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Happy Holidays from EBASE

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Dear Friends, 

The holidays are a time to celebrate the year with laughter and good cheer. We wish you and yours a wonderful holiday season. 

Thanks to you, EBASE had a banner year with many victories to celebrate.

We won big for good jobs by securing a landmark agreement that will ensure Oaklanders get good, stable jobs from the redevelopment of the old Oakland Army Base. If you somehow missed this big news, check out Yes! Magazine or our celebration video.

We also won big for our communities. We worked with countless allies and volunteers to pass Prop 30, which will raise billions for our schools and critical services by having wealthy Californians pay their fair share.

This year's victories have certainly brought us hope for high quality jobs, first rate schools and vibrant communities, but we need you to continue standing alongside us - to keep fighting until every East Bay worker experiences dignity on the job and every child fulfills her/his dreams.

If you have already made a donation to EBASE this year, thank you! If you haven't yet, please make a year-end gift to keep our work strong into 2013. A generous donor will match your gift, doubling your contribution. Donate today.

Enjoy the holidays!


Nikki Fortunato Bas

Executive Director

PS - As we celebrate our 14th year, get ready to Lace up your Sneaks and Dust off your Bowling Shoes with EBASE. Join us at the Oakland Running Festival on March 24th and at our summer Bowl-A-Thon.

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Lace up your Sneaks and Dust off your Bowling Shoes

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Next year we turn 14 years old. As we look forward to opportunities to celebrate our work in the New Year, we want to have some fun. We typically have sit-down, more fancy dinner celebrations for our birthday, but like all teenagers we want to have fun and hang out with the cool kids.

So, this year we won’t be at the Marriot.
Nope. You won’t find our party at the Hilton.
We want to be in the streets -tearing up the asphalt, and on the lanes - burning down some pins- with you and all of our friends and family.

We will have a package that will allow you to join both events, with details to come.
But for now,

  • Email us to let us know you want to run on the EBASE team!
  • Like’ us on Facebook and tell folks you are joining ‘Team EBASE’ for the Oakland Running Festival!
The Oakland Running Festival is happening on Sunday, March 24th and our Bowl-A-Thon will be this summer! 

So, lace up your sneaks and dust off your bowling shoes…we are only turning 14 once and it’s going to be a blast!

Sadiyah Seraaj
Development Director, EBASE

Keep Making Change with Us

Posted by Nikki F. Bas on
Training to Get Out the Vote at Oakland Rising.

Dear Friend, 

Thanks to you, we are winning real economic change for working families. In the last few weeks, EBASE hit the streets to talk to thousands of Oakland residents to pass Prop 30 and defeat Prop 32.

Thanks to your support at City Hall, the Oakland City Council approved a Community Oversight Commission and construction Project Labor Agreement for the Oakland Army Base redevelopment project last month. The Commission and Agreement are the final puzzle pieces in the landmark good jobs agreement that we won this summer. Your voice has and will continue to ensure meaningful community oversight and access for local workers into thousands of good quality jobs in the years to come.  

Thanks to your generosity, we have raised 89% of our goal toward our Victory Fund, all of which will go toward supporting EBASE’s groundbreaking campaigns to win big victories for low-wage workers and residents of color. We have secured a 1:1 match to reach our fundraising goal. We know that you stand with us.  Can you give $5, 10, $25, $50, or $100 today to help us reach our goal?

In solidarity,

Nikki F. Bas

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Together, WE WON!

Posted by Nikki F. Bas on November 7th, 2012

Dear Friend,

Together, WE WON!

Thanks to everyone who collected signatures, educated voters and knocked on doors to get voters to the polls.

Prop 30 won with 54% support to raise $6-9 billion annually for our schools and restore cuts to vital programs and services. By having wealthy Californians pay their fair share, we are bringing equity to our tax system.

Prop 32 lost with 56% of voters rejecting this measure that would have silenced the voice of the working families in politics, but do nothing to curb the influence of corporations and Super PACs.

You & EBASE working with our allies - Oakland Rising, California Calls and the Reclaim California's Future coalition - showed that grassroots organizing can win over big money.

We are also proud to have supported Prop 39, which closes a corporate tax loophole for multi-state businesses. The expected $1 billion in revenue will support schools and services, as well as dedicate $550 million to improve energy efficiency and create clean energy jobs.

Congratulations to our allies who passed Prop 36, which revises the state's Three Strikes Law, making positive reforms to our justice system.

Measure B1 in Alameda County is too close to call. If passed, it would increase the transportation sales tax by a quarter cent. The funding would be used to restore cuts to bus service, start a new youth bus pass program and improve transit infrastructure.

Oakland and Alameda County were KEY TO THE VICTORY. More than 70% of our co-workers, friends, and family said YES to Prop 30 and NO to Prop 32. Thanks again for joining us to build the "tipping point" to win on these important issues.

We couldn't have done this without you - and we will need you in the campaigns ahead. Can we count on you to donate $15, $25, or $50 to our Victory Fund to sustain our important work for good jobs and healthy communities?

In gratitude and solidarity, 

Nikki F. Bas

Executive Director

Good jobs are on the ballot and so is green energy!

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Friends –

Prop 39 would close a corporate tax loophole of over $1 billion dollars annually, generating important revenue for our state. More importantly, it would dedicate $550 million per year from the recovered money to a new Clean Energy Job Creation Fund that would put people to work right away doing energy retrofits while also training young people for the clean energy jobs of tomorrow. 

Proposition 39
creates a win-win for both the environment and for job seekers in California.

Please 1) spread the good news via twitter

2) come to a
press conference this Thursday at noon
WHO: Clergy, Educators & Community Leaders

WHAT: "Press conference to support Proposition 39"

WHEN: 12 noon Thursday, November 1, 2012

WHERE: **Odell Johnson Theater, Laney College
900 Fallon Street, Oakland**

3) Sign your name to a
Letter from Faith Leaders to help raise the visibility of this critical ballot initiative.

We definitely need people of faith and conscience to be vocal and visible advocates of good jobs that also promote the health of our communities. This is a chance to break down that false dichotomy of JOBS VERSUS the ENVIRONMENT. So, come on out! If you can attend, please rsvp here. Please where your stoles, collars, or other religious garb.

Also, we invite you to review the
EBASE Voter Guide to help inform your decisions about so many other critical propositions. EBASE created this guide with a belief that each vote is a powerful agent for advancing an economy that prioritizes working families and healthy communities.

In faith and hope of a better future for our children,

Kristi Laughlin
ICWJ Project Director 

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Join us for our Fall Fundraising Drive and & Legislative Push!

Posted by Sadiyah Seraaj on October 17th, 2012

Please accept a most exciting invitation to be a part of our Fall Campaign entitled "Get Down with EBASE & Get Down for Oakland!"

Over the spring and summer seasons, EBASE's powerful community-labor-faith coalition, Revive Oakland, won an unprecedented "good jobs agreement" for the Oakland Army Base redevelopment. 

Like the Revive Oakland campaign, we won't win real economic justice without YOU. It's going to take action, commitment, and your time and gifts.

A 'YES' on Prop 30 means funding for our schools and services, bringing greater equity to our tax system, and moving toward progressive and sustainable solutions for workers and communities statewide. 

We need your help to activate a base of voters that will be the tipping point in a glorious movement to pass Prop 30 on Election Day- November 6th!

So, how can you start getting down with EBASE and getting down for Oakland?

Glad you asked! Here are two ways you can start to "get down"…

*1. Joining us in talking with voters in our community about passing Prop 30 & defeating Prop 32!

2. Giving monetarily to our ‘Victory Fund’ and support EBASE's lasting abilities to support future ground-breaking victories! Click here & tell me your gift is on the way.

Look out for another call this week from an EBASE team member to share more and sign you up!

Get ready to get down. Get ready to win. 

* Saturday 10/27, Saturday 11/3, Sunday 11/4, or Tuesday 11/6

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EBASE Voter Guide November 2012

Posted by Nikki Fortunato Bas on October 16th, 2012

Our children and families, our health, our communities, and our future are all up for grabs in this election. We've developed our voter guide with a belief that each vote is a powerful agent for advancing an economy that prioritizes working families and healthy communities. Please print the voter guide, take it to the polls, and share it widely.


  • Election Day is Tuesday, November 6th
  • Last Day to Register to Vote is October 22nd
  • Register to Vote Online or pick up a registration form at your county elections office, library, Department of Motor Vehicles office, or U.S. post office.
  • Vote-by-mail begins October 8th
  • Last Day to Request a Mail-In Ballot is October 30th
  • For more information about California elections, visit the CA Secretary of State’s website here.

Local Ballot Measures

Measure A1 (Oakland)


Measure A1 would create a $12 parcel tax to fund the Oakland Zoo. In these difficult financial times, we prioritize funding critical programs and services for our communities, such as schools and transportation.

Measure B1 (Alameda County)


Measure B1 increases the transportation sales tax by ½ cent. The planned uses of this increase in local funding for transportation will restore cuts to bus service, start a new youth bus pass program and improve transit infrastructure, which may include projects such as the redevelopment of the Oakland Army Base and truck routes serving the Port of Oakland.

Measure J



Measure J authorizes the Oakland Unified School District to issue $475 million in bonds to improve school facilities and to better prepare students for college and jobs.

California Ballot Measures

Prop 30


Prop 30 would temporarily generate $6-9 billion annually to fund our schools and restore cuts to vital programs and services by taxing the wealthiest Californians and by increasing the sales tax by ¼ cent. By asking wealthy Californians to pay their fair share, this measure is a step forward in bringing equity to our tax system.

Prop 31


Prop 31 would change our budgeting process by giving unbalanced power to the Governor and implementing a spending cap that could make it difficult to fund essential programs. This is not a solution to our budget problems.

Prop 32


Prop 32 is a deceptive attack on workers and unions. It would severely limit the voice of working families in politics, but do nothing to curb the influence of corporations and Super PACs.

Prop 33


Prop 33, backed by a billionaire insurance industry executive, would allow car insurance companies to set rates in ways that disadvantage those who’ve had a gap in insurance coverage. This measure punishes drivers who have not been able to afford consistent coverage.

Prop 34


Prop 34 repeals the death penalty and replaces it with a maximum punishment of life in prison without parole. It would apply retroactively to those currently sentenced to death and put an end to this inhumane practice.

Prop 35


Prop 35 would increase penalties on human trafficking, but could push this inhumane practice further underground. We need collaborative, victim-centered solutions that protect the rights and safety of trafficked victims. This measure is not a comprehensive solution to the problems of sex and labor trafficking.

Prop 36


Prop 36 revises the state’s Three Strikes Law to impose a life sentence only when the third felony is serious or violent. It would make positive reforms to our justice system, and reduce prison overcrowding, thereby saving the state up to $100 million annually.

Prop 37


Prop 37 requires genetically modified foods to have clear labeling for consumers. We have a right to know what’s in the food we eat.

Prop 38


Prop 38 would increase taxes on Californians who make over $7,000 a year. Our schools need more funding, but not by taxing low-income Californians. Prop 30 is a better choice for education because it taxes higher-income earners. Whichever proposition has the most votes will become law.

Prop 39


Prop 39 closes a corporate tax loophole for multi-state businesses and dedicates $550 million of the expected increase in revenue to improve energy efficiency and create clean energy jobs.

Prop 40


Prop 40 upholds the California Citizens Redistricting Commission’s plan to revise the boundaries of the 40 State Senate districts. Let’s affirm this fair, voter-approved process.

Voting is our opportunity to build our power and take ownership of the decisions that will impact our lives.

Printable PDF available. Click here.

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The Castlewood lockout is ending!

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On February 25, 2010, Castlewood Country Club workers were locked out. On October 16, 2012 – two years, seven months, and 21 days later – they will return to work.

But workers still need your support. Although the lockout is ending, the fight for justice at Castlewood continues. An agreement has not yet been reached on a new contract or on back wages for locked-out workers.

For now, workers will go back under the terms of their old contract, which provides strong seniority protections and affordable family health care. The boycott of Castlewood will stay in effect until a full settlement is reached.

“I’ve been praying for this day to arrive,” said Castlewood janitor Maria Munoz. “I feel really happy now, and thankful to all the people and organizations and churches and bands who have come out to support us. And most of all thankful for my co-workers, who were always out there looking out for each other – I feel lucky that they’ve become like family to me.”

The end of the lockout is a tremendous step forward for this campaign and a historic victory for all working people. End The Castlewood Lockout would like to invite you to celebrate and to show Castlewood that we’ll stand with the workers in this new phase of their struggle.

Coffee and donuts at 6:15 am on Tuesday, October 16 at Castlewood, and show the workers some love on their way in to their first day back at work!

Sign the letter to stand with Southern California Warehouse Workers!

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On Tuesday, September 18th., with the support of community and clergy, hundreds of warehouse workers marched through Downtown LA (walking 50 miles from the Inland Empire) for safe jobs and in protest of unfair labor practices they have faced on the job. Workers and their supporters are calling on Walmart to take responsibility for working conditions in its warehouses.

The “WalMarch,” was a 50-mile, 6-day pilgrimage of warehouse workers, which drew national attention on deplorable working conditions inside Southern California warehouses that serve major retailers including Walmart. Workers are asking for basic yet critical improvements on the job: fans to combat the 100 degree heat, functioning equipment, clean water, regular breaks, and an end to inhumane work quotas and retaliation for speaking up about safety conditions.

So you may be thinking, why Walmart?

As the largest private retailer company in the world, Walmart effectively dictates the standards of operation in the logistics and distribution industry, which impacts the lives of 85,000 warehouse workers in Southern California.

Sign the petition to let WalMart know that we support warehouse workers!

For more information visit Warehouse Workers United

 Si Se Puede! Yes We Can!

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Stay in touch over the summer...

Posted by EBASE on June 27th, 2012

Are you staying in touch with EBASE this summer? 'Like' our Facebook pages for EBASE, Revive Oakland, and the Interfaith Committee for Worker Justice to get the freshest updates and photos. 

Stay cool out there!

Revive Oakland won big last night!

Posted by Revive Oakland on June 20th, 2012

Last night, hundreds of community members turned out to tell our elected officials and the army base developers to deliver on their promise of good jobs for the local families that need them most.

And we won big.

The good jobs package passed by City Council last night is unprecedented in Oakland for a development of this kind.

The jobs package includes a number of groundbreaking wins for Oakland and for the warehouse industry nationwide.

  • A share of construction jobs will be for new people entering the trades, that all new apprentices will be from Oakland (in addition to 50% local hire), and that constructions job standards will be set in a project labor agreement.
  • A living wage for every worker on the site and the nation's first jobs standards in the warehousing industry, limiting the use of temp agencies.
  • Local hire for operations jobs for the first time in Oakland and a job center in West Oakland so our friends and neighbors know where to access to these jobs.
  • We've advanced the movement to gain employment opportunities for members of our community who have criminal records.
  • We’ve won a seat at the table for the long-term oversight and enforcement of these standards.

For more details on the jobs standards, click here.

This is just the beginning of a new phase for Oakland – an era in which we make the long-term promise of good jobs real. Now, we move from agreements on paper to real buildings staffed by Oakland workers. We will be here every step of the way with the city, developers, and community to realize our vision of opportunity and prosperity for all of Oakland.

Thank you. To everyone over the years who spoke, or showed up, or clicked “like,” and added your voice to our community’s cry for fair and good jobs in Oakland. We are Oakland. We stand together. We are strong.

In solidarity,
EBASE, on behalf of the Revive Oakland Coalition

PS – To help us move forward with the next phase of this win, please consider making a gift to our new Victory Fund.

PPS –  Check out the article in the Tribune about last night's victory!

Good Jobs Update: Join us Tuesday at 5:00pm

Posted by Revive Oakland on June 16th, 2012

For years we have been organizing with Oakland residents to demand the jobs at the old Oakland Army Base development be good jobs that offer real opportunities for everyone in our community. Now, the City Council will be voting on the final development deal and community jobs agreement on Tuesday, June 19th.

Join Oakland's children and youth in calling on our city leaders to ensure a bright future by closing the loopholes in the Army Base jobs agreement. Bring your families!

Join us at City Council
Front Steps of Oakland City Hall
Tuesday, June 19th at 5:00pm
Please click
 here to RSVP

Last week, you joined us in telling leaders and developer ProLogis that we need them to stand up for Oakland. It worked - we're still at the negotiating table working out the details of the jobs that will affect so many of us in Oakland.

Catch up on what happened at last week's Community and Economic Development Committee Meeting:  KTVU-2 and Oakland Tribune.

Then join us one more time on Tuesday at City Hall, 5:00pm!

In solidarity, 

Revive Oakland! Coalition

Raising our Voices for a Moral Economy: Photos from the 2012 Clergy & Community Breakfast!

Posted by ICWJ on May 16th, 2012

Thank you to the hundreds of community and faith allies who gathered last week to break bread together, celebrate the work of community leaders, and share our vision for a just economy.

Here are some of the highlights from what one attendee called "An inspiring, uplifting and fun breakfast! [We] were all caught up in the ICWJ/EBASE spirit of hope and determination!"

Rev. Allen delivering an inspiring keynote address

Sharing the spirit of hope!

Rabbi David presenting Nicole Lee with the Movement Voice Award

The ICWJ band spreading the sweet gospel of sound

Brothers and sisters with UNITE-Here Local 2850, including Courageous Voice Award winner Francisca Carranza, showing some love

Brother B.K. giving a rousing call to action

Talia Cooper singing out loud for justice

Photos (c) 2012 by Alex Madonik.

Did you miss the Breakfast? Don't worry! You can still contribute and help make a just economy a reality for East Bay working people.

And check out the ICWJ slideshow presentation we screened at the event on Facebook!

Last, but not least: We're sending out a very special thanks to our generous and hard-working sponsors. You keep us at the forefront of the movement for economic justice in the East Bay and beyond.

Thank you!

Truth Steward
United Food & Commercial Workers Local 5

Justice Steward
Kehilla Community Synagogue
Pastors of Oakland Association

Guardian Steward
Akonadi Foundation
Carpenters Local 713
Christ the King Church
East Bay Housing Organizations
Imani Community Church
Liberty Hill Missionary Baptist Church
Rev. Kurt Kuhwald
Robert Britton
Service Employees International Union – United Service Workers West
Sisters & Associates of the Holy Names Peace & Justice Committee
St. Paul Episcopal Church
Temple Sinai

Companion Steward

Alameda Labor Council
Bay Area Christian Connection
Bend The Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice
Carpenters Local 2236
Davis, Cowell and Bowe
First Congregational Alameda, United Church of Christ
First Unitarian Church of Oakland
Greater Richmond Interfaith Program
Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance
Israelite Missionary Baptist Church
Meg Bowerman
Mills Grove Christian Church
Mujeres Unidas y Activas
Newman Hall - Holy Spirit Parish
Oakland Center for Spiritual Living
The Oakland Peace Center
Our Savior's Lutheran Church
Pleasanton Ministerial Association
Plymouth United Church of Christ
Ted Gerlach
Unite Here Local 2850
Unity Church of San Leandro
University Lutheran Chapel

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You're invited to our Interfaith Clergy & Community Breakfast on May 8th!

Posted by ICWJ on April 11th, 2012

Please join us May 8 for a morning of prayer and celebration:

Liberating Our Economic Imagination

Tuesday, May 8
8 – 10 am

HS Lordships Restaurant
99 Seawall Drive, Berkeley Marina

Seating is limited.
Click here to reserve tickets!

Keynote Speaker:
Rev. Donna E. Allen, PhD
Founder and Pastor of New Revelation Church in Oakland

Rev. Allen
is a gifted preacher and teacher committed to a ministry of inclusion and liberation. Dr. Allen was an Itinerant Elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church for fifteen years serving as a pastor in Tennessee, Missouri and California. She is currently the Founder and Senior Pastor of New Revelation Community Church, a non-denomination church based in Oakland, California.

Dr. Allen has taught in a number of graduate schools preparing persons for ministry. Currently she serves as an adjunct instructor at Pacific School of Religion and American Baptist Seminary of The West, in Berkeley, California.

This Year’s Honorees:

Rev. George C.L. Cummings, Pastor of Imani Community Church
Fr. Bill O’Donnell Memorial Award
For leaders who have demonstrated a lifetime commitment to pursuing dignity and justice.

Francisca Carranza, worker leader at the Castlewood Country Club
Courageous Voice Award
For workers who demonstrate valiant leadership in the face of challenges, and who inspire fellow workers.

Nicole Lee, Executive Director of Urban Peace Movement

Movement Voice Award
For union or community leaders who demonstrate resilience and creativity in advancing justice.

Pastor Dan Schmitz, Lead Pastor of New Hope Covenant Church

Prophetic Voice Award
For a religious leader who has made outstanding contributions to worker justice and embodies the mission and values of ICWJ.

Click here to RSVP!
If you have questions, or for sliding-scale tickets, please contact:  kristi@workingeastbay.org.

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From the Millionaires Tax to the 1% Tax

Posted by Alicia Cabellero-Christenson on March 29th, 2012
Ella's Voice

The following is a blog post by our friends at the Ella Baker Center about the recent changes to the Millionaires Tax. Please join us as we talk to voters in Oakland's flatlands about bringing equity to our tax system and restoring cuts to critical services!

Over the last month and a half, the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights and the Millionaires Tax Coalition tirelessly collected signatures to qualify the Millionaires Tax initiative for the November 2012 ballot. We and our partners supported this initiative because  it was the most progressive tax proposal that wouldn’t cost a single penny for anyone making less than $1 million per year. This proposition was circulating along with two other revenue-creating measures, one of which was pushed by Governor Jerry Brown.

On March 14th a negotiated agreement was reached between the Millionaires Tax Coalition, Governor Brown, Senate President Pro-tem Steinberg, Speaker Pérez, and their allies to set aside the Millionaires Tax and join forces on a new initiative. These negotiations have created a united left front under a new proposition called Temporary Taxes to Fund Education, also known as the 1% Tax.

If you’re a civically engaged Californian voter, you’re probably wondering:

    1.    What happened to the Millionaires Tax?
    2.    What does the 1% Tax entail?
    3.    Was the compromise a victory or a loss?

While I’m still in the process of answering these questions for myself, I want to share some insights.

What happened to the Millionaires Tax?

As of last Wednesday [March 21, 2012], the Millionaires Tax Coalition decided to stop collecting signatures for the Millionaires Tax ballot initiative and, instead push forward the 1% Tax initiative.

In order to understand the compromise, it is important to contextualize the political landscape and negotiation process between Governor Jerry Brown and the Millionaires Tax Coalition. Back in November 2011, the Millionaires Tax Coalition attempted to meet with the Governor’s office when news came out that he was drafting his own revenue proposition. Unfortunately, a meeting didn’t take place until both revenue propositions were filed.

In the process, core friends and allies joined forces with Governor Brown’s initiative, creating fractions within the left. Furthermore, Chevron, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and PG&E publically attacked the Millionaires Tax, promising to invest millions of dollars to defeat it.

While it was expected for corporations and big banks to be in strong opposition to the Millionaires Tax, there was also a high likelihood of compromise between the Millionaires Tax Coalition and Governor Jerry Brown. Without compromise, there was major potential for infighting and competition between the different revenue measures, creating a smaller window of opportunity to pass any of the ballot measures we need desperately to generate money for California November 2012.

What does the 1% Tax entail?

    •    Adds ¼ cent sales tax for four years
    •    1% income tax increase for individual filers over $250,00 and joint filer income over $500,000
    •    2% income tax increase for single filers over $300,000 and joint filer income over $600,000
    •    3% tax increase for incomes over $1 million
    •    Income tax increase lasts for 7 years
    •    Money goes to CA general fund instead of directly going to Education Institutions and Counties

Compared to the governor's original proposition this represents:

    •    A 50% decrease in the sales tax,
    •    An increase in the income tax on high incomes,
    •    And more money to restore cuts (around $2 billion more).

Was the compromised Tax measure a victory or a loss?

Policy is a process interwoven with politics, compromise, and power that requires strategy and flexibility. In my opinion, the 1% Tax measure cannot be understood as simply an either/or, because it is a win, a loss, and a political reality all at the same time.

In one sense, I’m disappointed because the Millionaires Tax was more progressive then the negotiated 1% tax.  The income tax increase would have been permanent, there would have been no increase in sales tax, and money would have been directly allocated for higher education. Now we are dealing with a proposition that includes sales tax, a sunset clause, and no clear allocation to higher education.

On a positive note, this compromise exemplifies the growing political significance of labor and grassroots community coalitions across California in their ability to shift the political climate. While Governor Brown and the insiders of Sacramento were initially resistant to the Millionaires Tax Coalition, last Wednesday showed the MTC is a force to be reckoned with. The 1% Tax is more progressive then the governor’s initial proposition and it creates a united front against major corporate and right wing threats.

The new 1% Tax requires 1 million signatures over the next month to even qualify as a proposition. There is still a lot of work to be done to ensure this new agreement will be on the ballot.

As we go back and forth as to why this agreement was a political victory or another example of watered down policy, I’m left to ponder our long term dreams and visions as racial and economic justice advocates. We need to remember that the California ballot initiative process privileges money over people-power. Regardless of your stance on the 1% tax, we must continue the fight against income inequality and corporate loop holes that stand on the blood, sweat and tears of low-income people and people of color.

Just as the Millionaires Tax Coalition pushed the Governor’s office farther to the left, we must continue to honor and value the role of progressive community-based organizations and grassroots organizing. From the Occupy movement to the MTC, strategic pressure from the margins is necessary to move our governmental officials towards a more progressive policy front.


Will you help EBASE and our allies build support for the 1% Tax? Join us as we talk to voters in Oakland’s flatlands about bringing equity to our tax system and restoring cuts to critical services! Click here for more info on how you can help.

The State of the City? Might Be on the Rise

Posted by Esperanza Tervalon-Daumont on March 1st, 2012
Oakland Local

On Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2012 Mayor Jean Quan, gave her first State of the City speech entitled "Oakland is on the Rise" to an audience of Oakland’s community, labor, business, athletic, musical and grassroots leaders. As one of Oakland’s native daughters, the mother of a young son and the Executive Director of Oakland Rising, I listened to the State of the City pensively.

I was listening for a plan that would align with Oakland Rising’s Vision and Issues Platform by setting administrative priorities that move Oaklanders from the unemployment line to good paying jobs, from burying young people killed by gun violence to helping them rise through leadership development programs, and most importantly how the next city budget would reflect a commitment to funding programs and services that support quality of life services.

I wanted to feel inspired and confident in the Mayor’s ability to lead the city with the articulated progressive values and strategies that so many Oaklanders elected her to bring to the Mayor’s office.

I have to admit, I was moved from pensive to pleasantly surprised by her State of The City speech. While the Mayor began by noting that under her leadership our city brought 5,000 new jobs in Oakland’s high-tech, restaurant, retail and construction industries, and a 2% decrease in Oakland’s unemployment rate, what really grabbed my attention was her always-impressive technical knowledge of policy. In classic style, Mayor Quan was able to unveil, detail and expand upon her In classic style, Mayor Quan was able to unveil, detail and expand upon her 100 Block plan through which the City focuses the efforts of law enforcement, violence prevention services, job training, employment opportunities and street outreach workers to the 100 blocks in East and West Oakland where 90% of shootings and homicides are taking place.

Leading with a more holistic approach to public safety than we’ve seen from previous Administrations, the Mayor’s 100 Block plan is a step in the right direction. Drawing upon best practices around the country like the Harlem Kids Zone and Chicago Ceasefire, the 100 Block Plan aims to implement cohesive solutions to systemic problems. It lifts up the common sense thinking that Oaklanders know to be true: simply increasing the police presence doesn’t work to stop violence and crime.

For years Oakland politicians have used fear tactics against Oaklanders to prioritize increasing police officers on the streets in order to support their heavy-handed strategy to addressing violence and crime in the flatlands of East and West Oakland. But the reality is that police-centered tactics haven’t worked to curb long-term violence or crime. In fact, in 2011 when police staffing was at a 3 year low, violent crimes in Oakland were down according to these statistics from the City of Oakland’s website.

While police are part of the equation to creating safer communities, we will simply never police our way out of poverty, hunger or joblessness. The Mayor’s 100 block plan articulates clear ways that City government can partner with communities to create a safer, healthier and more thriving Oakland.

As a native Oaklander, the 100 Block Plan sparks some hope in me that the Mayor is bringing a progressive eye and more holistic approach to our city. But the question remains, how will the City budget reflect a commitment to these principles and programs? Currently, Police and Fire costs make up 63% of the City’s general fund. For years, Oakland’s tax dollars have overwhelmingly gone to support a narrow-minded, outdated and ineffective law-and-order approach to public safety. If the Mayor’s plan and approach in Oakland’s most vulnerable 100 Blocks is going to succeed, revising the budget to fund critical services and reduce our investment in a police heavy strategy is the next logical step. The budgeting process is the place where our espoused progressive values hit the proverbial pavement, and Oakland Rising’s Budget workgroup will continue to champion calls to City Council to reevaluate how Oakland is aligning policies with it’s budgeting priorities.

The Mayor repeated a single phrase through the evening: “Oakland is on the Rise.” If our City Budget reflects the funding needed to move this promising public safety plan, I think she just may be right.

Esperanza Tervalon-Daumont is the executive director of Oakland Rising.

Full House Makes Open House a Hit!

Posted by EBASE on February 23rd, 2012

Yesterday, after an unseasonably gorgeous day, our sunny office in downtown Oakland was filled with community folk attending EBASE’s first-ever evening open house. Supporters, friends, and family stopped by to learn more about the programs EBASE is moving in 2012.

After everyone grabbed a drink, checked out the multimedia slideshow of press and photos from the last year, and admired the cute babies in attendance, Executive Director Nikki Fortunato Bas kicked off the evening's program.

Community Benefits Program Director Kate O’Hara spoke about Revive Oakland’s recent win – what exactly was passed at City Council, what’s next, and how we can keep pressure on the big developers to pull through for Oakland workers. Kate (and daughter Mabel) received a big round of applause... and a congratulatory bouquet of flowers!

Next up, research and Policy Associate Jahmese Myers got the crowd pumped to work with EBASE and Oakland Rising to get the Millionaires Tax passed in California this year (and also started off what’s sure to be an epic signature-gathering competition with West Oakland activist and Revive Oakland leader Shirley Burnell)!

Kristi Laughlin from the Interfaith Committee for Worker Justice shared some of the amazing ways in which the ICWJ walks with workers in the quest for dignity -- supporting the domestic workers bill of rights, standing with workers in struggle at the Casino San Pablo and the Castlewood Country Club, and monthly vigils at the Richmond immigrant detention center that draw attention to and honor the working people locked up there.

Development Director Sadiyah Seraaj wrapped it all up with a call for support in the form of your talent, time, or money – and the audience responded enthusiastically.

We at EBASE offer a warm and heartfelt thanks to everyone who turned out, and to our entire community of supporters. You keep us at the forefront of the movement to improve our communities and the lives of East Bay workers. Thank you!

Posted in EBASE Blog | no comments

Why We Cry Out:
My unexpected connection with locked-out Castlewood workers

Posted by ICWJ on February 22nd, 2012

Ashley Frey is a new intern at the Interfaith Committee for Worker Justice, a project of EBASE. Ashley started with us just two weeks ago, but she's already adding her voice to the cry to end the Castlewood Country Club lockout. Here, she shares her unexpected personal connection with this struggle -- and why she'll be marching with the workers this Saturday morning.

Having studied English at university, I'm often more comfortable analyzing the work of dead poets than engaging with a sensitive issue that touches my personal life. But as I reflect on my first weeks as an intern with the ICWJ, I realize that the plight of the Castlewood workers is one with which I closely identify: I worked as a food server for several years at a wealthy country club not unlike Castlewood.

Every day I am involved with this campaign, I begin to see more clearly how my past experience as a minimum-wage worker is connected to the realities of those with whom I now stand in the fight for dignity on the job. I am also learning that the process of fighting for justice is not always a comfortable one.

Although I didn't experience a lockout at my job, I -- like many people -- worked in an environment where class, race, and gender distinctions were clearly delineated. I recall a former boss commenting on my physique, comparing it to that of an older woman and warning me to "Lay off the bread and butter" lest I end up being another unwanted female worker in an industry strongly shaped by vanity and greed.

At the time, I never stopped to question why the young attractive women were repeatedly scheduled for the best shifts, or why the Spanish speaking workers were tasked with kitchen duties and rarely ever seen on the restaurant floor. Now, thinking back on my experience helps propel my desire to partner with the Castlewood workers in their quest to be treated with respect and dignity.

 As a person of faith, I believe I owe it to my community to expose injustice as I see it happening, even if it means putting myself in some uncomfortable situations. I tested this belief during my very first day on the job with the ICWJ.

The first morning I arrived in Pleasanton, I was there to reach out to some of the Castlewood club members at their workplaces in the hope of enlisting their help to end the lockout. I felt uneasy. This was a new experience for me. I questioned the legitimacy of showing up to peoples' workplaces with such a seemingly personal/private issue about where they spend their leisure time: These guys just want to play golf with their buddies. What right do I have surprising them in their offices?

I really wrestled with this question and the discomfort I felt throughout these visits. However, by the end of the day I could not escape the reality that these men's country club pleasures influence the very well-being of entire families and communities trying to make ends meet.

The apostle James notes how "The wages you failed to pay the workmen who mowed your fields are crying out against you" (James 5:4).  If we do not cry out against this injustice, then our silence condones it.

Though I continue to grapple with this issue, I am assured that our plea for the Castlewood club members to partner with the workers is a critical component in the fight for worker justice. Making this plea won't always be easy.

I believe that participating in these outreach visits is one very tangible way I can answer the call to "love your neighbor as yourself" (James 2:8). Regardless of whether I change anyone's mind or whether I feel a bit nervous, I will continue to show up and speak up for my neighbors -- and make the cry for justice just a little louder.

I'll see you this Saturday morning in Pleasanton!

Two Years in the Streets: Fighting for the 99%

Saturday, February 25th, 9:30am

Meet at Bernal Ave and Main Street, Pleasanton

March to Castlewood Country Club

*Bring the family and join in the Children's Brigade!*


Posted in EBASE Blog | no comments

Come meet our staff - Open House 2/22

Posted by EBASE on February 14th, 2012

You're Invited!

Next Wednesday evening, EBASE is holding our very first evening Open House.

Please join us at this fund-raising event to celebrate recent victories and learn what's next for EBASE in 2012.

To RSVP and for more event details, please click here.

Looking forward,
Your friends at EBASE

A victory for Oakland!

Posted by EBASE on February 9th, 2012

Late Tuesday night, the Oakland City Council unanimously approved a good jobs and community benefits plan for the massive redevelopment of the Oakland Army Base project!   The vote was a long time coming, as this good jobs plan was developed over the last year by consensus by a broad group of stakeholders including Revive Oakland, which EBASE convenes. It will guide negotiations with the Army Base developers towards a final deal.

At the meeting, an incredibly powerful line up of youth, workers, neighbors and advocates spoke the truth on what these jobs mean for our community. Twenty-year old Rayna Smith, a leader with Urban Peace Movement, urged the city to pass the good jobs plan to help curb violence in our neighborhoods. Rose Morton (pictured here), an Oakland ironworker, explained how her stable, union job lifted her out of poverty and how she wants the same for others coming up today.  

Jessamyn Sabbag with Oakland Rising cited staggering community support for the plan: 80% of Oakland voters want the Army Base project to ensure workers' rights to organize for better wages and to provide opportunities for formerly incarcerated individuals.

The good jobs plan sets groundbreaking expectations for this project, including:

  • Construction careers opportunities: In addition to the City’s 50% local hire goal for construction, ALL new apprentices on the project will come from Oakland and a share of the work each year will be for new apprentices. These provisions will be included in both a Community Jobs Agreement and a Project Labor Agreement, ensuring good quality, long-term construction careers for local workers.
  • Long-term job pathways and training: Creation of a West Oakland Jobs Center and 50% local hire goal for long-term warehouse operations jobs, starting first with West Oakland and then other low income neighborhoods. This marks the first time Oakland has set local hire expectations for jobs beyond the construction phase.
  • Good quality, family-supporting jobs: Long-term businesses on the site would maintain peaceful labor relations with workers who chose to organize for better wages and benefits as well as not utilizing temp agencies which undercut job quality and stability.
  • Opportunities for formerly incarcerated people: A quarter of the long-term jobs and apprenticeships will be for disadvantaged workers and employers will “ban the box” removing the question on job applications about previous convictions.  This would extend the City’s own non-discrimination hiring policy, one of the most progressive in the nation.
  • Community monitoring and enforcement: These pieces will be developed into a community jobs agreement with ongoing stakeholder input and enforced through a community-labor-government oversight committee to ensure employer compliance in real-time.

This was a huge step forward for Oakland! Now it is clear what we expect from this project.  Next, we put the question to Prologis, the biggest developer of warehouses on the planet, and hold them accountable for sharing some of their $48 billion in assets with our Oakland families.

Thanks for being in this important fight with us.  Join us to stay up-to-date on what happens next!
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