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Action Plan to Stop Closure of 5 Oakland Schools
by Jonah
Monday Jan 26th, 2004 11:40 AM
This Action Plan comes from a powerful planning
meeting of over 40 community members from the five
schools targeted for closure and from Oakland in
general. The Coalition Against School Closures has
agreed to take the following steps in order to
pressure the State of California and its appointed
Administrator, Randy Ward, to take into account the
wishes of the Oakland community for its schools. We
need the support and action of a vast spectrum of the
Oakland community in order for these actions to be
effective.
From Michael Siegel, MichaelJWSiegel [at] aol.com

ACTION PLAN TO PREVENT THE FIVE OAKLAND SCHOOL
CLOSURES...

Greetings all,

This Action Plan comes from a powerful planning
meeting of over 40 community members from the five
schools targeted for closure and from Oakland in
general. The Coalition Against School Closures has
agreed to take the following steps in order to
pressure the State of California and its appointed
Administrator, Randy Ward, to take into account the
wishes of the Oakland community for its schools. We
need the support and action of a vast spectrum of the
Oakland community in order for these actions to be
effective.

Si se puede.

Michael Siegel


ACTION PLAN

Below, in detail:

I. Petition to Prevent School Closures
II. Site Meetings to Prepare for Community
Presentations
III. Tuesday 9:00 a.m. - Noon -- Call your local
politician (and fax and email, too)
IV. Tuesday Press Conference
V. Wednesday: Mobilize for OUSD Community Meeting
VI. Leafletting at Oakland Churches
VII. A Week from Wednesday: Demonstration at the
State Building
VIII. Other actions to consider: Boycott, Outreach

I. Petition to Prevent School Closures

To publicize the closures and mobilize as many Oakland
citizens as possible against the closures, we composed
the following petition. Please print it out (it is
attached), copy it for yourself and others, and gather
as many signatures as possible prior to the Wednesday
OUSD Community Meeting.

"Community Petition to Prevent the "Oakland Five"
School Closures"

We, the undersigned members of the Oakland community,
declare the following:

1. All of the five Oakland schools currently under
threat of closure - Longfellow, Foster, Swett,
Burbank, Toler Heights -- must remain open for the
2004-2005 school year.
2. If the State Administrator decides to close any of
the five schools, we will work to defeat the school
parcel tax Measure E, the strong-mayor Measure X, and
the candidacy of any local or state politician who
does not oppose all school closures.
3. Any future school closing proposal must go through
a comprehensive review process that includes clear
criteria for closure, opportunities for collaboration
among site stakeholders to prevent closure, and
considerations of where students and staff go, site
safety and security, and other issues relating to the
impact of closures.

II. Site Meetings to Prepare for Community
Presentations

Meetings will take place at the school sites in the
coming days to prepare for the Wednesday Board
Meeting. Please attend if you are planning to speak
on behalf of a particular school, in order to
coordinate message and speaking time. For the Randy
Ward meetings, please come to hold signs outside and
let Randy know that his word is not necessarily final!

Toler Heights: Tuesday, 3-4pm
John Swett: Tuesday, 4:30pm
Burbank: Monday 6pm for a parent mtg, Tuesday 7:30 am
w/Ward
Longfellow: w/Ward Tuesday 3:00
Foster: unknown (please send if you have info)

III. Tuesday 9:00 a.m. - Noon -- Call your local
politician (and fax and email, too)

The only person with official power over State
Administrator Randy Ward is State Superintendent of
Instruction Jack O'Connell, and our other elected
State Officials and our Mayor have direct lines of
communication with him. For a three hour window of
time on Tuesday, we want to bombard O'Connell, Don
Perata, Jerry Brown, and any other representative that
does not oppose school closures with our message:
Oppose school closures, or be prepared for the
consequences!

Contact Info:

Jack O'Connell
California Department of Education
1430 N Street
Sacramento, California 95814
(916) 319–0800 (ph)
joconnell [at] cde.ca.gov

Senator Don Perata
1515 Clay St. No. 2202
Oakland, CAÂ 94612
510-286-1333 (ph)
510-286-3885 (fax)
senator.perata [at] sen.ca.gov

Wilma Chan
State Capitol Annex
P.O. Box 942849
Sacramento, CA 94249-0016
916-319-2016 (ph)
916-319-2116 (fax)
wilma.chan [at] assembly.ca.gov

Loni Hancock
State Capitol
P.O. Box 942849
Sacramento, CAÂ 94249-0014
(916) 319-2014 (ph)
(916) 319-2114 (fax)
Assemblymember.Hancock [at] assembly.ca.gov

Ellen Corbett
State Capitol
P.O. Box 942849
Sacramento, CAÂ 94249-0018
(916) 319-2018 (ph)
(916) 319-2118 (fax)
Assemblymember.Corbett [at] assembly.ca.gov

Jerry Brown, Oakland Mayor
510-238-3141
jb [at] oaklandnet.com

Ignacio de la Fuente, City Council President
(510) 238-7005
idelafuente [at] oaklandnet.com

IV. Tuesday Press Conference

On Tuesday, January 27, the Coalition Against School
Closures will hold a press conference at 11:00 am in
front of the State Building at 1515 Clay in downtown
Oakland to broadcast our message as widely as
possible. Please attend to show your support for the
"Oakland Five" schools targeted for closure and
promote this press conference to any media contacts
you may have.

V. Wednesday: Mobilize for OUSD Community Meeting

We need as many folks as possible for Wednesday's
meeting, Jan. 28, to begin at 5:00 p.m at the OUSD
Building at 1025 2nd Avenue. School teams should come
prepared to defend your school community and present
alternative solutions. The community must demand a
large forum for the meeting (Kaiser center) and think
creatively about how to disrupt Dr. Ward's plans!

VI. Leafletting Oakland Churches and the City as a
Whole

The committee is preparing flyers that can be widely
distributed to the Oakland community in order to raise
awareness and mobilize support. The churches, in
particular, are a key Oakland constituency that have
not yet taken a strong stand against closures. Please
stay tuned for the flyer.

VII. A Week from Wednesday: Demonstration at the
State Building

In anticipation of Dr. Ward's likely continuation of
his plan to close schools, we are organizing a mass
demonstration in front of the State Building in
Oakland at 1515 Clay St in downtown Oakland. The
rally will begin at 4:00 on Wednesday, February 4th.
Flyers to come. Creative action of all kinds
encouraged.

VIII. Other actions to consider: Boycott, Outreach

An idea making its way around currently is a boycott
of the Oakland schools. Depending on the response of
Ward and the State to Oakland's protest, we are
considering the option of a school boycott as a
potential tactic. We must not take this decision
rashly, as it will have severe economic consequences
for the district and the students, but this is an idea
we cannot discard.

In addition, Coalition members have urged outreach to
local businesses. If schools close, property values
will diminish and neighborhoods will change. Local
businesses may be an ally in keeping our schools open.

Thank you everyone for your work so far. With three
intense days of struggle, we have the chance to make a difference!
We are 100% volunteer and depend on your participation to sustain our efforts!

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