Monday, June 6, 2016

President of Oakland City Council replies to Marvin X and the Tale of the Eloquent Peasant


As I've previously shared and you've acknowledged, we will resume the culture keeper work after we complete the time sensitive Affordable Housing and Budget work that's underway.  Ultimately good policy requires the focused attention of the City Administration, which comes down to four people.  It is not possible for us to initiate the next steps in the banner contest, securing funding etc. at this time.

I'm sure you and others on this thread are fully aware that the Council, Administrator and City Attorney are extremely dedicated to fulfilling our commitment to completing the work we began with the adoption of the Housing Equity Roadmap within the rental moratorium.  This essentially condensed what might have taken 120-150 days to 90 days.  In addition to those critical efforts, the Council is also considering revisions to police oversight.  Both of these matters require intense research by the City Attorney and analysis by the City Administration.

I am fully committed to bringing our collective vision of a robust Black Arts Movement and Business District to fruition.  As you know, I had begun working on this vision when I first took office in 2013.  When I met you in 2014 I thought it beneficial to combine the vision for the Black Arts, Tech and Business District with your vision of a Black Arts Movement district.  After completing my initial research we convened a series of meetings in the Fall of 2015 that led to the successful unanimous decision to name the district.  Those who attended the Black Culture Keeper meetings will recall that we intentionally established the District with a 3 phase process:  1) naming & defining (complete);  2) establishing the legal structure for fundraising and management; 3) Fundraising & Programming.  

Thank you for your support in promoting the independent, on-going work of businesses and artists that are in the BAMBD (eg. MCFTA, Betti Ono, JoyceGordon Gallery, Geoffrey's Inner Circle).  I believe it is important to continue to highlight these institutions are there programming. I am also pleased that Dr. Nzinga is working with the BAM supporters in cultivating additional interests and ideas to contribute to the furthering the City's investment in the BAMBD.  I continue to hear from a broad group of business leaders and artists and expect that the final structure will be one that establishes a strong foundation for future funding and will reflect the diversity of African arts, business and culture that is uniquely Oakland.

During my next convening, I will review what we have learned about the next steps and report on our early progress for preserving two of the existing institutions, namely the Malonga and the Oak Center Cultural Center.  I hope that we will have learned what's needed to initiate the contest for the banner design and have a scope for costs that will enable us to place the banners along the 14th Street Corridor.

In the meanwhile, my staff and I continue to research other cultural districts throughout the nation, work to define and introduce legislation designed to protect cultural institutions, explore how best to address the need for film, art and entertainment commissions and revisions to the noise ordinances to protect churches from harassment.

We have a lot of work to do and our success is predicated upon our ability to work methodically, strategically and with a strong sense of prioritization.  At present our focus is on housing and police accountability measures which must be decided upon in the very near future.

Thank you for your continued support.  I look forward to our next discussion.

Kind regards, Lynette

Sent by Lynette Gibson McElhaney from my personal iPad
President, Legacies Leadership Group
Training Leaders for a Changing World
Certified John Maxwell Team Mentor/Speaker/Coach

Committee to Re-elect McElhaney for City Council 2016
Marissa Quaranta, Treasurer FPPC #1375179

On Jun 5, 2016, at 6:56 PM, Marvin X wrote:

In the manner of the character in the Tale of the Eloquent Peasant, Marvin X has pleaded with Oakland City Hall to acknowledge the Black Arts Movement Business District by displaying the Black Liberation flag along 14th Street downtown Oakland. He has pleaded to have vendors along the corridor; to place certain properties in the district such as the Malonga Cultural Center under a land trust; to entitle those persons living in SRO hotels with the life estate to help eliminate homelessness.
So let us go down memory lane to Egypt, 1800BC, to the Tale of the Eloquent Peasant.
Marvin X has repeatedly appealed to Oakland's African Queen, Lynette McElhaney, President of the Oakland City Council. but to no avail.
photo Adam Turner

Marvin X also appealed to Pharaoh Libby Schaaf, Mayor of Oakland
photo Jahahara

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