Three vie for two seats on East Palo Alto City Council | October 22, 2010 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

News - October 22, 2010

Three vie for two seats on East Palo Alto City Council

Second-time candidate Doug Fort is taking on incumbents Ruben Abrica and David Woods

by Jocelyn Dong

Two years ago, nine candidates vied for three seats on the East Palo Alto City Council in the November election. Since then, the recession and other challenges have left the city of 33,900 in a state of limbo.

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Weekly Managing Editor Jocelyn Dong can be e-mailed at jdong@paweekly.com.

Comments

Posted by Jay, a resident of East Palo Alto
on Oct 22, 2010 at 10:15 am

I am extremely disappointed with Mr. Fort's comment about Chief Davis. The Chief has been very helpful to Mr. Fort & his violence prevention organization. Mr. Fort does not follow through on his commitments. Additionally, he should seriously consider having someone edit his writings, which are full of grammatical errors. I would be very concerned with having someone on city council who does not have a basic understanding of the English language. One of the other candidates, Mr. Woods was accused of assault on his wife several years ago. It is unfortunate that there are not better choices for city council.


Posted by Finally!, a resident of East Palo Alto
on Oct 22, 2010 at 2:08 pm

Jay, thank you for your intelligent comments, which I agree with re Mr. Fort. I like him very much. He is a god leader, has developed a good head on his shoulders and knows the city well. Frankly, what concerns me the most about him is that he seems to lack breadth of vision, which is important to a young city, and he often comes across as super religious. I have seen people in EPA fail to keep religion out of their public dealings and that concerns me a lot. Perhaps in a few years Mr. Fort will be better ready to handle such a crucial role.

Mr. Woods seems to have done much better than I thought he ever would. He's smart, quick, efficient, drills down into issues and is informed.

Mr. Abrica, of course, has been around for a long time and seems to quietly make an impact. there have been some tough times between African Americans and Latinos, but Mr. Abrica is a solid bridgebuilder, also intelligent, thoughtful and willing to take the high road much of the time.

I say we keep the council as is and see what they do in the near future.

It doesn't seem to me that Martinez had made any impact at all. I respect the hard work of Mr. Romero, especially with regard to housing, the rent stabilization ordinance and brokering on behalf of Latinos. He's super smart, educated, sizes up situations swiftly, seizes opportunities and is very accessible.


Posted by tired of the BS, a resident of East Palo Alto
on Oct 23, 2010 at 10:02 pm

Okay, so Doug Fort, an admitted criminal, doesn't like the way that criminals are charged? Think he is a little biased? Here's a newsflash for you, although the chief of police does serve at the pleasure of the city council, the city council doesn't determine how law are enforced or charged. Would he prefer that the police selectively enforce the law? There are a lot of good people in East Palo Alto who appreciate the efforts of Chief Davis and the police department.

Both Woods and Abrica have a good head on their shoulders and the city has progressed under their guidance. They are educated and highly qualified for the position. They will get my vote.




Posted by The Real Doug Fort, a resident of East Palo Alto
on Oct 24, 2010 at 1:57 am

@Mr. Jay - What commitments are you talking about? Please refresh my memory. You clearly are not reading the article with both your eyes! When I was asked about the Chief I clearly state "Though Fort compliments Chief Davis on "doing an excellent job," Please don't try to make this a Doug Fort vs. Chief Davis thing! I have tons of respect for Chief Davis and the work he has done in our city. Just like you I have my rights to my own opinion on things. By the way Jay if that's your real name I am willing to meet with you any day to discuss your concerns about me. If you are serious about meeting email me at douglasfort4epa@yahoo.com.

@Finally - Thanks for your support and I hear your concerns about me. First, let me address the vision aspect of your concern. Go to this website (Web Link) to view the candidates interview. In this interview I clearly state my vision for EPA. Secondly, let's talk about the "over religions" claim you state. I am a follower of Jesus Christ. I do my best to live my life by the bible principles and examples. If I offended you or anyone else I am sorry. However, Mr. or Ms. Finally I plan to continue to glorify my Lord and Savior in all things I do! Without him in my heart I am nothing! If I lose your vote for this so be it! I will never stop glorifying the man that saved me from these streets!

@Tired of BS – Once again you and Mr. Jay are barking down the wrong tree. Refer to the above statement to Mr. Jay. I am also willing to meet with you any day to discuss your concerns about me. If you are serious about meeting email me at douglasfort4epa@yahoo.com.

Let me leave this with you bloggers - In my Hood anybody that makes a comment without stating their real name is a “COWARD!” See definition below:

Coward - noun
A person who lacks the courage to do or endure dangerous or unpleasant things.


The Real Doug Fort


Posted by Finally!, a resident of East Palo Alto
on Oct 24, 2010 at 11:14 am

Yes, well, Mr. Fort has definitely lost my vote, but not due to religion. Calling us cowards for not posting our real names show me that he lacks vision, is still too street-oriented for the job and has that all-or-nothing machismo that there is still way too much of in EPA. It's simplistic and disrespectful, as is calling us cowards.

As for the religion thing, I don't care what religion anyone in office does or does not follow. My concern is letting religion infiltrate waaaay too much of life in EPA when it comes to organizations, city-run events, meetings and the like. On one hand, I appreciate what praying together can build re a sense of community. On the other hand, it's disturbing that when meetings end with a prayer, city officials take part in the prayer. It's not the working together or loving aspect of that, it's that everyone thinks it's the way to go, and as a result, narrow-minded Christianity dominates in a way that concerns me. I have heard "Christians" in EPA denigrate others in the city who make a huge difference because they aren't religious, or because they use tarot cards, or are gay. Those things aren't acceptable, but narrow-minded Christianity is? That's what worries me about Mr. Fort - that it will increase that type of behavior. His post here also leads me to think that as well. Thanks, Doug, for helping me confirm where my votes will go.

Perhaps with some seasoning, some breadth of vision and some integrating your personal religious views a little better you'll be ready to help lead EPA in city government in a few years. As a minority in EPA, I have concerns about how those who don't share the same religious beliefs are treated.

I've been to city meetings where I've been told to smile because Jesus loves me. It demonstrates how provincial EPA is with regard to religion and separation of church and state. Doug Fort is not someone who I feel can be trusted to keep religion out of local politics.


Posted by tiredoftheBS, a resident of East Palo Alto
on Oct 25, 2010 at 8:36 am

"Yes, well, Mr. Fort has definitely lost my vote, but not due to religion. Calling us cowards for not posting our real names show me that he lacks vision, is still too street-oriented for the job and has that all-or-nothing machismo that there is still way too much of in EPA. It's simplistic and disrespectful, as is calling us cowards."

I could not have said it better myself. Fort wants to keep EPA a Hood. A lot of us see more for the city than that. Both Woods and Abrica have brought leadership and guidance to the City Council. I feel that they both try to reach out to all segments of our city and have done some work addressing the ongoing, but not talked about racism between the black and Hispanic communities in East Palo Alto. I have found Abrica and Woods approachable and interested in the opinions of their constituents. I truly feel they have the best interest of All of EPA at heart.

Finally! On the religion thing, I always thought it was nice that religion was such a big part of the city, but I have not witnessed the derogatory comments you have talked about. I don't feel that the city needs to remove religion from its activities, but it should be inclusive rather than exclusive. If they are going to have a Christian prayer, then other religions should be invited too. After all, it is freedom of religion, not from religion.


Posted by Concerned Citizen, a resident of East Palo Alto
on Oct 27, 2010 at 9:42 am

Mr. Fort, what a shame. As a candidate for a political office, one would think that you would consider how you respond to criticism by those who have the power to support your efforts by electing you to office. Calling people cowards as a verbal retaliation is not the sign of a mature candidate. People who comment on blogs are in no way inviting themselves to have one-on-one conversations with you. How can East Palo Alto residents trust him not to have outbursts during meetings when faced with adversity from the public or other figures? Will he ask them to “meet me outside?” Shaking my head.

As someone has mentioned, you still have too much residue of hood mentality to lead a city that is trying to elevate the citizens to higher standards. (In your hood???) I agree that the current candidates should be given a chance to allow their hard work to develop into sustainable programs that will benefit the city.

(I am not sure about the possible issues that Mr. Woods had with his wife several years ago but I believe Mr. Fort to have 3 children with 3 different mothers and he is behind on his child support. That is relevant because East Palo Alto needs to challenge its leaders to be full of integrity, even when they are not in the council room.)
Please, Mr. Fort. Do not invite me to discuss these issues with you one on one. This part of politics, Everyone will not agree with your campaign and your life will be examined with a magnifying glass.


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