|Bay Window : The Celebrity and the City: Press Release
KQED'S BAY WINDOW Offers a Unique Look at Mayor Jerry Brown and His Promises for an Oakland Renaissance
New Stephen Talbot Documentary Examines Outspoken, Unpredictable Mayor and His Plans to Revitalize Oakland in "The Celebrity and the City"
"Listen, I believe that had I been sent to a military academy, as my mother and father threatened, I would have been President [of the United States] a long time ago."
San Francisco, California, September 24, 2001No one expected the former governor of California and three-time presidential candidate to run for mayor of the Bay Area's racially-diverse, unglamorous, predominately blue-collar city with a tarnished image. But Brown has spent a lifetime being unpredictableworking with Mother Teresa in India, dating rock star Linda Ronstadt, hosting a radical talk show on Berkeley's KPFA. But why has this prominent figure put down roots in Oakland? Since voters elected him as mayor in a landslide in 1998, Brown has raised hopes that he can preside over an "Oakland Renaissance"lowering crime by 20 percent, drawing 10,000 new residents to a restored downtown and improving Oakland's notoriously dysfunctional public schools.
Mayor Jerry Brown on his plan to improve the Oakland public school system
by opening a military academy.
Premiering Friday, October 5 at 9 p.m. (repeats Sunday, Oct. 7 at 6 p.m.) on KQED Public Television 9, Bay Window "The Celebrity and the City" investigates what Brown has managed to accomplish in his first three years, and where he has fallen short on his promises. Supporters and critics agree that Brown has brought attention to long-neglected Oakland. Brown, always a political maverick, has shaken up the city's entrenched bureaucracy, courted developers and retailers, ordered a crackdown on crime, started a new military charter school over the objection of the local school board, and proposed opening a luxury casino.
Filmmakers Stephen Talbot and Rachel Raney interview a wide range of key personalities in Oakland, such as school superintendent Dennis Chaconas, who believes Brown has given up on the public school system in favor of his controversial military academy plan; real estate developer John Protopappas, the mayor’s friend and fundraiser who hopes to attract refugees from San Francisco's sky-high rents to his new live/work lofts; Brown's new police chief, Richard Word; city manager Robert Bobb; city attorney John Russo; and local NAACP chairman and Republican political activist, Shannon Reeves.
"Jerry Brown is a chameleon or a man for all seasons, depending on your point of view," says producer Talbot. "Sometimes it seems he's had more makeovers than Madonna. But he's a fascinating politician, and he's brought a sense of possibility to Oakland. The real test is whether he can succeed where others have failed in revitalizing an inner city."
Following the Friday evening broadcast, KQED will host a live chat on the show's engaging, interactive Web site at kqed.org/baywindow.The site features a timeline and biographical information on Jerry Brown as well as a map of "who's who" in Oakland’s city government. Visitors to the site will also be able to take part in a poll, and find more information and links to community organizations and resources in Oakland. Educators can also access and download teacher lesson plans that help facilitate classroom discussions of issues raised in the program.
KQED will partner with the East Bay Community Foundation to host an advance community screening and discussion on Wednesday, October 3 at the Oakland Museum of California in the James Moore Auditorium. The opening reception will begin at 5 p.m. followed by the screening at 6 p.m. Afterwards there will be an open discussion moderated by Safi Jiroh of EdgeWork Enterprise. All pre-broadcast events are free and open to the public but due to limited seating, an RSVP is required. More information may be obtained by calling (415) 553-2204.
Bay Window, hosted by Scott Shafer, is a National Emmy Award-winning, monthly series exploring issues that affect our lives in the Bay Area and reflect civic life nationwide. Through television, print, the Web and outreach programs, Bay Window engages people in dialogue, convenes critical stakeholders and builds new connections within our communities. Bay Window airs the first Friday of the month.
Bay Window "The Celebrity and the City" is a co-production of KQED and Talbot Productions. Producer and writer is Stephen Talbot. Co-producer is Rachel Raney, and editor is Amy Young. Bay Window executive producer is Sue Ellen McCann. Public engagement for Bay Window "The Celebrity and the City" is provided by About Face Consulting. KQED Education Network is providing companion curriculum materials for use in junior and senior high schools. The Bay Window companion Web site is produced by Colleen Wilson.
Bay Window is underwritten by The KQED Campaign for the Future Program Venture Fund through a major grant from The James Irvine Foundation. Additional support is provided by the Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation.
KQED operates KQED Public Television 9, the nation's most-watched public television station, and Digital Television 30, Northern California's only public television digital signal; KQED Public Radio 88.5 FM, the most listened-to public radio station in the nation; the KQED Education Network, which brings the impact of KQED to thousands of teachers, students, parents and media professionals through workshops, seminars and resources; and kqed.org, which harnesses the power of the Internet to bring KQED to communities across the Web.