February GA Minutes

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Approval of Agenda and Minutes

The agenda was unanimously approved as distributed.  The minutes of the January meeting were not available, so approval was deferred


  • Friday at 30th & Broadway at 1 pm there will be a demonstration for return of bus stop sponsored by ACCE. Valentines will be delivered to the Summit Bank branch at the close of the demonstration.  Tuesday at Open Forum at City Council, volunteers are need to speak on behalf of the bus stop return.
  • Lailan led a march to preserve the mural at a site greenlighted for development without mitigation or affordable housing. See Pamela Drake’s blog (http://draketalkoakland.com/) for background information and comments.
  • The Oakland Tenants Union is starting an effort to put a rent control ballot measure on the November ballot. They need to raise $175K to support the effort.
  • Jean – The Area specific plans specified that there be 25% affordable housing. This is an important struggle for that and community benefits.  This after the city gave them a gift equivalent to half of the boomerang funds coming to the Town after the destruction of redevelopment.  Take leaflets on coal coalition when canvassing.  Coal will before the council on next Tuesday.

Committee Reports

  • Affordable housing update: Impact fees have finally come to the council in committee meetings (2).  The committees are holding the matter over for another meeting.  The current proposal is for $20K per unit that the council is stalling until after the boom.  Jean Quan proposed a harder line; no new projects until the impact fee is imposed and more money.  The housing coalition is still asking for a declaration of housing emergency.  There was a request for a bullet point of talking points so email and calls can be made to the council in the next week.  [Note that the document is posted on the BBBON web site, bbon.net] James Vann was furious that surrounding cities collect fees while Oakland acts as if it’s not good enough.
  • ACORN housing issues: The issue is the Gateway Shopping Center at Market and 8th.  Getting an anchor tenant (a market) has been a struggle.  EBASE, WOMAC & Tom Henderson own 75% of the development and the remaining 25% is owned by the city as a community benefit.  EBALSE has been phased out of the deal after Henderson bought out EBALSE’s share.  This is an Oakland redevelopment project.  Bridge Housing owns the property.  The community doesn’t realize that they own the properties.     Patterson and Mahammad (ACORN residents who have been described as West Oakland poverty pimps) have been obstructing the process of redevelopment.  It looks like the property is being engineered to pass into their hands.    Henderson stopped payments to WOMAC, which resulted in a lawsuit.  (See Oakland Post Jan 13-19 issue for more details).
  • Police Accountability update: The latest draft of the ballot measure has been distributed and is on the BBBON web site.  The letter of intent and text have been submitted to the City Attorney, which also indicates the intention to collect signatures.  SEIU 1021 will hold a workshop on how to do the signature gathering on Feb 18.  This night the coalition is also facilitating a meeting with the monitor on police interactions.  Details and a flyer have been posted to the web site.
  • Political Action update: The search for progressive candidates continues.  The Oakland alliance is putting together a coalition of local groups to find and support progressives for local office.  The procedures are being discussed.  The concentration this round are D3 and D7 council and school board seats.  Once things gel the SC will be asked to consider joining the coalition and presenting it to the GA for approval.
  • ACDCC and Sandre Swanson: The CA Primary is June 7th.  BBBON endorsed Sandre in November.  Because the primary is now a top 2 and the three running are Sandre, Nancy Skinner, and Katheryn Welch from Piedmont.  The expectation is that Swanson and Skinner will be in the general.  Nelsy Bautista has been hired as paid staff for the campaign on the AD 15 slate.  Wellstone will host a debate between Welch, Skinner and Swanson as part of the endorsement process.  Also 4 others were nominated for the slate in January.  The Wellston meeting will be on the web site calendar.  Jean Quan spoke about the importance of getting progressives involved in Dem party politics.

Program: Ceasefire Walks

Speaker:  Rev. Damita, Ceasefire Community Chair.  Her function is to facilitate the community part to reduce violence in the city.  She has been organizing weekly night walks in deep East between High St. and the San Leandro border Friday nights since 2012, where 50% of shootings occurred.  This was an area where gangs hang out as ceasefire data showed.  The Friday walks take different routes (lately at 78th and Bancroft) from St.  Benedicts to walk behind Castlemont.  While the group invites neighbors to be part of the group, it works best with the inclusion of people from other neighborhoods.  Mills students have also been part of the walks as part of their community service.  Walks usually include 22 walkers.  When there are less than 8, no walk.   No walks on holiday Fridays.  All walks start from a community church at 6:30 and end around 9 pm.

Crime data drives the routes.  The group’s presence is to say they care about the guys hanging out and that the gun violence has to stop.  In West Oakland there has been an uptick of shootings in Ghost town (the historic Hoover neighborhood).  Walks started the first Friday in Feb.  The weekly schedule is as follows:

  • Center Street Missionary Baptist, 940 Center Street
  • Elevate Gospel Church, 3265 Market Street
  • Zion MBC, 1203 Willow Street
  • Mary’s Center, 945 Brockhurst Street

Volunteers are needed to reach out to the people who need to be gotten to.  Most of the homicides are relational, so the war on drugs doesn’t reduce the violence.  In first year the call-ins very few voluntary returns occurred, because of where they were held and the amount of police presence.  Feedback from clients led to adjusted meetings.  Now > 50% of clients take steps to get out of the life.  Permanent housing has lately been more important than jobs for stability.  BBBON members were asked to volunteer for a week in West Oakland each month.

Next Meeting

Lions Creek Crossing, March 10th


Minutes submitted by:     Michael Tigges


Comments are closed.