Monday, March 25, 2013

Explore What Oakland Has to Offer Part 2

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Friday, March 22, 2013

Explore what Oakland Has To Offer Part 1

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Friday, March 15, 2013

Non-Profit Roundtable Explores New Technologies

New Technologies that Strengthen Organizations was the focus of the February Non-Profit Roundtable meeting. The session opened with the creation of a list of current technologies that some organizations use and others identified as available, both old and new, such as apps, blogs, DropBox, e-newsletters, Facebook (Linked In, MeetUp, and other social media), Mailchimp/EventBrite, Pivotal Tracker, Popcorn/CD burner XP, Salesforce (and other service softwares), Trello, YouTube, Websites and Zoho.

Oakland Chamber’s Ambassador of the Month (January) Fred Schott of 2CP Merchant Processing ( shared the many avenues that organizations have of processing credit and debit card transactions. Among many offerings, 2CP Merchant Processing provides wireless credit card terminals, cell phone processing and other online services. In an culture in which more and more individuals and companies are utilizing credit and debit cards (rather than checks and cash), these transaction tools are becoming more essential for community benefits organizations (i.e. non-profits) to remain competitive and conduct business.

Following Schott’s presentation, Jerry Metzker, Co-Chair of the Roundtable, shared information about the quickly expanding usage of smartphones (such as iPhones, Droids and other brands that include computer connectivity with standard phone options). Some quick facts, courtesy of Mobile Commons:

  • 99% of text messages are viewed
  • 83% of all people open their text messages within 15 minutes of receiving them
  • 95% of 18-29-year-olds text
  • There are over 300 million mobile subscribers
  • Over 6 billion text messages are sent every day in the United States alone
  • Individuals under the age of 60 send more text messages than make phone calls

Armed with these figures, Metzker shared two mobile companies that are at the forefront of smartphone connectivity – One Call Now ( and Mobile Commons ( One Call Now is specifically a mass communications service – to send one message (via text or phone) to multiple people simultaneously. Possible uses for this kind of service include invitations to activities or meetings, sharing a video or web-site link and even in a case of emergency. Metzker noted how this form of communication makes the Phone Tree cumbersome and obsolete. Mobile Commons provides a communications and fundraising-by-text service that includes immediately donating via mobile phone, sending quick thank yous to constituents or even notifying persons that an email has been sent to them. Mobile Commons noted that in a test, a text message reminding individuals to go to a request email was far more successful than just asking people to donate via email.

Âna-Marie Jones, our Roundtable Co-Chair, added how important these mass notification services can be for emergency and disaster readiness. The ability to immediately reach out to staff and volunteers via these services, or simply by text messages, is important for day-to-day effectiveness, but can save lives in times of crisis.

The number one rule for mobile communications, according to Michael Sabat of Mobile Commons, is to make the texts actionable, with messages that include “check out” or “go to.” He also noted that only individuals that have given permission to be texted should be.

Sara Batterby of Ethix Merchant Services ( and Ipsheeta Furtado of FTW Group ( spoke briefly on their partnership in providing business credit and debit card transactions in which a portion of the income goes to a community benefits organization that partners with the business.

The meeting concluded with a quick facilitation on the Law of Innovation scale led by Âna-Marie Jones. Attendees placed themselves on the scale (divided into five sections: innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority and laggards) and reviewed the benefits and challenges nonprofit organization face being at each of the levels.

The use of technology, particularly with smartphones and tablets, is currently being examined throughout the CBO community, as noted in Nicole Wallace’s recent article, “Nonprofits Race to Get Ahead of the Explosion in Small Screens” in The Chronicle of Philanthropy (

* * * * *

The next Oakland Chamber Non-Profit Roundtable meeting will be held on Tuesday, March 19, 2013, from 2:30-4:30pm in the Chamber Boardroom. It’s Health Care Month at the Chamber, so our conversation and presentations will revolve around how you can care for the health and well-being of your staff and volunteers! Please come prepared to share about one thing you do at your agency to help keep people healthy or ways that you are helping your team to become healthier. All Chamber members and non-profit organizations interested in networking are welcome.

Co-Chair Âna-Marie Jones, Executive Director of CARD (
Co-Chair Jerry Metzker, Development & Marketing Manager of Biotech Partners (

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Thursday, March 14, 2013

BART March Meetings with Small Businesses

BART is inviting small businesses* to attend one of their meetings scheduled throughout the Bay Area this month.
Construction contractors, vendors of goods and services, professional service firms or organizations that assist small businesses should attend. You will learn about BART initiatives to improve utilization of small businesses. Each small business in attendance will receive a packet of helpful information on how to do business with BART and other resources.

See the flyer below for meeting details and how to register with the appropriate meeting host. BART has teamed up with VFM Consultants to assist BART with disseminating the invitation throughout the Bay Area. When you register and/or attend one of the meetings, please indicate that you heard about the meetings from VFM Consultants. We are committed to assisting small businesses with BART contracting opportunities. If you plan to attend either the March 25 or 28 meetings, you should register with VFM Consultants directly by email at: or by calling 510 368-0119. Make sure you indicate the date you will be attending.

*A small business is defined as having $14,000,000 annual gross revenue in a three-year period.

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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Caltrans District 4 Small Business Outreach Event

Please register here, if you are interested in attending the Caltrans Outreach Event for Small Businesses on March 21, 2013 in Oakland.

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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Local Business Opportunities with BART

Attention Small Businesses – Get work with BART, attend the event below.

BART is launching a new local Small Business Initiative. Major contracts are being unbundled to give new opportunities to local businesses. Now is your chance to add BART as a steady customer! 

RVSP for the March 13th and March 23rd meetings and kick-off dates below. Hope to see you there!

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Monday, March 11, 2013

Business Opportunity Spotlight-RFP Ramp Control

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 from The Port of Oakland:




Ramp Control Services Operations and Management

The Port of Oakland is soliciting proposals for Ramp Control Services Operations and Management (RFP 12-13/07) to be delivered to the Purchasing Department, attention Nickulaus Sioson, at 530 Water Street, Oakland, CA 94607, until 11:00 a.m. on April 11, 2013.

A Pre-proposal Meeting will be held on March 13, 2013 at 10:00 a.m. at Oakland International Airport, 1 Airport Drive, Oakland, CA 94621 (Terminal 1 – Tower Lounge, 8th floor)

The RFP process is designed to select a Ramp Control Operations and Management service provider to support aircrafts in the non-movement areas of the terminal air carrier apron at the Oakland International Airport.

Copies of the RFP may be obtained by visiting the Port’s website at: and downloading the RFP packet, or contacting the Port Purchasing department at (510) 627-1140.



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Friday, March 8, 2013

Multiple Arrests of Violent Gang Members Today

In an action coordinating Federal, State, County, Oakland and other city’s law enforcement, 24 high risk arrest warrants were served throughout the Bay Area early today.  The subjects were principally members of the Case Gang in Oakland who Oakland Police Chief Howard Jordan says has been one of the two most violent gangs in Oakland over the past five months.

It is part of Operation Ceasefire.  According to police, just last October hundreds of people, mainly gang members identified as previously violent, were called in to meetings to tell them that violence had to stop.  While help for people willing to lay down their guns was offered, there was also a warning, whatever gang was “first or worst” to act violently would be targeted for arrest. 

 Oakland Police (OPD) identified two groups, Case Gang and Money Team as having been the “first and worst” and therefor targeted for arrests in the last four to five weeks. Since February 5, OPD says they have made 33 felony arrests and recovered 26 firearms.  This severely limited the Money Team leaving today’s action principally focused on the Case Gang.  In the action today, 16 arrests have been made as of noon and many more firearms seized.

At a press conference in Oakland, Chief Jordan was joined by U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag, CA Attorney General Kamila Harris, Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley, Alameda Co. Sheriff Greg Ahern and Oakland Mayor Quan.

U.S. Attorney Haag said that over 160 Federal agents participated in the serving of the arrest warrants today.  Federal agencies involved included, the FBI, DEA, ATF, IRS, Secret Service, Homeland Security and U.S. Marshals.

CA Attorney General Harris said with the support of Gov. Brown and CHP, her office’s Division of Law Enforcement has been helping in the Ceasefire project.  Harris said since its inception just a few months ago, 23 people have been arrested with 167 criminal cases charged and 55 firearms seized.  She said in addition to the Operation Ceasefire focus on violence her office has also focused on home invasion robberies in Oakland.

Also assisting today were San Mateo and Contra Costa Sheriffs as well as police in Antioch (where at least one arrest warrant was served) and Alameda County Probation officers.  Oakland Housing Authority police and State probation have been contributing to the Operation Ceasefire action as well.  

Alameda DA O’Malley, and other speakers, took note that while hundreds of law enforcement personnel took part in the action serving these 24 high risk arrest warrants today, there were no injuries.

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Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Business Opportunity Spotlight

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 at the Oakland Airport:

We are currently bidding the following trade packages as part of Bid Group #02 for the Oakland Airport M102 Terminal 1 Renovation Project:

3.0 Fiberwrap
           7.1 Roofing
7.2 Sheet Metal Flashing and Exp. Joints
8.1 Doors, Frames and Hardware
9.0 Drywall (Incl. Plastering and Insulation)
11.1 Fall Protection
13.85 Fire Alarm


Bids are due Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013 @ 2pm.

To access the bid documents please follow the link:

Please refer to the attached “Invitation to Bid” document for all further bid requirements (Bid Docs, Job Walk, etc.)

PRE-BID JOB WALK: Subcontractors are recommended to attend a job walk during the bid phase. Please see below for your appropriate time. All job walks will begin at the “Meet and Greet” area inside Terminal 1 right next to the TSA security checkpoint. Proceed inside the terminal towards the security line as if you were boarding a flight. The meeting area is directly to the right of the security checkpoint inside Terminal 1.

For TSA security purposes, please provide Turner with 1. The full legal name, 2. Date of Birth and 3. Company Name of each job-walk attendee at least 24 hours prior to your scheduled job walk time. Attendee’s must bring a valid/current form of Identification with them during the job walk as well.

ü  7.1 Roofing, 7.2 Sheet Metal Flashing and Expansion Joints– Tues. March 19th @ 1pm

ü  3.0 Fiberwrap, 8.1 Doors, Frames and Hardware, 9.0 Drywall and 11.1 Fall Protection and 13.85 Fire Alarm - Wed. March 20th @ 1pm

Pre-Bid Outreach Conference Meet and Greet: Turner will be hosting a meet and greet with second and third their subcontractors immediately following each job walk (2:30pm) in an effort to build relationships and to help prime subcontractors reach their LBE/SLBE goals. This meeting will be held back at Turner’s Jobsite Office at 1100 Airport Drive (office is on the second floor).

Thanks and please email / call Brendan Crockett with any questions. He can be reached at: (510)-267-8239 or


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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

OPD Gets a Compliance Director

Former Baltimore Police Commissioner Thomas C. Frazier is the first ever Compliance Director overseeing the Oakland Police Department (OPD). Mr. Frazier and OPD Chief Howard Jordan have worked together before. Frazier and his firm worked on a report about the crowd control and police tactics the City used during the Oct. 25, 2011 Occupy Oakland protest and Jordan adopted many of the suggested reforms

For over ten years now OPD has been operating under the terms of a Negotiated Settlement Agreement (NSA).  Last December the Federal Judge decided a Compliance Director, with the authority to remove the Chief, direct OPD policy and spend money was necessary to achieve the standards established by the NSA. 

Frazier will start work March 11 and is expected to submit a plan for completing the reforms within 30 days and he will begin issuing monthly status reports in May.

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Economic Development Forum-MARCH 13 from 3-4:30 PM

Economic Development Forum


March Program

Oakland International Airport (OAK) Capital Development Opportunities

 A presentation from the Port of Oakland  
Join us for March Economic Development Forum with the Oakland Airport’s Joan Zatopek. Ms. Zatopek will share her broad knowledge of what is happening with respect to capital development activity including the Terminal 1 remodel project and the annually prepared 5-year Capital Needs Assessment (CNA) for Aviation. The forum will also cover an overview of projects on Airport and in the Airport Environs that are underway or planned to begin in the next few years

 The presentation will focus on:

General airport activity trends for 2013                                                                
The full Capital Development Program at the Oakland Airport

With: Joan Zatopek, Senior Aviation Project Manager, Port of  Oakland,

Ms. Zatopek has over 20 years of experience in airport and transportation consulting and has worked for the Port of Oakland in Aviation since 2006. Her responsibilities include managing over $30 million of on-going Airport projects and serving as the project manager of a $200+ million renovation and remodel program for the 50-year old Terminal 1 at OAK.  She also assists in the development and coordination of the $469 million, OAK 5-year capital improvement program, coordinating annual airline rates and charges reconciliation and passenger facility charge (PFC) collection.

Come for a great FREE discussion!

In 2013, the Economic Development Forum will present monthly speakers and topics of interest to the Oakland planning and development community. Join us next month on Wednesday, April 10th at 3pm.  
                       When: Wednesday, March 13, 2013 | 3-4:30 PM

                        Where:    The OMCC Board Room  475 14th Street, Oakland CA. 94612

This event is part of the Chamber’s monthly Economic Development Committee meeting. If you would like to attend as a guest of the Chamber, or join the Economic Development Committee to produce future forum programs, contact:

Eleanor Hollander, AICP | OMCC Economic Development Director at (510) 874-4800 ext. 320 or email:

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Monday, March 4, 2013

Linked Learning in Oakland Unified School District



Linked Learning is transforming secondary education in Oakland into a personally relevant, wholly engaging experience for all levels of students, exposing them to previously unimagined college and career opportunities. Linked Learning is a flexible approach bringing together college prep academics, demanding technical education, support services, and work-based learning that, together, help prepare students for success in college, career and life. In an effort to promote more systematic records and promotion of Work Based Learning activities, the College and Career Readiness Office asked pathways/academies to participate in a contest to submit student blogs.

Linked Learning Blog Contest: And the winners are…

We are pleased to announce the Top Five Linked Learning Blog Contest entries:

1st Place: Tien Mai

2nd Place: Roche Washington

3rd Place: Ayrianna Nelson

Honorable Mention: Juan Ledezma

Honorable Mention: Isabella Llamas

All five students are part of the Education Academy @ Skyline High School. As a result of the winning entries, the Education Academy will be awarded $850 to support promotional materials for recruitment.

Congratulations to all the students who submitted entries, and a special congratulations to our 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Place winners, whose blog entries appear below.



1st Place Winner – Linked Learning Blog Contest

My Summer Internship at the Native American Health Center

By: Tien Mai


As part of the Education Academy Peer Education class, I participated in a summer internship at the Native American Health Center. This work-based learning experience consisted of assisting departments and working with young children at one of their school-based health centers. I spent about five weeks interning, doing office work, and being a person who the students can look up to.

Native American Health Center is a non-profit organization serving California Bay Area Native population and others. They help underserved populations with medical needs for all ages. Not only do they have a main center, they have also developed many school-based health centers at middle and high schools.

I developed many skills during this summer internship, I learned to manage time effectively and to stay on track and not get distracted. I had to think creatively in order to make fun and informative bulletins for the students and staff. I was able to gather and organize information I found through the Internet, magazines, brochures, and resource papers. When I was not sure, I asked many questions to clarify everything.




2nd Place Winner – Linked Learning Blog Contest

My Experience as a Reading Partner

By: Roche Washington

In the Education Academy at Skyline, I participate in Reading Partners. This work-based learning experience consists of me going to Cox Academy Elementary School every Monday and Thursday. During these two days I am with a 5th grader, helping her improve her reading skills, vocabulary, grammar, etc. I read to her for the first 10 minutes and then she is given a lesson that we both work on together. The lesson helps her with a particular reading skill and on how to be a good reader. At the end of every lesson I write a summary of our session and keep track of the things that are important.

Reading Partners is dedicated to transforming struggling young readers into confident readers. The mission is to help children become lifelong readers by empowering communities to provide individualized instruction with measurable events.

During this work-based learning experience I am able to develop new skills and practice ones I already have. For example patience, because kids who struggle are not at the same level as you. You have to go at their pace and then improve. Another skill is observing effectively, to know what we need to work on together and improve. I ask questions during our session and make sure she understands the lesson. It also gives me an opportunity to work with children and make a difference in someone's life.


3rd Place Winner – Linked Learning Blog Contest

My Summer Internship at Merritt College

By: Ayrianna Nelson

During the summer of 2012 I participated in a program called ECCO (Exploring College and Career Options) in which I did an internship at Merritt College. My mentor's name is Ms. Marta Zielke. She has been involved with the Spanish-speaking population at Merritt as a counselor for many years. I found working in an office atmosphere very fulfilling. The first thing I had to do was set-up a blog for the Centro Latino Program, which has a summer bridge program for incoming freshmen. One of my jobs was to explain to the students how to use the blog and the Facebook page also created for the program. I also created an Excel spreadsheet with all of the contact information of the student in the program.

I was amazed at how much extra effort my mentor put into each individuals’ education and progress. One of the things I learned was a greater respect for the community college education system. I plan on doing my undergraduate education at Merritt in the coming school year. 


Internship Host Ms. Marty Zielke, with OUSD student Tesia Tuia and Linked Learning Blog Contest 3rd Place winner Ayrianna Nelson

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Friday, March 1, 2013

Oakland- Foodie Heaven!

The City of Oakland’s excellent culinary scene was lauded once again – this time in the Delta Airlines in-flight magazine, check out the article below:

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