Oakland Promise Inauguration Gala Asks $1 Million Sponsorship

ONN – Oakland Promise Inauguration Gala Asks $1 Million Sponsorship

The letter was well-meaning, of course:

Please join us for the Mayor’s Inauguration Gala to Benefit the Oakland Promise at the historic Fox Theater on Friday, January 11th.

Help us celebrate the incredible impact of the Oakland Promise for Oakland students and families, including:

– Opening college savings accounts for babies in Oakland and providing financial coaching for their parents
– Serving nearly 10,000 students at 60 Oakland Public Schools
– Experiencing double digit gains in college enrollment for our Latinx and African American students
– Supporting nearly 1100 public school high school graduates to go to college with $8.5 million in scholarships through the East Bay College Fund.

During the event, expect Oakland home-grown talent and an exciting announcement about an opportunity that will serve a generation of students and families!

And so, excited to land tickets, I clicked on the link. The first number in my face was $1,000,000 and then a giant + sign below it, with zero on one side, and a 1 on the other. I figured it was a kind of HTML code that allowed me to reduce the $1,000,000 – which as it turned out, was a sponsorship level, and the top one. But no, it wasn’t a reduction option, but a “number of” option. So, if you have $3 million to spend, you put a “3” in the field.


I scrolled down and realized that the tickets ranged from $5,000 for a “Promise Supporter” and $1,000 for a dinner ticket.   Not $500, but $1,000.  Not $250, but $1,000.   Wow.

That $1,000 can help pay rent for many in Oakland.  It’s also 50 percent of the rent for a 1-bedroom place in Adams Point.

I was floored.

This is Oakland? In the middle of an emergency homeless situation, we ask for a million dollar sponsorship for kids that have more than the people on the street we need to help now. What is it with this thing where Oakland and Mayor Schaaf seem to want to give just a little to say “we’re helping the homeless,” rather than move money to change the market so that the number of homeless people is reduced?

I don’t get it. I really don’t.

Maybe someone can explain what this is about?

Happy Thanksgiving!

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