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Letters for October 20

Readers sound off on the elections.


"Albany Races Feature Old Foes," News, 10/6

Clarifying Our Endorsements

A mistake was made in "Albany Races Feature Old Foes." The Sierra Club did endorse Marge Atkinson and Joanne Wile for Albany City Council this year for their good environmental voting record, and for their past support for open space at the waterfront. The article says we made no endorsement.

We would also like to clarify a misrepresentation of our endorsement in another local race. A hit piece was recently sent out by Coalition for a Safer California with our logo on it attacking Jean Quan for being soft of crime. This attack misprepresents our endorsement for Don Perata. In fact, we endorsed Rebecca Kaplan #1, Jean Quan #2, and Don Perata #3. This was also reported in the Express a few weeks ago. It is unfortunate that the prison guards chose to use our logo in their attempt to influence the outcome of the Oakland mayor's race.

Kent Lewandowski, Chair, Northern Alameda County Group, Sierra Club SF Bay Chapter, Oakland

"In the Race for Contra Costa DA, Finally, a Focus on the Law," News, 10/6

O'Malley Is the Choice

Look at the court documents that O'Malley filed to be released as Gordon's attorney. If any blame is to be assessed on releasing Gordon on his own recognizance, it should lie with the prosecution for agreeing to the request. The defense attorneys did their job. As distasteful as we may find defending career criminals, they still have a right to representation, public or private. Peterson is playing pin the tail on the donkey trying to get something to stick on O'Malley. Kind of like Whitman and Fiorina are doing to their opponents. Facts are: O'Malley has far better first-hand experience in prosecution, bench, and defense. Peterson has only prosecution and an office full of people that don't want to work for him.

Matt Chaney, Lafayette

"Don Perata Can Buy the Election," Seven Days, 10/6

Quan and the Don

Don Perata seems too big for his britches and certainly too big to answer questions or talk in public forums, or show up for that matter. Apparently he thinks his name, his connections or his money are all he needs. He apparently DOESN'T think he needs us, that's for sure. How can a guy be so absolutely sure of his shoo-in that he doesn't need to talk to us to tell us what he thinks. It's the Cosa Nostra of the East Bay. In a recent public forum of mayoral candidates at St. Paschal's Church in the Oakland hills, Perata didn't even bother to show up, BUT, guess who belatedly did! EIGHT (8!!) on-duty police, who immediately left when they saw Don Perata wasn't there! Perata, who supports whatever is necessary to have overpaid police get what they want, is, in turn, supported by overpaid police who, on COMPANY TIME (it was evening ... so, probably OVERTIME!) show up to support Perata and leave when he's nowhere in sight. We NEED EIGHT (overtime?) cops at a peaceful event in a good neighborhood when kids are hanging around liquor stores on High Street or shooting each other?

At a very well attended and successful forum (BIG-TIME overflow event) at the Kaiser Auditorium, he sat back away from the table most of the night with his arms folded (The Cosa Nostra of the East Bay lives) and barely made an effort to answer questions or engage in the event. Here is his chance to show us he's the people's candidate and he arrogantly refuses to engage. For Oakland, Quan and the Don are familiar names which will give us VERY familiar results. Choose your mayor from one of the bright stars who showed up and enthusiastically engaged and showed intelligent interaction rather than blasé rehashed bullshit.

Richard Davis, Oakland

"Lee and Skinner Fund Measure to Kill Redistricting Reform," Full Disclosure, 9/22

Prop 11 is a Joke

Non-partisan redistricting under Prop 11 is a joke. "Decline to state" voters or those who have changed parties within the last two years have been banned from participating on the redistricting panels. Apparently only die-hard partisans are being allowed to "fix" the voting blocks.

Janice Woo, El Cerrito


It disturbs me that two people I have admired, Barbara Lee and Nancy Skinner, are not interested in making democracy work.

Joyce Roy, Oakland

"Old Guard or Fresh Face?" Feature, 10/6

Kaplan's Vision Thing

A recent EBX article reports that Rebecca Kaplan, a frontrunner in the race for Mayor of Oakland, "is a gifted public speaker who possesses what politicos call the 'vision thing.'" Kaplan's well-defined plan for Oakland's future is exactly what we need to get our city back on track. Kaplan is a reformer. She rewrote the cabaret ordinances to allow live music in restaurants and cafes. Kaplan cut red tape for small businesses and now I can really shop local. I'm supporting Rebecca because I believe in her plan to bring jobs and restore our local economy. She is the voice of the new generation in Oakland, representing the change we need right now.

Zoe Robinette, Oakland

Kaplan is a Reformer

Rebecca Kaplan is far and away the best candidate out of this race. I daresay any of them are an improvement over the non-presence we have now, but Kaplan has specific solutions and a vision for Oakland that is unflinching and strong. Perata is not who we need, and Quan is too hapless to handle our flailing city. The newscaster guy seems nice and all, but I get kind of sick of everybody thinking that "governmental outsiders" have all of the answers; they usually don't.It's worth nothing that Rebecca Kaplan was key in the reform of the draconian cabaret license issues Oakland had for years. Exactly the thing that has allowed us to now have a thriving uptown area.

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