Tag Archives: Barbara Lee

Jim Ross: Redistricting, What Just Happened? And What’s Next?

16 Jun

This guest post was written by Jim Ross, the owner of Jim Ross Consulting, a Political Consulting and Public Relations firm located in Oakland. His firm has run dozens of campaigns including those of Mayor Gavin Newsom (D-SF) and Governor Ted Kulongosk (D-OR).

The first California legislative district draft maps have been released. After months of public testimony, the California Redistricting Commission has unleashed what is being called a political “earthquake” or “tsunami”. What the Commission members have done fundamentally changes the political make-up of CaliforniaContinue reading

January 18-24 Oakland Political & Community Events

17 Jan

Monday, January 18th – Candlelight Vigil for Haiti Earthquake Victims

Congresswoman Barbara Lee in collaboration with the Haiti Action Committee will hold a candlelight vigil for Haiti earthquake victims. The vigil will be held, rain or shine, from 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm in the Ronald V. Dellums Federal Building Courtyard, 1301 Clay Street. Please bring a candle.

Monday, January 18th – Martin Luther King Jr. Celebrations

There are several MLK Day celebrations happening throughout the city, too many to possibly list here. From service projects to concerts, there’s something for everyone. See Jean Quan’s thorough listing of MLK day events.

Tuesday, January 19th – Oakland City Council Meeting

It looks like it’s going to be another long and contentious Council meeting this weekend. Even the consent calendar has a contentious item about free parking for city employees, which several advocates plan to speak out against.  Then, Mayor Dellums, for the first time, will break a Council tie and appoint Michael Lighty to the Port Commission. Another mayoral appointment, to the Paramount Theater Board, will also be debated, as one of the proposed appointees, Lorenzo Hoopes, was a big donor and supporter of Prop 8. If the Council can make it past all of that, they’ll also be discussing a hiring freeze, appointing a Vice Mayor, the 2010 federal legislative agenda, a Measure Y report, and more. See the full meeting agenda and check out my post about how to watch and understand City Council meetings if you need some guidance on how or where to view the meeting. The non-ceremonial parts of the meeting start at 7pm in the Council Chambers in City Hall, 1 Frank Ogawa Plaza.

Wednesday, January 20th – Keep Barack Rollin’ Inauguration Anniversary Party

Last year’s Barack n’ Roll inaugural ball was such a success that East Bay Young Democrats decided to celebrate, again. Come join EBYD and our friends at Organizing For America to enjoy the beats of DJ Sake1 as we celebrate the one year since change happened– and what is still to come. $5-25 sliding scale, suggested donation; no one will be turned away for lack of funds. The party will take place from 7-10pm at Paradiso Lounge, 2272 Telegraph Avenue. Visit the Facebook event page for more info, to RSVP, and for public transit directions.

Wednesday, January 20th – Central Estuary Plan at Planning Commission

After months and months of public planning meetings, the Central Estuary Plan is making its way to the planning commission this week. It first went to the planning commission in December, but the commission asked for more information on economic assumptions and analysis to be brought back. The planning commission meeting will be held at 6pm in Hearing Room One, Oakland City Hall, One Frank H. Ogawa Plaza. For more information, read the staff report on this item.

Thursday, January 21st – Oakland Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee Meeting

Oakland’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC) meets monthly to discusses bicycle and pedestrian issues. This month’s agenda looks very exciting, including discussions of stops for the new downtown shuttle, Bike to Work Day, and the Alta Bates/Summit Hospital EIR. 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. The BPAC will be meeting from 5:30-7:30pm in Hearing Room 4 of City Hall, 1 Frank Ogawa Plaza.

Thursday, January 21st – Oakland Food Policy Council Meeting

The mission of the Oakland Food Policy Council (OFPC) is to establish an equitable and sustainable food system in Oakland, California. At OFPC’s first meeting of the year, they will set their course for the rest of the year. Each work gropu will give reports, there will be a discussion of the strategic planning process, and a guest presentation will be given on youth engagement. The meeting will be held from 5:00 – 7:30 pm at 150 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, 4th Floor, Conference Room 1. Find out more about OFPC at their website and see the agenda here.

Thursday, January 21st – East Oakland Neighborhood BRT Meeting

Oakland is preparing its recommendation for a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system running through the heart of the East Bay from San Leandro through Oakland to Berkeley. Throughout the month of January the city will be seeking the input of Oakland residents on what they want to see from the Bus Rapid Transit program and how they want this new service to run through their communities. This process will culminate in the submittal of Oakland’s Locally Preferred Alternative to AC Transit to be included in the range of options they consider when they build the BRT system. I was lucky enough to get a sneak preview of Oakland’s plan at December’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee meeting, and it’s pretty astounding, especially the significant pedestrian improvements. Tuesday’’s meeting is part of a series of seven meetings throughout Oakland, and I highly recommend attending at least one to see the plan for yourself and to ask questions.This meeting will be held from 6-8 PM at the East Oakland Youth Development Center, 8200 International Blvd. You can read more about the BRT proposal at dto510’s excellent post about this issue and at OaklandBRT.com.

Friday, January 22nd – State Controller John Chiang at Alameda County Budget Workgroup

State Controller John Chiang will be at the Alameda County Budget Workgroup meeting to discuss the state budget. The meeting will be held at 2:00 PM at the Alameda County Conference Center, 125 – 12th Street, 4th Floor. For more information, email caobudgetrsvp@acgov.org.

Sunday, January 24th – “Silence Please” at the Oakland Main Library

Via the library newsletter: “On Sunday, January 24, from 1 to 4 p.m., visitors to the Oakland History Room will be treated to an unusual art installation, called “Silence, Please.” And, no, it does not involve a shushing librarian. The Oakland History Room is on the 2nd floor of the Main Library, at 125 14th St. “Silence, Please” is a site-specific installation created by Chris Kubick for the Oakland Public Library. Drawing from time spent in locations around the city, Kubick has created a catalog of the names of “sounds which border on silence” – empty or unnoticed sounds which are often ignored or mistaken for silence. This catalog, written out on transparencies, attempts to represent peace, tranquility, and emptiness, but is inevitably a record of the disturbances and fantasies that interrupt the notion of silence. Visitors will be able to view and manipulate layers of these transparent silences on an array of light boxes in the Oakland History Room.”

Pure Joy at City Hall Last Night

17 Jun

I’m so glad I made it over to City Hall last night to watch the first same-sex marriages in Oakland take place. As V Smoothe describes, the council chambers were completely packed. Everyone seemed to be represented – young, old, of every race and gender, mothers, fathers, single people, couples, children, public officials, activists, friends. Everyone was smiling. And I mean ear to ear smiles. So much clapping and shouting. Tears and laughter.

It was so nice to be welcomed into City Hall by Rebecca Kaplan and to congratulate her on her win. Soon after entering the chambers, she introduced me to V Smoothe and I got a chance to talk to her and Sean Sullivan about medical marijuana in Oakland (which made me realize I need to write something here explaining medical marijuana politics in this city). My co-worker and I also got to chat with a woman who’s friends were about to get married.

The evening was altogether surreal. The ceremonies were delayed for about 45 minutes so I only was able to stick around for a few of the weddings, but the wait was worth it. Being there energized me and made me feel really good about the community I live in. Seeing all the female couples walking down the aisle (only a few were male) reminded me that Oakland has the highest number of female couples per capita of any US city. It reminded me that me and my girlfriend are welcome here.

Though my partner could not make it out to the festivities with me, I was thinking of her the entire time. This past month has been really transformative for us. The Supreme Court ruling and the marriages yesterday have altered the way we think and talk about our future. I’ve been a bit surprised by how important the change in laws and discourse has been to us (something Julia Rosen discussed today over at Calitics).

We’re not planning to get married anytime soon, but last night was the first time we’ve ever talked about where great honeymoon spots would be, why we could never get married at Burning Man, and silly things like that. It’s finally a real option. I had this realization a month ago, but it hit me again last night. When I got home from City Hall I practically collapsed crying in my girlfriend’s arms telling her how much I loved her and that now our city and our state would recognize our love.

Thanks to Mayor Dellums, who officiated over the weddings, along with Congresswoman Barbara Lee and Council Member Jean Quan. I’ve rarely been so proud of this city as I was last night.