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Williams Chapel Community Forum Discusses How to Use Block Grant Funding




Oakland District 2 residents and other interested people gathered recently to brainstorm how to use Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) money to benefit their neighborhoods.


The forum was held last Thursday evening at Williams Chapel, which under the leadership of Dr. Kenneth Anderson is mounting a $52 million development project.


The development will be built in the church parking lot, building 88 apartments of affordable housing for low-income seniors. The development is still its first phase at 10th Avenue and International Boulevard and at the beginning of the funding application process.


Dr. Anderson opened the forum by thanking those in attendance, stating that “community engagement matters so much.”


District 2 City Councilmember Abel Guillen also offered greetings, saying, “This is the second of four gatherings. One was held in Chinatown last night, and I thank you for participating tonight.”


Councilmember Guillen said around 50 people attended the Chinatown forum, and around 40 people attended this second forum.


The church made its fellowship hall available for the evening, and after opening remarks, breakout focus groups discussed ideas that will be recorded and voted upon by them.


District 2 is one of only two districts in Oakland that gather direct community input, rather than using an established board to decide how CDBG funds are used, “Maybe you won’t even know the decision by the board in your district,” said Councilmember Guillen.

The event was facilitated by the Participatory Budgeting Project (PBP), which has offices in New York and Oakland. The organization is a nonprofit designed to support participatory budgeting and empower people to decide together how to spend public money.

Dr. Anderson pointed out that in District 2 prostitution, drug abuse and graffiti are major problems.


And while block grant money can be used for infrastructure as well as programs and services, a facilitator pointed out that a stop sign costs $50,000, while a one-year weekly program for senior citizens costs $35,000.
As Williams Chapel under Dr. Anderson’s leadership mounts its building project, the church is also committed to broader planning for public monies available in their community.
For more information on community budgeting, go to


B.A.S.I.C. Ministry Opens Its Doors to Feed hundreds of Asian Americans in San Leandro

Since 2020, B.A.S.I.C. Ministry (Brothers and Sisters in Christ) has fed hundreds of families in San Leandro and Oakland through their Feed My Sheep Program. 



Volunteers feed the community/ Photo Courtesy of Mustafa Muhyee, Pastor B.A.S.I.C. MINISTRY

Since 2020, B.A.S.I.C. Ministry (Brothers and Sisters in Christ) has fed hundreds of families in San Leandro and Oakland through their Feed My Sheep Program. 

Located at 1221 Pacific Ave. in San Leandro, B.A.S.I.C. Ministry feeds hundreds of Asian American families every Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. Members of B.A.S.I.C. Ministry and people in the community volunteers distribute bags of groceries and fresh vegetables.  

Also, on Wednesdays the church distributes hot meals to hundreds of families on the corner of 98th and Edes in Oakland at noon.

Lisa, a young adult Asian American woman, standing in line with her elderly mother, said “Many people in our community can’t afford to buy food.  This really helps.

B.A.S.I.C. Ministry Pastor Mustafah Muhyee says “since the pandemic he has seen a rise in families needing food.” To help us end hunger in our communities call the church at (510) 961-8781. To donate funds, go to  

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Marvin Norman, 55

Marvin Norman of Oakland and Antioch, California, died at the age of 55 after enduring a ferocious battle with COVID-19 for more than four months.



Marvin Norman

Marvin Norman of Oakland and Antioch, California, died at the age of 55 after enduring a ferocious battle with COVID-19 for more than four months.

He transitioned on Monday, Aug. 16, 2021, in Santa Clara, CA.  

Marvin Gay Norman was born on Jan.19, 1966, in Houma, Louisiana, the son of Dennis Norman Sr. and Cora Mae Prevost.  He was the youngest of eight children.  

After moving to California in 1991, he met and married Terri (Gray) on April 20, 1996. Married for more than 25 years, they built a loving family.  

In 2000, he was hired as a longshoreman, becoming a crane operator at the Port of Oakland.  Together with his ILWU 10 brothers and sisters, he worked on the docks, moving products through the Port terminals. 

Marvin Norman was a religious man.  Most important to him was having a family, being a husband and providing for his family. He enjoyed his life and those around him, always ready with a smile and southern hospitality.

He enjoyed fishing, hunting, gardening, cooking and was an avid fan of all sports, especially football.  He was a dedicated fan of the New Orleans Saints and the Morehouse College football team. 

He would make a yearly trip to support his youngest son’s game.  When his children were younger, he would often cheer and coach from the sidelines at their soccer, football and basketball games. 

 Additionally, he was a great cook, pouring love and a smile into the meals he prepared.

His happiest moments were being able to spend time with his family and friends, which included his four dogs.  

He was preceded in death by his parents and the family members Darrell “Flick” Norman, Evette Norman and Angela Norman.

He is survived by his wife Terri Norman; daughter Marshante Roberts and three sons Marvin “Smurf” Jones, Joshua James Norman and Daniel Isiah Norman; seven grandchildren, ages, 13, 7, 6, 5 and 3; as well as siblings: Ralph Hayes, Inez Williams, Bettie Jean Norman, Carnell Norman, Connie Berry, Dennis Norman, Jr., Bernadette Norman, and Mary Butler; by his in-laws Sam Brownstone and Virginia Brownstone; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. 

 Condolences may be sent to 4735 Crestone Needle Way, Antioch, CA  94531.

The Oakland Post’s coverage of local news in Alameda County is supported by the Ethnic Media Sustainability Initiative, a program created by California Black Media and Ethnic Media Services to support community newspapers across California.

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