By Melvin Cowan
Advisory Board Member, The East Oakland Collective
Mission accomplished in bringing the community together, but there is still more work to be done! The East Oakland Collective teamed up with the East Oakland Boxing Association for the continuation of quarterly community town halls in deep East Oakland. On March 14, 2017, EOC and EOBA partnered with the City of Oakland to host Mayor Libby Schaaf and staff to educate and discuss Oakland's budget and funding priorities for 2017-2019.
We had a packed house of concerned and engaged East Oakland residents ready to learn about the City's 2017-19 budget process and current fiscal status. If we're not a budget priority we and our needs are seen as less relevant (nonexistent), in comparison to other City needs and or issues that receive overwhelming advocacy and monetary support.
When looking at Oakland's Budget like most city budgets, it can seem complicated and feel overwhelming. There is support. It's important to understand how certain programs and services are funded. We waste our time and energies advocating for resources in areas or with agencies that are not designed to offer support for our particular interests.
What we can do as a community.
This is the time to ask questions, get active, and speak to the needs of your communities. It's important that we ally where we can to magnify our voices and we need to be smart with our money. It's better to invest our resources in companies, initiatives, systems, and individuals that we have the ability to hold accountable and will support the needs and interests our most vulnerable.
It's March, on May 1st the Oakland City Administrator will release the Mayor's proposes budget on the City's website. City Council will have until June 30 to approve a balanced budget. Council members are expected to have Town Halls during that time to make sure that community input is being collected and factored. If we're not there and speaking for our communities, we lose power and credibility when we speak about concerns with the Government after the fact.
We have about 90 days to educate ourselves, educate our people, educate our legislators and work together create support for our communities.
You don't have to be an expert on budgets to hold a budget town hall. All you need is a team of committed residents, a venue, the support of your City's leadership or a representative, individuals that can speak about the issues and particulars of the budget focusing on the needs of your community, someone willing to take ownership of coordinating next steps, food, and most importantly the community.
We've come together to support the interest and needs of our community. We don't have the shoe strings for a shoe string budget. But, we have one another and love for our people. The process isn't perfect, but we have to start and regardless we have to act. The future of our young, families, neighbors, and place in Oakland yet to come is at stake.
I can't stress how important it is for us to come together on this. It's going to take all of us and we will need to be diligent about supporting one another and holding one another accountable. No one is exempt. 90 days, let's get busy! We got this!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
November 11, 2016
Candice Elder, Founder
The East Oakland Collective
Bringing Our Voices
A listening session bringing together underserved residents of color residing in East Oakland to talk challenges, issues and changes they want to see in their communities.
Oakland (December 5, 2016) - The East Oakland Collective has been awarded grants from All In Alameda County and Akonadi Foundation and is pleased to host “Bringing Our Voices,” a community listening session bringing together underserved residents of color from East Oakland to voice their opinions and concerns about the issues impacting their daily lives. “Bringing Our Voices” takes place on Monday, December 5, 5-6:30 pm at Youth Uprising located at 8711 MacArthur Blvd., Oakland, CA. Dinner will be provided and the event is free to the public.
Native Oakland resident Candice Elder, founded The East Oakland Collective in January of 2016 after witnessing the looming possibility of gentrification in her neighborhood and how many communities and populations of people of color in East Oakland are still underserved. “How information gets to communities of color and who from our community is invited to sit at the table to discuss issues has always been problematic. This listening session will bridge that gap by giving underserved populations, especially communities of color residing in deep East Oakland, a chance to have their voices heard,” stated Candice Elder.
The outcome of the listening session is to learn what’s working well in the community, and what community residents would like to see changed. By documenting community voices, The East Oakland Collective along with its partners and community members, will continue to push the City of Oakland to create policy and ignite change around issues such as poverty, access to resources, education, policing, mass incarceration and more, that deeply affect people of color in Oakland, especially in East Oakland.
The East Oakland Collective is proud to partner with Youth Uprising on the listening session as "Youth Uprising has been an institution in East Oakland for over 11 years,” stated Aida Mariam, Director of Community Leadership. Aida further adds that Youth Uprising is “committed to transforming our community while building power and capacity in our leaders. We are very excited to join The East Oakland Collective in this listening session, particularly because we are committed to learning and listening from our young people and neighbors."
To RSVP for “Bringing Our Voices” listening session visit, https://bringingourvoices.eventbrite.com.
About The East Oakland Collective
The East Oakland Collective is a cohort of millennials invested in working towards a better future for the underserved populations and communities of color in East Oakland.
Our mission is to be engagers in the community and leaders in civic engagement through service and involvement in the landscape, politics and economic climate of East Oakland. To learn more about The East Oakland Collective, visit www.eastoaklandcollective.com