Dec. 30, 2011 | Two thousand eleven was clearly a tumultuous year. Protests in the streets, stagnant unemployment and increasing stress on the county’s ability to provide services to its residents and the poor among us. It was also a year of exceptionally candid, thoughtful and hilarious sound bites. The most consistent quote master–Rep. Pete Stark–had no trouble breaking the Top 20 most poignant quotes in East Bay politics, but this year’s honors are spread to every level of government and a few civilians, but, San Leandro, where are you? The birthplace of the East Bay Citizen failed to make the list. Have you something to say, will ya? Here is the best quotes of 2011:
“For the most part, most of the police have acted professionally, and most of the demonstrators have been non-violent, but there have been exceptions on both sides.”
– Oakland Mayor Jean Quan speaking to reporters after the Oct. 25 raid on Occupy Oakland where police fired bean bags and rubber bullets at protesters along with tear gas on numerous occasions.
“We ARE the 99 percent!”
– You. The chant that could only day be the rallying cry for a generation is heard at every single assemblage of Occupy protesters, not only in the Bay Area, but worldwide.
“While many Republicans have argued with basic science in the climate change debate, Eric Cantor has become the first Republican to argue with basic arithmetic.”
–Press release from Pete Stark’s office refuting Rep. Eric Cantor’s opposition to a bipartisan report saying health care reform will save $1 trillion over 20 years.
“Well, you mean they should get screwed just like the private sector got screwed by Wall Street? I disagree. But thank you.” State Treasurer Bill Lockyer in March standing up for public employees in a contentious radio interview conducting by a conservative Sacramento talk show host.
“It doesn’t matter if its an African American or not and I’m hit in the head, it still hurts.”
– Hayward Councilman Olden Henson, who is black, commenting in March on the need for the city to institute its own version of gang injunctions despite fears it focuses narrowly on minorities and youth.
“The people that run Sutter Health are good people. They have the same interests that we have—they have it on a different scale.”
– Michael Mahoney, CEO of St. Rose Hospital in Hayward on describing his counterparts at Sutter at a healthcare district meeting in April.
“I am distressed the most because Alameda has been in the news lately and it seems every time our city comes on the news, it’s something else to embarrass our city.”
– Alameda resident Adam Gillett on national attention given to the drowning death of Raymond Zack and following a string of stories depicting political treachery and incompetence on the Island.
“Has Congressman Anthony Weiner endorsed this bill?”
– State Sen. Tony Strickland jokingly asks Sen. Ellen Corbett on the Senate floor during deliberations for her Facebook privacy bill. Corbett finds little humor in the prank.
“This is torturous. And those of you watching this torture at home, thank Sen. Ellen Corbett and Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi and their colleagues in the state Legislature for imposing this on us all.”
– Hayward Mayor Michael Sweeney in September during a council meeting responding to discussions over approving a payment plan to the state to save its redevelopment agency.
“My mom and dad always said, when we’re running out of food, the kids are going to eat first. I’m going to starve.”
–Keith Carson in February chiding the ACAP board’s decision to pay their disgraced administrators accused of fraud before paying its workers.