Sunday, September 19, 2010
NIc Nak Redux: Just Say NO to Desley Brooks and Rebecca Kaplan
Councilmembers Desley Brooks and Rebecca Kaplan suggested they would work with the Pannells and encourage them to use City programs to determine what kind of development and uses could be undertaken at the site once it became clear alcohol sales would not be approved by the City Council. It is unclear whether the City Councilmembers or the Pannells have made such efforts to date. The community would certainly be interested in a pedestrian-oriented development that takes advantage of the transportation corridors along Shattuck and Alcatraz and that had neighborhood serving uses. But not the liquor store of which Councilmembers Desley Brooks and Rebecca Kaplan were staunch advocates.
If you recall, Desley Brooks intentionally accused the opponents of the Nic Nak liquor sales of being racist and sending out racist emails. She did this at two separate public hearings. When called to task on this and asked to back up her inflammatory statements through a Public Records Act request, Desley Brooks stalled, stonewalled, and then failed to respond in a timely fashion. She had to be bird-dogged by the City Attorney to comply. After threats of litigation and public exposure, she finally complied and provided some of the emails. She conveniently left out several key emails. As expected, there was no smoking gun. Desley Brookes had intentionally misled the City Council and the public with her inflammatory accusations. Some might say she lied. One term does come to mind--ethically challenged and morally bankrupt. Certainly not someone who should be returned to City Council by the voters.
http://www.eastbayexpress.com/ebx/kaplan-ensnared-in-racial-dispute/Content?oid=1737565 over the Nic Nak. Her staunch support of more liquor stores seemed to many North Oakland residents to be a quid pro quo vote swap for the support of the Oakland Black Caucus and Geoffrey Pete and a misguided effort to pander to black voters. The fact that Rebecca Kaplan has an impressive academic resume, including a BS from MIT, an MA in Urban and Environmental Policy from Tufts and a JD from Stanford Law School, did little for her in analyzing the Nic Nak fact pattern and applying the law to the facts. Her eagerness to sell out, and her inability to see past the greedy political buy-off from Geoffrey Pete and the Oakland Black Caucus and do the right thing by denying the Nic Nak's ability to sell liquor, was shocking and revealing. Hardly the leadership needed to steer Oakland in the right direction and certainly not mayoral fiber. Not surprising is that Geoffrey Pete has strongly endorsed Rebecca Kaplan.To this date, Rebecca Kaplan has failed to adequately explain her support of the Nic Nak Liquor Store. Just ask her campaigners why she voted to approve Nic Nak and watch them scatter.
In the upcoming election, just say no to Desley Brooks and Rebecca Kaplan. Don't be fooled by the slick packaging and glossy ideas.
Rebecca Kaplan and Desley Brooks are hardly the type of leaders Oakland needs..