Two great Oakland parties for two great causes

13 Jan

In the next few days there are two fundraising events happening in Uptown for causes that I care deeply about. I hope you’ll consider joining me at one or both of these events.

Emerge California East Bay Reception
Saturday, January 14th from 6:30-8:30pm at Make Westing

I wrote about Emerge California when I graduated from the 2011 class back in June. Emerge California is the premier training program for Democratic women who want to run for office. The goal of Emerge is to increase the number of Democratic women in public office.

I learned so much through the seven month training program and met some amazing women leaders from throughout the Bay Area. I want to do everything I can to make sure women – particularly Oakland women – have the same opportunity as I did, which is why I’m on the host committee for this Saturday’s East Bay reception.

Here are the event details:

This year, Emerge California alumna and current 2012 program members are running for School Board, City Council, State Assembly, and yes, even Congress!

Join us for another fun yet purposeful evening as we celebrate all of the hope and possibilities of the New Year and all of our 2012 candidates.


Saturday, January 14th
Make Westing
1741 Telegraph Avenue Oakland 94612
(between 17th & 18th)


Deal Broker $50
Because “fifty-fifty share alike” IS a good motto
(includes 1 event ticket and 1 drink ticket)

Change Maker $83
Because 83% of our Congress members are NOT women;
and we need to work on that.
(includes 2 event tickets and 2 drink tickets)

Host Committee $100
(includes 3 event tickets and 3 drink tickets)

Buy your tickets today:

Congresswoman Barbara Lee
Oakland Councilwoman Libby Schaaf
Oakland Councilwoman Rebecca Kaplan
Scott Karchmer
Karen Frank
Carol McGruder
Kat Nouri
Shon Buford
Lisa Gasperoni
Rebecca Saltzman
Shakari Byerly
Annie Eagan
Bari Williams
Vivian Oh
Stephen Waters
Beverly Greene
Stephanie Linder
Jason Newell
Paulina Miranda
Lori Nelson
Carol & Mark Norberg
Van Nguyen
Melanie Sweeney-Griffith

Cocktails for Keyna
Tuesday, January 17th from 6-9pm at Luka’s

A few months ago, my good friend, fellow planning wonk, and neighbor Kenya Wheeler was diagnosed with lymphoma. The good news is that it is treatable. He is currently undergoing treatment and is being cared for by his loving partner, family, and friends. The bad news is that even though Kenya has reasonably good health care coverage, he has already had to pay $6,400 out-of-pocket for his care.

I could go on and on about how screwed up this situation is and how we really need to fix our health care system, but I won’t do that. Instead, I’m going to invite you to the party that I’m co-hosting for him to raise some funds to cover some of his expenses.

You may not know Kenya directly, but chances are that he’s worked on something that’s near to your heart. He worked on the Obama campaign in 2008 and after that he worked at Organizing for America coordinating volunteers. At OFA he worked as part of core leadership staff that mobilized volunteers in all 58 counties to support Health Care Reform and resulted in every California Democratic congressional member voting in favor of HCR. He also worked at BART for several years and at a local planning firm. Kenya is currently finishing his planning degree at UC Berkeley and I have a feeling that when he graduates he’ll continue his awesome work in the land use or transportation field.

He cares deeply about Oakland community, so much so that after moving here a couple of years ago, him and his partner Ruby went through the CORE emergency training. For National Night Out this year they hosted a mini-training and get together in front of their apartment on Randwick Street and started an emergency contact list for the street and neighborhood. Ruby and Kenya also fostered four adorable kittens this summer, which you might have read about here. (They’re still fostering one, and though I not-so-secretly hope they’ll keep him, if you’re looking for an awesome cat, let me know.)

If you haven’t met Kenya yet, Tuesday night’s fundraiser will be a great opportunity to get to know him. We’re asking folks to contribute what you can and any donation would be greatly appreciated.

Here are the event details:

Please join us for a fundraiser for Kenya and if you can’t make it, please consider making a donation on-line.

Date: Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Time: 6:00pm – 9:00pm
Location: Luka’s Taproom & Lounge
2221 Broadway, Oakland, CA

Donation Levels (what your $$’s can help cover):
Insurance Deductible: $250.00
Medicine: $100.00
X-Rays: $50.00
Medical Supplies: $25.00

Please makes checks payable to: Frank Wheeler or Kenya Wheeler

Host Committee in formation:
Katie Balk – Matt Haney – Jeff Harry – Andy Kelley – Linda Leu – Steve Ngo – Dave Nicely – Mary Nicely – Keesa Ocampo – Jenn Pae – Shobana Ramamurthi – Ruby Reid – Rebecca Saltzman – Tony Thurmond – Colbert Tse

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