Tag Archives: OPD

April 20-25 Oakland Political & Community Events

19 Apr

Monday, April 20th – City Visions Radio presents “What’s Next for Oakland’s Downtown – Ten Years After the 10K Project”

So the title of this show sounds pretty inacuous and interesting – I think it’s a good idea to reflect back on former plans to see how they went. But the description I received from the producer and the one on their website are a bit overboard, calling the current situation a “crisis” and ominously stating: “But now units are standing empty, with potential buyers unable to get mortgages, while other projects are in limbo as developers struggle to keep solvent.” Look, we all know that units are empty in the DTO, but they’re also empty throughout the city (and the state, and the country). We’re in the middle of an economic crisis and it seems unfair to look at the DTO in a vaccum and to blame the vacancies on the 10K plan alone. And nowhere in the description of the show did it mention the enormous success of entertainment venues, bars and restaurants in dowtown over the past few years so I hope they won’t gloss over that. Oh well, guess we’ll just have to wait and hear how it goes tomorrow. The show will run from 7-8 pm and you can call in with questions and comments to (415) 841-4134 or email questions to feedback@cityvisionsradio.com. Tune in at City Visions Radio, 91.7 FM, KALW or online at www.cityvisionsradio.com.

Monday, April 20th – Budget Town Hall

This will be the second of three budget town halls the City is hosting throughout Oakland in the next few weeks to get feedback from residents on the budget and budget cuts. V Smoothe wrote some background info on the budget, and I couldn’t agree more with her take on these town halls: “Go to the town halls and go to the budget meetings and tell them what your priorities are. If you don’t, I guarantee, somebody else will, and you can take a wild guess who’s more likely to get what they want.” This town hall will be held from 6:30-8pm at Edna Brewer Middle School (tentative location), 3745 13th Avenue (at Park).

Tuesday, April 21st – Oakland City Council Meeting

Taxes, taxes, taxes!!! That’s a pretty good summary of what the Council will be addressing this Tuesday night. They’ll be considering raising the sales tax, placing a special tax on gross revenues of cannabis sales, a creating a new parcel tax on park maintenance and landscaping, and amending the property transfer tax. And if they get through all those taxes before 2am, they also will be discussing some other issues, like the East Oakland private security pilot program. 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, and if you’d like to see the meeting in person, head to the Council Chambers in City Hall, 1 Frank Ogawa Plaza.

Tuesday, April 21st – Walk Oakland Bike Oakland Monthly Meeting

Join WOBO as we prepare for Bike to Work Day, May 14th! We need your help to get ready for WOBO’s energizer stations, as well as to support the 1,000 participants expected throughout the O. We will be prepping materials and making plans to set up, staff, and take down our two energizer stations at 27th & Broadway and Oak and 14th St (right at the corner of Lake Merritt). We hope you can make it, and that you are ready. Check the WOBO website for information and a link to our BTWD volunteer Google doc. This meeting will be held from 6:30-8:30 pm at Bay Area Wilderness Training, 2301 Broadway, Suite B – enter on 23rd Street. For more info, visit WOBO’s website.

Wednesday, April 22nd – Central Estuary Plan Community Workshop #2

Via City Homestead: “The second meeting is coming up for the Central Estuary Plan, which is designed to build a vision and provide a framework to support development and enhancement of the Estuary from Adeline Street to 66th Avenue. The project examines land use along the Estuary and the associated environmental, economic, quality of life and health-related impacts. This month you’ll have a chance to discuss the vision and the healthy development of the area, according to the website. I didn’t go to the first meeting, but luckily the folks over at Oakland Streets did, so you can read up on it there. (The CEDA website also includes meeting presentations and other materials.” For another take on the first meeting, check out Tom Thurston’s post at A Better Oakland and the extensive discussion that followed. The meeting will be held from 7-9pm at The Unity Council, Fruitvale-San Antonio Senior Center, 3301 East 12th Street, Suite 201 (Fruitvale Transit Village).

Thursday, April 23rd – Harrison Street/Oakland Avenue Community-Based Transportation Plan

Via City Homestead: “This is the second meeting for this project, too. (Future Oakland has a post about the first meeting.) The Caltrans-funded plan looks at Harrison Street and Oakland Avenue from the Piedmont border to Grand Avenue.  DC&E consultants and city staff will be presenting alternatives for the corridor to address access and safety for pedestrians, bicycle facility improvements, traffic calming, I-580 signage and modified access, and AC Transit stop improvements.” I’m very interested in this planning process but unfortunately cannot make it to this meeting so if you attend, please share how it went. The meeting will be held from 6-8pm at Westlake Middle School Gym, 2629 Harrison Street (at 27th).

Sunday, April 25th – Tribute Show for OPD Officers at the Uptown

Via Angela Woodall: “On Sunday, April 26th at 5PM, the Uptown Nightclub will be hosting a benefit/tribute event featuring live music and entertainment acts with all door proceeds benefiting the four families of the recently slain OPD officers. This event is being done with the blessing and support of the Oakland Police Officers Association.” Entertainment for the evening will include the Badmen, Charlie Roman & the Teenage Werewolves, Borstal Holiday, and Special Guests. The Uptown is located at 1928 Telegraph, and they’re asking for a $10 donation.

More destruction, more businesses to support

15 Jan

Earlier this week, I felt very concerned about the Oscar Grant protest that was to take place last night. Though I knew the organizers meant well and would attempt to keep the peace, a smaller faction of protesters was distributing this flyer, featuring an image of a brick breaking through a window.

I got so worried that I emailed the flyer to Council Members Nadel and Kaplan, as well as the Mayor’s office. I would have emailed it directly to the Oakland Police Department, but, of course, there’ s no email address to be found on their website.

I received responses from all three offices almost immediately. Nancy Nadel promised to forward it to OPD. Rebecca Kaplan forwarded me a message from the protest organizers that explained how they were training hundreds of volunteers to provide security for the protest. The Mayor’s office responded, promising that they were working closely with OPD and the protest organizers to ensure that there would not be a repeat of the destruction that happened last week.

So I started to think – maybe it’s going to be different. Maybe OPD learned from their mistakes and would be able to stop destruction before it started or at least before it became widespread. I left my office at 6pm and saw police everywhere, and not just randomly walking around. They clearly were in a pre-planned formation, blocking off certain streets.

I walked over to Radio and felt pretty safe, though I did keep watching the clock, still having some apprehension that when the planned protest ended at 7:00, chaos would follow. And unfortunately, that’s exactly what happened. A small fringe group refused to leave the 14th and Broadway intersection and moved into City Center, where they smashed many windows with all sorts of objects.

I heard about this happening and sat tight at Radio until it had calmed down enough that I felt safe to walk to the bus stop. I actually didn’t realize how bad it had been until I turned on the news when I got home and saw the widespread destruction.

With some help, today I updated the list of businesses that were vandalized on January 7th, adding the businesses that were hit last night. It’s a bit overwhelming to see just how extensive the list is and how geographically widespread the businesses are.

I hope you will join the effort to support these businesses. You can visit them anytime, or you can join the group on Yelp that is organizing an outing tomorrow (Friday night). Also, Oakland merchants are joining together this Saturday, the 17th, to support businesses on 17th Street. The street will be closed to car traffic and it sounds like it will be a fun afternoon.

Fund Oakland Journalism through Spot.Us

12 Dec

The blogoaksphere has been busy this week debating the merits of the reporting in our local papers and appreciating the incredible work done by Oakland bloggers. It’s clear to me that both paid journalists at newspapers and bloggers are necessary to provide complete coverage of Oakland, but there’s a new project that provides yet another way for stories to be told.

It’s called Spot.Us, and it’s a project of the Center for Media Change that is:

an open source project, to pioneer “community funded reporting.” Through Spot.Us the public can commission journalists to do investigations on important and perhaps overlooked stories. All donations are tax deductible and if a news organization buys exclusive rights to the content, your donation will be reimbursed. Otherwise, all content is made available to all through a Creative Commons license. It’s a marketplace where independent reporters, community members and news organizations can come together and collaborate.

I had heard about Spot.Us a little while ago but am newly excited about the project because there are a couple Oakland focus pitches that have been submitted.

Alex Gronke, who publishes OakBook, made a pitch for a story on “Oakland Police Blues.” If his pitch is funded, he will research and write a story about what’s wrong with OPD. He hopes to:

arrive at a deeper understanding of what ails OPD, what internal culture gives rise to the failings described above. This is not the sort of reporting that is likely to turn up evidence of concealed wrongdoing, but rather it seeks to shine a light on problems that are hiding in plain sight.

The other Oakland focused pitch is by Maya Mirsky, and it asks, “Is the East Bay prepared for an earthquake?” Now if you read V Smoothe’s post a few months ago about eartquakes and the thread of comments following it, you’ll probably know that the short answer to this question is NO. But Maya is looking to dig a bit deeper to answer these questions:

What actually would happen in an earthquake and/or fire? How many people are expected to die? What can police, fire and other first responders actually do? What do city agencies want residents to take their own responsibility for? How feasible are things like the walkie talkie network in the Oakland-Berkeley hills or emergency training cells? What can communication technology do to help?

Both of these pitches sound like they could lead to important stories that aren’t being told elsewhere. So if you’d like to chip in to fund these pitches, visit Spot.Us to fund Alex’s or Maya’s pitches.