May 2016
Celebration Is In the Air
We have a lot to be excited and proud about this month! Keep reading to hear about our big win with City Council, and a successful Earth Day event in April. And we hope you'll join us today for Taste Test Tuesdays - details below!
A Big Win for Oakland Residents, HOPE, and Partners
Danielle Douglas speaking to City Council
Congratulations to us all! HOPE has been organizing our members and Oakland community leaders to make sure our voices are heard in support of the Sugar Sweetened Beverage Tax. We are tired of big companies making fat profits at the expense of the health of our neighborhoods. 

On May 3rd,  HOPE leaders Leon Davis and Danielle Douglas spoke powerfully in support of the soda tax, s haring emotional stories of family members lost to diabetes, and the stronghold the beverage industry has in local communities that must be stopped.

Sugar-sweetened beverages are among the largest contributors to diabetes and impacts low-income communities more than others. The tax is one way to curb this negative influence. HOPE has been in strong support of the measure, along with several other partners including Acta Non Verba: Youth Urban Farm Project, and Oakland Food Policy Council. We are excited to share that after hearing the voices of HOPE leaders, Oakland residents, and other organizers, the  Oakland City Council voted unanimously to place the Sugar Sweetened Beverage Tax on the November 2016 ballot. 

A big pushback is expected from the beverage industry, which is backed by millions of dollars. We may not have the same funds as them, but we do have an unrelenting commitment to making sure we can all live healthier lives in our neighborhoods. If approved, Oakland would become the second city in the nation to have a soda tax, standing for healthier communities instead of for richer soda companies. We hope you'll stand with us in November!
Food Systems
Taste Test Tuesdays
Beginning in April and extending into June, every third Tuesday of the month, HOPE will host free taste testings and cooking demos with recipes using fresh ingredients found in all three of our corner stores: Three Amigos, One Stop, and Sunbeam. The goal of Taste Test Tuesdays is to raise awareness of the healthy produce now available in our partnering corner stores and to introduce family-friendly, easy recipes that are affordable and healthy.  

The first official Taste Testing event took place Tuesday, April 19th. We decided to use a fairly easy, yet healthy recipe for our demons. We sampled a corn and black bean salsa with all natural tortilla chips. We reached out to an adult ally at the School Food team to train our volunteer staff on how to make the recipe beforehand, as well as important conversation topics to bring up when talking with the community members about proper food handling, safety and knife techniques. Many of the community members enjoyed the food and were surprised yet supportive to find out that the ingredients could be bought in their corner store.

Join us for our next Taste Test Tuesdays today, May 17th and June 21st from 4:00 - 6:00 pm. You can find us at Three Amigos on Foothill Blvd and 13th Ave; One Stop on 84th Ave and International Blvd; and last but not least Sunbeam on 14th St and Adeline. We'll be spread out throughout the town so you can't miss us. Also if you're interested in co-hosting a Taste Test Tuesday let us know by contacting .
Thank You and Best Wishes, Jasmine!
All of us here at HOPE - especially Project Leaders, Youth Action Board (YAB) members, and staff - want to send a huge thank you and big group hug to Jasmine Vassar, who served as HOPE's Project Coordinator for Youth and Community Engagement since the end of last year. In just a few short months, Jasmine made a great impact at HOPE, with the Project Leaders and YAB members she worked with, and in the Oakland community. She supported Project Leaders, facilitated their training and leadership development, and led a focus group project that HOPE is currently undertaking. Jasmine encouraged HOPE's many YAB members, continuously provided opportunities for youth to grow and step into leadership roles, and actively supported the Elmhurst, FEEST, Media, and School Food teams. With her guidance, youth put on two FEEST events (youth-led community cooking experiences), and they are ramping up for more.

Alongside Jasmine's many accomplishments, she also brought much more to the HOPE community. In every single interaction with people, Jasmine exuded light and love. Whether facilitating a meeting with Project Leaders or leading an interactive exercise with YAB members, Jasmine always showed her genuine care, and her dedication to making sure every person is heard. Her warmth, positive energy, and commitment to our communities will be missed, and we wish her all the best in her next adventures!
Built Environment
Earth Day in Elmhurst
On Saturday April 23rd, HOPE Collaborative - in partnership with Acta Non Verba (ANV) and Communities for a Better Environment (CBE) - celebrated Earth Day at Tassafaronga Park! The event had two main goals: (1) conduct service activities near Tassafaronga Park that promote sustainability; and (2) provide a fun, celebratory event for partners and attendees. On both fronts, the event was a success.

In terms of service, thanks to leadership from Block by Block Organizing Network District 7 and Urban Releaf, more than 10 trees were planted on G-Street. Additionally, local youth painted planter boxes with artis ts from Nimby and scores of trash bags were collected. As a whole, these activities aim to reduce blight on G-Street by increasing green space along this corridor and raising greater community awareness. At the same time that volunteers greened-up G-Street, partners at Acta Non Verba led planting activities on ANV's ¼ acre urban farm. Volunteers at the farm had opportunities to learn about ANV's work while gardening.

After service activities, volunteers and new attendees gathered at Tassafaronga Park to celebrate. The neighborhood celebration included free food, musical performances (thanks to Rocio for her renditions of folk Mexican music and Anjel Diaz and K.E.V for some entertaining old school R&B and new school Hip Hop!); and did we mention there were games and raffle prizes (including a grand prize of a three month membership to the East Oakland Sports Center and private sessions with a personal trainer)?

In all, more  than 200 local residents, volunteer groups, and community partners c ame together for a day of  service, promoting sustainability in East Oakland, and comm unity building. This year's ev ent doubled last year's attendance and continued a growing tradition of hosting an Earth Day event in the East Oakland neighborhood where HOPE has been leading the Elmhurst neighborhood planning initiative.

Finally, thanks to everyone who participated, including ANV and CBE for helping put the event together; Whole Foods Market and Safeway for sponsoring the event; Urban R eleaf and BBBON D7 for their amazing work on G-Street; Starfish Seafood Café, the Healing Kitchen Catering, and Dave from Bike East Bay for providing tasty, healthy food. Thanks as well to the Oakland Public Works Environmental Stewardship Team for tools and event support. And last but not least, to the HOPE staff and members who supported the event.