"We have left undone those things which we ought to have done" - Protestant Episcopal Church 1928 U.S. Book of Common Prayer


Why An "Oakland's Getting Schaafted" Website

Eight years ago, a loosely-based Oakland coalition of political activists and candidates came together for the purpose of defeating former California State Senator Don Perata in the 2010 Oakland mayoral election. It was called the “Anybody But Perata” movement, and it worked. The heavily-favored Perata lost the 2010 election to then-City Councilmember Jean Quan.

I played my part in that coalition by creating and operating the “Anybody But Perata” website during the course of that campaign.

This year, another political coalition is building in Oakland, designed this time to attempt to defeat Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf in her bid for re-election. Some people are calling it the “Anybody But Libby” coalition. And because I am now involved in the launching of this “Oakland’s Getting Schaafted” website, some will naturally assume that just like eight years ago, this will be an “Anybody But Libby” site.

It's not.

Don Perata was arguably one of the most corrupt politicians Oakland had seen in a generation, which is saying a lot. In addition, The former Alameda County Supervisor and State Senate President had decades of experience in controlling and manipulating the inner workings of Oakland, Alameda County, and California state governments, and in bending or outright breaking the rules and activities of those governments to enrich himself, his family, his friends, and his business associates. He was a ruthless man who had a clear idea of what he wanted to do and a clear plan of how to accomplish it. Had Don Perata won the 2012 Oakland mayoral election, he would have so changed the Oakland political, government, and economic landscape that it would have taken us a generation or more—if ever—to get things back right in our city again.

It was easy to make the decision, therefore, that any candidate with a reasonable chance to win the 2012 Oakland mayoral race was preferable to Don Perata.

That is clearly not the case with Oakland’s current mayor, Libby Schaaf.

Ms. Schaaf doesn’t have the experience, knowledge, or ruthlessness to effect a radical generational change in Oakland’s landscape, as Mr. Perata would have done. A look at the conduct and outcomes of Oakland’s city administration during Ms. Schaaf’s wandering, aimless first term certainly demonstrates that.

And so, while I have deep disagreements with Ms. Schaaf’s policies and purposes and will point out those disagreements in the run of this website, I can’t honestly conclude that Oakland’s current mayor is worse than all the other possible mayors, declared or undeclared, who have a reasonable chance of defeating her in November.

There is another key difference between the previous “Anybody But Perata” website and the current “Oakland’s Getting Schaafted” website. “Anybody But Perata” was directed specifically towards getting Perata defeated in the 2012 Oakland mayoral election. “Oakland’s Getting Schaafted” is not tied to the current election in that manner.

It’s not accident or coincidence that this website is being launched in the beginning stages of the mayoral election. Folks pay more attention to government activities during an election season, and so a website dedicated to analyzing those activities will get a wider and more interested audience in these times. Oakland voters and residents are free to use the information in this website for any purpose they desire, of course, including deciding their choice for Oakland mayor in the November election. But my purpose in operating this website is solely to shine a light on the operation and activities of the Oakland mayoral administration in the same way in which I have covered various governmental entities over many years as a working journalist and political/social columnist in the Bay Area. What you do with that information is up to you.

Finally, and maybe most importantly, the “Oakland’s Getting Schaafted” website is my creation, and I am solely responsible for its concept and its contents. If you want to get mad at anybody about the website or what appears in it, get mad at me.

Meanwhile, let's stay in touch.

J. Douglas Allen-Taylor (Jesse Allen Taylor)
June 5, 2018
Oakland, California



Front Page

Why An "Oakland's Getting Schaafted" Website

In The News

Our Thoughts On The Libby Schaaf Administration

What Others Are Thinking And Saying—Opinion Pieces About The Schaaf Administration

The Trashing Of Oakland

Schaaf And Oakland's Homeless Crisis