Search The Tattler

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Government Handout to Citizen Activist Group RULE

City Hall Has Long Paid the 
Chamber of Commerce,
Now It Will Pay RULE As Well

Budgets, as they say, are moral documents.  They're the black and white manifestation of priorities; an accounting of what is considered valuable by a people.
The City of Emeryville's budget tells us big business is something we value here.  You can see it itemized in monthly cash payouts and gifts of free rent to the Chamber of Commerce, a private corporation.  The Chamber uses the money to pay Chamber employee salaries to advocate for business interests, big businesses specifically.  The idea is the public money will end up helping the public because businesses will pay us taxes.  Or it might be the City Council members that keep this funding scheme going are simple ideologues; they have an aesthetic bias in favor of big business.  Their long voting record on the Council hints as much.

The Chamber of Commerce, a private company,
 gets this Harlan Street storefront rent free from the 
City of Emeryville. Just to the left is an empty 
unit that's perfect for RULE.
The last budget earmarked $25,000 for the Emeryville Chamber of Commerce plus another year of free rent at the storefront space the City rents on Harlan Street.  A few years ago, the Chamber was given $40,000 per year to help them produce their newsletter, The Emeryville Connection, mailed every month to every Emeryville household.  That is until a scathing story about that cozy deal between the City and the Chamber blared from the pages of the Tattler.  The Chamber was printing stories in the Connection telling residents which Council members to vote for and which ones to avoid.  A cozy and reciprocal relationship.

 Now we have a new Emeryville City Council majority presumably with different values than the traditional pro-business fare.
The logic that brought us years of payouts of government money to the Chamber of Commerce now should be expanded.  If arcane notions of public largess showered on a private business used to help big businesses, trickling down and benefiting the public are considered rational, surely a more direct route of public money resulting in public benefit should be considered at least as rational.  This is how Emeryville's premier citizen activist group, Residents United for a Livable Emeryville is going to start receiving free rent and cash payouts from City Hall.
Martinez resident,
Chamber CEO
Bob Canter.
Emeryville pays
his salary.
RULE will use the government money to make sure future development in Emeryville is in the people's interests.  They'll do the work they've always done but now they're going to get money for it.  Think of these payouts like the money the government spends on public defenders.
RULE will use the money to force developers to enter into Community Benefit Agreements directly with the people, skipping City Hall.  They'll conduct resident surveys about nascent development, they'll go door to door and hold Town Hall meetings.  They'll hire lawyers to sue those that are subverting the people's interests.  They'll get their own storefront headquarters and a fancy new website and newsletter. They'll still work for free unlike Chamber employees.

Since Emeryville presumably is here to help residents, the same charge RULE has, some might see cash payouts as redundant and unnecessary.  But  there's not a government on Earth that has a perfect, infallible and direct connection to the needs and desires of the governed.  That's why citizen activist groups are so ubiquitous.  The less a government represents the interests of the governed, the more such groups sprout up.
We understand the government hubris that would tend to make payouts to a group such as RULE unlikely.  In the case of Emeryville, paying RULE would be seen as a tacit admission of failure on the part of the decision makers in their charge to fashion the town after the wishes of the residents.  So we understand human psychology being such that it is, the Council members will likely find the idea of paying RULE repugnant.   But we're not interested in the Council member's feelings. We're interested in fair and equitable government.  And we're interested in the residents benefitting from City Hall's spending.

For years we've had a budget one would expect from a town in say, Texas.  Now Emeryville is going to have a budget that reflects our values.  RULE will be empowered to effectively deliver Emeryville values.


  1. Respectfully DISAGREE ! "RULE will be empowered to effectively deliver Emeryville values." B. S. What percent of eligible voters actually express their real feelings at the polls? Emeryville is now a TAIL, WAGGING THE DOG ! Enjoy your Heyday while you have this chance.

    1. So nice to see the local sociopaths chime in! We love sociopaths here but remind us please again why the resident's interests shouldn't see the light of day at City Hall. You've told us many times but we're having a hard time remembering , the notion is a bit alien to us, so bear with us please. Residents shouldn't be part of the equation...we got that part...but why again?

  2. Really? This is the only way you can get people to read your rag is by just outright lying now? Pathetic.You didn’t make a big fuss when the Chamber endorsed the measures that you wanted to pass (U & V). So when the Chamber posed a conflict of interest, the Tattler stepped in to “save the day” … now you’re proposing that an "advocacy" group that represents the elderly, white spectrum of Emeryville citizens should represent ALL of Emeryville and this is NOT a conflict? Delusional, hypocritical and just downright sad.

    1. Really? Unlike some blogs, the Tattler is non-commercial: it doesn't sell ads, doesn't need clicks and therefore doesn't need to lie.

      But I do thank you for clearing this up; resident's interests should not be represented by City Hall, citizen activism is no good and old people suck. White people suck. How about kids in wheelchairs? They suck also?

    2. So the Headline "Now It Will Pay RULE As Well" is not a lie? Who the hell would advertise on this "one man rant" of a shitty opinion blog? Considering the tone & demographic, I might recommend zoloft, Abilify and perhaps Cialis. You're a sad and scared man Mr. Donahue.

    3. Come on, Brian. What ever happened to basic REALITY? You are supposed to be a Journalist. Where are you going with this misguided Ideology? Where are you betting all your wealth?

    4. It's a prediction...a lie is an intentional intent to deceive. We need to agree upon universal meanings of English words for this to work. Everybody else (virtually) has agreed upon need to get on board. Please keep a dictionary close at hand when you comment.

      Re advertising: One click on my part would bring ads to the Tattler (and revenue for me). Early on I opted against that option because once that threshold is crossed, critics can charge the quest for material gain is trumping the quest for truth. I'm interested in the truth here, not personal gain.

      RE sad and scared: I never thought I was scared or sad. It's a neat trick that you know my feelings better than me. Maybe you should look into palm reading and tarot since you have these wondrous metaphysical abilities Mr Anonymous. It's a rare ability to be able to tell what people are thinking...maybe YOU should look into commercializing your talent. Tried spoon bending?

    5. Anon at 10:02: Please clarify...I can't answer your questions the way they're put.

    6. Oh, now it's a "prediction"! Thanks Nostradamus! Might be time to step outside this square mile city and get some perspective. I'll think you'll be disappointed with the revenue that this blog would generate. Might be enough to buy a dictionary for yourself though. Happy Holidays.

    7. No, it's not "now" a's always been a prediction.
      Funny you mention perspective. Do you consciously know about the tenets of subjective idealism? It's something you and many children share. It's a highly idealized and subjective view of reality. A beautifully pure and tautological world view where the outside has no influence. You should check it out. At least you'll have a name for your... what shall we call it? Style?

  3. Interesting. Generally when I make a prediction, I frame it as a "prediction". Keep living in your fantasy world but you might want to check in with reality one in awhile.