I watched the City Council meeting on KTOP from the safety of MZ’s couch, which came equipped with a never-ending bottle of Two Buck Chuck. My appointment to the Cultural Affairs Commission was the Item 31 of 33 items, and not on consent. Would there be objections from For The Record I’m Sanjiv Handa, East Bay News Service? None personal, but he did, and he was right to, point out how sorry Oakland boards and commissions are these days.
I think the assumption is that the Cultural Affairs Commission is irrelevant. To everyone. In every way.
From Dan Fontes:
5 different Directors in the last five years. Nobody wants to acknowledge that the Mayor has lost close to 30 cultural affairs commissioners over that period of time. His pattern of using arts folks is serious when contrasted with his “promise to celebrate the arts”. This business of calling the Arts Department the “Arts and Marketing Department” is particularly galling given Oakland’s constant fumbling of arts marketing. The lack of quorums has been going on now for close to three years! In fact, about the only area they haven’t damaged is the Art & Soul festival.
Not so. I think budget cuts removed the leadership on Art & Soul as well. artandsouloakland.com is currently looping webserver foo from hell. I think it’s a Saturday night thing.
In spite of all this, incidental remarks by Eddie Ytuarte at that same Council meeting made it easy to discount anxiety about the meaning of this civic appointment. I count Eddie among my One Hundred Or More Mentors who continue to inform Oaklandia with their principled action.