PROJECTS & COMMITTEES
Community Grants Program
DIA launched its grants program in 2019 with the goal of encouraging and supporting community-based projects that advance DIA’s mission. In February 2020, eight awardees received grants ranging from $750 to $1,500. In November 2022, four awardees received grants ranging from $900 to $1,425. See the guidelines for this most recent grant cycle.
Business Improvement District Feasibility Study
In 2021, DIA sought and received funds from the City to explore the formation of a business improvement district (BID). A BID is a public-private partnership—often made up of property owners, residents, and businesses—dedicated to improving a neighborhood’s quality of life through economic and community development. Formation is a multi-step process, beginning with a feasibility study. Learn more.
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
Coordinator: Fidel Valenzuela
Team Leads: Jay Ashford, Noel Black, MarySue Fisher, Heather Harris, Alex Park, Karen Marie Schroeder, Victoria Wake, Marty Wunsch
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–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 14 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 providing “thank you” cards good for coffee and treats for volunteers. KDC contracts with a small, Oakland-based company to do litter pick-up and additional services the other five days of the week, and raises more than $20,000 a year – about half from Oaktoberfest proceeds and about half from the community – to cover the cost. Read more about Keep Dimond Clean and consider donating to the Keep Dimond Clean Fundraiser.
Join Us! Come join the crew any Wednesday or Saturday. Meet at the parking lot at Giant Burgers, 2055 MacArthur Blvd. (at Dimond Ave.) at 8:30am on Wednesdays and 9:00am on Saturdays. All supplies are provided and we’re done in an hour.
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 eleventh 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 Business & Professional Association (merchants’ association) are the principal sponsors and invest the proceeds back into the community.
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
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. 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: Moderators@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.
Co-Chairs: Dave Gross, Heather Harris
Members: Lindsey Berking, Zandille Christian, Julie Johnson, Judy Klinger, Charis Jones-Allen, Alex Park, Judy Shonebaum, JoAnn Tracht-Rawson, Victoria Wake, Don Woods
Purpose: To initiate, organize, and maintain a clean, green, and artistically rich community to walk, shop, eat, and socialize with neighbors, family, and friends.
Current Projects: Keep Dimond Clean program. Dimond Public Art program. Tree-planting and landscape care program. More details coming soon. Meanwhile, check out our Virtual Public Art Tour and our Beauty Spots webpage
Join Us! We need a lot of creative, organizing, and hands-on help to keep our spaces looking good.
Community Engagement and Volunteer Outreach
Co-Chairs: Anoush Jackson-Satler, Michaela Sangalli Guiliano
Members: Jay Ashford, Zandile Christian, Chris Harper, Heather Harris, Julie Johnson, Carol Lonergan, Malia Miller
Purpose: To educate, inform, inspire, motivate, engage, uplift, and connect with the Dimond District, ensuring that community members can access and contribute to valued social connections and activities. We also manage DIA communications, social media, and the DIA membership databases.
Current Projects: We coordinate DIA General Meetings, fund Community Grants and plan and coordinate special events in the community. We support the Dimond News Group which is the go-to place to hear from your neighbors and share the latest happenings, get advice, and make connections, as well as the DIA Facbook page and Instagram. We support the DIA website which provides the background and basics for anyone who wants to know more about the community and the DIA e-newsletter, which is a lively compendium of stories and announcements.
Join Us! You like event planning, grants, volunteer outreach, communications, and connecting with others to help build a community!
Economic and Business Development Committee
Chair: Bret Peterson
Members: Maddie Dewitt, May Seto Wasem, Daniel Swafford, Anoush Jackson-Satler, Michaela Sangalli Guiliano, Kevin Whittinghill
Purpose: Our goal is to create a thriving, walkable business district for residents and visitors.
Description: The Dimond business district is growing stronger! 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 among 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.
Join Us! You are passionate about ensuring a vibrant, flourishing commercial district in the Dimond. You like talking to business owners about what makes them tick. You enjoy planning events that bring the community together
Public Safety Committee
Chair: Kevin Whittinghill
Members: Tom Donovan, David Gross, Chris Harper, Malia Miller, Bret Peterson, Daniel Swafford, Victoria Wake, Don Woods
Purpose: The Public Safety Committee works to deter, and to respond to, crime in our neighborhood and reduce the number of panhandling and homeless persons in the commercial area, so that merchants, residents, and shoppers enjoy and feel safe as they visit, patronize, or just pass through our neighborhood. The committee is also working on pedestrian, bicycle, and motor vehicle safety.
In summer 2021, the committee conducted its first-ever Dimond Pubic Safety Survey to gather feedback from the community on the safety issues more important to them. See the survey results.
Join us! If you care about improving public safety in the Dimond and/or you wish to work with city representatives (OPD, City Council) to advocate for policies and resources that will reduce crime in our neighborhoods.