The tenure of Oakland City Administrator Deanna Santa has been troubled, to say the least. However, her steadfast determination and unwavering approach to tackling the city’s problems has won her nearly universal support from the city’s top officials.
If the normal challenges – if such a thing exists – of local government weren’t enough, she refused to forfeit the high-ground or her responsibilities to safety and the city during the Occupy Protests. That led to the re-eviction of the protesters from Frank Ogawa Park. But even after that initial action was taken, there were reports and paperwork to file with the federal authorities who oversee city police activities.
Then the city was struck with sizeable deficits, a climbing crime rate, and a stalled redevelopment plan. Each present a challenge, but when combined with an often combative political environment, it could be too much to overcome. However, Santana is largely believed to thrive, driving herself to long and hard days.
There’s no doubt that her adopted home and employer, Oakland, has challenges. However, Santana is approaching these challenges as opportunities to turn around decades of failed promises.
From the San Francisco Chronicle:
Oakland was a cauldron of tear gas, picket signs, police batons and unadulterated rage on Oct. 25 after the city evicted an Occupy encampment at Frank Ogawa Plaza outside City Hall.
The next day, as Oakland came under the national spotlight over the violent clash between police and protesters, Mayor Jean Quan allowed Occupiers to retake the plaza. A former activist, Quan supported the protesters’ rights to free speech and was conflicted over how to proceed.
But it was clear to City Administrator Deanna Santana: The camp had to go.
Read the full article here.