Call to Order – Ces Butner
President Ces Butner called our 5,320th “Civic Thursday” meeting order and welcomed all of our Zoom guests.
President Ces led the attendees in reciting the Rotary Club of Oakland vision statement. He then shared a slide with the Rotary Foundation giving a "Thermometer." Seventy-two percent of club members have donated to the Rotary Foundation to date. Ces urged all members to donate so that the presidential challenge donation of $50,000 will kick in.
President Ces led the attendees in reciting the Rotary Club of Oakland vision statement. He then shared a slide with the Rotary Foundation giving "thermometer." Seventy-two percent of club members have donated to the rotary Foundation to date. Ces urged all members to donate so that the presidential challenge donation of $50,000 will kick in.
Feed The Hungry - Part 2
David Kittner, chair of the Community Service Committee, reported that last week's Feed the Hungry event raised $20,000 in pledges, a record shattering amount. Not only has Steve Nicholls of MN Builders agreed to match the $20,000 (for a total of $40,000), he has agreed to match up to another $5,000. The bells started ringing via the chat box. Here are today’s donors:
Karen Friedman, Jason Wizelman, Jennie Hunsberger, Iris Brody Lopez, Sean Callum, Ruth Stroup, Sean Marx, Fred Mackay, David Kersten, Diane Schaffer, Courtney Ruby, CJ Hirschfield, Sed Tydus, Debra Barnes and Ces Butner. Pauline Fox rang the bell the week earlier.
Visiting Rotarians and Guests
Past President Ed Jellen introduced Rotarians Dianne Dorn, past president of the San Leandro Rotary Club and Iris Brody Lopez, past president of the Rotary Club of Oakland. He also introduced guests, Jennifer Geong (all the way from Belarus) and Dena Shupe (all the way from the Oakland City Auditor's office).
Annual Meeting and Election
Past President Sean Marx presided over the club's 2020 election. Members nominated as directors for 2021-24 are Kimberly Cohn, Wil Hobbs, Mike Mowery and Renia Webb. The member nominated for president elect-nominee for 2022-23 is Mary Geong. There was no waiting for our election results. The "yes" votes immediately appeared in the chat box and Kim, Wil, Mike, Renia and Mary received a rousing ovation.
The Holiday's Are Here
Pres. Ces introduced three members who provided insight into three holidays celebrated this month.
Christmas from Keri Butkevich
Keri's Christmas tree is at the center of her family's Christmas celebration. The ornaments bring her memories of family, trips, and crafts. She displayed a photo of the ornament she made in her 1975 kindergarten class. She wished everyone a holiday of peace, joy, and healing.
Hanukkah from Mike Bruck
Mike displayed his t-shirt with all of the possible spellings of the word Hanukkah-Chanukah-Hanukah-Chanukah etc. You can never go wrong by using the Hebrew spelling. Hanukkah commemorates the Maccabees victory over the Syrians in a fight for religious freedom. The Jews could only find enough oil for the temple lamp to burn one day but miraculously, the lamp burned eight days. Hanukkah is celebrated for eight days by lighting the menorah candles and eating potato latkes.
Kwanzaa from Renia Webb
Kwanzaa is the youngest of the three holidays (started in 1966) and honors African heritage in African-American culture. Renia played a video describing the one-week holiday (Dec. 26-Jan.1). Festivities involve dancing, singing, storytelling, gifts, and a large feast. Families often decorate their homes with fruits, a black, red, and green flag, and a candle holder with seven candles. You can participate in Kwanzaa even if you celebrate other holidays.
Happy Holidays to all.
President’s State of the Club Report for July - December
President Ces presented his state of the club report covering the first six months of the Rotary year. This has been a challenging period for the club due to the Covid-19 pandemic but the club has faced that challenge and has become stronger. Accomplishments include:
1. High-profile speakers at weekly meetings such as Representative Barbara Lee, Port of Oakland Executive Director Danny Wan, Rotary International president-elect Jennifer Jones, and the Federal Reserve panel.
2.Creation of the "Civic Thursday" brand for the weekly meetings.
3.Continuation of community service projects. The Community Service and Kinder Prep committees have been hard at work serving the Oakland and school communities.
4. Collaboration with the "First Five Clubs" on the packing and distribution of hygiene kits for the homeless community.
5. Record fundraising for the Rotary Foundation and Feed the Hungry campaigns. Stay tuned for another presidential challenge during the spring ORE campaign.
6. Fifteen new members have been inducted but Pres. Ces needs at least 35 more new members to reach his goal.
7. The Housing Insecurity Task Force is working on a special project. Mayor Libby Schaaf will help unveil this project next year.
DeVante Brooks, former H.O.P.E. mentee and president of the Oakland Community Rotaract Club, introduced the club's officers and gave a brief update on the club's activities. Rotaractors are always receptive to advice from Oakland Rotarians.
Speakers for the Day – Tinisch Hollins and Courtney Ruby
Winter Williams introduced Tinisch Hollins, associate director of Californians for Safety and Justice, and Oakland Rotarian Courtney Ruby, City of Oakland Auditor. The panel, moderated by Winter, engaged in a discussion of criminal justice reform. Crime victims have shifted from their traditional opposition to criminal justice reform to supporting the crime eradication and its causes. They are seeking additional funding for services to victims of crimes. Victims don't trust a criminal justice system that has already failed them. There is no quick fix or easy solutions.
Courtney Ruby's office released a performance audit of the Oakland Police Commission and the Community Police Review Agency in June. The report made five findings and 41 recommendations. It found that although the commission was intended to be one of the most powerful police oversight commissions in the U.S., it needed to be more effectively organized and supported to create lasting change. There was pushback from the commission and since the auditor has no enforcement powers, the public needs to take action.
Click here to see their video
Holiday Cocktails With The President
Past President Linda Boessenecker invited everyone to have cocktails with President Ces on Thursday, December 17th, 5:30-6:30 p.m., via Zoom. President-elect Dudley Thompson will be sending the recipe for a special holiday cocktail and you should wear your festive attire - prizes will be awarded.
Executive Director Pat Williams announced the following bellringers:
Phil Bennett and Ces Butner rang the bell in honor of the birth of Isabel Zawadi Bennett.
Robert Kidd rang the bell in honor of Steve Nicholls.
Donation To The Salvation Army
President Ces recently presented a check for $ 2,000 to Captain James Sullivan of the Salvation Army. This donation to the Salvation Army honors our Club’s July-December Speakers. Our Club recently partnered with the Salvation Army in delivering hygiene kits to residents of Oakland’s encampments and witnessed firsthand the Salvation’s Army strong commitment and service to these individuals.
President Ces Butner adjourned another busy meeting at 1:34 pm with his signature comment “that’s the way it went” and the reminder that Rotary Opens Opportunity for Service Above Self as he rang the bell.