Politics

Crucial young voters are targets in weekend push

By MARTIN RICARD Oct. 17 — On most days, you can usually find 19-year-old Lajon Collins at the Bushrod Recreation Center, playing basketball, lifting weights or just hanging out with friends. But come Nov. 4, there is one place you probably won’t find him: at the polls. Collins isn’t registered to vote. And he doesn’t plan on voting in the upcoming election either.

Grim city budget faces City Council approval tonight

By MAGGIE FAZELI FARD OCT. 21 — Three months after discovering that Oakland is facing a $42.5 million shortfall, the city council is slated to vote tonight on a budget that could cut a hundred city jobs, close several city parks, and shut down official city business over the holiday season.

Your crisis questions: an economist answers

By MELANIE MASON, MARTIN RICARD and KRISTINE WONG Oct. 6–Bailouts, credit crunches, bank buyouts. In these shaky economic times, it seems like every day there’s a new phrase to learn and another concept to wrap our heads around.  For a breakdown of what is going on in our faltering economy, we turned to Martha Olney, an adjunct professor of economics at UC Berkeley.  Olney, who won the university’s Distinguished Teaching Award in 2003, sat down with us on Monday to…

Oakland considers controversial municipal ID cards

by CLARE MAJOR The cards would look much like any other ID card—driver’s license, student or employee ID—that people use in Oakland every day. The new cards would display a photo, name, and address; a magnetic strip would run across the back. And these cards, issued by the City of Oakland, would be available to illegal immigrants—and could cause the kind of controversy that has erupted over similar programs in San Francisco and New Haven, Conn. The proposed municipal ID…

Educators against teachers’ salary measure

By HENRY JONES OCT. 9 — Oakland education leaders are joining in what some would consider a surprising fight: one against raising teacher salaries. They joined labor leaders and Assemblyman Sandré Swanson at a news conference today outside the state building in downtown Oakland to voice their opposition to Measure N, a parcel tax that would generate roughly $10 million a year for local schools.

Council debates facelift for Oakland’s taxis

Read a Twitter feed of the council meeting here By ISABEL ESTERMAN and MARTIN RICARD OCT. 8 — It’s hard to know what to expect when taking a cab ride in Oakland. But in a city that operates more than 60 taxi companies, some problems have become irritatingly predictable: People left stranded in an area because a driver deemed it too dangerous, remote or unprofitable; taxis initially dressed with good tires just to pass inspection, only to have them later…

School board to parents: No closures for now

By LINNEA EDMEIER Oct. 8 — The anxiety over the possibility of some school shutdowns played out in tonight’s Oakland Board of Education meeting as individuals and groups took the microphone to passionately say, “Don’t close our small schools.” In the wake of announcing a plan to study closing certain schools in order to increase fiscal stability, the Board found itself on stage tonight—literally and figuratively. Under spotlights, seated in a row behind a blue-skirted table lined with microphones, the…