Playing With Politics

A Blog on Law, Politics, Planning, Development, and Other Vices

Posts Tagged ‘City Council’

The Identity of West Hollywood

Posted by Roobs on March 18, 2011

As a an eager young politico, I followed West Hollywood’s recent city council election last month with great interest.  However, as my previous post may have suggested, I was a little turned off by some of the rhetoric coming from the opposing candidates.  I thought the rhetoric implied that the LGBT community in West Hollywood was a monolithic group all moving the same direction with the same tastes and preferences.

As it so happened, my final report in a physical planning class I am taking at UCLA offered me an opportunity to explore a question I have had since moving to West Hollywood in August of 2010.  I could sit and argue that there is another group, another community in West Hollywood that was being ignored in this grandiose messaging but I could not prove it.  My final report for my class was on precisely that.  I sought out to prove that there are, in fact, two distinct communities within West Hollywood as evidenced by the physical environment.

I have pasted a clip from my introduction below.  Please feel free to download my report (15mb).  Critiques and counter-arguments are welcomed.

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Posted in LGBT, Politics, Race & Identity, Urban Planning | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

EQCA Mum on Melanie Shelby

Posted by Roobs on September 8, 2010

Equality California offers no comment on alleged relationship with former Prop 8 supporter and current Oakland City Council candidate, Melanie Shelby.

For some time I have been trying to research Melanie Shelby, candidate for Oakland City Council.  Since moving to Los Angeles to puruse my graduate education, I admit I have fallen behind.  But I haven’t forgotten.

Before I moved out of the Bay Area, I sent a request for clarification to the Melanie Shelby campaign regarding her August 4th press release following the initial verdict in the Proposition 8 trial.  I also sent a request to Equality California asking them to comment on the relationship Melanie Shelby continually says she has with them.

I first received a response from the Shelby Campaign in what one other Oakland blogger described as “psychotic”.  You can read the Shelby Campaign’s really bad, though entertaining, response as well as my rebuttal by clicking here.  It really is a great example of what a bad communications team can do for a candidate.  But that was just one side.

For the past few weeks, I have been trying different avenues to get a response from someone inside Equality California – California’s primary same-sex marriage advocacy group.  For a few weeks I have talked to individuals (off the record) and sent emails.  Unfortunately, all my requests have been unfulfilled and, as I said, my conversations with the few I have reached have been off the record.

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Posted in LGBT, Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Melanie Shelby Wont Play With Politics

Posted by Roobs on August 17, 2010

Former Prop 8 Supporter Dodges Questions on LGBT Issues, Attacks Questioner.

Back on July 2, 2010, I wrote a post about Oakland City Council candidate, Melanie Shelby, who is running in District 4.  Melanie Shelby is well known in and out of political circles for her past support of Proposition 8 – California’s same-sex marriage ban.  Why?  Because she told everyone.

Because Melanie Shelby stated she has changed her view on same-sex marriage since starting her campaign for city council, I requested clarification from the Shelby campaign on her past and current position on same-sex marriage.  I received no response.  I wrote my post based on conversations with political insiders who have spoken to Shelby regarding this very issue.

(You can read my post here)

Melanie Shelby began saying she is working with Equality California since starting her campaign; supposedly in an effort to share her story of an evolving view of same-sex marriage.  However, she has never really explained what project this is.

Following the ruling in the case challenging Prop 8 on August 4, 2010, the Shelby campaign released a statement where she again claimed to be working with Equality California and other LGBT activists.  She also stated Californian’s still struggle with the “moral implications” of same-sex marriage.

(Read Melanie Shelby’s full press-release here.)

I again sent an email to the Shelby campaign asking for comment.  I asked what project and relationship she has with Equality California and what she meant by “moral implications”.  I also sent an email to the press office of Equality California asking them to comment on any project or relationship they had with Shelby as well.

I’m still waiting for Equality California to respond but after receiving the following response from the Shelby camp I feel compelled to address it.  I will, of course, update upon any response from Equality California (if any).

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Posted in LGBT, Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Young Dem Out-Raises Incumbent in Oakland City Council Race

Posted by Roobs on August 3, 2010

Time for a look at Oakland politics.  The news today is that Jennifer Pae, candidate for Oakland City Council in District 2, out raised the incumbent, Patricia Kerninghan.  Reports from the City Clerks office showed that Jen raised over $36,000 while Pat only raised a little over $20,000.

[Clarification by Oakbook: Jen out raised Pat this period only. Updated quote below.]

The biggest surprise in the money contest was the $36,638 Jennifer Pae raised in the most recent quarter for her bid to unseat Patricia Kernighan, the representative for District 2, who reported contributions totaling $20,393 in the same period. In this election cycle, Kernighan has raised a total of $47,000. Both candidates have accepted the city’s voluntary contribution limit and expenditure ceiling, which means that they will be allowed to spend around $107,000 each between now and Election Day.

Read more at The Oakbook

In addition, according to Clerk records, Jen has more cash on hand with $34,656.88 to Pat’s $34,286.40.

The interesting question is two-fold.  First, note that while the difference between candidates is less than $400, Pat is raising less per quarter on average compared to Jen (given Jen began her campaign after Pat).  Also, Pat seems to have spent more money but appears to be yielding less on returns.

Two, it would be interesting to know what are the dollar amount of these donations.  As a former delegate to the DNC Convention in Denver for the Obama campaign in 2008, I’m curious to see if Jen has taken a page from the Obama playbook and is raking in the low-dollar donations;  donations around $5-25 (I was a delegate for Hillary in 2008).  If this is the case, I think Jen has shown she has a great amount of community support in her district with families and individuals who want to be apart of her campaign and are donating what they can, especially in this economy.  If Pat is only brining in high dollar donations from establishment figures, then the story to come out from these numbers is that Jen Pae is definitely the community candidate.  This is a number that Pat Kerninghan should be concerned about.

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Prop 8 Supporter Running for Office… in Oakland?

Posted by Roobs on July 2, 2010

Proposition 8 – California’s constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage – passed in California back in November of 2008 reversing a previous court ruling.  While Prop 8 did pass in the state, it is important to recognize that Prop 8 met a thunderous defeat in Alameda County 62-38%.  In Oakland alone, Prop 8 went down hard.

Melanie Shelby, a candidate for Oakland City Council, District 4 is well known, both in and out of political circles, for her support of Proposition 8 back in 2008.  The fact that she is a Prop 8 supporter, though disappointing, is not the main issue per se.  The big issue is that she is running for a city council position in a city that heavily voted down the gay marriage ban.  So the question that comes up early in this race is this: Is Melanie Shelby really the right person to represent her district?

To help answer this question, i sent an email to Shelby on Monday, June 28th asking for comment on her past support on Prop 8 and current position on same-sex marriage.  To date, i have received no reply.  This is unfortunate as i now must begin the task of speculating based on my conversations with other political observers.

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Posted in LGBT, Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »