« All Eyes on the Mayor | Main | Everybody to College...Don't Count On it »

Local Environmentalism Lives -- In Oakland

Recently, several well publicized books have made the claim that environmentalism is dead. Not so. The laws of nature don’t change to accommodate right wing politicians or “junk scientists.”

Scientists--at best--craft partial understandings or clever manipulations. That is why good science and all tradition advise humility when attempting to alter God’s creation.

St. Paul counseled “fear and trembling,” while Dr. Pangloss prescribed endless optimism in this “best of all possible worlds.” Despite his fundamentalism, it seems President Bush prefers Voltaire to the Apostle.

Here in Oakland, environmental action is alive. The city has just received the honor of being named one of the top ten green cities in the country. So judges the Green Guide, “the nation’s premier news and information source for green living.”

According to the citation:

“More affordable than its Bay Area neighbor, Oakland benefits from San Francisco’s transport system and bike friendly status, with 23 percent of residents commuting by bike or public transport. The city devotes 11 percent of city land to parks, and shares in Bay Area initiatives for renewable energy. Oakland has its own initiative allowing solar production facilities to waive design review requirements for installation, which has sped up solar energy generation use by the city.”

Oakland will have five megawatts of solar energy going online this year, and the long term plan calls for 100 percent renewable energy by 2050. A green building ordinance –- which will assure environmentally healthy and energy efficient edifices of the future –- goes before the City Council soon. Fifteen percent of the cars in the City’s fleet are alternative fuel vehicles (AFV) and that number is slated to increase.

As an industrial port city, we have our share of problems –- like diesel trucks spewing pollutants as they idle, driving up asthma rates –- and it will take creative solutions to address them. The East Bay recently received low marks for air quality, partly because prevailing winds blow San Francisco’s smog into our faces. 

The president and the president’s men have stuck their heads in the sand when it comes to the environment -- with their federal tax breaks for carbon emitting industries and persistent neglect of renewable energy and end-use efficiencies, such as energy-saving appliances, cars and buildings.

It’s up to local government leaders to carry the vision of a sustainable economy.

April 30, 2005 | Permalink


Mr. Mayor,

It's terrific to find you are still jousting with the mediocrities and superficial! I remember Oakland from the late '58 to early '60's after 11/2 yrs on the Malay Penisula; Laos, South and North Vietnam, Cambodia etc. A Navy Hospital Corpsman doing Pres. Eisenhower's People to People Program. Got sent to Oakland Naval Hospital, became a Californian so I could vote for your Dad! Met him twice, Oakland and San Diego - was thrilled!

Oakland was always a hospitable city and I enjoyed it - even the Raiders! I admire your candor and believe you should make another "RUN" for the Presidency! Thank you
for your service,leadership, and creative approaches to huge problems - even the Republican Party understands the flat tax!
Steve Forbes had become a proponent for your idea!

Thank you!

Posted by: Cllifton | Apr 30, 2005 6:18:38 PM

The famous and colorful Jim Hightower stated:

"There's nothing in the middle of the road except yellow lines and dead armadillos".

Every time the Centrists think they are in the middle, the Republicans move the goal posts further to the right and the centrists have to scramble to the right to stay in the "center".

Centrists Democrats will tail after the Republicans until the Republicans end up being facists and the Centrists become Tom Delay Democrats.

Posted by: Grassrootsdem | Apr 30, 2005 8:45:51 PM


"There's nothing in the middle of the road except yellow lines and dead armadillos"."

While that is a cute comment, it could be easily be rebutted by Clint Eastwood's statement:

"Extremism is so easy. You've got your position, and that's it. It doesn't take much thought. And when you go far enough to the right, you meet the same idiots coming around from the left."

Posted by: Gun-Toting Liberal | May 1, 2005 1:07:12 AM

America is a mountainous land, and science must be urged to scale those slopes which promote sustainability, rather than those which place our planet in peril.

It takes its cues from us. Due to our materialistic bent as a culture, our cursory endorsement of "progress" and our captivation with technology, the scientific world chooses those mountains which are the highest (great accolades to be received), the easiest (the path of least resistance) or the most profitable (grant money from special interests or an emphasis on reducing labor so companies can realize greater profits), rather than those which are the most ecological and peace-enhancing.

The research community has rivers of creativity and forests of energy that could instead be directed towards rivers and forests. It could move towards ecological preservation and restoration, peaceful alternatives to conflict and a furthering of life on this planet.

We will know a cultural transition is underway when news reports following fires, earthquakes and other disasters address the impact on natural systems and nonhuman species, rather than just the human and economical consequences, such as the number of homes lost. Our capitalistic culture thrives on the fact that nature is cost-free, which in turn, reinforces the notion that it is expendable and devoid of value. This reality must change. Our reality must change. And science must change.

Coincidentally, I completed a piece yesterday about this topic: Shifting science towards peace and ecology. It will be published in the next edition of E (The Environmental) Magazine – I'll provide a link later because I know you love my articles! Especially when I place them on your blog!

As for the disturbing direction of many scientific pursuits, I read about an ethics committee that endorses the co-mingling of human and animal tissues, such as creating mice and sheep with brains almost completely comprised of human brain cells. This is already being done, by the way. They hope eventually to turn animals into living factories for human tissues and organs, but they worry that a "human could become trapped inside a sheep." They suggest these "creations" be closely monitored and killed if they display any human-like behavior! Unbelievable! An ethics committee that advises scientists to create monstrosities, then kill the beings if they seem even remotely human! They have no regard for these sentient beings – regardless of the species to which they might belong – human or otherwise. The anti-ethicists worship an idea, a line, a chasm, a "distinction between humans and others" rather than embrace even the slightest reverence for life. They will kill to retain their precious distinction.

Of course, this leads us to another upsetting topic: patents on life forms (i.e. Jeremy Rifkin).

You bring up so many interesting topics with this post, but I have to get some sleep. If I get time, I will explore the Panglossian or Leibnitz-like worldview... or perhaps other intriguing seeds you plant.

(Tony C. wants to meet with me next week to discuss ideas about how to transition L.A. into a more solar city.. following the example of Oakland).

Posted by: Charlotte Laws | May 1, 2005 2:34:51 AM

When I voted in my first election, in 1974, it was for Jerry Brown for governor...when he ran for president in 1992, I briefly worked on his campaign in Los Angeles, until an ear infection took me over. When I heard him speak at the Shrine, and he drove in an electric car, he was setting the example we all should have followed. I remember he spoke about John Adams and remarked that Mr. Adams had refered to the civilized society as being one filled with art.

My dearest Mayor Brown, you are one of the really good guys. I will always support you...and will send money for your campaign...as I always have.

Please put the John Adams quote on your blog so others might read the words you quoted on that night in Los Angeles..I don't remember them precisely, but I do remember how prophetic they were.

And please accept my gratitude for sticking to your guns all these years when others have become so corrupted by money and power...thank you for "staying on message" for most of my life. Thank you for not caring what others say about you. And thank you for being one of the most sane and articulate public figures in America...you give me hope that these crazed control freaks won't be in power forever.

I only wish I could thank you in person. You inspire me to continue to afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted.

Posted by: Vanessa Ament | May 1, 2005 3:55:58 AM

Great post, Mr. Mayor. I am very glad to hear and be able to see your postings whenever I want.

Posted by: John Harrigan | May 1, 2005 6:46:44 AM

The way to "unstick" the president's head and that of the Republicans is for numerous numbers of people in this country to call and bombard their Senators and Congresspersons with telephone calls and emails to torpedo the nuclear option.

Ignoring this critical issue is sticking our own heads in the sand and capitulating to one of the worst right wing intiatives to come down the pike yet.

For decades through the use of the filibuster the wildlife refuge of Alaska and environment was saved through the use of the filibuster. But by the use of an amendment which prevented a filibuster on the issue which would have required 60 votes to pass, the Bush administration was able to push it through.

If they continue to appoint extremists on the Courts like William Tyler, you can kiss the whole environment goodbye with the strip mining and continued devastation of our national forests.

The issue of local government being the answer now is a defeatist position and a diversion now from the profound change in governing that the Republicans are trying to muster--the elimination of the filibuster--in order to fully implement their entire agenda. This will have a far-reaching impact in water and air quality as well as logging and mining affect our streams, underground water and rivers.

We cannot continue to stick our heads in the sand because Bush chooses to reward his big business allies with governmental positions and the ability to plunder our public lands EVEN at the cost of destroying a 200 year balance of power in this country by pretending that the answer to the environmental onslaught of the Bush administration is local initiatives like solar energy intiatives.

Posted by: Val | May 1, 2005 7:28:32 AM

Gun-Toting Liberal.
If you are indeed the GTL blogger who just recently posted that Fox News is "fairly balanced and mainstream" and that you represent "normal" because you are just so darned normal, then I think we all have a pretty good idea of where you are coming from and it ain't the center no matter how much you might pretend to represent Mr. and Mrs. Normal in America.

Mr. and Mrs. Normal in America are busy working 3 part-time jobs to keep roof and shelter overhead, most likely don't have health insurance and are concerned about their children's well being and school situation and issues like No Child Left Behind and how it is impacting their local schools.

I've found that that there is nothing centrist or particularly normal about phony proponents of centrism and the flat tax.

Take your libertarianism back to New Mexico or wherever the heck you come from. We don't need or want you here in California where our Senate Majority Democratic Leader Don Perata is working to raise taxes on the rich who presently pay at a lower rate than the rest of us working stiffs and to close all the taxloopholes which you libertarian proponents of the flat tax are presently benefiting from.

As Jim Hightower also noted, we don't need to raise taxes, we just need to collect it from all the tax cheats like you.

Posted by: Grassrootsdem | May 1, 2005 7:54:36 AM

I've only one quibble with your ideas on environmentalism, Mr. Mayor. You write "It’s up to local government leaders to carry the vision of a sustainable economy." It's up to ALL of us -- we cannot look to the federal government for leadership on this matter, at this time, but ALL citizens have to take leadership on this matter.

It's up to us to use public transit, to recycle, to make better choices in our consumption, to support our neighbors and fellow citizens in those choices. It's up to us to see that prosperity without health and wellbeing is a bit empty. Visionary leaders at the local level are a key element, yes, but the responsibility belongs to all of us.

Posted by: Ruth | May 1, 2005 10:10:32 AM

Grassroots Dem:

"If you are indeed the GTL blogger who just recently posted that Fox News is "fairly balanced and mainstream"

That would be me. But you conveniently left out the part where I said the same thing about CNN.

"... and that you represent "normal" because you are just so darned normal..."

I see you have no sense of humor. That was an attempt at HUMOR. It only works with people who have a sense of humor.

"... then I think we all have a pretty good idea of where you are coming from and it ain't the center.."

Of course not. I'm pretty far to the left and pretty far South on the Political Compass. I don't pretend to be anything else.

"Mr. and Mrs. Normal in America are busy working 3 part-time jobs to keep roof and shelter overhead, most likely don't have health insurance and are concerned about their children's well being and school situation and issues like No Child Left Behind and how it is impacting their local schools."

So we're on the same side after all. I've blogged and BLOGGED about these issues. Apparently you didn't even read but one post and you judged my entire ideology upon that ONE post.

"... about phony proponents of centrism and the flat tax."

Great, we disagree on that one. No problem. I just think drug dealers, sex workers and under-the-table wage earners should help out with the taxes. Doing it YOUR way is never going to see to it this is done.

"Take your libertarianism back to New Mexico or wherever the heck you come from."

That's really nice of you. So what should I do with the other part of me - the LIBERAL part? You know, the liberal side of me that agrees with you (apparently) on such issues as corporate greed, protection of the environment, healthcare, and the evils of big oil? I guess I'm not welcome in YOUR Democrat Party...

"We don't need or want you here in California..."

So you are the spokesman for ALL Californians now?

"... raise taxes on the rich who presently pay at a lower rate than the rest of us working stiffs and to close all the taxloopholes which you libertarian proponents of the flat tax are presently benefiting from."

Didn't you know you can have a flat tax and STILL tax the richer amongst us at a higher rate? Ignorance is bliss.

"As Jim Hightower also noted, we don't need to raise taxes, we just need to collect it from all the tax cheats like you."

Oh? Now I'm a "tax cheat". How did you come to that conclusion? Why would you assume I'm not a working stiff just like you who is getting screwed over by corporate America? Well guess what bud - I'm a working stiff who has two jobs myself and I'm just trying to make my mortgage and bankruptcy payments each month.

Now do you know who you are talking to? Glad to clear all this up for you. You know what they say about "assuming"...

Posted by: Gun-Toting Liberal | May 1, 2005 10:53:33 AM

I am Governor Jerry Brown / My aura smiles and never frowns / Soon I will be president… / Carter power will soon go away / I will be Führer one day / I will command all of you / Your kids will meditate in school / California Uber Alles / Uber Alles California / Zen fascists will control you / 100% natural / You will jog for the master race / And always wear the happy face / Close your eyes, can’t happen here / Big Bro’ on white horse is near / The hippies won’t come back you say / Mellow out or you will pay / California Uber Alles / Uber Alles California / Now it is 1984 / Knock knock at your front door / It’s the suede denim secret police / They have come for your uncool niece / Come quietly to the camp / You’d look nice as a drawstring lamp / Don’t you worry, it’s only a shower / For your clothes here’s a pretty flower / DIE on organic poison gas / Serpent’s egg’s already hatched / You will croak, you little clown / When you mess with President Brown / California Uber Alles / Uber Alles California

Posted by: gabe | May 1, 2005 11:49:00 AM

Mr. Mayor:

I've always been of the opinion that pollution reduction and environmentalism should be the responsibility of local municipalities rather than of the federal government. Each region has it's own unique problems: Fresno with it's agricultural pollution and smog blown inland from the Bay Area, Los Angeles with it's sprawling urban centers and transportation problems and the like. It seems to me the only thing the Federal Government can do is provide guidance.

All too often, however, people have their eyes firmly fixed on the President--forgetting that those local elections they didn't give an ounce of thought to are electing the people who really affect their lives. They then become quick to blaim the President (of either party) for things such as poorly financed schools and police or development sprawl--things their local city council and their state legislatures should be blaimed for.

That said, I'm personally excited that you're down in the trenches where the real action takes place, and it's exciting for me to see you put your theories into practice.

As to the transportation problems with idle trucks, one solution that Los Angeles is trying to put into place is a freight rail system running from the Port of Los Angeles to a transportation hub in downtown L.A. some 10 miles away. The idea is that instead of clogging the freeways along the south bay, freight is directly loaded onto trains which move the freight to a better transportation hub, where idle trucks and traffic congestion can be better managed. (The idle trucks along the port comes from the fact that they have to unload the box cars from the ships with a 48 hour turnaround--which requires a line of (mostly idle) trucks waiting for the boxes to be unloaded. If the freight is loaded onto a train, however, you only have a couple of idle deisel trains, and the boxes can be unloaded more efficiently at the port. The freight can then be transfered from the train to trucks or storage at a remote location at a more leisurely pace, requiring fewer idle trucks. I know I'm simplifying this, and all of this is based on what I've heard in the news, so I may be getting the details wrong.)

I don't know if this is the sort of problem Oakland faces, but it may be worth investigating.

Posted by: William Woody | May 1, 2005 12:59:30 PM

Hello Mayor Brown,

What a pleasure to discover your fine blog - a -real- blog, with fingers-to-the-keyboard and open comments. How refreshing!

As we are on the subject of the environment and conservation, I would be interested to know your thoughts on an issue politicians are loath to discuss: "Peak Oil."

Posted by: diana | May 1, 2005 3:27:28 PM

"Scientists--at best--craft partial understandings or clever manipulations."

I urge you to reconsider. Scientists do research that often seeks to answer a very small question that is one piece of a huge puzzle. They do research to try to repeat, challenge, build on or further previous research. The news media take these small research results, expound and dramatize them up into news stories that sell to attention deficit readers that don't reflect science at all.

If you were to investigate all the stories posing as science in the news (especially your local news, TV news) you would be appalled at the disconnect between the truth and what's reported. Not to say that all scientists do great research or that science doesn't reflect commercial or political pressures in grant writing, but as a discipline, pure research at the university level can be the most rigorous field.

I leafed through the top 100 sellers in "Science" on Amazon and on the NYT best sellers list and didn't find many books that downplayed the environmental destruction (or it's deadness, maybe I missed some--could you list??). I listed what I found below. The first three are written by scientists (noted), warn about the environment, and are popular- Collapse is a best-seller. The only one that leaps to mind that took the opposite stance was written by a statistician and has been heavily criticized for it's bias.

1. (#19-Amazon) (#13-NYT Hardcover) Collapse Jared Diamond UCLA (Professor of geography, physiology)

2. Red Sky in The Morning James Seth (Dean of Yale U. School of Forestry and Environmental Studies)

3. One With Nineveh: Politics, Consumption, and the Human Future Paul and Anne Ehrlich (Stanford biologists)

Plus many by journalists including Boiling Point Ross Gelbspan

4. Skeptical Environmentalist Bjorn Lomborg (statistician)

Posted by: challiger | May 1, 2005 6:20:29 PM

Gun-Toting Liberal:

What state would you be from southpaw?

You certainly don't talk like a lefty cause lefties don't quote Clint Eastwood. Nor does anybody on the left I know support the flat tax or believe Clint Eastwood's mumblings about the left being next to the extremists presently trying to undo an 86 year tradition of a senate policy of balances and checks by destroying the fillibuster.

You might be a liberal but most of all you sound to me like a Libertarian.
But I s'pose they're liberals too.

Posted by: Grassrootsdem | May 1, 2005 8:03:11 PM

Very cool. I need to visit Oakland more often.

Posted by: Deborah White | May 1, 2005 8:20:15 PM

Just a quiet Little (not-quite-)old Lady from Pasadena... who has sadly been in Texas since 1979. (Although I'm grateful for our housing prices!) I'm glad you are getting cheery press about your blog (Dallas Morning News this morning) and hope your example will prompt more legislators to be more in touch with their constituents. I'd certainly prefer you as my representative or senator (state OR local) to any of the parochial candidates here in North Texas.

Is it possible that the "Red States" have education so poor that people there are incapable of critical thinking, civil discourse, and problem solving? Most (though not all) of the politicians locally (including Tom DeLay and the un-elected "Prime Minister"/Hatchett Man/Offensive Lineman, Karl Rove seem to rely on deaf-dumb-&-blind faith, literal innerancy of scripture rather than the Constitution, or the dual seductions of money and power.

Congratulations on the Green award in Oakland. It would appear that the team of St. Paul AND Voltaire/Pangloss (?) works better than either one by himself.

Posted by: PainterWoman | May 1, 2005 10:04:26 PM

Geoff Staples had an interesting guest on Radio Left this week - a spokesperson from the Rocky Mountain Institute, a research and consulting org. focusing on energy policies and resource issues from a free market perspective and on a global scale.

The dialogue between Geoff Staples (a self identified "Socialist Libertarian" and his guest (Conservative Libertarian) was indeed very interesting and engaging.

The few Conservative Libertarians that I have come to know personally fall into what I call the Grover Northquist Mepublican Cult, subscribing to the Survival of the Meanest doctrine. The health of our environment is not exactly on their list of "values", and enivironmentalist bashing is a favorite passtime.

But if this spokesperson was a fair representative of the thinking of this institute, and a newly evolved conservative libertarianism thinking - (as opposed to the highly regressive Cato Institute types)it gives an injection of genuine optimism and hope so desperately needed in advancing real solutions to grave problems facing the socio-economic and environmental problems of this nation, and indeed the world.

I am not suggesting that I subscribe to the notion that left to it's own devises that the "free marekt" will solve the energy crises, or should decide energy policies - at least not while corrupt corporatists and oiligarchy's are given free reign to focus on their bottom line, with no accountability as is the case currently.

But it appears from a skim through their papers posted at their website, http://www.rmi.org, that clearly a genuine effort has been invested in addressing these issues and the problems that progressives have been struggling for decades to bring to the public fora for decades. I see an opportunity for the progressive community, environmentalists, the business community and local governments to work together and accomplish what politicians are not able to achieve on matters of such global importance as energy policies and clean water.

Anyone interesting in learning more about RMI - especially members in the business AND progressive community, might be want to listen to this program and go to their website posted above.

The interview is a webcast radio program archived at: http://blog.radioleft.com

I would be interested in any reactions or thoughts on this...

Posted by: heidic | May 1, 2005 10:50:30 PM

"What state would you be from southpaw?"

Living in the red State of Alabama, born in the Bay Area.

"You certainly don't talk like a lefty cause lefties don't quote Clint Eastwood."

Actually, I don't pay much attention to Hollywood. I saw Governor Brown's Quote of the Day on this blog and that is where I hijacked the quote from.

"... destroying the fillibuster."

The right had better be careful with this one. If they're not careful, they might just get what they wish for and then they will be the first to cry about how "times have changed and it's time to bring back the fillibuster" when they lose the majority again... just watch.

"You might be a liberal but most of all you sound to me like a Libertarian."

On the Political Compass (link on my website) I scored somewhere around a -6 liberal and -5 libertarian. I suppose you could call me either a far-left whacko or a libertarian and you'd be right on both counts :-)

"But I s'pose they're liberals too."

Some are, some aren't. Neal Boorts, for example, is also a libertarian but he's also a far-right whacko.

I have irreconciliable differences with the Libertarian Party though... first things to come to mind are their "open borders" policy, their hatred of ALL government (with the exception of national defense and courts) and their being against government ownership of land.

You're right about one thing though - I will hold onto my individuality at all costs. A "DNC Talking Points liberal" I'm most certainly NOT.

Posted by: Gun-Toting Liberal | May 2, 2005 3:41:19 AM

Zen fascists will control you
Zen fascists? LOL. You obviously know nothing about Zen. Period. End of story.

Posted by: steambomb | May 2, 2005 10:06:11 AM

Gun-toting Liberal,

I happen to be against "open borders" as well and irate that Bush has indirectly encouraged vigilantism by failing to fully staff border control and enact a fair immigration policy which would legalize those our government has tacitly looked the other way at while collecting their taxes for decades.

Meanwhile Bush hypocritically denounces the actions of the Minuteman as vigilantes and only supports "guest worker" passes.

I've read varying accounts about the Minuteman action--some say they are concerned with lawlessness and the criminals pouring over the border and the loss of American jobs-- others have reported they wear Nazi insignia.

Regarding the filibuster, I cannot predict the future on this one, but I can say with certainty its going to be bad news. Bush will promote conservative minorities to the courts in an effort to gain inroads among Latino and African American voters. The Republicans have much to gain in the way of sowing confusion amongst voters.

An MSM article stated the Republicans have basically created districts that are not inclusive of differences at all and that this has given them the ability to win with even larger margins. This has falsely promoted the artificial notion of red and blue which MSM has promoted as well.

The end result of Republican redistricting in Texas and other places has been a bunch of extremists in Congress. And now Gov. Schwarzennegger is attempting to do the same thing in California.

On environmentalism, I'm all for alliances with any political grouping in order to promote conservation, encourage technological innovations in energy efficiency and a sane policy of resource management.

What I cannot comprehend is how Republicans don't seem to get that in not promoting fuel efficient cars and subways and high speed trains like in Europe and Japan instead of the gas guzzling SUV's, by not controlling the increasing use of pesticides and controlling toxic mining practices in our country which are poisoning the environment--our lands, rivers and oceans-- that they too will succumb to cancer and the effects of global warming.

George Bush, VP Cheney & Co. and the rest of the oil profiteers seem to be a sick bunch of cuckoos who will poison their own nest solely for personal gain.

Posted by: Grassrootsdem | May 2, 2005 10:19:23 AM

I'm glad that the people of Oakland consider the environment to be important, unlike Houston, or Dallas where toxin salesmen like Bush, Cheney and Delay continue to promote poising of the earth. You, latte suckin' commies need to give Mayor Moonbeam a break, at least he cares. (unlike that sociopath down in San Diego). This excellent news! Keep up the good work.

But we can go farther. I will echo an idea I posted in an anti-sideshow comment: the car-free city. Everybody can park their status mobile in a guarded parking lot near San Leandro. Meanwhile, Oakland residents can rent hydro-powered or electric City-Share pick up trucks for hauling big items. AC transit can expand to run 24/7 with busses arriving ever 5 min (just like Los Angeles in the Roger Rabbit movie). This will require a massive infrastructure expansion. Oakland will need drivers, mechanics, IT professionals, accountants. Some of the steps towards this goal require expanded vocational programs at local colleges, bringing the over-all education level up. Oakland could return to the "New Athens" status it held in the Victoiran Era.

This expansion could wipe out poverty and unemployment for the municipality (we don't have any current openings for "sneering at Starbucks while reading Marx" unfortunately. We will keep your resume on file and let you know. have a nice day.) Commerce could be restricted to specific routes at specific times with licenses for shipping. UPS and Fed-Ex could sub-contract out to bicycle messaging again (they will have no choice). The best thing about all of this is that it will set an example that it can be done. If it can be done here, it can be done in eastern cities where pollution has a much bigger impact on the environment. Imagine: Grand Ave on a Saturday evening without the mega decibel motorcycle engine blasts, or the misogynistic racial slur-ridden car stereos throbbing down the street. (btw: aren't these guy breaking the law?) Kudos to Oakland! Why don't we take things a step farther.

PS: some quick math for the "mayor-haters"
ballpark US GDP: $10,000,000,000,000
rough break down
upper 20% = 80% rest of us workin schmoes

with Moonbeam's 14% flat tax
the rich pay: $700,000,000,000
enough to fund a war in the middle east for an entire year!
(or create eco-cities)

Posted by: el Senor Enrique | May 2, 2005 11:00:37 AM

Nice blog Mr. Brown! I'd like to see more politicians start blogs. They're a great way to share ideas and express opinions. Seriously, what's more democratic than the internet?

Posted by: Ian Magruder | May 2, 2005 11:03:44 AM

Cudos to you for maintaining a blog and allowing comments! You've always been a good "grass roots" politician and I appreciate that! You would've made a good Pres back in the day, ya know! You were always open and kind. You invited my sister and I into your private office when you were Governor just because we campaigned in the Maryland primaries for you! It's nice to see you still so down-to-earth! Keep up the good work, Jerry!

Posted by: Suzie | May 2, 2005 11:54:44 AM

El Senor Enrique,
The flat tax position of da Mayor contradicts his statements about local control and so does your endorsement of it.

Why would us " latte suckin" Marx readin "commies" want to pay more money to a federal government that has cut all social programs to the bone and where the vast majority of the money now goes to the military/intellgience budget?

And, what is the point of funding a war for another year? To engender yet more hatred and enemies in the worldwide community?

If you were any kind of informed Latin (if you indeed are one) you would see which way the winds of change are blowing throughout both Latin America and now Mexico as well with changes to the governments of Venezuela, Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, and possibly Boivia and Mexico.

Other than that, I kinda like your suggestions for an Oaktown electrical or hybrid fleet.

Posted by: Grassrootsdem | May 2, 2005 1:34:53 PM

The comments to this entry are closed.