East Oakland Community Launches Major New Organizing Initiative

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Hundreds of residents say they are fed up with conditions, ready to act together.

OAKLAND — Six of East Oakland’s most prominent community organizations will convene hundreds of East Oakland residents at a massive Community Assembly on Saturday, September 30. This umbrella organization—known as the East Oakland Congress of Neighborhoods—is being formed because neighborhood residents are fed up with a lack of action on extremely pressing problems in East Oakland including the housing crisis and homelessness, illegal dumping, gun violence, prostitution and many more.

Andre Spearman, a leader with Oakland Community Organizations and a District 5 resident, says the purpose of the Congress is to provide East Oakland with the same kind of clout more affluent neighborhoods have. “The lack of concern shown to our neighborhoods is appalling,” he says. “If you don’t have power you don’t get consulted.”

“No matter what neighborhood we live in, all of us are dealing with a lot of the same issues, from the Eastlake neighborhood to the San Leandro border, so why not work together?” adds Causa Justa Just Cause member Teresa Salazar.

The Community Assembly is just the beginning, proponents say. “We’re going to make sure the Congress agenda gets done,” says Betty Williams of the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment. “The Congress intends to hold Oakland officials accountable.”

Issues to be discussed at the Assembly include housing and homelessness, fears about immigration raids, illegal dumping, gun violence, the street-level sex trade, air quality and lack of green space, school quality and safety, and quality jobs for the unemployed.

“These are the issues that the residents themselves have decided are the most important,” says Evangelina Lara, East Bay Asian Youth Center organizer and resident of the San Antonio neighborhood for 18 years. “This assembly is bringing together six (Oakland) organizations to build real power.”

Source Article from https://popularresistance.org/east-oakland-community-launches-major-new-organizing-initiative/

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