Dellums cancels final 'State of the City' address

November 15, 2010 7:10:11 PM PST
Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums announced today he won't give his final "State of the City" address in person and will instead post it in written and video formats on the city's website.

Dellums, who will turn 75 later this month, has rarely been seen in public in recent months.

Fliers on his website said he would give a State of the City address at 6 p.m. on Wednesday. One flier said the speech would be given at the Oakland Marriott at 1001 Broadway, but an updated flier switched the location to City Hall.

Oakland officials, however, sent out an email message today that read, "In lieu of a public address this Wednesday, Mayor Dellums has opted to provide a comprehensive, printed State of the City report and accompanying video chronicling his four-year administration."

The report and video will be available online at www.oaklandnet.com on Wednesday.

Printed copies of the report will be available at the Oaklanders Assistance Center on the ground floor of City Hall and at senior centers and libraries throughout the city, according to the message.

Dellums will be replaced in January by City Councilwoman Jean Quan, who narrowly came out on top in a 10-candidate race in which ranked-choice voting was used for the first time.

Dellums' decision not to give his State of the City address in public this year contrasts with his attitude a few days before he gave his last such address on Feb. 22.

After telling reporters that he hadn't yet decided whether to seek re-election, Dellums said his address represented a "once-a-year opportunity to directly communicate with the community in a way that's unfiltered by the media, and I plan to seize that moment."

Dellums' critics have said that he doesn't spend enough time at City Hall.

At a news conference about the city's budget in June, Dellums admitted he's not at City Hall every day but said, "I'm the master strategist."

"In the world of computers and the world of telephones and the world of faxes, you can do this job anywhere," he said.


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