A Progressive Alamedan

Various writings from a resident of Alameda regarding the political scene. The local perspective of local, state and national politics and a few other odds and ends of local concern. May not be particularly interesting to people outside of the Alameda area.

Monday, November 26, 2007

I've been surveyed

I got a survey phone call this evening that I thought I would share.

It was conducted by FMMA, and as I got into it, it was clearly a poll about development. I'm not quite sure who was behind the poll; it may have been conducted by the City of Alameda, but I suspect it was conducted by the "Preserve Measure A at all costs" group.

The first set of questions were for my opinions about various individuals and groups. City Council members, Action Alameda and HOMES, developers like SunCal and Catellus, and various local bloggers and You Tube/Cable TV videographers. (OK, just kidding, no mention of bloggers or videographers!)

The next batch of questions, as I remember them, had to do with general issues affecting the city. I stated that the number one issue facing the city was Global Warming -- and I think I set the poor pollster back with that one. Because really, what's really that important about historical preservation, traffic levels, or housing density, if Alameda is underwater in a decade or two?

Most of the rest of the survey centered on Alameda Point - it got pretty specific in some cases. I think my answers were all over the political map in this section, and I answered 'not familiar' or 'neutral' in many cases because I'm really not that familiar with a lot of the specific pieces of the point development, and I don't really have much of an opinion about some specifics of land use like whether there is a sports field or not. There were a lot of questions about the importance of historic preservation, which actually is somewhat important to me as things go -- but where, ironically, a strictly Measure-A compliant development would end up tearing down a lot of the interesting historic structures there because they are too dense under the current law (as I understand it).

I felt that there were many kinds of questions conspicuously absent. There was not direct question related to Measure A at all, such as whether I felt that Measure A should apply to Alameda Point, or be amended to fit the specific needs of the area and its residents. Although there was a question relating to public transportation, there was nothing related to walkability or bikeability of the area and the need to provide an appropriate mix of residential and retail to minimize the need for people to use their cars for everyday needs.

It was fun to answer the questions, though my interest and energies are just not at this local level very much. Our country (and the world, as a result) is in pretty bad shape right now, so it's hard to get myself bent into a tizzy about local issues like development and Alameda Point....


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