The Boat House Rededication went off without a hitch earlier this month. The Mayor and several council members (including former council member) were present as was the media and numerous individuals and groups involved with Lake Merritt, the Boat House, and the Lake Chalet restaurant.
There were congratulations going around for everyone. However, not everyone involved with the success of Measure DD and the Boat House was recognized as they should have been. That is, there are a number of people and organizations who have been deeply involved and committed the restoration of Lake Merritt who were left out as the ‘thank you’s” and “great job’s!” were flying around.
Those groups include the Coalition of Advocates for Lake Merritt (CALM) and the Measure DD Community Coalition. Both of these groups include many long-time Oakland residents who have committed time, energy, and love, to Measure DD – even before there was a Measure DD. How can this be?
It was members of CALM who, in 2002, drafted and presented the first conceptual drawings for the realignment of 12th Street. The 12th Street piece will remove traffic lanes from “the world’s shortest freeway,” reclaim park land and reconnect it to Lake Merritt, add public space, and connect the new sidewalks and paths between Lakeshore Avenue and Lakeside Drive. That initial design concept, presented to the community by CALM in 2002, was adopted by the City of Oakland and included in the Lake Merritt Master Plan. Here’s the Lake Merritt Master Plan for 12th Street: http://tinyurl.com/mx9tv8
As noted at the Boat House Re-dedication, it was important that the Lake Merritt Master Plan not collect dust on a shelf. It was with the completion of the Lake Merritt Master Plan, spurred the communities’ interest in implementing the 12th Street realignment, that Measure DD was proposed as a means of funding the master plan. Projects in all parts of Oakland were included in the meaure such as Studio One in North Oakland and the East Oakland Sports Complex, which recently broke ground.
As we all know, Measure DD was a very popular bond measure, passing by an 80%-20% vote in 2002. The bond will eventually raise nearly $200 million; most Measure DD projects have already been completed.
Once Measure DD passed, the Measure DD Community Coalition was formed to provide oversight, guidance, feedback, etc. on the myriad of Measure DD projects. The Coalition is group of mostly unpaid Oakland residents and organizations who meet regularly with City staff, council member offices, planners, architects, consultants, etc., providing a ‘sounding board’ on Measure DD issues. The Coalition has met regularly since 2004; the Coalition continues meeting even now. You can find information about the Measure DD Coalition here: http://tinyurl.com/mjyf82
The Boat House Re-Dedication was a resounding success – it felt like a very positive milestone had been reached. We all look forward to the completion of 12th Street so that the hard work and inspiration of so many people, recognized or not, will come to fruition.