Blogging Bayport Alameda

October 24, 2018

Eating your own

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

There’s an issue I’ve been watching unfold on Facebook since last week and I wasn’t sure if I should write about it to continue to give it oxygen or just leave it.  I decided to not leave it because it’s something that I’ve noticed about local (and national) politics.  Groups and people who should be aligned end up not being aligned because of some strange personality conflicts and eat their own.  Particularly when it comes to more progressive issues and groups.

Plus, it’s now been picked up by the East Bay Express.  While the EBX gives very general background on the actual emails, let me provide a little more background because the way it was summarized sounded like everyone involved worked for the school district and everyone involved was a party to the snark.

To provide some context this also involves some real piss poor technology skills as well.  In a nutshell: someone emailed a bunch of their friends about an email she received and added some snarky commentary.  That person them responded back with more snarky commentary.  Some people were just cced on the email and didn’t participate at all.  Some people were cced on the email who then promptly shared the emails with the people who were the subject of the snarky comments.

Unfortunately one of the snark makers is a current candidate for School Board: Anne McKereghan.  One snark maker is a teacher at AUSD.  Another snark maker is a well known community member in the world of school issues.  One person CCed, who didn’t participate in the discussion, is a district employee.

This isn’t a post to excuse the snark making even though we’ve all done it and are probably going to watch who we send emails out to a little more closely for the near future.  But it is to point out that this all could have been handled a little more diplomatically given that the emails were not intended for the eyes of the person who eventually forwarded them.  I’ve written a lot about the expectation of privacy and I don’t think that expectation only holds for meetings where we don’t expect to be tape recorded on the sly.

And also there’s something to be said about being able to reach out and apologize for any hurt that has been caused and make your public (and private, especially private) mea culpas.  When we hurt people, particularly those who we have a relationship with, it’s incumbent to do everything we can to make it right.

Putting aside what adults should have done when the emails first came out and now addressing the political repercussions: I’m okay with voters deciding that they don’t want to support Anne McKereghan because the don’t like the idea of her participating in such snarkiness and believing that to not be the type of behavior we want modeled in an elected official.  That is a valid point of view and honestly I’m struggling with that decision myself.

But what I’m not okay with is the idea that people deserve to lose their jobs over expressing an opinion about people in the public eye.  Or people losing their jobs over being cced on an email.  I’ve never been a fan of going after someone’s livelihood simply because you believe that you’re righteously entitled to do so.

So vote against Anne McKereghan if you think you need to because someone fucked up a carbon copy.  But don’t go after someone’s living because it’s politically expedient.

25 Comments

  1. I would take issue with how consistent you’ve been on the concept of not labeling people guilty by association, but your final two paragraphs are well said and I agree with them. Alameda is place where people can disagree. It is not a place where people should lose livelihoods for expressing opinions or offending the powerful and influential.

    Comment by MP — October 24, 2018 @ 6:17 am

    • BTW, has anyone’s job been threatened and by whom?

      Comment by MP — October 24, 2018 @ 6:23 am

      • I understand that the District has been contacted about the people who work for the District. I don’t know by whom and I don’t know how far reaching it is, but it feels very chilling.

        Comment by Lauren Do — October 24, 2018 @ 6:35 am

        • thank you

          Comment by MP — October 24, 2018 @ 6:44 am

  2. I don’t know of anyone who has not managed to put their foot in their mouth at one time or another. And while i cried when i saw the hurt inflicted, i felt a wave of compassion for AM. May i suggest amendment an amendment to the golden rule: anything you say about someone must be said as if they are in the room. How painful it is when we lose this fundamental integrity.

    Comment by Annie — October 24, 2018 @ 6:43 am

  3. Wait! Didn’t you defend Oddie and Vella’s “right to privacy” in their “private” conversations trying to pressure the city manager to choose the “right” fire chief and today you think it’s OK to take a private email chain and make a political issue out of it?

    Is “snarkiness” a thing or are people just virtue signaling?

    Just a wild guess. This is a Bonta award ceremony, and the publicity benefits Bonta’s wife in the election campaign running against McKeregan

    Comment by Nowyouknow — October 24, 2018 @ 6:51 am

    • Do you just skim or is your reading comprehension that bad?

      This is what I wrote:

      I’ve written a lot about the expectation of privacy and I don’t think that expectation only holds for meetings where we don’t expect to be tape recorded on the sly.

      Comment by Lauren Do — October 24, 2018 @ 8:15 am

  4. I’ve known Anne for a while, and what I really like about her is that she’s a real decent caring human being. I know that she will do her best to reach out and try to make amends. I hope she is given that chance to do so.

    Anne has been involved with the School Board for many years. This is her passion – her love, and she’s very good at it. We need Anne on the school board.

    I will be supporting and voting for my friend Anne McKeregan for School Board!

    Comment by Karen — October 24, 2018 @ 8:23 am

    • The lady who continually lies about local renter activists in the letters to the editors of the Sun defends her co-worker who is clearly a shitty person. Nobody cares, Karen!

      Comment by Rod — October 24, 2018 @ 9:37 am

      • I really wanted to avoid this whole thing entirely but I will not stand Anne being impugned that way.

        You clearly do not know Anne, because NO ONE who does would ever say that about her. She has been a tireless volunteer for school causes for well over a decade and is a very knowledgeable board member. She is also a first class human being who I am pleased to call a friend.

        She lightly ridiculed a couple of things that were frankly worthy of light ridicule. Most of us do that every day. Get some perspective.

        Comment by dave — October 24, 2018 @ 9:52 am

        • I’m still going with shitty person!

          Comment by Rod — October 24, 2018 @ 10:50 am

  5. It sounds like Anne exercised incredibly poor judgment. “When the Express contacted McKereghan last week for comment for this report, she said she was heading into a meeting and would call back later, but she never did.” – It would have been smarter to apologize profusely and move on; not commenting will simply keep the story alive longer.

    Comment by trow125 — October 24, 2018 @ 11:23 am

  6. So Anne made a snarky comment in what was supposed to be a private email about a political circle jerk loosely disguised as an “award.” Big f*cking deal. She’s still the best candidate.

    Comment by Oh the Irony! — October 24, 2018 @ 12:04 pm

  7. We already voted by mail. Really bummed by this but the snark doesn’t sound vicious to me. Too bad Anne didn’t apologize immediately.

    I disagree with Mr. Henneberry that it is a betrayal of his wife’s memory. She was an amazing person and dedicated to her service to the community. Her death was absolutely tragic, but we are not our spouses. (My own marriage could make me a poster child for that statement ! I’m trying to reform my behavior.)

    I tried to pretend that Mia’s qualifications meant I could disassociate her being married to Rob, but her comments in the article give me some pause. Just some…..Rob Bonta is simply too ambitious for my tastes. I’ve voted for him every time he’s been on the ballot but not enthusiastically.

    In an era when the Koch brothers are trying to wipe out unions completely I’m compelled to support them vehemently, but sometimes the way they function is a little unsavory. Disappointed to learn they are backing Lym.

    Comment by MI — October 24, 2018 @ 12:59 pm

    • Curious, but what’s wrong with backing Gary Lym? He seems to be very knowledgeable, knows his numbers, is data-driven, and the only candidate to publicly state that he is against the closure of Encinal High School. Mia is also an excellent candidate, but it’s hard to find a fault with Mr. Lym, unless I am missing something.

      Comment by JRB — October 24, 2018 @ 2:11 pm

      • I think all the candidates for School Board have come out against the high school consolidation.

        Comment by Lauren Do — October 24, 2018 @ 4:35 pm

  8. Guys, it’s MORE THAN SNARK. Talking $hit about the spouse of the dead school board member whose term you stepped into finish qualifies you as a profoundly uncool person who DOES NOT DESERVE TO HOLD THE OFFICE. Vote for anyone EXCEPT Anne.

    Comment by Big Johnson — October 24, 2018 @ 1:19 pm

    • I’m very sorry about Mr. Henneberry’s tragic loss, but his loss does not immunize him from criticism — especially when he is very outspoken about local political issues.

      Comment by Oh the Irony! — October 24, 2018 @ 2:25 pm

  9. McKereghan probably remembers when Mike Henneberry was on the front page of the Alameda newspapers regarding the Raley’s labor dispute. Nothing to do with Solana.

    Comment by vigi — October 24, 2018 @ 2:47 pm

    • That doesn’t exactly sound less shitty to me.

      Comment by Rod — October 24, 2018 @ 3:35 pm

    • Vigi: “Whataboutism.”

      Comment by JRB — October 24, 2018 @ 3:50 pm

  10. Had the original participants honored the often-mentioned Rules of “Netiquette” (http://www.albion.com/netiquette/corerules.html) and “remembered the human(s)” involved, they might not have forwarded the original emails — out of respect for everyone mentioned and everyone who participated in the chain. That would have had a net positive effect, IMHO.

    Forwarding emails without permission is a major breach of good manners–precisely because of situations like this “outing” of a private communication for (presumably) political gain. I have failed to adhere to this rule myself, usually at the cost of significant regret and/or consequences.

    I have been distressed by the number of personal attacks and angry, negative statements I have read and heard in our local campaign as well as in state and national politics. Surely, there must be a better way and a higher road we can walk?

    Whether we are designing political mailers and ads, sending emails, or commenting here, we would all do well to ask ourselves first — before hitting “send” or going to press — whether what we are writing or saying serves the common good and whether our words are intended to harm a living, breathing human being. If our words are not well-intentioned and generated out of good will, perhaps they should remain unsent or unsaid… (I wish I had learned this lesson long ago.)

    Like most humans, I am far more fallible and forgetful than I want to be. Perhaps that is why I appreciate the fact that Jesus of Nazareth said we should forgive each other “seventy times seven” (490) times. Of course, I am not very good about that practice, either…

    Comment by Jon Spangler — October 24, 2018 @ 6:18 pm

  11. Whoever forwarded the email out to others not in the original thread is a shit head.

    Comment by michonnekatana — October 24, 2018 @ 10:02 pm

  12. 1. Solana was a very good person and I will give full credit to the man for apparently stepping up and putting his children first after they lost their mom but a man who basically starts the crap he did at Nob Hill is no public hero.
    2. Melia, who I hardly know, is someone with political aspirations, again great for almost volunteering but not a hero.
    3. Bunker is a loud teacher that gives stockings of coal at school board meetings, super mature and exactly what we want to “teach” children about civility.
    This is a stupid publicity ploy by the Bonta group and his army of firefighters.
    (FYI, I am a crazy liberal who feels like I have hives over agreeing with the nut jobs in this town over the firefighter/Bonta crap. The Bonta/firefighter relationship has cost my city a lot of money and I am sick of driving on sucky roads because we are spending money on lawyers and payoffs, due to their shenanigans)

    Comment by seriously? — October 25, 2018 @ 8:14 am


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