Blogging Bayport Alameda

July 31, 2017

Who do you work for?

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

On Thursday a press release went outpress release went out announcing that the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) had approved, by an overwhelming majority, Plan Bay Area 2040 and accompanying Environmental Impact Report.   Plan Bay Area 2040 is, from the Press Release,

Plan Bay Area 2040 is a long-range blueprint to guide transportation investments and land-use decisions through 2040, while meeting the requirements of California’s landmark 2008 Senate Bill 375, which calls on each of the state’s 18 metropolitan areas to develop a Sustainable Communities Strategy to accommodate future population growth and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from cars and light trucks.

The Plan shines a spotlight on the region’s housing crisis — in terms of housing availability and affordability — and calls on citizens to join with business, government, academia and the non-profit sector to solve it. The Bay Area must “pursue a multi-pronged strategy that emphasizes the construction of new homes for residents of all incomes, the protection of the region’s most vulnerable households, and the need to advocate for more financial resources to pursue local and regional solutions,” the Plan notes.

For all of the pomp and circumstances it is a non-binding document kind of like all well intentioned documents attempting to solve regional issues.  Even though there’s an EIR, all jurisdictions maintain local control which was repeated often during the meeting.

This was the part of the Press Release that is most relevant to Alameda:

The nearly unanimous vote — with 41 of the 43 officials from the two bodies voting in the affirmative on the Plan and 39 for the EIR  — caps a three-year process of plan development and intensive public outreach.

So, I will say that when I read it I naturally assumed that one of the two votes against was cast by Alameda’s rep to ABAG, Trish Spencer, but I wanted to be sure, so I watched.

Yes, I watched a joint ABAG and MTC meeting.  Sure enough, guess who was one of the two votes against.  Trish Spencer.

Now, you may be asking yourself, why did Trish Spencer vote against this Plan Bay Area 2040.  It was not for the benefit of the City of Alameda.  You know, the City that Trish Spencer is supposed to represent.  But rather it appeared to be because she had glommed on to a talking point that had already been debunked thoroughly prior to her comments and once again during her comments.  In fact her no vote came around this particular parcel in a city not even in Alameda County but across the Bay in Brisbane.

I’ll get to the particulars of the discussion in another post, but wanted to point out that Trish Spencer represents the City of Alameda in these ABAG meetings not Trish Spencer the individual.  If Alameda’s interests were well represented in the Plan Bay Area 2040 document then it was incumbent on Trish Spencer to vote for the issue.  It is embarrassing enough that Trish Spencer voted “no” on an issue that she had the fundamental facts wrong on where the Brisbane number originated, but that she voted against the interests of Alameda in general is pretty appalling.  After all, according to the document while these are not RHNA (Regional Housing Needs Assessment) numbers, the allocation is done the same.  There is a fixed number of units that are needed to be identified and if Trish Spencer is arguing for the number to go down for Brisbane, then more units will be allocated for all other cities, including Alameda, to balance it out.

I’ll point out that the other vote came from the City of Millbrae, but the San Mateo County supervisor who sits on ABAG and represents the City of Brisbane voted in favor of Plan Bay Area 2040.

The City Council needs to ensure that Trish Spencer — at these regional meetings — represents the interests of Alameda in general, not the interests of Trish Spencer, resident contrarian.




  1. Lots of exciting things are happening in Oakland, our neighbors! Blue Shield is moving their headquarters to Oakland from San Francisco, Delta Dental is also looking for space to possibly move their headquarters to Oakland, Uber’s Oakland space is moving closer to completion, developers are starting to build office space on spec, over 300 new restaurants have opened in Oakland (creating an environment to attract new companies), Oakland’s tourism economy is booming — and Oakland recently hired a new Planning Director from New Orleans with amazing credentials for growth, tourism and economic development.

    As Oakland grows and improves their economy, so does Alameda and the rest of the East Bay! Jobs are what’s driving the growth in the Bay Area, and the housing and that’s in the pipeline helps our story that Alameda is open and ready for business.

    Comment by Karen Bey — July 31, 2017 @ 7:24 am

    • Their own little MOGA!

      Comment by jack — July 31, 2017 @ 10:16 am

    • Probably none of the commentators here knew Oakland in the 60s. All I can say is from a former swabbie who used to pull liberty in Oakland while stationed in Alameda, it was way better than the City.

      Comment by jack — July 31, 2017 @ 7:31 pm

  2. ” Lots of exciting things are happening in Oakland!” – like arsonists burning down new construction!

    Comment by Nowyouknow — July 31, 2017 @ 12:32 pm

  3. As proud as I am to be a New Orleans native, I’m not so sure its management and governance should be emulated by Oakland or any other city.

    Comment by dave — July 31, 2017 @ 1:42 pm

  4. Being an Alameda on the mainland is becoming as embarrassing as being an American, well, anywhere outside the US. Trish/Trump!

    Comment by BC — July 31, 2017 @ 1:55 pm

    • I’d be shocked if more than 3% of people in Oakland know the mayor of Alameda’s name. It’s still fairly safe to cross the estuary without fear of ridicule.

      Comment by dave — July 31, 2017 @ 2:48 pm

      • That’s a good point. If a leader babbles in a small town and no-one hears them, do they make a noise?

        Comment by BC — July 31, 2017 @ 3:29 pm

      • I hear she wears her parade sash everywhere nowadays so she will be recognized.

        Comment by notadave — July 31, 2017 @ 4:09 pm

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