Blogging Bayport Alameda

September 8, 2021

Do not congratulate

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:08 am

Yesterday Mia Bonta was sworn in as our AD18 Assemblyperson

Since she’s serving out Rob Bonta’s term, this seat will be up for re-election in 2022 which is…you know…not going to be fun if Janani Ramachandran decides to run again and recycles the same shitty campaign she ran this time around. Which includes a very petulant concession tweet which did not include a congratulation to her opponent but instead bemoaned the amount of money raised in the election as though Janani R did not raise similarly large amounts as well:

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September 7, 2021

Tactical delay

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:07 am

Remember on tonight’s City Council agenda there is the cynical attempt by Trish Spencer and Tony Daysog to, yet again, throw more delays at the Wellness Center project over a clerical error which affected exactly zero people. Trish Spencer and Tony Daysog Called the whole of the Planning Board meeting votes for review but then in separate emails Trish Spencer released two other entities from the Call for Review leaving only the Wellness Center to face yet another hearing in a colossal waste of time and energy.

Hopefully the City Council will make Tony Daysog and Trish Spencer explain why they brought this then summarily move approve the Wellness Center design which will then cease any and all appeals. Unless of course someone sues which I think someone has already suggested that they will which means this delay tactic was probably to give those parties a chance get the lawsuit ready.

And speaking of helping the most vulnerable members of our community, the City Council will be picking up the discussion of what to do with the federal ARPA money.

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September 3, 2021

Don’t dream, it’s over

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:03 am

Even though the math is going to be hard to overcome in the AD18 election, Janani Ramachandran is still holding out hope that she’ll eke a win.

The other day she was keeping the dream alive for her followers by tweeting out:

Now, just to be clear, she’s not “down by 4k votes” she was down by 4600 votes which is meaningful and now she’s down by 7700 votes. According to the Registrar of voters as of yesterday afternoon there are 76,881 votes that have been returned and should be counted.

63,241 votes have been counted so far leaving 13,640 left to count.

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September 2, 2021

National Horror Story: wtf Texas

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

September 1, 2021

And the winner is…

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:13 am

There doesn’t seem to be that many ballots uncounted left outstanding and so our new Assemblyperson is:

Mia Bonta.

While she started off with a commanding 55% of the vote, throughout the night that lead was slightly shaved off but not in any kind of margins that would allow Janani Ramachandran to catch up.

It looks like Janani R.’s defeat came at the hands of spending too much time and attention to Alameda (which she did very well in) and ignoring San Leandro and Oakland:

Even some of those light blue (shaded as a Janani R win) were small potatoes winning her literally 1 or 2 votes — total — in those San Leandro and East Oakland precincts.

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August 31, 2021

Swept up

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:01 am

As you can imagine, Councilmember Trish Spencer hurriedly Called for Review the Planning Board’s approval of the Wellness Center design based on the purported inability of members of the public to log into the Planning Board meeting. Of course some of the people complaining about one incorrect dial in number were, somehow, still able to log on the view the meeting as were a bunch of other folks who either provided public comment or were following along and tweeting about it, like me.

Now, because neither Trish Spencer nor Tony Daysog seemed to have actually watched the video themselves they assumed that only the Wellness Center item was on deck for that night, but their wording of the Call for Review swept two other approvals in with their blanket action:

Interestingly enough Trish Spencer withdrew two projects from her call for review: a Harbor Bay commercial building set back and West Alameda Business Association’s temporary use permit for special events:

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August 30, 2021

Muddy waters

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:00 am

So one of the latest soundbytes to come out of Janani Ramachandran campaign is to question “Police and Prison Guard Unions” funding Mia Bonta. On a quick review the first time I saw this official piece from the Janani R. campaign I didn’t even notice the part about the money going to independent PACs and I took this collateral at sort of face value that the money went to Mia Bonta without going into the nuance of the PAC thing.

It wasn’t until someone asked Mia B. directly on Twitter that a light bulb lit.

That’s when I looked at the piece again and noticed the “funding PACs” bit. Now we all know that if a PAC is an independent one — a super PAC if you will — it works outside of the consultation of candidates. That’s kind of the point. So a candidate can’t work with a PAC on messaging or branding and it, most certainly, could not tell a PAC to return a contribution. But I don’t think the original collateral was the opening of a discussion of Super PACs and their role in elections. Rather that piece hoped that other people would attribute the money they identified from police unions as a direct contribution to Mia B, as I did.

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August 27, 2021

Split

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:07 am

Another reason why it’s important to vote — even if you really don’t want to — in this AD18 election is the work that is being done at the state level because of the reluctance (and difficulty) at the local level to make any meaningful changes to housing policy. Yesterday, after a flurry of activity from YIMBYs to save SB 9, SB 9 passed the Assembly. This move — if approved in Senate and signed by the Governor (vote no on the recall) — will have pretty much ended single family zoning in California. From the NY Times:

The bill was promoted by housing advocates as a small but significant step toward easing the state’s housing shortage. By allowing two units per parcel and permitting property owners to subdivide their lots, the law would increase density to as many as four units on a single-family plot. The bill was furiously opposed by homeowners and local government groups who said it “crushes single-family zoning” and would be “the beginning of the end of homeownership in California.”

I mean, allowing property owners to split their lots and sell off a part of their lot to another homeowner would seem to have the opposite affect and, instead, allow for more people to own homes in California. I mean, should houses on Bay Farm purchased in the 80s for like $200K be worth $1.7 million now. Absolutely not. You know and I know that is insane. But it’s our reality because the Bay Area has underbuilt for decades now because “property values” and “neighborhood character” have controlled our narrative around sheltering human beings for far too long.

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August 26, 2021

What’s in a name

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:06 am

After the whole Chochenyo Park renaming the City decided that it needed to revisit the City’s policy on naming and, well, renaming public property. Given that some of our streets and parks may have been named after folks who probably wouldn’t be honored today, it good to have a formalized process on the books for future consideration.

A quick list of what has and hasn’t changed in the new policy from the staff report:

So no need to worry that we won’t continue naming stuff on Alameda Point after guns and ships or something, we’ll still be considering “WWII naval themes” because it’s important to folks. I dunno.

I do like that the HAB only gets to be in charge of historic property names because well, the HAB lens is not always the most inclusive or diverse. Even though it should be, we know that, traditionally in Alameda, we only focus on one type of history and everything else gets relegated to the forgotten rubbish heap of inconvenient and uncomfortable truths about Alameda.

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August 25, 2021

It’s a start

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:05 am

Sometimes when a problem is just laid bare it feels like there’s no real solution and that the can will be continually kicked down the road because folks generally only care about the issue if it affects them personally. I’m not talking about Covid, but rather the issue of homelessness. Reading the draft plan from the City is an exercise in patience and and understanding that these problems didn’t happen overnight and certainly can’t be fixed overnight but it still feels hopeless.

Which is why I found the appendices to be a comfort because it does establish some short term and medium term metrics for the City as well as a list of services that either already exist or will exist. Basically if you were to summarize what the solution to homelessness is, it’s to house people. It’s nothing new or revelatory but as we have seen just in discussions about housing non homeless people anything dealing with housing leads to someone out there objecting to it.

I mean, these goals aren’t that ambitious but they’re a start:

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