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
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