Council must begin listening to rest of us

Oakland leaders should know by now that the vast majority of residents of all races are demanding public safety and an end to the violence that slays so many innocent victims in our city.

Every other major city that has been in a similar situation has taken this seriously and employed serious solutions.

Solutions such as curfews, gang injunctions and, yes, stop and frisk. Despite the difficulties with some few police officers in the past, nearly all our officers can be trusted to be fair and avoid profiling.

They can and should be trusted to protect us with serious but sensible means.

It is clear that the council and the mayor are intimidated by a vocal minority who refuse to listen and shout down any opposing viewpoints.

My question for our leaders is: When will you listen to the rest of us? When will you think of the innocent children who die on our streets? When will you find some common sense and courage to stand up to the shouting minority and protect the rest of us?

Stephen Nelson

Oakland

Thanks for making Christmas special

As chairman of Adopt an Angel, I would like to send our deep appreciation to all who gave their support to our annual Christmas effort.


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Each year, we look to the public for aid in providing Christmas gifts to children who are under the auspices of Alameda County Protective Services and Terra Firma.

These children are victims of physical and/or emotional abuse, or in foster care or low-income homes, and without our aid, would not receive gifts under the tree.

It's a sad thought to think of a child not getting a visit from Santa Claus, especially if their friends have, and they do not understand why they were skipped over.

We look upon Adopt an Angel as a large puzzle and each piece, however small, is essential to completing the picture. So, our thanks to all of those who brought the pieces together to form a picture of a smiling child when he or she knows that someone cared.

Georgia Butterfield

Chairwoman, Adopt an Angel Fremont

Gun should be treated like cars

As I mourn the tragedy in Connecticut and read the debate concerning some form of gun control, I've been waiting for a suggestion I have often thought obvious.

I would wish we could emulate Canada or Australia as a model; reality tells me otherwise. After banning war weapons from our streets, what excuse can gun owners offer to register all our guns the same way we register our cars (also a weapon that kills)?

We insist all drivers be trained and tested before driving, why not gun owners? We have to present our licenses when asked by law enforcement, why not gun owners? There are places restricted from car driving, why not gun owners?

It seems like a basic request.

Louise A. Lynch

Fremont

Must understand data to be able to use it

Daniel Willis' commentary about crime in Oakland is exactly right. Oakland police Chief Howard Jordan's appalling misstatement that 90 percent of Oakland's crime was committed by two gangs is a prime example of why Oakland's crime rate is increasing so fast.

The Oakland chief of police obviously doesn't understand the crucial role of accurate data and data analysis in the reduction of crime in a major city. There is no way that the Oakland Police Department can dramatically reduce crime if the police chief misunderstands who is committing it.

While Oakland needs to hire more police, adding 100 or even 200 more police to the force will not greatly reduce crime as long as we have police and city leadership that does not understand the key role of data in solving crime.

In that regard, the recent hiring of Sandre Swanson, and his pragmatic approach to solving problems, is a ray of hope for Oakland residents. My hope is that he can convince the Oakland police leadership to join the 21st century and use data to reduce crime.

Gary Robinson

Oakland