PROJECTS & COMMITTEES
Below are some of DIA’s ongoing projects. There are many ways to support the DIA, and volunteering to help with these projects on a regular basis may work for you. If your schedule doesn’t allow you the time to volunteer, the DIA annual events are another good way to help out once in a while. Plus you can donate! DIA is now a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, so your donations are fully tax-deductible.
Keep Dimond Clean
Co-Chairs: Zandile Christen, Kathleen Russell
Members: Zandile Christian, David Coleman, Stan Dodson, Marion Mills, Tom Rose, Kathleen Russell, Karen Marie Schroeder, JoAnn Tracht Rawson
Purpose: Keep Dimond Clean (KDC) volunteers have been removing litter from public sidewalks and gutters in the Dimond business district since 2009. Our goal is to contribute to a litter-free and graffiti-free neighborhood, which is the foundation for a safe and inviting community. If not removed, the litter enters the storm drains emptying into Sausal Creek and continues on to pollute San Francisco Bay.
Description: Comprised of about 20 dedicated volunteers, KDC collects 12,000 pounds of litter (6 tons) every year. In addition, volunteers remove graffiti from signs, posts, and utility boxes. Volunteers meet twice a week on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Experienced members rotate as weekly leaders, assigning different walk routes to volunteers. La Farine Bakery supports us by offering “thank you” cards good for coffee and treats to volunteers. KDC contracts with a maintenance company to do litter pick-up the other five days of the week and raises about $12,000 a year–half from Oaktoberfest proceeds and half from the community–to cover the cost. Read more about Keep Dimond Clean and consider donating to the Help! Keep Dimond Clean Fundraiser 2017 at https://keepdimondclean.com/
Join Us! Come join the crew any Wednesday or Saturday. Meet at the parking lot at Giant Burger, 2055 MacArthur Blvd. (at Dimond Ave.) at 8:30am on Wednesdays and 9:00am on Saturdays. We’re done in an hour.
Dimond Park Litter Walk
Coordinator: Marion Mills
Purpose: To provide an inviting, litter free, and safe environment in Dimond Park.
Description: We hold Monday walks in Dimond Park to clean up litter and to report needed repairs to the city’s public works department. Dimond Park is an official Adopt-a-Spot sponsored by the DIA.
Join Us! We need more community volunteers, adults and youth (6-18 years old) alike! Come out on Mondays at 8:00am, April through November. (December through March, walks are held the first Monday of the month only.) Meet us at the corner of Fruitvale and Lyman. All supplies are provided. Volunteers receive a La Farine Bakery coupon good for pastries and coffee for two.
Coordinator: Daniel Swafford
Purpose: To showcase our great Dimond neighborhood and locally crafted quality beers, and create a family friendly festival that raises funds for important Dimond community projects.
Description: Oaktoberfest in the Dimond is Oakland’s family friendly craft beer festival and the biggest event held in the Dimond each year. Now in its tenth year, the festival brings out neighbors near and far. Beyond the beer, Oaktoberfest features food, entertainment, artisans, community groups, local schools, organizations of faith, elected officials, and service providers. The DIA and the Dimond merchants’ association are the principal sponsors and invest the proceeds back into the community. In 2017, in celebration of the tenth anniversary, Oaktoberfest will run two days (instead of one)—September 30 and October 1.
Join Us! First of all, mark the dates on your calendar and plan to attend. Bring family and friends. We can also use many more volunteers before the event and on the days of. If you can help, please contact us! We guarantee that you’ll have great time.
Dimond News Group
Moderators: Carol Lonergan and Kathleen Russell
Purpose: The Dimond News Group, sponsored by the Dimond Improvement Association, is an email list serve that provides the greater Dimond District and nearby neighborhoods with local information and a way to communicate with each other about issues and opportunities of local interest.
Description: This news group is a private, moderated list that adheres to DIA and Google list guidelines. It is on a Google platform, offering subscribers the ability to post graphics and photos. Subscribers are also able to select their preferred delivery method (once daily, or all messages ‘as-they-post’). In addition, the Google platform offers a forum for easy reference of posts by chronology and topic. This forum can be viewed at https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/dimond-news-group. Subscriber email addresses are displayed with every post. The Dimond list was started in 1998 by Tim Chapman, an advocate of community communication, who moderated the list until 2014. The Dimond List transferred to the Google platform in 2015 under the guidance of DIA Chair Chris Harper, assisted by Mike Dodson, Carol Lonergan, and Kathleen Russell.
Join Us! Sign up and be connected! Community members are invited to join the Dimond News Group by sending an email to: DIA@dimondnews.org including first name and street name, as in: Tom/Fruitvale.
The DIA is always looking for volunteers to serve on on our committees. These committees tackle many projects in the DIA. You can volunteer to help out on specific committee projects or join a committee and be in on the decision-making about direction and future.
Members: Marion Mills, Robert Raburn, Tom Rose, Victoria Wake
Purpose: To organize with the community to initiate and maintain beautification projects in the Dimond District, creating an environment that is pleasant and inviting for the community to walk, shop, eat, and socialize with neighbors, family, and friends.
Current Projects: In fall 2016, we completed a survey of all trees in the commercial district and then walked the area with a city arboricultural inspector. Work orders are now into the Tree Services Division for pruning many trees and removing several that are either dead, ailing, or unsuitable for their location. At the same time, we’re working with the Sierra Club to plant more trees where feasible and also with an arborist-contractor to mulch all tree wells. Our first new tree was planted in April 2017 near Safeway!
Other projects include maintaining the Champion Transit Plaza shelter, kiosk, and landscape, under a 2013 agreement with the city, and participating in the Keep Oakland Beautiful effort to plant daffodil bulbs in public areas.
Join Us! We’re looking to expand the committee and accomplish more, so if you have ideas, skills, and/or time, please get in touch!
Members: Katherine Kott, JoAnn Tracht-Rawson, Victoria Wake
Purpose: We’re dedicated to keeping DIA members and the community informed about the many benefits and opportunities the Dimond District offers, and to encouraging community spirit and participation.
Current Projects: The Dimond News Group (free subscription listserve) is the go-to place to hear from your neighbors and share the latest happenings, get advice, and make connections. The brand new DIA website provides the background and basics for anyone who wants to know more about the community. And the newly revived DIA e-newsletter promises to be a lively compendium of stories and announcements.
Join Us! If working on any of the above interests you, or if you’d like to help with publicity or develop displays, posters, and brochures, please get in touch.
Community Life Committee
Co-chairs: Ahmad Anderson, Katherine Kott
Members: Ahmad Anderson, Katherine Kott
Purpose: Our committee works to enrich and engage the lives of everyone in Dimond. We focus on providing opportunities for engagement for underserved members of our community.
Current Projects: We are collaborating with other organizations, city services, and the commercial community to enhance, promote, and develop programs for youth in Dimond, including internship and employment opportunities, creative spaces, and learning opportunities.
Join Us! Our programs are still in development so we are still defining our needs for volunteers. However, if you have or know of internship or employment opportunities, or have experience working with young people, feel free to get in touch.
Dimond Public Art
Chair: Julie Johnson
Members: Julie Johnson, Tim Little, Sara Newman, Karen Marie Schroeder, Ethan Snyderman, Ruth Villasenor, Shoshanna Zambryski-Stachel
Purpose: To develop the cultural, artistic and physical identity of the Dimond District. To beautify the neighborhood through creative, attractive, and unique artwork. To engage the community in the development and production of public art and related educational opportunities. To put on display some of the art in the neighborhood.
Description: Over the recent years, Dimond Public Art (DPA) has administered a public art grants program, conferred with and supported individual public art installations, and brought together local artists for community arts events. Some of the public art made possible through DPA includes:
- Dimond’s Hidden Jewels Mural (Farmer Joe’s)–Debra Koppman and Mandy Lockwood, Artists
- “I Love Dimond” Mural (MacArthur Blvd and Lincoln Ave.) – Debra Koppman (Creator) and Mandy Lockwood (Painter)
- Utility Box Mural (Fruitvale and MacArthur) – Querido Galdo, Artist
- Vintage Postcard Mural Project (St. Louis Veterinary, Fruitvale Ave.; Loard’s Ice Cream, MacArthur; Club 2101, Dimond Ave.) — Pam Consear, Artist
Current projects: DPA is coordinating the first-ever “Art in the Park” artisan fair in conjunction with the Dimond Picnic on July 23, 2017. We’re also looking into repurposing and installing the old Dimond Printers sign as public art in the Dimond.
Join Us! If you would like to help with these current projects, or if you have other ideas and energy to offer, please get in touch!
Economic Development Committee
Chair: Jennifer Joey Smith
Members: Farouq Alawdi, Julie Johnson, Robert Raburn, Ryan Romaneski, Jennifer Joey Smith, Daniel Swafford
Purpose: Our goal is to create a thriving, walkable business district for residents and visitors.
Description: The Dimond business district is thriving! We are working hard to market properties in cooperation with landlords and owners, and to assist potential tenants and owners by connecting them to appropriate city, county and business resources. Keeping the lines of communication open between business owners, potential owners, landlords and tenants is key. We also partner with the Dimond Business & Professional Association (Dimond merchants) and stay in touch with new owners to make sure they are moving along smoothly with new developments.
Current Projects: Current developments in our neighborhood include the former Dimond Printers, former Blockbuster Video, former Full Moon Seafood House, former Champion Street Firehouse, former Curves space and four other storefronts at 2011 MacArthur. There’s a lot going on!
Join Us! If you would like to participate in these efforts, please get in touch!
Homeless & Panhandling Committee
Chair: Marion Mills
Members: David Coleman, Stan Dodson, Marion Mills, Tom Rose
Purpose: To help persons who are in need of assistance and to create an environment that makes for a comfortable place to live.
Description: The DIA works to improve the quality of life for all residents in the Dimond District. In this regard, our committee works with the local community, and city and private agencies to reduce the number of panhandling and homeless persons in the Dimond commercial area. The assistance offered includes connecting to social services that provide temporary housing, emergency food, health referrals, and clothing. In addition, other city personnel, such as the Police Department’s Neighborhood Services Coordinator and Community Resource Officer and Neighborhood Services Coordinator, are available.
Join Us! If you would like to be involved in these issues, please get in touch!
Membership & Volunteer Development Committee
Members: Farouq Alawdi, Fran Donohue, Katherine Kott, Robert Raburn, Ryan Romaneski
Purpose: We’re all about recruiting and retaining members, and expanding volunteer opportunities and engagement in the community. Member and volunteer outreach can take many forms, including in-person tabling at events and in the commercial area, online publicity, special member and volunteer activities…and more. New ideas are always welcomed! Also within the committee’s role is the processing and recording of dues and contributions, and managing the DIA member database.
Join Us! If you’d like to lend a hand on these efforts, please get in touch with us!
Public Safety Committee
Co-Chairs: Carol Lonergan, Matthew Longergan
Members: Ahmad Anderson, Zandile Christian, David Coleman, Stan Dodson, Carol Lonergan, Matthew Lonergan, Daniel Swafford
Purpose: To work to deter, and to respond to, crime in our neighborhood. We want merchants, residents, and shoppers ALL to feel safe as they visit, patronize, or just pass through our primary commercial district.
Description: Our first project, rolling out in phases, is the installation of surveillance cameras, in partnership with Dimond merchants and the Oakland Police Department.