Oakland Rotary News

President Dudley Thompson

Call To Order - President Dudley Thompson

President Dudley Thompson convened the 5,369th Civic Thursday meeting of the Rotary Club of Oakland, the third oldest club in the Rotary world among 36,000 clubs in more than 200 countries.

Thought For The Day - Debo Sarkar

On this one-year anniversary of the insurgency at the US Capitol, Debo Sarkar shared a message of sanity and sanctity from India, the country of his birth, with an uplifting quote from Sri Ramakrishna:

“An ocean of bliss may rain down from the heavens, but if you hold up only a thimble, that is all you receive. Wisdom leads to unity, ignorance to separation. Spirituality automatically leads to humility. When a flower develops into a fruit, the petals drop off on its own. When one becomes spiritual, the ego vanishes gradually on its own. A tree laden with fruits always bends low. Humility is a sign of greatness.”

Speaker for the Day - Mayor Libby Shaaf

Past President Ces Butner introduced our speaker, Oakland Mayor and Rotary Honorary Member Libby Schaaf, noting Mayor Schaaf has worked to address Oakland issues like public safety and homelessness by stabilizing rents and housing thus preventing 1,800 families from losing homes annually. She created Oakland’s first Transportation Commission to address infrastructure and make previously unsafe roads and neighborhoods better. She also founded Oakland Promise, the cradle to college program, providing scholarships and mentors for more than 1,400 Oakland students annually and providing all babies born in Oakland with a $500 college saving account with financial coaching to parents. Mayor Schaaf, now entering her last year as two-term, eight-year tenure, addressed the Club as Mayor for the last time today.

Mayor Schaaf opened with appreciation for all her longtime friends met during her time in the 1990’s as an active Rotarian sponsored by her late godfather Harold LawrenceMayor Schaaf shared her recommitment to Oakland, spending her final months addressing increased gun violence, public safety and homelessness spikes during the pandemic. She credits her experience as a HOPE Mentor as inspiration for creating Oakland Promise with too many personal shout outs to her Rotarian influences to name. Mayor Schaaf spoke to the prior vernacular’s aspiration of “Oakland’s Potential” and highlighted the many ways Oakland has grown in its values of equity and inclusion while increasing units of “deeply affordable” housing and welcoming the energy of new Oakland residents arriving to “taste the secret sauce”. She noted 17,000 new units of housing with 2,100 of those affordable housing units to be expanded in time.

Mayor Schaaf shared more and more large companies are relocating their Headquarters to Oakland including Blue Shield, PG&E and Credit Karma, lifting up the “Oakland Brand’ with more jobs that are “changing the skyline and headlines” by improving infrastructure with the historic passage of Measure KK which has now paved over 100 miles of Oakland roads with 350 more miles planned over the next five years. Building on our values, she detailed the success of Oakland Promise sending more than 500 students to college each year.

Mayor Schaaf is also proud to be partnering with Oakland Chamber of Commerce to pilot a new housing program, the “Cabin Community/Tiny Village” model, a shift away from “gym style” congregate housing shelters to more dignified housing options, nearly tripling the number of previously unhoused to now-sheltered Oaklanders. This model is now recognized for its success in housing more than other large cities and appears to be successfully executed via the “Keep Oakland Housed” program, now keeping more than 2000 households in homes per year.  Calling herself Oakland’s “Chief Hustler”, she continues to secure more investment in Oakland from large institutions and national philanthropic organizations accounting for approximately $140M in accrued capital to date.

Safety continues to be at the forefront of her initiatives, with the City Council recently supporting her bid to increase the Oakland Police Department force with 60 more officers and redistribute police resources, especially to East Oakland, with a renewed goal to again cut gun violence in half, (towards pre-pandemic progress that had been made) by doubling staff to restore our nationally recognized Ceasefire initiative. She suggested all homes purchase security cameras and angle them pointing to the street to help deter criminals and hold accountable perpetrators. She also noted success with a pre-school initiative for a new parcel tax to support three and four-year-olds to start preschool. She is honored to be the first Oakland Mayor (and first woman) to chair the Big City Mayors Council with other large cities, getting funding to address homelessness by creating public-private partnerships for housing vouchers. She was recently honored to go to Washington, at the invite of President Biden and Vice President Harris, to attend the $1.3 Trillion Infrastructure Bill signing and shared a recent visit from the Secretary of Transportation to kick off “Town for All”, a comprehensive mobility system in key neighborhoods including Chinatown, Lake Merritt and Howard Terminal, Oakland’s new home to 18 acres of public access waterfront featuring 3,000 units of housing including many “deeply affordable” units, alongside multi-use interface with business, civic and other organizations coming together to attract excitement and greater investment in Oakland’s future.

Responding to questions from attendees, she encouraged anyone having problems with homeless sleeping outside businesses to call 311 or email public safety to send outreach workers. She also recommended the 211 Social Services hotline. She acknowledged problems experienced by Lake Merritt area residents where illegal vendors, events with amplified sound and unpermitted events are taking place. She further acknowledged concerns for the growing Snow Park encampment and said the concerns will be addressed.

New Members

Wendy Howard introduced our first new member of 2022, Kevin Hunter, VP of Johnstone Supply, a 3rd generation Californian, noting previous honors from the Boys Club and Coast Guard inspired his joining Rotary. Kevin generously rang the bell twice in honor of Gene Zahas and Wendy Howard. Thank you and welcome, Kevin!

Keith Giron also introduced newest member Jean Rains. A retired teacher, Jean enjoys taking kids out in nature and loves live music, especially east bay Jazz. Welcome, Jean!

Visiting Rotarians and Guests

Past President and Past District Governor Ed Jellen, announced visiting Rotarians including: Jennifer Pringle of the Dublin Rotary Club and District Governor Richard Flanders from Rotary Club of North Pleasanton, whose annual visit was to observe and rate us as part of his official duties.

Other visitors were Patty Pringle, Danielle Geong and Adam Pimentel, guests of President Elect Mary Geong; Bonnie Zita, guest of Allison Bliss; Bob Welch, guest of Linda Boessenecker, and Barry Donelan, guest of Keith Uriarte.

Presidential Bellringers

Past President Michael Bruck was honored by President Dudley as former Mayor of Piedmont featured in a four-page article, plus a photo of Mike, Carolyn and their cat on the front cover of Piedmont Living magazine, prompting a multiple bell ringing spree reported elsewhere in the Live Oak.

President Elect Mary Geong rang the bell for Lily Charlotte Pimentel, first granddaughter on both sides of her family, born November 22nd. Congrats to Mary and the family!

Frank Brunk - Remembrance

Past President Jack McAboy shared a few words in honor local icon Frank Brunk’s recent passing at age 95. He was a long-time member of Rotary. Frank played on the UC Berkeley football team from 1949 and ran the kickoff in the 1950 Rose Bowl. He is credited with re-establishing Cal’s golf program raising $30M and leading the Bears to the AA Championship in 2004. Frank was a true hero and will be missed. A moment of silence was held to remember him.

GALA

Trisha Connors excitedly announced our 2022 Gala will take place Thursday, April 28, in-person, at Sequoyah Country Club with indoor and outdoor attendance options. The theme “In the Mood with Gratitude” salutes our health and fellowship in the Club. The fundraising goal is $100,000 net and Sponsorships are now available. Please contact Trisha Connors at tmmdrdc@gmail.com.

Ratification of Revised Bylaws and Constitution

President Dudley reminded us the last club meeting was our Annual Business Meeting. There are two more items for ratification. On December 10th, all members were emailed Amendments to the Constitution and Bylaws for review and vote today. Past President Michael Bruck, in his role as Club Secretary, confirmed we had a quorum in attendance. President Dudley reported no comments were received in the interim, then highlighted changes before the vote.

Rotary International approved a new Constitution, which was last approved by our Club in January 2017. In March 2021 our Board of Directors approved revisions and organizational changes including financial reports at meetings. Board of Directors Meeting Minutes will now be available in Club Runner. Noting that club membership should represent a cross section of business, civic, education and non-profit sectors to include a range of ages, genders and ethnic diversity, President Dudley asked for a motion. Past President Linda Boessenecker moved to accept changes as proposed, seconded by Trisha Connors, for the revised Constitution. Motion passed. Past President Jack McAboy moved and Debo Sarkar seconded the motion to accept the revised Bylaws including name change of Rotary magazine and other minor changes. Passed and adopted.

Bellringers

Michael Bruck rang the bell for being featured in the December Piedmont Living magazine.

Mary Geong rang the bell in honor of her first grandchild, Lily Charlotte Pimentel.

Kevin Hunter rang the bell in honor of Wendy Howard and Gene Zahas.

Joe Goralka rang the bell for Kevin Hunter in honor of Gene Zahas.

John Holmgren, Karen Friedman, Daniel Cheng, Linda & Jim Boessenecker, Nik Dehejia, Bob Breecker, Keith Giron, Ed Jellen, Ces Butner, Linda Chew, Steve Blair, Julie Fox, Gabe Bruck, Tom Limon, Gary Flaxman and Dudley Thompson rang the bell for Mike and Carolyn Bruck.

Ces Butner, Tom Limon, Isaac Kos-Read, Tommy Edwards, Derreck Johnson, Gary Flaxman, Joycie Mack, Steve Lowe and Dudley Thompson rang the bell for Libby Shaaf.

Keith Uriarte rang the bell for the 66 new police officers.

Adjournment

President Dudley adjourned the first meeting of 2022 at 1:38 p.m.

Next Meeting, January 13 – Roy Neal – Presidential Transitions

David Stein announced our featured speaker will be Roy Neal, Adjunct Professor at Vanderbilt University where he teaches courses on Presidential Transitions and Presidential Leadership.  He served as Chief of Staff to Vice President Al Gore and Deputy Chief of Staff to Bill Clinton.

President Dudley Thompson

Call To Order - President Dudley Thompson

President Dudley Thompson convened the 5,368th Civic Thursday meeting of the Rotary Club of Oakland where we unite with 36,000 Rotarians and 10,000 Rotaractors across the United States to make a difference. President Dudley welcomed members attending in person in the California ballroom and those attending via Zoom.

Thought For The Day - Gary Flaxman

Gary Flaxman shared a personal thought in honor of today’s speakers. He observed that the club is filled with individual members who provide service to the community but together we make up an orchestra of service.

Speaker for the Day - Mieko Hatano and David Moschler

Past President Robert Kidd introduced our two speakers, Mieko Hatano and David MoschlerMieko is Executive Director of the Oakland Symphony where she manages the business, human and financial resources of the symphony. She is currently leading the search for the musical director to replace Michael Morgan. 

David is the Musical Director of the Awesome Orchestra which performs in traditional and non-traditional venues and strives to bring orchestra to people and places that are not familiar with symphonic music.

Mieko and David shared thoughts on the joys and tribulations of symphonic music. While the music director and business director occupy distinct functions within their organizations, the jobs often overlap. Decisions on who plays, how long they will play and how to ensure that tickets are sold impact the overall success of the symphony. Commenting on “Why an orchestra exists” David shared his vision that an “orchestra wants to take the listener on an adventure”. The Awesome Orchestra ensures this through providing adventurous repertoire, adventurous venues, and adventurous people to play with. The Oakland Symphony also strives to inspire listeners through adventurous music. 

Both speakers emphasized the importance of live performances to truly experience the pageantry and excitement of orchestral music. Orchestras have become somewhat “ossified” exemplifying the need to bring the symphony to new and diverse audiences and the willingness to take risks. One test of music being bad or good is if you want to hear it again. It is important to erase the perception that symphony is only for a certain segment of the population.

Visiting Rotarians and Guests

Past President and Past District Governor Ed Jellen, looking relaxed and tanned upon returning from his Hawaiian vacation, announced we had no visiting Rotarians.

Guests introduced were Nick Henge, guest of Fred Morse; Ellie Ganelin, guest of Allison Bliss; Vinni Agganal, guest of Dana Sack as well as Concho Delgado Gaitan, wife of President Dudley, who was attending via Zoom.

Annual Meeting

1. Mid-year report

Dudley reminded members that he shared his three major goals at his inauguration. They include bringing the club members back together, ensuring that we are the best service organization in Oakland, and engaging members to the fullest extent

  • The club has met 19 times in a hybrid mode (in person & via Zoom) and four times Zoom only. Attendance has remained stable with 50% attending in person and 50% attending remotely. While there have been some technical issues he believes these have been resolved resulting in a higher quality remote experience.
  • Several tactics to encourage members to attend in person have been implemented including pre-meeting receptions, food ordering and ensuring a safe environment.
  • Membership goal is 300 by the end of President Dudley’s term. Currently we have inducted 17 new members with several applications in the pipeline. However, we have had some resignations resulting in the membership total remaining around the same as the prior year-end at 271 members and 11 honorary members. Most importantly there is a robust Membership Committee with a solid plan.
  • Encouraging member engagement is an ongoing effort including direct calls to members, many who did not realize meetings are being held online as well as in person. Social engagement opportunities have included Cocktails with the President, Business Development receptions, attending Oakland A’s and Oakland Roots games, Live Stream of the Warriors game, club service opportunities, and sports activities—golf, hikes, biking and pickleball.
  • Committee work is the backbone of the Club and efforts are impressive especially given the challenges with COVID 19 restrictions. These include:
  • KinderPrep Committee continuing to support TK classes although OUSD does not allow for visits. Alternate support includes supporting teachers with gift certificates and supplies and funding specific projects.
  • Interact is active in 4 High schools.
  • HOPE is currently mentoring 5 students who had the opportunity to attend a Warriors game with courtside seats during warmups.
  • Saroni Lena Scholarship Committee is supporting 25 students.
  • Enterprise Institute is planning the 40th Anniversary Camp in April.
  • Speech Contest will be held at the last meeting in February.
  • Service Committees are funding many projects locally and internationally. A trip to Mexico to distribute wheelchairs is planned for the summer.
  • Housing Insecurity is negotiating for a property. Food Insecurity is working with Laney College to provide food baskets.
  • Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee is developing tactics to encourage the club to appreciate and respect differences.
  • Board of Directors has developed reciprocal relationships with five Chambers of Commerce in Oakland. The board has developed a method to resolve member disputes.
  • The Club’s financial position is strong. The Oakland Rotary Endowment has reached $5 million.
  • Executive Administrator, Jesse Bowdle, is completing his first year.

President Dudley acknowledged that coming back together is his goal, but it is challenging as well. He encouraged members to find a way to get and stay involved.

2. Election

Past President & Nominating Committee Chair Sean Marx introduced the slate of new members for the board of directors. Members serving a 3-year term beginning in July 2022 are Joel Parrott, Keri Butkevich and Riza Hernandez. Member to serve an unexpired term 2022-2024 is Alex Kaffka. President-elect Nominee to serve as Club President for 2023-2024 is Tom Limon

Nominations were closed and the election of the slate was accepted by unanimous vote.

President-elect Nominee, Tom Limon, thanked the Nominating Committee. He shared that he was inspired by the leadership of the past presidents and is honored that the membership has put their faith in him.

3. Environment Committee

Joel Parrott shared that the new Environment Committee is being established to increase awareness that we all must become carbon neutral. Dr. Parrott shared several recent examples of environmental actions (tornadoes, drought, etc.) that highlight the need to focus on the environment. He invites any member that is interested to email him at jjparrott83@gmail.com to become involved in the committee.

Upcoming Events

President Dudley announced following upcoming club events:

1. December 23 & 30 - no lunch meetings – Happy Holidays

2. January 6 - first meeting of 2022 with Mayor Libby Schaaf and District Governor Richard Flanders

3. January 7 – Stand Up Broadway Comedy Night at the Sound Room, Oakland

4. January 15 - High Adventure visit to the Pacific Pinball Museum, Alameda

5. February 3 - Lunar New Year dinner at Peony Seafood Restaurant, Oakland

6. February 27 - Dinner with RI President-elect Jennifer Jones at Blackhawk Museum, Danville

Bellringers

Ces Butner and Ruth Stroup rang the bell for President Dudley and the efforts of the club in the first half of the year.

Joe Goralka and Ruth Stroup rang the bell in honor of President-elect Nominee Tom LimonKristine Watson and Tom Limon rang the bell in honor of President-elect Mary Geong.

Lorna Padia Markus rang the bell in honor of the organizers of the Train of Lights event.

Lois Corrin rang the bell to honor the memory of Bell Hooks who recently passed away.

Adjournment

President Dudley adjourned the final meeting of 2021 at 1:34  p.m.

Mayor Libby Schaaf

Next Meeting, January 6 – Mayor Libby Schaaf – The State of our City

No meetings on December 23 and 30.

Robert Kidd announced our featured speaker will be Mayor Libby Schaaf. Mayor Schaaf was born and raised in Oakland, which she proudly describes as, “the most unapologetic Sanctuary City in America”. During her tenure, Oakland has undergone an economic revitalization and building boom, as well as cut gun violence in half.

P

Call To Order - President Dudley Thompson

President Dudley Thompson called to order the 5,367th meeting of the Rotary Club of Oakland to order at 12:30 p.m. President Dudley provided the usual instructions to those attending in-person and by Zoom. He also recognized Wayne Goodroe who announced that long-time member Bob Peltz, who was attending his first in-person meeting since 2020, celebrated his 90th birthday on December 7th.

Due to last week's tech glitches, President Dudley re-recognized all of last week's bellringers on Zoom.

Linda and Jim Boessenecker, Alex Poulsen, Linda Chew, and Jason Wizelman, rang the bell for John Weaver.

Alex Poulsen rang the bell for Clif Dochterman.

Jack McAboy, Catherine Coleman, Teresa Weyand, Debo Sarkar and Pat Williams rang the bell for Gary Flaxman.

Isaac Kos-Read rang the bell for Tom Limon.

Kim Cohn rang the bell for meeting speaker Scott Stephens and her father, Don Cohn, a 40-year professional in fire management who was attending via Zoom, for their critical work.

Thought For The Day - Kerry Hamill

Kerry Hamill shared two food and hunger thoughts: hunger is not a charity issue, it is a justice issue (U.N. Food & Agriculture Organization) and "Food is national security, Food is economy. Food is history. Food is everything." (Jose Andres, World Central Kitchen founder) 

Speaker for the Day - Chris and Jana Pastena

C J Hirschfield introduced Chris and Jana Pastena. Chris Pastena has been in the restaurant business for 35 years and is the owner/operator of Oakland restaurants Calavera and Chop Bar. His previous restaurants included Tribune Tavern and Lungomare. He is a James Beard award winner. Jana Pastena is a graduate of Mills College and Golden Gate Law School. She serves on the Children's Fairyland board of directors.

Jana's connection to food and social justice goes back to her childhood when she helped deliver food baskets during the holidays. During the pandemic shutdown, Chris and Jana paid their staff and continued health insurance coverage until their savings and resources were exhausted.

Prior to the pandemic, Chris had no experience in preparing hundreds of meals to go. He and his staff worked with World Central Kitchen, founded by chef Jose Andres, and learned how to produce a large volume of meals, helping them to retain staff and keep the restaurant doors open. 

Chris and Jana are now involved in the local Community Kitchens which is a collective of restaurants whose mission is to feed the community. The organization serves 10,000 meals each month with a goal of serving 10,000 meals per day. Partner restaurants add a 1% surcharge to guest checks and these funds help provide meals for the local community. If the group receives sufficient funding from Alameda County, it can solve the food insecurity crisis in the county. 

Visiting Rotarians and Guests

Allison Bliss introduced her guest, Kacie Stratton, Executive Director of Harbor House.

New Member Induction – Mary Ray Brophy

Jason Wizelman, substituting for sponsor Wendy Howard, introduced Mary Ray Brophy. Mary Ray is an immigration attorney. Wendy's two interesting facts: she speaks Spanish and has seven grandchildren. Welcome Mary Ray!

Announcements

President Dudley announced eight upcoming club events:

1. Niles Canyon Holiday Train - Oakland members joined a train full of other local Rotarians (and Santa) for a beautiful holiday train ride last Thursday.

2. December 16 - Annual Meeting to elect directors and the president-elect-nominee

3. December 23 & 30 - no lunch meetings

4. January 6 - first meeting of 2022 with Mayor Libby Schaaf and District Governor Richard Flanders

5. January 7 – Stand Up Broadway Comedy Night at the Sound Room, Oakland

6. January 15 - High Adventure visit to the Pacific Pinball Museum, Alameda

7. February 3 - Lunar New Year dinner at Peony Seafood Restaurant, Oakland

8. February 27 - Dinner with RI president-elect Jennifer Jones at Blackhawk Museum, Danville

Feed the Hungry

C J Hirschfield kicked off the 2021 Feed the Hungry campaign by reporting that food insecurity continues due to increasing demand and surging food costs. The Alameda County Community Food Bank serves 70,000 people each day. One in four Alameda County residents faces food insecurity. President Dudley then firmly grasped the gavel in anticipation of the forthcoming bellringers. The bell rang for about 15 minutes with countless donations.

$15,000 – Ces Butner, matching the first $15,000 in donations

$5,000 – David Douglas

$2,500 – David Kittner, Steve Nicholls, Fred Morse, Robert Kidd, Joe Goralka, Peter Sherris and Lorna Padia Markus

$1,000 – Dudley Thompson, Connie Berkey Kittner and Ruth Stroup

$500 – Jason Wizelman, Linda and Jim Boessenecker, Mary Geong, Karen Friedman, Bruce Nye, Catherine Coleman, Peter Turner, Deep Rajbhandari, John Holmgren, Steve Blair, Elida Scola in honor of her clients and the Pastenas, East Bay Restaurant Supply for Chris and Jana Pastena, and Jack McAboy (5) for the AV Team (Peter Sherris, Gabe Bruck, Jack Iles, Alex Poulsen and Rob Sklar)

$250 – Sean Callum, Trisha Connors, Mary Rudser, Alex Kaffka, Bob Peltz, Bob Barth, Ralph Sklar, Scott Bowhay, Rick Draper, Alex Poulsen, Tom Limon, Mike Mowery, Linda Chewand Ken Benson

$200 – Jesse Schmidt

$150 – Keri Butkevich

$100 – Leeann Alameda, Keith Uriarte, Jesse Bowdle., Marti Burchell, Pat Williams, Debra Barnes, David Stein, Kerry Hamill, Lois Corrin, Stephanie Casenza, Phil Holt, Nancy Williams, Mary Ray Brophy, Michael Bruck, Gary Flaxman, Ana-Marie Jones, C J Hirschfield, Mona Hall, Stew Epstein, Ed Jellen, Mark Miller and Sandeepa Nayak.

Many thanks to all of the donors.

Bellringers

Wayne Goodroe rang the bell twice (2) in honor of Bob Peltz celebrating his 90th birthday. 

Lorna Padia Markus rang the bell on behalf of all the wonderful Rotarians in the room, on line and their generosity.

Next Meeting, December 16 – David Moschler and Mieko Hatano – The Future of Classical Orchestral Music

Robert Kidd announced our speakers will be David Moschler and Mieko Hatano.  We bring together in conversation two of the East Bay's new generation of musical thinkers: Mieko Hatano (executive director of the Oakland Symphony), and David Moschler (founder/director of the innovative "Awesome Orchestra"). Eavesdrop on Mieko and David as they ponder the future of the music "business" in general, and of their orchestral "business" in particular.

Adjournment

President Dudley adjourned the penultimate meeting of 2021 at 1:30 p.m.

President Dudley Thompson

Call To Order - President Dudley Thompson

President Dudley Thompson called to order the 5,366th Civic Thursday meeting of the third oldest Rotary Club in the world. The audio-visual challenge for the day was that attendees in the Ballroom couldn’t hear presenters connecting on Zoom.

Thought For The Day - Pam Claassen

Pam Claassen tried to give the thought for the day via Zoom but couldn’t be heard in the Ballroom. Instead she entered it in the Chat box. She offered two quotes.  From John Muir, “The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness”, and a Greek Proverb, “A society grows great when old men plant trees in whose shade they shall never sit.”

Speaker for the Day - Scott Stephens

Speakers Committee Chair and Past President Robert Kidd introduced our guest speaker Scott Stephens, PhD, professor at UC-Berkeley and head of the Center for Fire Science which includes the Stephens Lab for Research and Education in Wildland Fire Science.

Dr. Stephens discussed the lab’s research at the Illilouette Creek Basin in Yosemite National Park and at the Sugarloaf Creek Basin in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. These areas have experienced incidents of naturally ignited wildfire over 40 years, allowing researchers to study the processes and effects of fire under relatively natural conditions. They indicate that such fires are not a bad thing and in fact are useful in controlling the risk of mega-fires of greater disaster and cost to vegetation, forest regeneration and to human habitats where nearby communities exist. The question is how to adopt such mitigation efforts for better forest management given the labor and material costs. Dr. Stephens noted that better fire mitigation may be on the way thanks to grants approved by the legislature and signed by Governor Newsom, as well as by recent funding efforts by the Biden/Harris Administration.

In Memoriam – Dr. John Weaver & Clif Dochterman

President Dudley announced the recent passing of two esteemed Rotarians. Club member John Weaver, MD, passed at the age of 85 years. Renia Webb shared remembrances from her interview with him in preparation for a Rotarian Reintroduction, which was postponed due to his illness. Dr. Weaver was highly regarded as a physician in our community as well as a dedicated Rotarian who served in many capacities since joining Rotary in 1972. An Oakland native, John received his medical training at UCSF and completed both his internship and residency at Highland Hospital. There he gained compassion for the uninsured and in greatest in need of healthcare, leading to his lifelong commitment of service to residents in our community as well as in countries abroad including Thailand, Peru, Columbia and more. It was while serving in Guatemala with Karl Stucki, John’s service and generosity were honored with a clinic named after him. This “gentle giant” will indeed be missed by many of us.

Also being remembered for a life well-lived in service to others was Clif Dochterman, Past President of Rotary International in 1992-93. A stellar motivational speaker, Clif was also Past Chairman of the Rotary Foundation and is credited with creating the Polio Plus Campaign. He lived in Moraga and spoke many times at Oakland Rotary. His passing was announced at a recent District 5170 meeting.

Pres. Dudley asked for a moment of silence to honor both Rotarians.

Visiting Rotarians and Guests

President-Elect Mary Geong introduced Richard Swart, President of San Francisco Chinatown Rotary Club.

Nominating Committee Report

Past President and Nominating Committee Chair Sean Marx announced the candidates for the 2022-2025 Board of Directors who will be elected at the club’s December 16th meeting. They are Joel Parrott, DVM, Riza Hernandez and Keri Butkevich. He announced that Alex Kaffka has been appointed to the Board of Directors to begin serving immediately, filling the vacancy from Mike Mowery’s resignation and move out of state.

With anticipation building, Sean also announced the committee’s recommendation that Tom Limon be elected to serve as Club President for 2023-2024. This news was greeted with much hardy applause in the Ballroom and on Zoom.

Sean thanked members of the Nominating Committee – Elida Scola, Ana-Marie Jones, Jack McAboy, Pat Williams, Shannon Hackley, Karen Friedman and Robert Kidd – for their important service. In closing the nominating report, Sean noted that the revised Club Constitution and Bylaws will be presented for a vote and adoption at the January 6th general membership meeting.  

Stew Epstein

New Member Induction - Stewart Upstein

Keith Uriarte introduced new member Stew Epstein, co-owner of the Brooklyn West Winery in Jack London Square. Stew has been making wine for the past 30 years.  He and his wife live in the East Bay and are avid members of Berkeley Rep Theatre. He also enjoys photography. Welcome, Stew!

ACTIVITIES AND OPPORTUNITIES

The Rotary Foundation Campaign

Rotary Foundation transforms your gifts into positive life-changing projects around the world.

We're currently at just 41% participation and we ask that club members pledge or donate soon so we can meet the President's Challenge of 100% participation and get an additional $50,000 to fund these vital programs. The minimum is just $25 and makes a big difference.  To learn more about how your donations make a difference, you can watch this video.

Mail a check today made out to "The Rotary Foundation" to our Oakland Rotary office or call Jesse Bowdle with your credit card information at 925-207-2370.  Thank you for your support!

HOPE Trip to the Warriors Game

Gary Flaxman to reported on the behind-the-scenes tour of Chase Center in San Francisco for Rotarians and HOPE mentees. The trip had been planned two years ago but put on hold. While it rained the day of the tour and since Chase Center is round it was hard to find the front door, a good time was had by the 25 members and mentees who attended the recent Warriors game where Steph Curry scored 50 points (!) and the group enjoyed seeing a pre-game shoot-around session. Exciting good fellowship!

Feed The Hungry Next Week

C J Hirschfeld let us know that our 2021 Feed the Hungry annual fundraising bellringer event next week features a dollar-for-dollar match for the first $10,000 raised. Please come and ring the bell as many times as your circumstance allows, with $100 contributed each time you ring the bell! This year the funds will help support these partner nonprofits and their vetted and impactful programs:

Alameda County Food Bank Multi – Distribution Sites

Bay Area Meals on Wheels for Homebound Seniors

St. Vincent de Paul Hot Lunch Program & Food Pantry

St. Mary’s Center On-site Meals for Seniors and Preschoolers

Operation Dignity Lunch for Veterans

Oakland Catholic Worker Food Program for Immigrants/Refugees

Last year the Club raised an amazing $41,100 to feed Oakland’s hungry residents, including $16,100 from Rotary members and a generous $25,000 gift from MN Builders. Let’s see if we can top that in 2021!

Upcoming Activities

With the club now in overtime, Pres. Dudley quickly reminded everyone of several upcoming activities.

Golf Tournament on December 7th at the Metropolitan Golf Links, Oakland. First tee time is 10:30 am.  Registration is $51 and due by November 23rd. For more information, please contact Mike Mowery at ch.doo.mow@gmail.com.

The Niles Canyon Railway Train of Lights Tour on December 9 from 4:30 – 7:00 pm. The train will depart from the Niles Station in Fremont for a round-trip tour through the canyon. It is a great fun event for families and each person will get a special treat bag. Tickets are $45 per person. Purchase them on the Club website Calendar page.

Bellringers

Linda and Jim Boessenecker, Alex Poulsen, Linda Chew, Jason Wizelman, Michael Bruck, Fred Morse, Bob Breecker, Tom Limon, Ces Butner, Joe Goralka, Karen Friedman, Sean Marx, Ces Butner, Keith Giron, Renia Webb and Rod Hughes rang the bell for John Weaver.

Joe Goralka, Fred Morse, Dudley Thompson, John Claassen and Alex Poulsen rang the bell for Clif Dochterman.

Jack McAboy, Catherine Coleman, Teresa Weyand, Debo Sarkar and Pat Williams rang the bell for Gary Flaxman.

Isaac Kos-Read rang the bell for Tom Limon.

Kim Cohn rang the bell for Scott Stephens and for her father, Don Cohn, a 40-year professional in fire management who was attending via Zoom, for their critical work.

Adjournment

President Dudley thanked all Rotarians by name participating in the agenda and meeting set-up, then adjourned the meeting at 1:30 p.m.

Next Meeting, December 9 – Chris and Jana Pastena – How The Oakland Restaurant Industry is Responding to the Pandemic

C J Hirschfield announced our speakers on December 9 will be restaurateurs Chris and Jana Pastena, who will share how our local restaurant industry is responding to the pandemic. Chris is the owner/operator of the wildly successful Calavera and Chop Bar restaurants. Previous restaurants have included the Lungomare and Tribune Tavern. Jana has been able to offer good jobs to diverse Oakland residents, create a place of community in their establishments, and help make Oakland a top culinary destination.

President Dudley Thompson

Call To Order - President Dudley Thompson

President Dudley Thompson called to order the 5,365th Civic Thursday meeting of the 3rd oldest Rotary Club in the world. Members continued to prove how flexible they are with the greatly improved, but not ideal, sound system. When the podium mic didn’t work, and Zoom participants couldn’t hear the meeting, President Dudley used the one portable mic which he held throughout the meeting, sharing it with Rotarians who introduced their guests from their seats in the Ballroom. Kudos to Pres. Dudley, and the AV Team who spend 3½ hours Wednesday night in the Ballroom setting everything up with the guidance of a consulting team skilled and experienced in working with other Rotary clubs and their hybrid meetings. Expect the sound system to continue to improve in the coming weeks.

Thought For The Day - Lewis Griggs 

Lewis Griggs provided the thought for the day from the writings of our speaker’s book “The Little Book of Race and Restorative Justice”. 

Fania Davis.

Speaker for the Day - Fania Davis.

Lewis Griggs returned to the Zoom podium to introduce our speaker, Fania Davis. Dr. Davis is nationally renowned for her role in restorative justice.  Restorative justice is based on a desired set of principles and practices to mediate conflict, strengthen community and repair harm. She is a long-time social justice activist, Civil Rights trial attorney, writer, scholar and the author of “The Little Book of Race and Restorative Justice: Black Lives, Healing and U.S. Social Transformation.”

She explained that Restorative Justice asks who was harmed, what are the needs and responsibilities of all affected, and how to bring all affected parties together to address needs and repair harm.

Restorative Justice is also rooted in indigenous practices.  It is reparative, inclusive and balanced.

Dr. Davis identified three core values: respect, relationship and responsibility. A paradigm shift needs to take place in how things are handled.  She shared an example of changing the prevalent “school to prison pipeline” – when a student exhibits adolescent behavior, they don’t get a suspension, which can ultimately lead to expulsion, and arrest. Instead, the issue is addressed up front in a reparative way.

In Memoriam - Al Saroni, Jr.

President Dudley shared news of the passing of Al Saroni, Jr. last month at the age of 95.  Al was an honorary member of the club and lived in Idaho. Among his activities was flyfishing, golf, a race horse owner and enthusiast.  His father, Al Saroni, Sr. was a 50-year member of Oakland Rotary. Al, Sr. made the first donation to fund scholarships in 1951 which started what is called now called the Saroni-Lena Scholarship Fund. Al, Jr. continued to contribute to the fund after his father’s passing. A moment of silence was held to remember these two philanthropists.

Visiting Rotarians and Guests

Dianne Dorn, Past President of the San Leandro Club and Assistant District Governor for Area 4A introduced her two guests, Ken Pon and Kristina Seher, both members of the San Leandro Rotary Club.

Keith Giron introduced his guest, Jean Raines, who is applying to become a club member.

Renia Webb introduced her guests, Dwayne Aikens, Executive Director and Board Member Andrea Smith of We Lead Ours (WELO).

Sean Marx

The Rotary Foundation Campaign

Past President Sean Marx shared the inspirational story about how Global Grants have served two communities in Kenya.  Called WASH projects, the most recent grant totaling $63,686 was a collaborative project with the Rotary Clubs of Los Angeles and Louisville, Kentucky as well as the Suna Rotary Club in Kenya. Oakland Rotary’s financial investment was $18,750.  We saw a short video that showed prior to the project, the girls (not boys) fetched buckets of water every day from the lake to their village. the water was polluted and the latrines were unhealthy.  This project provided two water systems to extract and clean the water from Lake Victoria for two villages totaling 28,000 inhabitants. Previous grants have included focusing on schools.and students’ needs such as providing desks.

This is the final meeting highlighting The Rotary Foundation annual campaign held every November. The Every Member donation goal of reaching 100% participation by December 31st will be matched by a challenge grant of $50,000 made by six club members. Sean Marx made a donation to provide a second level Paul Harris Fellow to Renia Webb.

Pres. Dudley shared a couple of stories about the influence Rotary International has had in world affairs.  In 1948, they were one of the founders of the United Nations and still have an important relationship with it. Some years ago one of the countries where polio was rampant was the Sudan, which was at war in 1997-98.  A four-day ceasefire was negotiated so children could be accessed and given polio vaccine. The challenge was buying the vaccine on such short notice. Moraga resident Cliff Dochterman was Rotary Foundation President at the time.  He was able to authorize $400,000 to pay for the vaccine ($500K was the limit) on the spot, and the project moved forward successfully.

Coat Collection Project

Renia Webb presented 350 articles including gently used coats, scarves, hats and gloves to We Lead Ours (WELO).  Accepting the donation were Dwayne Aikens, Executive Director and Andrea Smith, Board Member. Renia gave a shout-out to everyone who donated items and especially thanked Teresa Weyand who knitted 100+ caps for families.

Cal Band Visit Before The Big Game

Arriving just before 1:30 pm, the Cal Straw Hat Band made their annual appearance in advance of the Big Game against Stanford on Saturday.  Instead of the usual three musical songs, the 20+ student musicians treated us to an expanded program and a new repertoire plus some dance moves for nearly 20 minutes. As always, their enthusiasm, energy and musicianship were well received. Go Bears!

Upcoming Activities

With the club now in overtime, Pres. Dudley quickly reminded everyone of several upcoming activities.

Cocktails with the President later this evening at the Moxy Hotel.

On November 26, Rotarians will be at the New Parkway Theater to watch the Warriors vs Portland Trailblazers game. Purchase tickets on the Club website, Calendar page.

Golf Tournament on December 7th at the Metropolitan Golf Links, Oakland. First tee time is 10:30 am.  Registration is $51 and due by November 23rd. For more information, please contact Mike Mowery at ch.doo.mow@gmail.com.

The Niles Canyon Railway Train of Lights Tour on December 9 from 4:30 – 7:00 pm. The train will depart from the Niles Station in Fremont for a round-trip tour through the canyon. It is a great fun event for families and each person will get a special treat bag. Tickets are $45 per person. Purchase them on the Club website Calendar page.

Bellringers

Dudley Thompson rang the bell for Ken Pon.

Adjournment

President Dudley adjourned the meeting at 1:50 p.m

Dr. Scott Stephens

Next Meeting, November 2 - Dr. Scott Stephens - Forest Fires in California's New Climate Reality.

Our speaker on December 2nd will be Dr. Scott Stephens, Professor of Fire Science at UC Berkeley’s Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management.  He is also an optimist, provided we aggressively pursue prescribed burning, incorporate indigenous forest management practices, and emphasize the post-fire structure of our forests.  Come hear Dr. Stephens describe the options at hand, because the next two decades will be critical.  Bring a colleague or friend.

No Meeting on November 25th – Happy Thanksgiving!

Rotary Club of Oakland Civic Luncheon Meeting, November 18, 2021

President Dudley Thompson called to order the 5,365th Civic Thursday meeting of the 3rd oldest Rotary Club in the world. Members continued to prove how flexible they are with the greatly improved, but not ideal, sound system. When the podium mic didn’t work, and Zoom participants couldn’t hear the meeting, President Dudley used the one portable mic which he held throughout the meeting, sharing it with Rotarians who introduced their guests from their seats in the Ballroom. Kudos to Pres. Dudley, and the AV Team who spend 3½ hours Wednesday night in the Ballroom setting everything up with the guidance of a consulting team skilled and experienced in working with other Rotary clubs and their hybrid meetings.

Lewis Griggs provided the thought for the day from the writings of our speaker’s book “The Little Book of Race and Restorative Justice”.

Lewis Griggs returned to the Zoom podium to introduce our speaker, Fania Davis. Dr. Davis is nationally renowned for her role in restorative justice. Restorative justice is based on a desired set of principles and practices to mediate conflict, strengthen community and repair harm. She is a long-time social justice activist, Civil Rights trial attorney, writer, scholar and the author of “The Little Book of Race and Restorative Justice: Black Lives, Healing and U.S. Social Transformation.”

She explained that Restorative Justice asks who was harmed, what are the needs and responsibilities of all affected, and how to bring all affected parties together to address needs and repair harm. Restorative Justice is also rooted in indigenous practices. It is reparative, inclusive and balanced.

Dr. Davis identified three core values: respect, relationship and responsibility. A paradigm shift needs to take place in how things are handled. She shared an example of changing the prevalent “school to prison pipeline” – when a student exhibits adolescent behavior, they don’t get a suspension, which can ultimately lead to expulsion, and arrest. Instead, the issue is addressed up front in a reparative way.

Past President Sean Marx shared the inspirational story about how Global Grants have served two communities in Kenya. Called WASH projects, the most recent grant totaling $63,686 was a collaborative project with the Rotary Clubs of Los Angeles and Louisville, Kentucky as well as the Suna Rotary Club in Kenya. Oakland Rotary’s financial investment was $18,750. We saw a short video that showed prior to the project, the girls (not boys) fetched buckets of water every day from the lake to their village. The water was polluted and the latrines were unhealthy. This project provided two water systems to extract and clean the water from Lake Victoria for two villages totaling 28,000 inhabitants. Previous grants have included focusing on schools.and students’ needs such as providing desks.

This is the final meeting highlighting The Rotary Foundation annual campaign held every November. The Every Member donation goal of reaching 100% participation by December 31st will be matched by a challenge grant of $50,000 made by six club members. Sean Marx made a donation to provide a second level Paul Harris Fellow to Renia Webb.

Pres. Dudley shared a couple of stories about the influence Rotary International has had in world affairs. In 1948, they were one of the founders of the United Nations and still have an important relationship with it. Some years ago one of the countries where polio was rampant was Sudan, which was at war in 1997-98. A four-day ceasefire was negotiated so children could be accessed and given polio vaccine. The challenge was buying the vaccine on such short notice. Moraga resident Cliff Dochterman was Rotary Foundation President at the time. He was able to authorize $400,000 to pay for the vaccine ($500K was the limit) on the spot, and the project moved forward successfully.

Renia Webb presented 350 articles including gently used coats, scarves, hats and gloves to We Lead Ours (WELO). Accepting the donation were Dwayne Aikens, Executive Director and Andrea Smith, Board Member. Renia gave a shout-out to everyone who donated items and especially thanked Teresa Weyand who knitted 100+ caps for families.

Arriving just before 1:30 pm, the Cal Straw Hat Band made their annual appearance in advance of the Big Game against Stanford on Saturday. Instead of the usual three musical songs, the 20+ student musicians treated us to an expanded program and a new repertoire plus some dance moves for nearly 20 minutes. As always, their enthusiasm, energy and musicianship were well received. Go Bears!

With the club now in overtime, Pres. Dudley quickly reminded everyone of several upcoming activities.

Click here to watch Dr. Fania Davis video segment

Missed our meeting but interested in checking out the next one?

Click here to learn more: https://www.oakland-rotary.org/calendar

#serviceaboveself #rotaryinternational #rotaryclubofoakland #rotaryopensopportunities

Rotary Club of Oakland Civic Luncheon Meeting, November 11, 2021

President Dudley Thompson called to order the 5,364th Civic Thursday meeting of the 3rd oldest Rotary Club in the world. We are a diverse group of some 300 business, professional and community leaders dedicated to Service Above Self. Rotarians proved how flexible they were when there was a momentary glitch with the sound system. President Dudley entertained the Ballroom attendees with some imaginary card tricks.

Joycie Mack led us in the Pledge of Allegiance in honor of Veterans Day. Phil Holt served with the Navy SEALS. He shared a story about Kevin Harris, a gifted high school student and athlete who received many college acceptance letters. He deferred his schooling and then 9/11 happened. Kevin loved this country, joined the Army and was deployed to Afghanistan. His jeep hit an IED and his sergeant was killed. Kevin was badly wounded. He still suffers from his injuries, PTSD and opiate addiction. Phil delivered food to his homeless shelter yesterday. His story is all too common. This is the price some Veterans have paid. Phil still has serious concerns. Veterans have sobering statistics – 50,000 are without shelter; black veterans are 30% of the unsheltered; 17 suicides per day; military women committee suicide at a rate of 500% more than non-military women. We need to take better care of our veterans. Thank you for your service and the sacrifices you have made. We salute you.

Past President Peter Sherris highlighted a grant we are sponsoring in the dry corridor of Guatemala. Rain has failed. This is a project for farmers to adapt to climate change and change to drought tolerant crops, survey what crops will grow and grow coffee. Our club supports Voces y Manos and we have given them money for scholarships. They are managing a $125,000 grant over two years to save nutrition in Guatemala. This project is now being supported by 9 Districts, 10 Rotary clubs and 10 to 12 individuals. Over the last 20 years our Club has given 39 global grants in 22 countries totaling $1.6 million.

Past President Ces Butner noted that last year we raised the participation level of giving to The Rotary Foundation from 30% to around 90% participation. This year we are looking for 100% participation. Six generous Rotarians have banded together to pledge $50,000 if we can get to 100% participation by December 31st. No donation is too small, the minimum is $25. He asked each of us to participate so we can enjoy the gift of giving.

Renia Webb introduced Oakland Police Department Chief, LeRonne Armstrong, who was live from his squad car.

Chief Armstrong gave us an update on the current state of affairs of the Oakland Police Department and some of the challenges they are currently facing. Violent crime is up, gang related problems have increased, and drug related crimes have also increased. What has decreased are the number of available police officers to deal with over 2,000 calls the department receives each day. The department currently has 680 police officers, down from 740 last year. As of this morning the city of Oakland reached 100 homicides.

These challenges are being met in a variety of ways. Police officers who have left the department are being surveyed to determine what led them to leave and what changes they recommend in order to retain new officers. With regard to the drug situation, the department is working with the FBI and the Alameda County Drug Enforcement Agency. The Chief noted that you cannot arrest your way out of these problems. Community involvement is important, and resource officers are being dispatched to nonviolent situations. The department is also seeking assistance from the state and federal level. Our department of violence prevention has grown. They recently acquired additional violence interrupters going out into the community to help meet again some of these conflicts that are leading to violence.

Forty new recruits will begin the next Police Academy on November 15. The Chief entertained questions from the Ballroom and on Zoom. He recommended that business owners contact the City Council and work with local representatives to find solutions to the problem of the unhoused in business districts. He also believes that the department needs at least 1,200 officers in order to respond to community needs. The department is working on accountability, transparency and de-escalation strategies.

Click here to watch LeRonne Armstrong video segment

Missed our meeting but interested in checking out the next one?

Click here to learn more: https://www.oakland-rotary.org/calendar

#serviceaboveself #rotaryinternational #rotaryclubofoakland #rotaryopensopportunities

Rotary Club of Oakland Civic Luncheon Meeting, November 4, 2021

The Ballroom was full of Rotarians and many others watched via Zoom as President Dudley Thompson called the 5,363rd Civic Thursday meeting to order. We are a group of local business owners and community leaders all dedicated to community service. Strict Covid protocols are being followed in the Ballroom for the safety of all in attendance. We’ll have live meetings through the end of the year.

Allison Bliss opened the meeting with two quotes, one from Winston Churchill and one from Muhammad Ali. The theme of both resonates with the Rotary purpose. From Winston Churchill -- “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give”. From Muhammad Ali – Service to others is the rent we pay for the room we live in.”

Past President and Past District Governor Ed Jellen was excited to announce that we had quite a few visiting Rotarians this week. Jill Duerig, Livermore Valley Rotary Club and our District 5170 Lieutenant Governor was visiting in the Ballroom as well as Martha Goralka, Charter President of the Rotary Club of Delta. On Zoom was Patrick Coyle of the Livermore Rotary Club and District 5170 International Service Director. Other visitors included Wendy Howard’s guest, Kevin Hunter, a soon to be member.

The focus of today’s meeting was The Rotary Foundation annual campaign. Leeann Alameda and Joe Goralka are heading our campaign. Leeann posed a question to us with a prize for the correct answer. What is the difference between The Rotary Foundation and the Oakland Rotary Endowment? The winner was soon-to-be inducted Kevin Hunter.

Oakland Rotary Endowment (ORE) funds our local programs and The Rotary Foundation (TRF) funds our international service projects that impact lives around the world. Over the years, Oakland Rotary has funded 39 Global grants with $1.6 million that have reached people in 22 countries.

Programs we have funded include virtual learning, the purchase of advanced surgical equipment, sustainable farming, and providing medication to eliminate malaria.

Renia Webb joined Oakland Rotary with the intent to become involved in international programs. She immediately joined the Karl F Stucki World Service Committee and made her first international trip to El Salvador. This trip had a profound impact on Renia and she encouraged us all to get involved because there are so many people in need.

President Dudley’s goal this year is 100% Participation Challenge! Six Rotarians have come together to donate $50,000 to The Rotary Foundation if we get 100% participation by December 31st. No donation is too small and we want to fund as many projects as possible. During the meeting several Rotarians made pledges via Zoom: David Stein, Joycie Mack, Lois Corrin and Ruth Stroup.

President Dudley announced that hard copies of our Membership Roster are available. Contact Jesse Bowdle at execadmin@oakland-rotary.org to get one. (All members were sent an Online Roster in August.)

We will continue to receive lightly used coats, scarves, gloves and hats through our November 18th meeting to help the needy.

Cocktails with the President will be on November 18, 5:30 – 7:00 pm at the Moxy Hotel, 2225 Telegraph Avenue. Come have fun and socialize with your fellow Rotarians.

Ed Jellen introduced our speaker, Vicki Puliz, a Rotary International Director and past president of the Rotary Club of Sparks, Nevada. Vicki has held many leadership positions in Rotary. She gave us a great overview of what’s going on with Rotary International.

New this year to Rotary is Programs of Scale. These are projects that are long-term and high impact. The first Program of Scale was launched this year. A malaria program in Zambia received a grant of $2 million to be used over the next 3-5 years. Submissions have been received for the second round of funding. Some of the other programs Rotary International has supported include: the environment, education and literacy, eye tests, water and sanitation, disease prevention and life changing heart surgery. Vickie noted that “sometimes our lives are the ones changed the most by the work we do”

Last year Rotary International gave over 2,000 grants for $130 million. Our club members contributed to this total. Vickie gave a shout out to Past President Ces Butner for his generous donation and challenge last year.

Click here to watch Vicki Puliz video segment

Missed our meeting but interested in checking out the next one?

Click here to learn more: https://www.oakland-rotary.org/calendar

#serviceaboveself #rotaryinternational #rotaryclubofoakland #rotaryopensopportunities

Rotary Club of Oakland Civic Luncheon Meeting, October 21, 2021

President Dudley Thompson called the 5,362nd Civic Thursday meeting of the Rotary Club of Oakland to order at 12:31 p.m. He reminded us that under Alameda County’s health protocol, everyone in the Ballroom must wear a mask when not eating or drinking.

Tommy Edwards encouraged us to maintain a life-work balance. His observation is that everyone is working 1 ½ to 2 FTEs per month. Instead, knock off at quitting time, go home and start enjoying your life. Take your vacation – ALL of your vacation. He also shared a quote from the Dalai Lama: “There are only two days in the year that nothing can be done. One is called yesterday and the other one is called tomorrow. Today is the right day to love, believe, do and mostly live.”

President Dudley then led us in reciting the Rotary International Vision Statement

On Zoom, Fiona Doyle was a guest of Steve Blair. In the Ballroom, members introduced their guests.

Past Pres. and Nominating Committee Chair Sean Marx instructed members on voting for the individuals who will serve on the Nominating Committee. Two weeks ago, 12 candidates were nominated. At this time seven are to be elected. Those elected are tasked with coming up with a slate of Board Directors for a three-year term beginning July 1, 2022, and a nominee for Club President for the year 2023-2024. Rotarians in the Ballroom were provided with paper ballots and those attending Zoom were provided with an electronic ballot. Members could cast seven votes for the individuals of their choice. At the end of the meeting the following members of the Nominating Committee were announced: Ana-Marie Jones, Robert Kidd, Jack McAboy, Elida Scola, Pat Williams, Shannon Hackley and Karen Friedman.

Ana-Maria Jones introduced a new corporate member, Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir and two members, Maren Amdel and Isa Chu. She shared two fun facts about each: Maren is originally from Seattle and is an incredible singer. Isa is a marketing maven with a love for purses and bad jokes.

Keith Uriarte introduced Liz Ortega and Cathy Jackson-Gent. Liz has been at the forefront of keeping the A’s in Oakland in her work as Executive Secretary-Treasurer at Alameda Labor Council. Cathy is Founder/CEO of Global Investment Company. Welcome Maren, Isa, Liz and Cathy!

Past President Ces Butner presented a check for $1,000 to Jen Liggett of the Salvation Army. Last year, Oakland Rotary partnered with the Salvation Army to provide necessity item kits to homeless individuals in Oakland. The Salvation Army was instrumental in distributing the kits via its network of services. This is part of a $3,000 gift the Club has given to the Salvation Army for this project.

Ralph Sklar came to the podium to join Pres. Dudley is recognizing several generous donors to the Rotary Foundation who have become Paul Harris Fellows by donating $1,000 or more to the Foundation. They are:

Robert Spencer – Paul Harris Fellow

Isaac Kos-Read – Paul Harris Fellow

Sean Marx – Paul Harris Fellow +4

Robert Kidd – Paul Harris Fellow +7

Karen Friedman – Paul Harris Major Donor, Level 1

Alex Poulsen – Paul Harris Major Donor, Level 1

Ces Butner – Paul Harris Fellow Major Donor, Level 3

Isaac shared with us the importance of supporting The Rotary Foundation.

Bruce Nye introduced our speaker, Sabrina Landreth, General Manager of East Bay Regional Park District. Sabrina is no stranger locally. Previously she has served as Budget Director for the City of Oakland, and later City Administrator. She also served as City Manager for Emeryville. She joined East Bay Regional Parks in March 2021.

Her topic, What’s Right about Regional Parks, provided a broad overview for this district that was founded in 1934 when in the depths of the Great Depression, citizens in Berkeley and Oakland voted to tax themselves in order to save the local ridge tops from development.

Today, the District manages 73 parks, serving 3 million residents in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties. There are 1,500 miles of trails, 55 miles of bay shoreline and over 1,000 employees. When the pandemic shut down local parks and playgrounds, the two counties deemed Regional Parks as a vital resource and it stayed open during this time. As a result, there has been an increase in use over the last 18 months and it now welcomes 30 million visitors a year.

Some of the newest parks include Thurgood Marshall Regional Park, currently in land bank status in Concord, the Judge John Sutter Regional Shoreline at the Bay Bridge, and the new Dumbarton Quarry Campground near the Dumbarton Bridge.

Partnerships and stewardship of wildlife species will continue to be priorities. Maintaining and strengthening partnerships with the 33 cities within the District’s boundaries will be important.

Click here to watch Sabrina Landreth video segment

Missed our meeting but interested in checking out the next one?

Click here to learn more: https://www.oakland-rotary.org/calendar

#serviceaboveself #rotaryinternational #rotaryclubofoakland #rotaryopensopportunities

Rotary Club of Oakland Civic Luncheon Meeting, October 21, 2021

President Dudley Thompson called the 5,361st Civic Thursday meeting of the Rotary Club of Oakland to order at 12:31 p.m. He reminded us that under Alameda County’s health protocol, everyone in the Ballroom must wear a mask when not eating or drinking.

Sarah Chavez-Yoell invoked the wisdom of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor who said, “Success has its special reward; but failure will teach us valuable lessons and should not be feared.”

President Dudley then led us in reciting the Rotary International Vision Statement.

Past Pres & Past District Governor Ed Jellen reported that no visiting Rotarians had checked in on Zoom, but later Sandeepa Nayak reported a very special guest on Zoom – Concha Delgado Gaitan, Pres. Dudley’s wife. Members in the Ballroom introduced their guests.

President Dudley informed us about World Polio Day that will take place on Sunday, Oct. 24. For this important anniversary, he reminisced about a time during his childhood when his family took a detour around a local town that suffered from a polio epidemic; and he recalled a neighborhood friend’s gallant efforts to overcome the debilitating effects of polio. Turning to Rotary’s Polio Plus campaign, Dudley emphasized that, although polio has now been eradicated from over 99% of the world, we have to keep working hard with more immunization drives to cross the 100% goal. Still, we should feel pride in the many lives and $ billions that have been saved as a result of Rotary’s initiative.

Ruth Stroup came to the podium to join President Dudley in recognizing several generous donors to the Rotary Foundation who have become Paul Harris Fellows by donating $1,000 or more to the Foundation.

President Dudley announced that starting next week and continuing to Thanksgiving, all Thursday meetings will be held in the Ballroom. Be sure to bring gently used coats, hats, scarves and gloves for the Winter Wear Donation Drive.

Past President Robert Kidd then introduced our speaker, Margaret Gordon, the Co-Founder and Co-Director of the West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project (WOEIP). Margaret gave an inspiring talk about her long history as a community activist and her organization’s successful battles against the air pollution that has long plagued the West Oakland community, especially the toxic diesel particulate pollution from diesel trucks and other vehicles going to and from the Port of Oakland.

Under Margaret’s leadership, WOEIP has focused on the strategy of conducting careful research producing convincing data that educates the community and policymakers to take action to mitigate the sources of this insidious pollution. For example, using state-of-the-art scientific measuring instruments, WOEIP has demonstrated that diesel exhaust and other airborne toxins are dramatically more prevalent in West Oakland than other areas of Alameda County. Their research further demonstrated that this heightened exposure is correlated with corresponding high rates of cancer, asthma, and other debilitating and fatal illnesses in the community.

Largely as a result of WOEIP’s environmental advocacy, the Legislature passed AB 617 in 2017 that requires local governments to collaborate with local residents in devising solutions to a community’s air quality problems. Through AB 617, WOEIP has played a leading oversight role in the West Oakland Community Action Plan that is forcing significant reductions in deleterious emissions. Because of the Action Plan and related legal initiatives, vehicular, train, and cargo ship diesel emissions are expected to decline significantly over the coming years due to the transition to electrification of motors and other improvements. WOEIP has also been engaged in other environmental issues that affect West Oakland, including its advocacy for mitigation work to protect the low laying parts of the community from the rising sea levels that will likely occur due to climate change.

In addition to many other awards, Mayor Dellums recognized Margaret’s preeminent role in the environmental justice movement by appointing her to the Oakland Port Commission on which she served from 2007 to 2012, and she was also appointed to the panel of clean air advisors to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 2010. It is not surprising that she has a large seat at the table where the Oakland A’s ballpark plan or any other issue that affects her community is on the agenda.

For more information, see WOEIP’s website at: https://woeip.org

Click here to watch Margaret Gordon video segment

Missed our meeting but interested in checking out the next one?

Click here to learn more: https://www.oakland-rotary.org/calendar

#serviceaboveself #rotaryinternational #rotaryclubofoakland #rotaryopensopportunities