Thursday, October 29, 2015

President of the Oakland City Council, Lynette McElhaney, replies to Marvin X on BAM District

Lynette McElhaney
 Lynette McElhaney, President of the Oakland City Council

Marvin,

We need African Americans to show up and lean in to this process.  Sitting outside the building looking in at the process but not weighing in means people are self-excluding.  We ought not be satisfied with being victimized as your post suggests.  We have power.  We have influence.....if we will wield it.

The announcements for this plan have been placed in the newspaper, sent out on social media, announced by the Councilmembers, placed on blogs, ads in the Post, and mailed to those who live in the area.  Additional outreach through the professional associations.

You are a leader.  It would be fantastic to have you lead people into the meeting, bring them with you and weigh in.  I have negotiated an extension of the comment period.  Everyone who is interested should go online and make their comments.  And as soon as we secure a date/location, I am bringing the cherette team to a West Oakland location since much of what residents have asked me to do is to re-connect West Oakland to downtown, provide better shopping and job opportunities for local residents.

No process is perfect.  I have plenty of complaints about how the City of Oakland runs.  But I also, as a citizen and now as an elected, have to hold myself accountable.  The American system is supposed by to a system by the people, for the people.  This means that the people have to do their part to read, connect, weigh in and stay informed and spread the word.

Please be sure to continue to amplify your voices.  Let us know what you want to see in the plan (be sure to go online where the information is being captured) http://www2.oaklandnet.com/Government/o/PBN/OurServices/Plans/OAK051133

Let's all be about manifesting the outcome we desire.  Let's not permit our collective injury from past violations keep us from using our voices in a constructive way.  This plan is not being built in the backroom.  It's in front of you.  You know about it.  So, do like the folk who showed up last night - get involved.  Speak up.  Stand up.  Lean in.  And, do your part to make sure the voices of our people are heard - not shouting from outside the building; come take a seat at the table and let's get this done.

Thank you, Lynette

Notes from Marvin X on Plan Oakland Meeting at Paramount Theatre

<b>Downtown</b> <b>Oakland</b> Ca

If last nights Plan Oakland meeting at the Paramount Theatre is an indication of the role North American Africans will play in the City of Oakland, we are in deep deep trouble. Whites were the majority present so we know, despite pronouncements to the contrary, it is very likely their plans for the future of this city will prevail and predominate.

After spending over two hours at the event to discuss Plan Oakland, there was almost no mention of a plan for North American Africans in the downtown area, although we are proposing the Black Arts Movement Culture and Economic District for the 14th Street corridor.

In her remarks, Lynette McElhaney, President of the Oakland City Council, did announce an upcoming meeting with Black artists, although the comment period had expired. She has extended the comment period so our views can be included. Ironically, President McElhaney had promised to proclaim the Black Arts Movement District once she was inaugurated in January. We are perhaps guilty of not keeping pressure on her to fulfill her promise.

We know power concedes nothing without demands, especially when politicians discover other priorities. So we shall see if President McElhaney will get back on track with the proposal for the Black Arts Movement District. As she noted in her remarks, if you don't have a plan, others will have one for you. Thus, it would be wise for Oakland's North American Africans to attend the upcoming meeting for our input, otherwise the Plan Oakland for the downtown area will not include us, as per p usual.

At the Paramount, two Black developers gave a slide presentation and decried the minimal input of North American African expertise in building the downtown area in particular and the general development of Oakland. Yet he tell of how his mentor, Tom Berkley, developed the first container port in America at the Port of Oakland.

In short, unless we step to the front of the line and make some noise, don't expect inclusion in Plan Oakland for the downtown area or any other part of Oakland. As you know, we are being gentrified from the city limits, although there was mention of plans for housing development that included below market rate residences.

It was suggested Oakland follow the San Francisco proposition for a moratorium on development and evictions in the Mission District. It was suggested Oakland have a proposition O to slow gentrification, although we know gentrification is occurring coast to coast as whites invade traditional minority neighborhoods to grab land and real estate, displacing the ghetto residents with that great pseudo white liberal smile. They will even claim to support Black Lives Matter while simultaneously grabbing all the ghetto real estate or forcing eviction with insane rent increases. We understand the only reason San Francisco's Tenderloin District has not suffered gentrification is only due to community organization. North American Africans in Oakland must get organized or you will be displaced!
--Marvin X, Planner
Black Arts Movement
10/29/15

Please sign this petition: Black Arts Movement Cultural District for downtown Oakland


1 comment:

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