this is how you fight crime :

DC’s mayor Anthony Williams sees ugly crime happening in good neighborhoods and declares a mockable “crime emergency.” And ushers in a hole boatload of get tough police state programs and proposals: curfews, CCTV in residential neighborhoods and thousands of extra cops.

Oakland, California, has also seen an upsurge in crime this summer. Their response?

Police and city officials Thursday unveiled their latest plan to get a handle on Oakland's surging crime rate, one that would offer the city's 100 worst criminals a chance to turn their lives around — or else.

“Every cop in Oakland will know who these guys are,” Mayor Jerry Brown said. “These are the people who have been wreaking havoc on our neighborhoods.”

Police Chief Wayne Tucker acknowledged it seems contradictory to crack down on crime by giving people who cause trouble another chance, with offers of job training, substance abuse treatment and other help.

“But it works,” he said, citing the success of similar programs in Chicago and Boston.

Instead of fronting like some right-wing thug, Oakland’s Jerry Brown takes the responsible compassionate way out. And this from a guy who is running for statewide office as Attorney General.

If ever there was a time to suck up to California’s right wing, it would be now.

What’s Anthony Williams’ excuse? He’s not running for anything.

Man, I miss California.


Cat said...

Yeah, I'd agree with you about Jerry Brown if it weren't for the fact that his leadership has gotten us Oaklanders to the scary state of affairs we're dealing with now. He talks a good game but hasn't done a damn thing, and crime in my neighborhood is only going up. I agree completely on the idea that incarceration doesn't really solve the problem, but neither does his past several years of inattention, Oakland's chronic state of employing too few police officers, and the Mayor's general lack of interest in crime... until it's election year. Jerry apparently looks a lot better when you've left CA-- I'm a life long Dem/Green party member and there's no way in hell I'm voting for him, even if it means I have to vote *shudder* Republican. Most of my Oakland friends feel the same way.

Cat (oakland resident, dc native)

DC1974 said...

I lived in Oakland for 6 years all during the Jerry Brown years. I didn't agree with everything that he did, but I don't blame him for the crime problem, especially as voter initiative after vote initiative failed to increase funding to add more police officers. Oaklanders didn't want more police officers.

There is an increase in crime going on in every major city in the U.S. and that's going to be true as the boom years on the 1990s fade from memory.

We now have lost the gains in employment made at the lower ends of the pay scale and the upward mobility that characterized the 1990s. That coupled with higher inflation and wage stagnation is manifesting itself in increased crime, just as it did during the late 1980s and early 1990s.

I think Jerry Brown is completely misunderstood. He's never was as liberal as those outside of California painted him. As mayor he improved that city significantly (I lived there from 1998-2004) and the city as a whole turned a corner.

I hope in year or so we are able to return.

He's not running for anything other than AG. But frankly, I think he'd be a better answer to anything that Republicans would offer. California Republicans are notoriously draconian in terms of crime and imprisonment. I should know, a could portion of my Southern California family is of the home-schooling, John Bircher variety. Nice people, sure, but scary politics and very involved with the PR and leadership of California Republicans.

Cat said...

I'm glad to hear someone care so much about Oakland, but I have to politely disagree with you on Jerry's relative influence on the recent changes in my fair city.

Since you lived here for a while you know that the unprecidented upswing in the real estate market was a rising tide that lifted all ships. Oakland's substantial increase in new housing development was largely driven by this macroeconomic force, not by Mayor Brown's policies. Sure, he helped get things built by getting cozy with developers (most notably some of his friends from his time as govenor), but given the amount of development that has happened in all surrounding communities, Oakland's prime geographic location and the number of families fleeing the overheated housing SF housing market for places east, I'd venture that almost ANY mayor would have had similar results. Like many politicians before him he has been the reputational beneficiary of things that have little to do with his actual actions.

Regarding your points about police officer and unemployment: you're actually incorrect about the vote for police. The residents of Oakland voted FOR funding 200 new positions. The question hasn't been funding, its been the ability to attract potential officers to the Oakland police academy. Trust me, I know this because the inability to fill these funded positions is a topic of discussion at our monthly neighborhood meetings. Is the inability to get cadets Brown's fault? Probably not. However, his administration's lack of concern with, or particular prioritization of, after school programs, job training programs, and other services to help kids have activities and hope has been notable. Jerry's primary iniative to "help" the schools and the city's kids has been the ill-advised and poorly executed military charter school. Not exactly a shining beacon of liberal social policy.

So, that's my two cents. Now I'm going to go to a neighborhood meeting which includes agenda items dealing with several muggings and a kidnapping that have happened within recent weeks. I'm sure we'll get an update on the city's 110th homicide while we're there. Not that I've heard word one from our lovely mayor on the topic.