Under the Radar: Oakland Picks of the Week


In addition to Living in the O‘s round-up, summarized by Emilie Reguso here, here’s my pick of Oakland happenings this week.

Lies, Damned Lies, and History Books: Yes, your teachers lied to you.  Or at the very least the content that got through was highly selective and biased–mostly because that’s how the teachers themselves were taught and that’s how the dominant history books are written.  James Loewen, author of  Lies my Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong and Lies Across America: What Our Historic Sites Get Wrong, is one of our most valuable popular historians who has long sought to rectify such educational gaps.  He is speaking Thursday night at 7:00 pm at the First Unitarian Church on 14th.  I’ve already got my tickets!

Fair Elections, anybody?: Concerned about money in politics?  The Campaign for Fair Elections (Yes on Prop. 15) is up and running,  and held it’s Oakland kick-off last week:.  Now community groups are forming to propel the campaign forward.  The East Bay Community Group is meeting this Saturday, 2-4pm, at the Rockridge Public Library.

A Sustainable Oakland, perchance?: There are at least two events related to building a more sustainable Oakland. The first is on Saturday, when Jane Brunner will be hosting a community meeting to brainstorm ideas on: “How Can We as Individuals, and as a City, Address Climate Change?” Garrett Fitzgerald, Oakland’s Sustainability Coordinator (yes, we have one) and Emily Kirsch of the Oakland Climate Action Coalition and Ella Baker Center are featured participants: Peralta Elementary School, 460, 63rd St.. 10-12. The second is Wednesday night from 7:30-9pm, when Common Circle continues its Free Urban Permaculture series led by Oakland permaculturist and founder of Planting Justice Gavin Raders. The topic is Maximizing Urban Food Production.

Let Freedom Ring!: As part of Black History Month celebrations in Oakland, Cantare Con Vivo presents the Cantare Chamber Ensemble and Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir on Sunday, February 21, 3:00pm-5:00pm, at the First Congregational Church.  They will present “Let Freedom Ring!”, a concert recounting the heroic journey of African Americans from slavery to freedom. It looks like it will be a eclectic multimedia extravaganza. Tickets are $25 General; $20 Seniors; $10 Youth.

Have Bus, Will Travel: In addition to Wednesday’s Bus Rapid Transit discussion at City Hall, there are 2 transit-related happenings tonight.  The first is a discussion hosted by Transform on tonight, 6-7:30, 436 14th St., Suite 600. Local transit funds have been cut and stolen by the state.  That raises the interesting question: should we set aside dedicated transportation funds given our deplorable state budget climate? Join the first ever TransForum to discuss the possibility and desirability of a proposed California ballot initiative that sets out to permanently protect public transportation funds. Second, Walk Oakland, Bike Oakland is also getting together tonight, open to anybody who wants to help move the Oaklavia plans forward. Tuesday, 6-8:30, at the Bay Area Wilderness Training offices.  For more information, contact Karen Hester karen@walkoaklandbikeoakland.org or call her at 510-654-6346.

Cannabis Week: Believe it or not, this is National Medical Marijuana Week. And as Oakland is the epicenter of the regulated cannabis movement,  you can be sure it will be in observance. The Medical Cannabis Safety Council holds its East Bay General Meeting, Today, 12 pm – 2 pm at the Oaksterdam Student Union, 1915 Broadway, contact@cannabissafety.org.  Oaksterdam University Student Union will be hosting an afternoon of fun and games Friday, 4:00pm — 6:00pm, at 1915 Broadway at 19th St.  Tickets are $20 General Admission/$10 Student & Alumni and half of the proceeds will be donated to Americans for Safe Access, the other half toward a California Ballot initiative.  Tickets can be purchased Friday at Oaksterdam University 1600 Broadway or at the Student Union. For more information: alexi@skseymour.com or 510-832-3746.  Finally, Friday is Volunteer Day at the Americans for Safe Access (ASA).  Join ASA staff in their downtown office (1322 Webster Suite 402) from 12pm-4pm on Friday to help with projects and get to know other volunteers in the Bay Area. ASA Headquarters . Info: 510-251-1856 or email sarah@safeaccessnow.org

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