Blogging Bayport Alameda

September 12, 2017

Till we reach the higher ground

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

Did I mention that the City Council meeting on September 5 got only through a handful of items?  I think someone in the comments section did mention that the Poet Laureate agenda item was bumped so badly that the celebration had to happen without the poet laureates even being recognized that evening.   In addition to poor time and meeting management skills, when you have a City Council member ramble for 20 minutes at a stretch on one agenda item, there really is no way that you’re going to get through the majority of your agenda items.  At the very end of the meeting (hopefully I’ll remember to excerpt this for you all) there was a prolonged discussion around 10:30 p.m. around whether to hear new items since the City Council is supposed to wrap up at 10:30 p.m.  Let’s just say the super majority of the City Council — four out of five — couldn’t agree to what to move forward with and so the meeting had to end.

Two of the City Council members felt very strongly about this the issue of marijuana and how it will be incorporated into Alameda but all of the City Council was supportive in varying degrees.  At some points it felt as though there was a bit of jockeying from the two most supportive members: Trish Spencer and Jim Oddie to really push staff hard to show the community just how supportive they really were.  It probably won’t surprise you when you realize that both are up for re-election next year and in abstract Alamedans seem supportive of marijuana for medicinal and recreational uses.

There was a request from the majority of the City Council to be more thoughtful about the process of permitting marijuana related industries (dispensaries, testing facilities, on-site consumption, distribution, production) all of these have not been properly vetted by City staff and, really, the City Council to discuss how they want to approach this industry from a policy level.  There was a definite sense from the majority  that there needed to be a thoughtfulness around the topic.  Oh, and that there were other priorities in the City Council policy pipeline which shouldn’t get shoved aside for this issue.

It is, by far, the first time I’ve heard Trish Spencer sound somewhat invested in an issue, perhaps because it affects her personally.  Here’s a transcription of a small part of her comments which lasted 20 minutes (or the duration of six-dish public speakers):

So in regards to the question: why rush?  I don’t think this is rushing. I think that our country has been dealing with this over 50 years some of you would say 60 years.  And I will submit that our country has done a very poor job with this issue.  And that connects to my next issue that many of you spoke about your personal journeys and I have heard from people in the community in regards to their children, themselves, their parents needing medicinal cannabis to actually be able to participate in life.

The ironic thing about these comments is that if you were to change only two words from that mini speech, it would resonate for a whole other segment of the population which Trish Spencer has not seen fit to represent and instead has openly prided herself on slowing that down.

Watch:

So in regards to the question: why rush?  I don’t think this is rushing. I think that our country has been dealing with this over 50 years some of you would say 60 years.  And I will submit that our country has done a very poor job with this issue.  And that connects to my next issue that many of you spoke about your personal journeys and I have heard from people in the community in regards to their children, themselves, their parents needing housing to actually be able to participate in life.

This did not go unnoticed by others on the dais, and — interestingly enough — some of the biggest slow growthers in Alameda came up to encourage expediency around the pot issue because, guess what, it affects them directly.

 

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3 Comments »

  1. Oddie and the Mayor were hardly the only Councilmembers who failed to self-regulate the rambling in the cannabis discussion. Sometimes less is more.

    Comment by MP — September 12, 2017 @ 6:59 am

  2. Jeez with all the rambling commentary you’d think they were talking about medical cocaine, am I right folks?

    One problem as I see it is that no one will ever run (and if they did they probably wouldn’t get enough votes to win*) on a platform like: “I am here to: (A) get City business done, and (B) to keep my opinions to myself unless expressing them is the service of (A)!” Your typical politician loves to preen in front of the crowd, and can’t help but think of themselves as some kind of moral guiding lights to the citizens they are elected to govern, as opposed to a basic decision making functionary. The intensity of this instinct is probably higher the smaller the office.

    *They would get my vote.

    Comment by brock — September 12, 2017 @ 9:59 am

    • Seems like Trish and Oddie are hoping their grandstanding will ingratiate themselves with the Cannabis industry and translate into campaign contributions next year, similar to the donor base for Bonta.

      Comment by Alan — September 12, 2017 @ 4:54 pm


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