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Grants Focus on Key Barriers to Parks: Parks Equity Roundtable identifies barriers local organizations can focus on

Over the next few months, up to $200,000 will be awarded to Marin County community-based organizations to help overcome barriers and connect communities to parks. The maximum grant is $8,000 per applicant. Over the next few months, up to $200,000 will be awarded to Marin County community-based organizations to help overcome barriers and connect communities to parks. The maximum grant is $8,000 per applicant.

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Eliminating those barriers is a longstanding commitment for Marin County Parks. In 2021, its representatives joined Marin’s leaders and local partnering organizations to work toward equitable park access through a new Parks Equity Roundtable.

San Rafael, CA – Over the next few months, up to $200,000 will be awarded to Marin County community-based organizations to help overcome barriers and connect communities to parks. The maximum grant is $8,000 per applicant.

Marin County Parks is collaborating to overcome structural barriers that sometimes prevent Marin’s communities of color and other groups from enjoying parks and recreational opportunities.

Eliminating those barriers is a longstanding commitment for Marin County Parks. In 2021, its representatives joined Marin’s leaders and local partnering organizations to work toward equitable park access through a new Parks Equity Roundtable. Over the past year, the group has convened to build community, share resources, and overcome structural barriers preventing Marin’s communities of color and other groups from enjoying parks and recreational opportunities.

Most recently the roundtable members met to discuss barriers caused by and changes to county park fees and reservations policies. Conversations reinforced the value of Parks’ community grant program and its combined approach of providing free access with engaging programming through trusted relationships.

Data from a 2017 Parks visitor survey and 2021 Parks youth survey showed that County of Marin-owned regional parks attract significantly more racial diversity compared to open spaces that feature trails but fewer facilities. The parks best accommodate social gatherings of family and friends, a priority of many underserved groups including youths aged 13 to 24 and people of color according to the survey data. Roundtable leaders expressed that an approach that combines fee policy changes with expanded community-based organization and school partnerships would help maximize positive impacts for underserved Marin residents.

Even if not seeking the grant funding, Marin organizations working to improve social equity and remove barriers to parks can apply for limited free access to picnic areas and group sites to bring their programs outdoors. A form is available on the Community Grants webpage.

The roundtable specifically urged Marin County Parks and grant applicants this year to focus on empowering youth ambassadors to build relationships between their peers and parks; connecting across schools and other organizations to work on new program development, outreach, and engagement; providing engaging, culturally relevant art, music, health, and other culturally and linguistically appropriate events for all ages, with BIPOC (black, indigenous, people of color) and/or bilingual staff; shuttle services to park outings; and fostering cultural relevance and centering communities of color in decision making.

Established in 2014, Parks’ Breathe (Respira in Spanish) Community Grant Program invites local community organizations to complete an online form and apply for the competitive grants that facilitate more visits to local parks, introduces new residents to recreation via public outreach, and provides bridges to enjoying the outdoors. All qualifying criteria and funding restrictions, along with detailed information about the program and grant decision-making process, are available on the Breathe/Respira overview.

Parks will consider funding projects or programs that support an underserved community as long as that community is adequately described in relation to the Breathe/Respira program. Proposals will be reviewed after the June 2 application deadline, and grants will be recommended in July in partnership with the Parks and Open Space Commission. They will be announced in August following approval of grant agreements by the Board of Supervisors.

Breathe/Respira is funded by Parks Measure A, a countywide quarter-cent sales tax otherwise known as the Marin Parks, Open Space, and Sustainable Agriculture Transactions and Use Tax Ordinance of 2022. Parks and open space preserves across Marin are being cared for like never before thanks to Measure A. To find out more about the range of benefits this tax measure is bringing to your favorite outdoor places, check out the most recent Parks annual report.

Arts and Culture

Third Annual Town Up Tuesday Lifts Oakland’s Community, Culture and Joy

Urban Peace Movement announced Town Up Tuesday, a free community music and social awareness festival dedicated to the people of Oakland to celebrate Bay Area culture and create safety by fostering connection and belonging. It will be on Tuesday, May 21, at Edoff Memorial Bandstand at Lake Merritt from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

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The event will feature local Bay Area legends and rising stars home-grown talent that will include 10 performers: 1100 Himself, The Conscious Daughters, Michael Sneed, Trunk Boiz, 3LISE, The Animaniakz and Ms. Bria. Too $hort is a special guest and there will also be a surprise legendary Oakland artist. The two DJs are Emelle & Dahge, and the two hosts are Dnas and Mystic.
The event will feature local Bay Area legends and rising stars home-grown talent that will include 10 performers: 1100 Himself, The Conscious Daughters, Michael Sneed, Trunk Boiz, 3LISE, The Animaniakz and Ms. Bria. Too $hort is a special guest and there will also be a surprise legendary Oakland artist. The two DJs are Emelle & Dahge, and the two hosts are Dnas and Mystic.

By Kyung Jin Lee

Urban Peace Movement announced Town Up Tuesday, a free community music and social awareness festival dedicated to the people of Oakland to celebrate Bay Area culture and create safety by fostering connection and belonging.

It will be on Tuesday, May 21, at Edoff Memorial Bandstand at Lake Merritt from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The event will feature local Bay Area legends and rising stars home-grown talent that will include 10 performers: 1100 Himself, The Conscious Daughters, Michael Sneed, Trunk Boiz, 3LISE, The Animaniakz and Ms. Bria.

Too $hort is a special guest and there will also be a surprise legendary Oakland artist. The two DJs are Emelle & Dahge, and the two hosts are Dnas and Mystic.

Past performers have included: Kamaiyah, Yukmouth, Stunnaman02, Symba, Lil Kayla, Grand Nationxl, Jane Handcock, and D Smoke, among others.

“Oakland is a historically Black city and one of the most diverse and progressive in the country — a city rich with culture,” said Nicole Lee, executive director of the Urban Peace Movement.

“At a time when we are being scapegoated for political gain and negative narratives of Oakland permeate the press, we’re uplifting who we truly are and all the things that make this region so special.”

About Urban Peace Movement: Urban Peace Movement (UPM) is a racial justice organization working to end mass incarceration and the criminalization of Black and Brown communities in Oakland. https://urbanpeacemovement.org/ @urbanpeace510

Kyung Jin Lee is the media representative for the Urban Peace Movement.

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Bay Area

California Makes Strides in Fight Against Fentanyl

California National Guard’s Counterdrug Task Force has seized over 7,000 pounds of fentanyl including 3.4 million pills since the state launched a multi-agency operation in January 2024. Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the state’s progress on May 7, National Fentanyl Awareness Day. The Governor said he deployed the state’s highway patrol and National Guard personnel last year as part of a public safety operation in partnership with local government officials and law enforcement.

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In the past five years, California has invested $1.1 billion in operations and initiatives to fight crime, support local law enforcement, and improve public safety. The Newsom administration has implemented a comprehensive approach as part of the governor’s Master Plan to tackle the fentanyl and opioid crisis.

By California Black Media

California National Guard’s Counterdrug Task Force has seized over 7,000 pounds of fentanyl including 3.4 million pills since the state launched a multi-agency operation in January 2024.

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the state’s progress on May 7, National Fentanyl Awareness Day.

The Governor said he deployed the state’s highway patrol and National Guard personnel last year as part of a public safety operation in partnership with local government officials and law enforcement.

“As we recognize the serious dangers of illegal fentanyl, California is continuing to tackle this issue head-on. Our efforts are getting this poison off our streets and out of our communities as we continue to support people struggling with substance use.” Newsom said.

CalGuard Major General Matthew Beevers said that the state’s unprecedented investment in the Counterdrug Task Force has immobilized operations and revenue channels of transnational criminal organizations.

“The CalGuard is committed to supporting our state, federal, local and tribal law enforcement partners to eliminate the scourge of fentanyl,” Beevers said.

In the past five years, California has invested $1.1 billion in operations and initiatives to fight crime, support local law enforcement, and improve public safety. The Newsom administration has implemented a comprehensive approach as part of the governor’s Master Plan to tackle the fentanyl and opioid crisis.

The Newsom administration has expanded efforts to improve public safety across the state where operations occurred in cities such as San Francisco, Oakland, and Bakersfield.

San Francisco Mayor London Breed acknowledged that joint operation was a step in the right direction toward curbing illegal activity and improving public safety.

“Our coordinated work to shut down drug markets in San Francisco is making a difference, but we have more work to do,” Breed said.

“Together we are sending a message at all levels of government that anyone selling fentanyl in this city will be arrested and prosecuted,” she said.

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Alameda County

Community Rally Demands Supervisors Merge Recall with Regular Elections

A group of community-based organizations rallied prior to the May 14 Alameda County Board of Supervisors’ vote to persuade the Board to vote to merge the recall election of District Attorney Pamela Price with the regularly scheduled election calendar in November. The groups urged the county to use the funds for healthcare and homelessness relief rather than a special election.

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Special to The Post
Special to The Post

By Post Staff

A group of community-based organizations rallied prior to the May 14 Alameda County Board of Supervisors’ vote to persuade the Board to vote to merge the recall election of District Attorney Pamela Price with the regularly scheduled election calendar in November.

The groups urged the county to use the funds for healthcare and homelessness relief rather than a special election.

Stewart Chen, a member of the Oakland Chinatown Improvement Council, told the Post that he and many members of the community-based participants supported the decision made by the Supervisors.

Chen said, “The voters voting in a special election in September will likely vote the same way in the November election. An extra two months won’t change people’s minds, but it will result in significant savings for the county. During times of financial uncertainty, especially when the county healthcare system is facing a huge deficit, it is unnecessary to waste taxpayers’ money on a special election that can easily wait two months.”

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