NEXT MEETING: August 12, 2016
Ensuring that West Contra Students Thrive
Maribel Lopez, Director of Community Leadership for GO Public Schools West Contra Costa, will tell us about the ways her organization ensures that every child in West Contra Costa receives a quality education, an education aimed at helping young people succeed in life and work in the twenty-first century. GO Public Schools West Contra Costa (GO WCC) is part of a coalition of students, families, educators, and community allies united to support every West Contra Costa student. Together this coalition works to develop community leadership, enact practice and policy shifts, and ultimately improve student learning outcomes
On Monday we learned that the landlord for Saluté’s Restaurant, Richard Poe, has given the restaurant’s owner, and Richmond Rotarian, Menbere Akilu a 30-day notice to vacate. The next day over one-hundred Richmond residents, city council members, and representatives of state and local officials all gathered in front of Saluté’s to protest the action and learn about possible steps the city and community may take to preserve what’s arguably one of Richmond’s most acclaimed businesses.
Before the crowd of supporters, reporters and cameras, Mayor Tom Butt and Menbe answered a host of questions. The mayor said the city is working on possible steps to preserve the restaurant, and suggested that residents write letters to Poe, asking that he “walk back” the order or consider selling the property. Asked about the possible cause of the notice to vacate, Menbe replied that she had no idea what it might be, and asserted that the restaurant has been in strict compliance with all regulations. Heartened perhaps by the outstanding show of community support, she confidently predicted that “by doing a good job and giving love, we will win.”
A number of more upbeat announcements were made at last Friday’s meeting.
- David Brown announced we will once again be donating $100 each classroom teacher at Peres Elementary School. The Club has been doing this since 1999 so please make your donation to David.
- Pam Jones once again asked for donations for backpacks (she bought 30 from last week’s donations) to be given out at the Soulful Softball Sunday 8/21 at Nicol Park 3230 Macdonald Ave at 2pm. She received $200 from our friends the Russian dentist. We committed to get at least 50.
- Rotary District Conference set for 3/24-26 in Berkeley at the MLK Student Center Ballroom.
- Herb Cole announced that our major international project will be to distribute wheel chairs in Mexico. We will have 200 to give away with the exact date to be announced.
MEETING OF August 5, 2016
Prez Josh Surowitz rang the bell and called the meeting to order and Sid Chauvin led us in the Pledge. Herb Cole offered a silence prayer for peace and freedom. Sid Chauvin offered, “I do not have grey hair. I have wisdom highlights.” I am very wise.
Visiting Rotarians and Guests
Prez Josh brought with him his wife Emily and sons Elliot and Luke (who shared with us all the places they visited…while Mr. Prez was away for the past few weeks). Visiting Rotarian and wife of Hank Covell Doreen Covell also joined us as did Stacey Street’s guest Bill Bankhead.
Recognitions and Happy and Sad Dollars
Your Scribe perfomed the honors:
- Henry Moe celebrated Rotary anniversary on 8/1 and will celebrate his wedding anniversary on 8/7.
- A well-tanned Mark Howe was recognized for his TransPac race success. He flew back, but Shana Bagley Howe is bringing the boat back with a smaller crew.
- David Brown noted that Dave Calfee’s grandson Rotarian Ethan Heinrich has kept his grandfather’s generous support for Rotary with a $500 check.
- Prez Josh was happy to have his family visit with us today but they were off to see the dentist.
- Sid Chauvin was sad that WKRP’s Loni Anderson just turned 71.
Strengthening the Contra Costa College System
Bill Bankhead, Richmond Community Foundation SparkPoint Staff, introduced our speaker Mojdeh Mehdizadeh. Mojdeh was named interim President of Contra Costa College in January 2015 and was named as President in March 2016. She is the 12th President of Contra Costa College. The college founded in 1949 has an enrollment of about 11,000 students: 76% attend during the day; 61% under 24 years of age; 40% Hispanic; and 20% African American. Older student numbers are down because the state has imposed a limit on the number of “enhancement” classes students can take. Mojdeh shared with us the College’s mission statement, vision, strategic direction, and some college highlights. She also thanks all for supporting Measures A and E which has led to incredible improvements to the campus facilities. President Mehdizadeh invited Rotary to come to the College’s “Three Seasons Restaurant” for a meeting.
The Menehune, Rotating Editor