Matthai Kuruvila, Chronicle Staff Writer
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Oakland — A group of Oakland residents filed a petition Monday declaring its intent to recall Mayor Jean Quan, saying she has failed to provide strong leadership for the city, particularly on crime and unemployment.
The notice, filed with the city clerk’s office, was signed by 71 residents who say they intend to circulate a recall petition against Quan for “willfully ignoring the city’s most pressing issue: public safety.”
It goes on to say that Quan has offered “no rational solution to mitigate the chaos,” that she ignored Oakland residents’ demand for more police officers and has proposed an $11 million parcel tax on top of an existing $200 million parcel tax.
The petition also criticizes Quan for her stands on development issues, saying she is “squandering an opportunity to shape the largest development project in Oakland’s history – the Oakland army base.”
Carla Marinucci,Joe Garofoli, Chronicle Political Writers
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
SAN FRANCISCO —
In a powerful display of profound disappointment with President Obama, some of the Democratic Party’s biggest donors gathered Tuesday – not inside his tony San Francisco fundraiser at the W Hotel, but outside on the sidewalks carrying signs in protest of his policies.
“I don’t even know what he stands for,” said Susie Tompkins Buell, a co-founder of the Esprit clothing company and one of the most generous Democratic Party donors in the nation – instrumental in backing such powerhouse progressive organizations as the Democracy Alliance and Media Matters.
Tompkins Buell, who is a longtime friend of Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and was among her biggest donors in the 2008 presidential race, has long played a starring role in San Francisco as a hostess for presidents, top legislators and world leaders at fundraisers for progressive campaign causes.
But on Tuesday, instead of dining with the elite crowd of about 200 who paid at least $5,000 a head – and up to $7,500 for a photo with the president – at the two-hour luncheon, the Democratic activist, who could easily afford the fundraiser, said it was more important to stand outside with an estimated 1,000 demonstrators.
Her goal: to urge Obama to stop the Keystone XL pipeline, a proposed 1,700-mile underground conduit linking the tar-sand fields in Alberta, Canada, to Texas refineries. Environmentalists say the pipeline would result in untold environmental damage. “I think this is a huge issue about our future, about the planet, not just America,” she said. “And he needs to be a leader … to have the awareness of it. To fight for it.”
From The Chicago Tribune: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/ct-perspec-1026-katz-20111026,0,5400347.story
By Marilyn Katz
October 26, 2011
I’ve been to Occupy Chicago, brushed up against Occupy Boston, and daily peruse emails, news reports and blogs from New York, Barcelona and Rome. I’ve read missives from the left and right that complain that the occupiers are “inchoate,” unfocused, lacking in direction and leadership.
I’m fortunate to have a unique vantage point from which to consider the mobilization against Wall Street. My trip to Greece this summer during the height of the economic demonstrations there; reading newly published books by my peers who, like me, became involved in and transformed by the events of the 1960s; and my own introspection in preparation for a talk I recently gave on this period provide a perch from which to assess Occupy Wall Street.
And while I’ve read comparisons of the occupiers to the tea partiers, I am reminded of the movements of the early 1960s, when a generation began to wake up and act.
In hindsight, it’s easy for historians and observers (and even those who were there) to say that those times were different — that what moved us was the civil rights movement or the war in Vietnam. But I have long thought that something deeper and more profound was at play.
We were a post-war generation brought up with the belief that America was the beacon of democracy for the world, protecting freedom abroad and embodying it at home. The news of the day — from Rosa Park’s brave refusal to give up her bus seat and young activists sitting in at lunch counters to the self-immolation of Buddhist priests in far-away Vietnam — shook that view to the core.
Many of us began to experience a cognitive dissonance as we looked around and saw a society segregated by color. That cognitive dissonance was exacerbated as we learned that the U.S. was sending young people to prop up a puppet regime left behind in Indochina by the French. And for many of us, there was a growing discomfort with a society focused on what seemed to be little else but mindless acquisition.