Letters to the Editor

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Editor:
The city is adding more housing because they are afraid of being sued by the State of California? Excuse me, don’t insult us! How many cities have added as much housing as Alameda has, percentage wise?

How many units have been added at Alameda Point aka navy base?

How many units are being added to the waterfront, formerly Svendsen’s Boat Yard and vicinity?

How many units are being added at the former cannery?

How many units have been added by Webster?

The list goes on, not to mention all these single-family residences which have been transformed into multiple dwelling units.

Can someone at City Hall list the number of units that have been created over the last four/five years?

You are afraid of being sued? I have a better idea, how about being voted out of office!

Where is the environment impact study? You are telling us that these thousands of units do not affect traffic.

Hit and runs are no longer the headline they were because they are the norm, so is vandalism, car thefts, and yes, these include catalyst converters. My SUV was totaled while legally parked in front of my residence. My neighbor across the street had two trucks, numerous bicycles and a catalytic converter stolen.

Should we mention the carjacking and kidnapping of a toddler (“APD Officers Arrest Carjacking Suspect,” April 14). This is a sample of crime in the city, never mind the car crashes. This is in one single block!

Never mind the multiple shootings on Park Street (“Suspect Arrested for Two Local Shootings," May 5, 2021). Countless small businesses have been burglarized multiple times. Large retailers tired of their losses have simply canceled their lease and moved away.

This is the council’s legacy; this is the safe city you have created.

To all cyclists out there, be aware that the bicycle lanes in the city have not been created to help you go around town safely, but to limit the traffic and hopefully lower the speed limit.

On the other hand, you did not want the Alameda Police Department to use video cameras as you claimed they were useless. I have installed several and given the IP address so they can at any time of the day without asking to get hold of all the recordings.

I do recommend everyone to do the same. Will it lower crime? No. It will help solve them, certainly.

They do not want the police to do what we are paying them to do so they use you, the cyclist, to do the work.

— Joel

Editor:
I am appalled that no criminal charges will be brought against the Alameda Police Department (APD) officers who killed Mario Gonzalez.

The body cam footage can still be seen on YouTube. Mario Gonzalez was overweight and might have been drunk or on drugs, but he was alive and behaving peacefully when the APD arrived. Despite any evidence of any crime, they detained him, pinned him down on the ground, and secured his hands behind his back. While he lay there moaning and pleading for help because he couldn’t breathe, they continued to press him down until he lost consciousness. They pinned him down and killed him.

Watch the video. Mario Gonzalez was killed by the APD.

Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley admitted this truth. Her official statement regarding the case she wrote, “I want to acknowledge the pain and concerns in our community over the killing of Mr. Gonzalez.” The killing. He was killed. But in her 40-page report O’Malley concluded that the officers should not be charged because they were authorized to “use reasonable force to arrest or detain someone.” How can an action that led to death be deemed “reasonable”?

Once again in this country police officers will go unpunished for killing an innocent civilian. The APD officers not only went unpunished, but they were placed on paid leave, paid to sit at home and do nothing for a full year. I assume they’ll soon be allowed to go back to work, free to kill again.

I hoped for the past year that the officers would pay some price and Alameda would be looked to as an example of a community that is reforming their police department. But it turns out our cute little island city is not special at all. We are just as bad as all the other places where this has happened. I feel sick to my stomach.

— Derrick Roorda

Editor:
Greater diversity of candidates, more representative results, more positive policy-oriented campaigns, and ease of use are some advantages of Ranked-Choice Voting (RCV). These advantages are why the League of Women Voters of Alameda is working toward the day when voters in Alameda will adopt this voting method for city officeholders.

A 2016 study examined the effect of RCV on people of color and women running for elected office in the Bay Area. In comparing Bay Area cities that used RCV and those that did not, the study found that there was an increase in the election of women, people of color, and women of color with RCV. In contrast cities without RCV saw a decrease for the same period.

This increase in diversity of elected officials provides a better representation of the demographics of our cities and of the issues affecting diverse communities.

Another strong advantage is that voters hear more about positive policy goals, the sole reason people are elected to office. Under RCV, candidates do not benefit from attacking their opponents. With RCV, candidates are also competing to be voters’ second or third choice. They begin to collaborate with their opponents and run more positive campaigns. This minimizes the toxic and polarizing campaigns that turn off voters.

Many critics of ranked-choice voting say it’s too complicated, but a 2021 exit poll of voters in Utah found that 81 percent reported RCV “very or somewhat easy” to use. Further, 88 percent of RCV voters were satisfied with the method they used to cast their ballot, demonstrating both high understanding and satisfaction across the state.

Making democracy work is the guiding principle of the League of Women Voters nationally. Implementing RCV in Alameda is one step that we can do locally to strengthen democracy.

For further information or to get involved, contact the League at www.lwvalameda.org/ranked-choice-voting.html.

— Karen Butter

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