"Tom Rocks City Council" was Regina Schaffer's subject line in her email out to Woman's Will Board Members late last night. We left Oakland's City Hall after 10:00 p.m. last night with the meeting still in session. The question of cutting funding for Oakland's Cultural Arts and Marketing Department was the matter at hand and Oakland's art community – at least 300 supporters and 200 speakers at the podium – came out in full force. It was an exciting place to be.
I initially signed a petition on the matter and with Tom's help and inspiration wrote a letter to Jean Quan, Oakland's District 4 Council Member. Tom volunteered to go and speak at the City Council meeting last night on behalf of Woman's Will. With only a minute to speak, he got some laughs and acknowledgment from council members, an anomaly in the Bay Area's all-female Shakespeare company. He related the art community to a tapestry that the government has a choice to weave together or unravel. It was very poetic. I feel very lucky to be a part of this man's life and to witness his support and passion.
Taking part in politics like this at a city level can be really exciting, and it definitely helps when your view is in the majority. I'm proud to be a part of Oakland's art scene. It feels very personal.
Visit here and here for more information on the details of Oakland's budget.