Tag Archives: Courage Campaign

What happened? And what’s next?

21 May

My girlfriend’s graduating from UC Berkeley tomorrow so I’ll be busy with family and friends for the next few days and posting will be light here. I wanted to tie up some loose ends before the weekend though.

So now that the not-so-special election is over and all the meaningful initiatives went down, I know a lot of people are asking, “What’s next?” Well, to start off with, Assemblywoman Noreen Evans, who chairs the Assembly Budget Committee, created this awesome video that explains the real problems the state has with budgeting and debunks several myths (via Calitics):

Senate and Assembly leaders Darrel Steinberg and Karen Bass have outlined what the budget process is going to look like this time around. The process starts immediately, as in today, and sounds more inclusive than the previous process. I encourage you to follow the budget, as it will have serious effects on Oakland. The best way to follow it is via Calitics or Capital Notes. Also, if readers are interested, I may do some coverage here.

Beyond this year’s budget, it’s clear that we need to make some serious changes in California. Courage Campaign has offered up three steps to fix California:

STEP ONE: Restore democracy and accountability in our budget process — majority vote for budgets
STEP TWO: Restore responsible taxation of the wealthy and corporations
STEP THREE: Call for a Constitutional Convention

They’ve already started an online petition for a majority vote budget, which you can sign here. As for the Constitutional Convention, the Bay Area Council has a website up dedicated to making that happen.

Back to Oakland – You’re probably wondering what has happened in the Uptown parking lot saga. Unfortunately, I don’t have much news for you. Staff wrote and submitted the art proposal, but I haven’t heard what’s happened since. Hopefully I’ll have a more definitive update next week. (Thanks to dto510 for keeping me updated on this.)

I ran into the blogger who writes the Overhead Wire yesterday on my way home from work, and he wanted to know what happened with the TOD grant I discussed on Monday. Well, Larry Reid (along with two other members of the council) didn’t come to the council meeting on Tuesday, and the item thankfully stayed on the consent calendar. This means that Oakland is accepting the grant to study transit-oriented development along International, and TransForm will do a stellar job working with them on this.

If you missed last week’s BART board meeting on the Oakland Airport Connector, you can now listen to it in its entirety. Scott Mace has taken it upon himself to record every BART meeting. You can check out the recordings on his blog. Thanks Scott for this awesome service! Now if we could just find someone to do the same for AC Transit board meetings.

And one last thing – next week I’m finally going to post the results of the Living in the O survey. So if you haven’t taken it yet, now’s your last chance.

On May 19th, vote no, no, no, no, no, no!

16 May

For most elections, I bring a cheat sheet with me to the polls to remind myself what each initiative means and how to vote on them. Next Tuesday will be easy though, since I’m voting no on Props 1A-1F.

I had hoped to write a detailed endorsement post explaining why I’m voting down the legislature’s and governor’s entire package, but I just haven’t gotten around to it (you can blame BART for keeping me busy). Luckily, my colleagues over at Calitcs wrote up an excellent endorsement post that I completely agree with. Check it out.

Not sure if you trust Calitics? Well, that’s ok because the Courage Campaign put together a chart of endorsements of Democratic and progressive groups from around the state. Print it out, and take it to the polls.

My fellow region 6 delegates voting for no endorsement on 1A.

My fellow region 6 delegates voting for no endorsement on 1A.

You’ll notice in Courage Campaign’s guide that the California Democratic Party stayed neutral on 1A, 1D, and 1E, which I consider to be the three worst initiatives in the package. I was at the CDP convention, and I can tell you that getting no endorsement on those was not a small feat. Democratic legislative leaders were lobbying hard throughout the convention, and during the floor vote, Senators Darrell Steinberg and Mark Leno resorted to equating opponents of the props with the Howard Jarvis Association and Grover Norquist.

But their efforts weren’t enough to stifle the grassroots energy that lead to the CDP taking no position on 1A, 1D, and 1E. In particular, 1A came down to a 22 vote margin, and I think some of the credit for this win should be given to my fellow Assembly District 16 delegates. We met the weekend before the convention and decided to create No on 1A stickers and flyers to pass out at the convention, and some of my fellow delegates worked their assesses off all weekend, giving out stickers and talking to delegates from around the state. I especially want to thank Dan Wood and Mario Juarez, who lead this effort.

It just goes to show that a few committed people can make a huge difference, and sometimes the margin of victory is very thin. So please go to the polls on Tuesday and vote no all the way down the ballot.

Party with Rebecca Kaplan & the Courage Campaign

1 May

Tomorrow night, Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan and the Courage Campaign are hosting a party to celebrate the grassroots movement for marriage equality. In case you’re unfamiliar with them, the Courage Campaign is an awesome organization that pushes for progressive change in California. I was lucky enough to meet several of their staff members last weekend at the California Democratic Party Convention, and besides being incredible activists, they’re also know how to have fun.

So RSVP and stop by on Saturday night to find out more about their work and to enjoy a night out in Uptown Oakland.

Councilwoman Rebecca Kaplan, The Courage Campaign, Human Rights Campaign Fund, CREDO Mobile, and the Dolby Family

Invite you to a community reception with special guest Rev. Eric Lee, Chairman/President of the California Christian Leadership Conference and Author of “Proposition 8: The California Divide”

May 2nd 7:00pm to 9:00pm
Vibe Lounge, 2330 Telegraph Ave, Oakland CA 94612

“Marriage equality is a civil rights issue.  Anytime one group of people is denied the rights another group of people enjoy, it is fundamentally a denial of civil rights.” –  Rev Eric Lee

Join Courage Campaign and Camp Courage Bay Area staff, facilitators, participants and our significant others and friends, as we celebrate our work to build a grassroots army for marriage equality AND congratulate Rev. Eric Lee on the release of his book.  Rev. Lee will be signing his new book, Proposition 8: The California Divide at the reception.