Blogging Bayport Alameda

June 9, 2020

Crime stopper

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

Trying to take advantage of the current political climate it appears that former Mayor Trish Spencer is trying to boost her image by referencing a previous Council Referral she placed for consideration to create an “oversight body” for police and crime.  Framed by the issues of today there is the appearance that Trish Spencer was ahead of her time, but I want to remind everyone about the context in which Trish Spencer pushed the oversight committee forward.

There was a lot of public noise at the end of 2017 about an increase in crime.  Mostly on Facebook and NextDoor.  The Council even noticed a Neighborhood Watch Meeting on October 20 so that a majority of the City Council could attend.  Trish Spencer then placed a Council Referral on the November 7 to “Consider Directing Staff to Provide a Public Update on Crime within the City. (Mayor Spencer).”  That item wasn’t heard until November 21.  From the Council Referral:

Members of the public have expressed concern over what appears to be an increase in crime in the community.  Consider directing staff to provide a public update on crime within the City that includes trends, what the City is doing and what additional steps can be taken to reduce or thwart criminal activity.  Council should consider holding a workshop on the matter.

In the minutes for that agenda item, Trish Spencer indicates that she had filed another Council Referral that she had wanted to be addressed in conjunction with the crime update.  From the approved minutes:

Mayor Spencer stated that she would be requesting adding an oversight committee.

Councilmember Matarrese inquired whether the oversight committee is in the referral.

Mayor Spencer responded it is an additional step which Council can discuss.

Councilmember Ezzy Ashcraft stated the matter should be discussed when the next
referral comes before Council.

Mayor Spencer stated that she would like to direct staff to consider adding the oversight committee as an additional step.

What is notable is that the referral was seeking not just oversight over police but over crime as well.  The title of the referral: “Consider Creating a Police and Crime Citizens Oversight Advisory Committee.”  The “and Crime” is the major feature here. Based on the context of 2017 it wasn’t so much to focus on police oversight but to make sure that the “increased crime” was getting attention.  In fact, the only piece of correspondence about the committee was from a person in our community who has studied the historic biases of the Alameda police department and of Alameda in general: Rasheed Shabazz.  You’ll have to open the correspondence file to get his email but here are highlights, the whole thing is worth a read because it contains documents from Alameda’s problematic 1991 police force and the City’s reaction:


This referral of Trish Spencer was not based on attempting to provide oversight to police to prevent bias related incidents via citizen review.  It was piggybacked on the social media fueled panic that there was an increase in crime and that the police were not doing enough to prevent crime.  It was to increase police activity not de-escalate it. Don’t let folks change their intent from yesterday fit the narrative of today.


  1. Excellent research that provides important context for understanding what candidates for office value and how they operate. Though not rich herself, Ms. Spencer’s bases her politics on the precept that rich property owners lives matter.

    Comment by 2WheelSmith — June 9, 2020 @ 6:57 am

  2. There you go again, using Trish, the first Latina mayor of our city as your political whipping boy. Your liberal privilege is showing. If you really want to know what Trish Spencer thinks about increased crime in Alameda, and the purpose of her proposed commission, why not interview her? By the way, Trish is correct.

    “Year Over Year Crime In Alameda (per 100,000 people)
    The violent crime rate in Alameda has increased by 21%, while the property crime rate in Alameda has increased by 5% year over year. Summing up the numbers, Alameda has increased by 6% with regards to total crimes year over year.”

    Please don’t forget, that crime and policing policies, affect poor people the most, not “rich property owners.”

    Comment by Nowyouknow — June 9, 2020 @ 7:39 am

    • Stop spewing shit here and troll elsewhere- for the 20th time. Nobody likes the crap you post here thus I fail to see why you continue showing up…

      Comment by john doe — June 9, 2020 @ 7:58 am

      • yes I don’t debate shit spewing trolls anymore, so I’m with you john doe.

        Comment by trumpisaracist — June 9, 2020 @ 8:21 am

      • Mr. Doe, are you new to the internet? The proven method of dealing with trolls is to ignore them. Were someone an actual troll on this forum, your angry responses are exactly what brings the troll back repeatedly. It is apparent that you are easily provoked and you provide that dopamine hit that trolls desire. Since you are naive of this fact, one assumes your answers stem from deeply held xenophobic beliefs when provoked by diverse thoughts.

        Comment by Bart — June 9, 2020 @ 10:41 am

        • Same for you too. Why do both of you Trump worshipers come on here? Oh- BTW- looks like your dear leader is flailing these days in the polls. Texas, and yes- Missouri are tied. He now has a net 55% disapproval rating and his approval rating is now down to almost 40%. That and Trump trails in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Florida, Minnesota and Arizona. All states that Trump won.

          Comment by john doe — June 9, 2020 @ 11:32 am

    • I appreciate the points that Nowyouknow raised as they support constructive debate. It certainly is true that crime and policing policies affect poor people and I agree that I should, and I will, ask Trish about her reasons for supporting a police commission TODAY and to let bygones be bygones regarding the context of her council referral.

      Few liberals who know me well would characterize me as liberal, and definitely not progressives. Strident progressives, with their increasing intolerance of contrary viewpoints and insistence on ideological purity, are as big, perhaps a bigger, threat to democratic government than Mr. Trump.

      So Nowyouknow, I hope you continue to comment constructively on this blog without personal attacks. To act means that I will err – and I need others like you to hold me accountable to give me an opportunity to correct my errors. Thank you for your comments.

      Comment by 2wheelsmith — June 9, 2020 @ 8:46 am

      • nothing in my lifetime (77yrs.) has been a bigger threat to democratic government that this president.

        Comment by trumpisnotmypresident — June 9, 2020 @ 9:48 am

        • One would hope, John, that in your 77 years you would have learned we are a Republic, not a democratic government. That aside, it appears you suffer like others anti-Trump; making him much more powerful that he really is. That Trump is capable of something so great as to threaten our government without any repercussions. You make him out to be untouchable – ha, says his supporters.

          Trump really isn’t that powerful as your hallucination makes him.

          Comment by Bart — June 9, 2020 @ 10:48 am

        • Bart – actually, the United States is a democratic republic. In other words, a hybrid betweeen a democracy and a republic. It’s fitting that we have two major political parties that are called the Democrats and the Republicans, and thus should be easy to remember – on that note, those who insist that we are purely a republic often do so to try and validate the political party that shares the name and invalidate the one that does not.

          No one wants a pure democracy, because then it would be easy to run roughshod over the minority and everything would grind to a halt as every single issue needs to be voted on by the people.

          Comment by JRB — June 9, 2020 @ 11:16 am

        • Bart, As I’ve said before the ONLY reason Trump is in power is because people like you- who for whatever reason that I cannot rationalize- STILL support him. I mean come on…. want to know what your dear leader did last night? He literally tweeted that a 75 year old elderly white man who was violently pushed down by police officer and is now in the ICU is somehow a ANTIFA operative? No seriously- where on earth do you find within yourself to continue supporting that? Its awful! I have absolutely 100% faith that you will ignore what I just said. We just want to know what it is- what is the secret sauce- that causes people to support such an awful, loathsome person. We are waiting…

          Comment by john doe — June 9, 2020 @ 11:36 am

      • Cry me a river dude…

        “Strident progressives, with their increasing intolerance of contrary viewpoints and insistence on ideological purity, are as big, perhaps a bigger, threat to democratic government than Mr. Trump. ”

        And exactly what is it that you think we are intolerant of? In case you don’t know- and I have a hard time thinking of how you wouldn’t- its the following:

        A: The total abuse of power and authority
        B: Attacks on the free press
        C: The corruption of the president’s office
        D: Use of racism as a weapon

        I could go on but I will mention this to you the same as I did Bart: Trump last night proclaimed that a 75 year old man who was pushed down by the police and is now in the ICU is somehow a ANTIFA operative. I want you and the other Trump apologists here to explain that. But you won’t. Because you know as well as I that its nonsense. Nonsense and pure horse shit.

        So if your statement is that we are intolerant of those things above…. damned right we are.

        Comment by john doe — June 9, 2020 @ 2:26 pm

        • Somehow the Republican Party has swung from Tea Party Libertarianism to Trumpian Authoritarianism without anyone batting a goddamn eye, all while increasing hostility against liberal democracy.

          I wonder what’s a more nauseating prospect – Trump getting reelected, or Trish Spencer attending Trump’s Inauguration again on behalf of Alameda?

          Comment by JRB — June 9, 2020 @ 2:49 pm

        • I agree with you. Mr. Trump is dangerous for all the reasons you cite, and many, many more. He stands against almost everything I support.

          Stil, I marvel at how Mr. Trump exploits the many problems with crony capitalism and neoliberal global economics to attract the votes of those harmed by our increasingly exploitive economic system.

          My larger point is, that certain progressive positions, if not leavened by robust exchanges with other viewpoints, could evolve to be just as dangerous as the views of Mr. Trump you cite. I’ve provided the potentially troubling progressive parallels to your list below. Please convince me that I have no reason to be concerned about these parallels.

          A: The total abuse of power and authority – Total rejection, without any meaningful consideration, of the views of others
          B: Attacks on the free press – Attacks on the rights of people to hear the views of others, for example on college campuses
          C: The corruption of the president’s office – The corruption that extorts individuals and businesses to hew to progressive views or else
          D: Use of racism as a weapon – Use of ideological purity as a weapon

          All of these tools, whether wielded by conservative Republicans or woke progressives, can be legitimately and productively used. The problem comes in when they are indiscriminately and coercively applied without clearly defined goals.

          Comment by 2wheelsmith — June 9, 2020 @ 3:38 pm

        • Mister 2wgeelsmith…

          Jesus Christ where do I start with you.

          “A: The total abuse of power and authority – Total rejection, without any meaningful consideration, of the views of others”

          The “views” of “others” meaning Trump supporters- means that we- the “others” reject the fact that Trump has hired a whole Mack truck full of slimy weasels to be his ever dispensable “yes men” People like William Barr who continues to circumvent long established legal protocols to void and null the principles of what his position entails: To serve the people. Indeed he does not. He serves his master- Trump. Because he and all others that Trump chooses are weak and pathetic.

          “B: Attacks on the free press – Attacks on the rights of people to hear the views of others, for example on college campuses”

          You are conflating two different historical time periods. The 1960’s protests on campuses bear no similarities with those whom are Trump supporters and bray that they are “victims”. The are in turn victims of their own ignorance.

          ” C: The corruption of the president’s office – The corruption that extorts individuals and businesses to hew to progressive views or else”

          Oh again- cry me a river. Oh poor, poor Trump supporters, I feel so, so sorry that people are mean to them for voting for a womanizing piece of human excrement- yes- we all are so sad that they get picked on for supporting a man who claims a 75 year old peaceful protester was shoved over by the cops and is now in the ICU is somehow a ANTIFA operative.

          “D: Use of racism as a weapon – Use of ideological purity as a weapon”

          That is a purely meaningless response. Beyond grasping at straws.

          Anything else, bucko?

          Comment by john doe — June 9, 2020 @ 7:50 pm

        • John,

          That’s enough for one day!

          Thank you for taking the time to explain your positions more clearly. I hope there will be more opportunities to engage in discussions in the future.

          I have read columns by conservative columnists who detest Trump that explain the points that I made. If you are interested, let me know and I will forward them to you as I encounter them again, or new ones. Likewise, you are welcome to post links to columns in this blog string and they’ll be forwarded to me almost immediately.

          Comment by 2wheelsmith — June 9, 2020 @ 8:56 pm

  3. Should we make anything of the last line in the minutes (see hyperlink above) from this item (which I read, knowing that there was only limited space to include them all in the main post)?:

    “On the call for the question, the motion carried by unanimous voice vote – 5.”

    Comment by MP — June 9, 2020 @ 8:25 am

    • That unanimous vote was to provide an update and numbers of crime stats.

      Comment by Lauren Do — June 9, 2020 @ 8:42 am

  4. I think we are talking about two separate referrals discussed at two separate council meetings.

    As to the unanimously passed motion referenced above (and the linked-to minutes), it occurred in November 2017, and was framed as follows:

    Vice Mayor Vella moved approval of directing staff to compile a report that would
    include a public update on crime within the City that includes trends as well as what the
    City is doing and what additional steps can be taken to reduce criminal activity and hold
    a workshop to provide the report.

    Mayor Spencer seconded the unanimously-passed motion.

    (That was after Spencer tried to include the oversight committee idea within the discussion, which met with objections on the ground that it was not included in the public, and concern from Frank Matarrese about the nature of any committee: would it be a police review board, or something else).

    Then, on the agenda for the subsequent December meeting, there was a separate, or follow-on, referral from then-Mayor Spencer (and to which the above-quote correspondence from Rasheed Shabazz was directed), which referral was framed as follows:

    “The purpose would be to provide vision, guidance and oversight to the delivery of police services in our City. Through its members, the Committee will facilitate communication and develop a mutual understanding of roles and expectations between the community and our City Police. This highly collaborative partnership will optimize police resources in our City by providing thoughtful insight into the safety and security needs of our diverse community and by monitoring police activity in our City.”

    “Name of Councilmember requesting referral: Mayor Spencer”

    I can’t remember the discussion of that referral at the December meeting. There is video. I don’t know if they made it that far in the agenda.

    Comment by MP — June 9, 2020 @ 9:33 am

    • **”….objections on the ground that it was not included in the public” **notice for the November meeting** (back when it was feared that the Sunshine Ordinance had valid enforcement provisions, I guess)

      Comment by MP — June 9, 2020 @ 9:37 am

  5. Thank you for this. It fits with my recollection of events around that time, that it was about cracking down on crime and not about community-building. I also don’t think it’s wise for “Trish Spencer” to associate herself with the “Alameda Police” in any way if anyone wanted to confirm, because here are the first four results I get when I type those four words into Google –

    “Alameda Mayor Trish Spencer Has Yet to Return Missing Funds”

    “Alameda Officials Help Mayor Hide Missing Cash”

    “Alameda Mayor Trish is Violating the City Charter”

    “Alameda, Police, DUI, Joel Spencer, Mayor Trish Spencer”

    Oops. What an unfortunate trip down memory lane.

    Comment by JRB — June 9, 2020 @ 10:01 am

    • JRB, you were doing well until you got to “…violating the City Charter…”, which produces its own – much more extensive and unfortunate – set of Google search results.

      Comment by MP — June 9, 2020 @ 10:08 am

      • “much more extensive *,* and unfortunate”

        Comment by MP — June 9, 2020 @ 10:10 am

      • Perhaps, but that will make for an interesting election. Whatever criticism Trish and her supporters try to lob at the other candidates, seems like it would be boomeranged right back to her to highlight their hypocrisy, no? There was a discussion yesterday that explained how Trish Spencer’s hijinks last year cost the city nearly $1 million in election costs and legal fees. Seems like we could all benefit from a much better candidate with a cleaner slate.

        Comment by JRB — June 9, 2020 @ 10:29 am

  6. Speaking of which, since we are talking about money, and about that category of hijinks at or around the $1 million price point – if that a less clean slate makes – don’t you want to use the plural somewhere in your conclusion?

    Comment by MP — June 9, 2020 @ 11:29 am

    • MP – really, that’s your response, a lazy whataboutism? Whatever the other candidates did, it was a subjective call based on a very vague and outdated wording of the city charter, which is currently being rectified. Trish Spencer, however, knew exactly what she was committing from start to finish. Trish Spencer was told, repeatedly for months, how much her antics would cost the city – the city even drafted a 90-page fiscal and economic impact report detailing exactly how Trish Spencer’s group’s actions will be financially injurious to the city’s budget and gave Trish and her group several days to withdraw their petition, but they chose to move forward on a losing cause anyway. Trish knew, and did not care – that’s not just acting with poor judgment, but given that they were trying to deny services that would save lives, that’s just outright cruel and has absolutely no place in our government. If Trish Spencer is the best candidate you could come up with, then good luck.

      Comment by JRB — June 9, 2020 @ 11:52 am

      • Right, JRB. They two lawyers really didn’t know what they were doing, or even saying later on, when they denied attempting to influence the city manager in a two on one meeting, vague and outdated wordings and all that.

        Call it “whataboutism” if you like, though maybe a bit of that is fair when you want to talk violations of the City Charter, specifically, in a discussion about the intentions behind proposing a police oversight committee. Or maybe you call that “whatever I say bounces off you and sticks on me”, especially if you think the topic of oversight – you know, like Congress, or a Grand Jury, provides – is child’s play.

        Comment by MP — June 9, 2020 @ 12:56 pm

  7. The headline reads, “Trooper resigns after text about coughing to spread covid…”, but out of untrained speed reading, a Yanny or Laurel issue, motivated perception, or something else, what caught my eye was “Tr–p resigns…”.

    Comment by MP — June 9, 2020 @ 8:25 pm

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