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Rotary Club of Oakland Civic Luncheon Meeting, October 14, 2021

President Dudley Thompson called the 5,360th Civic Thursday meeting of the Rotary Club of Oakland to order at 12:32 p.m. He welcomed Rotarians and guests and invited us to join him in reciting the Rotary Vision Statement.

Lou Rigali offered some short, sweet and effective words to live by: “nurture yourself, others and nature, each and every day for the rest of your life.”

Rotary Foundation Co-Chair Joe Goralka introduced recognition of the club's newest Paul Harris Fellows. The Paul Harris Fellow is named after Rotary's founder and acknowledges individuals who contribute or who have contributions made in their name of $1,000 or more to The Rotary Foundation. Multiple Paul Harris Fellow recognition is extended at subsequent $1,000 levels and those who reach the $10,000 level are deemed major donors. Joe noted four lives are saved with every $1,000 donated to The Rotary Foundation. This means our club’s collective total donations have saved 660 lives.

Joe started the recognition by awarding Dudley Thompson his Paul Harris Fellow +4. President Dudley then introduced the additional new honorees

Shannon shared how grateful she is for the flexibility as well as the comfort in knowing her gifts to the Rotary Foundation made a difference when disaster struck around the world. She invited all of us to share in making an impact and the good feeling she has enjoyed.

President Dudley asked for a moment of silence to honor the passing of Bob Hamilton, a former 20-year member of our club. His interesting life story is presented in an online tribute by his daughter-in-law and Club member Linda Hamilton, available here: http://www.lindaparkerhamilton.com/blog/2021/10/12/100-day-challenge-54-...

Keith Uriarte introduced new member Jason Toro, noting that Jason was Keith’s guest at a recent meeting. He is currently the Director of Diversion and Reentry Programs at La Familia Counseling Services and has expertise in serving previously incarcerated individuals. Welcome, Jason!

Even though we are just beginning to feel a chill in the air, our Saroni-Lena Scholarship Committee Chairs are inviting club members and their businesses to offer a 2022 Paid Summer Internship to a Saroni-Lena student. The internship program was successfully launched two years ago as an additional real-life learning opportunity for Saroni-Lena college scholarship recipients, who receive a $2,000 per year college scholarship for each of their four-year undergraduate degrees. Last year nine out of 30 students were able to be placed as paid interns, so more opportunities for placements are desired, as are the variety of industries being offered — insurance, law, real estate, financial services, retail, hospitality, nonprofits and more. Rotarians interested in the details can contact Fred Morse at FredAMorse@gmail.com , Steve Blair at blair5200@gmail.com or Pat Williams at patwilliams3708@gmail.com.

Allison Bliss invited everyone to sign up for the first of three Community Service Days this year being organized by the Community Service Committee. The first is Saturday, October 23 when we will help prepare meals for the unhoused clients of St. Vincent de Paul in Oakland. Sign up on the club website calendar page if you are fully vaccinated, and can help make a difference with some of the more than 500 meals a day served to the hungry. A signed waiver form is also needed.

Sean Callum introduced our speaker, Linda Mandolini, President of Eden Housing, where Sean serves as a member of the all-volunteer Board of Directors. Eden has worked in partnership with cities and other partners to develop or acquire more than 10,600 homes in the state, currently serving a diverse population of 22,000 low-income residents from all cultures and backgrounds. Collectively it has served over 100,000 since its founding years ago. Mandolini stated the three key ingredients necessary to provide more affordable housing in California: money, land and the political will to make affordable housing and low-income housing a reality. One of the biggest problems is the fact that land in California is priced at approximately $1 Million per acre, notwithstanding mitigation and offset fees that can run as much as $200,000 per project.

More than anything, Mandolini stated, there must be the political will to commit to the affordable housing challenge. Our Governors Newsom and Brown have been willing to work on this challenge and help fund it. Oakland has done a reasonable job of committing to funding more affordable housing elements from planning to permit stages, but there are challenges in money availability.

Click here to watch Linda Mandolini video segment

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

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

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