Blogging Bayport Alameda

December 2, 2022

Like a bad penny

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

Sometimes when I listen to Tony Daysog speak and it’s on the topic of development related items I think to myself, “what an idiot” and then I am further struck by the fact that this man is a PLANNER for a living. At a government agency. A Planner. On development related projects.

I revisited this part of the meeting on November 15 because I was so highly annoyed by his ahistorical framing of the history around A/26 and the challenges to A/26 I had to push the memory to the back of my mind to avoid stroking out remembering that this man has sat on the City Council for, what feels like, decades now and the one thing, the one thing he should be bringing to the City Council is institutional memory. But it’s like he’s memory holed anything about A/26 history other than his friends and benefactors all LOVE it or he never learned the history in the first place.

This part was particularly galling, he says “the people who have challenged [A/26] have fallen back, for whatever reason, I can’t say, but Article 26 has prevailed.”

If by “falling back” he means that the City did everything it could to force plaintiffs to settle because — at that time — A/26 was being protected by the full force of the City of Alameda and its attorneys then yeah folks like Modessa Henderson, Clayton Guyton, and HOPE “fell back.” Of course those folks relied on Legal Aid organizations to file their claims and did not have the luxury of having the taxpayers foot the bill so you can kind of understand why they would be willing to accept incremental changes from the City in exchange for allowing the City to have A/26 to go unmolested and unscrutinized by a trier of fact and law. As a reminder about A/26 and what it was being challenged over:

In 1980 HOPE with their legal aid attorneys agreed to dismiss without prejudice their claims against A/26 in exchange for the City agreeing to actually do something with CDBG money.

That’s not “falling back” that’s harm reduction. HOPE exchanged a possibility of 79 low income units with a protracted and expensive battle against the City over A/26. Tony Daysog’s framing is offensive and wrong.

Ten years after the the City Council settled another lawsuit challenging A/26 which, as a West End resident, Tony Daysog should really know about. This was not falling back, the Guyton Settlement (325 units) was the only mechanism to build multifamily housing in a long time and was, yet another, instance of shallow pocketed people fighting against the deep pockets of the City who were willing to protect A/26 at all costs and those folks coming out with the best outcome they could without financially martyring themselves. So again, Tony Daysog’s ahistorical world view and memory of A/26’s history forced him to spew out complete ignorance and muddy the general waters with his lack of historical curiosity around the town in which he grew up.

But much like Alameda keeps voting to support A/26 it also continues to support this dude as well whose grand contribution to policymaking in Alameda can probably be counted on one hand and, honestly I can’t think of a positive one off the top of my head either.


  1. Tony Daysog is an idiot. But thanks to his idiocy, he helped kill Article 26. This guy ran the successful “No on Z” campaign and after his victory, he did diddly squat in making sure Article 26 stays alive through the next RHNA round. That’s why the adults in the room, like Andrew Thomas, had to continue to do the work to ensure state compliance with their housing element. Not once did the leader of the “No on Z” campaign, Tony Daysog, explain to his supporters what “Affirmatively Further Fair Housing” means, let alone propose the different ways to comply with it. In fact, he did the opposite by declaring there would be no development at any of the shopping malls. It was boneheaded arrogance. And it killed Article 26.

    Comment by RIP Article 26 — December 2, 2022 @ 6:59 am

  2. Measure A or Article 26 was never sacrosanct or inviolate but it did serve a useful tool for people to engage in covert racism in housing for decades. Modessa Henderson and Clayton and Delores Guyton had the courage to stand up to it. They threw the first big rock at it and broke off a bit. The 326-unit Guyton exemption was just that, an exemption won through the courts for those multi-family units to be built despite Measure A. The density bonus threw another rock at it by granting exemptions for developers to do affordable housing in 2009 then Renewed Hope threw a rather large bolder with the Housing Element in 2012 which granted multi-unit housing the right to be built in many parts of town.

    Measure A is finally disintegrating. It was never the great edifice its supporters supposed it to be. It’s hurt our town in many ways, forcing out so many who made up this community, leaving a city with an embattled and superficial sense of what community means in its place. It’s done a lot of damage; I know there are many in Alameda who seek restoration. I hope it can happen.

    Comment by Laura Thomas — December 2, 2022 @ 9:41 am

  3. Obligatory YouTube link to Big Black: Bad Penny!

    Comment by Rod — December 2, 2022 @ 9:43 am

  4. what’s so sad is that many people my age still believe that “measure A” was and is a good thing for this city.

    Comment by John P. — December 2, 2022 @ 11:43 am

    • Somehow in the last 50 years, the narrative for Measure A got morphed from “stopping multifamily units” to “protecting victorians.” I think it was an attempt to rebrand a dog-whistle post-Fair Housing Act policy to make it more palatable to today’s Alamedans.

      I guarantee you that if you look at the newspaper archives for that era, you’ll not find a single mention of “victorians” during the passage of Measure A – it was all about stopping further development of the newly landfilled Shoreline Drive and Harbor Bay.

      How’d Measure A become all about victorians, I am not sure, but it’s the single greatest historical revisionism that’s ever happened in this town. Thank God it is dead now.

      Comment by Common Sense — December 2, 2022 @ 3:52 pm

      • Don’t overplay the newspaper card. If I’m 2072 one looked at Alameda newspapers for the 2022 zeitgeist, they’d think the inimitable Jeffrey R Smith was a local leader

        Comment by dave — December 2, 2022 @ 4:37 pm

        • All I need is one. One lousy letter to the editor or a campaign flier. A couple of historians, including Dennis Evanosky, have looked, to no avail. Nothing about “victorians.”

          Comment by Common Sense — December 2, 2022 @ 5:12 pm

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