Another investigation, allegations, more allegations

kakishiba_d.jpgFor the second time in less than five months, an Oakland school board member is under investigation.

Don’t worry: There are absolutely no sexual undertones to this inquiry. Far from it. Think real estate and planning commissions. Think — dare I print this? — informational flyers.

David Kakishiba, as many of you know, is the school board president. He is also the executive director of the East Bay Asian Youth Center, based in East Oakland’s San Antonio neighborhood. His organization, along with the OCO (Oakland Community Organizations) became involved against a market-rate condominium proposal that would plop 810 new homes along East 12th Street in Fruitvale with little to no affordable units.

His two worlds collided in September, when kids from three Fruitvale-area elementary schools went home with flyers urging their families to speak out against the proposed development at an upcoming Oakland Planning Commission meeting.

The developer has accused Kakishiba of using his position in the school district to force school staff to distribute the materials (His organization’s name was printed on the flyers, along with the OCO).

But an organizer from OCO says parent leaders passed out the flyers after getting the green light from principals, and Kakishiba says he had nothing to do with how they were circulated. He claims it was “hardball politics” and intimidation at work.

Do you think the school board had an ethical obligation to investigate this claim?

Katy Murphy

Education reporter for the Oakland Tribune. Contact me at kmurphy@bayareanewsgroup.com.

  • Jim Mordecai

    The Board wrote its Board Bylaw 9012 in such a fashion that all charges brought against any board member must be investigated. I quote from B.B. 9012 “it is incumbent upon the Board to address all complaints of unethical and/or illegal behavior on the part of its members.”

    The only issue here is whether or not Board President Kakishiba was involved in the passing out of the anti-development literature and he denies that is the case.

    As the Board bylaw is centered on the actions of the Board President it is clear to me that the Vice President of the Board appropriately would have the charge of Board President Kakishiba using his influence to have an anti-development flyer distributed at two Oakland Unified schools investigated.

    I felt that it was unwise for the Board to have written BB 9012 because it was written in reaction to charges brought against a Board member and it was really, in my judgment, a form of a bill of attainer or a rule written to get one person. Now the time and expense of investigating all charges against board members is the unintended consequence of that action.

    But, the board is obligated to follow the rules it made no matter how unwise.

  • Father of child

    David Kakishiba is the Executive Director of an organizations, EBAYC, that distributed a political flyer to the children of my neighborhood school. In my investigations, the principals did NOT know about the flyer. Office workers were instructed by organizers with EBAYC and OCO to distribute the flyers to the children. David Kakishiba is accountable for the information that is dissmenated by his organization. He cannot hide behind ignorance. As a school board member he has an ethical duty to ensure that his organization, EBAYC, acts above board and does not politicize the children. He should be censured. And Mrs. Spearman should be ashamed of herself for proclaiming his innocence before the investigation is complete. What kind of sham is that? No wonder the state doesn’t want to give us our schools back!!!!

  • Brian Marion

    When “Father of a Child” can prove that he is in fact “Father of a Child” my inner skeptic
    will be more satisfied.

    How do we really know “Father of a Child” is not really “Sleezy-Greasy Developper with
    an axe to grind”?

    I think David Kakishiba, who is my Dist BoE Director, would be more honest than
    purported “Father”