Tuesday, June 18, 2002

Jerry Brown's Oakland - I like the job that Oakland major Jerry Brown is doing, even though he is a Democrat. I ran into him last year at Oakland Airport during one of my last jaunts to Las Vegas. I identifed myself as an Oakland resident, shook his hand and said, "Taxes are too high, do something about it." To which he replied, "I agree with you, and I'm working on it".

I like him even more after reading George Will's column in the Washington Post. I know he's delivering much of what he's promised, because he's pissed off the Democratic Party bosses in the city. Charter schools, urban renewal (led by the private sector) and more police on the city streets are some the things he's accomplished as mayor. Will even compares Brown to Reagan--the similarities are striking--but stops short of calling him "Reaganesque".

But I just love Brown's response at neighborhood meeting to a question about whether "gentrification" would threaten "diversity" downtown.

"There is no diversity there now. You have a concentrated, homogenous population -- the elderly, parolees, people in drug rehab, from mental hospitals, transients. This is not the vibrant civic culture some might have in mind."

Now that's Reaganesque.


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