DELIVERING DISCOMFORT TO THE POWERFUL SINCE 2009

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Who's Watching Over ACAP? Not Everyone

JUST 4 OF 13 MEMBERS WITH PERFECT ATTENDANCE SINCE TROUBLE AROSE AT ACAP; ALAMEDA MAYOR MISSING
By Steven Tavares

Alameda Mayor
Marie Gilmore
You never hear about inter-governmental agencies outside of councilmember's brief descriptions of their duties at the end of council meetings. ACAP is no different in its relative anonymity in local governmet. Some appointments can be a lucrative endeavor, but some like the organization at the heart of burgeoning scandal of mismanagement has been plagued by chronic inattention by its members. In the recent past, quarterly sessions of the ACAP governing board have failed to reach a quorum of 7 of 13 members. Earlier this month, the board approved allowing members the option to attend via teleconferencing.

A request for an attendance log of meetings over the past two years is pending, but a review of the four special sessions held this month finds less than perfect attendance as the viability of the anti-poverty social program comes into serious doubt.

Only 4 of the 13 members have been present for all four meetings this month (Feb. 2, 10, 18, 23) scheduled since the termination of APAC’s executive director and discovery of its inability to meet payroll. The four include San Leandro Councilwoman Diana Souza, Hayward Councilman Francisco Zermeno and Livermore Councilman Jeff Williams and Newark Vice Mayor Ana Apodaca (once via phone).

A representative from Alameda listed as Mayor Marie Gilmore did not attend all four sessions, while Fremont Mayor Bob Wasserman was not present for the last three, but was represented Wednesday by Vice Mayor Suzanne Lee Chan. Another three have attended just half of the meetings this month, including Emeryville Mayor Nora Davis, Union City Vice Mayor Jim Navarro and a representative from Dublin.

Below is a list of current ACAP representatives, including 12 Alameda County cities and the board of supervisors:

Supervisor Nate Miley, Alameda County
Mayor Marie Gilmore, Alameda
Councilman Robert Lieber, Albany
Vice Mayor Kevin Hart, Dublin
Mayor Nora Davis, Emeryville
Mayor Bob Wasserman, Fremont
Vice Chair, Councilmember Francisco Zermeno, Hayward
Councilmember Jeff Williams, Livermore
Councilmember Ana Apodaca, Newark
Councilmember Jeff Wieler, Piedmont
Vice Mayor Cheryl Cook-Kallio, Pleasanton
Chair, Councilwoman Diana Souza, San Leandro
Vice Mayor Jim Navarro, Union City

POLITICS HOMEGROWN eastbaycitizen.com

7 comments :

Actually, Doug deHaan is current representative for Alameda according to the Alameda City Clerk's office. Given this fact, you might want to correct the story and remove Gilmore's photo.

Gilmore is listed in the ACAP agenda. Either way, nobody from Alameda has attended the four meetings in February.

It would be sad if ACAP closes its door once and for all. ACAP is a direct descendant of LBJ’s War on Poverty efforts, particularly LBJ’s strategy to directly involve the community in a “maximum feasible” manner in a process overseen by then Secretary of Labor Daniel P. Moynihan, who would later deride the effort as maximum infeasible misunderstanding.

The idea behind “maximum feasible” involvement grew out of a desire to reverse early- to mid-60′s anti-poverty efforts that, while well-meaning, were largely ineffective because (as policymakers and analyst of the time thought) of their top-down nature: people back then asled, “What do officials in D.C. know about what’s really happening in Oakland or South Central LA or Southside Chicago?” Thus was born the federally supported “community action” program.

As federal-backed community action efforts got underway in the East Bay in the late ’60s and ’70s, originally ACAP was part of a larger Alameda County effort involving all twelve cities including Berkeley and Oakland. But, at some point in time (when I am not sure), the cities that now comprise ACAP separated from Oakland and Berkeley on the grounds that the needs of these two cities were of a magnitude and quality very different from the 10 remaining, largely suburban cities. Oakland’s workforce development board (formerly Oakland PIC) is the entity that, along with the currently constituted ACAP, was the original federally-backed community action program.

ACAP works largely within the framework established during the late ’60s and early ’70s: the federal government operates specific programs aimed at helping low-income persons and families achieve self-sufficiency, and funds are disbursed from it to non-profits under the aegis of the community action board, in this case, Councilmembers on ACAP.

When on Council, I was Alameda’s representative to ACAP, and during my time (1997-2006), including two stints as vice chair and one as chair, got ACAP to focus its efforts better, since we had little funds and covered a large geographic area. We also better targeted uses of our grants to non-profits. In addition, I got us to at the time synchronize our limited priorities (and funds) with that of other entities, such as the United Way, so we could in a somewhat coordinated manner help low-income communities all of us were striving to serve anyways. I really enjoyed my time on ACAP, because I saw it as related to my work with non-profits working with low-income communities. And I enjoyed being on the ACAP board because I felt that, while this was a tiny entity, I really “got” (if you will) the history, mission, and purpose of ACAP.

During my tenure on ACAP, there were other Councilmembers from other cities who were strong and active supporters of ACAP, such as Dick Kassis (Emeryville), Joe Hinson (Hayward), and councilmembers from Piedmont, Newark and Livermore whose names escape me. Supervisors Nate Miley and Scott Hegarty were also the BOS representatives to the ACAP during my time, and were very active, strong supporters.

I’m not sure what happened at ACAP and why, but I think it’s an entity worth saving. There are pockets of deep poverty even in the largely suburban 10 cities comprising ACAP, in little known neighborhoods such as Hayward’s Harder Tennyson area, Marina area of San Leandro and, yes, even Alameda, including the West End north of Pacific Avenue, south of Appezzato Way. What has happened certainly is not a minor matter; but perhaps the program ought to be evaluated under the larger backdrop that led to ACAP in the first place and, in that light, I hope officials still support ACAP.

Tony Daysog
former Alameda City Councilmember

Thanks to Supervisor Nadia Lockyer for being the first elected official to bring these wrongs to light and say NO and to further find a long term solution to maintain these critically needed services through another venue.

I HAVE BEEN SCAMMED BY ACAP, ACAP RECENTLY SENT A REPRESENATIVE BY THE NAME OF RICHARD AMBROSE AND MEREDITH WALKER TO ATTEMPT TO DISQUALIFY ALL THE PARTICIPIENTS IN THE PROGRAM SO ACAP WOULD NOT HAVE THE RESPONSIBILITY TO PAY MONEY OWED TO US. ALSO THE MAINTAIN TO KEEP OUR 2,000 WE DEPOSITED INTO THIS PROGRAM.

Nobody from Alameda came to those meetings because they are too busy trying to scam the citizens and give their open-space public land to Ron Cowan the developer so he can build more houses. For people concerned with poverty they keep some strange bedfellows.

yeah whatever Nadia had to bring other peoples doo doo to light so no one would pay attention to hers. what the heck is going on in Alameda Co. Hayashi, Lockyer, so on and so on whos next. its like a bunch of cats covering up the caca in the litter box.

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