Time to get active & to celebrate!

16 Nov

Over the last week, I’ve felt a bit antsy. It’s a bit strange to go back to a life that doesn’t consist of working, phoning, sleeping, working, phoning, sleeping (oh, and lots of meetings in between). This week, there are several important meetings and events that would be filling my time, except that I’ll be heading to DC on Tuesday morning. I hope some of my readers can fill in for me and take some time to get active in Oakland politics and celebrate our victories.

1) Tuesday, November 18th: Call on Alameda County to Stand Up for Equal Rights

At yesterday’s rally, a speaker spoke about the lawsuit that advocacy groups have brought to the California Supreme Court in an attempt to overturn Proposition 8. Dozens of legislators have signed onto friend of the court briefs in support of the case, and several counties have joined them in support. But Alameda County has yet to show interest in supporting the case. The speaker said he had called the supervisors and was surprised at how tepid their responses were.

So on Tuesday, at the regular Alameda County Board of Supervisors meeting, advocates plan to speak out during the public comment period at the beginning of the meeting to urge the County to support the lawsuit. It’s something the supervisors can vote on and make happen very quickly and easily so there’s really no excuse for them not to act.

I really wish I could make it to this meeting. Please take some time from your day and head down there. I’ve spoken before the supervisors several times, and it’s not nearly as intimidating as speaking before the Oakland City Council. Plus, you’ll be joined by many other equal rights advocates making the same simple request.

Unfortunately, public comment happens at the end of the meeting so even though the meeting starts at 10:30am, you shouldn’t expect to speak until several hours later so bring a good book! Just make sure to fill out a speaker’s card right when you arrive.

Tuesday, November 18th at 10:30am

2) Wednesday, November 19th: Planning Commission Hearing on Creekside Project

Over a year ago, I wrote a blog post arguing that the North Oakland portion of Telegraph is ready to grow:

last night, as I walked down Telegraph from the bus stop, I realized just how odd the 1-2 story buildings looked. The disproportionality of the building heights to the size of the street is astounding.

Beyond aesthetics, Temescal’s businesses are rapidly growing, and Telegraph has become a major transit corridor, thanks to the new rapid bus line. This is only going to increase, once Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) is developed. If Oakland wants to become a more environmentally sustainable city, it makes so much sense to build dense housing in neighborhoods with established services and transit.

The arguments I wrote then are even more compelling today, as business booms in Temescal and we’re even closer to making BRT a reality. The Creekside project, which would be located on the lot of the closed Global Video and its huge parking lot, fits well into this vision for a denser, more lively North Oakland. The project is a mixed-use development with units for sale and for rent, coupled with retail on the ground floor. V Smoothe wrote a post about this project in January complete with renderings and maps, which I encourage you to check out if you’re interested in this project.

Since January, the project has been downsized from 120 to 102 units, mostly because of the opposition to the project by STAND, a group that would be happier if the the project was not built at all. STAND sent an email out today encouraging its membership to attending the planning commission meeting to speak out against this project. ULTRA, on the other hand, is encouraging its membership to attend the meeting to speak out in support of the project.

This project reminds me a lot of the Safeway rebuild. We have two options here – we can be left with this ugly building with a huge parking lot or we can look forward to a much needed project that improves the pedestrian experience and enlivens the neighborhood.

If you agree that Telegraph is ready to grow, please attend this meeting and voice your support for this important project.

Wednesday, November 19th at 6:00pm
Oakland City Hall
One Frank H. Ogawa Plaza
Hearing Room No. 1
Oakland, CA 94612
See the agenda here.

3) Thursday, November 20th: Celebrate Rebecca Kaplan’s Victory!

Rebecca’s hosting a party this Thursday to celebrate her huge electoral victory. This party should be tons of fun, and it’s a great opportunity to meet our City Council Member-elect if you haven’t had a chance to do so yet. Also, I’m guessing this will be the final event at the Democratic headquarters, which is such an incredible space. So head down there on Thursday night and give Rebecca a big hug for me!

Thursday, November 20th, 2008 from 5:30pm – 7:30pm
1915 Broadway (@19th street), Oakland
Suggested contribution, $50 (sliding scale).
To register or pay online, CLICK HERE

2 Responses to “Time to get active & to celebrate!”

  1. das88 November 17, 2008 at 5:01 pm #

    This was an interesting post. I had never heard of the two organizations lined up on both sides of the Creekside project. I thought others might be interested in their website addresses:

    ULTRA is http://ultraoakland.org/
    STAND is http://www.standoakland.org/

  2. Becks November 17, 2008 at 5:05 pm #

    Thanks for posting those links. Somehow I neglected to do so when writing this last night, but I’ve now updated the post.

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