Tag Archives: budget

Nathan Stalnaker: Moving Oakland Forward

27 Oct

This guest post was written by Nathan Stalnaker, who spends the day organizing in West Oakland and serves on the Board of Make Oakland Better Now! and is an elected at-large member of the East Bay Young Democrats.

The City of Oakland suffers from gridlock and a fiscal crisis that just won’t quit.  Even so, again and again, the same characters are repeatedly elected to the same positions.  Our system is broken.  Our local races are anti-competitive.  New people enter the races and win only when an incumbent steps down.  It begins to seem that to become an elected official in Oakland, you already have to be or have been an elected official or spend your time currying favor with those already in office.

A Catch-22?   Sure.  Could an initiative calling for term limits for City Council stir things up sufficiently enough to get fresh policy thinking in City Hall?   Absolutely.  Read the petition yourself.  To balance experience and fresh ideas, the petition was crafted with a three-term (12 year) lifetime limit. Continue reading

June 14-20 Oakland Political & Community Events

14 Jun

Monday, June 14th – Oakland Community Budget Forum

Even after drastic cuts, layoffs and furloughs, we still face a $31.5 million deficit for FY 2010-2011. How we solve it will shape arts & culture, recreation, senior and youth services and public safety for years to come. Hear the options from City Councilmembers and the City Administrator and give your input. The forum will take place from 7-9pm at Eastmont Substation, 2651 73rd Avenue.

Tuesday, June 15th – Oakland City Council Meeting

At this week’s meeting, the Council will be discussing several taxes and fees, vacating part of Peralta Street and giving it to the Emeryville Redevelopment Agency, Measure Y, issuing layoff notices to 200 police officers, sewers, billboards, 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 6:30pm in the Council Chambers in City Hall, 1 Frank Ogawa Plaza.

Wednesday, June 16th – Happy Hour Fundraiser for Rebecca Kaplan

Please join Rebecca Kaplan and supporters at Somar Bar for drinks to celebrate the work of her Exploratory Committee for Oakland Mayor. This is an opportunity to talk to Rebecca about her vision for Oakland and to learn about how you can get involved. The event takes place from 5:30-7pm at Somar Bar, 1727 Telegraph Ave. RSVP at Rebecca Kaplan’s website.

Wednesday, June 16th – Oakland Rising’s Young Progressives Party

Oakland Rising educates and mobilizes voters in the flatlands to speak up for and take charge of the issues impacting their lives. Oakland Rising is teaming up with Oakland’s Young Progressives to usher in a new era of political power that is committed to building an Oakland for everyone. Oakland has a long history of progressive activism and, like you, we want to see our legacy grow. We have an amazing group of young progressive leaders who are proud to serve as a Co-Hosts for Oakland Rising’s first Young Progressives Party and we want you to join us and Oakland Rising as part of a new vanguard of progressive leadership ready to lift Oakland to new heights. The event takes place from 5:30-8pm at The Den, Telegraph at 19th Street. Suggested Donation: $25-250. No one turned away for lack of funds! Find more info at Oakland Rising’s website.

Thursday, June 17th Oakland Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee Meeting

Oakland’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC) meets monthly to discuss bicycle and pedestrian issues. This month the BPAC will discuss MacArthur BART Bicycle/Pedestrian Access and High-Capacity Bike Parking, Bicycle-Friendly Communities, MacArthur Blvd Bikeway, High St-Midvale Ave, Design Review, and Fruitvale Pedestrian Wayfinding Signs. 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, June 17th – Temescal Street Cinema Opening Night

The Third Annual Temescal Street Cinema returns to 49th and Telegraph (Bank of the West Building) this summer for another year of great, free, locally made films! There’ll be live music and free popcorn at every show, with events getting started at 8 PM every Thursday from June 11-July 16. Movies will start when it gets dark, no sooner than 8:30 PM. Come early or bring a chair! Opening night will feature Pelada, in which former U.S. college stars looking for a soccer fix travel the world to play in pickup games ranging from converted landfill tournaments in Africa to rooftop Japanese club games. Find out more details at the Temescal Street Cinema website.

Saturday, June 19th – Make Oakland Better Now! Budget Strategy Meeting

If you are a Make Oakland Better Now! Facebook member, you already know the City Council is talking seriously about eliminating 200 Oakland Police Officers in order to balance Oakland’s budget. And if you are a member of Make Oakland Better Now!, you already know our response is going to be “absolutely no way!” There has to be another way. Work with Make Oakland Better Now! to formulate a practical, achievable alternative we can present to City Council. The meeting takes place from 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. at Rockridge Public Library, 5366 College Avenue. Find more info at the group’s website.

Don Perata – A Democrat using Republican talking points

9 Apr

Continuing my series on mayoral candidate blogging, today I’ll be looking at Don Perata’s blog. Before I get into the content, I have to point out that Perata is either courageous or stupid – he’s allowing comments on his blog. Kerry Hamill, who ran for Council against Rebecca Kaplan in 2008, did the same thing for a short time but soon disabled them when negative comments started flowing in. Any guesses to how long before Perata disables comments on his blog?

There have only been a handful of blog posts posted so far. The first ones were about the campaign, but the last four have been about policy issues. Two of the posts were about prison issues – recidivism and summary parole. Those are important issues, of course, but there’s much more that can be done at the state level about them. One of the two Oakland posts was about the most recent parking debacle, when the City was found to be ticketing cars in low-income areas but not ticketing them in the hills for the same violation. Can you guess where Perata stood on that?

His last policy post was the most interesting. It focused on the City budget and the proposal to place two parcel tax measures on the November ballot:

Mayor Dellums’ office threatened that this was the only way to avoid cutbacks to police and fire-services.

The only way? This response is typical of Oakland’s stagnant city government. It’s a ballot cop-out to subsidize city inefficiency. There are always other ways.

I’m not sure there are many who would disagree about city inefficiencies, and so far the Council (save for a couple of members) and Mayor Dellums have been short of ideas for how to avoid huge public safety cut backs so I’m open to hearing new ideas.

Sadly, what follows are not new ideas:

To start, the City Council could have put a measure on the June ballot asking Oakland voters to retain the half-cent tax we already pay but one that the state will rescind in July.

Sales tax in Oakland is already way too high. I’m not anti-tax, but a sales tax is a measure of last resort – it is incredibly regressive and does nothing to help struggling small businesses in Oakland. I’d prefer a parcel tax over a sales tax measure any day (and for those of you who are going to comment that I’m a renter so I wouldn’t have to pay a parcel tax, my apartment isn’t rent controlled and I’m sure my rent will be raised if any parcel taxes pass).

But worse is that Perata says the Council should have put this measure on the June ballot. Yes, that’s the June ballot that the City does not have to pay for because there are no Oakland races on it due to instant runoff voting pushing all of the City elections to November. To close the budget gap, Perata is proposing wasting hundreds of thousands of dollars on paying for the June election to pass a regressive tax.

Moving on, Perata then complains about the lack of responsiveness from City Hall, which I can sympathize with:

It’s no surprise then that my office isn’t getting a straight answer from City Hall on how much the city’s 33 boards and commissions are costing Oakland’s taxpayers. The City Clerk’s office claims that the Mayor’s office is responsible. The Mayor’s office has no idea how much is being spent and is not sure that records even exist.

I’m sure there’s some waste in the boards and commissions (many of them never have quorum so I’m not sure why we keep them around, but that’s another blog post). But bringing this up in a post on the budget is at best a distraction and at worst similar to the talking points Republicans use about the state budget. Meg Whitman’s campaign for governor is centered around government waste and the idea that she can fix the state budget mess by trimming the fat, while at the same time making no cuts to education and cutting taxes.

Perata’s blog post doesn’t go that far, but it heads in that direction:

Every dollar should be accounted for before raising taxes. Oakland’s voters are among the most generous in the state. Their pockets have been tapped again and again, and they’ve been failed again and again by the city government. City Hall should be making serious political cuts before cutting city services.

Basically everyone agrees that there’s waste in Oakland government, and yes, I’d like to see that fixed, but it’s dangerous to suggest that we can fix our budget problem by making “political cuts.” We need long-term budget solutions for this City that are more about policy than politics. We need new revenue streams and, likely, some serious cuts that are beyond “political.”

After serving for so long as head of the State Senate, I would have expected more from Perata than regurgitating the Republican talking points that he fought against for so many years. We already have a Green Party Tea Partier in the mayoral race (or as a friend commented, a Green Tea Partier) – do we really need a Democrat using Republican talking points? I don’t think so.

March 29-April 4 Oakland Political & Community Events

28 Mar

Monday, March 29th – East Bay Young Democrats Endorsement Meeting

EBYD’s first endorsement meeting of the year will be this Monday, and you won’t want to miss it! We will discuss the various June state and local races as well as the candidates for CYD office, hear from the local candidates, and vote to endorse. Candidates from all of the local races have confirmed, and you can now read their questionnaires on EBYD’s website. Join us for free food and to learn about all of these important races! The meeting takes place from 6-9 pm at the Washington Inn, 495 10th Street in Old Oakland. Check out the Facebook event page for more info and to RSVP.

Tuesday, March 30th – Climate Action Plan Rally & Hearing

On March 30, the Oakland City Council will have its first major hearing about the city’s Energy and Climate Action Plan. To make sure it’s strong and uplifting for all of Oakland, the Local Clean Energy Alliance and the Oakland Climate Action Coalition are throwing a rally to show the broad-based, cross-sector coalition that’s standing together. The rally takes place at 4:15pm on the front steps of City Hall, 1 Frank Ogawa Plaza, and the hearing starts at 5:30 in the Council Chambers inside City Hall. RSVP and find more info at the Ella Baker Center’s website.

Wednesday, March 31st – Libby Schaaf for City Council Campaign Kick Off Fundraiser

I am working on Libby Schaaf’s campaign for Oakland City Council, District 4 (the seat Jean Quan is vacating), but even if I wasn’t, I’d definitely be attending her kick off fundraiser this week. She’s incredibly experienced, knowledgeable about how the city works, and committed to improving the City. Please come show your support for Libby, enjoy great refreshments, and spend time with fellow Oaklanders who are ready to Let Oakland Shine. The kick off will take place from 5:30-7:30 pm at the home of Robert Kidd & Joan Story, in the District 4 hills. RSVP for the address and directions.

Thursday, April 1 – Special Oakland City Council Budget Meeting

At this week’s special meeting, the Council will continue its seemingly never ending budget discussions. 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 meeting starts at 7:00pm (there are no ceremonial items or consent calendar items) in the Council Chambers in City Hall, 1 Frank Ogawa Plaza.

Friday-Sunday, April 2nd-4th – Oakland School for the Arts Spring Exhibition

Oakland School for the Arts annual Spring Exhibition spotlights the amazing artwork created by OSA’s Visual Arts students. The show opens Friday, April 2, in the Marion E. Greene Black Box Theatre and features hundreds of student-generated prints, paintings, drawings, digital artworks, sculptures, jewelry pieces, and more. Prices start at just $10. Opening night runs from 6 to 10 p.m. and coincides with the monthly Oakland Art Murmur and Midtown Art Walk. The event will also feature the musical talents of OSA’s gifted instrumentalists. The Spring Exhibition continues Saturday, April 3, from noon to 5 p.m. and Sunday, April 4, from 1 to 5 p.m. Admission is free. The Marion E. Greene Black Box Theater is located at 531 19th St. near Telegraph, in the same building that houses the OSA campus and the historic Fox Theater in Oakland’s revived Uptown district. You can read a review of a previous OSA art show and sale at Oaktown Art.

Friday, April 2nd – Edible Art: Works from the Artists of Edible East Bay

This will be a fabulous evening of food art by a dozen local artists whose work has graced the cover and pages of the stellar local periodical, Edible East Bay. Exhibiting artists include: Zina Derestsky, Kieren Dutcher, Rosalie Z. Fanshel, Lorrie Fink, David Lance Goines, Helen Krayenhoff, J. Panter, Linda Pedersen, Francesca Preston, margo Rivera-Weiss, Luz Marina Ruiz and Cheryl Angelina. Great tastes and drinks from Nibbler’s Eatery and Lev’s Kombucha. Music by the Healing Muses. The art will be on display through June 25, 2010. The gallery is open M – Th 9-5; and 2nd and 4th Fridays. This opening event takes place from 7-9pm at JanRae Community Art Gallery at Women’s Cancer Resource Center, 5741 Telegraph Avenue. For more info and to RSVP, see the Facebook event page.

Friday, April 2nd – Art Murmur

Check out the monthly evening of art gallery shows and entertainment in Uptown. Read my review of the art murmur here. The Art Murmur runs from 6-10pm but individual art gallery times vary. The galleries are mostly located in Uptown, between Broadway and Telegraph, and Grand and 29th. Visit the Murmur’s website for more info.

Saturday, April 3rd – Taste for Artisans

Presented by the East Bay Express in collaboration with Mini Marzipan, the Taste for Artisans party will be an urban ho down of epic proportions. The event features over 75 Bay Area artisans selling their wares Live bands and DJs Mechanical bull riding Cream corn wrestling Pie eating contests Square dancing demonstration/instruction Demos from Artisans and Artists Beer, wine, and food Urban and family farmers Amazing raffle prizes Swag bags for the first 200 guests Free Bike valet, courtesy of East Bay Bike Coalition. This event is a fundraiser for DrawBridge – Bring art supplies for donation and get raffle tickets! The event takes place from 5-11pm at Jack London Square Pavilion, 98 Broadway. For more info and to RSVP, see the Facebook event page.

March 15-21 Oakland Political & Community Events

15 Mar

Tuesday, March 16th – AC Transit Service Change Information Table

As you may already know, on Sunday, March 28, AC Transit will be implementing major service changes that affect almost every bus line in its service area. To give you an opportunity to pick up helpful materials about the changes and to ask questions, AC Transit has set up a series of Community Information Tables at public locations from Richmond to Fremont. This Tuesday, there will be an information table set up from 4-7pm at the Asian Branch Public Library, 388 9th St. It’s accessible by lines 1, 1R, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 18, 19, 51, 62, 63, 72, 72M, 72R, and 88.

Tuesday, March 16th – Oakland City Council Meeting (Note new time)

At this week’s meeting, the Council will continue its budget discussions, considering reducing the general fund budgets of all elected officials by 15%. They’ll also be discussing delinquent taxes and fees, a report on the Rockridge Business Improvement District, instant runoff voting education, and providing loans to affordable housing developments. 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 6:30pm in the Council Chambers in City Hall, 1 Frank Ogawa Plaza.

Thursday, March 18th 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 includes discussions of improving bicycle locker security, recommended bike/ped improvement projects for 2010-2011, E 12th St/38th  Ave Bikeway Design Review, and voting for BPAC Chair and Vice-Chair. 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, March 18th – 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. OFPC will discuss and finalized our chosen priorities, review the outline of our first Strategic Plan for Transforming the Oakland Food System, hear reports from each Work Group, hear about a few upcoming opportunities, then hear a presentation from an outside speaker, and take public comments. The meeting will be held from 5:00 – 7:30 pm at 150 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, 3rd Floor, Mayor’s Large Conference Room. Find out more about OFPC at their website.

Friday, March 19th – Ecstasy Reception (San Francisco)

It’s rare that I promote San Francisco events here, but this Friday there will be a reception for Ecstasy, the incredible sculpture created by Oakland artists Dan Das Mann and Karen Cusolito, who I’ve written about here several times before. Join the community in celebration with live music by IGBA MMOH African Drummers and Gaucho Gypsy Jazz, light refreshments and more! The reception takes place from 4-7pm at Patricia’s Green, at Octavia and Hayes St, San Francisco. If you can’t make it on Friday, you can check out the Black Rock Arts Foundation funded sculpture anytime between now and June 18th. Here’s a photo from a collection of photos of the installation of Ecstasy:

Friday, March 19th – 3rd Annual We LOVE Old Oakland Fundraiser

Come out, support and celebrate Old Oakland’s amazing live/work neighborhood, multi-generational families, local businesses and community partners! Meet the founders of 10,000 Steps, an urban parks stewardship & history project including Lafayette Square & Jefferson Square Parks. Purchase food & drink specials sponsored by Linden Street Brewery, Metro Bay Realty & La Borinqueña Mex-icatessen benefiting Old Oakland Neighbors, a grassroots community group. Early Bird attendees will receive a packet of It’s a Grind French Roast coffee (makes 40oz). This event takes place from 5:00pm – 9:00pm at La Borinqueña Mex-icatessen, 582 7th Street @ Jefferson. For more info and to RSVP, see the Facebook event page.

Friday, March 19th-Sunday, March 21st – Destiny Arts Youth Performance Company production of Asylum

The internationally regarded model of youth arts and violence prevention organizations, Destiny Arts Center in Oakland, marks the beginning of its third decade as a creative community epicenter with the world premiere of Asylum, a movement/theater work created by the young artists of the Destiny Arts Youth Performance Company. Created in collaboration with Artistic Directors Sarah Crowell and Rashidi Omari and acclaimed Bay Area performing arts professionals, the full-length work features hip-hop dance and music, theater, spoken word, modern dance, aerial dance, video backdrop art, rap and a cast of over 40 talented youth ages 7 to 18. Asylum frames the current state of world affairs as a circus turned inside out, where heroes are questionable and villains run free. It is a powerful glimpse into how young Americans see  the state of the world and what can be done about it. Shows start at 7:30pm on Friday and Saturday, and at 2pm on Sunday at Laney College Theater, 900 Fallon St, Oakland. For more info and to buy tickets, visit the Destiny Arts website.

Saturday, March 20th – AC Transit Service Change Information Table

As you may already know, on Sunday, March 28, AC Transit will be implementing major service changes that affect almost every bus line in its service area. To give you an opportunity to pick up helpful materials about the changes and to ask questions, AC Transit has set up a series of Community Information Tables at public locations from Richmond to Fremont. This Tuesday, there will be an information table set up from 9am-2pm at the Grand Lake Farmer’s Market at the corner of Grand & Lake Park Aves. It’s accessible by lines 12, 13, 57, and NL.

Special budget meetings, where good ideas go to die

16 Feb

Tonight, the Oakland City Council will have yet another special budget meeting. Somehow, in just one hour, they’re expected to make progress on the seemingly unending and ever-growing budget gap that the City faces.

I’m getting sick of these budget meetings. They seem increasingly pointless, because not only do they keep getting delayed and then no decisions are made at them, but when councilmembers do offer substantive ideas at these meetings, they seem to be talking to themselves since their ideas are almost never incorporated into subsequent budget proposals.

The December 17th budget meeting, for example, mostly consisted of a depressing procession of public speakers explaining why one program or another shouldn’t be cut. Then the councilmembers went on and on about what a bad situation the City is and wondered how they’d ever get out of it. But there were also a couple of legitimate revenue raising ideas proposed by Councilmembers Rebecca Kaplan and Ignacio De La Fuente.

Kaplan proposed an increase of billboards, an increase in medical cannabis dispensaries, and licensing of medical cannabis grow operations:

De La Fuente proposed selling golf courses (which Max Allstadt had proposed in his public comments earlier that morning):

Fast forward to the current budget proposal – none of these ideas are incorporated or even mentioned. So someone please tell me, what is the point of these budget meetings? Is it just a place for the public and Council to vent? Or a place where good ideas go to die?

I’ll be attending the meeting tonight to ask staff and the Council why these substantive ideas were completely ignored. If you’d like to join me, the meeting runs from 5-6pm in the Council Chambers in City Hall, 1 Frank Ogawa Plaza. You can also watch online via KTOP.

February 15-21 Oakland Political & Community Events

14 Feb

Tuesday, February 16th – Oakland City Council Special Budget Meeting & Regular Council Meeting

This Tuesday, there are two Council meetings – the regular Council meeting preceded by a special budget meeting. As V Smoothe explained, the new budget proposal is mostly tricks and some cuts, and though based on past meetings, it’s unlikely that anything will actually get decided, it’s important to attend and weigh in. As for the regular Council meeting, it looks like a short agenda, but there are some contentious items that will ensure the Council stays in session until late in the night. Among them are the awarding a $30 million contract for parking citation and revenue collection, exempting certain positions from the hiring freeze, and the awarding of Workforce Investment Board contracts. See the budget meeting agenda and the regular 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 budget meeting is scheduled to run from 5pm-6pm (which sounds ridiculously short to me) and the non-ceremonial parts of the regular Council meeting start at 7pm. Both meetings will be held in the Council Chambers in City Hall, 1 Frank Ogawa Plaza.

Wednesday, February 17th – Planning Commission Hearing on Bus Rapid Transit

After years of mostly Berkeley meetings about AC Transit’s bus rapid transit (BRT) project, Oakland is finally going to discuss it’s locally preferred alternative. If you support BRT, please come to this meeting or submit comments ahead of time – this project is incredibly important to the future of Oakland. The Planning Commission meeting will be held on Wednesday, July 15th at 6:00 pm in Hearing Room 1, City Hall, 1 Frank Ogawa Plaza and the full agenda can be read here. You can read more about the BRT proposal in the staff report and at OaklandBRT.com.

Thursday, February 18thBART Police Department Review Committee Meeting

The BART Police Department Review Committee will meet at 9:00 a.m. in the BART Board Room, which is located in the Kaiser Center 20th Street Mall, Third Floor, 344 20th St., Oakland, CA.

Thursday, February 18th 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 includes discussions of median modifications on MacArthur Blvd at Richmond Blvd, the bicycle and pedestrian facilities program one-year plan, I [BIKE] Oakland 2010 Bikeways Map design review, and nominations for BPAC Chair and Vice-Chair. 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.

Friday, February 19th WOBO Presents: An Evening with Willie Weir

Join Walk Oakland Bike Oakland to hear Willie bring to life tales from his latest book Travels with Willie that will have you chuckling and leave you wanting to chuck your day job and hit the road. Bicycling magazine says, ‘Travels with Willie is one of the rare bike books that gets it right.’ Weir is a columnist for Adventure Cyclist magazine and a cycling commentator for public radio station KUOW in Seattle. His bicycle travels have taken him around the globe–including such ‘off the tourist path’ destinations as India, South Africa, Bosnia, Laos and Colombia. Tickets: $5 WOBO members, $10 non-members. Special $25 annual WOBO membership (including event ticket) will be available at the door. The book Travels with Willie will be available for purchase for $15 (cash only). All ticket revenue and a portion of book sales will benefit WOBO. This event takes place from 6:30-8:30pm at Oakland Humanist Hall (390 27th Street, between Telegraph & Broadway). For more info, visit WOBO’s website.

Saturday, February 20th – Jane Brunner’s October Community Advisory Meeting: “How Can We as Individuals, and as a City, Address Climate Change?”

This month’s community meeting features Garrett Fitzgerald, City of Oakland Sustainability Coordinator and Emily Kirsch, Oakland Climate Action Coalition. Instead of a typical question and answer period, the meeting will be using the “World Café” approach, breaking up into small groups and intensively discussing our different perspectives on climate change, and our ideas for action we can take. This meeting will be held from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon at Peralta Elementary School, 460 63rd Street. To learn more, call 238-7001.

Saturday, February 20th – Oaklandish Tour De Taco

Hosted by Cyrus Farivar of californiatacotrucks.com and the East Bay Bike Coalition, the Oaklandish Tour De Taco is a gastronomical quest on wheels through the Fruitvale district of Oakland. Whether you’re a taco truck veteran or a mobile food newb, the Oaklandish Tour De Taco is not to be missed. Bring: Bike, helmet, camera, $10-15 for tacos, maybe $5-$10 for ice cream/beer. Bring your friends, your bikes, and an empty stomach to Fruitvale BART, Saturday, February 20th at 11:00am. For more info and the full list of taco trucks to be visited, visit the Facebook event page.

Saturday, February 20th – “DO IT FOR HAITI” A Monumental Benefit and Clothing Drive

“DO IT FOR HAITI” offers a staggering roster of performers and a unique opportunity to support Haiti relief efforts, learn first hand about local organizations working in Haiti and get involved with organizations making a difference on the ground. Events will feature performances and live music including socially relevant theater, Afro-Haitian music and dance, monumental sculpture and art events for children. The event runs from 2:00-11:55pm at NIMBY – 8410 Amelia Street, Oakland CA 94621, which is BART accessible and has bicycle and car parking available. Admission: $10 (children under 12 free). Donations of summer weight clothing for children and adults will be accepted on site. For more info, including the full lineup of artists, see the Facebook event page.

Saturday, February 20th – Obama Campaign Documentary Viewing

Join Organizing for America to honor and commemorate the historic election of President Obama and celebrate the work we did together during his first year in office. We’ll watch the HBO documentary, By the People: the Election of Barack Obama, and plan our work in the coming year. We all need to recommit ourselves to supporting the President and making the change we voted for a reality. Movie starts promptly at 5:30. Barbecue before and after! The event runs from 5-8pm at Everett and Jones, 126 Broadway (corner of 2nd). RSVP and find more info at the event’s website.