CLASSROOM STRUGGLE

Strategy and Analysis to Defend and Transform Public Education

#HandsOffDewey – A Successful BBQ and Next Steps

BBQ for Dewey

The coalition to defend Dewey just finished up a very successful BBQ at Dewey Academy that brought out over 75 students, staff, parents, and community supporters of Dewey.  Check out the pics.  Be sure to not miss the video linked below.  As always, for up to date info and more media, check out our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/stopgentrificationousd.

Fists up for Justice!  Hands off Dewey!

Fists up for Justice! Hands off Dewey!

Dancing at the BBQ!  "If I can't dance, I don't want to be part of your revolution."

Dancing at the BBQ! “If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be part of your revolution.”

******* Click here to check out the dope student-produced video!  *******

Get Involved

We need to build a movement to keep OUSD and the developers’ hands off Dewey.  That means we need all the support we can get.  Here are a couple ways you can help us:

1.  Come tomorrow, Friday 8/1, and help us Crash the Developer’s Meeting!  We’ll be meeting at 1000 Broadway at 10:30AM.  Check the flyer here.  Click on the images to get the PDF for printing.

 One Pager Final_Page_1 One Pager Final_Page_2

2.  Sign our petition here: http://www.change.org/petitions/oakland-unified-school-district-and-the-city-council-hands-off-dewey-students-before-profits-and-meaningful-community-engagement

3.  Share the struggle.  Tell folks to like our Facebook page to get updates and show support: https://www.facebook.com/stopgentrificationousd.  And share our hashtags too: #handsoffdewey #schoolsnotcondos #educationnotgentrification #rescindtherfq

4.  Email board members.  Here is a simple guide to help you write a quick email:

Easy Guide to Emailing School Board Members

Key Points: Don’t Demolish Dewey! Rescind the RFQ!

  1. Open a fresh email.
  2. SUBJECT LINE:  Choose one from the list below, or write your own beginning with Don’t Demolish Dewey, then copy and paste into “Subject:”
  3. SEND TO:  Copy and paste all of the email addresses below into “Recipients:”
  • Don’t Demolish Dewey! Rescind the RFQ! – Dewey Students Cannot Be Moved — Even for One Year!
  • Don’t Demolish Dewey! Rescind the RFQ! – Selling Schools Is Not a Source of Funds!
  • Don’t Demolish Dewey! Rescind the RFQ! – Public Land Should Stay Public!

gary.yee@ousd.k12.ca.us, maria.santos@ousd.k12.ca.us, david.kakishiba@ousd.k12.ca.us, roseann.torres@ousd.k12.ca.us, james.harris@ousd.k12.ca.us, jody.london@ousd.k12.ca.us, christopher.dobbins@ousd.k12.ca.us, jumoke.hodge@ousd.k12.ca.us, anne.washington@ousd.k12.ca.us

  1. YOUR MESSAGE:  Copy and paste one of the suggested messages below into the body of your email, or write a brief message of your own, and press SEND:

Don’t Demolish Dewey! Rescind the RFQ! Dewey should not be moved because Dewey students are already at-risk.  Moving their school, even for just one year, definitely raises the likelihood of them dropping out.  Any other location would be unsafe for Dewey students. Dewey was just moved a decade ago and it was intentionally moved near Lake Merritt because it’s gang-neutral territory. Students have said this location is the safest place for them. Moreover, Dewey students as at-risk youth of color in Oakland, are always being under-supported and not prioritized.  You of all people should not be thinking of demolishing Dewey.

Don’t Demolish Dewey! Rescind the RFQ! There are much better sources of funds than gentrifying Oakland and demolishing active, thriving public schools. We should cut managerial administrative positions and salaries instead.  In 2012-13 (the most recent year with sufficient data), OUSD had 2x the administrators than Fremont, the next closest sized district in Alameda County.  If we had the same amount of administrators we would save $13 million. And OUSD officials and Board members should start a campaign that developers, Kaiser, the Port, Google, and other Oakland and Bay Area corporations be taxed to fully support quality public education.

Don’t Demolish Dewey! Rescind the RFQ! In 2006, OUSD was also planning to sell off the land where La Escuelita, MetWest, the old headquarters, and Deweyare now.  Then, families and staff organized against that decision and for new school buildings.  Board members then made the right decision to not sell off public land to developers.  You should make the same decision this time.

Sincerely,

[Your name]

More Info on the Situation

(To help you write your own email.)

OUSD needs to Rescind the RFQ.

  • The RFQ is a first key step in the development process.
  • OUSD needs to commit to putting community first, not developers and immediately rescind the RFQ.

Any development project disrupts Dewey’s important and successful work.

  • Dewey students are already at-risk.  Moving their school raises the likelihood of them dropping out.
  • Dewey students, as at-risk youth of color in Oakland, are always being under-supported and not prioritized.  OUSD is doing the same here.
  • Dewey was moved intentionally to gang-neutral territory near Lake Merritt.  Students have said this is the safest place for them to go to school.
  • Dewey students helped design the Youth Heart Health Clinic next door which they would lose if they move.

OUSD does need more money but not from gentrification.

  • OUSD claims it’s broke and so needs to find “creative sources” of new funds, like leasing Dewey.  There are much better sources of new and more funds.  Such as:
  • We should cut managerial administrative positions and salaries.  In 2012-13 (the most recent year with sufficient data), OUSD had 2x the administrators than Fremont, the next closest sized district in Alameda County.  If we had the same amount of admin we would save $13 million.
  • OUSD officials and board members should start a campaign that developers, Kaiser, the Port, Google, and other Oakland and Bay Area corporations be taxed to fully support quality public education.
  • Developers in Oakland should pay a gentrification tax.  A 10% tax on the property value or the annual rental revenue would earn OUSD, approximately, $7 million upfront or $800,000 annually, respectively..
  • A bill currently in the Assembly extends the period from 2016 to 2020 that OUSD can sell or lease property directly to developers without having to offer it to charters first.  Leasing Dewey might be the start of a longer trend of gentrification displacing our schools.

We have fought this before and won.

  • In 2006, OUSD tried selling the current land of Dewey, the old HQ, La Escuelita, and MetWest to developers.  This plan was defeated by the organizing and protests of parents, students, teachers, and community members.
  • Instead, Oakland residents won new schools for La Escuelita and MetWest, a youth health center, and a site for youth video production.

OUSD has been serving developers not students.  There has been no community engagement.

  • OUSD has been discussing with the developers, politicians, and city officials long before they started this conversation publicly.
  • OUSD allowed the Draft Lake Merritt Specific Plan (a development plan for the Lake Merritt area) to rezone Dewey and the old HQ as residential land in December 2013, when both were still fully active.  This development plan appears to have been in consideration a long time ago.
  • OUSD has totally ignored its own community engagement process which it adopted just this year.

One comment on “#HandsOffDewey – A Successful BBQ and Next Steps

  1. handsoffdewey
    August 8, 2014

    Reblogged this on Hands Off Dewey! and commented:
    Update from our BBQ last week and information about contacting the school board to let them know they should do the right thing and not displace Dewey nor privatize public space.

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This entry was posted on July 31, 2014 by in Action & Organizing and tagged , , , , , .
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