Blogging Bayport Alameda

September 24, 2021

Sausage making

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

That’s my summary of the night and I’m sticking to it.

If you ever needed an example of relationships can be much more important that personal politics or even consistency with one’s typical modus operandi you only need to watch this video to see that theory in action. Case in point: Mayor Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft who, for the most part, has pushed forward items which address the reimagining of public safety. She was consistently bringing up the Cahoots model of care, she pushed for Felton Institute to design a robust mental health response for the last RFQ, and has supported the subcommittees around policing reform. Shockingly she wanted to delay this partnership between the Alameda Fire Department and Alameda Family Services throwing up initial roadblocks like suggesting that the lack of an attachment might trigger an OGC complaint. Then her interactions with members of AFD and of AFS seemed dismissive and, well, rude. It was truly strange and disconcerting.

Then you have someone like Trish Spencer who has been largely, unenthusiastic about the police reform process. She’s been of the mind set, like Tony Daysog, that the more cops the better on the streets. She’s constantly focusing on how crime ridden Alameda is and questioned the work of the police reform subcommittees. Going as far to suggest that the police reform subcommittees were not reflective of the true Alameda community. However, Trish Spencer has a very strong affinity for Alameda Family Services, at the last meeting on this issue she questioned why AFS had not been solicited to send a response to the RFP. On Tuesday night she gave a full throated endorsement of this partnership because, well, she likes the organization. It’s hard to see someone who voted to retain the police tank and has been banging on the “we need more cops” drum voting for something like this if she wasn’t intimately familiar with the organization involved in providing services.

Also, there was some more discussion about Malia Vella pushing to delay the project and seemed to be really down on the project from the start. So it was with that framing that I watched the video and while I could see how people could get that feeling from her, but I think she was doing the Malia Vella thing where she asks a lot of questions and they can come off as, well, not supportive and in the end she is actually supportive. A lot of board members and commissioners play their hands close to their vests so it’s not really something that is that shocking the more of these meetings you sit through. She did indicate that she wanted to bring a more complete contract back at the next meeting but that’s doesn’t necessarily read as opposition but it could be read as an unnecessary delay.

Anyway, in the end the vote to move forward with the pilot project was approved unanimously which is a positive step forward for this collective Council. Getting there may have been messy and uncomfortable and discomforting but the resulting sausage should be satisfying in the interim.

1 Comment »

  1. Agreed Lauren. One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned, and am still learning is to be open and willing to listen and learn from other points of views.

    Comment by Karen Bey — September 24, 2021 @ 9:07 am

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