Photo of Mayor Quan by Howard Dyckoff, used by permission
Mayor Quan's State of the City address had a few big themes, but little new information; the highlight was Quan's "we're in in this together" tone, which was reinforced by frequent--and carefully coordinated--shoutouts to staffers and organizations in attendance in City Hall chambers,including California Highway Patrol, Oakland Unified School District, Tanya Holland of Brown Sugar Kitchen and B-Side, developer Tom Henderson and scores more.
Focusing on crime, public safety and the Oakland Police, Quan skirted the issue of Alan Blueford, but emphasized Oakland's commitment to safety for every individual, and discussed active recruitment for Oakland's police academies, with three planned for this year. She also shared that she planned to revisit a plan for community policing that Oakland resident Don LInk, and others, wrote several years ago, insisting it was relevant for today. Quan also told the audience, however, that additional police would be a financial challenge, saying it would cost $73MM the city did not currently have to add 200 more officers.
In the 73-minute speech, Quan spoke about the city's commitment to supporting groups holding Art Murmur and First Friday events, both this March 1st and going forward, and praised staff for work with the Oakland airport connector, the Oakland Army Base, Coliseum City, and the Bay Bridge celebration team. Noting that Oakland has gained 5,000 jobs in the last year, she said Oakland was a "good deal" for business, especially for tech companies. She painted a positive picture of the city, and focused on the many good things that have happened during her tenure in the past year.
Not on the list of items brought up in her speech:
Some attendees were shaking their heads--once more--at Quan's police officer math, wondering why bringing on 200 officers--at a cost of $200,000 per officer, would actually cost $73MM above and beyond the current $400 million in the general fund.