Homepage of J. Douglas Allen-Taylor, Jesse Taylor, Doug Allen, Douglas Paul Allen, and other names either long forgotten, best forgotten, or too numerous to mention


Safero (sa-fe'-ro) "the act of writing"
From the Mandinka of Gambia coming to us down through the Gullah of South Carolina


Contact Me
SEND ME AN EMAIL (to safero@earthlink.net)



A Leap Of Faith


Some time ago, I promised to get back with you concerning my plans for the future of the Oakland Elects website. I've spent the last few months considering the alternatives, and I've come to some conclusions and am ready to act on them.

I'm contacting you because, while there are some things I can do on my own, some of the most important parts can't be accomplished without your help.

As you know, the Oakland Elects website was founded for the purpose of monitoring the 2014 Oakland mayoral race and disseminating the information collected to Oakland voters. Oakland Elects actually grew out of the 2010 Oakland mayoral election and the Anybody But Perata website, whose mission was to give voters information on mayoral candidate Don Perata.

Now I want to turn the purpose of the Oakland elects website from monitoring the election to monitoring the government we have elected.

Just like the website operated during the election, that will mean a combination of independent reporting, our own commentary and analysis, posting links from other publications, publishing articles and op-eds by Oakland activists, and publishing a calendar of activities so readers can keep up with important upcoming events related to the government.

This oversight will not be limited to Oakland city government, but will also branch out to other governmental bodies that affect Oakland residents, including, of course, public education and transportation agencies.

But our interests shouldn't and don't stop at the Oakland border, and aren't limited to issues of government alone. And so a second part of this new initiative will be to revive my column writing and political/social commentaries.

As most of you know, for many years, I wrote and produced a weekly column that included commentary on social, racial, economic, and political matters locally, nationally, and internationally. Those columns were published in local newspapers, as well as sent out by email to folks on this list. The name of the column changed from time to time-from Oakland Unwrapped to UnderCurrents to its current version, CounterPoints-but it's nature and purpose remained the same. In recent months, however, I've let the frequency of the columns lapse.

With all of the issues of the day that need delving into, it is my intention to return my column-writing to that sort of weekly regularity with a wide-ranging format, speaking on whatever topics are timely and important at the present moment.

The two initiatives-the Oakland Elects website and the CounterPoints column-will be combined under the heading of The Safero Project ("safero" is the name of my longstanding personal website, and means "writer" in the Gullah language of the African-Americans of the southeastern U.S. seacoast area).


I'm ready to move forward with this project, but I need your help to do so.

The Oakland Elects website and its predecessor, the Anybody But Perata website, were only able to operate because of the loyal financial support of individual donors. Because I'm not looking for corporate sponsorship-even if I could get any-and because I'd rather not operate websites that cater to business advertising, these new projects can only go forward being fueld individual donations. Your donations.

In that regard, two things are needed.

The first are donations of immediate seed money, to get Oakland Elects and CounterPoints reorganized and up and running again at full speed.

The second are monthly pledges of financial support to keep the project operating.

I'm not looking for donations in large amount (though if you have some large amounts of money that's a burden for you to keep, I'll certainly accept that as well). What is needed is small donations from large amounts of people.

Because tax deductible status puts a severe restriction on what topics its recipients can talk about and what it can say about those topics, donations to this cause will NOT be tax deductible. What is donated will not be given in expectation of a tax break in the future, but only because you believe in the work that's being done.

Donations can be made in the form of checks payable to Jesse Taylor and sent by surface mail to P.O. Box 43629, Oakland, California 94624-0629 or by PayPal.

This project is going to start by parallel leaps of faith. In the next few days and weeks, I'm going to get both the Oakland Elects site and the CounterPoints column off the ground again, in the expectation that support will come. And I hope the support will come because you have appreciated the work I've done in the past, and have faith that these new projects will live up to that standard.

Meanwhile, if you have any ideas or suggestions, please feel free to contact me at safero@earthlink.net.

Finally, I hope all is well with you and yours, and look forward to hearing from you soon.

Jesse Allen-Taylor
March, 2015
Oakland, California