Abel’s eNews: A Community Day of Action | Revitalizing San Antonio Park

Community Day of Action Revitalizes San Antonio Park - 
Wow! Our community “day of action” that brought together neighbors, City staff and my friends in Oakland’s building trades last Saturday was a huge success. We blitzed through a big list of much-needed improvements to revitalize San Antonio Park.

In just a few hours, the team rewired the lights on the Sarunas Marciulionis basketball courts (which have been dark for a long time), installed a new water-hydration station (plumbing for restrooms to come soon), installed a brand-new slide, painted the swings and play structures, refreshed the track around the soccer field, patched concrete steps, added new concrete blocks to the retaining wall, replaced broken tables, gave benches, tables and fences a fresh coat of paint, installed new nets for the soccer goals, added mulch around tree basins, removed weeds on the tennis courts (more on these to come), picked up trash, raked leaves, and removed graffiti.


Organizing community “days of action” like this are my favorite thing to do as your Councilmember. Real work, real results. People working hand in hand to get things done: That’s what “community” is all about.

Thanks to everybody – we couldn’t have done it without you.


One of my goals as Councilmember has been to improve our neighborhood parks in District 2. So far, we’ve installed new equipment and a new design at the Astro Park tot lot. We refurbished the outdoor courts and indoor gym at Lincoln Rec Center. And last Saturday, we made real improvements to our beloved San Antonio Park – now we have a safe, clean, better-lit park for neighbors of all ages.


The Alameda County Building Trades Council, the City’s Public Works department and more than a dozen community organizations and schools joined more than 100 neighbors to make much-needed repairs and clean up our park. More than 50 tradespeople, including carpenters, electricians, plumbers, sheet metal and iron workers, and more – from International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 595, Iron Workers Union No. 378, Sheet Metal Workers’ Local Union No. 104, Operating Engineers Local 3, Plumbers & Steamfitters Local Union and Laborers Local 304 – lent their expert hands.


A giant thank you to the generosity of our union friends, who contributed thousands of dollars in in-kind skilled hours for some of the big-ticket revitalization projects we completed on Saturday morning. I also want to acknowledge the dedication of Martin Tovar, Oakland Public Works’ acting construction and maintenance mechanic supervisor, and his crew.

Thanks also to Starbucks, Pepsi and Trader Joe’s, and the Oakland Fire Department Station 4, who brought food and drink to fuel all of the volunteers.


I’m proud that we are working to make real changes at our park. Our Day of Action shows what the community can do when we all band together. And we will build on this day to do more great things for San Antonio Park.

I was able to secure $80,000 to replace the park restroom and $20,000 for future soccer-field safety improvements, but it’s the community spirit and partnerships that ultimately make the difference between good intentions and tangible results.


New benches for the soccer field and more concrete garbage containers will also be added when parts arrive.


Another day of community action is also being organized for January to plant some 60 new trees – adding to the two-dozen planted in 2016 to replace the dead elms that had to be removed.

As a future rehab project, I’m also working with the community to identify options to re-imagine new uses for the four existing tennis courts that need repair, possibly as a skate park, bike polo field, street-soccer field and multi-purpose court for tennis, volleyball and tai chi. Let me know what you think. I will keep you posted on next steps for San Antonio Park.

See you in the neighborhood,