The newsletter is back! It’s been a while since the last one went out and so much has happened, from COVID-19 updates to a new Omni Collective! We are happy to bring this back and share with all of you some of the exciting happenings going on at the Omni Commons.
It’s a new year, and as we celebrate our one-year anniversary of collectively owning the building, we have ambitious plans for improving the Commons to be as useful as possible to the amazing grassroots projects and rad organizations that share and steward the space.
That’s why we recently launched a crowdfunding campaign to build out the kitchen in Omni’s basement for use by Food Not Bombs, Phat Beets Produce, Counter Culture Labs, Bay Area Applied Mycology, The Village in Oakland #FeedThePeople, and the many others in the community in need of an affordable commercial kitchen.
Since last newsletter, Omni Commons’ Building/Permits and Finance Working Groups (WGs) collaborated on replacing the chandelier bulbs in the Ballroom with LEDs. This $260 investment will save us thousands in the decade to come. Building/Permits has also been responding to leaks and working up a 5 year plan for Commons maintenance and upgrades, while Fundraising WG seeks grants for the plan. And as of April, the Omni has a monthly cleaning day: second Tuesdays at 5:30pm. With those LEDs, that plan and fundraising, monthly cleaning en masse, and the Commons WG keeping the Omni booked (and raising plenty of funds, Finance WG reminds us), the future’s looking bright!
As most readers will know by now, we did it! Since December 2016, through the work and support of many, in ways big and small, we collectively own 4799 Shattuck Ave. Your tax-deductible donations now go directly toward monthly mortgage payments and a growing capital fund to improve the building. Thanks especially to our Fundraising and Finance working groups. Don’t forget to congratulate your fellow Commoners!
We’ve been changing the exterior of the Omni to increase security, accessibility, and improve the buildings appearance. You may have seen our beautiful new front door that improves wheelchair accessibility. Exterior lighting has been repaired and we will add more as finances permit. After long discussions about privacy and security concerns, we have developed a security camera system that ensures footage can only be used when necessary for increasing the safety of our community. You will soon see security cameras mounted to observe key areas of the exterior and sidewalk. The cypress trees have been pruned back, but there is discussion about problems with them, such as providing hiding places for both people and objects, and the mess they leave on the sidewalk.