Assemblyman reflects on inspirational leader in his life

ar Chávez on his birthday last Tuesday, I am thankful that Chávez was not only a transformative figure in the state, national, and global landscape, changing forever the treatment of farmworkers and redefining the Labor and Civil Rights Movements as we know them, but that he was a transformative figure in my own life.

The front page of the March 19 Alameda Sun carried two articles that seemed to be companion pieces ("Council Quashes Measure A Moratorium" and "Former Vice Mayor Enjoys Good Life.")

Apparently this former vice-mayor saved big bucks on his discretionary spending because grateful influence peddlers picked up many of his leisure expenses. To paraphrase Benjamin Disraeli, "Lobbyists don’t have friends; they have interests."

Like all Alameda residents, shouldn’t members of the City Council seek transparency in city government? If they truly seek to carry out the wishes of the electorate, shouldn’t they deliberate and make decisions in an atmosphere that’s receptive to public input? Shouldn’t they keep comprehensive records and make them fully available to those they are elected to serve? The obvious answer is yes, but that just isn’t the case.

Alameda Firefighter’s Union president Jeff DelBono has publicly accused Mayor Trish Spencer of "a lack of regard for the safety of our community" because she voted against seeking bids to build a new fire station and emergency operations center. Spencer was considering the overall budget implications of the project.

However, before accusing others of a lack of regard for public safety, Alameda Fire Department (AFD) staff should consider the continued lack of water necessary to fight a major fire in the wake of the next major earthquake.

On Tuesday, Feb. 10, there was a major fuel spill on the Oakland Estuary. The spill severely impacted the Grand and Alameda marinas. Both these marinas are situated on the south side of the estuary, directly across from the cutters berthed at Coast Guard Island. This was a significant event.