Letters to the Editor
What a celebration for all Alamedans, as tours of the new Jean Sweeney Open Space Park show us what civic vision and determination can add to a city. The timing of this unveiling is excellent, as we Alamedans have recently learned there are several parcels of publicly owned land along the Fernside and Eastshore waterfront which most of us were unaware of. Now that we know of them, it’s time for the city to reclaim all of this public land and make it available to the public. Let’s continue the legacy of Jean Sweeney by returning access to our glorious natural surroundings back to the public!
Money talks. And when there is a lot of money thrown into one side of an election, it seems to hold a lot of power.
The proponents at the state level of Proposition 5 and the opponents of Propositions 8 and 10 are outspending the other side by a huge factor. Will they be able to “buy” this election? You may think you’re above all that, but if all you see on TV is convincing-sounding advertisements, and your mailbox and newspaper is filled with lots of slick advertisements explaining just one side, you’re probably going to be swayed by it all.
We have a similar fight here in Alameda. The Measure K proponents — mostly big out-of-town corporations — are outspending the homegrown opposition to K by an astronomical factor. In fact, they are outspending every single local campaign COMBINED by a factor of two or more!
Next time you hear or see an advertisement of any kind related to local measures like K, or statewide propositions, find out who its corporate supporters are and how much money they are willing to pay for your vote.
I do appreciate the service of the current Mayor and Council, however, we are witnessing — now more than ever — the mantle of power that is exponentially given to an elected official through incessant re-elections. Also not lost upon me is that for the entirety of Mayor Spencer and the current Council’s term the surface of Encinal Avenue is still like a forgotten and neglected rural country road; Spencer and the City Council could not even get this done.
Along with other issues like ignoring infrastructure to support development, and with it new housing that doesn’t allow for enough parking, thereby forcing the parking of those new cars into surrounding neighborhoods already choked with cars. Let us not forget the ugly secrecy of the city manager incident.
As informed voters we must also take a hard look at our responsibility and do our own research, not depending upon the lobbying and advertising of political action committee (PAC) money. These issues alone beg the question of just how committed these public servants are to our city, and why they are there in the first place.
As informed voters, due diligence is our personal responsibility. Do not listen to the lobbyists and PAC advertisements. Ask yourself why those entities would infuse their resources and dollars into a certain campaign to begin with.
Mayor and Councilmembers, thank you for your service, but it is time for all of you to go home and others take on your mantle.