This is the start of the discussion thread.
Notes for the Block by Block Organizing Network (BBBON)
District 1 Post-Town Hall Debrief and Next Steps Meeting
April 13, 2011, 7:30-9:30pm
Welcome, introductions (name/neighborhood) and review agenda. (10 min) There was a small but spirited group in attendance at this meeting, including Maria Barra-Gibson from Councilmember Jane Brunner’s office.
Invitation to join Block By Block Organizing Network (Susan) (5 min) Margaret Cunningham made this presentation.
Report on District 1 Town Hall and review Plus/Delta – what went well, and what could have been done better (Chris, followed by open discussion) (30 min) See “D1 Town Hall Plus_Delta” document
Review top priorities identified by each of the breakout groups at the Town Hall (Dagmar) (15 min) See “D1 Town Hall Top Priorities” document
Economic Development & Zoning
Public Safety (crime prevention, community policing, NCPC’s, Measure Y, gang injunctions, etc.)
Public Works (blight, beautification, parks, street trees, sidewalks, potholes, etc.)
Emergency Preparedness (emergency response, earthquake, CORE, etc.)
Wildfire Prevention, Vegetation Management, Ingress/Egress
Youth & Schools
Traffic Engineering (transportation safety, bike/pedestrian, traffic lights, etc.)
Highway 24/Caldecott Tunnel 4th Bore
Initiate “Action Phase” — next steps on how we can take concrete steps as citizens to partner with our elected officials and help turn the above-identified priorities into accomplishments. Specific focus tonight on budget/revenue action items. (Susan) (30 min) Dagmar did this item.
Helping to get the parcel tax on the ballot. It means $11 million per year for 5 years. $80 per parcel per year (25 cents per day).
Statewide efforts to increase revenue, i.e. tax the wealthy initiatives:
Assemblymember Nancy Skinner is sponsoring Assembly Bill 1130, which would institute a 1% tax increase on Californians making over $500,000/year. This is less than 1% of the taxpaying population, and is estimated to raise $2.3 billion/year. Their tax rate would go from
9.55% to 10.55 %. This is the same tax structure that was in place when Ronald Reagan and Pete Wilson were governors. Maha Ibrahim (Senior Field Representative for Assemblymember Skinner) in Skinner's Oakland office (510-286-1400 or vog.ac.msa|miharbI.ahaM#vog.ac.msa|miharbI.ahaM) is happy to talk with anyone who would like to work on this initiative.
Thank-yous to volunteers & canvassers, esp. Golden Gate neighborhood activists. Recruitment follow-up – do those present tonight have an NCPC or other working group in your neighborhood? Please pass the word to them about BBBON and what we are doing as neighbors, and as a grassroots, citywide coalition of neighbors. (Don) (10 min) Special appreciation was also expressed for Nancy Mueller and Shelagh Broderson for their outstanding work at the food tables.
Identify D1 follow-up meeting date & location (Dagmar) (5 min) No separate D1 follow-up meeting was set; instead, all D1 residents are encouraged to attend the monthly BBBON General Assembly meetings, where they can participate in their district breakout groups.
Distribution of notes by e-mail These notes are being distributed by email 4/15/11.
Return of BBBON membership forms If you have not joined BBBON yet, please do so. For more info, go to http://www.oneoakland.org or download membership application: http://bit.ly/gEo3sl
People understood the limitations of finding a “perfect” space that met all our needs (adequate seating, adequate parking, adequate breakout space, close to BART/bus, affordable to rent, etc.) and appreciated that we can’t “let the perfect be the enemy of the good”
GREAT location because it can handle a crowd, and because it is NOT in Rockridge. Claremont Middle School and Rockridge Library are too Rockridge-centric. Rockridge is not the center of the universe
There was tremendous youth outreach. Lack of youth attendance was simply a factor of the older/whiter/wealthier skew of D1
Outreach for the event in general was excellent, as evidenced by the large number of attendees
Great outreach to the often-disregarded flatlands of D1
Morning time (not spanning lunch hour) was a plus. Other town halls with full meals and spanning lunch hour lost energy/focus and didn’t keep attendees until end
Food table was fantastic, well-staffed, attractively presented, and kept clean
Everyone was given a chance to speak in breakout groups
All who lined up for Open Mic/Q&A with the Mayor got a chance to speak
Councilmember Brunner’s comments were positive and helpful
Overall, a superbly-organized event
Needed more time in breakout sessions
Some residents felt rushed or “snubbed” by facilitators
Some breakout rooms were noisy/bad acoustics
Some breakout groups were too large
Some breakout groups were too small
Some breakout issues may not have been “promoted” or advertised adequately
Facilitators need to adapt to larger and larger groups as town halls become more popular and successful
Not enough outreach to hills residents
Hills residents present mostly didn’t attend hills-focused breakout groups, because there were non-hills-specific breakout groups addressing more pressing issues
Some breakout topics were overly specialized and might have been better made “focus groups” at separate meetings sponsored by BBBON in future
Needed more bike parking (didn’t want to use handrails because of seniors)
Senior-skewed audience/needed to attract more youth (possible factors: a.m. meeting time; location at a senior center)
Location at MLK possibly deemed as “sketchy”/a disincentive to hills residents
Some breakout groups were too “micro-” or “single-issue-focused” – like Lowell Street/Public Safety – need more “big picture” format/facilitation, focused on getting citizens to take responsibility
“Day with the A’s” raffle was a problem since few if any qualifying youth were in attendance
Some attendees had “agendas” and were “grandstanding” in breakout groups
The Agenda/Program left of mention of the Department of Human Services
Councilmember Brunner would have liked to get an assigned parking space.
Registration was passive and understaffed – could have used 6 people instead of 4, and someone with a clipboard walking the line
Registrants bottlenecked at Breakout Registration table
Resource Fair table was too remotely located (too far down the hallway)
Two group had unassigned people assume other volunteer recorders’ assigned roles (miscommunication/misunderstanding)
Seniors were not given a breakout group – an ad hoc breakout was established the morning of the event when many seniors turned out
Sometimes there was lack of communication, miscommunication and/or misunderstanding between volunteer organizers, Mayor’s staff, and BBBON steering committee/leadership
Food donors and other service providers & donors could have been better acknowledged (for instance, with signs up on the walls)
Need clearer process for facilitating and encouraging BBBON membership
Would be good to have a special BBBON banner (an indoor/”formal-looking” one) to put up at all Town Halls