This Is It: City Council Will Vote Tues 11/18
Dear Knowland Park Supporters,
THIS TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 18 evening, the City Council will vote on a measure that could decide the fate of Knowland Park. Yes, it’s a work night. Yes, it’s likely to run late. Yes, you’re going to be stuck in traffic/overloaded with work/stressed about something else. Yes, it’s a headache to get there. Yes, you already came to another meeting just a few weeks ago. We’ve all been there. But we can’t fail to turn out a HUGE crowd for this meeting.
We know the zoo already has its bus lined up to bring paid zoo employees to the meeting—we need to turn out in huge numbers to support our Park. This is when we need all hands on deck: CAN YOU COME?
Please RSVP for Tuesday night by clicking this link.
You don’t have to speak—unless you want to. We’ve been given signals that the Council may try to limit the time for public comment on the Knowland Park item, so we may need to have people who can cede time to our main speakers. But the most important thing of all is your presence. Without a big show of supporters, it is all too easy for the Councilmembers to think this will all just go away, and vote to give the zoo more of our public parkland.
If you’ve been sitting back watching it all and feeling vaguely guilty that you haven’t been able to do more, end your guilt now by showing up for this meeting! And if you’ve been one of the stalwarts who has devoted half your life to the cause for years, you already know this is what it was all leading to. We need everyone there, all of us together the voice of Knowland Park, its wildlife and plants, and the voice for the people of the future whose public lands are at stake.
And we also offer some fun! The Brass Liberation Orchestra (BLO) will play from 4:30–5:30 pm in front of City Hall (see directions) to support our cause and get us fired up at a pre-meeting rally. They’re strong supporters who are donating their music to the cause! Please come early and enjoy their music before going into the meeting. We’ll need to get there early in any case to get seats, as we expect the zoo to bring every available staff member.
The meeting starts at 5:30 pm, but public interest agenda items don’t begin until 6:30 pm. We’ve been told that our Knowland Park agenda item will probably be heard closer to 8:00 or 8:30, but the order of agenda items could be moved by the Council President as they have been before. We won’t know until we get there. Since there may be a wait, we are trying to arrange a nearby room for supporters to take a break, work on their comments and get coffee or food. So if you can come late to the meeting, we still need you.
We’ve been working hard to reach out to Councilmembers and let them know the public does not support granting more public parkland to the zoo, just so its executives can build the expansion on the ridgeline.
NEW: Send this ONE-CLICK message RIGHT NOW to the City Council and Mayor(by Tues 11/18 morning). And then send the link to all your friends. Councilmembers need to hear loud and clear that their constituents will not forget it if they vote to encumber more public parkland for this privately-operated development. No matter how anyone feels about the zoo and its programs, giving up more of the park isn’t okay, and sets a terrible precedent that could threaten any of our public parklands.
The zoo’s paid consultants are now saying the easement granting more land is necessary to “protect” the threatened Alameda whipsnake. But in fact, the VERY best way to protect the whipsnake is not to build on its habitat at all. The zoo has other land within and near its existing footprint that could be used for expansion, and all the great educational programs it wants to develop could be done without destroying the most biologically important parkland areas. It doesn’t have to be done THIS WAY—but we can make that case only if you show up and stand up to say No on Tuesdaynight.