Oakland District Four Councilmember Annie Campbell Washington responded to my video-blog asserting that Desley Brooks was not the reason for her decision to quit the Oakland City Council via text and then via Twitter.
Before I present what she wrote, the back story is that Councilmember Brooks got into a dust-up with former Oakland Black Panther Party member Elaine Brown, and at Everett and Jones BBQ. Brown first tried to claim it was a criminal act, but the Oakland Police did not issue a citation and the Alameda County DA elected to avoid the matter, altogether. So, Brown went the civil lawsuit route, and what resulted was a sucessful court battle that cost the City of Oakland $4 million, and because the court bought the idea that Brooks was working in her capacity as an elected official, rather than hanging out at a restaurant as a private citizen.
The matter has been used as a new reason for a kind of “get rid of Councilmember Brooks” effort on the part of some Oakland officials. But where those people have remained silent, Annie and Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf made the strange decision to form a public relations tag-team against Brooks, marked by Schaaf calling Brooks “The Donald Trump Of Oakland.”
Then Mayor Schaaf inserted herself into the District Six Race, forming a coalition to help Brooks’ challenger, Loren Taylor. That marks the second time in four years that Libby has ran a person, a black candidate, against Brooks – she did it in 2014, and Brooks won, even as she was accused of violating a section of the Oakland City Charter that every councilmember has crossed over in some way for decades.
These actions have upset many because it looks like both Annie and Libby were trying to divide the black community. As one Oakland political observer said to me “They should have just kept their mouths shut and left it up to the District. Now, we have to take up for Desley.” Now, as for what Annie said…
Since the text message was private, I’ll use what Councilmember Campbell Washington posted on Twitter and referring to her post as Executive Director of the Masters of Public Policy Program at The Goldman School, a job she was announced as hired for back on January 28th, 2018:
“I hold this job as a part-time employee. I am proud to serve the University and the Goldman School of Public Policy in this capacity. It is absolutely encouraged for City Councilmembers to hold part-time positions, in addition to their public service role.”
My Twitter response was this:
“It’s just that it would have been so cool if you issued a press release and video on January 28th, when the Goldman School made its announcement of your hiring. You could have said you were staying on CC and did that job PT! Then we could all celebrate you!”
The fact is that Annie found out about the job in 2017, and before the problems of 2018 surfaced. A source said to me that Jerry Brown got her the job, but I’ve not been able to confirm that, to date. On top of that, Annie still has her name up on the City of Oakland website as running for the District Four Seat, and her filings indicate that she started running for reelection August of 2017.
In other words, it looks like there are other reasons behind Annie’s 2017 decision to seek new employment – but the desire to in some way get Desley Brooks out of office gave rise to this new story.
Zennie Abraham is the CEO of Zennie62Media