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McClymonds Makes A Big Splash with Pool Reopening

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McClymonds High School is making new waves with the reopening this week of its school pool this week, which has been shuttered for eight years.

 

For community members who have mobilized to preserve the legacy of McClymond’s sports and academic programs, this week’s pool reopening signifies the Oakland Unified School District’s (OUSD) commitment to invest in students at the West Oakland school.

 

 

For 25 years, McClymonds has gone without a swim program. Now, with new swim director Leon Sykes, the pool will become a regular resource for students and the community.

 

On Tuesday, OUSD Superintendent Antwan Wilson joined students, community members and school principal Tinisha Hamberlin to celebrate the pool’s reopening.

 

Also attending the Nov. 3 event was Council President Lynette Gibson McElhaney, Assemblymember Rob Bonta, Alameda County Supervisor Keith Carson’s office, and School Board Director Jumoke Hinton Hodge.

Cutting the ribbon (L to R): OUSD Superintendent Antwan Wilson, student Jared Utley, student J’mya Gray-Martinez, principal Tinisha Hamberlin, student Anthony Beron, and Council President Lynette Gibson McElhaney. Not shown: School Board Director Jumoke Hinton Hodge and Charles Smith with OUSD Building and Grounds. Photo by Ashley Chambers.

Cutting the ribbon (L to R): OUSD Superintendent Antwan Wilson, student Jared Utley, student J’mya
Gray-Martinez, principal Tinisha Hamberlin, student Anthony Beron, and Council President Lynette Gibson McElhaney. Not shown: School Board Director
Jumoke Hinton Hodge and Charles Smith with OUSD Building and Grounds. Photo by Ashley Chambers.

“This is the best pool the city has, and for it to be open, it shows why West Oakland is so great,” said Sykes. He said it offers “a healthy exercising alternative” at the school.

 

Students Jared Utley, J’mya Gray-Martinez, Anthony Beron, and Allen Laurenson-Reed – excited to take advantage of the new opportunity and jump in the pool on Tuesday – spoke about how this will impact them and the West Oakland community.

 

“Opening this pool is a message of hope for these kids, and it’s saying that the school district is fighting for (us). As long as we know that you’re fighting for us, we’re going to…do everything that we can,” said Utley, a senior at McClymonds.

From left to right: Superintendent Antwan Wilson; Council President Lynette Gibson McElhaney; School Board Director Jumoke Hinton Hodge; Leon Sykes, manager of the McClymonds High School pool; and Charles Smith, OUSD Buildings and Grounds. (not shown: McClymonds principal Tinisha Hamberlin). Photo by Ashley Chambers.

From left to right: Superintendent Antwan Wilson; Council President Lynette Gibson McElhaney; School Board Director
Jumoke Hinton Hodge; Leon Sykes, manager of the McClymonds High School pool; and Charles Smith, OUSD Buildings and Grounds. (not shown: McClymonds principal Tinisha Hamberlin). Photo by Ashley Chambers.

 

For junior Gray-Martinez, who has been swimming since the age of 6, this is another way to cultivate community. She said, “It’s a way for West Oakland to be able to reconnect with each other.”

 

Superintendent Wilson said investing in such school programming will help students achieve success.

 

“Being exposed to this type of facility and having programming that allows them to be here around adults who care for them in a program where they can thrive…that’s what it’s going to take to ensure that our young people are successful,” he said.

 

Supervisor Keith Carson was instrumental in helping to reopen the pool so students can have the opportunity to take swimming lessons.

 

The pool’s reopening is just the beginning of building up the sports programs at McClymonds, said School Board Director Hinton Hodge.

 

“We should have a viable strong sports program, (including) sports management, sports medicine. Let’s build out the careers and the opportunities that are linked to this,” she said.

 

“We can create a culture and mentality around health and around fitness and around wellness, and coming together as community.”

Barbara Lee

Barbara Lee Applauds 2nd Round of Workforce Funding from COVID Community Care Act Legislation

Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13) applauded the announcement that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) will be awarding $121 million to 127 award recipients of the Local Community-Based Workforce to Increase COVID-19 Vaccine Access Program.

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Barbara Lee

Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13) applauded the announcement that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) will be awarding $121 million to 127 award recipients of the Local Community-Based Workforce to Increase COVID-19 Vaccine Access Program.

Announced on July 27, these awards are funded with resources from provisions within the American Rescue Plan Act that Lee led through her COVID Community Care Act.  This reflects the second of two funding opportunities announced in May 2021 for community-based efforts to hire and mobilize community outreach workers, community health workers, social support specialists, and others to increase vaccine access for the hardest-hit and highest-risk communities through high-touch, on-the-ground outreach to educate and assist individuals in getting the information they need about vaccinations.

The first round of funding, which was administered in June, included an $11 million award to the Public Health Institute in Oakland and a $9.5 million award to the Association of Asian/Pacific Community Health Organizations in Berkeley. Three Oakland based organizations, the Public Health Institute, Women Organized to Respond to Life-Threatening Diseases, and Safe Passages, are recipients of this round of funding, bringing the total funding brought to organizations in CA-13 to nearly $23 million.

“We are facing another inflection point in this pandemic. We must make meaningful investments in getting everyone vaccinated—especially communities of color and medically underserved communities,” said Lee.  “I worked hard in Congress to invest in trusted messengers at the community level to build confidence in vaccines and COVID-19 prevention efforts. This is a much-needed continuation of that work, and we’ll see over a million dollars of investment on the ground in our own East Bay community.

“Our Tri-Caucus – the Congressional Black Caucus, Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, and Native American member Congresswoman Sharice Davids, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Frank Pallone, Education and Labor Committee Chair Bobby Scott and Appropriations Committee Chair Rosa DeLauro deserve credit for their hard work and support in getting this across the finish line in the American Rescue Plan.  We can see that the work of House Democrats is making a real-life impact on the ground for communities.  This is an important step, but we must continue our work to dismantle systemic racism in our public health system and ensure that vaccines are equitably and adequately distributed.”

The purpose of this program is to establish, expand, and sustain a public health workforce to prevent, prepare for, and respond to COVID-19.  This includes mobilizing community outreach workers, which includes community health workers, patient navigators, and social support specialists to educate and assist individuals in accessing and receiving COVID-19 vaccinations.  

This includes activities such as conducting face-to-face outreach and reaching out directly to community members to educate them about the vaccine, assisting individuals in making a vaccine appointment, providing resources to find convenient vaccine locations, assisting individuals with transportation or other needs to get to a vaccination site.

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Bay Area

Where Do Negotiations Go Now After A’s “Howard Terminal” or Bust Ultimatum?

The A’s are seeking to develop 55 acres at the Port of Oakland. The proposal includes a 35,000-seat baseball stadium, which would cost $1 billion, or 8.3% of the total project.

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Oakland A's Photo Courtesy of Rick Rodriquez via Unsplash

FILE – In this Nov. 17, 2016, file photo, Oakland Athletics President David Kaval gestures during a news conference in Oakland, Calif. TheAthletics will be phased out of revenue sharing in the coming years as part of baseball’s new labor deal, and that puts even more urgency on the small-budget franchise’s plan to find the right spot soon to build a new, privately funded ballpark. Kaval, named to his new A’s leadership position last month, is committed to making quick progress but also doing this right. That means strong communication with city and civic leaders as well as the community and fan base. (AP Photo/Ben Margot, File)

John Fisher

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nikki Fortunato

Rebecca Kaplan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oakland’s City Council rejected the A’s proposed non-binding term sheet, which the team had presented to the City along with an ultimatum, “Howard Terminal or Bust.”

At a packed City Council meeting last week, attended by 1,000 people on Zoom, many residents were angry at what they viewed as the A’s real estate “land grab” at the Port of Oakland and either said that the team should leave or stay at the Oakland Coliseum in East Oakland.
Rejecting the A’s term sheet, councilmembers at the July 20th meeting voted 6-1 with one abstention to make a counteroffer, approving city staff’s and Council’s amendments to the A’s term sheet.

Council’s vote was to continue negotiating with the A’s, and the A’s gained substantial concessions, $352 million, enough to return for further negotiations, in Oakland. The Council’s vote didn’t derail A’s pursuit of Las Vegas.

Now, over a week since Council’s vote, neither A’s President Dave Kaval nor owner John Fisher have spoken publically on the A’s intent to continue bargaining with Oakland for their proposed $12 billion waterfront development at Howard Terminal.

The A’s are seeking to develop 55 acres at the Port of Oakland. The proposal includes a 35,000-seat baseball stadium, which would cost $1 billion, or 8.3% of the total project.

In addition to the stadium, the development features 3,000 condominium/housing units; over a million square feet of commercial space (office and retail); a 3,500-seat performance theater, 400 hotel rooms and approximately 18 acres of parks and open space.

The most fundamental sticking point, along with all the other complications, is whether a commercial/residential development, ‘a city within a city,” in the middle of a working seaport are compatible uses for the land. Many experts are saying that the existence of upscale residences and thousands of tourists strolling around will eventually destroy the Port of Oakland, which is the economic engine of the city and the region.

According to Kaval, who had pushed for the Council to approve the ultimatum, “We’re disappointed that the city did not vote on our proposal … we’re going to take some time and really dig in and understand and ‘vet’ what they did pass and what all the amendments mean.”

Although the A’s stated a willingness to be open to the amended terms Council approved, Kaval expressed uncertainty whether the Council’s amended term sheet offers “a path forward.”

“The current [amended] term sheet as its constructed is not a business partnership that works for us,” said Kaval, saying the team would have to examine the Council’s counter-offer before deciding to resume negotiations or return to Las Vegas or focus on finding a new home someplace else.

City Council President Bas and Mayor Libby Schaaf joined city and labor leaders to discuss the Council’s vote. Vice Mayor Rebecca Kaplan made it clear that the amended term sheet the Council approved should be considered a “road map for future negotiations … a baseline for further discussions.”

Upon Kaval’s dismissal of the Council’s stated positions, Fife said, “I don’t know where we go from here,” abstaining from the vote on the proposed term sheet.

Many find Kaval’s statement confusing because he used words like partnership but apparently ignored and/or disregarded the City of Oakland – the A’s major stakeholder and a business partnership since 1968, more than 53 years.

Some are asking if the A’s understand that Oakland’s 53-year relationship with the team is the basis for the meme “Rooted in Oakland?” Are the A’s willing to accept, as the Council has determined, that the terms of the business “partnership” must be equitable and mutually beneficial for all of “us”?

And the question remains after a 53-year relationship, is it reasonable to terminate that relationship or negotiate further for an equitable and mutually beneficial business partnership?

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Community

Congratulations to Michelle Mack

Nominated for Teacher of the Year

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Photo courtesy Michelle Mack

Congratulations to Michelle Mack, currently a pre-K lead teacher in Atlanta, Ga., who was nominated for Teacher of the Year. A 2008 graduate of St. Elizabeth’s High School who earned a degree in child psychology from San Francisco State University in 2012, Mack received her master’s from Clark University in 2015.

Mack was recognized by the Easter Seals of North Georgia (ESNG) for “serving five consistent years teaching children and helping families with the same company” and awarded the ESNG-Guice Center Award for Individual Excellence.

 

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