Mayor Ron Dellums shunned the spotlight for his swan song and instead posted on the city's website a 68-page recap of Oakland's accomplishments during his tenure, as well as a nine-minute video that lets others bestow praise.
The city had high hopes when the former congressman took office in January 2007 after winning a grueling primary election battle against Councilmember Ignacio De La Fuente.
Dellums quickly enlisted residents and the business community and established more than 40 task forces of more than 1,000 people to help define the vision of Oakland as a "model city," defined by health, environment, education, culture and economic prosperity.
But indicators of those early ambitions have faded, and Dellums' last years in office have been characterized more by his absence from public view and prickly attacks on the media.
His final state of the city report presented Wednesday outlines achievements in 11 areas, including arts, economic development, education and employment. The accomplishments do not differentiate between those achieved through his direct efforts or those which were not, labeling them "shared accomplishments."
In addition to the collaborative effort between the city and residents represented by the task forces, Dellums pointed to the Oakland Partnership as a highlight of his four-year term as mayor.
The Oakland Partnership is a public-private collaboration among government, business, education, labor and the community to devise a strategy and plan to create 10,000 jobs. The goal included the retention and creation of jobs in health care, logistics and retail, and the creation of businesses in the technology, green industry and digital arts sectors.
"There is no question about the fact that the mayor was extremely helpful in working with labor, education and the business community to launch the partnership, which was carried out by a number of organizations and facilitated by the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce with the very specific goal of creating jobs, which it did," said chamber President Joseph Haraburda.
The Dellums administration can take credit for helping bring to Oakland more than $550 million dollars in state, federal and philanthropic funds, including $237 million in federal stimulus dollars, to create and retain jobs in public safety, environmental health and public infrastructure, among others. The highlights include:
Other areas of note:
Dellums does not appear on the video, but others speak of his leadership. BART director Dorothy Dugger said he was an integral partner in the effort to land funding for the Oakland Airport Connector, Steve Lowe of the West Oakland Commerce Association praised the mayor for naming a West Oakland environmental activist to the port board, and Lana Kumar, recycling supervisor with the East Bay Conservation Corps, said his office helped her after a difficult time.
"I made a mistake "... and I received a felony and had to train for a different career," Kumar said on the video. "I went through the Cypress Mandela training center and the re-entry program at the mayor's office, and they made a pathway to finding work. They couldn't actually get you a job, but they provided a pathway."
To view the report and the video, go to www2.oaklandnet.com.