Home > child care, news > BAMN Golden Gate Child Development Center (CDC) occupation

BAMN Golden Gate Child Development Center (CDC) occupation

UPDATE August 29, 2010, 11:00AM PST:

Parents, Teachers, Students and Community Members Vow to Keep Childhood Development Centers (CDC’s) Open

PRESS CONFERENCE Sunday, Aug. 29, 4:00 pm
Golden Gate Child Development Center (CDC)
6232 Herzog St., near San Pablo + Alcatraz (Oakland)

TAKE ACTION this Tuesday, Aug. 31, 4:30 pm
Golden Gate Child Development Center (CDC)
6232 Herzog St., near San Pablo + Alcatraz (Oakland)

Parents, teachers, students, and community members vow to keep open the Golden Gate and Santa Fe Childhood Development Centers (CDC’s) in Oakland. They are holding a press conference today to announce their intention to mobilize a mass protest and action on Tuesday at 4:30 pm in front of Golden Gate CDC to stop them from being closed.

On Friday, the Oakland Unified School District announced that the two CDC’s in Oakland would close next week, despite finding the money to keep five other centers open that had also been scheduled for closure.

“If they found $2.4 million to keep open five of the schools, then I know they can find the money to keep my son’s school open, too. This whole fight is about the right for every child to an equal, quality, public education. We’re fighting for what Martin Luther King fought for,” said Alonie Butler, Oakland parent and BAMN supporter.

Over the course of the summer, OUSD attempted to close seven centers which run early childhood and before and after school programs for children, sparking a community-wide movement and series of protests, marches, and occupations. That movement kept all the centers open until the end of August. Last Friday, when the District announced its intention to close Golden Gate and Santa Fe CDC’s, the Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, Integration, and Immigrant Rights and Fight for Equality By Any Means Necessary (BAMN) organized teachers, students, and parents to sit-in and occupy Golden Gate CDC to keep those centers open.

Mark Airgood, the Treasurer of the Oakland Education Association (OEA) who was arrested in that occupation said, “We know that the only way to send a message to Sacramento that we will not let them slash these programs and these kids’ futures is by taking direct action. Defending them is vital to the future of California, and we will keep them running.”

“This fight is a fundamental fight for civil rights. The majority of students who are in these programs are Latina/o, black, and Asian immigrant children. These are the programs that give them the opportunity to develop the foundation they need to have an equal opportunity in this society,” commented Tania Kappner, OEA Executive Board member and BAMN organizer.

Last Friday, USA Today ran a story about the changing nature of Early Childhood Education and similar programs. Latina/o and Asian children make up a growing and significant portion of students in these programs. For many, these programs reinforce, and in many cases, are their first introduction to English learning that makes all the difference in their chances of closing the achievement/opportunity gap.


UPDATE August 27, 2010, 5:45PM PST:

Police have surrounded and intend to forcefully clear the occupiers out of GOLDEN GATE C.D.C. Community support urgently needed.


UPDATE August 27, 2010, 5:30PM PST:

Parents, teachers, and community members are continuing their occupation at GOLDEN GATE C.D.C. (Child Development Center) at 6232 Herzog in Oakland, which the Oakland Unified School District still says it will close this weekend.

“We are sending a message to Sacramento: Oakland is drawing a line in the sand for the state of California and they must make no cuts to early childhood education in this state,” said Yvette Felarca, occupier at Golden Gate CDC in Oakland and Northern California coordinator of BAMN.

“If they can find money to keep the other 5 child centers open, they can find the money to keep Golden Gate CDC and the other early childhood education centers in California open,” said Mark Airgood, treasurer of the Oakland Education Association and organizer with the Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, Integration, and Immigrant Rights and Fight for Equality By Any Means Necessary (BAMN). Earlier this afternoon, Airgood joined others in occupying Jefferson CDC and succeeding at removing it from the closure list. Airgood will join occupiers at Golden Gate CDC.


UPDATE August 27, 2010, 2:00PM PST:

EMERGENCY ALERT from OEA teachers and BAMN:

Stop the Closure of Early Childhood Education Centers:
Sit-In/Occupy/Surround a Center Today to Guarantee They Will Be Open on Monday

GATHER AT JEFFERSON CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT CENTER (in Oakland*)
TODAY (Fri, Aug. 27) at 4:30PM – Press Conference, followed by action
Jefferson Childhood Development Center
1975 – 40th Ave. / Foothill Blvd. (Oakland, near Fruitvale BART)

* In other locations of the state, early education centers are set to be closed or to have programs cut or shortened starting early next week. We call on activists in those communities to follow Oakland’s lead: occupy the early childhood education centers to keep them open. For more information on sites of early childhood education centers and for updates, contact BAMN at (510) 501-2435 or at california@bamn.com


The Oakland School Board has announced its intention to close down 7 early childhood education centers in Oakland as of 5 o’clock today (Friday, August 27, 2010), in response to the proposed state de-funding of all early childhood education programs starting on September 1, 2010. Oakland’s parents and teachers have already declared their commitment to keeping the early childhood centers open. However, if the Oakland School Board is able to padlock these facilities this weekend, then the teachers and parents will not have access to the centers and will have a much more difficult time keeping the programs going. Oakland Education Association (OEA) Treasurer Mark Airgood, OEA Executive Board Member Tania Kappner, and BAMN have already announced their intention to sit-in and occupy at least one of the centers starting this evening to assure that it will remain open.

Both Republican and Democratic Party politicians are arguing that they have to cut early education programs in order to avoid cuts to public higher education, in response to the demands of our movement to stop more fee hikes and cuts in public higher education. Wherever the policy of closing early elementary education has been implemented, the quality of education in the public education system and in charter schools has declined. We cannot allow this divide-and-conquer strategy to succeed.

The attack on early childhood education is simply the attempt to turn those programs over to private charter interests, a policy that is spearheaded by Federal Education Secretary Arne Duncan, especially in majority Latina/o and black urban school districts. BAMN and other community activists will be participating in the occupation to keep the centers open and run as part of the public education system.

THE DEMANDS OF THE OCCUPATION ARE:

  1. For the Oakland School Board to do whatever is necessary, including taking out short-term loans, to keep the centers open and running as part of the public education system.
  2. Rescind all teacher layoffs in Oakland Unified School District, including the layoffs of nearly three dozen early childhood education teachers and support staff, now.
  3. Guarantee payment for all early education teachers and support staff that keep the centers going, from Monday, August 30th forward.
  4. Call on Federal Education Secretary Arne Duncan, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, and other Democratic and Republican Party politicians to end their racist campaign to deny Latina/o, black, Asian American, Native American, documented and undocumented immigrant, and poor students of all races, equal educational opportunities. Ending public funding for early childhood education programs, the most proven and successful means for closing the achievement/opportunity gap based on race and class, is simply a means of reinforcing the New Jim Crow and overturning the spirit of Brown v. Board of Education.
  5. Tax the banks, corporations, and billionaires to fund public education from Pre-K through college. No more charters, privatization, fee hikes, furloughs, layoffs, or program cuts.
  6. Release all Federal Department of Education funds, including those earmarked for Race to the Top, to the states now based on need. Public education is a right, not a race.
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