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Monday, December 31, 2007


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I hate to be the smart-ass here (actually, you know me better than that), but aren't you perpetuating the complaint culture a bit by complaining about the complainers?

As I recently wrote, I'm not a fan of complaining myself, but I've come to understand that for some people, it's part of the process of how they make change. First they need to let the sigh out, make their point, 'soapbox' their righteousness, and only then are they ready to start thinking about, OK, now what? What's the solution?

A big problem of mine has always been jumping straight to the "ok, now what" and not letting my co-workers and friends do the venting part. I think it makes me come across as pushy and demanding.

The same process, it seems to me, also applies to city governance. As frustrating as it must be for you to endure all the griping and soapboxing (it was tough for me just watching), Oakland's citizens also need to vent and one of the many rolls of city officials, unfortunately, is that of punching bag.

I don't blame you for wanting to move on. You've been through a lot in city hall - you've really poured your heart out. It's difficult, Oakland has so much potential for really positive change, but you're right, it's much easier to be a part of that change when you're surrounded by a nurturing and inspiring community.

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