To make Oakland’s Dimond District a vibrant, safe, and beautiful place for everyone to live, work, shop, and play.
Involvement Builds Community
Who We Are
We are a community-based, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, with membership and participation open to all. We bring together residents, businesses, agencies, and other groups to engage in community projects, to address issues of common concern, and to cultivate a friendly, inclusive neighborhood.
The Dimond Improvement Association has many committees and projects to benefit the community. Take a look at our Projects & Committees page and see what might interest you! There are opportunities to volunteer from once a year to once a week.
Serving on Our Board
If you are interested in becoming a board member, please contact our chair, Chris Harper, at ChrisH@DimondNews.org. Our board election takes place every April, with nominations open several months in advance. New board members may also be appointed by the board at other times of the year if there are vacancies. See more about joining the board.
- Our board meetings are held the second Thursday of the month at the Dimond Branch Public Library at 3565 Fruitvale Ave., Oakland, CA, 7-9pm. Committee meetings take place as determined by the individual committees.
- The public is invited to our board meetings. If you would like to request an item added to the agenda, please email our chair, Chris Harper, at ChrisH@DimondNews.org.
- Board meeting minutes are posted to the website approximately one month after the meeting, following board review and approval. See elsewhere on this page for minutes dating back to 2015, when we became an incorporated nonprofit.
DIA General Meetings are held approximately five times a year, on the first Wednesdays of Feburary, April, June, August, and October, unless otherwise announced. The meetings are typically at the Dimond Branch Public Library, 7-9pm. See the Events Calendar for upcoming meetings and topics.
Board of Directors 2019
Jay has lived in the Dimond district since 2005. Since moving to Oakland, Jay has served on several City of Oakland boards and commissions, including the Public Ethics Commission, the Budget Advisory Commission, and the Community Policing Advisory Board. He has been active in his daughters’ elementary and middle school PTA organizations, and volunteered for several local and statewide political advocacy organizations. Professionally, he is the founder of ATS Partners, Inc., which provides project management and business process improvement consulting services.
Jay’s vision for the Dimond: to create a vibrant, inclusive destination commercial district that draws residents from across Oakland, and to strengthen a shared sense of community among local residents.
Zandile has been a resident of the Dimond for 23 years and has served on the DIA board for six years. She has participated in many efforts and on many committees, including Finance, Oaktoberfest, Membership, Database, Crime & Safety, Dimond Public Art, Art in the Street, and Keep Dimond Clean.
Zandile’s vision is to have the Dimond be clean and safe for all and to maintain the district’s charming characteristics.
Fran is a local realtor who lives, works, and plays in the Dimond. She’s been a Dimond homeowner for ten years and a DIA board member for nine of those. Fran is chair of the DIA’s Finance Committee, a member of the Execuitve and Membership committees, and active on Oaktoberfest finances and in Keep Dimond Clean administration. Previously, she’s been involved on the Business Development Committee, Membership Committee, and in working to develop marketing materials. A long-time fan of the Dimond, she has represented many in our community both as buyers and sellers. She enjoys dining, hiking, and meeting up with friends in the area.
Fran’s vision is to continue the mission of the DIA to beautify the neighborhood through public art; develop a safe and vibrant business district, drawing new businesses and bringing variety to the community; invite new customers and residents to our neighborhood; and continue to serve our community.
Tomasz has lived with his wife and daughter in the Dimond since June 2016. He’s lived in Berkeley, San Francisco, and Oakland for the last 16 years. He’s volunteered for local organizations such as Code 2040, Wikimedia Foundation, and the Circus Center, along with local industrial arts groups such as Flaming Lotus Girls and the Crucible. Recently, he started participating with Keep Dimond Clean to pick up litter and meet more of his neighbors.
Tomasz’s vision for the Dimond is to retain the diversity that motivated his family to move here, fill in the empty storefronts and vacant lots with thriving businesses, and keep up Dimond Park and Sausal Creek.
Chris remembers visiting the Dimond as far back as 1972, when his grandmother lived on Dimond Avenue. In 1986, as a young teacher, he made the Dimond his permanent residence, and in subsequent years married and raised two children, now college age. In 1998, Chris joined the faculty of Head-Royce School, where he has taught Physics, Astronomy, and Robotics ever since. Chris served on the DIA board from 2011 to 2015, most of that time as board chair. Improving the DIA’s fiscal management and transitioning to a new listserve were two significant achievements during his chairmanship.
Chris’ vision for the Dimond is to further its growth as a community built by involvement. This means facilitating communication among community members, DIA members, merchants, visitors, and the many organizations that have the Dimond as their focus.
Julie was born in Oakland and is a 22-year resident of the Dimond, where she raised her two daughters. She loves Oakland and working to benefit our community. Julie has been a DIA board member for 11 years and is currently Treasurer, Dimond Public Art Committee chair, and a Finance Committee member. She’s also been active on the Economic Development Committee. In the accounting field for 25+ years, Julie currently works as finance department head at Ray’s Electric. Her hobbies include masters swimming, gardening, hiking, travel, cooking & baking, sewing, decorating, and paper collage.
Julie’s vision for the Dimond is a thriving business district with a variety of cool offerings, including interesting retail and dining experiences. She would love to help usher in more public art and is passionate about retaining some of Dimond’s architectural aspects from the past.
Marion has lived in the Dimond since 1985 and started her volunteer activities picking up litter in the upper Dimond. She was a board member and secretary for the NCPC 22X for eight years, serving as chair of the beautification and bylaws-revision committees, working on fundraising, and organizing a pros & cons forum on city measures. She’s been on the DIA board since 2014 and serves on the Panhandling & Homeless and Beautification committees. She also leads a weekly litter group in Dimond Park.
Marion’s vision for the Dimond is to make it a more attractive place to live through beautification projects, eliminating panhandlers and homeless encampments, and working with city agencies and the community. She wants to increase the community’s knowledge of DIA with the hope that more people will join and volunteer to add greater strength to our endeavors.
Robert and his wife Pat moved to the Dimond in 1984 when he was teaching geography and urban planning at SJSU. They liked the transit service, Creekside trail, and commercial district that included three produce markets. In 1992, he drew redistricting plans for Hispanic voters in New Mexico and Illinois, and volunteered with the East Bay Bicycle Coalition—a group he led until 2010 when he successfully campaigned for the BART Board of Directors. Robert joined the DIA board in 2004 to promote Fruitvale Alive! ($4M bicycle, pedestrian and transit streetscape improvements) and open Farmer Joe’s. One vision he completed in 2017 was the $1.4M Park-n-Ride beautification. Robert removes litter and helps organize the Dimond Picnic and Thanksgiving feast.
Robert’s vision for the Dimond is to open a “Firehouse Grill,” install gateway artwork, and improve access to Dimond Park.
Ryan moved to the Dimond in 2016, after three years working in Oakland and living in San Francisco’s North Beach neighborhood. Originally from Washington state, Ryan has worked in technology, real estate, and community development, including as Executive Director of the Pioneer School Community Association and the Pioneer Square Business Improvement Area (now the Alliance for Pioneer Square) in Seattle. Ryan is currently Regional Director of Operations for KIPP Bay Area Schools, an Oakland-based nonprofit network of 14 charter public schools operating across the Bay Area.
Ryan’s vision for the Dimond is a robust, safe, and highly walkable commercial district, increased mixed-use development that brings more residents to the transit-rich neighborhood, and a DIA that is an engaged and responsive voice of the community.
Daniel has served on the DIA board since 2005. He is executive director for two Oakland-based non-profits and Business Improvement Districts (Laurel and Montclair). He is also vice chair for the Oakland BID Alliance and a member of the city’s Small Business Task Force. As a past DIA chair, Daniel worked to modernize and grow the organization to best address community issues and communicate effectively with residents and merchants. He helped found the NCPC 22X, worked aggressively on business attraction, and was a founder of Oaktoberfest in the Dimond—the principal fundraiser for the DIA and Dimond merchants association. He is currently managing director of Oaktoberfest and a member of the DIA Public Safety Committee.
Daniel’s vision for the Dimond is to see positive, progressive solutions for the challenges that currently face the Dimond District and the City of Oakland.
JoAnn has lived in the DImond for seven years. Before moving to Oakland, she was a board member at-large on the Ocean Avenue Revitalization Collaborative in San Francisco for seven years and helped form a successful Community Benefits District. She has been on the DIA board for nearly six years and is one of the leads for Keep Dimond Clean. She also serves on the Dimond Public Art and Finance committees, and has been a member of the ad hoc Board Nominating Committee the past two years. In 2017, she led the design and launch of the new DIA website and the quarterly e-newsletter.
JoAnn’s vision for the Dimond is to see a more vibrant commercial area, stronger unity between the DIA and the merchants association, and a safer environment to explore food and art in the Dimond day or night.
Victoria is an East Bay native and 16-year Dimond resident. She is retired from AC Transit, where she managed service information, marketing, and outreach programs. Her long-time interests include the environment, public transportation, and history. She joined the DIA board in 2006 and has been the Recorder for the past several years. She enjoys working to improve organizational and communication effectiveness, and has helped develop and lead DIA general meetings on Dimond history, water conservation, and transportation. She currently serves on the Beautification, Communications, and Executive committees.
Victoria’s vision for the Dimond includes people walking more and driving less, knowing each other better, and spending more time patronizing our businesses and enjoying our magnificent park. She would like to see a safer, more beautiful, and culturally vibrant Dimond where everyone contributes to a positive community spirit.
DIA Accomplishments and Current Activities
Dimond Branch Library
Closure of Hillcrest Motel
Dimond Public Safety Council / 22X NCPC
Dimond Gateway Garden & Beautification in Dimond
Dimond Park & Dimond Canyon
The Dimond List Serve and Website