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Allen Temple Family and Friends have come together in one voice to cry #ENOUGH!! by contacting our City Officials regarding the lack of respect, attention and accountability in addressing the concerns impacting our area. Blight, homelessness, and illegal dumping continue to increase without fair and equitable attention and resources. This cannot continue! Cry Loud and Spare Not! The following are some of the letters sent:

Sent: Sunday, July 2, 2017 11:41 AM
Subject: Concerns for the City
Your Honor,
As a concerned citizen who owned homes, paid taxes and still attends Allen Temple Baptist Church in Oakland, I am writing to express my deep and sincere concern for the blight I witness each time I drive down International Boulevard, particularly the streets between 82nd and 86th Avenues.  
I understand there have been several meetings, discussions -- even promises -- that something would be done about the individuals who have created a "camp" on International between 84th and 85th Avenues.  Rather than getting better, it's getting worse, i.e. garbage, furniture, blankets, clothing, soiled rags, etc., line the sidewalk.  Drugs are being used out in the open. Our seniors, children and other citizens cannot walk on the block!  This is a safety hazard.
I wonder if a similar camp were set up on Piedmont, Mountain Boulevard or in front of City Hall, what would happen?  
I understand there are homeless challenges throughout the City, however, I also understand that measures can be taken (and would have already been taken in some areas) to eliminate the kind of abuse and misuse of public property that is taking place on International Boulevard.
I am willing to work toward solving the problem.  The question is: are you willing to work with us?

Sent: Tuesday, July 4, 2017 9:55 AM
Subject: Neighborhood concern
RE: Lack of respect, attention and accountability in addressing the concerns impacting our area (International Blvd between 84th and 85th Avenue)
Why do you remain comatose to this encampment situation with a pretense to “do something about it”? The blight, daily increase of homelessness, illegal dumping and continual sanitation, hygiene and safety issues are evident and prevalent. You have asked for meetings, conversations, presentations, patience and partnerships on the issue, but your verbal handshakes are filled with empty promises and a teaspoon of actions.
What messages are you presenting to our future, our children? Day in and day out, they witness and are forced to walk through/down blocked sidewalks and observe the devastations and city neglects. What children am I speaking of? Have you bothered to physically research the area ongoing-weekly, monthly? East Oakland Boys and Girls Club, two elementary schools-New Highland Academy and Rise Community School, Highland Child Development Center, East Oakland Youth Development Center, and children attending Allen Temple Baptist Church programs are frequent travelers of the area!!! Are you heartless toward children? Would that be an acceptable environment for your love ones-children, grandchildren, godchildren, nieces, nephews, etc.?
Seniors and neighborhood residents voted you into office. Is this how you repay them with bandage therapy, public notice announcements, citing city codes, passing the buck, more meetings, media coverages with vain repetitions and promises, REALLY!!!
What measures would you take if tomorrow morning the scene between 84th and 85th Avenue and International Blvd became a permanent fixture in your neighborhood with an every increasing cesspool of feces, urine, tents, shelters, recurring and recovering addicts, mentally challenged and the infirmed, to name a few?
When you look in your yard at home and see weeds, do you handle them immediately or wait until they have grown into a full-fledged, unmanageable forest? Do you call a community meeting, make recommendations and vote on it next Tuesday? Or do you MOVE TO ACTION?
So again I ask, why do you remain comatose to this encampment situation with a pretense to “do something about it”?

Allen Temple member
Oakland resident for over half a century.

Sent: Monday, July 3, 2017 9:50 PM
Cc: AT Information <>
Subject: Enough !!!
Dear City Officials,
I am writing out of extreme frustration, anger, pain, hurt, and despair to address the issue of the inexcusable filth that has become a seemingly accepted way of life for east Oakland residents by our elected City Officials.
I have lived in Chicago, Brooklyn, Richmond, Va., and San Jose, Ca. and I have never seen such disregard for a community by such poor provision of city services.  

It is no coincidence that when garbage accumulates near the border of the city of Alameda, it is removed, shopping cart, and all, in a timely manner.
Our black children have to see, smell, and experience such blight, this is tantamount to abuse and neglect of children.  I observed a student of mine taking out the trash from his apartment building, as his mother watched him.  How devastating to see the cans too full, overflowing with smelling food, with really, nowhere to put the garbage except on the street.  As I unlocked my car, after teaching I have to watch where I step, so as not to step in filth of every kind.  Yes, this is their school environment.
Children receive unspoken messages if the world perceives them and wants to protect them from the harsh realities of life.  We are showing our children that they are not worthy of clean streets with no broken glass and smelly garbage, and homelessness.    We treat them like they are so tough, no wonder they act out in school and they're so angry.
Please, indulge me with an anecdotal story.  
Years ago I taught at a predominately white school in a white community.  The teachers came in one morning and to our dismay, there were several broken windows with glass all over.  The kinders were quickly corralled and entered through an alternate entrance so they would not have to see or be traumatized and frightened by the vandalism.
You guessed it, not only was the mess cleaned up, but it was replaced with new GLASS before the children went to lunch at 11:30!!!!!!  The principal wanted to protect their innocence.  Why are our children not treated with the same concern and care?  As a black woman, mother, educator, it is a constant pain to see how children/people of color are regarded.
This has to stop, it must stop.  Enough is enough!!!  Please, Please, Please, do your jobs and clean up east Oakland. 
Thank you for your attention to this grave matter.

To:,,,,, "assemblymember bonta" <>
Sent: Monday, July 3, 2017 4:52:17 AM
Subject: #enough!!!
Dear - Mayor Libby Schaaf, City Councilmember Larry Reid, City Administrator Sabrina Landreth, Public Works Director Brooke Levine, Assistant to City Administrator Joe DeVries and Assembly Member Rob Bonta:
I am an Allen Temple Baptist Church member, a voter and taxpayer.  I am sending this email regarding the lack of respect, attention and accountability in addressing the concerns impacting our area (especially the corner of A Street and on International Blvd).  Blight, homelessness, and illegal dumping continue to increase without fair and equitable attention and resources.  This cannot continue!  Please address this issue with the same priority of keeping the Raiders in Oakland or in other words - with everything you've got/NOW!!!

Date: July 2, 2017 at 6:45:49 PM PDT
Subject: An Open Letter to the Honorable Libby Schaaf
Dear Mayor Schaaf:
I write as a concerned citizen of the world, of Northern California and in particular of the Oakland Bay Area.  I also write as a former City of Oakland employee who attends church at Allen Temple Baptist Church in the heart of East Oakland.
Over the past few years I have been witness to a growing disregard for the citizens of some parts of Oakland, both those with shelter and those without. Driving down 5th Street, blocks from the police department, feels like driving down the streets of a war-torn third world country full of tent cities, trash and homeless people.  Driving from Oakland to Alameda through the Webster tube, we encounter rows of tents and trash and people living in inhumane and unsanitary conditions. On the corners, especially along International Blvd (including the corner of 85th where Allen Temple has been a beacon of hope for years) there are people living and sleeping in tents, on old soiled furniture and living off the trash and scraps left behind.
My heart aches every time I see it and despite the efforts of Allen Temple and other churches and individuals to bring resources to fix this problem, the City ignores it.
What is so sadly obvious, however, is that other parts of Oakland like Piedmont and Claremont do not suffer the same fate. Resources are readily and quickly dispensed to those areas.
I would simply like to know why and to ask you to justify the blatant disregard of the needs of the most vulnerable of Oakland’s citizens.
Sent: Tuesday, July 4, 2017 8:16 PM
Subject: Blight, Homelessness on International Blvd. & 85th Ave. - Oakland
I am writing, as a very concerned citizen, about what is now a horrendous and very depressing situation at the location indicated.  I lived in Oakland for about 50 years until 2015 but I'm always in Oakland and in that area as a longtime member of Allen Temple Baptist Church.  My last two years there, I lived in Montclair and know for a fact that this would never be tolerated there or in the Piedmont area.  Last Saturday on our way to choir rehearsal, we were appalled at how much worse it is getting.  As much as I am in Oakland, I have never seen any trash or garbage pickup being conducted.  Seems that area is totally ignored by city officials.    I know that you have to be aware of what is going on there and how it looks.  Someone has to care.

Sent: Sunday, July 2, 2017 11:25 AM
Subject: Concerns regarding the blight, homelessness, and illegal dumping on International Avenue and 85th
I am writing to express my significant concern and dismay with the longstanding problem of homelessness, illegal dumping, and, in general, urban blight on International Blvd between 82nd and 85th Streets near Allen Temple Church.   
I have been a very active member of this congregation for over 25 years and travel from Walnut Creek to Oakland 2-3 times per week to volunteer at Allen Temple. I have never, in these past 25 years, seen such filthy conditions around the church for such an extended period of time. It looks like an abandoned, war-torn village.  I am embarrassed to invite my friends from Walnut Creek to come to worship at Allen Temple because of the surrounding environment of the church. It is very disheartening and challenging to come week after week and be confronted by this urban blight.  
Allen Temple is a church committed service, social justice and rolling up our sleeves to do the work to make a difference.  However, we can't tackle this problem alone.  WE NEED YOUR HELP!  Something needs to change and we are willing to be a part of that change, but your leadership is desperately needed!

Sent: Tuesday, July 4, 2017 1:45 PM
To:;;;; Larry Reid <>
Good afternoon,
Enough is enough.  I am sick and tired of driving to Allen Temple on Sunday mornings only to drive through all the Blight, Homelessness, and Illegal Dumping in my community.  The people in East Oakland contributed to you being elected plus We pay taxes in this city!  Although we don't have equitable resources, nor has adequate attention been given to the problems of East Oakland. THIS HAS GOT TO STOP!  THIS CANNOT CONTINUE!  THE FLAT LANDS OF OAKLAND SHOULD BE TREATED THE SAME AND THE HILLS OF OAKLAND!   Oakland's elected officials shouldn't be racial profiling by not putting the same resources into East Oakland as they put into Montclair, and the hills.

Sent: Monday, July 3, 2017 10:51 AM
Subject: Blight
Dear Mayor,
I am writing you as a longtime resident of Oakland and a public servant. I am appalled at the lack of attention to the areas on International Blvd between 84th and 85th Avenues. It started with couches and now it has escalated to a full fledge encampment with tents and the like. It looks like a nuclear bomb exploded in a war torn 3rd world country. The amount of trash is unsanitary, which means soon there will be an issue with vermin, which will turn into a public health issue.  I attend church in this area, and drive past this area at least 4x a week and it makes me sad. What makes we even more sad is the excessive amount of garbage and illegal dumping in what appears to be a concentrated area in East Oakland (below Seminary). I am well aware of the issues around homelessness, increasing rents and lack of affordable housing. I am also aware that these deplorable conditions would not be acceptable in other areas in this city (above 580). The disparity is disrespectful and unacceptable!
Stop ✋ with the disparity and dehumanizing conditions. East Oakland deserves better!

Sent: Wednesday, July 5, 2017 4:05 PM
Subject: Enough!!
I'm writing each of you in reference to the “Execrable” site of the homeless located between 83rd and 85th International Blvd, Oakland Ca. 94621.
The appearance of this area is not only unacceptable but the illegal dumplings increase from week to week. 
Why doesn't this have you immediate attention???
We the citizens of this city elected you as officials to be responsible to the needs of the people. Not one group or selected group but for all.
Please find the resources to assist the homeless now.

Sent: Wednesday, July 5, 2017 5:25 PM
Cc: AT Information <>
Subject: Deep East Oakland has had it
I am a long-time member of Allen Temple Baptist Church and we have had it. We have tried for several years to get Oakland’s elected and appointed administrative infrastructure to respect and respond to us as they do Oakland residents in Uptown, Montclair, Rockridge, the Dimond District, Jack London Square, and Chinatown, to name a few neighborhoods. It is time we call it what it is: This is a classic case of systemic racism.
We have been ignored, pandered to, passed on, and passed around. It is time that ALL of you respond to our demands, no longer requests, to clean up our streets, work on housing the homeless, and find and prosecute those who dump waste and garbage in our neighborhoods. Elections are around the corner and this is just the beginning of our struggle to bring dignity back to our streets.
P.S. Why isn’t the city attorney’s address accessible on hers and/or the city's website?

Sent: Thursday, July 6, 2017 9:25 PM
Subject: Dear Sabrina Landreth -- Request
Dear City Administrator Landreth --
Hope you had a wonderful July 4th with your loved ones.
While you were celebrating Independence Day, I'm wondering if you happened to drive through our neighborhood -- around Allen Temple Baptist Church, 8501 International Boulevard, Oakland, 94621.
If not, I imagine you didn't see empty lots filled with garbage from illegal dumping. You probably didn't smell the acrid smells of urine and beer wafting through your family's nostrils.
Were you able to avoid the used needles our children see every day? Did you get to see only trees and lawns and flowers, not boarded-up storefronts?
I'll bet you wouldn't want any of the children you value to have to walk past people hanging out on the streets because they have no jobs to go to, no homes . . .
You wouldn't stand for your teens having to walk past boarded- up buildings that cover up God knows what .  . .
You wouldn't stand for it, would you -- if you saw it in your neighborhood?
We know -- "There's no money." Well, if you and the other city leaders are as smart as you want us to believe you are, then how about this:
Please go thru the city schedule for services which address blight, illegal dumping, education and recreation etc. -- and for all the services designated for your neighborhood, redirect 50% of those services (those employees, their work assignments) to our neighborhood.
Do this every week, through Dec. 31, 2017. Then let us know what you learned.
And we'll show you what a difference that will make.
Please consider this an urgent invitation to meet with our congregational leaders by or before 7/31/17 to discuss what you will do to adequately address these issues and significantly improve the neighborhood and community around Allen Temple Baptist Church. Please call and ask for any of our pastors: 510 544-8910
We will joyfully meet with you to create a plan for cooperation for the good of all in our neighborhood. And we'll also be glad to tell you what we will do if you and the other city leaders do not meet with us and address these issues with us, by or before 7/31/17.
Thanks very much for acting on this invitation, Ms. Landreth.
P.S. Please come worship with us, too! 

Sent: Thursday, July 6, 2017 1:36 PM
Subject: Vermin and Filth @ 85th Avenue and International Blvd
Dear Mayor, 
You are the mayor of all the people in Oakland and all of the people must receive equal treatment and benefits from our City government. Compare the cleanliness of 85th and International with the four corners of Redwood Road and Skyline Blvd. The only equality I can see is that the City of Oakland has installed stop lights sat both intersections. Shame on you.
Would you let the sidewalk in front of your house look like 85th and International?
Would you let the corner nearest your house look like the corner of 85th and International?
Shame on you.
You are the Mayor of Oakland and it is not just a ceremonial office. You have a job to do and you need to get to work for all the people of Oakland. Evaluating your job performance at 85th and International is that you have not met a satisfactory level of competence. Shame on you.
No grand plan is needed. Just do the job and clean up 85th sand International. And just like your house, clean it once a week.

To: officeofthemayor <>; cityadministrator <>; jdevries <>; lreid <>; blevine <>; assemblymember.bonta <>
Sent: Fri, Jul 7, 2017 6:31 am
Subject: Letter to City Officials re: The Growing Level of Blight, Homelessness and Illegal Dumping
Mayor Libby Schaaf –
Sabrina Landreth, City Administrator –
Joe DeVries, Assistant City Administrator –
City Council Member Larry Reid –
Brooke Levine, Public Works Director –
Assembly Member Rob Bonta –
Dear Elected Officials and City Staff:
I am a long-term resident of Oakland, a registered voter, and a member of the Allen Temple Baptist Church, an Oakland-based, 98-year-old congregation with an outstanding track record of leadership and support for racial justice and equity.
I am writing to join the chorus of citizens calling on you to address urgent issues requiring your immediate attention—blight, illegal dumping and the growing number of homeless encampments on the streets of Oakland, including the one at the corner of 84th and International Blvd, a block from the front door of our church. 
Be clear, people in the City of Oakland are compassionate and we care deeply about our brothers and sisters who are facing life's challenges. However, we are calling for the fair allocation of government resources in all corners of our city. We insist that our elected officials acknowledge and solve the problem all over Oakland not just in Montclair and nearby Piedmont.
It is of vital important that you invest in solutions designed to: (1) provide people on the street with access to services; (2) reduce illegal dumping; (3) remove the blight; (4) address the safety and health concerns in our neighborhoods; and (5) help formerly homeless people stay off the streets.
Please assign one of your staff with the task of responding to the following questions:
1.       What is the total amount allocated in the current and upcoming city budget to address illegal dumping, blight and homelessness – by zip code, including 94621?
2.       What strategies have you employed and what are the results of your evaluation of those efforts?
3.       Have you examined what other cities have done to address these issues and taken steps to implement best practice here in Oakland?
4.       Do you have plans to convene faith-based and community leaders to assist in developing effective solutions?
A kind and prompt response by July 31 2017 would be greatly appreciated.

Sent: Friday, July 7, 2017 10:22 AM
Subject: Vermin and Filth
Hello Sabrina and Joe,
Some citizens of Oakland evaluate your job performance by your management of employees of the City of Oakland and getting jobs done. Well, look at the corner of 85th and International and you are no better than what you see there. It looks like you have failed in the past, are failing now and there is no indication you are going to change your ways. You've got to go. The City of Oakland needs to clean house and replace both of you with competent employees who will oversee that all of Oakland decently clean sidewalks and repaired street. This would not happen in the Montclair district of Oakland which has many spacious areas for urban campers.
Get to work and Keep Oakland Clean.

Sent: Friday, July 7, 2017 11:05 AM
Cc: AT Information <>
Subject: Attention Needed
There are concerns impacting the Allen Temple Baptist Church area. Blight, homelessness and illegal dumpling continue to increase without fair and equitable  attention and resources. This cannot continue!

Sent: Monday, July 10, 2017 5:21 PM
To: office of the <>;;;;;
Cc: AT Information <>; Gloria Crowell <>
Subject: Homelessness on International Boulevard
July 10, 2017

Dear City Officials:
I am writing to alert you to the serious homelessness problems on International Boulevard.  I am a member of Allen Temple Baptist Church (ATBC) at 8501 International Boulevard, Oakland, CA.  I have attended ATBC for over 20 years.   I am also a Sunday school teacher. 
The homeless situation on International Boulevard is deplorable.  There are huge piles of trash in the area, people are sleeping out in the open sun or sitting on cartons and there is no real privacy or any proper sanitary conditions.  Often the carcasses of dead rats are around the trash or right next to the areas where the homeless are sleeping. 
On Sunday, July 9, 2017, when I visited the homeless area with some other church members, I personally saw the following:
a.    One man was sleeping out in the open with about 20 flies constantly landing on his upper body and face.  This man looked to be in a semi-conscious state and was not easily aroused.

b.      Another older woman was sleeping out in the open with no protection.  She was not easily aroused and when she was offered water she had to be helped to hold a small (8 fl. oz.) water bottle to drink.

c.       Men and women are living together in very small tents.  These tents have no toilet facilities and are dirty.  I believe these small tents are the old privacy the homeless have. Others are sleeping on mattresses or sleeping bags on the street.  There were tents and garbage on both sides of the sidewalk, leaving little space to walk.

d.      One homeless man who I see all the time appears to have a serious medical condition.  He does not ambulate and just sits on a carton.  Other homeless people in the area have told me that he is very sick.  He has white material around his mouth that I was told is evidence of infection or disease. I believe this man may need immediate medical attention. 

e.      I was told by another homeless person that there was someone in a tent too sick to come out to receive food we were offering yesterday. 

f.        Unfortunately, the bus stop was removed from in front of Allen Temple.  The bus now stops right in front of the homeless encampment, which blocks most of the street.  I saw one older woman waiting on the corner of the church side looking distressed.  She did not speak English.  We determined that she was waiting for the bus.  But she was waiting on the church side of the corner.  She obviously did not want to stand in front of the encampment because of safety concerns and had decided to wait on the church corner with the intent of waiving the bus down so it would stop further up, a few feet from the encampment so she could board.  Our church security stood nearby.  I wondered what happens to people when our church security leaves or when people wait for the bus after dark at night. 

g.       Yesterday one of the homeless mentioned he was diabetic.   Unfortunately, we did not have any “specially prepared foods.”   He wanted and took what we had.  Others have mentioned they have back problems, high blood pressure, have had a stroke, asthma, seizures, pinched nerve problems or have other medical conditions.  Many of homeless have dental problems so severe that they are unable to eat very hard foods. 

h.      Yesterday, a woman who appeared to be in her 70’s or 80’s requested food.  She could barely speak.  She had most of her belongs in her hands.  We gave her a plastic bag to put everything inside.  She had a spinal problem (perhaps due to old age) and was bent over. 
I would also like to mention the following:
i.         I generally do not encourage women or men at church to go down to the homeless encampment alone for safety reasons. There is a laundry mat where the encampment is located and children, young girls, women and others frequently come in and out of the laundromat or people try to park their cars nearby to pick up clothes.  I am fearful for the safety of people living in and moving around the encampment. 

j.        Many of the homeless have mental health problems (based on what they have told me about their present community).

k.       Many of the homeless have drug and alcohol problems (based on what they have told me about their present community).

l.         Many of the homeless have problems walking.

m.    Many of the homeless have no place to shower, wash their hands or use a toilet on a regular basis.  

n.      Almost all of the homeless I have spoken to said they were Oakland residents prior to their homelessness.  Some have lived in Oakland 48 and 50 years.

o.      I have been told by the local shelter that the city ended its “emergency bed” program at the shelters when the rains ended.  Some of the homeless have mentioned that when they have gone to the shelter but all the beds are already taken.  Some cannot make it to the shelter because they have no transportation.

p.      I have seen women start crying uncontrollably because of the situation they are now in.  They beg for help.

q.      I have been told that there has already been one death in the homeless encampment.  I fear for the women, the elderly and the vulnerable I see living in and walking near the encampment. 

r.        I have been told that sometimes people who are not homeless have dumped their unwanted items or trash on the street where the homeless live. There are no trash containers where the homeless are living.  I have seen one of the homeless women sweeping trying to keep the area clean.  She asked me to please notify the city about their trash problem.  The homeless feel they are not being heard.   

s.       I do not think the area is a safe place to drive or walk.  The area is under construction and there are a lot of people crossing back and forth across the streets.  

t.        I have seen women on the street during the day and night (who appeared under the influence of something) with little clothing on.  These women are very vulnerable. 

The homeless situation around ATBC and on International Boulevard is horrible and getting worse. 

I hope and pray something will be done soon.

Sent: Monday, July 10, 2017 7:38 PM
Cc: AT Information <>
Subject: Blight, Homelessness, Illegal Dumping
The issues stated above continue to increase in our community even after our reaching out to city officials regarding these concerns and what seems to be lack of any positive responses to address these issues. Please consider this email from a concerned citizen saying we must see some attention made to address these grave issues.  

Sent: Tuesday, July 11, 2017 10:40 AM
To:;;;;;;; AT Information <>
Subject: Blight and Homelessness in the Great city of Oakland
Greetings All,
'm writing regarding our future goals (Committee) in the "Circle of Success" concerning Homelessness and Blight in this great city of Oakland, California Especially my neighborhood of East Oakland. 85th Avenue and International Blvd. The Blight and Homeless population has gone from eye sore to nuisance to filth and that is being polite. The Sofas, Mattress, Garage within a stones through of a Church and school is not a livable option and is a  Bibical Sin! ( James 1:27       Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, ) To have human beings living in that filth is outrageous! Our children cannot walk on that side of the street going to school or to the corner store.  Tents, needles and the drugs covers the landscape. I know some of the people there. One is my sister who refuses to get help! I and my family have begged her to go into a shelter and get help and to stay clean for six months straight and I will take her in and she can stay with me but she refuses. Why? Mental and and Substance abuse issues. Allowing them this open and filthy sanctuary is not helping them! It's only hurting them and their recovery. You are giving them sanctuary to live beneath there privilege and humanity! This is not living.  This is enabling their mental and physical disabilities. Anyone who would openly live in Filth when they have families, friends and shelters are Mentality Disabled! Please lets work together in a Newly created "Circle of Success " concerning Homlessness and Blight!
Thank You for listening. Sincerely yours. Love you all and Oakland.

Member of Allen Temple Baptist Church