Blogging Bayport Alameda

August 9, 2018

Diss-information, part 3

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

This group styling itself as good governance and attempting to tone police the City Council campaign by asking at one point:

Screen Shot 2018-08-08 at 8.08.21 PM

Has no problem putting out untrue information itself posed in the form of a question.  From the “Housing” section, ACT PAC/A Better Alameda asks:

Screen Shot 2018-08-08 at 8.05.31 PM

I’m not sure why this is stated so definitively because this never happened.  How do I know this, because I wrote about how confused Trish Spencer was at the joint ABAG/MTC meeting where she asked this question over and over again and every single time staff told her that her allegation was incorrect.

In case you didn’t read that, here’s the highlight:

The first she cross examines staff, manages to have him answer her question the way she wants in her momentary “gotcha” moment (Brisbane number came from Developer), but later the chair of ABAG clarifies where that Brisbane number comes from: the PDA which was submitted by the city of Brisbane.  This comes about 30 minutes after the staff has already clarified that the number came from the PDA which was submitted by the city of Brisbane.

If you don’t want to watch all the videos just watch this one where the Mayor of San Jose provides so much clarification that we should all be re-embarassed by our elected Mayor:

Maybe ACT PAC/A Better Alameda should clean up their own house first with regard to “untrue” information before pointing the finger at other PACs.


  1. If you say something over and over again, then it must be true. It may even help get elected President.

    Comment by Mike McMahon — August 9, 2018 @ 7:50 am

  2. “It was recently revealed that the current mayor may repeat untruths despite being corrected. Is this appropriate? If not, how would you suggest remedying it?”

    Comment by BC — August 9, 2018 @ 8:37 am

  3. If I lived in San Jose, I’d be much more embarrassed by Sam Liccardo–the mayor who utterly failed to warn his city residents of the worst flood in decades
    Maybe Sam Liccardo was spending too much time on MTC board meddling in other cities’ business, to look out for his own! LISTEN to what Sam Liccardo says on the YouTube clip:

    “as long as smaller job-rich towns are not willing to take their responsibility for building housing”.we will have this housing crisis.. Well, Alameda is definitely NOT a “job-rich town” so his comment supports decreasing our RHNA numbers.

    It is true that RHNA numbers are set by Councils of Governments, of which ABAG is ours. But ABAG takes input from stakeholders in parcelling out RHNA numbers for individual cities. Developers, not city councils, build houses. Developers are key stakeholders in the RHNA process. To pretend that developers do not have input into the RHNA process is ludicrous.

    This clip admits the input of a developer in the Brisbane PDA plan, so I don’t know why Lauren thinks this helps her argument. Clearly, Lauren Do does not understand the RHNA process well enough to go pointing fingers at anyone else. Asking clarifying questions is always a good thing. The more complex the process, the more often it needs to be questioned.

    Another opinion about the Brisbane dilemma

    Comment by vigi — August 9, 2018 @ 10:04 am

    • I think you may have some “misinterpreting” problems as well. Here’s the thing: the ABAG staff didn’t understand that Trish Spencer was questioning them under bad faith and trying to entrap them. That’s why the chair of the meeting stepped in for a final clarification. But in addition to that clarification, the same question was asked again and again with the same answer.

      The numbers, for the PDA, came from the city of Brisbane. Not the developer.

      Comment by Lauren Do — August 9, 2018 @ 11:17 am

      • First, how do you know what kind of “faith” was going on inside Trish Spencer’s head? You don’t even grasp what is going on in the region. Or maybe you are just being paid by the BAC to write this blog..

        Second, I don’t think you appreciate what is going on in Brisbane. It’s a city of less than 5000 people and may turn out to be the poster child for why ABAG has no business telling cities how much housing they have to build. LA Times: A Bay Area developer wants to build 4,400 sorely needed homes. Here’s why it won’t happen

        ABAG has been wrong about housing numbers before–or have you never heard of WinCup? It took a Marin County Grand Jury report to figure that one out. And yes, a developer was involved in taking advantage of flaws in the ABAG system to get a larger development built. Corte Madera protested the ABAG numbers, but was denied. When ABAG finally admitted it was wrong, it was too late

        From the Marin Grand Jury Report:.

        “ABAG assigns RHNA allocations to communities in Marin, including Corte Madera. With that allocation, the Town is required to start planning for the next General Plan update, often referred to as the ‘housing cycle’, a seven-year planning window. For the 2007-2014 Corte Madera General Plan update, ABAG declared the RHNA to be 244 dwelling units. This turned out to be an over-allocation for a town with a population of 9,253 and 2.7 square miles of developable land.

        While the Town formally protested the allocation, ABAG rejected the protest and the 244 dwelling units became the Town’s baseline for planning and could not be changed. Later, for the 2015-2022 Housing Cycle, ABAG acknowledged the over-allocation and assigned a reduced allocation of 72 dwelling units to the Town. The new allocation of 72 dwelling units for the 2015-2022 Housing Cycle was decided well into the construction already taking place at WinCup, with 180 dwelling units.”

        The RHNA process is flawed Practically everyone involved in it admits it. That’s why the wealthiest most spacious places to live [Piedmont, Hillsborough, Los Altos and the like] remain so, while the smaller poorer communities are bullied into accepting more and more housing that overwhelms their infrastructure and public services. The only way to undo the corruption in the RHNA process is for mayors and city councils to stand up to it by questioning the process. Elected officials who refuse to do so are not serving their communities.

        Comment by vigi — August 9, 2018 @ 1:11 pm

        • Piedmont Population: 11,353
          Piedmont Area: 1.7 square miles
          Piedmont Density = 11,353 / 1.7 = 6,678 people per square mile

          Alameda Population: 78,906
          Alameda Area: 23.1 square miles
          Alameda Density = 78,906 / 23.1 = 3,416 people per square mile

          So Alameda is almost twice as spacious as Piedmont and should get lots of additional housing.

          Comment by brock — August 10, 2018 @ 10:25 am

        • Los Altos Population: 30,561
          Los Altos Area: 6.47 square miles
          Los Altos Density = 30,561 / 6.47 = 4,723 people per square mile

          Comment by brock — August 10, 2018 @ 10:53 am

        • 23 square miles includes a large amount of water as well as the navy base, only a sliver of which is inhabited.

          Alameda’s land area West of Main St is about 6.5 square miles. That makes Alameda’s “effective density,” to coin a phrase, approx 12000/sq mi.

          Comment by dave — August 10, 2018 @ 10:57 am

        • Brock. You must be involved in calculating our RHNA numbers! Don’t know where you got your figures, but Wikipedia says Alameda’s Land square miles = 10.44.
          Using your population & roughly, 78906/10 = 7890 persons per square mi, Denser than Piedmont.
          And that doesn’t account for land set aside for the Least Tern.

          Great example of how one can easily lie with statistics. And how projections and estimates are completely dependent on where the numbers come from.

          Comment by vigi — August 10, 2018 @ 11:11 am

        • Point conceded.

          Comment by brock — August 10, 2018 @ 11:29 am

        • The “effective density” figure makes Alameda one of the densest communities in the East Bay already. Would density advocacy be better employed if it was focused on areas that aren’t already pulling their weight?

          Comment by dave — August 10, 2018 @ 11:35 am

        • I’m all for increasing density in Los Altos, Piedmont, Hillsborough too.

          Side note: AC transit transbay (O, OX, W) rush-hour commute times should be improving starting next week with the opening of the new Transbay Terminal. Buses into and out of SF will have their own dedicated ramp from 80 right to the new terminal. I’m hoping for a 5 to 10 minute improvement.

          Comment by brock — August 10, 2018 @ 11:52 am

      • “Bad faith” Cool word of the day – thanks.

        Comment by bad faith — August 9, 2018 @ 1:59 pm

      • correction: EAST of Main

        Comment by dave — August 10, 2018 @ 11:00 am

  4. As one of the drafters of the Questionnaire, I did take note of your comments on Question 18. After researching the matter, I find that we misinterpreted the Mayor’s comment’s to one of our members some time ago. Question 18 is much too strongly worded. We do have concerns about possible developer influence on ABAG and believe the entire process of the determination of RHNA housing goals needs to be fully explored by Council and Staff, but we have no evidence or cause to believe that housing numbers are “set by developers”. Thank you for bringing this to our attention.

    Comment by Paul S Foreman — August 9, 2018 @ 10:21 am

    • Should your source really be the mayor, especially as she is so prone to…misunderstanding? You seem basically to be part of her campaign. Wouldn’t that be an honest way to proceed rather than pretend to be some neutral group of unaffiliated, and yet very concerned and vigilant (truthful and civil too, right?) citizens? Just say what you are.

      Comment by BC — August 9, 2018 @ 10:50 am

      • You are entitled to think what you will. Our committee will make no decision on who to support for Mayor or Council until the responses to our questionnaire have been reviewed, interviews scheduled if clarification is needed, and we observe the candidates at the candidates nights scheduled this month.

        On the Question 18 issue, I have informed all of the candidates of our error in much the same wording as appears on my posting on this blog.

        I am sorry that you suspect my truthfulness and civility. You are testing my civility, but I will keep trying.

        Comment by Paul S Foreman — August 9, 2018 @ 11:45 am

        • Are you open to suggestions on thoroughly leading questions? (I love that you phrase the question “when [not it] your PACs…?”) If so, here’s one:

          “Has your spouse sued the city? Is this appropriate? If not, how would you suggest remedying it?” Note, I don’t say anyone’s spouse has actually done so. I’d be genuinely interested in the answers the candidates gave to this question. I think the question is pertinent.

          Comment by BC — August 9, 2018 @ 12:04 pm

  5. Am I the only one bothered by the apostrophe in “PAC’s?”

    Comment by TK — August 9, 2018 @ 6:02 pm

    • Yes, I am bothered. There should not be an apostrophe there. It was intended as plural, not possessive. Sorry about that.

      Comment by Paul S Foreman — August 9, 2018 @ 7:34 pm

      • this is starting to sound like the trump white house, always getting caught in some untruth and then just saying sorry we didn’t mean that, over and over.

        Comment by JohnP.TrumpisnotmyPresident. — August 10, 2018 @ 10:16 am

        • Who is?

          Comment by Jack — August 10, 2018 @ 5:22 pm

        • Who Is,???, who is Jack, ?????. I don’t know.

          Comment by JohnP.TrumpisnotmyPresident. — August 11, 2018 @ 6:43 pm

        • TrumpisnotmyPresident
          Who is?

          Comment by Jack — August 12, 2018 @ 6:04 pm

  6. If this PAC is to differentiate itself from all other PACs, it will publicly list each of its donors separately with the amount and occupation of the donor (and maybe the organization(s) affiliation as well?) I don’t see a necessity for a PAC unless it is to mask the individual donors so we cannot “follow the money”. PAC money is often spent doing “dirty tricks” – e.g., the nasty mailers sent out in prior elections. That way, the candidate can claim no part in the bad behavior. If we know who you all are, you don’t need a PAC; you just need to donate to the candidate of your choice and put it on them to take responsibility for what goes on during the election process.

    The union PACs we know are make up of union members of that work group; the political party PACs we know are made up of persons who align themselves with the Party values. The candidates to whom your money will be given are going to be ones that answer those questions exactly as they are meant to be answered by you; why not just “fess’ up” and be public about your expectation that, with your help, PAC or no, they will be grateful for your assistance and more likely to vote as you wish them to. It seems to me to be disingenuous to believe this PAC will act totally differently than other PACs.

    Comment by Kate Quick — August 11, 2018 @ 3:10 pm

    • We’ll put Kate! All donations to a candidate for an Alameda City office should not have the donator remain anonymous.

      Comment by Jack — August 11, 2018 @ 6:36 pm

    • oh come Kate,…. Paul is organizing this “PAC'”, and he is very honest and forthright. He is only doing this in the best interest of the citizens of Alameda. he knows what is right and good, so why would any of us doubt him. Of course he sometimes makes a few errors in his questioning of people running for office but that is just to get at the true meaning of his agenda. ………….. NOT……….

      Comment by JohnP.TrumpisnotmyPresident. — August 11, 2018 @ 6:38 pm

    • Kate, Under California law PACs and individual candidates have the same requirement to identify their contributors. In order to determine the contributors you must go to We have put that URL and instructions for searching it on our website at so that everyone can see, not only who contributes to us, but to all candidates and PACs. Our first report will be posted after our contributions reach $2000, which will probably be in September, after we have determined and announced our endorsements.

      The reason that we are forming this PAC is to promote three candidates who will form a new majority on Council. If you want to get a sense of the nature of the majority we seek, I refer you to our website at As you will read there, we are not expecting our endorsed candidates to be in lock step with us.

      Comment by Paul S Foreman — August 12, 2018 @ 5:50 pm

      • of course you are, why else would you endorse them. ???

        Comment by JohnP.TrumpisnotmyPresident. — August 12, 2018 @ 6:11 pm

        • Who is?

          Comment by Jack — August 12, 2018 @ 6:23 pm

      • Paul, your PAC is incredibly confusing. Originally, I thought it was supposed to be a broad coalition of Alamedans from all walks of life to get them better involved in local governance, and you had a pretty good mission statement going. Now, you’re being a lot more transparent – it’s to form a “new majority on Council.”

        I would not be shocked if one of the candidates endorsed is Tony Daysog, someone widely seen as least caring about his constituents and stand to benefit the most from outside money – literally the opposite of what this PAC claims to be.

        Comment by JRB — August 13, 2018 @ 6:38 am

        • JRB, the original newspaper, social media and email announcement of our public PAC Exploratory Meeting in June clearly presented the idea of a new majority as our core purpose as does the “about us” page of our website, therefore there Is no lack of transparency. No candidates have been selected yet. If you wish to comment positively or negatively on any candidate, our email address appears on our website. We welcome input.

          Comment by Paul S Foreman — August 13, 2018 @ 9:00 am

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