Oakland, Berkeley, And East Bay News, Events, Restaurants, Music, & Arts
I have been ushering at Berkeley Rep since 1999 (a volunteer position) and have seen a great variety of performances covering a multitude of races and cultures. I have never seen seats reserved with people's names. All the tickets have seat #s printed on them. If I understand correctly, you were given free tickets that had the words "general admission" printed on them. I think the usher was trying to find good seats for you, but was unable to give you seats reserved for crew members. I doubt anyone considered your race when they found seats double booked. For all I know, the tech crew could have been black.
Obviously punishing people who have no other options won't work. The city needs to lean on Waste Management to provide dumpsters in impacted areas. It seems to me that would be a lot easier and more cost effective than sending cops out to patrol the neighborhoods.
I read this article with great interest since I am the director of the East Bay Children’s Book Project www.ebcbp.org and have been intimately involved with the Ann Gallagher and the volunteers of FOPSL for years. I really wish Pam had bothered to interview the legions of volunteers who have created the miracle of reopening 20 libraries in just four years using almost all volunteer labor and donated books.
The problem is larger than just a lack of fully staffed libraries. With the great turnover of teachers in Oakland, there is a crucial need to create classroom libraries. No child should ever attend a classroom without books. And research is very clear that children who have books in their homes are much more likely to succeed in school and graduate.
EBCBP is dedicated to improving literacy by providing books free of charge to any professional working with children in need. Almost all of our books are donated keeping them our of the landfill. Working with an all volunteer staff, we have given away almost 900,000 books.
Our books go to classrooms, school libraries, pediatric clinics, homeless shelters, etc. Every school in Oakland, Hayward, Richmond and Emeryville has gotten free books from us.
But we could not survive without the legions of volunteers who collect books for us. I would love a follow up article. She could interview the kid who collected books for us in lieu of birthday gifts, the brownies who collected over 3000 books, the bookstores who host collection stands or the volunteers who count and sort books every week. She could also interview the teachers, health care professionals and social service agencies that come and get books each week.
There are so many great organizations working on helping to improve literacy in Oakland. I hope the East Bay Express will follow this up with an article about the great work being done by all these organizations.
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