The Oakland City Council has the power to halt a reckless proposal to bring in coal by rail and ship it overseas from its port. It can do that on the basis of the proposal's significant health and safety impacts. At its Feb 16 meeting the council will again delay its vote to ban coal. Instead there will be a "status report" about the delay and a motion to fund experts to review the evidence, presented to the council members months ago. They are proposing to spend a quarter of a million dollars on an unnecessary environmental review of the evidence, with a 6 to 8 month timeframe before the ban comes to a vote. We need to make sure the council will ultimately vote to ban coal outright by our presence and voices at this meeting.
Four Ways to Help Ensure the Council Bans Coal
These are not mutually exclusive. But you need to act now.
1. Help the No Coal in Oakland campaign campaign do outreach and build pressure on the Oakland City Council. To find out more about joining the Sunflower Alliance team, contact Margaret Rossoff, firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. Please donate to the campaign to print yard signs and pamphlets and help with legal expenses.
3. Sign up to be a speaker at the Feb. 16 city council meeting. The continuing presence of community members who strongly oppose the proposal will convince more council members. You don’t need to speak but we ask you to cede time to No Coal in Oakland activists and supporters so they can speak. You do have to be present to cede time. Sign up here. For Item, enter "coal" You don't need to say if you are for or against. You can also sign up for open forum instead or on a second card.
4. If you live in Oakland, write a letter to your city council member and to Rebecca Kaplan, the at-large council member (districts, names, contact information). Urge him or her to vote to ban coal outright. If you live in another Bay Area city, write Mayor Libby Schaff (contact information).
Schedule for Tuesday, Feb 16
4:30-5pm: Press conference on the on the City Hall steps by an interfaith group of clergy to voice their opposition to coal. This will be followed by a brief theatrical dance piece, "The History of Coal."
5-5:30 pm: Prayer vigil.
5:30 pm: Council meeting begins with an open forum. A group of clergy will lead off. Later in the agenda we will comment on the administrative update being used to delay a vote, and on the allocation of funding for experts.
Background and Canvassing Info
For meeting and canvassing updates, flyers, media coverage and more, please visit our No Coal in Oakland campaign page. And for more background on this hazardous proposal, see A Coaltastrophe Threatens Oakland.
1 Frank Ogawa/Oscar Grant Plz
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