PROJECTS & COMMITTEES
Community Grants Program
In December 2019, DIA launched a grants program with the goal of encouraging and supporting community-based projects that advance DIA’s mission. Applications for grants ranging from $250 to $1,500 were due January 31, 2020. See the guidelines for the first round. Awardees were announced February 18, 2020. See the first-round awardees.
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
Chair: Zandile Christian
Members: Zandile Christian, David Coleman, Stan Dodson, Tomasz Finc, Marion Mills, Tom Rose, 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 and additional services the other five days of the week and raises $21,620 a year – about two-thirds from Oaktoberfest proceeds and about a third from the community – to cover the cost. Read more about Keep Dimond Clean and consider donating to the Help! Keep Dimond Clean Fundraiser 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. All supplies are provided and 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 welcome more community volunteers, adults and youth (6+ years old) alike! Come out on Mondays at 8:00am, April through October. November through March, walks are held the first Monday of the month only. Meet us at the corner of Fruitvale and Lyman at the entrance to the park. All supplies are provided. Volunteers receive a La Farine Bakery coupon good for pastries and coffee for two. (Notice 3/19/20: All park litter walks have been cancelled until further notice due to the COVID-19 pandemic.)
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. In 2020, Oaktoberfest will run two days—October 3 and 4.
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.
Chair: JoAnn Tracht-Rawson
Members: Alex Park, David Gross, Julie Johnson, Lindsey Vontz, Victoria Wake, Zandille Christian
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: Since 2017, the committee has worked with the non-proft Trees for Oakland to identify locations for additional trees in the commercial area, ensure that the proposed plantings meet city requirements, and commit to watering the trees for their first three years. As of 2019, seven new trees were planted. We’re also endeavoring to care for the tree wells, seeing that they are weeded and mulched. The committee has undertaken numerous art projects including but not limited to
- 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
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. We’re also working to restore a small open-space area on Dimond Avenue overlooking Sausal Creek known as the Bienati Overlook. And we’re building a Beauty Spots webpage to highlight all the volunteer-energized public plantings in the district.
Join Us! We need a lot of hands-on help to keep our spaces looking good.
Community Care and Improvement Committee
Chair: Jay Ashford
Members: Julie Johnson, Marjorie Jones, Zandile Christian, Heather Harris
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.
Current Projects: Host, Plan, and Coordinate Quarterly DIA General Meetings. Fund 6-8 Community Grants in 2021. Plan and coordinate annual/special events in the community in 2021
Join Us! You like event planning, interesting topics, and interesting people! You like working with grants
Economic and Business Development Committee
Chair: Ryan Romaneski
Members: Bret Peterson, Erica Perz, Kevin Whittinghill, Lindsay Vontz, Marjorie Jones, Tomasz Finc
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
Membership and Outreach Commitee
Chair: Tomasz Finc
Members: Tomasz Finc, Amy Johnson, Carol Lonergan, Karen Marie Schroeder, JoAnn Tracht-Rawson, Jay Ashford, Chris Harper, Alex Park, Erica Perez
Purpose: We’re dedicated to growing the number of DIA members, increasing volunteer opportunities, and informing our community about neighborhood activities. 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.
Current Projects: The Dimond News Group (see above) is the go-to place to hear from your neighbors and share the latest happenings, get advice, and make connections, as is the brand new DIA Facbook page. The DIA website provides the background and basics for anyone who wants to know more about the community. And the quarterly DIA e-newsletter is 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.
Public Safety Committee
Chair: Kevin Whittinghill
Members: David Coleman, David Gross, Chris Harper, Alex Park, Bret Peterson, Daniel Swafford, Victoria Wake
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.