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Clergy Warn of Dangers of Coal

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Dozens of Bay Area faith leaders, including representatives of Baptist, Jewish, Roman Catholic and Episcopal communities, gathered at the steps of City Hall on Tuesday, rallying against the prospect of transporting millions of tons of coal through Oakland to be shipped out of the former Army Base.

 

On Tuesday, the Oakland City Council was scheduled to vote on the approval of a $208,000 contract with a private consulting firm to analyze the potential health and safety impacts that exporting coal would have on adjacent communities in West Oakland.

 

 

The item was eventually pulled from the agenda.

 

 

Speaking at a City Hall press conference, pastors, rabbis and environmental activists from various congregations and local organizations spoke of the wide ranging opposition to exporting the fossil fuel out of a city that already experiences abnormally high levels of environment-induced asthma and cancer.

 

 

According to a new poll released by the Sierra Club, 76 percent of Oakland voters say they oppose the shipment of coal through the city, including 57 percent who oppose it “strongly.”

 

 

Speakers at the rally included Rev. Chauncey Mathews of Corinthian Baptist Church, Rev. Laurie Manning of Skyline United Church of Christ, Rev. Curtis Robinson of Faith Baptist Church, Rabbi David Cooper of Kehilla Community Synagogue, Rev. Ben Daniel of Montclair Presbyterian Church, Rev. Daniel Buford of Allen Temple Baptist Church and Rev. Dr. Kwasi Thornell of St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church.

 

 

The faith leaders and their supporters were joined by the Sierra Club, Interfaith Power and Light and United Native Americans, Inc.

 

 

Expressing support for the No Coal in Oakland campaign at the council meeting at City Hall Tuesday evening were Bishop Frank Pinkard Jr. of Evergreen Missionary Baptist Church, Minister Keith Muhammad of the Nation of Islam, Theo Williams of the SambaFunk! drummers and Rev. Dr. Jim Hopkins of Lakeshore Baptist Church.

 

 

“There is a long history of poor urban communities being poisoned by environmental waste, and we’re not going to let that happen any longer,” said Rev. Buford of Allen Temple Baptist Church.

 

 

“Black people are usually the canaries in the mine shafts of institutional racism,” said Buford. “The things that kill us first will kill you next.”

 

 

Rev. Manning of Skyline United Church of Christ linked the potential health impacts of shipping coal through Oakland to the ongoing health crisis in Flint, Michigan, which has predominantly affected children of color and subsequently led to discoveries of hazardous levels of lead in many other city water supplies across the country.

 

 

Community members lined up at the City Council meeting to speak for and against the possibility of coal being one of the commodities to be shipped out of the former Army Base development.

 

 

A group of Black clergy members from the Ecumenical Economic Empowerment Council (EEEC) told the council that the project would create an important economic boost for the city and would specifically supply jobs to Oakland’s Black communities. The pastors came with a group of people from Men in Valor Academy, which helps formerly incarcerated men acquire job skills.

 

 

Members of EEEC were upset that the council had pulled the vote to outsource a health and safety analysis to the private consultant Environmental Science Associates because it would further delay the project from advancing.

 

 

“Why are we delaying?” said Pastor Kevin Barnes of the Abyssian Missionary Baptist Church. “Some of these young men really want to take care of their families if they had a good job, and this is the economic caboose that’s going to give it to our young men.”

 

 

Pastor Kevin Barnes

Pastor Kevin Barnes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“People are talking about how this issue is dividing the Black clergy. The Black clergy is not divided, we have different opinions about stuff,” said Barnes. “Some of us want people to get jobs, some of us could care less.”

 

 

In an interview with the Post, Bishop Pinkard of Evergreen Missionary Baptist Church said he is skeptical that these jobs would go to people in Oakland first or that jobs would be restricted to those most in need.

 

 

“What kind of safeguard do they have in place so that the already polluted environment will not become more polluted in Oakland, effecting the health of our children,” said Pinkard. “We have to think long term as related to the health of our people.”

 

 

According to Derrick Muhammad of the longshore workers’ union in Oakland, ILWU Local 10, the idea that the project would supply jobs to unemployed and formerly incarcerated people is “disingenuous.”

 

 

“Trade organizations in this area do not have a practice of recruiting in Black neighborhoods,” said Muhammad, who opposes the coal terminal along with the longshore union. “And if you are not already a member of a union, how then would you ever get a job on a project that is a union project?”

 

 

“You are not going to get these jobs, you’re not going to get employed. Period,” said Muhammad.

 

 

To the relief of many anticoal campaigners, the council item was pulled from the agenda at the request of Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan so that city staff might be able to consider additional suggestions and information.

 

 

The City Council is scheduled to return with an update on the coal issue in their first meeting in April.

 

 

Post publisher Paul Cobb recognizes that there are clergy on both sides of the issue and will offer to cover both sides of the issue when information is provided.

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Bay Area

Mayor London Breed, Speaker Nancy Pelosi Celebrate Grand Opening of 100% Affordable Housing in Mission

“As a proud representative for San Francisco, it was my privilege to join Mayor London Breed in celebrating Casa Adelante’s grand opening,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi said. “This development will be a vital anchor for The Mission’s Latino community, providing families with the homes they need to survive and the services they need to thrive. It was an honor to help secure $2 million in federal funds for the community-serving nonprofits in Casa Adelante, and House Democrats will continue fighting to expand affordable housing as we Build a Better America.”

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San Francisco Mayor London Breed and Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi. Twitter.com photo.

2828 16th Street provides 143 affordable homes for low-income families, including 36 homes for public housing residents

Mayor London N. Breed joined Speaker Nancy Pelosi and community leaders on May 5 to celebrate the grand opening of Casa Adelante — 2828 16th St., a 143-unit, 100% affordable housing development in the Mission District.

Formerly known as 1990 Folsom, the development designates 36 units for public housing residents relocating from Potrero Hill and Sunnydale HOPE SF sites. The remaining 107 units are designated for low-income households making between 40% and 60% of the Area Median Income (AMI).

Additionally, 2828 16th St. offers 30 units with accessibility features for people with impaired mobility and three units with features for people with impaired vision and/or hearing.

“These 143 units come at a time when addressing housing affordability for all San Franciscans is crucial,” said Breed. “2828 16th Street allows families to stay rooted in their community while providing critical on-site services that will help them thrive in the neighborhood they call home. This project is a perfect example of how we are working to make San Francisco a more affordable place to live for everyone.”

“As a proud representative for San Francisco, it was my privilege to join Mayor London Breed in celebrating Casa Adelante’s grand opening,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi said. “This development will be a vital anchor for The Mission’s Latino community, providing families with the homes they need to survive and the services they need to thrive. It was an honor to help secure $2 million in federal funds for the community-serving nonprofits in Casa Adelante, and House Democrats will continue fighting to expand affordable housing as we Build a Better America.”

The building on 2828 16th Street transformed a vacant and underutilized property into a mixed-use development with space for the arts, nonprofits, early child care, and education. In addition to the 143 units, the development features an inner courtyard, rooftop urban farm, two community rooms, and bicycle parking.

The property also includes an affordable childcare center operated by the Felton Institute, ground-floor space for Mission-based nonprofits Galería de la Raza and HOMEY to provide community empowerment and cultural enrichment programming, and on-site social work and property management services provided by Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation (TNDC).

“I am incredibly proud of the work that TNDC and MEDA have done, in collaboration with funders and our City partners, to bring 143 affordable new homes for families in District 9 at Casa Adelante — 2828 16th Street,” said Supervisor Hillary Ronen. “This 100% affordable housing development, that will be home to more than 300 community members and includes on-site childcare and a rooftop urban farm for free produce, is exactly what is needed to keep our working families and residents home in San Francisco.”

“In celebrating the opening of Casa Adelante — 2828 16th Street, we celebrate the opportunity for families, children, and individuals to build stability and vibrant futures in San Francisco,” said Maurilio León, CEO of TNDC. “This building is a testament to innovation in affordable housing. With on-site services like a rooftop farm providing access to free produce and options for affordable childcare, TNDC and our many partners are actualizing a strong community for current and future generations.”

“Casa Adelante — 2828 16th Street symbolizes how we have upended the narrative in the Mission, as we continue to turn the tide of displacement of residents and arts and cultural institutions in our community,” said Luis Granados, CEO of Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA). “MEDA is honored that in conjunction with the Mission community, co-developer TNDC, numerous funders, and valued City partners, 143 households and three esteemed organizations all now have a place to call their permanent home.”

Completed in November 2021, the eight-story, 155,000-square-foot building and associated landscaping were designed by Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects (LMSA) and GLS Landscape to address the community’s need for family-centered homes, affordable arts space, and cultural preservation. 2828 16th Street received a LEED Gold Certification in recognition of its achievement and leadership in sustainable design and construction.

2828 16th Street represents a joint venture partnership between Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation (TNDC) and Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA). The development team leveraged low-income housing tax credits, tax-exempt bonds, a mortgage, and federal Project-Based Vouchers.

The Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development invested more than $46 million into the project through the 2015 General Obligation Bond. Bank of America, Barings Multifamily Capital/MassMutual, and Century Housing Corporation provided additional financing. Local firms LMSA, GLS Landscape, Nibbi Brothers General Contractors and Gubb & Barshay were enlisted on the project.

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Art

Marin Fair Competitive Exhibits Open for Entry

“We are thrilled to provide an array of online competitions for our community during our outdoor only 2022 Fair,” said Director of Cultural Services Gabriella Calicchio. “The Competitive Exhibits program is the heart and soul of the Fair and we’re excited to bring our talented community together again to participate.”

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Marin County Fair “So Happy Together!” returns June 30-July 4

Courtesy of Marin County

2022 Marin County Fair Poster depicting a variety of farm animals with the Marin County Civic Center and Marin Fairgrounds property in the background. San Rafael, California — With Marin County Fair’s June 30 opening day just around the corner, the Competitive Exhibits categories for the 2022 Fair are now available on the Fair’s website MarinFair.org.

The competitive exhibit program, which usually takes place indoors, will remain online for one more year and will include competitions such as fine art and photography, decorated cakes and cookies, wine and beer label design, clothing and textiles, cartoon art, exceptional art, poetry and creative writing, hobbies and crafts, and more. The Plein Air painting competition on the first day of the Fair will take place outdoors. The agriculture competitions will remain outdoors and will include poultry, rabbits, sheep dog trials, pocket pets, dog care and training, and small animal round robin showmanship, to name a few.

“We are thrilled to provide an array of online competitions for our community during our outdoor only 2022 Fair,” said Director of Cultural Services Gabriella Calicchio. “The Competitive Exhibits program is the heart and soul of the Fair and we’re excited to bring our talented community together again to participate.”

The full list of categories and entry guidelines is available online at MarinFair.org. Submissions will be accepted from May 6 to May 31 and winners will be announced online during Fair time.

The 2022 fair will also focus on outdoor entertainment including the headline concerts, performers roaming the grounds such as jugglers, unicyclists, and stilt walkers, and interactive art experiences for fans of all ages. Returning fair favorites will include traditional carnival rides, the Global Marketplace, the Barnyard, food and drinks, and fireworks every night over the Civic Center’s Lagoon Park.

Early bird tickets sold out within one day of release. Discounted Fair tickets are still available for adults and teens through June 29. The Fair is a one-price gate featuring 28 carnival rides, exciting exhibits, spectacular firework displays, first-rate concerts and exciting attractions are FREE with gate admission. Tickets are available online only at MarinFair.org.

Headline concerts will soon be announced, and reserved gold circle tickets will go on sale May 16. Reserved concert seating in a special section is $60 per person and includes Fair admission.

Special Admission Days:
Kids Day at the Fair – Thursday, June 30
Children 12 and under are FREE on Thursday, June 30.
Senior Day at the Fair – Thursday, June 30
Seniors 65+ are admitted FREE

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Activism

Board to Review Project Homekey Site Agreements

Addressing homelessness has been an urgent priority for the Supervisors, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), other local governments and partnering agencies. The Larkspur property represents an opportunity to revitalize an underutilized parcel and serve vulnerable Marin residents experiencing homelessness through evidence-based interventions.

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The Project Homekey facility in Larkspur will be owned and operated by Episcopal Community Services in partnership with the County of Marin.
The Project Homekey facility in Larkspur will be owned and operated by Episcopal Community Services in partnership with the County of Marin.

Anticipated 2023 opening of Larkspur property to address homelessness

Courtesy of Marin County

In February, the County of Marin was awarded $15,497,200 in Project Homekey funding to support the creation of 43 permanent supportive homes for people experiencing chronic homelessness. On May 10, the Board of Supervisors approved three agreements governing the use of the grant funds and operations for the site at 1251 South Eliseo Drive in Larkspur.

The funds will support the acquisition, rehabilitation, and operation of a former skilled nursing facility. It will be owned and operated by Episcopal Community Services (ECS) in partnership with the County of Marin.

Addressing homelessness has been an urgent priority for the Supervisors, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), other local governments and partnering agencies. The Larkspur property represents an opportunity to revitalize an underutilized parcel and serve vulnerable Marin residents experiencing homelessness through evidence-based interventions.

“Episcopal Community Services is a welcome addition to our coordinated system of care here in Marin County,” said Gary Naja-Riese, Director of Homelessness and Whole Person Care for Marin HHS. “I look forward to the deep history they bring in supportive housing and direct work with unhoused individuals. This partnership with the County will create a place to call home and ensure needed services for 43 disabled Marin residents experiencing homelessness.”

The agreements include:

  • details about the County’s contribution to the costs of construction and renovation;
  • conditions and requirements on the property deed, such as tenant protections, rent limits, and a requirement that the building be used to provide permanent supportive housing for 43 low-income individuals;
  • preliminary operational requirements for ECS operations at the site. This initial draft is based upon activities and outcomes from the original Homekey application and will include some of the basic expectations for site operation and compliance with HHS Division of Homelessness & Whole Person Care operations standards. Closer to the opening date, the County and ECS will amend the Operating Agreement to include a more detailed Scope of Work with information about additional clinical support for clients and the Community Services Safety team.

Since the funding was awarded, the County and ECS have made considerable progress in assembling and convening the Community Advisory Group (CAG). The CAG is tasked with communicating the views, concerns, suggestions, and voices of a broad spectrum of community stakeholders to the County and ECS as the project moves forward. The feedback will help provide input on program design, public safety, and community relations, which will be critical to the success of the project.

“The CAG is up and running and includes residents and neighbors from Kentfield, Greenbrae, and Larkspur,” said Supervisor Katie Rice, the Board President who represents constituents near the South Eliseo location. “I look forward to supporting their work with the project team to address issues of concern raised by community members, and toward ensuring South Eliseo a success for all involved.”

Eighteen CAG members have been appointed, including at-large community members, representatives from the Kentfield School District, the Marin County Sheriff’s Office, the Central Marin Police Authority, the City of Larkspur, and Marin County Parks. At least one individual with lived experience of homelessness will be added. The members of the CAG have formed three subcommittees — Communications, Program Design and Public Safety — each of which will meet monthly and be attended by CAG members as well as County and ECS representatives

Additional information about the project, including a list of frequently asked questions, can be found at www.1251seliseo.com. The site also allows anyone interested to sign up for the recently launched project newsletter and submit comments or questions.

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