Opportunities to engage in politics this week

16 Feb

It seems like nearly every week, there are a multitude of opportunities to engage in politics so I thought I’d make this a regular blog feature. Please let me know if you have meetings or events you’d like me to include in future blog posts or any additions to this week’s post.

Tuesday, February 17th – Oakland City Council Meeting

There’s nothing that jumped out to me on this week’s agenda as particularly exciting or controversial, but I’ve been trying to get into the habit of watching council meetings and committee meetings when possible. Just turn on your TV or computer and listen to the meeting while you make dinner or relax after work. Even if you can’t watch the entire meeting, it’s a great way to get to know your council members and to understand Oakland politics. Check out my post last month about how to watch and understand City Council meetings if you need some guidance. The non-ceremonial parts of the meeting start at 7pm, and if you’d like to see the meeting in person, head to the Council Chambers in City Hall, 1 Frank Ogawa Plaza.

Thursday, February 19th – Oakland Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee Meeting

I attended my first Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC) meeting last month and found it fascinating. As the name suggests, the committee discusses bicycle and pedestrian issues. The BPAC is extremely inclusive – any Oakland resident who attends three consecutive meetings becomes a voting member of the committee – so if you’re interested in bike and ped issues, you should consider attending. Among other agenda items, this month the BPAC will be nominating committee officers and discussing the Bicycle & Pedestrian Facilities Program one-year plan. The BPAC will be meeting from 5:30-7:00pm in Hearing Room 4 of City Hall, 1 Frank Ogawa Plaza.

Thursday, February 19th – A Progressive Perspective on the Economic Crisis

Back in January, I mentioned this event, but it was postponed because of the Oscar Grant protests. Council President Jane Brunner, Mayor Ron Dellums and Assembly Member Sandre Swanson are hosting a roundtable discussion titled, “A Progressive Perspective on the Economic Crisis.” This should be an interesting panel discussion, but I can’t help but think that this will be a somewhat depressing event (unless of course one of them has a miracle solution they haven’t yet shared with us). I’m particularly interested in hearing our elected officials discuss how the federal stimulus package will effect Oakland. The panel will run from 7-9pm (right after the BPAC meeting) in the Council Chambers of City Hall, 1 Frank Ogawa Plaza.

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