On Monday, January 14, 2013, I am writing the Mayor, and City Council to respectfully request that they initiate a public action, a community action, against the gangs operating in our city.
It would be my intention that the Mayor and other elected leaders would invite the leadership of the City’s diverse population, in all walks of life, to a summit where we seek to adopt a path out of the madness of gang violence. Every member of our community has something to contribute to this campaign and we all have a stake in its successful planning and implementation.
After such a summit who implements such a campaign? The Chief of Police?
  • Gang on gang violence is tearing our city apart
  • Many innocent lives have been taken
  • Many other crimes have been cloaked by the violence of a few
  • Property Values suffer
  • Revenues to the city’s general funds have been and continue to be affected
  • Mention of Gangs around schools and by the media is constant but rarely is the name of the gang mentioned
It is fair to argue, we the residents of Oakland, have just “observed” for too long?
I for my part have tinkered with downtown BIDS, tracked selected crime statistics, and perfected full-throated armchair opinions… leaving the implementation to the professionals. Many community leaders have tried to get action.  I have given my support to them, and apologies for not doing more sooner.
As a community I think we have observed too long. We must finish the “OODA loop”  We have observed now we must “orient”, “decide”, and “act”.
The following are shared in the context of “including but not limited to the following…”
  • How many gangs do we have operating in Oakland?
  • How many members are there?
  • Where are they recruiting members from?
  • What are the root causes of young people joining gangs?
  • Can we ask our legislature and our governor to help us align the resources and the laws to make this organized behavior become impossible and undesirable to continue?
  • Are we using all of the tools at our disposal?
  • What has worked?
  • and is the missing element to turn the tide of what is almost working?


  • Attrition of all of the Gangs operating in Oakland.
  • provide healthy real-time alternatives
  • balance suppression and diversion
  • align with prison re-alignment to prepare for diversion of recidivism


  • Attrition of the gangs; their primary resources, soldiers, and their homes, or bases of operations geographically, their cars, and communications and of course the source of their operating cash.
  • Do we have legal standing to initiate steps to hinder their means of terror? What laws and legal process is required to rid our city of the gangs currently operating here? Prepare a full legal briefing.
  • publicly display the names and photographs of the gang leadership and known members.
  • Study and broadcast the places and methods of their recruitment so we can coordinate distribution to our schools and educate our children how to avoid recruitment?
  • Ask our legislature and our governor to help us align the resources and the laws to make this organized behavior undesirable to continue?

Initial Conclusions ( “I think, feel, and believe, but I cannot say definitively that I know “)

It appears that suppression by force alone has not and will not solve this problem, law enforcement has a central role to play and they need our support to be effective as part of our community resource to end this madness.  I am thinking we cannot expect a new day and a different result from the same means and methods of the past 30 years.  I believe there are reasons young people choose the gangster life and we must seek a way to offer them better alternatives.
We need many voices and ideas to come together in an orderly and coordinated fashion to marshal our considerable community resources and win this campaign against terror.
What other means and methods should be deployed? What constructive ideas do you have ?
It is our problem.  We need to solve it.
Note: At the age of 47, I have to admit I have long observed Oakland, but have only had an understanding and active involvement in the betterment of our community for the past 25 years. This issue has complexity and will require many hands, this writing is a work in progress, I will be making edits and updates and be including comments and ideas from several people to which I will be giving acknowledgment to in the blog when completed. PHT