Protect Arts Funding in Oakland

URGENT ACTION NEEDED! The Oakland City Council is currently considering cutting funding for Oakland’s Cultural Arts and Marketing Department. This is a serious threat to a thriving but already under-funded community.

Tell the City Council that the arts are not a luxury! Click on the link to the left to send an email to all city council members, and if you are able, please consider attending the City Council meeting on Tuesday, October 21 at 6pm. Follow the “more” link for individual contact information for City Council members, or to look your councilmember up. While the City’s finances are in a dire situation, the fact of the matter is that the cultural arts department has historically borne more than its share of cuts and now represents only .4% (4/10 of 1%) of the overall city budget, yet serves 6,273 children and youth through the art in the schools program (most of whom would not have access to arts without these programs), and another 957,650 people through performances, events, etc. Not only will department staff lose their jobs: staff and teachers in the already-fragile arts sector will also lose jobs.

Children and youth who participate in arts programs and learn positive ways to express themselves are less likely to engage in unsafe or criminal activities. Neighborhoods with visual and performing arts venues bring money into the local economy, help prevent crime and violence by “keeping the lights on,” and add to the overall quality of life in our city.

Tell the City Council that the arts are not a luxury! Click on the link to the left to send an email to all city council members, and if you are able, please consider attending the City Council meeting on Tuesday, October 21 at 6pm. Follow the “more” link for individual contact information for City Council members, or to look your councilmember up.

Below is contact info for each of the district council members:

District 1, Jane Brunner, jbrunner@oaklandnet.com, (510) 238-7001;
District 2, Pat Kernighan,pkernighan@oaklandnet.com, (510) 238-7002;
District 3, Nancy Nadel, nnadel@oaklandnet.com, (510) 238-7003;
District 4, Jean Quan, jquan@oaklandnet.com, (510) 238-7004;
District 5, Ignacio de la Fuente. idelafuente@oaklandnet.com, (510) 238-7005;
District 6, Desley Brooks, dbrooks@oaklandnet.com, (510) 238-7006;
District 7, Larry Reid, lreid@oaklandnet.com, (510) 238-7007
At-Large, Henry Chang, Jr., hchang@oaklandnet.com

Not sure who your council member is? Click here to find out: http://www.oaklandnet.com/oit/CDST/DistMain.cfm

Please forward this to your staff, board, friends, students, their parents, your mailing list, etc. It is our responsibility to make our voices heard – and to let the officials know that we represent a larger portion of the public than they think!

If the email link doesn’t work with your email program, click on the following link to sign a petition: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/Oakland_Arts_Funding/index.html

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