Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Attend the EBMUD Small Business Forum!

The East Bay Municipal Utility District and the State of California Department of General Services cordially invite you to attend a Small Business Forum on “Becoming a California Multiple Awards Schedules (CMAS) Contractor on Monday, March 26, 2012 from 1:30 pm – 4:30 pm.

Learn how to become a CMAS contractor and get certified as a small business.  Come and hear about the benefits of CMAS, network with representatives from both agencies and learn about the upcoming business opportunities.

Topics include:

  • Who are the CMAS reciprocity partners?
  • How to receive payments within three days?
  • What are the benefits and requirements of a Small Business Enterprise (SBE) certification

East Bay Municipal Utility District

Board Room, 2nd Floor

375 11th Street

Oakland, CA

Who Should Attend?:

Business owners who provide general services, information technology products, goods, and some professional services* should attend.


Please RSVP by Monday, March 19, 2012 – space is limited – by contacting the Contract Equity Office at 510-287-0114 or by emailing cntrteq@ebmud.com.

*CMAS (leverage procurement agreement) offers a wide variety of commodities, non-IT services and information technology products and services at prices which have been assessed to be fair, reasonable and competitive by the State of California excluding professional engineering services, environmental services, financial & business solutions and facilities maintenance and management services.  Services included are telecommunication, security, business process/record management and tree removal.  Visit http://www.ebmud.com/business-opportunities/business-forums for a complete list.

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Taxes & Another Financial Treats for Non-Profits

The Tuesday, February 21, 2012, Nonprofit Roundtable enjoyed the edifying presentations of Iryna Oreshkova, a specialist in nonprofit accounting, and Dale Marie Golden, Vice President of Torrey Pines Bank. Both speakers emphasized the importance of financial management to participants.
Oreshkova (http://irynacpa.com/company.php) applauded community benefits organizations for being mission driven, but noted that this can be both a strength and weakness, espeically for those that look at accounting as a necessary evil. This belief can be problematic, particularly with the great number of state and federal tax laws and requirements of such organizations. Several attendees gasped when she noted that recently the IRS revoked nonprofit status for all organizations that had not filed federal form 990 in three years. Her recommendations are to: 1) always make sure you have a great account who keeps you up to speed on deadlines and rules; 2) have your Board (the organization’s financial agent) review financial statements and the 990; 3) follow all federal, state and local policies and procedures; 4) adopt transparency protocols; 5) have written policies and procedures; 6) conduct the proper legally required audit (there’s there than one kind), using the services of a properly approved auditor; and 7) always read the foodnotes of agreements and contracts, especially grant award contracts.

As part of her presentation, Golden shared the mission of her bank – Torrey Pines Bank (www.torreypinesbank.com) – as being focused on small business and nonprofits. She noted that to be appealing to their communities and prospective funders and investors, all organizations must be fiscally sound. Her tidbits of advice included: 1) always note that policies and procedures at banks change regularly, particularly fees and charges, so review them regularly; 2) establish a relationship with a personal banker; 3) separate the roles of Board treasurer, company accountant and auditor and devise a system of checks and balances for accountability; 4) make sure your California Statement of Information is up-to-date; and 5) always have a business plan.

Following the presentations and Q&A, attendees reviewed and discussed the recently published article, “Nonprofits, 2012 Political Game Changers?” by Robert Egger of DC Central Kitchen: http://tinyurl.com/nonprofitstrength. Different pieces of information intrigued different members, including how negative branding is hurting organizations; the nonprofit sector is third largest private employer in the country, while the economy has been hurting overall, nonprofit employment has continued to grow; and none of the Republican candidates for president include nonprofits/community benefits organizations in their economic plans.

The conversation was lively, and full of ideas and support. Next month’s meeting, held on March 20, will feature a conversation on how the relationship between Oakland’s major sports teams and community benefits organizations can be mutually beneficial.

"It's more important to be of service than successful."
– Robert Kennedy

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Friday, February 24, 2012

Court Approves Gang Injunction

Superior Court Judge Robert Freedman issued a preliminary injunction earlier this week including all remaining defendants in the City’s lawsuit against the Norteños gang.  The City asked the court to grant an injunction against 40 members of the Norteños based on their proven ties to the gang and crimes they have committed in the zone covered by the injunction.

The two injunctions in effect in Oakland (Norteños and North Side Oakland) are different from most of the other gang injunctions in California. Oakland’s injunctions are similar to restraining orders against individuals. Each defendant had the right to contest the lawsuit’s claims before the court, and the City had the burden of proving to the court, by clear and convincing evidence, that the gang is a criminal enterprise and that each defendant is a member of the gang. Importantly, anyone who leaves the gang can go through an “opt-out” process and seek to be removed from the order.

The 40 individuals named as defendants in the City's lawsuit have close to 200 adult arrests and at least 106 adult convictions among them. Their adult criminal convictions include: multiple cases of assault with a deadly weapon, multiple robberies, robbery resulting in great bodily injury, carjacking, shooting at an occupied home, dog fighting, fighting in public, numerous incidents of domestic violence including one resulting in traumatic injury, felony drunk driving, obstructing a peace officer by use of force, battery, carrying a concealed weapon, carrying a loaded firearm, felony possession of an assault weapon, possession of body armor, felony possession of a controlled substance while armed with a gun, felony manufacturing a weapon while in prison, discharging a firearm in a grossly negligent manner and many other gun crimes; also numerous vehicle thefts, drug sales, vandalism, residential and non-residential burglaries, grand theft, receiving stolen property and forgery. Most of these crimes occurred in or were committed against people who live or work in the Fruitvale neighborhood. In most cases, evidence submitted to the court included the individuals’ own claims of gang membership.

Within the injunction zone covering most of the Fruitvale District, the court’s order restricts the defendants from carrying guns, threatening witnesses, selling drugs, wearing gang colors, associating with each other in public or being on the streets during late night hours (10 p.m. to 5 a.m.). There are clear exceptions to the last two restrictions for lawful activities such as work, school and medical emergencies. Violation of the order is a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail and/or a $1,000 fine.

“This order protects civil liberties while imposing restrictions on defendants that are designed to curb gang violence in Oakland, thereby saving lives and improving public safety,” City Attorney Barbara Parker said.

The Chamber supports the City Attorney in pursuing the Gang Injunctions and adding to the tools available to the Oakland Police Department to keep our citizens safe.

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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Port of Oakland RFP for Self Service Luggage Cart Concession

From time to time, the Chamber is made aware of local business opportunities and projects relevant to our members and other community based organizations. See below for the most recent opportunity spotlight:

 The Request for Proposal, including all exhibits and supporting materials, may be downloaded from the Port’s website at www.portofoakland.com or www.oaklandairport.com.

A Mandatory Pre-Proposal Conference is scheduled as follows:

10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Airport Properties Department

1st Floor Conference Room

9532 Earhart Road

Oakland, California

Proposal Due Date:  Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Proposal Due Time:  2:00 p.m.

Port of Oakland - Airport Properties

Attention: Paul Caruso

9532 Earhart Rd., Ste. 201

Oakland, CA 94621

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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Oakland Chamber Non-Profit Roundtable

Oakland Chamber’s Nonprofit Roundtable is today, Tuesday, February 21, 2012, from 2:30-4:30pm in the Oakland Chamber Board Room.

Please join us for a lively conversation on “Taxes and other Financial Treats.”

Guest speakers include nonprofit banking guru Dale Marie Golden and accounting specialist Iryna Oreshkova.

Also, the co-chairs recommend that you read the article, “Nonprofits, 2012 Political Game Changers?” by Robert Egger of DC Central Kitchen: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-egger/nonprofits-2012-political_b_1258538.html?ref=fb&src=sp&comm_ref=false

In this article, among many other fine points, Egger shares findings that note collectively, “nonprofits are now the third biggest private employer in America.” In these challenging economic times, this is incredible information about positives in our country.

Nonprofit Roundtable Co-chairs, Ana-Mare Jones, CARD & Jerry Metzker, Biotech Partners

Chamber liaison: Triche Christmon

Comment on AC Transit's Rapid Bus Plan

A series of community meetings is being held in regards to AC Transit's proposed East Bay Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project, February 23 through March 12.  Please see the flyer for details about how you can comment on this service.

The East Bay Bus Rapid Transit project is a 14-mile line that would connect Berkeley, Oakland and San Leandro.  Through Oakland, it would run along International Blvd. and feature a dedicated bus lane.

East Bay BRT is intended to significantly improve the speed of service in and between the three cities.

All comments are due by  5pm on March 19, 2012.

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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

High School Summer Internship with MTC

The 2012 MetropolitanTransportation Commission High School Summer Internship Program is now open and accepting student applications online. Approximately 35 internships will be available throughout the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area. The pay rate is $10.25 per hour. Each internship will last up to a maximum of 250 hours. Students may work full-time or part-time, for up to 10 weeks, between June 26 and August 31, 2012.

The purpose of the program is to:
  • promote interest in transportation as a potential career;
  • help students understand the role of transportation agencies in the community, county and region;
  • provide skill-building and enrichment opportunities during all phases of the program; and
  • provide assistance to our partner transportation agencies.
Interested tenth, eleventh, and twelfth grade students are invited to apply now.

APPLICATION PROCESS: Deadline March 8, 2012

1.         Complete online application.
2.        Attach a page that describes in your own words a transportation prob­lem in your community and explains what you think could be done to resolve the matter.

3.        Also attach one letter of recommendation from a teacher, principal, counselor, religious leader or employer (two letters are required if GPA is below 2.8).

Program requirements and information:

Listing of the internship opportunities and application form:

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Monday, February 13, 2012

Port of Oakland RFP - Noise Management

From time to time, the Chamber is made aware of local business opportunities and projects relevant to our members and other community based organizations. See below for the most recent opportunity spotlight:

 Request for Proposals (RFP) for Oakland Airport-Community Noise Management Forum Facilitator

The Port of Oakland is soliciting proposals from qualified consultants for the Oakland Airport-Community Noise Management Forum Facilitator. The scope of this project is to provide facilitation and administrative services to the Oakland-Community Noise Management Forum and perform other related work as directed by the Forum.

The Port has posted this Request for Proposals (RFP) in digital format on a hosting website that can be accessed via the ‘Current RFP's/RFQ's: Port of Oakland Engineering Department’ link at the following URL: http://portofoakland.com/business/rfpsrfqs.asp. Proposing consultants should carefully review the requirements of this RFP to ensure that they meet all of the stated requirements.

 No Pre-Proposal Conference is scheduled.

Bid Due Date: Friday, March 30, 2012

Bid Due Time: 3:00 p.m.

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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Oakland City Council Rejects Port Protection Proposal

A Resolution directing the City Administrator to use whatever lawful tools we [city government] have … to prevent future shut downs or disruptions of any Port operations was rejected by the Oakland City Council last night.  The proposal was made by Council Members Ignacio De La Fuente and Libby Schaaf.  They were supported by Desley Brooks and Jane Brunner.  Nancy Nadel and Rebecca Kaplan opposed the measure while Larry Reid and Pat Kernighan abstained from the vote. 

Supporters of the resolution cited the need to protect the rights of all citizens and talked about the economic importance of the Port.  Opponents, including organized labor, said the measure was not necessary and could interfere with protests they might launch in the future. Council Member Kaplan said she could not support this measure while violence remained a problem in the city.    

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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Calling All Oakland Artists!

Starting on Friday, February 3rd, 2012, the Port of Oakland calls for artist participation in two contests depicting the

Golden Gate Bridge to Oakland connection in recognition of the bridge’s historic birthday, the GGB will be celebrated throughout 2012, and the public is invited to participate. The Port of Oakland, in partnership with Oaklandish—a civic-pride oriented arts organization and apparel designer and retailer—will host a photography contest with the title theme “Golden Gate Bridge to Oakland: International Trade”. The theme underscores the fact that every container ship that calls at the Port travels under the GGB. There will be rotating exhibits for selected artwork from this contest in various locations throughout Oakland. The opening date and unveiling of the exhibition will be May 24, 2012. The call for submissions will begin on March 1, 2012. Keep an eye out for more announcements on this call for artists.

The Port of Oakland also owns and operates Oakland International Airport (OAK). OAK in partnership with the Oakland Museum of California will host a juried art contest with the title theme “Golden Gate Bridge to Oakland: Trade and Tourism”. Submissions for this contest may be in any medium, including 2-D, 3-D, sound, and video works. Selected artwork from this contest will show at OAK as part of the airport exhibition program. The opening date and unveiling of this exhibition will be May 25, 2012 and will run through September 7, 2012. The call for submissions began January 31, 2012; individuals may apply online using the following website: www.bayvan.org/OMCA/.

Updated information and the full schedule of programs and events regarding the big 75th year are posted on www.goldengatebridge75.org.

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Nominations Sought for MTC Awards

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) is seeking nominations for the 30th Transportation Awards to recognize the people, organizations and agencies that are improving the way we move around the nine-county region. 
Is your company promoting alternatives to driving alone? Know an organization working on smart growth or climate-friendly behaviors? Do you look forward to riding the bus because of an exceptionally friendly and helpful bus driver? Nominations for the transportation awards will be accepted until March 31, 2012. To submit a nomination online and/or to learn more about the program, visit
http://www.mtc.ca.gov/about_mtc/awards/index.htm or call (510) 817.5757.

Winners will be acknowledged at a ceremony to be held in October 2012. Submit your nominations today!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Which History do we want to be Remembered for?

There are 2 stories unfolding before us that clearly defines the society we live in, and perhaps a better understanding of the solution that is needed…

There is the story of those who truly are setting examples of accountability, compassion, and caring for a society, and then there is the story of those who will use any excuse to destroy a society derived from their own lack of understanding..

 What started out as honorable and worthy intentions of the Occupy movement, has unfortunately turned into violence, grandstanding, and showcasing negative elements that have nothing to do with the original intent of the 99%.

 The “Remember Them” Monument was made for all of the community, 100% (not 99%) dedicated to focusing on the the good people have done regardless of race, religion, sex, or creed; and the most significant change was by people who did “peaceful protest”, and who are in fact depicted on this Monument.

Does no one from the Occupy movement not see the contradiction here?

When I heard that occupiers had tagged the Monument with graffiti, I could not help but think about why these people could think that this would help their cause?

If anything, it brought out from the community people who were enraged by such a act, and demonstrates that the true 99% are law abiding, and caring citizens.

Perhaps we need to look closer at trying to find a solution at the core, and try to understand why these people would do such a thing, and why they feel that anarchy and violence is the only way. In its truest form, the ideas behind the Monument are exactly the reasons for addressing these issues and focus on peaceful means to solutions; examples of people who did extraordinary things for the betterment of others.

We must also understand that for people to do such acts of violence and disrespect, this could only come from what has been accepted into their lives, and what they have seen in their own journey of life; another reason to create positive examples and create better responsibility.

I do not pretend to have all the answers of making a better society, but I do know if we take responsibility for our actions, stop blaming others, and focus a portion of our lives dedicated to trying to make better someone else less fortunate than ourselves, for sure positive change will come. This has been proven over and over in history; Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Thic Nat Hahn, to name a few who have adhered to that conviction of responsibility and helping others. In my view and many others that have come forward from the community, an even bigger reason why we need more examples like “Remember Them” available and accessible to all, so that people can see themselves as those depicted in history who made change for the better through more peaceful means, and derail the anarchy of negative examples.

I was deeply touched by the local Community that lives within the vicinity of the Monument, and the caring and love they show for both the Monument and the people of the Community. A day does not go by where people from this Community are scrubbing, cleaning, and patrolling the Monument area to make it a place for all people to learn and enjoy. These are volunteers who understand the meaning of caring and compassion, and are setting the examples to positive change. This is the idea I believe of what the 99% should be the symbol of; “true positive change by selfless examples”, just like the people who live near the Remember Them Monument.

The flip side is that tagging, and violating a Monument dedicated to the betterment of Humanity unfortunately defines that the only thing violence and disrespect achieve is more violence and disrespect, and positive change has never come from this; “history has proved that”.

No one will reason or listen to people who live by this negative code.

The original Occupy movement as I understood it, was to focus on bringing about change against those who were corrupting and destroying our society for their own selfish needs; is not tagging, defecating, littering, obstructing peoples freedoms doing the the same thing?

If we want a civilized world, let us learn from history those who made our lives better and be those examples, and not from those who acted upon their own selfish needs and desires at the expense of others.

Imagine what the Occupy Movement would have looked like if it were structured to improve a neighborhood that they occupied; removing graffiti, making it pristine, and safe?

Then all people would want to listen, and support such a movement..

I know I would be there right with them if that approach were taken..

Remember; we are all from the same planet, and whatever we are doing every minute of the day we are defining our history of this planet, everyone of us...

Which history do we want to be remembered for?

-Mario Chiodo 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Congratulations to Chiefs Jordan & Reed

The Chamber salutes Police Chief Howard Jordan and Fire Chief Teresa Deloach Reed for their appointments to Oakland’s public safety departments. Mayor Quan has taken the “interim” tag off Chief Jordan while at the same time naming Reed, the former San Jose Assistant Fire Chief, to head the Oakland Fire Department.

Chief Jordan is a 24-year veteran on Oakland’s Police Department and the city’s first homegrown police chief since 2004. He has worked as patrol officer, watch commander, SWAT team member, criminal investigator and head of the school police department since joining the force in 1988.

When Chief Reed takes over the Fire Department in March, Oakland will join a growing list of Bay Area cities, including San Francisco and Berkeley, to have female fire chiefs. She had spent her entire career in San Jose where she worked alongside Oakland City Administrator Deanna Santana.

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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Redevelopment Ends – City cuts millions from budget

The Oakland City Council voted to support most of the cuts proposed by Mayor Quan and City Administrator Deanna Santana to balance the City budget after the elimination of the Oakland Redevelopment Agency (RDA) as required by state law. Overall about $8million was cut from the final 5 months of this years’ budget and $20 million was cut from the 2012-23 fiscal year.

The Revised budget maintains funding for sworn police officers and firefighters. Funding was also preserved for Children’s Fairyland and the Oakland Zoo despite proposed cuts. The number of jobs that will be cut has been declining over the last week or two as City staff and City Council worked out details. While some work rule seniority issues may still affect the particular positions eliminated the number of lost jobs will likely be close to 80.

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New BART Car Rail Sourcing

If you saw the article in the January 30th Matier and Ross column in the SF Chronicle about BART's new fleet of rail cars being built overseas, you might have some questions about the sourcing on BART’s new rail cars. BART has respectfully asked that the record is corrected, their response is printed below:

BART’s new train cars will be assembled in America, not overseas.

That’s the law. The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) requires

that 60% of the value of the material be domestic and that final

assembly take place in the U.S. However, the FTA laws prohibit BART

from considering where in the U.S. the final assembly will take

place. If BART intends to use federal funds to help pay for these

much needed new cars, we cannot give preference to a car builder who

says they are going to assemble the cars in California or even the

Bay Area.

What BART can do legally and has done, is to provide an incentive in

the bid evaluation process for car builders to exceed the required

minimum 60% domestic content. BART's Buy America Bid Preference

Policy for Federally Funded Rolling Stock Procurements, a first for

U.S. transit agencies, factors in additional American-made content in

the price proposal scoring process, all in the interests of creating

and supporting American jobs.

The column also reported on the cost of our new fleet by citing a

funding agreement that includes engineering and inspection expenses.

These kinds of expenditures are important. Think of someone planning

to buy a piece of land and then build a new home on it; among other

things they need to hire a land surveyor and an architect to design

and oversee the project.

Designing the next generation of high performance train cars for the

unique features of BART is a quantum leap in complexity compared to

building a house. The estimated 16.9% on the base order of 260 cars

(total cost $1.3B) or 12.1% on an order of 775 cars (total cost

$3.2B) for those design, engineering, inspection, safety

certification, testing and warranty administration services is well

within the norm for transit agencies purchasing new vehicles. For a

contract of this size and complexity, prudent expenditures on project

management is protection against schedule delays and cost overruns.

They can help to ensure that the cars that roll out of the car

builder's domestic assembly plant are ready to provide safe and

reliable service to BART's 370,000 daily riders.

Based on the pricing in initial proposals for the new car

procurement, BART expects that the pricing in final proposals will be

such that BART will ultimately pay considerably lower average per car

prices if it is able to order all 775 cars as compared to only the

base order. Also, many engineering, design and testing costs are

payable to the car builder only for the base order of cars.

BART will continue to listen to the concerns of all stakeholders in

the new car procurement, but we need to continue to conduct the

procurement in a manner that complies with all applicable laws and

does not jeopardize federal funding.

We do need to replace all of our trains. We have the oldest train car

fleet in the nation. Many of our train cars are 40 years old and it’s

not only harder to find replacement parts, it takes more time and

labor to keep them running.

We want to collaborate with all the stakeholders in ensuring that

BART continues to provide safe, reliable transportation for future

generations of riders and to keep the Bay Area economy running.

What’s the economic risk of not reinvesting in BART? Consider the

fact that during the rush hours, BART carries 50,000 commuters across

the bay, as many as the Bay Bridge.

-John McPartland President, BART

Board of Directors

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Celebrating Black History Month

Remembering our past is a key to taking today to a new level of humanitarianism!
In September of 2011 we unveiled Phase One of the largest bronze monument in the West…’Remember Them: Champions for Humanity’.  The Monument’s Artist Mario Chiodo selected 14 Humanitarians and 8 Local Humanitarian’s many of whom are celebrated during Black History Month including:

Ruby Bridges - “Each and every one of us is born with a clean heart…[we] know nothing about hate or racism.”

Maya Angelou – “Only equals make friends.”

Fredrick Douglas – “The soul that is within me no man can degrade.”

Rosa Parks – “I believe there is only one race—the human race.”

Ralph Abernathy – “Let us keep love in our hearts but fight until the walls of segregation crumble.”

Martin Luther King Jr. – “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

Coretta Scott King – “Hate is too great a burden to bear.  It injures the hater more than it injures the hated.”

And Joyce Taylor, ‘Mother’ Mary Ann Wright and Dr. Marcus Foster

As you celebrate take time to visit the Monument and reflect on the sacrifices and accomplishments of these 10 among many!  We are who we are today in many ways because of the life they lived!  Let us remember!  


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