On Sunday, November 24th, a coalition called Housing Justice Village set up a housing community in Oscar Grant Plaza. The City of Oakland decided that at 10:00pm the community became in violation of an overnight camping regulation. Police tore down the tents and arrested 22 coalition members on charges of overnight camping and suspicion of resisting arrest. All were taken to Santa Rita with bail set at $5,000.
We are excited to share that seven (7) bills that we supported this year were signed into law!
“We” are SURJ Bay Area’s Policy Committee (formerly the Policy Working Group). We are working in service to and in collaboration with our POC-led partner organizations that work on legislative advocacy: Californians United for a Responsible Budget (CURB), the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, Legal Services for Prisoners with Children (LSPC) / All of Us or None (AOUON), Essie Justice Group, and Initiate Justice. We listed our work-in-progress in a couple of earlier blogs (SURJ Bay Area Policy Priorities For 2019, Updated SURJ Bay Area Policy Priorities for 2019, Cross-Over Edition) and now that this year’s legislative cycle is over, we’d like to celebrate some successes, as well as get ready for next year!
By Sophia Friesen
“To celebrate the cultures and diversity of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) community in Oakland and the East Bay”: this is the stated goal of Oakland Pride, celebrated on September 8th of this year. This is an admirable mission indeed, but was it achieved? Celebration of diversity is a vague goal: what it gains in breadth it loses in measurability. Who is truly included and celebrated as part of the East Bay LGBTQ community, and who is overlooked or left out?
By Micki Luckey
This summer nearly thirty members of SURJ BA — Showing Up for Racial Justice Bay Area — voted on books for white people about racial justice, indicating those they recommend, as well as those they want to read. This blog is about nonfiction books recommended by our members. (See the Fiction list here)
By Micki Luckey
“And O my people, out yonder, hear me, they do not love your neck unnoosed and straight. So love your neck; put a hand on it, grace it, stroke it and hold it up…. hear me now, love your heart. For this is the prize.” From a passage in Toni Morrison’s Beloved that is engraved on the wall of the National Lynching Memorial in Montgomery, Alabama.
By Micki Luckey
While visiting the National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama, Christina Sharpe, a Black Professor from York University, was deep in contemplation of the trauma represented by the names of lynching victims on 805 hanging steel columns and similar coffin-like columns laid in the ground. She was approached by a white woman who said, “I’m so sorry.” Sharpe said she did not reply; full of her own sorrow, she did not want to take on the unknown white woman’s distress.
By Sandy Bredt
“Our founding ideals of liberty and equality were false when they were written.” With that salvo, Nikole Hannah-Jones opens the introduction to her latest gem, the New York Times’ “1619 Project,” a comprehensive exploration of slavery and racism, produced with the Smithsonian and the Pulitzer Center in commemoration of the 400th anniversary of the first African slave ship landing on our shores.
By Christina Robinson and Elizabeth Humphries
In just one week three communities across this country faced terror and the loss of loved ones at the hands of white men armed with guns. Our hearts are heavy with sadness for those who are grieving and those who have been touched in other ways — like those who will never be able to attend the Gilroy Garlic Festival without remembering the terror that happened there. And because it can feel like any town, city, church, or festival could be next, we share the fear and trepidation of people throughout our country.
If you follow the California State Legislature, May was an exciting month! Since all California bills must pass both state legislative houses (the California Assembly and the California Senate), May is the month when bills that successfully passed with enough votes in their house of origin “cross-over” to their second house, hopefully on their way to the governor’s desk.
The Policy Working Group of the SURJ Bay Area chapter is working in service to, and in collaboration with our POC-led partner organizations that work on legislative advocacy: Californians United for a Responsible Budget (CURB), the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, Legal Services for Prisoners with Children (LSPC) / All of Us or None(AOUON), Essie Justice Group, and Initiate Justice. We listed our original policy goals in our previous post SURJ Bay Area Policy Priorities For 2019, and now that some bills have successfully crossed-over, here’s the updated list of bills that we are actively supporting as the bills go through their second house!
As described in our previous post The Role of Policy in SURJ’s Racial Justice Work, the Policy Working Group of the SURJ Bay Area chapter is working in service to, and in collaboration with our POC-led partner organizations that work on legislative advocacy: Californians United for a Responsible Budget (CURB), the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, Legal Services for Prisoners with Children (LSPC) / All of Us or None(AOUON), Essie Justice Group, and Initiate Justice. As we enter the 2nd quarter of the 2019 California legislative cycle, we’d like to share the bills, propositions, and campaigns that are our focus for 2019. While we expect a few more additions, this list will give you a good idea of what we’ll be supporting (and opposing) as this year progresses.