Oakland Post, week of May 4 - 10, 2022

Page 10

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THE POST, May 4-10, 2022, Page 10

A Reflection on Motherhood

“I look forward to reviewing the findings of the report, resolving some of the discrepancies that have been shared, and addressing how the site could still accommodate temporary housing ahead of and concurrent to this development. We need accommodations now.” The June report is expected to be returned by the mid-cycle budget allocation, which will be a revealing moment indicating City of Oakland’s commitment to finding effective solutions to the homelessness crisis. This report comes from the

Our hearts grieve especially for mothers who are imprisoned; they decorate their prison walls with pictures of their children. Songwriter-rapper Tupac Shakur wrote musical lyrics about his mother who struggled to raise him through poverty. Shirley Caesar, a famous gospel singer, wrote the song “No Charge” in response to the little boy who was going to charge his mother for doing chores around the house. The lyrics to the song “I’ll Always Love My Mama,” by the R&B group The Intruders, is a Black man’s testimony on the love of Mother. “She’s my favorite girl, (You only get one, you only get one, yeah) She brought me in this world. – She taught me little things like ‘Say hello’ and ‘thank you’ and ‘please’ while scrubbing those floors on her bended knees.” A walk back in history is a reminder of the horrific experiences Black mothers endured that started in the Middle Passage during the Atlantic Slave Trade era and continues in many ways. The auction block, a place where enslaved African people were treated as material where families were torn apart and sold to the highest bidder. Black women were forced to be slave breeders to keep the slave industry alive. Children grew up motherless while being forced to toil and labor under the yoke of slavery. But through it all, there is a strong belief within most Black mothers that God has not abandoned them. The hand of God elevated Black mothers from slave pits to the White House when Michelle Obama, became First Lady of America. The bond and love between Michelle and her mother was so strong that Marian Shields Robinson retired early to live in the White House to be close to her grandchildren. Michelle and Mother Robinson wanted the sense of normalcy a genuine Black grandma could bring to the everyday life of her grandchildren. The love of grandmothers runs deep in Black families. The only earthly DNA connected to Jesus came from an unwed teenager whom God chose to be the mother of Jesus. Thirty-three years later, Mary stood at the foot of the Cross and watched the crucifixion of her son, Jesus. And lastly, Mary is not the only one to see the light go out of her child’s eyes. Thousands of Black mothers have endured the crucifixion of their young sons and daughters through police brutality. Every Mother is special in some way. Happy Mother’s Day.

School District must honor their agreements – there must be engagement with family and community before taking any actions to close schools. The actions of the majority of the school board have been very disrespectful to parents and the community. We are encouraged by the powerful support for the one-day strike. But it’s only the beginning of the movement to fund our schools and save our schools from closure.” OEA representatives voted at a union meeting this week to “stand in solidarity with ILWU Local 10 and to support their fight to save the Port of Oakland. It’s a continuation of the longtime solidarity between educators of Oakland and longshore workers,” Brown said. “There’s been tremendous support from parents, community and labor in this fight to save our schools, shown by numbers coming out for rallies,” Brown continued. “We need to continue to build from that momentum, to reach out to the faith community and others to organize and educate. We need to work in the November elections to elect school board members who will work with

parents and stakeholders, not run from the community and not hide from the community, not close our neighborhood schools.” Trent Willis, immediate past president of ILWU Local 10 and a leader of S.L.A.P., said the fight to stop privatization of the Port of Oakland is a survival issue for longshore workers. “We have no choice but to oppose the stadium. We’re fighting for our lives,” he said. With only $1 billion of the $12 billion Howard Terminal project designated to build the stadium, Willis said, “This is a real estate deal masquerading as a stadium project. It’s a slick gimmick. Just having the stadium there would be a nightmare for cargo, pedestrians, the rails, transportation. The costs (to the public) would be astronomical to make it safe for people to travel through that area.” He said he liked Councilmember Carroll Fife’s proposal for allowing Oakland voters to decide whether they want to use public funds to build the Port project. People in Oakland “don’t want to spend public money on building the stadium.” Strike actions began early

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ings. For many, Mother’s Day is a reminder that mother is no longer here. In some cases, a mother’s only child has died. One mother told me this would be the first year without her son who passed away last year from COVID-19. The death of a child does not mean you are not a mother anymore. Some mothers are doing double duty raising their grandchildren. Some men, as single parents, have assumed the role of both father and mother. All mothers are not “mothers of the church” wearing white dresses, big hats with special reserved seats. Still others have assumed the role of mother through adoption or by extended family. The population of homeless mothers has significantly increased. Some are living with children in broken down automobiles trying to make ends meet for their family while the system professes to be doing a study of their plight. Some mothers are in convalescent homes, many tucked away out of eyesight of the family. Still others are blessed to have family visits.

Fife: Emergency Homeless Intervention Could House 1,000 at Army Base Parcels

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begin. The report is intended to resolve these discrepancies and put on record a clear construction timeline. This development would still allow most of the site to be used ahead of CASS’s development plans which are expected to be shared in the June report. In response, District 3 Councilmember Carroll Fife said, “It adds insult to injury that this parcel has been vacant for over a decade and it is only now that the public is being told that CWS will soon begin development.

“Whose City? Our City!” – Teachers and Port Workers Strike to Stop Corporate Privatizers

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dents. The OEA called the one-day Unfair Labor Practices strike to protest the district’s unilateral decision to close schools this year and next year without consulting the affected school communities The union says this violates a 2019 strike settlement agreement. Seventy-five percent of voting members voted in favor of the strike, and 94% of union members honored the picket lines. Trying to have the strike declared “illegal,” the school district asked the California Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) for an injunction, but the request was denied. The district asked families to keep their children home from school that Friday. The ILWU shut down the Port of Oakland’s day shift that Friday with a stop-work meeting, which is allowed under the union contract. Later in the afternoon, community members at Port terminals shut down the night shift as longshore workers refused to cross picket lines. OEA President Keith Brown told the Oakland Post, “The reason why educators were forced to take this action is because the Oakland Unified

Report: A’s Could Get to Use Howard Terminal for Stadium Continued from page 1

56 acres from Port land and “would not detract from the region’s capability to meet the projected growth in cargo,” the report says and is a key argument for relinquishing the land to the Oakland A’s. Based on a variety of input, the Oakland A’s have “demonstrated that the cargo forecast can be met with existing terminals,” the report says. The referenced terminals include not just the ones at the Port of Oakland but around the region including, among others, Benicia and Redwood City. But dock workers maintain that the Port needs Howard Terminal to thrive. “It is a nexus between the port cargo area, ILWU (International Longshore and Ware-

house Union) training area, and ship turn-around,” Trent Willis, past president of the ILWU Local 10, said in a statement. “It is critical to keeping trucks off of the streets of West Oakland and is next to a fully functioning industrial railroad.” Monday’s preliminary recommendation is a step toward a new A’s ballpark, but the team has more hurdles to jump. The team is facing two lawsuits, one by the Union Pacific Railroad Company and another by the East Oakland Stadium Alliance, a coalition of marine, port and transportation interests. Both lawsuits are challenging the certification of the ballpark’s environmental impact report, another important part of process to approve the project.

Friday morning with OEA members picketing at school sites throughout the city. Teachers were joined on the picket lines by students and families as well as community members and school workers in AFSCME and SEIU 1021. At a mid-day event, hundreds of teachers and supporters held a “Save Our Schools” block party at Lake Merritt with interactive activities and warm solidarity, along with a lot of education on how school closures and privatization negatively impact Black students and other students of color. A joint rally of teachers, port workers and community members took place at 2:00 p.m. in Oscar Grant Plaza in front of Oakland City Hall, followed by a short march down Broadway to rally in front of the school district headquarters at 1000 Broadway. At 4:30 p.m., members of the community went to the Port to shut down work on the night shift. An election forum sponsored by S.L.A.P. on Saturday asked candidates for mayor, board of supervisors and county superintendent of schools where they stood on the issues of school closings and privatization of the Port.

SBA and PayPal Conduct Workshops for Minority Businesses By Post Staff A group of distinguished individuals joined the Small Business Association (SBA) and PayPal for a round-table discussion with California business leaders on small business growth as National Small Business Week kicked off in San Francisco on May 2. “What a good start of National Small Business Week (NSBW) to have been joined by SBA Administrator Isabella Castillas Guzman,” said Cathy Adams, president of the Oakland African American Chamber of Commerce (OAACC). “It’s a great opportunity for all entrepreneurs.” For more than 50 years, the

U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has celebrated National Small Business Week, which recognizes the critical contributions of America’s entrepreneurs and small business owners. NSBW 2022 celebrates the resiliency and tenacity of America’s entrepreneurs who are doing their part to power the nation’s historic economic comeback. The Bay Area is a part of the NSBW bus tour where Guzman was scheduled to make stops in Denver, Colo.; Atlanta, Ga.; Columbia, S.C., Richburg. S.C., Charlotte, N.C.; Raleigh, N.C., and Norfolk, Va.

Faith Leaders Call for Accountability Over Negligence, Deaths at Santa Rita Jail

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The county continues to hemorrhage millions of taxpayer dollars on settlements and legal fees for this mismanagement - the most recent costing upwards of $300 million. The Alameda County Sheriff’s Department needs a major transformative intervention. Assembly Bill 1185, recently enacted by the California state Legislature, authorizes civilian oversight boards and a fulltime Inspector General with subpoena power to investigate sheriff’s departments and jails. Our communities can gain accountability for brutal practices by the sheriff and assist supervisors in exercising their legal and fiscal authority to oversee this county department. Sopath Mey, speaking for her Cambodian immigrant family, told us of her cousin Soto’s medical crisis and death in Santa Rita in January 2020: “To this day we don’t understand how he died in custody of the jail and the sheriff. Did he get medical care he needed? … Our family has no resources for an investigation … The sheriff is also the coroner, which raises serious questions. Independent oversight without conflict of interest could tell us learn what happened so we can have peace of mind.” A sheriff’s oversight coalition initiated by Faith In Action East Bay and Oakland’s Coalition for Police accountability including dozens of organizations and clergy of diverse faiths - ACLU of Northern California, Alameda County Public Health Commission, SEIU Local 1021, Oakland Education Association, Brotherhood of Elders, National Institute for Criminal Justice Reform, and working closely with the League of Women Voters - researched essential principles for effective independent civilian oversight: - A community selection panel process that is open and transparent to create a representative oversight board insulated from politics and the sheriff’s influence. - Legal counsel for a civilian oversight board and inspector general that is fully independent of the County Counsel’s conflicts of interest representing the sheriff in lawsuits against the county. - A dedicated funding stream to ensure adequate staff of in-

vestigators working with an experienced, full-time inspector general. - Access to records and testimony, regular public meetings and reports to the community and the Board of Supervisors (BOS.) Elected officials - including the sheriff - must be held accountable. Civilian oversight with subpoena power can conduct independent investigations and recommend necessary change to the Board of Supervisors - who have the ultimate power of budgeting tax dollars. Working with a full-time inspector general, they will investigate jail deaths, in-custody conditions, conduct of the sheriff’s deputies and can help identify alternatives to the county’s current cruel and costly mass incarceration of individuals with mental health challenges. We must bring the sheriff’s operations into alignment with constitutional law enforcement, our community’s ethical values and the public trust. Let Supervisors know you support the community coalition calling for strong oversight of the Sheriff - email the Board at cbs@acgov.org. Rev. Dr. George Cummings, executive director, Faith In Action East Bay Cathy Leonard for the Coalition for Police Accountability Regina Jackson, Oakland Police Commission* Rev. Dr. James Brenneman, president, Berkeley School of Theology* Rev. Ken Chambers, West Side MBC & co-chair Interfaith Coalition of Alameda County* Rev. Dr. James Hopkins, co-chair, Faith In Action East Bay; Lakeshore Avenue Baptist Church* Rev. Derron Jenkins, associate minister, Allen Temple Baptist Church, Oakland* Rev. Andrew Loban, rector, St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church, Livermore* Fr. Aidan McAlaneen, pastor of St. Columba Catholic Church Rabbi Dev Nolly, senior rabbi, Kehilla Community Synagogue, Oakland* Rabbi Judith Seid, Tri-Valley Cultural Jews* Rev. Jeffrey Spencer, senior pastor, Niles Discovery Church, Fremont* *Organizations listed for ID purposes only

Supreme Court Could Overturn Roe v. Wade By Brandon Patterson

A leaked draft of a Supreme Court opinion on an abortion case the Court heard earlier this term indicated that the Court is poised to overturn the nearly 50-year-old precedent set by Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that affirmed a woman’s right to abortion nationwide. The draft opinion set off alarms nationwide, including in the Bay Area, where protesters rallied outside government buildings in Oakland, San Francisco, and San Jose this week, as women’s rights advocates, Democratic elected officials, and pro-choice supporters prepared to push back against a potential overturning of Roe. The draft opinion was published first by DC-based news organization POLITICO. Chief Justice John Roberts confirmed the authenticity of the leaked document in a published statement on Tuesday but said that the document did not represent the final decision of the Court. The Supreme Court issues its final opinions in outstanding cases in June, when the annual court term ends.

So a definitive decision from the court will be issued by then. An overturning of Roe would allow states to regulate abortion access without the oversight of federal courts. According to CNN, 13 states – all Republican-led, including Arkansas, Kentucky, and Mississippi, have “trigger laws” on the books that would immediately limit abortion in access, often nearly completely banning it, if Roe is overturned. About another 13 states are likely to quickly pass legislation to limit abortion access if the decision is overturned, according to CNBC. The U.S. House has already passed legislation to codify the right to abortion care in federal law. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has said the Senate will soon vote on the bill, according to NPR, but it is likely to be filibustered by Republicans. Progressive Democrats, including Senator Bernie Sanders and Oakland Rep. Barbara Lee, have called on the Senate to eliminate the filibuster in order to pass abortion legislation. President Biden, however, told reporters this week that he was “not prepared” to make a decision on whether he would support that, according to CNN.


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