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Kamala Harris Rally in Oakland Draws 20,000

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Kamala Harris returned to her birth place to kick off her campaign for the US presidency with some hometown flair. The Clouds cleared for a rally that drew an estimated 20,000 people to Oakland’s City Hall on Sunday, Jan. 27, the crowd overflowing out to Broadway and E. 14th street.

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaff introduced Harris after a musical interlude with Oakland’s own Samba Funk band and the Skyline High School Band. The National Anthem was sung by Bay Area Inter-Faith Choir.

Schaaf said she met Harris in her youth—their parents were friends. Schaaf spoke about Harris’s leadership at SF MOMA in establishing an art program in West Oakland. “Before anyone was watching, Kamala was fighting for the people, and that is why she is the leader this country needs,” Schaff enthusiastically told the assembly.

Kamala Harris’ campaign kickoff rally in Oakland on Jan. 27, 2019, drew over 20,000 people—about 5,000 more than President Obama’s campaign launch attracted. Photo by Amir Saadiq

Kamala Harris, currently the junior senator from California told her hometown supporters: “I am so proud to be a daughter of Oakland.” Her parents—a father from Jamaica and a mother from India—met at UC Berkeley and were part of the Civil Rights movement. She added, “We were raised in a community where we were taught to…be conscious and compassionate about the struggles of all people.”

Her campaign slogan, “Kamala Harris for the people” came from her first days in court as a DA. Her experience in that position taught her about flaws in the criminal justice system, she said. Now, she added, “‘For the people’ meant fighting for middle class families who had been defrauded by banks and were losing their homes by the millions in the Great Recession.”

Harris listed several issues facing the working class today that her campaign will address: the income gap across both gender and race lines, over-incarceration of Black men, affordable housing, the opioid crisis, and “age-old forms of hate”—racism, sexism, and homophobia.

An enthusiastic crowd greets Kamala Harris as she kicks off her campaign for the US presidency on Jan. 27, 2019. Photo by Amir Saadiq

Harris acknowledged that Climate change is real and a serious problem, bringing floods and drought to the heartland. “We will act on science facts, not science fiction,” she said.

Harris called out current government leadership for hurting the American people. “We have leaders who attack public schools and vilify public school teachers—that’s not our America. When bankers who crashed our economy get bonuses but workers who brought our country back can’t even get a raise—that’s not our America. And when American families are barely living paycheck to paycheck, what is this administration’s response? Their response is to try to take away health care from millions of families,” she said. She also promised Medicare for all and a big middle class tax cut, paying for it by reversing the Trump tax giveaway.

Yet she insisted that we not allow the current state of affairs divide us as a country. “Our United States of America is not about us versus them. It’s about ‘We the People’!” she said, garnering energetic applause, and continued, “And in this moment, we must all speak truth about what’s happening. “

Then she said “I stand you before to announce my candidacy,” and the crowd again erupted into cheers and applause.

“I am running to fight for an America where economy works for people and you only have to work one job to pay the bills. I’m running to fight for an America where no mother or father has to teach their son that people may stop him, arrest him, chase him, or kill him, because of his race.

“Its up to us, each and every one of us…we have the power of the people,” Harris concluded. “We can achieve the dreams of our parents and grandparents. We can reclaim the American dream for every person in this country. So lets do this! And let’s do it together!”

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Activism

OCCUR AMBOF 2022 Leadership Forum and Year-End Celebration

“Some of these stories we know about, such as Wanda Johnson’s tragic loss of her son Oscar Grant, others we’ve yet to learn. During this Forum, these champions for change will teach faith-based and nonprofit leaders serving underrepresented communities of color how to push forward, despite facing difficult and even hostile environments in a time that many people deny that this is our reality,” says Carmen Bogan, the Program’s Director.

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(Pictured left to right:) Wanda Johnson, Founder, the Oscar Grant Foundation; Fred Blackwell, CEO, San Francisco Foundation; Dr. Nadine Scott, Founder, Ariel Outreach Mission; and Dee Johnson, Executive Director, the Lend a Hand Foundation.
(Pictured left to right:) Wanda Johnson, Founder, the Oscar Grant Foundation; Fred Blackwell, CEO, San Francisco Foundation; Dr. Nadine Scott, Founder, Ariel Outreach Mission; and Dee Johnson, Executive Director, the Lend a Hand Foundation.

“The Journey to the Vision”

Faith-based organization leaders often discuss their visions today, but not the struggles that brought them to now. On Sept. 27, 2022, OCCUR and San Francisco Foundation FAITHS will present a special Zoom Leadership Forum and AMBOF Year-End Celebration “The Journey to the Vision.” Guest speakers include Fred Blackwell, CEO, San Francisco Foundation; Wanda Johnson, Founder, the Oscar Grant Foundation; Dee Johnson, Executive Director, the Lend a Hand Foundation; and Dr. Nadine Scott, Founder, Ariel Outreach Mission. Like so many leaders working in the trenches daily to make life better for us all, these extraordinary individuals have, somewhere along the line, confronted a moment that made the difference in how they emerged into who they are today.

“Some of these stories we know about, such as Wanda Johnson’s tragic loss of her son Oscar Grant, others we’ve yet to learn. During this Forum, these champions for change will teach faith-based and nonprofit leaders serving underrepresented communities of color how to push forward, despite facing difficult and even hostile environments in a time that many people deny that this is our reality,” says Carmen Bogan, the Program’s Director. Participants will learn how to turn tragedy into purpose, build powerhouse organizations from little or nothing, reinvent their organization or themselves, honor and build legacy in their work, stabilize their funding once and for all, and find their base of community support and action.

The journey to the vision can lead to change, transformation, and triumph. Join us for the celebration!

Date/Time: September 27, 2022, 9am-11am PST

Location: Zoom

How to Attend: Please RSVP on our website, amodelbuiltonfaith.org

Questions: Email info@occurnow.org, or call (510) 839-2440

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Activism

Veterans Fish Free

NABVETS and other Bay Area veterans groups will join together with East Bay Regional Park District to go fishing, 9:00am to 2:30pm Saturday, September 27 at the Oakley Regional Shoreline (Antioch Pier) at Bridgehead Road and Wilbur Avenue, Antioch, CA. 

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NABVETS and other Bay Area veterans groups will join together with East Bay Regional Park District to go fishing, 9:00am to 2:30pm Saturday, September 27 at the Oakley Regional Shoreline (Antioch Pier) at Bridgehead Road and Wilbur Avenue, Antioch, CA.

Buses will provide free transportation from Richmond and Concord. For information, view the flyer below or call 510-545-2554.

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Bay Area

Pastor Alvin Bernstine Remembers Reverend Marvin Webb

Marvin knew the Richmond story. He knew its players, people, politics and possibilities. Whenever called upon for Richmond, he showed up. Whoever from Richmond needed him, he was there. He made Richmond proud when he was drafted and playing for the Los Angeles Dodgers. The world saw in Marvin that something good can come out of Richmond.

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Marvin Webb. Photo courtesy of Contra Costa County Supervisor John Gioia.
Marvin Webb. Photo courtesy of Contra Costa County Supervisor John Gioia.

By Pastor Alvin Bernstine

The Reverend Marvin Webb represented the best of Richmond. He, in fact, embodied the best of Richmond and that’s how he showed up. Although my time with him was not long, it was long enough for him to share, and for me to see and conclude that Marvin Webb provided insight into the soul of Richmond. He was not born in Richmond, but he lived in Richmond, schooled in Richmond, played in Richmond, struggled in Richmond, fought in and for Richmond, worked in Richmond, worshiped in Richmond, and sadly, much too soon — died in Richmond.

I only met him 15 years ago. At the request of his former wife, Katrina, he joined the Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Church and became, for me, a genuinely loving and loyal brother. He brought so much into the world: curious intellect, incredible athleticism, healthy competitiveness, melodious musicality, business acumen — all complemented with a compassionate and worshipful heart.

Marvin knew the Richmond story. He knew its players, people, politics and possibilities. Whenever called upon for Richmond, he showed up. Whoever from Richmond needed him, he was there. He made Richmond proud when he was drafted and playing for the Los Angeles Dodgers. The world saw in Marvin that something good can come out of Richmond.

On Sept. 24, 7:30 a.m. at Franklin Canyon Golf Course people from Richmond, and vicinity, will show up for Reverend Marvin Webb. The Fifth Annual Marvin Webb — BMBC Golf Tournament will follow his spirit in having fun, healthy competition, and compassionately supporting Ya-Heema Healing Circle, an agency committed to bring healing to Richmond. To register/sponsor contact Franklin Canyon Golf Course (510) 799-6191 or DeWanda Joseph (510) 776-5443.

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