By OaklandSeen Managing Editor Pamela Mays McDonald
Have you ever heard of a major political address where the politician doesn’t show up? Where, instead of a live public servant, a “virtual” audience is treated to a ten-minute online testimonial of his accomplishments, by a video in which he doesn’t even appear? And the video is only available on his “mayor page” on the City’s website?
Well, that was the situation in Oakland yesterday. On Monday, a mere two days before the scheduled date of the speech at the 1,200-seat Oakland Marriott, which was then rescheduled at the less-than-300-seat Oakland City Council chambers, Mayor Ron Dellums’ office abruptly cancelled the event, supposedly due to a low RSVP count at either venue. Doesn’t anyone care about the state of our city?
Instead, the Mayor has released a video, produced at City expense, and a 68-page report outlining his accomplishments from 2007-2010. At the time of this writing, the pdf seems to have been removed from the website, but OaklandSeen has posted the report as a Google document here.
As we stated, the nine minute, twenty-eight second video does not include Mayor Dellums speaking in any of the scenes. Instead, speaking on his behalf are: Dorothy Duggan, BART Board Member (who oversaw the official BART response to the Oscar Grant shooting), Margaret Lin, Deputy City Administrator (an employee), Michelle Bryson, Program Assistant, Workforce Development Collaborative, Angel Fabian, Supervisor of HIV Education, La Clinica de la Raza, Deborah Wafer, Board member, AIDS Project East Bay, James Freeman, CEO of Blue Bottle Company, Carl Chan, Oakland Chinatown Chamber of Commerce, and others in the community.
Nowhere is the Mayor visible, except in a musical video montage at the opening. OaklandSeen has made the video available on YouTube.
This story was originally published on Wednesday, November 17, 2010 in OaklandSeen.