Biased and unbalanced reporting of rent meeting
I found the coverage of the Nov. 4 city council meeting (“Renters Storm City Hall, Get Moratorium,” Nov. 12) to be biased in two regards.
First, there is no reason to mention that Bob Davis identifies as a transgender woman. Bob’s gender has no relevance to the story. Why did Ikeme not write about the gender of every person involved? We all have a gender that is made up of three components: biology (our sex assigned at birth), identity (the gender we feel that we are) and expression (how we present ourselves-dress, hair, etc).
Did the writer assume Bob’s gender based on Bob’s expression? Many people do not have all three parts of their gender in alignment. Some of us do not conform to gender norms in how we dress- this does not mean we identify as transgender. For example, I am a woman who wears “masculine” clothes and has short hair. I hope that you will educate yourself on this topic to increase respect for people of all gender identities. Gender Spectrum is a local organization offering education, genderspectrum.org.
Second, the reporter wrote that the Alameda Renters Coalition (ARC) felt “they were being kept out of the meeting intentionally...” however, there were no quotes from anyone from ARC or any other renters. Only the opinions of one landlord were shared, denying the claim. Based on articles in other publications and reports from neighbors who attended the meeting, there are allegations that property owners paid people to take up seats so that renters could not get into the meeting. This was completely left out of the article and it jumps to a defense of this claim from one landlord.
Given that the rent crisis is one of the biggest issues in Alameda in the last few years, the readers deserve to have both sides of the issue more accurately reported. The article completely leaves out the dozens of other peaceful renters who attended the meeting and have a real stake in the outcome of the meeting. Many of us renters are being forced out of Alameda, and we may be sad and frustrated, but the majority of us are not violent.
Fortunately, the mayor gave renters the air time that was deserved for such an important issue, and the moratorium is a step in the right direction. I hope that the Alameda Sun provides more balanced and unbiased reporting on this issue in the future.
I also hope that Alamedans will talk to their neighbors who are renters to understand their perspective. We are not just temporary residents. We care deeply about this city and our fellow residents and we also contribute to our community.