Blogging Bayport Alameda

June 22, 2017

No apologies

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:02 am

Sometimes there are some people that just have the skill to make things worse not better.   Like if you could pick a more tone deaf response to the renewed interest in Trish Spencer’s lack of support for the LGBTQ community when she was on the School Board, you couldn’t do any better than Trish Spencer’s actual response to the renewed interest in Trish Spencer’s lack of support for the LGBTQ community when she was on the School Board.

Most of the narrative is setting up a bit of a victim complex so that we sympathize and empathize with Trish Spencer, but let me just get to the nut meat of her excuses:

During my nine years as an elected official, I have been asked to make many difficult decisions. After listening to all the perspectives, I make what I believe is the best decision, often distilling complex issues to core values, such as the Golden Rule and equal protection.

I made one such decision in 2009, my first year on the school board, regarding the anti-bullying curriculum. I held that when AUSD decided to go from its general anti-bullying curriculum to enumerating one protected class (LGBTQ) that it needed to also concurrently adopt anti-bullying curriculum, similar to an anti-harassment policy, that protected not one, but all protected classes: race, gender identity and gender expression, national origin, religion, sexual orientation and disability.


June 21, 2017

Little lies

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:01 am

I’ll be honest, I haven’t actually had any run-ins with any signature gatherers trying to get an anti-Just Cause measure on the ballot.  Probably because I don’t really get out that much, and if I do it’s really early in the morning.   But I have seen countless posts about them and there were even folks canvassing my neighborhood.  They did not come to my door I really did want to hear their spiel.

Plus it was hot as Hades last weekend so I tried to stay indoors as much as humanly possible.

Anyway, it’s apparently gotten so bad out there with the misdirection from some of the signature gatherers that the big guns have come out and there are now Assemblymember Rob Bonta robocalls to tell people to not sign the petition against just cause evictions.


June 20, 2017

Litmus tests

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:00 am

And another thing about empty gestures when there is a real opportunity to make decisive change, particularly around the issue of climate change.

Has anyone here watched a Planning Board meeting lately?  Anyone?  Yes, I knew there were a few of you out there.  If you watched Planning Board meeting last Monday (or actually any of the Planning Board meetings in the last six months or so) you’ll know that two out of three of Trish Spencer’s Planning Board appointments have been put on the Planning Board mainly because of their concerns over having enough parking or just stopping all housing development altogether.  And they vote and make comments accordingly.

Why is this important?  Well in addition to the two items on the agenda for tonight that I mentioned yesterday there will also be the opportunity for Trish Spencer to appoint another member to the Planning Board.


June 19, 2017

We’ll always have the Paris Agreement

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:09 am

And since we’re on the subject of meaningless and empty gestures (coughprideproclamationsignedbysomeoneunwillingtosupportLGBTQcommunitycough) the City of Alameda dutifully tweeted out photo of a bunch of Mayors signing a pact to “adopt, honor & uphold the Paris Agreement” after Donald Trump indicated that he would pull the United States out of the agreement.

But here’s the thing, the critiques recently levied at Berkeley and other progressive cities certainly can be said about Alameda.  We’re progressive in the streets, but conservative in the sheets so to speak.  We care more about greenwashing our image than actually making big moves to actually honor the Paris Agreement to help reduce our impact on the environment.  Here’s a great (and widely shared) opinion piece:

On June 1, the US Climate Mayors—a network of more than 300 city leaders, including the mayors of the country’s five largest cities—published a commitment to “adopt, honor, and uphold the commitments to the goals enshrined in the Paris Agreement.” The cities would carry out the promises Donald Trump had abandoned.

I have bad news for this feel-good caucus. Want to fight climate change? You have to fight cars. In the nation’s largest cities, cars account for about a third of greenhouse gas emissions. Nationally, transportation is now the single largest contributor to carbon emissions.


June 16, 2017

(Not) too late to apologize

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:06 am

And just in case you think that I’m the only one with the particular opinion about Trish Spencer and her lack of acknowledgement about her policy votes in 2009 and 2010, I give you highlights from an op-ed from LGBTQ leaders in our community:

When the June 6 event was announced, it raised concerns for many of us. As parents of children in Alameda’s schools, we vividly remember when our current mayor was on the AUSD Board of Education and sided with outside organizations to fight against including LGBTQ-themed lessons in our elementary schools.

This was a painful time for Alameda’s LGBTQ community. Asking us to stand for a photo with the mayor who relied on the concept of religious liberty to make an argument — the same argument that was made during the Prop. 8 vote — for denying our human rights and the existence of our families caused these wounds to be reopened. This was only seven years ago, yet so many have moved into our community since then who do not know this history.


June 15, 2017

Never having to say you’re sorry

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:05 am

This was a pretty cryptic comment under yesterday’s context setting post.

Given recent events, I think it’s time to turn down the rhetoric. The issue has been settled and Pride Month should be celebrated instead of used for political leverage.

What’s up with the demand to apologize? This is a challenging issue and not everyone agrees. I remember President Obama changing his mind about gay marriage in 2008 and not having to “apologize” for his previous stance.

I’m not sure what “recent events” are being referenced here, after all so much has happened both nationally and locally it’s hard to discern what “recent events” we should be mindful of.

As to the issue having been “settled” it really has not.  While I’m sure that folks who really like Trish Spencer either personally or they agree with her political views want to imprint their own personal moral and political views on her, from my knowledge since Trish Spencer’s votes on the School Board she hasn’t made any public, formal announcements as to her evolution on the issue, unlike President Obama who did make very public announcements with regard to his evolution on the issue as well as him taking proactive legislative action to support the LGBTQ community.  Her throwaway comment of “support” is as useful as her comments to every other group she claims to support but then proceeds to make votes to the detriment of that group.  Her petulant comments to a reporter shows her lack of acknowledgment of the hurt and pain caused by her votes and her positions back during her time on the School Board:


June 14, 2017


Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:04 am

In preparation for the Pride proclamation rejection post, I feel like I need to provide some context for people who weren’t around during the time, weren’t necessarily following School District specific issues, or just have forgotten.  Let me take you back to the controversy around Lesson 9.

Lesson 9 started off fairly simply, it was an anti-bullying lesson centered around — essentially — that LGBTQ members existed in the world and that it’s wrong to bully kids who identify as LGBTQ or kids who have family members who identify as LGBTQ.

Here’s a few background of the early information around the topic:

  1. April 17, 2009
  2. April 28, 2009
  3. May 11, 2009
  4. May 12, 2009
  5. Roundup from Mike McMahon’s website

Specific to Trish Spencer, here is a list of her votes from a heavily circulated Facebook post in 2012 that was memorialized in this post:


June 13, 2017

Guest blog: What would that Black man have said?

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:03 am

At last Tuesday’s City Council meeting, Mayor Trish Spencer ordered that the microphone be cut off for public speaker Rasheed Shabazz.  He has provided more context (and content) that expands on his comments from Tuesday night.

By Rasheed Shabazz

Since I only had three minutes to address the Council, and Mayor cut the mic off, I wanted to provide some context to my remarks and also state my main point.

Alameda has a fascinating legacy of thinly veiled exclusionary, or rather racist and classist rhetoric, particularly when debating the very emotional and complex issue of housing.

In the past, some so-called Alamedans would use “Oakland” as a code, a euphemism, a racial proxy rooted in exclusionary housing policies. For example, in 1992, when the City defied a court order and did not apply for state housing funds, a speaker at a council meeting received a standing ovation when stating low-income housing in Alameda would “create an East Alameda like East Oakland.” This comparison is rooted in racial segregation and stereotypes.

During the debates to establish a moratorium on no-cause evictions, landlords convinced the City to adopt the phrase “housing providers.” Although this phrase is also used by HUD, it appeared this term was used to provide a better image for landlords at a time when many renters faced skyrocketing rents and displacement.

Leading up to the November election, campaign mailers referred to renters as “criminals” and tenant organizers as “outsiders.” Psychologists have long documented the stereotype associating Black people with crime, or the race-crime association.


June 12, 2017

I cover the waterfront

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:02 am

Two huge agenda items for the Planning Board tonight.  The first is the Alameda Landing  amendment to the Master Plan.  The TL;dr for this is that the existing Master Plan for the portion still undeveloped calls for a lot of commercial office space which — if you just look around — Alameda has plenty of vacant commercial office space.  Because there is already a lot of vacant supply, Catellus is asking for an amendment to the Master Plan to shift a lot of that commercial office space to something that Alameda may need more of residential and maritime commercial.  Catellus is also calling for a retail space which I don’t think is needed, but in viewing some of the concept graphics, the “retail” would mostly come in the form of a hotel and restaurants.  The restaurant industry is doing well in general as traditional retail shopping has declined overall — not just in Alameda.

Here’s how the 2006 Master Plan stacks up to the new amendment:

Screen Shot 2017-06-11 at 11.24.26 AM


June 9, 2017

You deserve a promotion

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:09 am

Nothing for today, just wanted to dedicate this particular post to #1 daughter who had her promotion ceremony yesterday at Ruby Bridges.  I won’t lie, I totally cried a bit when the music played and they walked into the multi-purpose room.

It was an amazing, my parents were there and later remarked that Ruby Bridges’s class of 2017 looked exactly like a microcosm of the United States.  And it does, Ruby Bridges is a near perfect mix of all races and ethnic backgrounds.  We have immigrants from Africa, Asia, and Europe.  Mixed race kids.  First generation kids.

It was beautiful.

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