On Sunday, June 12th we celebrated our 34th anniversary and annual membership meeting at Taylor Memorial United Methodist Church in West Oakland. Three OCO youth leaders, Yessenia Saucedo, Robert Paige and Ashley Yarbor, MC’d the event. It started off with a wonderful reflection and invocation by one of our new pastors, Rev. Andrea Davidson from Taylor Memorial UMC. Afterwards, everyone enjoyed dinner from Island Chef who catered delicious Jamaican food and desserts. The MCs then reviewed some of OCO’s highlights during the past two years in the areas of safety and violence prevention, foreclosure prevention and bank accountability, health care access, immigration, and education during a PowerPoint presentation.

Mayor Jean Quan also stopped by and presented us with a proclamation that congratulated and thanked us for all of our work during the past 34 years. She was then followed by our inspirational speaker, Kevin Grant, who works for the Department of Human Services and has worked with us on violence prevention strategies, especially street outreach and call-ins. He did a fantastic job making us laugh and motivating us to keep up our work by reminding us that some of chose to do this work and others were chosen “so you can’t let go even if you tried, right?” and because Barbara’s got all our numbers on speed dial.

Finally, during the annual membership meeting portion of our celebration, we:

  1. approved our bylaws and constitutional changes,
  2. thanked and recognized our outgoing Board Members for all of the work they’ve done and
  3. installed our new ones, which include the following:

Co-Chair                                                           Fr. Jesus Nieto-Ruiz

Co-Chair                                                           Richard Speiglman

Secretary                                                         Yvette Yarbor

Finance                                                            Andrew Peters

Membership                                                      Pastor Lucy Kolin

Fundraising                                                       Lillian Lopez

Public Relations                                                Yessenia Saucedo

Asst. Secretary                                                 Debbie Snow

Asst. Treasurer                                                 Lisa Blair

PICO CA                                                          Manuel Arias

PICO CA                                                          Samantha Lehman

PICO NSC                                                        Rev. Cummings

PICO NSC                                                        Rabbi Cooper

PICO Clergy                                                     Rev. Hopkins

Director                                                            Deanita Lewis

Director                                                            Velia Navarro

Director                                                            Karla Perez Cordero

Director                                                            Sam Davis

Director                                                            Samad Mohammed

Director                                                            Luis Reyes

A lot was accomplished during the program, but everyone had fun and the festivities continued on the dance floor until the end of the night!

To take a look at the impromptu poem Robert Paige read to us, click here.

To look at our new brochure, “34 Years of Faith in Action”, click here.