Chip Johnson, over at the Chronicle, has a column out entitled “Oakland’s mayor is actually doing something.” In his column he praises the mayor for a recent memo putting city department heads on notice that he expects more support from them in the future to address Oakland’s troubles.
Johnson also goes over some of the Mayor’s promises in terms of beefing up the police force in Oakland.
I’m going to take a wait and see on this one, but I do worry that it’s not going to be enough to continue stemming the bloodshed that is going on at the present time in Oakland.
The Mayor does need to make sure that all department heads are accountable for their jobs, but, in my opinion, the Mayor also needs to go a lot farther.
Specifically, Mayor Dellums needs to use his position of power to take an even bigger stand against the crime — and he needs to do it very publicly.
My suggestions for the Mayor?
1. Declare a “War on Crime” in Oakland. Do it loudly, do it publicly. Don’t shy away or try to sweep the attrocious murder rate under the rug. Acknowledge it and use it publicly to get everyone from CNN to the neighborhood blogger to push his message.
As part of this “War on Crime” bring in some outside experts to form a commission on crime to make recommendations on Oakland’s crime problems. A few recommendations for who he might ask to serve on this commission? Former Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown, Former SF Mayor and Former SF Police Chief Frank Jordan, Former SF Police Chief Alex Fagan. I’m sure there are others. Forget about politics. Get some folks with some experience.
Spend 90 days on this commission and then report back to the city’s residents on what recommendations have been made and what he will be doing to improve our crime problem.
2. Make a strong stand against illegal guns. Don’t just run another boring cash for guns campaign. Dellums should use his political clout to demand legislation that will institute life in prison for any criminal caught with an illegal gun.
There is simply no reason that criminals should have guns — and since most of the murders are being done with guns (and I assure you, many of these are illegal weapons), Dellums needs to push to increase the consequences for having one. He should demand life in prison.
Jared Adams who recently shot young 10-year old Christopher Rodriguez had previously been arrested on an illegal weapons charge. Jared Adam’s last sentence in jail (after a long string of previous convictions including running from the cops multiple times in addition to his weapons conviction) was a mere 6 months (he probably served 3). Thanks a lot Alameda Superior Court Judge Leo Dorado!
The fact that criminals do not receive much harsher sentences for illegal guns is a tragedy. It sends the message to criminals that if they get caught with an illegal gun that they will merely get a slap on the wrist. Dellums should make this a centerpiece of his “War Against Crime.”
The good citizens of Oakland deserve to walk (and photowalk) their streets without fear of being shot by thugs. And yes they also deserve to be able to send their 10-year old children to piano lessons without fear that they may come home paralyzed.
Personally I’m not expecting much to come out of these memos from “soft on crime” Dellums. But ,like I said, I’ll take a wait and see attitude. I’d feel much better though if he used his position more forcefully beyond simply hiring a few more cops.