New Leadership within the City of Oakland has broken the agreement with Land Action and other nonprofits to create urban agriculture and environmental preservation projects on surplus tax-defaulted land.

Land Action was informed of this betrayal by the City of Oakland when the members of the Coyote Bush Collective Garden requested support to fight an eviction by developers.

So-called “nonprofit developers” have been acquiring numerous tax-defaulted properties through back room deals with officials without community input.

Not only is the City of Oakland refusing to preserve green space by working with community-based nonprofits, but the City of Oakland is allowing developers to remove the Coyote Bush Collective Garden, which was established over 5 years ago by long-term residents in West Oakland.

Coyote Bush Collective Garden is the home of Claude Blackwell who resides in a tiny home on the land. Claude is a low-income, long-term resident who is transgender. Claude is a member of the garden collective and is the on-site steward.

Joey Santore, a founder of the Coyote Bush Collective Garden, has been involved in the preservation of native plant species in Oakland for over a decade. Coyote Bush Collective Garden focuses on stewardship of green space with an emphasis on native plants and food production.

Rather than work with community members and stakeholders, the City of Oakland and developers intend to displace Claude, destroy the native plants, and develop the site in a manner that continues the cycle of displacement and gentrification that has been taking place in Oakland for quite some time.

With this petition, we urge the Oakland Mayor and City Council as follows:

  1. To cease all efforts by the City of Oakland staff to transfer title of Coyote Bush Collective Garden to any entity other than a land trust designated by the current occupants.
  2. To instruct City of Oakland staff to work with community based nonprofits, including Land Action, land trusts, and their allies, to determine a plan that incorporates preservation of green space and development of urban agriculture.
  3. To cease and desist any and all transfers of tax-defaulted properties to developers until a transparent process can be established that includes community input.

Please sign this petition and call both Mayor Libby Schaaf (510) 238-3141 and members of the Oakland City Council to urge them to end the land grab by developers. Let’s build a more equitable and sustainable food system within our communities!

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Save Coyote Bush Collective Garden
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