Calling on the feds to intervene on the local level is nothing new for Oakland Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan.

In the past, for instance, she has excoriated the federal government for looking askance while financial institutions like Goldman Sachs were left unscathed by their malfeasance. That indiscretion left cities like Oakland paying dearly for the effects of the Great Recession. Now, she says Congress is letting down Oakland’s children.

On Wednesday, Kaplan urged Congress to restore full funding to Head Start, the federal program relied upon many low-income residents in Oakland and Alameda County, at-large, to help prepare young children for the beginning of their school years.

Kaplan says Oakland already did its part. Earlier this year, $1.5 million in federal funding for Head Start was unilaterally cut by Congress through sequestration. However, the Oakland City Council’s voted to fill-in the cuts in its latest fiscal year budget approved last June. In the meantime, Oakland’s budget remains cash-strapped. “I call on Congress today, with a deep sense of urgency, to restore full federal funding for the Head Start program,” said Kaplan in front of the federal building in Oakland. The rally was organized by the Service Employees International Union, Local 1021.

“The federal cuts to Head Start across America are nothing more than collateral damage from congressional dysfunction commonly known as sequestration,” Kaplan added. “But let’s be clear: it is simply unconscionable that Congress would act so quickly to protect themselves and the well-connected from sequester-based inconvenience in air travel, while continuing to impose devastating cuts to Head Start and other vital programs that help working families who need it the most.”

Cross posted from The East Bay Citizen

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3 Responses

  1. Len Raphael

    Instead of grandstanding to a deaf Congress, why couldn’t Council Member Kaplan have put our City’s money where her mouth is by opposing the Council decision to hire Bratton and hire a consultant to attempt to debar Goldman Sachs?

    This past January, along with 7 out of 8 council members she approved giving Stop and Frisk Bill Bratton $250,000 to rehash the reports of previous OPD consultants just so our elected officials could appear to be tough on crime.

    Then just the other week Council Member Kaplan and the rest of the approved spending $226,000 on consultants to try to debar Goldman Sachs from underwriting Oakland bonds. Even our Mayor called this a waste of money that at best costs us $226,000 and prevents working out a compromise with Goldman on the infamous rate swaps; and at worst does all of that plus costs additional legal fees and raises our cost of borrowing. But the Council showed the voters that it was tough on Goldman Sachs.

    Council Member Kaplan should have applied her oratorical powers to shaming the Council into spending the $476,000 to increase Head Start funding.

    Progressive is as progressive does.

  2. livegreen

    Ms. Kaplan specializes in calling on other bodies politic to take action, and then getting this published. It’s great marketing for reelection, even if it has little impact.

    Meanwhile she and the Oakland city council prioritizes raises to the SEIU over taking care of their own responsibilities, especially funding local government services to Oakland citizens.

    Typical old style Bay Area far left politics: yell at somebody else on a national basis, ignore your own responsibilities on a local basis.

    Of course on many issues Ms. Kaplan is right to call on the State of CA and Congress to fund stronger gun legislation, funding Head Start, etc.

    But calling on others to take action doesn’t absolve the Oakland City Council from taking action to fund basic government services. Two wrongs don’t make a right.

  3. michelle t

    I agree with the Mayor Jean Quan and the c. council for consultant money for public safety, that was necessary because OPD needed a outside authority to get things rolling.

    I agree with Len R. and Mayor Jean Quan, on Goldman. Interest rate jumped 1% in past two months. The trend is in the city’s favor.


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