Reply to the glossy mailer

by Bruce Williams
March 25, 2007

The controversy over condo development in North Oakland has been ramped up a major notch with the recent mailing to Temescal residents of a full color glossy brochure produced by a coalition of groups advocating development which exceeds by large percentages all current building codes. It is a slick piece that presents a vision of Telegraph Ave and 51st St. that is hard to disagree with. Unfortunately the piece is filled with half-truths and misleading statements.

The brochure includes a return mailer asking for suggestions. Here are my suggestions to the producers of this brochure:

1. Recognize the fact that those of us who have been
opposing the rampant development in our neighborhood
ALSO WANT a revitalized Telegraph Avenue

2. Recognize the fact that characterizing those of us
who have opposed recent developments as being opposed
to all development or as wanting only "minimal change"
is a false characterization.

3. Stop representing your coalition as the only voice
for change in Temescal.

4. Stop presenting false choices ( as in the mailer)
to residents who may not be familiar with all aspects
of the current controversy and who are trying to
inform themselves in a meaningful way.

5. Stop invoking the General Plan, which as it relates
to this issue is rife with contradictions and
inconsistencies, as justification for large scale

If these suggestions are followed, then there is a chance that Temescal residents can inform themselves about another route to a revitalized neighborhood, one that does not need to involve oversized mega-condo developments, one that retains the character and scale of our neighborhood while providing a lively and livable environment.

For more information, please contact STAND--Standing Together for Accountable Neighborhood Development--
at standnorthoakland [at]

Bruce Williams
Advisory Board Member, STAND