Today Oakland is a model city that has pulled together to create a new future for all its citizens. Part 4

Jonah Melvon & Adesha will join the Art & Soul Festival this year. The most ethnically diverse fun festival on the West Coast. Great music, great food, great art and good vibes.

The citizens were ready for the change. It started to gentrify without pushing out locals. The East Bay Times reports that the Fruitvale district is a great example that this is possible: “Schildt said it’s possible to invest in a community without causing displacement — particularly if it’s public investment or community-driven. Oakland’s Fruitvale Village is held up as a national model. As Scott Morris reports, the mixed-use development near Fruitvale BART improved the socio-economic well-being of residents in the immediate neighborhood and preserved the area’s racial and ethnic diversity.”

Today 38% of people in Oakland hold secondary degrees, crime is down to the same level as San Francisco, aside of Long Beach California it is the most racially mixed town in the world. When researching the most crime ridden towns in the US no California town made it into the top 30 most dangerous towns in the US. Niche voted Oakland as the 26th best US city to live in.

How did Oakland do it? This is the story that Oakland born and raised artists “Jonah Melvon featuring Adesha” wish to tell. Their song 1099 available on Spotify tells the story of how cities need to pull together to become whole again. Jonah Melvon works closely with business leaders and educational and community outreach organizations to bring about a spirit of “togetherness, love, peace and understanding.” Adesha works with the Boys and Girls Club as a Community Relations Manager. They have lived the story and they want to help cities around the world to help create living conditions that are pleasing for all ethnic groups. It can be done! Oakland is proof that it can be done.

Jonah Melvon believes, as his lyrics explain, that we all need to support local businesses, make education available and accessable to everyone who wishes to improve their lifestyle and take part of a thriving economy. In Oakland, Peralta Colleges came together to provide educational access to everyone at affordable rates. Businesses cleaned up neighborhoods and provide access to comfortable yet affordable housing. Charities pitched in with Kindergardens and Schools. When all people, regardless of ethnic background join forces to create a nice place to live, with compassionate support for those least among us, and businesses create access to well paying jobs through education, mentorships, classes cities can be reclaimed. Today WeWorks, General Assembly, Kickstart Coding, App Academy, Springboard, help young and mature people find ways to succeed.

Most importantly the soul based neighborhood spirit that teaches belief in each of our ability to participate in a thriving economy creates a new mindset. Love is the answer. Diversity is beautiful. By opening people’s minds through the Peralta Study Abroad Programs and by offering genuine assistance the East Bay and especially Oakland are becoming a thriving metropolis again. http://web.peralta.edu/foundation/scholarships-and-grants/

This program is immensely successful and has brought peace and prosperity through education to Oakland. The Peralta Study Abroad program brings students from around the world together and allows them to see the world, broadening their horizons while boosting their confidence.

We can do anything, when we work together. When political leaders, business leaders, eduational leaders, and religious leaders come together with the single purpose to lift up everyone of its citizens success is within reach.

Since 2010 Oakland is a new shining star showing its can do spirit. Now, Jonah Melvon and Adesha want to share how it happened. They want to bring the knowledge that celebration of life, work, and family can bring amazing results and lead to a thriving, safe town. They are supported by Drew Gephart, International Services Manager at the Peralta College Group of fine educational institutions. This group of Junior Colleges serve as feeder schools to UC Hayward, UC Berkeley and UC San Francisco. All we have to do is believe and then act on our beliefs.

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Jerry Brown leads Oakland and slowly the city changes to make Equality possible – Part 3

Oakland was named the most ethnically and economically diverse city

Oakland is the most diverse city in the country and the world.

Even before the city “hit bottom” Jerry Brown and business leaders stepped up to create a plan to fix the city. After a six year out of public service Brown returned to public life, serving as Mayor of Oakland (1999–2007). It took a lot of work to attract new investments. The police corruption that plagued cities all across California had to be dealt with.

A group of four corrupt police officers called “The Rough Riders” finally were dealt with after outrage grew too much that the city kept settling law suits to sweep the offences under the table. The clashes between the racially white police and the largely ethnic population caused much dissatisfaction and distortions about the way Oakland was perceived. Politico reported in their March/April issue of 2015: “Oakland’s cops, a legal advocate for victims of police abuse said at the time, might just be “the worst department in the country. Officer-involved shootings were frequent, and often fatal.” In continued: “Complaints of beatings, shakedowns and unwarranted arrests were rampant and cost the city dearly. All told, from 2001 to 2011, Oakland paid some $57 million for claims, lawsuits and settlements involving alleged misconduct by the Oakland Police Department—not just the largest sum paid by any municipality in California, but more than double what San Francisco, with roughly twice the population, paid in the same time frame. The police force seemed broken, brutal beyond repair.”

Accusations of corruption in Oakland were rampant in 2005 the FBI investigated Perata. The East Bay Times reported: Records show Perata’s son’s and daughter’s businesses have been paid at least $750,000 since 1999 by political committees under his direct control, even as Nick Perata and his businesses have been involved in real estate rentals and sales with his father. Also, Perata’s consulting business brought in more than $100,000 in 2003, and between $10,000 and $100,000 in each of the four years before that; his bigger clients during those years included his son’s business as well as two belonging to Staples. The case was stopped by Schwarzenegger’s call for a special election.

The citizens were ready for the change. It started to gentrify without pushing out locals. The East Bay Times reports that the Fruitvale district is a great example that this is possible: “Schildt said it’s possible to invest in a community without causing displacement — particularly if it’s public investment or community-driven. Oakland’s Fruitvale Village is held up as a national model. As Scott Morris reports, the mixed-use development near Fruitvale BART improved the socio-economic well-being of residents in the immediate neighborhood and preserved the area’s racial and ethnic diversity.”

Education in Trouble

Even in 2009 SF Gate reported that Schwarzenegger decided to California ranks 47th in per-pupil spending, according to “Quality Counts,” a report issued Tuesday from Education Week, a national newspaper specializing in public schools. It showed that while the national average is $9,963 per pupil, California spends $7,571, according to the report. Vermont spends the most, with $15,139. Utah spends the least, with just $5,964 per pupil.

Around the state, school administrators have begun looking at how many employees they can lay off next year and which programs they can cancel.

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Equality is making comeback and business leaders join in to make it happen – Part 2

Oakland went through a period of decline during in the mid 20th century

Then came the 50s, 60s, and 70s which were a very tough time for Oakland. The city became every more dangerous, crime-ridden, and unlivable. First West Oakland was destroyed by the Nimitz Freeway and the Cypress Viaduct. Many homes and businesses were destroyed creating a period of poverty for West Oakland. Then in the 1960 West Oakland suffered from the construction of BART and the Main Post Office Building on 7th Street. Again local businesses suffered, more jobs and entire neighborhoods were replaced.

Oakland become the home of the motorcycle gang the “Hell’s Angels” named after Howard Hughes movie, and eventually grew ever more corrupt and crime ridden. Eventually it became the market place of Fred Mitchell who ran a crime symposium changing Oakland into a hotbed for the sale of Crack Cocaine, a very harmful substance that ruined many people’s lives. Additionally, the crime wave sent a lot of middle class inhabitants packing and many of the people who remained lost business. They eventually were unable to keep buildings, street, school and the city services in good repair. Crime attracted more crime and the lack of policing opened the door for more crime.

By the end of the 70s crime was twice as high in Oakland than it was in San Francisco. Most of the Police Officers were white, frightened and entitled. As a result police brutality created ever more problems. This in turn brought impoverished communities together to forge alliances such as the Black Power Movement to help each other by “policing the police.” They created kindergardens and food pantries for the poor, but grew ever more militaristic. Unfortunately, this turned the city into a gang run town, the Symbionese Liberation Army, the Crips and the Bloods, the People and the Folk, the 35th Street Gang, Norteños, Border Brothers and Sureños.

From the 1980s to 2000 Oakland suffered from a Crack epidemic that is now rivaled by the Opioid Crisis

By 2010 it was estimated that Oakland’s population of gang members had grown to over 10,000 members. The situation of both, the crime level, corruption and problems with the police became untenable.

Education

Even in 2009 SF Gate reported that Schwarzenegger decided to California ranks 47th in per-pupil spending, according to “Quality Counts,” a report issued Tuesday from Education Week, a national newspaper specializing in public schools. It showed that while the national average is $9,963 per pupil, California spends only $7,571 per pupil and three times that much on prisoners. Vermont spends the most, with $15,139. Utah spends the least, with just $5,964 per pupil.

Around the state, school administrators have begun looking at how many employees they can lay off next year and which programs they can cancel. Then citizens, business leaders, charities, and religious groups decided to get involved.

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Equality is making a comeback and business leaders are joining in. Your town can succeed as well. Part 1

Oakland was a thriving town about 100 years ago. It went through many phases and now once again is a thriving town.

Oakland might be a poster child for our future.

Oakland had a most impressive long history as a thriving industrial center.

Oakland was first incorporated as a town in 1852. It had always been a popular place for thousands of years before by the Muwekna Ohlone who were part of the original Californians the Miwoks who spent winters near Temescal Creek and Lake Merritt for thousands of years. In 1772 the Spaniards occupied the land in the name of their king. Peralta, a Spanish soldier was deeded 44 thousand acres by the Spanish crown and his deed was confirmed when Mexico declared their independence. The land was divided up by his 4 sons. As much of California this region was covered by Oak trees and this is how it eventually got its name. During the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in the mid 19th century during the gold rush Mexico gave up the land to the US. Ever more and more squatters ignored the land ownership and a team of Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo roving soldiers led by three men from nearby San Francisco established “Contra Costa.”

In 1853 John Coffee “Jack” Hays took up residence while he served as the sheriff in San Francisco. On March 25, 1854, Oakland was once again incorporated as the City of Oakland with Carpentier one of the San Francisco war lords as the Mayor. However he was quite corrupt and was quickly voted out of office and replaced by Charles Campbell as Mayor on March 5, 1855. Thanks to the fact that the several railroads ended up in Oakland it quickly became a major industrial hub. In 1868, the Central Pacific ended at the Port of Oakland. The Long Wharf also served as the terminus for the Transcontinental Railroad and the Southern Pacific, which was localed initially at  16th Street Station located at 16th and Wood.

In 1902 a deep channel was created for large ships and this is how Alameda become an Island separated from the mainland. Due to the earthquake and subsequent fires in San Francisco in 1906 the population doubled. This is when Mayor Frank Kanning Mott launched the “Beautiful City project” establishing the many parks, lakes and oak rimmed boulevards the city enjoys to this day. In 1914 he founded the Oakland Civic Auditorium which cost $1.4 Million dollars. It was used briefly as a hospital during the 1918 flue epidemic. Oakland was one of the most wonderful places to live and jobs were plentiful. Employers included General Motors, Chevrolet, Chrysler, and several other major auto companies.

Motorama “Dream Car” by Chevrolet 1954

The city also housed companies such as Kaiser, Bechtel, Phelan, Dreyer’s, Rocky Road Icecream, Western Union, Del Monte, and too many others to mention here. The high employment rate and associated growth of a strong middle class allowed Oakland to fashion itself into a world class city with the Golden State Theatre, Fox, Blumenfeld, Orpheum, Turner & Dahnken, the Grand Lake and the Paramount among others. By 1949 Oakland had a seating capacity of over 43 thousand theatre goers. Theatres came and went including the Hippodrome, Lurie, Premier and Roosevelt. Thanks to the start of commercial aviation Amelia Earhart , the Alameda Navel Air Station, and the 1930’s Howard Hughes’ movie the “Hell’s Angels” Oakland was one of the romanticized the epicenter of the West Coast.

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With TTIP corporations will no longer be liable for any damage they cause. Time to remind us what freedom means?

Would TTIP have passed during the times of the Declaration of Independence?

declaration_of_independence_stone_630

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

TTIP is against democracy and it creates a framework for oligarchy to reign supreme.  Read this article for details.Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Allison Lovejoy in recital at Enso Piano accompanies singers Gerry Basserman and Colleeen Touriane, May 21, 2016.

This Saturday, May 21, the third in a series of magical musical events in Half Moon Bay. Come join Carrie and Mauro again in their effort to keep serving the community through the unique creation called Enso. Donations, loans and art purchases welcome.

Allison Lovejoy in recital at the Enso piano.
Gerry Basserman and Colleen Touriane, songs.

Music, refreshments, art, and poetry, from 6 til 9 pm
These salons are rich and satisfying. Bring a friend!
Enso : 131 Kelly Ave, Half Moon Bay, CAFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

WomenNow and New Delhi Restaurant host Spring India Day on June 11th in Union Square

WomenNow and New Delhi Restaurant will be hosting their second Spring India Day on June 11th in Union Square in the heart of San Francisco. Spring India Day is a free annual festival. It is a celebration of the colorful and exuberant Indian culture.

Come join us as we take over beautiful San Francisco’s crown jewel – Union Square – for a full day of fun and entertainment. Spring India Day will be featuring henna artists, Bollywood dancing, music, a high couture fashion show, and more! Our food booths will entice your taste buds with several Indian regional cuisines including samosas, keebabs, curried rice, exotic island delights, South Indian delicacies, and roadside chat selections.

Where: San Francisco’s Union Square
When: 11:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Date: Saturday, June 11th, 2016

This event is organized by WomenNow TV in association with New Delhi Restaurant and benefits Compassionate Chefs Cafe a 501(c) non-profit organization with a mission to help Kids Across the Street in the Tenderloin After School Program and Across the Ocean in Gandhi Ashram in Ahmedabad, India to help them become global citizens.

Gandhi’s intention behind his Ashram in Ahmedabad, India, was to help uplift the underprivileged. On this very location, we are helping to fund the school for children of Harijan (Untouchable) Street Cleaners. This school helps us continue Mahatma Gandhi’s movement to eradicate the social injustice of being labeled Untouchable. These children will help to uplift their impoverished communities from within. It is most basic of all human needs to be clean and have nurturing human touch.

Closer to home, we are also supporting Tenderloin After School Program – which provides valuable services to kids of families living in the Tenderloin District of San Francisco. The Tenderloin After School Program serves as a shelter from the street culture and many harmful influences that abound in this area. TASP provides kids with a safe space to be, where they can play and study, and get the proper support and training necessary to succeed in life.

Compassionate Chefs will be hosting a photo booth next to the main stage with props and backgrounds. Bring your smiling face and help out a great cause! Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail