Strength in numbers, that's my conclusion from last night's successful rally of Oakland arts enthusiasts who attended the City Council budget meeting and signed an online petition. We Saved Oakland Arts, for now.
Here are the outcomes:
Oakland City Council last night voted to fully reinstate all of the grants funding for this year (meaning we’ll have to fight again next year but will have more than three days to respond). Unfortunately, we lost a staff position, who is a treasured colleague and friend to many. We also lost parades and festival funding, and the public art staff now come out of the 1.5% for the arts which lowers the amount available for the art itself. All in all a victory!
We had 2776 people sign the petition, about 300 people showed up to the meeting and they had to open up an additional hearing room, the mayor addressed the council – which is fairly unprecedented at council meetings, and 200 people signed up to speak.