Participants of a Ceasefire night walk in East Oakland. (Photo by Howard Dyckoff)

Participants of a Ceasefire night walk in East Oakland. (Photo by Howard Dyckoff)

OCO: UNLOCKING THE POWER OF OAKLAND

OCO is a federation of over 70 congregations, schools and allied community organizations representing more than 50,000 families from East, West and North Oakland. We are a multi-ethnic, multi-faith organization that creates the democratic power we need to improve our families’ quality of life. Together, with our PICO National affiliates, we have begun to focus on one goal: changing this nation from a land of rampant inequality to a nation of opportunity. The OAKLAND OF OPPORTUNITY is the story of how all our issues are related. This story implores us to realize that the success of our pursuit for opportunity and equity is dependent upon the degree to which we see ourselves and our issues as interconnected. Our work remains unfinished until everyone in our community has access to meaningful employment, excellent schools, safe neighborhoods, quality housing and just immigration policy.


In the Pirkei Avot, Rabbi Tarfon instructs us, “It is not incumbent upon you to complete the work, but neither are you at liberty to desist from it.” This teaching is timely given the season of transition and innovation we are living in OCO. Every community leader, clergy person, and staff member stands in gratitude and claims the legacy of 36 years of faithful struggle to build and exercise power for our community, while looking forward with determination and hope. As you can see in this report, we advanced our collective mission over the last year to build a just and equitable city, state, and nation. Congratulations OCO! Faith in Action, Hope for Oakland ever forward!

Amy Fitzgerald
Executive Director, Oakland Community Organizations

“OCO is seen as very influential in the city. They have a reputation as an organization that wins, that has a real base of families, and that can turn out people—they are legit.”

Organizational Ally
VIA 2012 OCO ASSESSMENT

CIVIC ENGAGEMENT

 

PICO California Lobby Day with Loni Hancock.

PICO California Lobby Day with Loni Hancock.

Five bills that we supported along with our PICO California sister organizations all got signed by Governor Jerry Brown. The bills were: AB 60, which allows aspiring Americans to apply for driver’s licenses; AB 4, the Trust Act, which limits the state’s cooperation with federal immigration authorities; AB 218, the Ban the Box bill, which prevents state employers from asking about a conviction history on an initial job application; SB 683, which requires all gun buyers to take a firearm safety class and earn a safety certificate; AB 48, which bans magazine repair kits. The first three bills were sponsored by PICO California, and PICO California and its affiliates (including us) co-sponsored the others.

LIFELINES TO HEALING

 

We continued to partner with PICO National’s Lifelines Campaign and the City of Oakland to implement Ceasefire Oakland. We successfully led Friday night walks every week and supported Call-Ins throughout the year. Overall, we led the faith community in increasing the peace, which was critical at a time when the city’s homicide rate dropped by 28 percent. We urged the county to allocate a larger share of community resources for Realignment to help formerly incarcerated individuals better transition from jail. As part of Revive Oakland!, we worked to secure half of the construction jobs at the Oakland Army Base redevelopment for Oakland residents and we leveled the playing field for ex-offenders by requiring employers to Ban the Box that asks about criminal background on job applications.

“With the night walks, we’re not just saying, ‘We love you.’ We put our love into action by reclaiming our streets, corner stores and bus stops as holy ground.  We cast out fear with a spirit of power and hope.”

Rev. Billy Dixon
PASTOR
At Thy Word Ministries

Mayor Jean Quan poses with participants of a Ceasefire night walk after a Friday night route.

Mayor Jean Quan poses with participants of a Ceasefire night walk after a Friday night route.

IMMIGRATION REFORM

 

A vigil for citizenship at Greenleaf Elementary School

A vigil for citizenship at Greenleaf Elementary School

From January to June 2013, we connected hundreds of leaders among our congregations and schools to PICO’s Campaign for Citizenship. At one point, OCO leaders joined with PICO leaders throughout the country in sustained prayer vigils while the Senate Judiciary Committee was getting ready to vote on the Gang of 8’s immigration proposal. The committee passed the proposal, and we demonstrated that through faith and prayers we can change the tone of any debate.

EQUITABLE EDUCATION

 

Over the course of three months, OCO organizers and leaders played a key role in PICO’s statewide strategy to garner support among state and local elected officials around the Local Control Funding Formula, which provides equity in funding for low-income students throughout the state. Governor Jerry Brown and the Legislature eventually came to an agreement about LCFF, which will now drive more than $10 billion in new money over the next eight years to districts like Oakland Unified with large numbers of low-income students. In March, OCO led a cross-section of leaders and stakeholders on a trip to San Diego to explore how STEM education could work in West Oakland. STEM is an example of Linked Learning, which OCO stands behind to make sure every OUSD student graduates ready for college and career.

Rev. Billy Dixon talks in front of a crowd at the state capitol about the need for equitable education.

Rev. Billy Dixon talks in front of a crowd at the state capitol about the need for equitable education.


OCO BOARD, 2013-15

Richard SpeiglmanKehilla Community SynagogueCo-Chair

Rev. George CummingsImani Community ChurchCo-Chair

Sam DavisManzanita SEED Elementary SchoolSecretary

Debra SnowSt. Columba Catholic ChurchTreasurer

Zonia RamirezSt. Jarlath Catholic ChurchFundraising

Crissel CastilloSt. Jarlath Catholic Church/Merritt CollegePublic Relations

Rev. Billy DixonAt Thy Word Ministries COGICMembership

Kathy CashLearning Without Limits Elementary SchoolAsst. Secretary

Rev. Andrea DavidsonTaylor Memorial United Methodist ChurchAsst. Treasurer

Deanita LewisColiseum College Prep Academy

Abdus Samad Mohammed, Tasbeeh Islamic Center

Luis ReyesSt. Elizabeth Catholic Church

Mireya ChavarriaSt. Bernard Catholic Church

Preston ThomasLife Academy (Principal)

Leticia UrrutiaSt. Anthony Catholic Church

Pastor Jim HopkinsLakeshore Ave. Baptist ChurchPICO CA

Samantha Lehman, Education Committee, PICO CA

Rabbi David CooperKehilla Community SynagoguePICO National

Karla Perez-Cordero, Education Committee, PICO National

Rev. Michael Wallace, Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church, PICO Clergy

STAFF

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Amy Fitzgerald

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Ken Johnson

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Barbara Lafitte-Oluwole

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Brandon Sturdivant

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Emma Paulino

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Katy Nuñez-Adler

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Martin Ricard

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Rev. Damita Davis-Howard


We are grateful for our relationship with the following congregations and organizations…

Acts Full Gospel Church

Allen Temple Baptist Church

Amos Temple CME Church

At Thy Word Ministries COGIC

Brookins AME Church

Center of Hope Community Church

Center Street MBC

Community Reformed Church

Cosmopolitan MBC

Elmhurst Presbyterian Church

Faith Chapel Ministries

First Mt. Sinai MBC

Foothill Baptist Church

Genesis Worship Center

Iglesia Dulce Refugio

Imani Community Church

Kehilla Community Synagogue

Israelite MBC

Lakeshore Avenue Baptist Church

Mary Help of Christians Church

Tasbeeh Islamic Center

Mills Grove Disciples of Christ

Montclair Presbyterian Church

Mt. Zion MBC

New Hope Ministries

North Oakland MBC

Piedmont Community Church

Plymouth UCC

Primera Iglesia Presbiteriana Hispana

Resurrection Lutheran Church

Shiloh Christian Fellowship

Skyline UCC

Solid Rock MBC

St. Anthony Catholic Church

St. Bernard Catholic Church

St. Columba Catholic Church

St. Elizabeth Catholic Church

St. Jarlath Catholic Church

St. Louis Bertrand Catholic Church

St. Patrick Catholic Church

Taylor Memorial UMC

Temple Sinai

True Vine Ministries

Westside MBC

Word Assembly of God

Oakland Cambodian Temple

Bay Community Fellowship

Victory Baptist Church

New Revelation Church

East Bay Asian Youth Center

Healthy Oakland

St. Mary’s Center

CityTeam Ministries

ARISE High School

Acorn Woodland Elementary School

ASCEND

Castlemont High School

Coliseum College Preparatory Academy

Community School for Creative Education

Community United Elementary School

East Oakland Pride Elementary School

EC Reems Academy

Elmhurst Community Prep School

Encompass Elementary School

Esperanza Elementary School

Fred T. Korematsu Discovery Academy

Fremont High School

Futures Elementary School

Greenleaf Elementary School

Hoover Elementary School

La Escuelita Elementary School

Learning Without Limits Elementary School

Life Academy High School

Manzanita Community School

Manzanita SEED Elementary School

MetWest High School

New Highland Academy

RISE Elementary School

ROOTS International School

Think College Now

Urban Promise Academy

Dewey High School

Thank you to our partner schools…

Alliance Academy

ARISE High School

Acorn Woodland Elementary School

ASCEND

Castlemont High School

Coliseum College Preparatory Academy

Community School for Creative Education

Community United Elementary School

East Oakland Pride Elementary School

EC Reems Academy

Encompass Elementary School

Esperanza Elementary School

Fred T. Korematsu Discovery Academy

Fremont High School

Futures Elementary School

Greenleaf Elementary School

Hoover Elementary School

La Escuelita Elementary School

Learning Without Limits Elementary School

Life Academy High School

Manzanita Community School

Manzanita SEED Elementary School

MetWest High School

New Highland Academy

RISE Elementary School

ROOTS International School

Think College Now

Urban Promise Academy

Dewey High School

THANKS TO OUR PHILANTHROPIC PARTNERS

The California Endowment

Catholic Campaign for Human Development

Communities for Public Education Reform

Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund

James Irvine Family Foundation

Rogers Family Foundation

The San Francisco Foundation

Irene S. Scully Family Foundation

Y&H Soda Foundation

Walton Family Foundation

Zellerbach Family Foundation

Walter & Elise Haas Fund

PICO California

Special thanks to all our individual donors


Watch our 2013 video highlights:

Download the 2013 OCO Highlights Report: download