Blogging Bayport Alameda

September 21, 2016

Not a politician

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

As a reminder that Black Lives Matter and that we, as a community, need to do more to push that sentiment and we need to do more to ensure that our public safety, regardless of how great we think they are, get the appropriate training to handle what should be routine interactions with the public.

Unless, of course, you’re City Council candidate Jennifer Roloff who would argue, in response to a question about the issues at the heart of the Black Lives Matter discussion, that:

It’s very relevant to what is going on today in neighboring cities.  I think we’re fortunate enough not to have an exacerbated similar situation, but I think that we do absolutely need to partner with our neighboring communities to make sure that we’re cognizant of the risks that could come to the city and being prepared for such issues.

I don’t think that Alamedans have to feel the protection of police yet but what’s going on out there I think that we need to start being prepared.  We should work with our public safety to get better prepared for what could happen.

As to the equipment that is out there I do know that we have Navy equipment that we can rely on and Alameda does have some of its own equipment and I do know we end up loaning it out to other nearby cities, but I think we should work with those nearby cities so that we can capitalize on the equipment that they have to have as much preparedness as possible.

The solution, according to this candidate, to the question of how to make Alamedans feel protected and not harassed is, apparently, more equipment and not training in de-escalation tactics or sensitivity training, etc.

I know a lot of people will chalk this up to Jennifer Roloff not being an experienced politician and not being able to finesse an appropriate answer, but I’m guessing that there are  lot of non politicians out there that have followed this issue and could give a cogent answer as to what we should expect of our local public safety when it comes to routine interactions with the public.

You don’t have to be a politician to know what is right, and you don’t have to be a politician to know that what is routinely happening to unarmed Black people in the United States is wrong..  It takes policy from our elected leaders to ensure that it doesn’t happen in our community, but first there has to be an understanding that this is a serious issue that requires more substance than someone who ran for City Council on a whim because she didn’t understand how RFPs work.



  1. For starters, I disagree with the first sentence that Alameda needs to do more about BLM. All lives matter. Number two, thank God Jennifer is not a traditional politician. Most of all, she does not appear to be a knee-jerk captive of special interests who will parrot today’s politically correct answers to current events. It appears very likely she will bring refreshing fresh creativity and passion to our board. We don’t need more “real” politicians on our city council. Times in this country are changing in more ways than the appearance of the BLM movement. This will not be a good year for real politicians.

    Comment by OrneryOldCuss — September 21, 2016 @ 6:45 am

    • Yah because Alameda should just wait around and do nothing preventative to ensure incidents that are happening all over the country doesn’t happen in our town. That’ll show all those politically correct SJW!

      Comment by Lauren Do — September 21, 2016 @ 7:06 am

    • Are people really still saying that “all lives matter” is an acceptable response? Nice. So Roloff has the old bigot vote sewn up. No dog whistling needed. Endorsements from Alameda! Action News and the Alameda Citizens Taskforce soon, no doubt.

      Comment by BC — September 21, 2016 @ 8:10 am

    • OOC, the slogan might as well be “Black people shouldn’t be killed by police in hugely disproportionate numbers to white people.” Not as catchy, but that’s the actual point. Do you think there’s a problem with police violence against black people or not? Saying “all lives matter” is like showing up at a murder trial and saying “call off the proceedings, because NOBODY should murder, not just this suspect.”

      But to the actual point, we should support candidates for what they are, not what they aren’t. Do you see any specific virtues in Jennifer Roloff’s positions? All I see is obstruction.

      Comment by ajryan — September 21, 2016 @ 8:44 am

    • Orenery, do you go to funerals and say that you too have felt loss? Do you go to breast cancer fundraisers and say that all diseases matter? Because if your response to Black Lives Matter is All Lives Matter, that’s what you sound like.

      Comment by Jason Buckley — September 21, 2016 @ 9:03 am

    • 1. Would it help to add “too” or “also” at the end….It’s not that ALL lives don’t matter, it’s Black Lives Matter TOO. That’s what the slogan means. Do you really not get that? If unarmed white citizens were being killed by police at the same rate as blacks then your slogan would make more sense.

      Your entire rationalization about Roloff being qualified (“refreshing creativity”, not captive of political correctness ) is parallel to Trump being qualified. Fortunately she has the humility to start at the bottom of the political ladder and does not appear to be a malignant narcissist and a megalomaniac, but her rambling response is vague at best, and not at all on point.

      “We should work with (out) public safety to get better prepared for what could happen.” What do you hear there ? Do we need fear legions of black protesters from Oakland crossing our bridges ?

      “As to the equipment that is out there I do know that we have Navy equipment that we can rely on and Alameda does have some of its own equipment and I do know we end up loaning it out to other nearby cities…..” WTF? Who asked about heavy equipment ? Riot tanks ? Or what PRECISELY is she referring to ? I’d like to know what was going on in Roloff’s mind when she was answering that question.

      ** Lauren, I bracketed (out) in the above quote because I wonder if it’s a typo and was meant to be “our”?

      Comment by MI — September 21, 2016 @ 9:34 am

      • Thanks MI, I fixed the typo.

        Comment by Lauren Do — September 21, 2016 @ 9:51 am

    • Of course all lives matter. The reason we focus on Black Lives Matter is because Blacks are dropping like flies and the hands of police officers. And if by chance there’s an ostrich hope in hell it’s going away, look at the “margin of error” campaign unfolding between Trump and Hillary.

      Comment by Gabrielle "Gaby" Dolphin — September 21, 2016 @ 9:59 am

  2. We should be scared and flying to the ballot box or we’re going to end up with another ignorant and impulsive council member.

    Comment by Angela — September 21, 2016 @ 8:03 am

  3. Lauren. What is in your brain these days? You sound angry and frustrated and you seem intent on taking that out on Jennifer Roloff? Why? Are you so pleased with the current council members that you are not willing to take the time to know Jennifer or to better understand what she is about? Your comments recently about Jennifer concerns me and others I’ve spoken to. I hope you know that I like you and respect you on most issues, but you are showing signs of the same BS that we hear over and over again, in an attempt to drive people to your favorite candidate. I realize that this is a “blog,” but your unfair attacks on someone who is simply trying to exercise her right to run is unbalanced.

    Comment by Bill2 — September 21, 2016 @ 8:49 am

    • Your candidate can run all she wants, but she will be judged based on her performance and so far it hasn’t been stellar. She doesn’t understand the housing crisis and how the preservation perspective has hurt renters, doesn’t understand how her reasons for running (because her husband’s colleague didn’t get a city contract) make her seem like she’s running for personal benefit, and now doesn’t understand the dynamic issue of police brutality. I understand all I need to on Jennifer Roloff: she’s the candidate for anti-housing folks who don’t have the grit to stand by their anti-housing perspective in a housing crisis -and worse she has the temerity to tell housing advocates that they don’t need market rate housing to build nonprofit housing. She sounds more and more clueless the more she talks about her platform. In an election where so many renters will be flocking to the polls her platform is so out of touch that it borders on the offensive.

      Comment by Angela — September 21, 2016 @ 9:28 am

      • “I understand all I need to on Jennifer Roloff”…That is exactly what bigots say when they have closed their minds to all information. Liberal progressive bigots…hilarious.

        I think I’ll go listen to Phil Ochs rendition of “Love Me, I’m a Liberal” now.

        Comment by vigi — September 21, 2016 @ 9:49 am

        • No it’s what folks say when they’ve done their research and compared different candidates and then found them lacking. If one needs to dig much deeper to get to know a candidate beyond their platform, then perhaps they are doing a creating job communicating their platform. If a candidate is doing a crappy job communicating their platform , hope will they be able to adequately communicate (or even comprehend) policy.

          Comment by Angela — September 21, 2016 @ 11:23 am

  4. I would argue that Black Wives Matter. Just imagine staying home with your wives and children and focusing on family and what a difference that would make.

    Comment by Change you can believe in — September 21, 2016 @ 10:09 am

  5. Alameda police have a reputation for pulling over or stopping black people for questioning when they are doing nothing wrong or even suspicious. The department has a past documented history of officers using racial slurrs over the radio. Alameda in general has the reputation of being hostile to black people. In light of this, perhaps it’s not so outrageous to assume that the island would be the target of retaliatory violence. It would be great to have better screening and training programs for police officers so that these incidents don’t occur and I know from personal experience with family friends that they do. The training and screening should be the first priority but it’s not really so out of line to suggest that preparation for violence be a consideration, too. Italso might not be a bad idea to involve the whole community in some consciousness raising in relation to this issue.

    Comment by Denise Shelton — September 21, 2016 @ 10:16 am

  6. I was at the forum where Ms. Rolloff delivered these remarks, and others, and in general I was underwhelmed. Specifically as it relates to her response to the question about how Alameda should respond to the BLM movement and related issues – I was horrified. Her comments were at best inadequately informed and insensitive to the concerns of large groups of community stakeholders. At worst, well at worst, it was pretty bad.
    But here’s what I think is the underlying problem with Rolloff’s candidacy; she doesn’t have any relevant personal, public service, or professional qualifications for the position. On a personal level, her responses at candidate forums reflect a lack of preparation and insensitivity to community stakeholders that is troubling. She cites her “public service” qualifications as her leadership role in the PTA organization at Franklin School, and her work with the local branch of the Children’s Hospital Ladies Fundraising organization (some of the branches in the East Bay are big on Cotillions…..). She hasn’t apparently served on any public commissions or committees – in Alameda or elsewhere. And let’s face it, Alameda provides huge opportunities for participation for those who want it. From a professional perspective, she has a degree in urban planning but has never worked in the field.
    So, why is she qualified to be on the City Council?
    Based on her website, and her statements at the candidate forum she thinks she’s qualified because she cares, because she grew up in Alameda, because she lives here now, and, finally, because she’s “a new face”.
    Not good enough.
    I’m okay with a “new face”. But I’m going to hold out for one who is better prepared and has a history of participation in public service and community life that suggests a longer term commitment to the interests of our larger community.

    Comment by Jordan — September 21, 2016 @ 10:40 am

    • Sorry for the typos. Should have written ROLOFF. My apologies.

      Comment by Jordan — September 21, 2016 @ 10:45 am

    • Jordan, looking for a new face who actually participates, Actually uses her degree’s. Malia Vella.

      Comment by John P. — September 21, 2016 @ 10:52 am

      • Never heard of Malia until she started her campaign for cc.
        If anyone heard of her before, please speak up.

        Comment by A Neighbor — September 24, 2016 @ 8:49 pm

        • She’s been sitting on the Historic Advisory Board for three years. She’s currently the president. She’s been involved in issues surrounding housing costs for the last couple.

          Comment by JKW — September 25, 2016 @ 12:59 pm

  7. Re. her BLM remarks: was Roloff naive and inarticulate (cf. the truly bizarre wording of her ad in the Sun a couple of weeks ago), or did was she deliberately sending a message to the old guard like #1 above? I’ve no idea.

    Comment by BC — September 21, 2016 @ 10:46 am

    • I think many of you are underestimating how many of the “young guard” will be for her and are also strongly opposed to the whole Alamedans United support campaign. I started with nothing and now own my own business. I once was a renter and now I own. I recently met this candidate at a meet and greet and my wife and we were very impressed. Far better than any true “politician” I’ve ever met and I’ve met a few.

      Comment by John — September 25, 2016 @ 2:23 pm

  8. drinking my second cup of coffee it did occur to me that 1. was completely sarcastic, but I fear it’s serious. I think we should gave Roloff benefit of the doubt and a chance to walk the whole thing back if there is another forum where that could be done. Not like any answer would satisfy me, but her original answer is so bizarre that I really would like to know what was in her mind. The easy and perhaps presumptuous answer is that it was all some big old dog whistle to old guard.

    6. reminds me that City Council is not the absolute bottom rung of the local political ladder. Frank Mataresse did multiple terms on now defunct EDC and then on the Planning Board before it was “his turn” to run for Council.

    Comment by MI — September 21, 2016 @ 11:01 am

    • I cannot find any evidence that Frank Matarrese was ever on the Planning Board. The City’s own documents going back to when I was on it do not list him as a past member. And since Frank & I graduated from high school the same year, I doubt he was on the PB earlier.

      Comment by vigi — September 22, 2016 @ 9:39 am

      • vigi, Frank sat on the PB with me, I actually was there with him.

        Comment by John P. — September 26, 2016 @ 12:24 pm

  9. “You don’t have to be a politician to know what is right, and you don’t have to be a politician to know that what is routinely happening to unarmed Black people in the United States is wrong..”

    Arm ’em.

    Comment by jack — September 21, 2016 @ 11:11 am

  10. My understanding that Roloff is the daughter of long time local Green Party activist Gretchen Lipow, also charter member of Alameda Citizens Taskforce ? If that is so, Gretchen has had years to hone her skills in the political arena. In the past Lipow did a great job of railroading the recommendations for Alameda council in Green’s county voter guide. If she is still involved I’ll expect Roloff to get the nod this year because last I knew Gretchen composed the entire Alameda chapter of the Greens. If they do talk shop, I’d expect better mentoring.

    Comment by MI — September 21, 2016 @ 11:14 am

    • In my opinion, the “Green” moniker is both accurate and misleading. The coalition is so “green”, so, “NO!” and “STOP!” and “NIMBY”!! …when you look carefully at what it takes to make public policy out of all that – it’s a No Government, All White Agenda. No apologies here. Again, in my opinion, it’s time to speak Truth to conscious or unconscious Racism, and Republicans if it’s in order. Yes, “Republican Foxes in our Democratic Hen House”.

      Comment by Gabrielle "Gaby" Dolphin — September 21, 2016 @ 1:28 pm

      • Foxes eat mammals, even mammals pretending to be fish.

        Comment by jack — September 21, 2016 @ 3:28 pm

  11. 9. remember the Black Panthers? how’d that turn out ?

    Comment by MI — September 21, 2016 @ 11:17 am

  12. For MI

    Comment by jack — September 21, 2016 @ 11:19 am

  13. Retrospect. Brought up by a relative when I mentioned I lived in Alameda, last week. Zack.

    Comment by Gerard L. — September 21, 2016 @ 2:07 pm

  14. Who wants to make a wager on a few things? One could wager that Lauren keeps faultfinding and making judgmental comments on this candidate because it’s getting her the most viewers and responses to this blog. One could wager that Lauren and a few others that continue to make negative comments about this candidate have never met her in person nor have they spoke to her directly about her comments at the Democratic Club forum, the Black Lives Matter issue specifically or about her views/thoughts on any other item for that matter. One could wager that the main concern over this candidate by many of those making disparaging comments is really related to the momentum and support she appears to be gathering from the community. One could wager that trying to pigeonhole this candidate “as her mother” would be a dangerous bet. One could bet that Lauren and several others just don’t do their home work…. if they did, then they would know they should be talking to Mr. Jeff Mackler if they really wanted to support the Black Lives Matter issue as he has done more work to support that cause than all those on this blog combined (that’s a separate wager). One could wager that Lauren and many others don’t know that Mr. Mackler is this candidate’s father. Final wager, that because someone is “Not A Politician” is a positive and not a negative. Summary, continuing to sling mud or fan flames in one specific area and without clear facts, is reckless and not needed in such a community in which we live.

    Comment by unprejudiced — September 21, 2016 @ 3:46 pm

    • That’s a lot of gambling.

      Roloff is free to point out that her father is a communist but for some reason, it’s not part of her election materials. And I don’t think it really matters. I’m not a shrink so I’ve no idea whether or how having a communist father led her to apparently conservative views.

      And you can support BLM without being a communist. In my experience, communists try to co-opt all progressive social movements and protests.

      Comment by BC — September 21, 2016 @ 4:36 pm

      • Bernie was the defacto “socialist” in this election. Most other third and fourth party tickets are chasing their tales and people who vote for them as “protest” are wasting their votes, and in the case of Jill Stein may be getting Trump elected. I’m figuring Gary Johnson’s votes may mostly be Trump votes, but Libertarians are squirrely bunch and they would find another way to squander their votes if Johnson wasn’t running. “Aleppo? What is this Aleppo?” Fasting from reefer hasn’t seemed to help Gary.

        14. Yes one could wager this or that, but I don’t actually give a rat’s ass. Good for you that you aren’t jaded ( “unprejudiced”).

        Comment by MI — September 21, 2016 @ 5:05 pm

    • Most people will never have the opportunity to meet most candidates that they vote for over the course of their lives. The only thing that we have to judge the majority of those candidates are the things that they say in public forums and venues and what is written in their own campaign materials.

      Perhaps your time could be better spent advising Jennifer Roloff on the basics of the issues that she may be confronted about rather than continue to allow her to repeat the really terrible reason for running for office as her not understanding how RFPs work. Or her ignorance on issues around affordable housing (more on that tomorrow). Or her clear lack of depth on most issues. She is running for City Council after all and not most likable Alamedan.

      Comment by Lauren Do — September 21, 2016 @ 5:08 pm

      • Translated meaning: If she don’t agree with me she ain’t qualified

        Comment by jack — September 21, 2016 @ 5:43 pm

        • At least I don’t judge people’s fitness for office by how fun they are when you hang out with them at Rockwall.

          Comment by Lauren Do — September 21, 2016 @ 5:54 pm

        • Ha, ha LD you maybe should lighten up and tip a few with us at RW. All views are held in derision.

          Comment by jack — September 21, 2016 @ 6:22 pm

  15. Maybe you would be able to meet candidates and not make such excuses if you would remove yourself from the safety of sitting behind your computer and passing judgement on others. This is a pretty small community actually so meeting people and getting out and about isn’t difficult. Also, if you really want to create discussion then why not evaluate all the candidates, pros and cons, on what they actually stand for, or have done, topic by topic/one by one? Unfortunately some that are not slick talking wishy washy politicians may not yet be as smooth as the others and are apparently easy prey for trolling. Maybe you and others are just still mad that Marie lost to Trish after spending 8x’s as much and having all that Fire Fighter money behind her. Ouch, explain that investment to your union members.

    Comment by unprejudiced — September 21, 2016 @ 7:11 pm

    • Carefull unp you’re falling into her web. LD is a closet conservative.

      Comment by jack — September 21, 2016 @ 7:28 pm

  16. 15, maybe we just don’t agree with you or Ms. Roloff. I’m sure that is very upsetting to you but that’s life. This is Laurens blog not ours and I hope she keeps running it just like Jack and I like it.

    Comment by John P. — September 21, 2016 @ 7:29 pm

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