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Sunday, April 14, 2019

Parks Presentation Propaganda

Staff, Council Deception on Parks

Public Policy Failure is Cast as a Success

Opinion/News Analysis
Emeryville City Hall recently hosted a meeting on the state of our city parks now and in the future, after which the citizen attendees and TV viewers came away happy, assured the City Council is working to provide all the planned new parks in town as they’re supposed to.  Some may have gone into the meeting thinking there aren’t enough parks here but not to worry the attendees were told, the City Council is on it.  The parks box is checked and everything's A-OK they learned.  The citizens left the meeting happy…. happy but ignorant.
Were the actual facts about parks in Emeryville revealed, the departing citizens wouldn’t be happy.  They’d be angry.  Because there is a major problem with parks here.  We’re not getting them.  And that’s a problem not even admitted to by City Hall.  What we ARE getting instead is agitprop and evangelism by our government.  The meeting, on March 19th, is revelatory; it was set up to deceive and mollify the people.

The City Council took pains to cajole the citizens into thinking they’re doing fine with the goals the City has with providing parks.  They highlighted the two or so acres of parks they built over the last ten years and referenced their plan to build another three or four acres of parks that have been funded over the next several years.  But what was brazenly left unacknowledged was the 800 pound gorilla in the room: Emeryville is midway through the 20 year General Plan and to satisfy it, the City needs to build not three or four acres but 26 additional acres of parks in the next ten years.  Got that?  Twenty six acres in the remaining ten years after having built only two acres over the first ten years.

After joking about pressure coming from the Tattler on the issue, Mayor Ally Medina opened the discussion, adding some realism for better effect into the otherwise pure whitewash.   She began by interjecting a little mea culpa contrition into the presentation, “We could do a little bit better of a job addressing, as we increase our density,  some of this livability and park space for our ever increasing residential population.” she said.   And then the propaganda whitewash began.

'We're doing great on parks in Emeryville!'
says the City Council
The General Plan, weighing in at 800 pounds,
says something different, but is ignored.
The General Plan is as clear as it is ignored: at least 26 acres of new park land needs to be built in Emeryville over the next ten years.  But the March 19th meeting revealed City Hall has no intention to deliver on that.  The abdication of its duty to the General Plan in general and parks specifically thus represents a public policy failure. The staff obviously put in many hours for the presentation that purposely left out the information the people need to know about the City’s failure providing parks.  We want to know how much paid staff time was spent preparing this hood thrown over our eyes.

As friends of Bill twelve steppers and other drug rehabbers are fond of saying, ‘the first step in solving a problem is acknowledging there IS a problem.  And how it goes for addicts is true too for municipalities seeking to solve their problems.  Cities need to admit they have a problem before they can move to fix the problem.
The Emeryville City Council, going around telling the citizens they’re doing great with building the parks they’re supposed to provide, is reprehensible and irresponsible.  The truth is that they’re asleep at the wheel, using the staff do do their dirty work and Emeryville residents are being cheated out of the parks we’re supposed to be getting.

The meeting in all it's shameless glory, may be viewed here:


  1. They know what they're doing with this. This isn't just spin. You're right this is propaganda.

  2. It looks like your RULE council members aren't so good after all. Care to take back what you said about them (& RULE)? You got your way and now we all see how that turned out.

    1. RULE exists to improve Emeryville for the residents and they have been remarkably effective getting the candidates they want elected. so that's good. The problem is the City Council has only done half of what they said they would: helping affordability and the working poor in our midsts. The part on livability they've totally dropped the ball. Agreed; not very good after all.