by Sarah Burke
Call to ActionAt this point, Barber and Canton ask that communities and organizations appoint at least one representative to attend this Community Priorities Meeting. Eventually, members will be expected to stay engaged in the conversation surrounding local arts policies and cultural equity, as well as participate in actions. Anyone planning to attend the meeting can RSVP using this form and RSVP on Facebook here.
The City of Oakland is facing many crucial decisions at this moment as the next 2 year proposed budget (2015-2017) is being reviewed by the city council and in community budget hearing forums. Each council member will have an opportunity to identify and set budget priorities for their district and will vote to adopt a final budget by June 30th. In this moment of rapid and massive displacement, workforce development challenges, severe lack of affordable housing, and unnamed arts and culture priorities, the people of Oakland have an opportunity to speak up to ensure that budget priorities are rooted in cultural equity and create a vision where intersectional arts, culture and community initiatives are core priorities for neighborhood investment and development.
We aim to build a base of supporters that help shape and develop neighborhood based priorities for creative investment and activities; to encourage the City to re-establish the Oakland Arts Commission to assist in the creation of a neighborhood centered cultural plan. The adoption of a cultural plan that leverages the people and community assets already being cultivated on the grassroots level, and to encourage council members to develop policy/budget recommendations that support arts and cultural preservation, affordability, and healthy neighborhoods.
We invite anyone that wants to be involved in (1) action planning and advocacy, (2) communicating/rallying people, (3) policy writing/develop/research, (4) stakeholder cultivation, and (5) meeting/gathering facilitation, and probably more tasks to come. Lead organizers are Anyka Barber, Betti Ono Gallery and Katherin Canton, Emerging Arts Professionals/SFBA. This is a volunteer effort. We aim to make this organizing effort a sustainable one.