Where Meat Comes From

July 22, 2008

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This is something I wrote many years ago, and its very satisfying, so I thought I’d put it on the front page for a minute.   I initially wrote the following piece of creative non-fiction in hopes of publishing it in Meatpaper, a neat little omnibus of meat-related writings. Its been a week and they […]

Oakland’s District 6: A Referendum on Big Money & Dirty Politics

November 4, 2018

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I’ve written extensively about where the money for the opposition to Desley Brooks in District 6 comes from. For a deep dive, read here. But before the election on Tuesday, I wanted to make one last argument about what the origin of the money means, and how it reflects on the candidates running against Brooks. […]

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Tuffshed-ification: Phase 2

October 29, 2018

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Last month, the city council passed a city administrator’s office-recommended proposal to create a tuffshed encampment at Lake Merritt. Though it was the city’s 4th Tuff Shed camp, passing the legislation necessary to enact the Lake Merritt Tuff Sheds marked a new phase in the city’s homeless intervention strategy–or rather, it marked a phase of […]

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The United Front Against Desley Brooks, Part II

October 22, 2018

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Several months ago, Mayor Libby Schaaf and District 4 council person Annie Campbell Washington teamed up in press releases and local television and print news media specifically attacking District 6 council person Desley Brooks. The attack–which painted Brooks as a toxic presence on the city council, in the words of Campbell Washington and the “Donald […]

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Orwelling Our Way out of Oakland’s Homelessness Crisis

September 13, 2018

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One year ago, Oakland’s City Council approved a shelter emergency ordinance . This legislation–along with a state level version of the shelter crisis legislation passed around the same time in late 2017–gave the city extraordinary powers to suspend the normal health and safety, building code and zoning laws that govern habitations to build emergency transitional […]

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The Curious Case of the Backchannel Notebook: An Oakland City Council Mystery

July 20, 2018

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A funny thing happened on the way to the Oakland City Council Community and Economic Development Committee meeting on July 17th. Let me back up a bit. I usually sit on the second floor balcony at city council meetings and its not just because I’m a misanthrope. It lets me better focus on events. From […]

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Public Lands for Corporate Good: the Derby Street Parcel Sale Proves Oakland Needs a Public Lands Policy

July 1, 2018

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Like many public land sales that come before the Oakland City Council, the Derby Street parcel sale was set to glide beneath public notice when it began its final journey of council approval in May, 2018–a perfunctory committee nod and a quick set of ayes at an unnoticed city council meeting seemed assured. But there […]

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The United Front Against Desley Brooks

May 17, 2018

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Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf launched her current assault against District 6 Council Person Desley Brooks, in April–ironically, in the midst of “honoring” the work of fellow council person Annie Campbell Washington. Washington announced she was retiring, setting the stage for Schaaf’s attack with a subsoundbite against “the corruption” at city council. Schaaf picked up the […]

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