakened by a loud explosion first thought to be an earthquake. Within minutes, more explosions demanded investigation. A car was in flames, and the flames were climbing a tall tree as fuel began streaming downhill along the curb in the form of liquid fire.


One of the problems Oakland faces reared it’s ugly head again as this reporter attempted to call for fire services : dispatch from a 911 call goes directly to California State Patrol, which then has to forward the call to Oakland dispatch. This arrangement causes delays in response time. In this case, the dispatcher acknowledged knowing about the fire, yet insisted upon asking for the name of the caller, which was the least important bit of information under the circumstances at the time. These delays can be deadly. In this situation, the fire and explosions threatened two other nearby cars and one very tall tree. Had those also caught fire, the next to go would’ve been the duplex just across the sidewalk.

Thankfully, a crew arrived in time to extinguish the fire before it spread. The burned out car was removed before dawn.

Fire crews are still investigating.

car ablaze

car ablaze


Oakland Public Safety Committee Stalls Public Safety Oversight Commission

24 June 2014

The people of Oakland showed up in force today to support the changing of the city charter to require the city to staff a commission, called the Public Safety Oversight Commission, to hold historically violent and irresponsible Oakland police accountable for their illegal and otherwise violent and inappropriate actions. This hearing was held by the Public Safety Commission, whose members are Noel Gallo, chairman of the committee and sponsor of the item, Dan Kalb, Libby Schaaf, and Lynette Gibson McElhaney.

Speakers in favor of this change spoke to everything from the lack of police service to the inappropriate and violent responses by OPD, which have gone on for decades with impunity. Often, even in the case of murder by officer Miguel Masso of young Alan Blueford, officers, instead of being investigated and charged with the crimes they’ve committed, officers are put on ‘paid administrative leave’ aka vacation. The public is kept in the dark as to any action taken against officers by OPD internal affairs or the Citizens Police Review Board, which shares all information given to them by complainants, making it a dangerous action to file complaints at all.

Alan Blueford’s mother, Jeralyn Blueford, spoke, in tears, to remind us that Miguel Masso had a history of police violence and misconduct before ever being hired by the city to be in power to murder her son. ‘We shall not tolerate this and officers will be held to a higher standard…’

One speaker mentioned the value of civilianizing public safety functions when possible, allowing sworn officers to spend their time out in the streets serving the people.

Mayoral candidate Dan Siegel spoke about the millions and millions of dollars lost to lawsuits from OPD conduct. He advised the council to confer with OPOA, the police union, regarding the issue. He said the voters have a right to decide this, but OPOA can be involved in the process. He urged, as did most other speakers, the placing of this issue on the ballot.

One woman insisted upon calling protestors ‘rioters’ … having seemingly missed the miles of video evidence that it was OPD who were rioting during the height of Occupy Oakland actions. She also urged council to place this on the ballot, and acknowledged councilmember Noel Gallo for showing great leadership in this effort.

Isaac Taggart, with PUEBLO, pushed the council to vote to put this measure on the ballot. ‘You cannot afford to vote no or abstain … we will remind you at the polls.’ He spoke about the large number of unemployed black men in the city, and drew the connection of poverty being a major cause of crime.

Oakland Police officer Frank Marrow, a 26 year public servant with a law degree, spoke about accountability needing to happen from the top of the organization. He mentioned the consent decree. He acknowledged that ‘they’re running a game’ … suggesting that attorneys are making millions of dollars off the consent decree and other attempts to reign in violent police. He said ‘I’m too radical because I believe in telling you the truth of the OPOA, and too blue for Burris.’ He wants to see ‘a police department that is constitutional.’

When councilmember Pat Kernighan stood up to speak, Gallo recognized the attendance as constituting a full council. She attempted, with earned interruptions, to suggest that what she sees as recent improvements in the efforts by OPD to comply with the consent decree makes this charter change unnecessary. She suggested, also, that the CPRB could somehow magically change the culture of the police department. She spoke in opposition to placing the measure on the ballot.

Attorney Yolanda Huang reminded us all that the foundation of appropriate prosecution of criminal action is banked in complete, true, and honest reporting by police. This is something on which we should all be able to depend, and which is not the way OPD officers do their reporting.

Akiba Bradford, a researcher in the criminal justice/juvenile justice system said, ‘The numbers don’t add up … in order for there to be a change in culture there also has to be a change in oversight.’

Sange Basha’s only question isn’t ‘why would you put this on the ballot, but why wouldn’t you?’ She spoke to the economics of spending the money to hold police accountable. She says the measure is ‘revenue neutral,’ mentioning the $70 million lost to lawsuits and settlements in the recent decade.

Jasmin Coleman is a seventeen year old youth, involved with PUEBLO. She spoke to the teachings of her elders, explaining that we are taught that we will be held accountable for our actions, but police are not. She said she is afraid of police, and that people have to protect ourselves, because police aren’t doing it.

J. Jones with PUEBLO and Oakland Youth Policy Builders mentioned hearing what he called ‘crazy stories’ about police brutality. ‘There’s no reason to wait. Put it on the ballot now, give people of Oakland a chance to decide for ourselves.’

Rashida Grinage, also from PUEBLO, spoke about the politics of the issue. ‘what you have before you in the way of a ballot measure is defined … no controversy … because it is also the work of several months of many many people in the community … from the point of view of process, we don’t have any red lines … we have agreement … we don’t have an disagreement from you … ‘ She suggested the council/committee members aren’t disagreeing possibly because they’re not considering this a real possibility. She said, ‘we’ve done the work in the community, and we are all of one mind … ‘ She went on to say, ‘we want to work with you, not against you … ‘ and delivered words of appreciation for Noel Gallo for being willing to take on what she called a ‘thorny’ issue. ‘This is time for this community to realize accountability, and we hope that you will not stand in the way of that.’

Oakland Police Chief Whendt said he agrees with Jeralyn Blueford that police should be held to a higher standard. While he claimed to be dedicated to holding officers and the department accountable, and feels that he’s making progress since coming on board as chief, he doesn’t claim to know that it’s ‘enough.’

Patrick Caceras, manager and policy analyst for the CPRP, who refused to give an opinion previous to this meeting, said that the CPRB is going through changes. While never actually stating an opinion about the proposal, he meandered around it only to compare the concept of the Public Safety Oversight Commission to the current CPRB, with, of course, increased powers. Being the person most able to acknowledge the failure of the CPRB, as it is defined, to actually do anything about police violence, he managed to state no opinion.

While acknowledging that this is an effort to actually change the city charter, Libby Schaaf asked the city attorney to explain if there was a way to create this commission without a ballot measure. In fact, as an attorney, one would think she would understand that a change such as this would require a charter amendment. This is partly the answer given by the city attorney, qualified with a statement that the office would need to do more work to completely answer the query.

Three of these committee members were elected to office in the most recent past election. Only Libby Schaaf has tenure on council.

Dan Kalb admitted to not having read the entire proposal. He said he looked into the Los Angeles version of this type of commission. He suggested that combining the current CPRB and CPAB into such a commission ‘could work.’ While stating that he is open to this concept, he never really stated support for putting this measure on the ballot. ‘I don’t know if now, when we’re under the NSA, the public should be asked.’ He clarified that he’s not against the idea, but wanting to change the language of the proposal, after community members spent months drafting this proposal, that he did not bother to read it.

‘This subject is always a tough one for me. It’s difficult when we wade into these waters’ were some of the first words out of Lynette Gibson McElhaney. She talked of growing up in gangland, made a weepy attempt to acknowledge the pain expressed by the people, then stated she wasn’t certain this was the ‘appropriate remedy.’ She also, like Kalb, acknowledged not reading the entire proposal. ‘We often think we’re gonna fix something with something, but we don’t think it all the way through’ were the words she used to suggest that this proposal is less than optimum. She claimed to have worked hard to reform the CPRB, which is notorious for having no teeth to actually stop police brutality and misconduct, and basically undermined the work of the many folks who worked so hard to develop and deliver this proposal.

Noel Gallo repeatedly mentioned ‘by the people, for the people,’ referring often to the fact that we, the people, are paying for the services of everyone from members of OUSD, to the city attorney. He thanked the people for working so hard on this effort. ‘Out of your effort and out of your push to have a better Oakland … the reality is on the neighborhood, and all the polling says … there’s lack of confidence, not only in the police department, but in my neighborhood.’ He basically went off on the CPRB for never providing the required bi-annual reports to the committee and council, and reminded us all that the proposal for a public safety commission looks very much like what the CPRB was supposed to have been doing for many years.

Gallo thanked everyone for informing him about everything from community policing to CPRB regulations and the power of the public safety committee to oversee the CPRB.

When chairman Gallo asked for a motion to approve the recommendation to send this proposal to council for consideration, Libby Schaaf immediately spoke against doing so. She suggesting putting this off ‘until the fall.’ As a reminder, this is a proposal for council to include this on the next ballot. Schaaf’s effort is to stall to make that impossible. McElhaney followed suit, wondering whether there was any ordinance which could do what this proposal is trying to do. Kalb said ‘this is not an attempt to bury the motion’ while joining forces with Schaaf and Mcelhaney to stuff the effort into the trash heap. He spoke only negatively.

Item stays in committee.

Two BART Maintenance Workers Killed by Train

19 October 2013

In the midst of the second union strike since July, two BART maintenance workers were killed by a train today after an operator was informed the tracks were clear. One non-union employee and a contractor were inspecting track, when the remote controlled train struck them. BART has chosen to continue some operations during this second strike by union employees, but it is not yet clear whether these workers and the train operator were less experienced than the union operators and maintenance workers.

The names of the deceased are not yet published. Here is the audio transmission from producermatthew on soundcloud :


from http://www.governing.com/news/headlines/During-Strike-Feds-Investigate-Deaths-of-2-BART-Workers.html

‘Colleagues identified them as BART employee Christopher Sheppard, of Hayward, and Larry Daniels, a contractor from Oakland. CBS in San Francisco said Sheppard was a senior track manager who was looking forward to retiring in a couple of years.’

BART and City of Oakland Workers STRIKE (no video for quicker loading)

4 July 2013

As Bay Area Rapid Transit workers continue pushing for fair contracts today by extending the walkout which began on Monday, 1 July, many are still unaware of the issues at hand. Corporate press has been willing to portray workers as selfish and unwilling to negotiate, but union representatives, leadership and those directly working in the negotiations, have a different story to tell. They were more than willing to inform the public how BART management and the City of Oakland has been dishonest, not only in their dealings with Labor, but in their reporting to the citizens of Oakland.

Oakland heated up far beyond the scorching outdoor temperatures Monday, with BART and Oakland City Workers shutting down the city by going on strike. All in all, it was a peaceful day of protest, largely due to support by the Oakland Police Department for the striking workers.

A series of video clips shows how the day went. Quite a few have been transcribed for those who don’t like watching long videos. These statements made by union representatives is crucial to understanding the reason for the walkout.

Away from downtown, stations were quiet. A handful of folks picketed the work yard and at Lake Merritt BART Station, to the glee of honking drivers passing by. A couple of strike captains were willing to speak to the camera.

As we’ve seen in recent years, when OPD does not support the message, they’re happy to deliver whatever violence they can muster to get protestors out of the streets. No such thing occurred on Monday. In fact, officers pulled traffic duty to keep union workers safe as they clogged the corner of 14th and Broadway for a pre-rally noise session.

Meanwhile, Oscar Grant Plaza was set up for the gathering, including this tent set up by radio folks for interviews. The original article with video includes part of an interview with one of the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers Local 21, the union which represents some of the workers of the City of Oakland. The IFPTE has a membership of 80,000 in the U.S. and Canada, and has been in existence since 1918.

Next, a firefighter from the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, in town to support the strike, explained that his own union maybe be out on strike on Thursday and Friday this week.  AFSCME  ‘is the nation’s largest and fastest growing public services employees union with more than 1.6 million working and retired members.’

Renee Sykes, vice-president of Local Chapter 21 of the IFPTE did a great job of explaining what’s been happening with negotiations for a contract for workers, as their contract expired Sunday night. Again, that video is in the epic video version of this article!

Then it was time to use the little stage which had been set up for speakers. First up was Father John, who invoked the ancestors to bless the striking workers.

Next, Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb offered solidarity to Striking Oakland Workers.

Union Representatives came from all over the country to support bay area workers. The Service Employees International Union an organization of 2.1 million members. Gary Jimenez is East Bay Regional Vice President of SEIU Local 1021. He introduced Roxanne Sanchez, who is Local 1021 President, who in turn introduced Eliseo Medina, SEIU International Secretary-Treasurer. Medina addressed the big picture :::

We don’t need any more walmart jobs in the Bay Area… And sometimes, you also have to stand up to fight for your community, to make sure that we maintain the services the public needs. We need more, not less, library services. We need to insure timely and safe trash pickup. We need graffiti abatement and jobs for our youth. And we need a safe and dependable public transit system. But all of this, all of this begins with workers being treated fairly, and not as the first place to cut. Because we know that the soul of BART and Oakland does not live at City Hall or at the BART headquarters. It lives with the workers who deliver the services every single day, rain or shine. BART and Oakland only works because you do. And that is what this strike is all about : a fight for the future for your families and community. And let me tell ya, that is a fight worth fighting.

But brothers and sisters, you are part of a struggle that’s going on throughout this country : in Michigan, in Texas and Wisconsin, and even in Puerto Rico. A struggle to protect the middle class and the American dream. Workers are standing up and fighting back. They’re saying it’s time for the greedy bankers, the developers, and the corporations to be held accountable, so that they pay their fair share of maintaining vital public services. We don’t want any more bailouts. No more special deals. No more high interest rates on municipal bonds, and no more trafficking, with the mortgage crisis that they created. Enough is enough!

Brothers and sisters, they created the crisis. They need to fix it, and they need to fix it now! Brothers and sisters, this is a tough struggle, but we know that you are tougher. We know that you are up for the fight, and that you will win, because you are right, and because you will not take no for an answer.

We are here today to tell BART and the City of Oakland that you are not alone. You have the full support of the 2.1 million members of SEIU. Your fight is our fight. Your struggle is our struggle. We are one family, and when you take one of us on, you take all of us on!

We are here to help whenever, in whatever way you need, and in the end, we will win. As Martin Luther King Jr. reminded us, ‘The moral arc of the universe is long, but it bends toward justice, and we shall overcome.’ Cesar Chavez taught us, ‘There is nothing a united, determined people cannot accomplish. Si se puede!’

Yes we can and yes we will!

Medina is a tough act to follow, but Bob Schoonover of SEIU Local 721 did fine with his rousing short speech. ‘The economy is all your fault, right? NO IT’S NOT!’

Laphonza Butler is President of SEIU ULTCW … United Long Term Care Worker’s Union, and also president of SEIU California State Council. the ULTCW represents 180,000 in-home care providers and nursing home workers throughout California, making it the largest union of long term care givers in California and the second largest SEIU local in the nation. Butler was at the mic next to keep things fired up :::

We stand with LABOR at the City of Oakland and at BART today! … On behalf of the 700,000 SEIU members of the state of California … I’m here to let all of you know that the state council at every single SEIU Local in California is making phone calls, is knocking on doors, is doing everything it takes to make sure that these agreements get settled, get settled fairly, and that we are winning, not just for ourselves, but that we’re winning for our communities. So on behalf of all 700,000 members of SEIU in California, we stand united with you today, we stand united with you tomorrow, and we’ll be there until the very end.

Pete Castelli is Executive Director and SEIU 1021’s Lead Negotiator for the Oakland contract. He gives us some historical context by telling the story of the group of mainly women clerks who picketed in 1946 in Oakland to get recognition for their union. Other unions supported them then, as is happening now.  In 1946, solidarity worked! Castelli had this to say :::

What that’s about is standing up. We’ve seen the banks get their money back. We’ve seen Wall Street makin’ their money back, and we’re being sold out. That’s what this story’s about. That’s what the story at BART’s about, City of Oakland, every union that’s in negotiations. As the economy goes up, they wanna restructure our lives, restructure our jobs and make us consultants, and talk in terms that we’re a liability, when we own this community, we live in this community, we spend money in this community, we are the community.

SEIU Local Chapter 1021 President Dwight McElroy talked about corruption, and dishonest efforts by the city to fool the public :::

The media’s asked me about the negotiations, but this strike is not about only our negotiations. When you have elected leadership, and employed leadership hired by the elected leadership, that you should be able to expect dignity, transparency, and honesty from, and it’s not forthcoming, we, the community and the people, must force those values forward! When you have an administration that is so hell bent on busting the union that they will hide $57 million in a budget – from the community – every dollar that flows to and through the City of Oakland belongs to the citizens. And once it became apparent to us, because of our provisions at the bargaining table, and because we were able to hire experts to evaluate the chicanery, the shell game, and the deceptive budgeting policies that have been coming forth so that the public would be misled into thinking ‘it is the police or services.’ That is not the truth, and it is our obligation to insure that the public dollar be spent in a manner that serves the entirety of the City of Oakland.

We are fortunate to either reside or work in one of the greatest cities in America. And I will not, neither will my co-workers, neither will the partners at the bargaining team – we will not allow some imports from places, some being San Jose, to come in here and misuse, abuse, or in any other way … 100% services to the citizens of the City of Oakland. As far as I’m concerned, it’s either unability [sic] to do the work, or dishonesty. You make your own choice, I’ve made mine.

The word transparency means a clear view, with no object between the viewer and what you’re lookin’ at. That’s the dictionary. Is that what the budget looks like? (nooo, says the crowd) Is that on purpose or on accident?

At the end of the day, I’ll leave you with this. We, as a body : the labor, the union, the communities, and the unrepresented : the people nobody’s talkin’ about : the individuals who are hired at the City of Oakland who have no work rights, who have no health care, who have no benefits – somebody’s got to start speaking up and say ‘you cannot continue to mistreat these individuals.’

Today is the beginning of making some individuals who thought they had the power, and who thought they had the authority, change their modus operandi.

I got a secret to share : I got prayed on at church and the bottom line is this : we know the victory is ours, we just not sure exactly when it’s gonna come. But we’re gonna stand fast, stand together, and the victory will be Oakland’s!

One last thing. Our bargaining team, our negotiator, and our lead seniority person is willing and ready to meet. And, in a meaningful way, not the circus bargaining that’s been going on since march, we are prepared and ready to sit down at any point in time and have a discussion with the city leadership about a fair and honest contract – one that benefits the total city of Oakland.

Let’s not forget. Our, the smallest, the most minute … the least senior person in the City of Oakland, that’s the one we wanna protect, because if we protect that one, everyone else is covered.

Renee Sykes then took the mic on behalf of IFPTE Local 21 : Oakland City workers. Sykes introduced and thanked people who are supporting this strike, including members of other unions.

Then the politicians stepped up. First, Councilmember Desley Brooks, who called out City Administrator for playing with the books. Santana has previously been caught being dishonest, by trying to bury findings of the Frasier Report about the violent actions of Oakland Police against Occupy Oakland. :::

There is no reason that the City of Oakland can’t bargain in good faith. I feel like, sometimes, I’m working for one of those big banks on Wall Street. Y’know the ones who keep makin’ money on your back. And then they forget how they made the money, and they wanna keep it all. We have unanticipated revenues, and yet we told our workers that we couldn’t give them a raise. We have money that the mayor has tucked away, and yet we told our employees that they have to pay for their health care. We are doing better than we’ve done in a long time, and we know that one of the reasons that we are where we are today is because our employees, our civilian employees, gave back $122 million. And so for those people in the community who wonder why today our employees who struggle just to get by need us to turn around and give back, tell ’em there’s 122 million reasons why.

There’s a song that says ‘let them hear you.’ Let them hear you. Let Deanna Santana and the mayor hear you.

I hope, I hope that you’re gonna continue to press, stay together, stay strong, stay focused – you will prevail, thank you.

New councilmember Noel Gallo also joined in to push for respect for employees and a safe, clean city.

Elizabeth Alexander is SEIU vice-president of politics. She called on community groups : Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE) ‘is a multi-racial, democratic, non-profit community organization building power in low to moderate income neighborhoods to stand and fight for social, economic, and racial justice’; walmart union folks Our Walmart; Causa Justa :: Just Cause (CJJC), ‘a multi-racial, grassroots organization building community leadership to achieve justice for low-income San Francisco and Oakland residents’; among others : to show themselves, having come in support. She rattles off : Dan Siegel and Walter Riley (who have both been working to get justice for Alan Blueford, who was murdered by Oakland Police Officer Miguel Masso), Adam & Jeralyn Blueford from Justice for Alan Blueford Coalition, HipHop Congress, EBASE, Occupy Labor Solidarity, Harvey Milk Democratic Club, San Francisco Latino Democratic Club, Dream Act Dreamers, among others.

Dominic Ware spoke well for Our Walmart. He reminded people about their recent two-week strike in which two women were fired.

Alia Phelps spoke from ACCE. She addressed the issues of the strike affecting low-income people, but said low-income people experience transportation problems all the time, not only during this strike. She points out the many millions lost by BART and AC Transit to the banks.

Civil Rights Attorney and Activist Dan Siegel joked about it being hotter inside city hall than outside (temperature in the eighties) … talked about services : library, roads, programs for elders & seniors, decent wages, benefits, and no more furloughs for city employees. He warned ‘this is not gonna end today.’ He finished up with a valid claim that we have enough police with 650 officers … that we don’t need more, we need them to be deployed appropriately … ‘out from behind their desks.’

Siegel was followed by an Oakland resident activist who talked about having been a long time on this trail to end poverty :::

Thank you for standing up and giving the labor movement of Oakland and the country a backbone again. … Let me just say, as a soldier that’s been on this trail a long time about the business of eliminating poverty, we understand that the true place to get the money is from Wall Street and the banks. When have you seen a banker crying broke? When have you seen a foreclosure on them? The foreclosures are on our community. So only when we get about this business, not simply a protest, but a fight for a different vision. We’re about the business of transforming, so that our communities, our generations of children, so that our schools and libraries, so that our we, the people, might thrive, and not merely survive …

If ya listen to some of the radio shows, they say, ‘look, I haven’t got a raise, a break, I haven’t got extra time, why should they get it?’ What’s so important about this strike : this is about rejecting the proposals of divide and conquer and standing up and stating : the one percent needs to be pushed to the side, so we, the ninety nine percent, can handle our business for the future forward …

We don’t have to live like this. We ain’t gotta have people pushing carts and living like dogs. Only to the degree that we allow it, will it stay that way. So thank you for helping to wake people up. Now it’s our job to link up the struggles and build this movement so we might get the justice we need. Economic justice and security now, thank you.

Robbie Clark from Causa Justa thanks workers for daring to strike :::

We’re standing in solidarity because we know that the type of Oakland that working class power needs to build is the type of Oakland that’s gonna prioritize the needs of all Oakland residents. And so we’re united. That means Oakland’s workers, Oakland’s tenants, Oakland’s homeowners, the public workers, everybody who is in Oakland, living in Oakland like I have for my entire life. We have to make sure that our needs of our communities are put first, before the needs of big corporations.

We thank you for your courage, for taking this important step toward making sure that the rights of all people are respected. This is a historic moment. It’s time that we take back the power that we have in Oakland, and build an Oakland for the people the way that it’s supposed to be.

From an article in Businesswire :

“BART workers want just two things in these negotiations,” said Antonette Bryant, president of ATU 1555, which represents BART operators and station agents. “We want to negotiate a fair pay package after going five years with no increases, and we want the district to institute some basic changes that will improve system safety for riders and BART workers.”
ATU stands for Amalgamate Transit Union, and ‘is comprised of over 190,000 members, including: metropolitan, interstate, and school bus drivers; paratransit, light rail, subway, streetcar, and ferry boat operators; mechanics and other maintenance workers; clerks, baggage handlers, municipal employees, and others. ATU can be found in 44 U.S. states and the District of Columbia, and nine Canadian provinces.’

Here’s what she had to say on Monday at Oscar Grant Plaza :::

Brothers and sisters, good afternoon. C’mon now, GOOD AFTERNOON! That’s what I’m talking about. …

We stand in solidarity with the City of Oakland workers, we stand in solidarity with the IFPTE, we stand in solidarity with every working family member that is on strike…

I’ve heard it resonate throughout the day, about every company that’s trying to tell their employees, ‘you’ve gotta give back, give back, give back; there gotta be cuts, cuts, cuts.’ We are on strike today for respect, for safety, for fair labor practices and for our families. We know you are as well.

I want each and every one of you to reach in your pocket and see if you have four quarters and pull ’em out. This is not rhetorical. Do you have four quarters? Pull ’em out. Yesterday that’s what BART offered our employees : a dollar a year. One dollar. Do not be fooled by the press that is saying eight percent. It is one dollar.

In that eight percent they forgot to indicate they wanted us to give back to pension, which is 92% funded, they wanted us to give back on healthcare. We have a proud, strong union family at BART, and we are proud to stand with you out here on this struggle.

We do difficult jobs, like many of you. We have the honor of working with the public, and the systems that have been cut back, where services are reduced. So patrons are angry and assaults are up. Like many of you, we have equipment that causes us to be injured. And our company does not want to treat our injured workers fairly. We have put through information that will get us back to work. They are rejecting. Instead they’re offering us a dollar. They’re paying out of state consultants $400,000 … [sound problems]

They paid an out of state consultant four hundred thousand dollars for part time work to come in and try and tear up our contract. [more sound problems . then finally someone brings bullhorns!]

I’m so impressed to have heard brother McElroy, who said this, ‘It will take a strike to get the truth, then that’s what we will do.’

The dollar they’re offering us is a dollar a year : not an hour, not a day, not a week, not a month, but one dollar a year. If it takes a strike or two to get their attention, then that’s what we will do. I ask you to share this message with your friends and family, because it’s being distorted by BART.

An injury to one is an injury to all. Let them know that their commute is our workplace, and we wanna do it right and we wanna provide a safe working environment and a safe riding environment.

We stand with you today. ATU!

Next up were Des Patten and John Arantes, professional and general SEIU chapter presidents.

The formal rally was concluded with a song.

But that wasn’t the end of the action on Monday. Workers returned to the picket lines, covering the doors of city buildings to assure that nobody entered without at least being informed what it means to cross a picket line.

The city had promised no parking enforcement during the IFPTE’s one day action, but people had reported receiving parking tickets. While keeping vigil, picketers witnessed a meter maid returning from a day of ticketing cars!

A few of screenshots, in case Oakland City workers want to know who crossed the line :::

scab 1

scab getting nervous

scab getting nervous

scab calling for help

scab calling for help

scab 4

On Tuesday, the Oakland Tribune reported that the City will be forgiving parking tickets which were issued during the strike.

much thanks to aredridel for editorial support!

Bratton $250,000 Report

Oakland Crime Reduction Project
Bratton Group Findings and Recommendations
May 8, 2013
The Bratton Group, LCC, in conjunction with the Strategic Policy Partnership, has
been working with the Oakland Police Police Department (OPD) on improving its
Compstat crime management and command accountability system and on
reorganizing its investigative functions to respond more effectively to homicides,
shootings, robberies, and burglaries. These reforms are an important component in
the larger effort to move the OPD to a Neighborhood Policing Plan, with the city
divided into five districts, each commanded by a captain. The key to this new
district-based structure is geographic accountability for each captain – and for their
subordinate lieutenants, sergeants, and officers – for a specific area of the city with
its specific crime and disorder problems, its familiar community members, and, to a
significant degree, its specific cast of criminal characters. Under the Neighborhood
Policing Plan, the district captains will be the principal crime fighters in the
Department, each taking responsibility for crime in their respective districts and
each held accountable for designing and directing responses and strategies to
counter crime conditions. So far the OPD has established two districts in East
Oakland with three more planned for the western part of the city.
The Neighborhood Policing Plan is a long-term effort to rebuild the service delivery
and crime-fighting capabilities of the OPD after years of attrition that have reduced
OPD headcount by about 25 percent. The OPD is working to add police officers, but
the current staffing shortfalls make it all the more important that the Department
deploys and manages its resources effectively now. The management and structural
reforms recommended here are part of a blueprint for focusing the OPD’s crime
fighting efforts at the local or district level. The Compstat crime management system
is being revamped into a more effective accountability tool, providing a relentless
focus on responding to and resolving local crime and police service problems. In a
key structural reform, the recommended establishment of decentralized District
Investigation Units (DIUs), will give the district captains an investigative resource to
help them in their efforts to counter and control local crime.
The Compstat Process
The Compstat Process is a paradigm-shifting approach to police management. It is an
accountablity tool, a training tool, a motivational tool, and a crime analysis tool. Its
fundamental purpose is to keep key police managers – including chiefs, district
captains, investigative supervisors, and special unit commanders – sharply focused on
the central police responsibilites of responding to and controlling crime. The heart of
the process is a series of regularly scheduled crime strategy meetings where a police
department’s top management and its field managers engage in tough, probing
sessions about current crimes and the plans and tactics to counter them. The Bratton Group Findings and Recommendations 5/8/13
recommedations listed below are intended to strengthen OPD’s existing Compstat
process and have been implemented in the past two months.
• The Compstat Process as previously practiced in Oakland was more of a report
or a presentation by a captain than the system of vigorous strategic oversight.
Compstat should be an intensive and probing dialogue between the
department’s top commanders and its field managers, including patrol,
investigations and special unit commanders.
• The former Compstat presentations were too general and did not deal with
crime specifics. The exchanges at Compstat should be focused on the specifics of
crime patterns and individual crimes and the measures being taken to counter
• As formerly practiced, Oakland’s Compstat did not have a true primary
questioner pressing for answers to the critical questions about specific crime
problems. The department’s primary questioner should study, and be
conversant with, the current crime picture and should be ready to ask a series of
follow-up questions to ensure that every reasonable effort is being made, that
every solid lead is being followed, and that the Department’s various
components are responding swiftly to emerging crime patterns and problems.
• The captains and other field managers at Compstat were not being held
accountable for knowledge of crime in a designated district. Captains,
investigative commanders and special unit commanders should all be expected
to come to the meeting with a thorough familiarity with the crime patterns and
crime conditions in their areas of responsibility, which is achieved by reading
the incident reports about individual crimes.
• Under the existing process there was no sense of coordination, information
sharing or support from the centralized Criminal Invesigation Division (CID).
• Compstat meetings should be firmly under the control of the primary questioner
who drives the process forward and keeps it focused on the specific crime
problems and the plans to counter these problems.
• The primary questioner, not the reporting captain, should control and direct the
electronic maps and screens.
• Captains will be expected to be fully conversant with their crime problems,
having accurate, timely information by reading and understanding all Part I
crime reports.
• Expanded participation and input will be expected from investigative
supervisors at every level in the Department, who should be prepared to
describe in detail the response of their investigative units to current crime
incidents and patterns, to report on the status of all but the most sensitive active
investigations, and to share information about successful strategies.
• The Compstat Report should be a succinct summary of crime and enforcement
activity, showing trends in the previous two- and four-week periods, as well as Bratton Group Findings and Recommendations 5/8/13
year-to-date comparisons, that can be used as a departure point for Compstat
• Working from the Compstat Report, the primary questioner should engage the
district captain and other relevant supervisors concerning any spikes or trends
in the crime numbers, paying particular attention to spikes in killings and
shootings, and questioning them on their plans to deal with these issues, i.e., the
development of effective tactics.
• All Department chiefs and captains should be present at all Compstat meetings,
except in cases when other important business calls them away. Compstat
should be seen as one most important regular activities taking place in the
• In addition to general questioning about current crime trends, the primary
questioner should pursue a series of regular lines of questioning at the Compstat
o Hot Spots – What is being done to correct conditions at various hot-spot
o Calls for Service – Are calls for service up or down, and if up, why are they
spiking? Consider highlighting the top five locations for repeat calls in
each district. Why are police continually called there? What is the
underlying problem? Are we wasting valuable resources?
o Enforcement – What is happening with arrests and other enforcement
activity? Why are some officers in a given district very productive while
others are not? Are we making arrests in the right places and for the right
reasons? Are officers being properly directed by their supervisors
towards areas where crime is spiking?
o Warrants – What is the progress on executing Ramey warrants and other
warrants such as bail jumping, failure to appear, and parole warrants?
The number of Ramey warrants should be broken down by district, and
this information provided to each district captain and to the CID captain.
The district captains should be questioned about what is being done to
capture these suspects.
o Measures of Evidence Gathering and Processing – When Bratton Group
recommendations concerning the tracking of crime scene work are
implemented, Compstat should include a recap of crime scene runs and
lab submissions from supervisors assigned to these functions. This would
cover the number of runs responded to, the number of locations
fingerprinted, the number of ballistics and DNA submissions, etc.
o Ceasefire – How many Ceasefire individuals called to a call-in reside in a
district? How many accepted service? How many in/out of jail? How
many have been injured? How many have been victims of crime
themselves? How many are wanted for a crime?
o Persistent Quality-of-Life issues – What are the quality-of-life issues that
are most problematic for the community? What are we doing about them?
Members of the Bratton Group team worked intensively with Assistant Chief
Eric Bershears to help prepare him for his role as the primary Compstat Bratton Group Findings and Recommendations 5/8/13
questioner and participated in the Compstat meetings conducted on the new
model. They also assisted in revising the Compstat Report.
District Investigation Units (DIUs)
The recommended establishment of District Investigation Units will decentralize the
investigation of most robberies, burglaries, and shootings. The DIUs will report to the
district captains, giving the captains an investigative resource that can respond swiftly
to crime victims and crime scenes and pursue investigations through to arrest.
• Centralized investigations conducted by the Criminal Investigation Division
(CID) have not been successful in countering the growing robbery and burglary
problems in Oakland.
• Major Crimes Section 1 of CID, which investigates homicides, gun assaults,
suspicious deaths, and officer-involved shootings, has too large of a workload to
effectively investigate shootings, many of which are closed without further
investigation because of uncooperative victims.
• For a number of reasons, centralized robbery investigators working for Major
Crimes Section 2, are slow to respond to robberies and interview victims, losing
momentum on the investigation of pattern robberies.
• Effectively, burglaries are not investigated in the City of Oakland with only one
part-time investigator assigned to more than 10,000 burglaries last year.
• Increased camera monitoring of commerical areas throughout the city would
provide significantly more leads in robberies and burglaries and in some
shooting cases.
• Reduce the workload of Major Crimes Section 1 to homicides and grievous
assaults from which the victim is likely to die by assigning gun assaults for
investigation at the district level.
• Assign most robberies and non-gun assaults for investigation at the district level.
• Assign burglaries for investigation at the district level.
• Establish District Investigation Units (DIUs) in each of the five districts to
investigate robberies, burglaries, and assaults/shootings.
• Assign experienced investigative sergeants to manage the DIUs. These sergeants
would be responsible for all investigative activity in the districts and would
represent district investigations at Compstat.
• Assign three experienced investigators and three to four police officers to each
DIU, pairing experienced investigators with officers with less experience.
• Assign each investigator/police officer team to one of three specialties: robbery,
burglary, or assaults/shootings.
• Establish staggered schedules for DIU to ensure a working presence by
investigators in the afternoon and evening hours seven days a week. Bratton Group Findings and Recommendations 5/8/13
• Have DIU investigators respond to crime scenes, interview victims, canvass for
witnesses, gather evidence and identify crime patterns, modus operandi, and
repeat criminals active in the district.
• As the DIU system is established, use the DIUs as an investigator training ground
and career path, with officers moving in progression from police officer assigned
to a DIU, to a DIU lead investigator, to centralized CID and homicide
• Establish strictly observed case management protocols to provide guidelines for
DIU investigations, including updated Investigative Action Reports (IARs) at five
days, 15 days, and 28 days for each active case. The Bratton Group team has
prepared a sample case management system for adaption for use in Oakland.
• Significantly increase the camera monitoring capabilities of the OPD in
commercial areas throughout the city to provide identifications and evidence in
robbery, burglary and some shooting cases. Cameras would be monitored and
recorded at the Domain Awareness Center that is currently under construction.
Evidence Management
For the DIUs to be optimally effective, OPD should implement reforms in the
management of evidence, changing some of the priorities and systems by which
evidence is gathered and analyzed.
• Crime scene technicians in Oakland work without direct supervision and
therefore with little systematic organization.
• The OPD’s digital photo file access, which could be a key tool in identifying
robbery suspects, is extremely slow and is rarely used in current robbery
• Fingerprint evidence gathered at burglary scenes is not generally used in
burglary investigations or submitted for comparisons by the Automated
Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS).
• More extensive and timely analysis of shell casings found at the scenes of
shootings and other crimes could provide stronger evidence in assault cases,
connecting guns to both specific crimes and specific gangs.
• Assign a supervisor, preferably a sergeant, to manage crime scene technicians
and establish a systematic dispatch protocol that both prioritizes and tracks all
crime scene runs.
• Acquire a faster running digital photo system to access Alameda County’s
Consolidated Arrest Report System (CARs) so that photo arrays can be shown
expeditiously to robbery victims.
• Establish a new protocol for the processing of fingerprints from burglary scenes
so that prints in cases with other leads and/or in cases that have been linked a
pattern of burglaries can be submitted for expeditious AFIS comparisons. Hire
additional fingerprint analysts as needed to provide this service. Bratton Group Findings and Recommendations 5/8/13
• Increase the analysis of shell casings found at shooting scenes to link specific
weapons to specific crimes across geographical areas and periods of time. Hire
additional ballistic analysts as necessary to provide this service.

This report was obtained and published by Da Lin of KPIX

From the man who said “Quite frankly, I’m always in favor of more cops”

From that same article : ‘Bratton again defended stop-and-frisk, which he said all police departments do to varying degrees. He said the term should be called “stop, question and frisk,” because most police stops end with a question and never result in suspects being searched.

In this interview at 2:27, Bill Bratton reveals a past clarity he has since abandoned.

There was a belief that crime was caused by things that were beyond the influence of the police, such as poverty, demographics … lotta young people … uh, the economy, uh, race issues, ethnic issues, ah the weather, ah … and we believed them.

He seems to have had, at one time, a real grasp on the actual root causes of crime. He goes on to dismiss those as causes.

Two months ago Bratton again appeared in a video interview, grabbing the spotlight to opine about gun control, and to praise and defend the stop & frisk policy, which he does after the question is posed at 4:01. First, they joke about him calling it ‘stop, question, & frisk’ … as if questioning someone for walking while black is better than frisking them for the same ‘suspicious’ behavior. He contradicts himself all in one sentence, then bumbles on.

It is a constitutionally protected activity by police. The challenge for police is to do it legally, compassionately, consistently. Not just in poor neighborhoods, not just in minority neighborhoods. And that is the issue, unfortunately, around the country because that is where it’s most frequently because unfortunately that is where the majority of crime, both serious and minor, it is committed. That’s the reality of our lives, our society. It is an essential tool of policing. Can police be better trained, supervised and monitored, I think they can. Uhh, but those that are advocating that it be done away with or representing that it can be done away with it, I’m sorry but you do away with it and, uh, you’re going to have cities overrun with crime because it is the basic tool that every police department in Amerikkka uses.

One has to wonder, if he was hired as ‘consultant’ by the city of Oakland for $250,000 for a four month stint, why he was being interviewed via videophone from New York, in the middle of his four month assignment.

Bratton goes on to say he won’t respond to something because he hasn’t yet been to Oakland. This interview was published on 22 February 2013. If he hadn’t been to Oakland by that date, how has he managed to deliver this report in less than seven weeks?

He finishes his comments by saying, “This stuff is not rocket science.”

If that is the case, why is Oakland paying $250,000 for some weeks of his time, just after many layoffs and whilst still in the midst of budget woes?

Meanwhile :::

Frazier to Reexamine Police Misconduct
“In an unprecedented move, OPD’s new compliance director plans to reinvestigate closed misconduct cases, including ones involving Occupy Oakland.”

Howard Jordan’s response to these recent developments is to quit his job and try to call it medical retirement.