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Friday, June 11, 2010


Fine Emeryville Tradition Slipping Away

Below are the telephone numbers for Emeryville's elected public officials as listed with 411 information (in the phone book):
  • Council Member Ruth Atkin - Unlisted
  • Council Member Nora Davis - 652-2199
  • Council Member Kurt Brinkman - Unlisted
  • Council Member Ken Bukowski - Unlisted
  • Council Member Jennifer West - 655-3726 (also made 420-5795 available for constituents)
  • School Board Member Miguel Dwin - Unlisted
  • School Board Member Josh Simon - 601-1480
  • School Board Member Cheryl Webb - 654-6012
  • School Board Member Melodi Dice - 655-4354? (Oakland listing)
  • School Board Member Patricia Hooper - 658-6040? (Oakland listing)
There is no law that says elected officials should be available to their constituents by home phone and in the greater world, generally speaking, government officials don't commonly list their home telephone numbers in the phone book.

In Emeryville however, there is a longstanding tradition that citizens can call their representatives directly, at home. A quick perusal of the phone book in years past revealed all five Council members and School Board members listed. In a town the size of Emeryville, this is something one would expect. The recent trend for elected officials here to not avail themselves directly to the residents is a disturbing one. It would be wise for Emeryville residents to tell their government officials that they expect them to be approachable directly by phone, least we lose something of value.

Small towns have many endemic problems, not the least of which is the tendency towards pernicious xenophobia and retrograde parochialism with its mindless civic boosterism and we have certainly seen these in Emeryville, but one benefit a small town brings is the availability and therefore the accountability of elected public officials. It's sad to see Emeryville lose this valuable intimate nexus between the government and the governed.

1 comment:

  1. I agree with the premise of this article. However, to keep it positive we should make sure we say kudos to Nora Davis, Jennifer West, Cheryl Webb and Josh Simon!