Profiles in Incompetence: Mayor Jean Quan of Oakland

Sometimes the decisions and actions of a single individual can lead to disaster. It does not happen often, because most good leaders surround themselves with people who help them compensate for their blind spots.

Mayor Jean Quan is not one of those people.

The decision to clear Frank Ogawa Plaza was hers. I originally admired her for enforcing the law despite her obvious kinship with the OWS movement. In her mayoral campaign biography, she notes, “My husband, Floyd, and I met as student activists at UC Berkeley…”

Well it turns out that she ordered the police to clear the park only to decide to allow protestors to occupy it again the next day. This flip-flopping cost Oakland taxpayers about $1 million in a single week. Then she encouraged city employees to take the day off to protest against…well…themselves. The police, of course, were not allowed to show their solidarity. They needed to be on hand to crush any “rebellion” if the city’s protesting of itself got out of hand. And crush the “rebellion” they did, which led to today’s shut down of the Port of Oakland.

Mayor Quan’s incompetence runs much deeper, of course, but the Oakland Police Officer’s Association does a much more eloquent job of describing it than I ever could. Yesterday it posted An Open Letter to the Citizens of Oakland from the  Oakland Police Officers’ Association detailing Quan’s bizarre and irresponsible decision-making:

“We represent the 645 police officers who work hard every day to protect the citizens of Oakland.  We, too, are the 99% fighting for better working conditions, fair treatment and the ability to provide a living for our children and families.  We are severely understaffed with many City beats remaining unprotected by police during the day and evening hours.

As your police officers, we are confused.

On Tuesday, October 25th, we were ordered by Mayor Quan to clear out the encampments at Frank Ogawa Plaza and to keep protesters out of the Plaza.  We performed the job that the Mayor’s Administration asked us to do, being fully aware that past protests in Oakland have resulted in rioting, violence and destruction of property.

Then, on Wednesday, October 26th, the Mayor allowed protesters back in – to camp out at the very place they were evacuated from the day before.

To add to the confusion, the Administration issued a memo on Friday, October 28th to all City workers in support of the “Stop Work” strike scheduled for Wednesday, giving all employees, except for police officers, permission to take the day off.

That’s hundreds of City workers encouraged to take off work to participate in the protest against “the establishment.”  But aren’t the Mayor and her Administration part of the establishment they are paying City employees to protest?  Is it the City’s intention to have City employees on both sides of a skirmish line?

It is all very confusing to us.”

You can read the rest of the letter here.

Either way, the movement shut down the Port of Oakland today. It doesn’t matter that port activity generates over 73,000 jobs in the region and is connected to more than 800,000 jobs nationwide. Nor does it seem to dawn on protestors that the port is $1.4 billion in debt and has annual debt service payments of over $100 million a year. Shutting it down will only serve to imperil its very existence.

Again, Mayor Quan allowed public employees to take the day off to protest – except cops.

People want more entitlements and jobs. What better way to fix that problem than by disrupting critical economic activity that…well…creates jobs?

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About Sean Patrick Hazlett

Conservative clean energy crusader, national security hawk, financial analyst, engineer, and former military officer.
This entry was posted in Business, California, Crime, Finance and Economics, Leadership, Media, Policy, Politics, Socialism, Taxes, Unions and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Profiles in Incompetence: Mayor Jean Quan of Oakland

  1. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

    I was reading that they trashed a “Whole Foods” as well. Isn’t that where these bums would actually shop for food if they weren’t panhandling?

  2. Alan Scott says:

    Funny how this happens in California, the most liberal looney toon of the 57 states.

  3. I live in southern California and is by far one of the most beautiful states in America. Being that is the most populous state in America you can’t judge everybody with one sound bit of the news. The individuals that destroyed the whole foods acted on their own. If you have ever been down to a general assembly (GA), instead of listening to National News, you will see how peaceful these protesters are. Oakland is a different story because the police there are very corrupt.

    Also, there are only 50 States in America 48 contiguous and two not connected.

    Unless you party with anyone on the Forbes list you should want to get corporate money out of politics too. The left and the right are both losing right now. The 1% wants you to look to distract you from the real issue on hand. I know all Republicans think that they are going to be apart of the 1% one day but your a dumb ass if you think that. Wake up and realize its time for Americans on the right and the left to come together and fight against financial inequality/corporate greed. Both Dems and Reps are losing right now.

    • “If you have ever been down to a general assembly (GA), instead of listening to National News, you will see how peaceful these protesters are. Oakland is a different story because the police there are very corrupt.”

      James, I don’t doubt that most of the protesters are peaceful, for the same reason I think most members of the Tea Party aren’t racist. That said, if even a small minority of a group engages in violence, you have to expect that the media will label the entire group as violent. There was never any violence associated with the Tea Party movement, but there is plenty associated with the OWS movement. Most of it has to do with the fact that members of the OWS movement violated Oakland city ordinances by camping in the park. The police therefore, had every legal right and duty to clear it.

      “Unless you party with anyone on the Forbes list you should want to get corporate money out of politics too.”

      James, I want corporate and union money out of politics.

      “The 1% wants you to look to distract you from the real issue on hand. I know all Republicans think that they are going to be apart of the 1% one day but your a dumb ass if you think that. “
      Well, I guess I am a dumbass then. I still believe that I am going to be a part of the 1% at some point. Given that I started as the son of two middle class teachers, and put myself through Stanford and Harvard by serving in the military and taking out loans (which I have since paid back), I very much believe that I can significantly affect my fate in this country.

      “Also, there are only 50 States in America 48 contiguous and two not connected.”

      James, Alan Scott was just being sarcastic. He was making an oblique reference to an Obama campaign event where he claimed he had visited 57 states:

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