Wendy works on behalf of the City of Emeryville and the Emery Unified School District as the Program Assistant for the Emeryville Center of Community Life (ECCL). The ECCL staff works on the strategic planning, design, construction, and implementation to enhance the City and School District partnership, and support maximum community engagement. Wendy’s extensive experience with direct youth services and her organizing skills from TOLA make her the perfect fit for this position.
Through a connection she made working as a TOLA fellow on the Joyce for Mayor campaign, Laura is now working as a Weatherization Invoice Specialist with Spectrum Community Services in Hayward. Spectrum is a private non-profit that provides a wide range of services, so community members can live sustainably and independently throughout the East Bay. The Weatherization department helps to reduce our impact on the environment through energy-efficient homes.
Ben has transplanted to the east coast and is in DC developing the New Media strategy for the largest Flight Attendant’s union (AFA), attending conferences, researching legislation and writing every chance he gets. He is drawing on his TOLA grassroots training to more effectively communicate with and mobilize union members across the country, which builds on the work he did with TOLA for Oakland’s Fire Fighter’s union. He is also working closely with the union’s Vice-President on broader communications and political strategy, to ensure that 2012 is the year unions and the 99% take back the country.
As a TOLA fellow working on Don Perata’s mayoral campaign, Stephanie helped to organize members of a non-profit called the Oakland Builders Alliance. Since the campaign she has accepted the position as the group’s Organizing Director and now works with OBA members to drive Oakland’s economic revitalization by promoting smart growth policies and urban infill in the city. Using valuable skills gained from TOLA, she also works to raise funds for the group as well as to organize events for its members.
Also, since TOLA, Stephanie participates in a legal internship that focuses on Medical Marijuana Dispensaries in California, and aids in organizing for patient’s rights.
Following his TOLA Fellowship experience, Christian was offered a position with The Unity Council as a Youth Service Coordinator. The Unity Council is a non-profit in the Fruitvale community that provides direct services to families. As a youth service coordinator Christian worked directly with youth ages 8-25, overseeing and implementing programming like the Girls Sports Program, Youth Basketball League and College Exploration Opportunities (CEO) – a college bound program that works with students and their families from the 7th grade, to their senior year of high school.
Christian’s experience as a youth service coordinator is a fulfillment unlike any other. He has the ability to come into a student’s life and become a role model who provides them with emotional and academic support. Furthermore, he is able to cultivate the leadership qualities of the youth (a practice that Christian picked up in TOLA) as they cultivate the leadership skills necessary to become future community leaders.
Amy has returned to her roots to utilize the lessons she learned in TOLA, organizing the local firefighter’s union and working on Don Perata’s mayoral campaign. Amy is now the Field Director for a former colleague of her’s, Sherrie Cohen, who is running for the Philadelphia City Council’s At-Large seat. Sherrie Cohen, an attorney and social activist, if elected would be the City’s first openly gay councilmember. Learn more about Sherrie here: http://www.cohen4council.com
Post-TOLA, Gabe has worked with the community (and fellow TOLA member Laura) to gain a voice for positive development in Oakland, specifically with Safeway’s proposal to build a new Shopping Center at 51st and Broadway. The design was up for review with the Design Review Committee in late January, where they approved the plans 2-1. Gabe and Laura were successful in gathering and mobilizing a true representation of the community with many attendees speaking in support of the project at the meeting.
Since the Design Review Committee, Gabe has continued to educate and communicate to the community the benefits of the revitalization of the 51st and Broadway Shopping Center. This project was stalled until Gabe and Laura began mobilizing the community in support of smart, economic development.
Jamal is currently working in his hometown of Richmond, CA as the outreach coordinator for Veolia Water. Veolia Water is the waste water provider for Richmond and Jamal’s job is to connect constituents concerns with Veolia’s operators. While not going door-to-door informing residents about their waste water issues, Jamal is busy setting up meeting with community partners to ensure everyone in Richmond is on the same page when it comes to their waste water service and provider.
Reese is now working with a San Francisco-based web start-up called Pinchit. Combining a handful of the latest ideas and technologies in the industry, Pinchit is creating a “Tastemaker Network” of peer-to-peer recommendations for the best local business and experiences in San Francisco, New York, and Washington DC. Within this network, users can connect to unique merchant profiles and special perks and offers from these locally-loved companies. Leveraging his TOLA-honed skills, Reese does a little bit of everything for Pinchit, including writing, marketing, and sales.
As the supervisor’s assistant, Karina works as a representative for Supervisor Wilma Chan to boards and agencies, community groups and organizations and citizens in her district. Karina also deals with questions from citizens and complaints relating to county services in the 3rd Supervisorial District. She receives and reviews correspondence, evaluates citizens’ suggestions and complaints, and responds, arranges for and conducts meetings with constituents and County staff in pursuit of duties of the Supervisor.
Nathan took two days rest after TOLA, then got back to organizing and conducting outreach in West Oakland. His major focus is the renovation of St. Andrew’s Plaza (32nd and San Pablo Ave.) which has been a long process, but is soon to be completed. Soon, the changes will be visible and jobs will be created. Even though the park is just a little triangle, it’s renovation can spur the transformation of the Forgotten Mile linking Uptown to Emeryville. The San Pablo Corridor is looking better and better everyday though the steady, thoughtful effort by the community.
Lynn Roosevelt Wiggins
As the Community Initiatives Organizer for D4 (Doing Development Differently in Metro Detroit), Lynn works with a diverse coalition of residents, unions, environmental, faith based and CBOs united to strengthen Metro Detroit through meaningful community engagement in the creation of sustainable ‘win-win’ development strategies.
D4 focuses on three policy areas transportation/logistics; food justice and residential/commercial construction.
Currently Lynn is working with the Transportation/Logistics Work Group within the coalition in organizing local business owners and residents in implementing a substantive CBA (Community Benefits Agreement) on the $528 million M1 Woodward Light Rail Project and the $2.2 billion New International Trade Crossing which ease congestion along the US-Canada border.
Additionally Lynn is currently assisting the Food Justice Work Group in organizing the community and its partners in implementing the Good Food Good Jobs Initiative (GFGJI) for Detroit’s food and beverage industry.