Abel's eNews: Defending Dreamers, feedback on A's ballpark, clean up our creeks!

Hope this newsletter continues to be useful and of interest to you. Please share it with your friends and neighbors. If you have any questions, comments or story ideas, please email me at aguillen@oaklandnet.com.

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Fighting for Our Dreamers – and Our Future
To our Dreamers: You are fighters, you are resilient. We stand with you and for you in this struggle. The vast majority of Americans stand with you: They see you serving bravely in our military, pursuing your education in hopes of a better life, working hard, creating small businesses, paying taxes, and helping every day to make our nation stronger. We stand united in this fight because this cause is bigger than you alone. We will win because your American Dream is the same as that of all the people born in this country. Our shared principles of freedom, fairness and opportunity are much bigger than the narrow-minded and short-sighted claims of this Republican administration. Our country is bigger – and better – than Trump.

The 800,000 DACA recipients make a positive contribution to America’s economy, as do the more than 220,000 who live, work and study in California grow our state’s prosperity. Alameda County and Oakland is home to 17,000 DACA-eligible residents.

By some estimates, an average of 30,000 workers could lose their jobs every month once DACA provisions are eliminated. The loss of those workers could cost $460.3 billion in national economic output over the next decade. Medicare and Social Security contributions could fall by $24.6 billion. Canceling DACA will affect all of us – in particular Baby Boomers and retirees.

Now that Trump has rescinded DACA, it’s time for Congress to go beyond temporary protections for our young people and pass legislation that permanently guarantees their opportunity to participate in the American Dream and provides a path to citizenship.

SUPPORT THE RESOLUTION. Yesterday, I introduced a Council resolution asking Congress to adopt the bipartisan Dream Act of 2017. Even with DACA status intact, our young Dreamers – and their families – would still be subject to a future of uncertainty, and therefore urgently need permanent protections stronger than DACA that are beyond the reach of presidential whim and the political fervor of the moment. Restoring DACA is not good enough – we need the Dream Act.

My resolution will be considered by the Council’s Rules Committee on Thursday, September 14, and then hopefully slated for a vote by the full Council on Tuesday, September 19.

SIGN THE PETITION – MAKE THE CALLS. In the coming weeks and months, please join us in mobilizing public support in legislative chambers and in the streets (photos from Grand Lake rally). Join me in signing this petition urging Congress to pass the Dream Act. Make the call to key Republican leaders.

Community Input on a New Ballpark for the A’s 
The Oakland Athletics held two public forums last month as part of their “listening tour” to discuss potential sites for a new ballpark with the community. As you know, the A’s are looking at three sites – the existing Oakland Coliseum property, the Port of Oakland’s Howard Terminal next to Jack London Square, and an Eastlake site on a Peralta Colleges parcel between Laney and I-880.

I am doing my due diligence on this issue, and I want to continue to hear from you and my constituents during the coming weeks. I’ve been talking with community stakeholders about their preferences for a site that keeps the team in Oakland and benefits our neighborhoods. So far, I’ve heard both positive features and neighborhood concerns about each of the potential sites, particularly the Peralta site since it is located in our Council district.

For the 13-acre Eastlake site, the Peralta community – trustees, administration, staff, students and faculty – will need to weigh the possibility, since the college district owns the land and would need to reach an agreement with the team for its use. I can appreciate the appeal of revenue benefits for Peralta to fund educational programs, campus facilities and student housing, and will respect their process in evaluating this opportunity.

At the same time, the wider Oakland community – and the surrounding Chinatown and Eastlake neighborhoods – may have strong concerns about gentrification and displacement pressures arising from putting a new ballpark there. Depending on the specifics of the proposal, substantial mitigations, transportation and housing implications, and a range of community benefits may be involved.

As your Councilmember, I want my constituents to be able to support the site choice, wherever it may be. If the choice is not the existing Coliseum site, for example, I would want to see more ideas about how that land might be best repurposed to serve Oakland’s needs for affordable housing, job creation, economic growth, and environmental protection and open space. These same priorities hold for any new ballpark site.

I want to hear your ideas and concerns about the potential ballpark sites – especially the Peralta parcel – and the future of the A’s remaining in Oakland. Please fill out my District 2 survey. You can also email me at aguillen@oaklandnet.com with your comments.


Oakland Firefighters in Texas
The Oakland Fire Department search-and-rescue team that deployed to help flood victims in the Houston area has returned. We’re proud of our local heroes and grateful for their service. To donate to the flood recovery: visit redcross.org, call 800-RED CROSS or text HARVEY to 90999 to make a $10 donation. You might also consider a donation to the Texas Organizing Project to help ensure that Harvey’s most vulnerable victims, including immigrants and the poor, have equitable access to critical services from first response and basic needs to healthcare, housing and transportation. 


Are You Prepared for Natural Disaster?
The hurricane in Texas reminds us that a major disaster will overwhelm first responders, leaving many citizens on their own for the first seven to 10 days after the emergency. Are you and your neighbors ready for the next Oakland emergency? The City offers training classes and workshops for individuals and neighborhood groups through Communities of Oakland Respond to Emergencies (CORE). I’m almost done with my CORE certification. Join me, and sign up today for this free training.


Saturday, September 23 | Community Office Hours in Chinatown
10:00 am-12:00 pm | outside Oakland Library Asian Branch, 388 9th St.
Councilmember Guillén holds monthly “office hours” out in the community along with “Walk and Talks” throughout the year. We’ve been in Bella Vista, Cleveland Heights, East Lake and Grand Lake the past few months, and will be in the Chinatown neighborhood this month. Say hello and share your thoughts about the neighborhood. Bring the kids! “Walk-ins” are welcome, but you can reserve a time slot to avoid waiting: Jessica Chen, clchen@oaklandnet.com or 510-238-7022

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District 2 Residents Turn Out for Public Safety Town Hall
At Roosevelt Middle School last night, Councilmember Guillén, the Bella Vista Neighborhood Crime Prevention Council and Trybe hosted Oakland Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick, District Attorney Nancy O’Malley and Public Safety Director Venus Johnson for a lively discussion about our neighborhood concerns about safety, crime prevention and community-police relations.

More than 75 residents showed up to share their ideas and concerns about public safety – and enjoyed a pre-meeting community potluck. The wide-ranging conversation covered topics on improving police accountability, walking patrols and traffic-calming concerns, mapping safe routes to schools for our kids, cracking down on sex traffickers and providing resources for their victims, and defining OPD’s role in protecting public safety during ICE raids.


Saturday, September 16 | Oakland Creek to Bay Day
Various locations in District 2
MARK YOUR CALENDAR: Oakland Creek to Bay Day is part of California and International Coastal Cleanup Day, the largest volunteer day in the world. Last year, more than 1,000 volunteers removed more than 130 cubic yards of trash and cleared 260 cubic yards of invasive plants from creeks, parks, shorelines and streets at 46 Oakland locations. This year’s projects include litter removal, habitat restoration, urban greening and beautification around creeks, along shorelines and throughout our city. Wear work clothes and sturdy shoes. Equipment will be provided. List of locations For more info

Monday, September 18 | Shape Oakland’s Cultural Development Plan
10:00 am-12:00 pm | Oakland Asian Cultural Center, 388 9th St., Suite 290 
Help the City of Oakland create “Belonging in Oakland: A Cultural Development Plan,” Oakland’s first comprehensive citywide plan focused on arts and culture. A blueprint of goals and strategies to advance Oakland as a dynamic hub for creative practices, the Cultural Development Plan will create a snapshot of Oakland’s unique cultural assets, define cultural priorities for the city, foster opportunities for economic benefit and community engagement, and enhance the quality of life for Oakland residents, businesses and visitors.

Please join us for the District 2 community forum on September 18. The community process will run through the rest of the year, with plan adoption slated for February 2018. If you can’t attend one of the meetings, email your comments: culturalplan@oaklandnet.com For more info on the cultural planning process and event updates.


Sunday, September 10 | Splash Pad Market
12:00-5:00 pm | Splash Pad Park, across from Grand Lake Theatre
Enjoy free arcade games, do a little shopping, and grab a bite this Sunday. Splash Pad Market is a fun and family-friendly festival featuring more than 40 local businesses offering food, clothing, jewelry, beauty/health tips and more. Music provided by a DJ and jazz from Oakland Future Trio.

LGBTQ Community Center Opens in District 2
The cruel, deliberate and misguided attacks from the Trump Administration against the LGBTQ community nationwide underscore the need for – and the essential value of – an LGBTQ center in Oakland. That non-profit center, Co-Munity, celebrates its grand opening this week.

Located in District 2, the new space at 3207 Lakeshore Ave. (at Lake Park Blvd.) will help build an abiding sense of community, provide vital services and support, and sustain the struggle to preserve basic human rights. It’s a testament to the strength and resolve of our community that we have people like Joe and James taking the initiative to make this happen. I know good things will come from this effort. Welcome to the neighborhood!

I’ve donated $1,000 to help the center get started on solid footing. Please join me today in supporting this worthy cause. Learn more and donate


New Business Opens on Lakeshore | Proposition Chicken
Proposition Chicken is opening a new location on Lakeshore Ave. – its first official day is Wednesday, September 13. They’re moving into the former spot of Lakeshore Produce (3260 Lakeshore Ave. at Grand Ave.), which relocated down the street. The fast-casual restaurant is co-owned by Ari Feingold, Maxwell Cohen and Elizabeth Wells, who also own other San Francisco restaurants in Hayes Valley and the Mission along with the Proposition Chicken on Market St.

On Mondays, the restaurant gives back to the community by donating 10% of its dine-in sales to a different non-profit partner each month. Submit an application for your organization to be considered.


Saturday, September 9 | Legal Assistance Workshop on DACA 
10:00 am-1:00 pm | St. Elizabeth High School, 1530 34th Ave.
Centro Legal, in partnership with the Alameda County Immigration Legal and Education Partnership, will host a community forum and provide DACA news updates, free attorney consultations about DACA and other immigration relief.