Community Democracy Project

Welcome to CDP, Oakland’s all-volunteer campaign for a more democratic budget process! The Community Democracy Project (CDP) promotes active citizenship, community learning, and direct democracy by putting the people in charge of the budget. Our voter initiative will change the Oakland City Charter so that we the people decide how our tax money is spent. Please explore our site to learn more about the initiative and how you can get involved.

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Your City. Your Budget. Imagine That.

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Help us make history in Oakland!

First and foremost, we want to give a shout out to YOU and the rest of our supporters, who have shown us an overwhelming amount of excitement and dedication as we get ready to launch our signature gathering campaign! Our amazing CDP members and volunteers have already committed to gathering thousands of signatures. Thank you!

How many hours will you pledge to help make history in Oakland? May 1st is quickly approaching, and we need all hands on deck! The way we want Oakland to look and feel in the next five years (and beyond!) is up to us. With just two weeks left to prepare before our official signature gathering launch, we ask you to consider supporting and engaging with us, as we campaign to institutionalize the validity of neighborhood voices and direct democracy.

We have exactly six months from our start date to collect 40,000 signatures from registered Oakland voters. If you are willing to spare just two hours out of your month for the next six months, we can easily reach our goal!

Can’t wait til May 1st to get involved? No problem! Join us this Saturday, April 18th for a phone-banking party from 1:30 PM-3:00 PM. You can meet our members, and help us reach out to fellow supporters to rally support for our campaign. Please RSVP tocommunitydemocracyproject@ for location information.

In solidarity,

Victoria and the CDP team

PS. CDP is an all-volunteer organization, but we need money to run a campaign! Visit our crowdfunding site today and donate! Thanks to our generous supporters, we have already reached 40% of our initial fundraising goal. If everyone gave just $1, we could easily reach our goal overnight!

Cartoons, Crowd-funding, and Community

The Community Democracy Project’s signature gathering campaign launch date is quickly approaching.

This means we need money to file and print our initiative. That’ll cost about $3,000 and we need to raise that much by May 1st!

Please donate today and watch CDP’s animated video about our vision for a people’s budget.

As you’ll learn from our video, to get our initiative on the ballot, we need to gather 40,000 signatures from Oakland residents.

CDP members and volunteers have already committed to gathering 36,418 signatures!

It takes about one hour to gather 16 signatures. That means we need less than 20 folks to pledge 12 hours each.

That’s only 2 hours per month between May 1st and October 28th! Admit it… that’s probably less than the time you spend every month feeling frustrated with the current system.

Maya Angelou once said, “If you don’t like something, change it.”

So…will you pledge at least 12 hours to help us create an infrastructure for community, democracy, and mass movement?

In solidarity,

Tia and the CDP team

P.S. Did this e-mail inspire you so much that you want to start helping us ASAP? If so, please attend our phone-banking party this Saturday, April 11 from1:00pm to3:00pm (Location: TBD). We plan to call all of our supporters to let them know that the campaign for a people’s budget starts on May 1st. Email us at communitydemocracyproject@ to RSVP.

Ready, Set, LAUNCH with CDP!

Calling all supporters! We are excited to announce that we are in the process of filing our petition with the city of Oakland, and we will be officially launching our signature campaign in just one month! Starting May 1st, we will have six months to gather signatures from Oakland residents so that we can get our initiative on the ballot and put the people of Oakland in charge of the city’s budget!

Many hands make light work, so we need as many volunteers as possible to help gather signatures. Spread the word, and contact us directly for more information about how to get involved! In the meantime, here are three things that you can do to get involved RIGHT NOW!

1) We will be hosting another Yard Sale/Phonebank Outreach on Saturday, April 4th from 2 pm-5 pm. Meet us at Alchemy Cafe at 1741 Alcatraz Ave in Berkeley, and help us reach out to our supporters to mobilize and get volunteer hours committed for our signature gathering launch! For more information, check out our Facebook event page.

2) Pledge to gather signatures! Have you been jonesing to get out there with CDP and chop it up with folks all over Oakland? Never fear, we have plenty of opportunities to get involved! Fill out a pledge form and we will follow up with to get you set up with a signature gathering crew.

3) We are always accepting donations, which is a great way to show your support if you’re not able to volunteer with us! As an all-volunteer campaign, we rely on community donations to fund our campaign. All proceeds go directly to the costs of running a campaign – none of our members or directors are paid for the countless hours that they continue to commit to our cause.

We thank you for your support!

In Solidarity,

Victoria and the CDP Team

Jump In, Join Up with CDP this Sunday!

There’s no time like the present to jump in and join the Community Democracy Project as we explore another Oakland neighborhood! This Sunday we’ll be hitting up Jack London Square to talk to folks about their vision for Oakland.

What: Another installment of Sunday street conversations. If you’re new, we’ll provide a brief training and orientation on community outreach and engagement. Then we’ll head out to talk to people we encounter about what they’d like to see in Oakland. Check out our Instagram for some great snapshots of past conversations!
When: Sunday, March 29th 12pm-2pm. Afterwards join us from 2-3pm to hang out and have some delicious eats! (Hint: it will include chicken & waffles!)
Where: Jack London Square. Email communitydemocracyproject@ to RSVP and for location details.

MEANWHILE, in the campaign room…


CDP members and volunteers are excitedly gearing up to launch our next signature gathering campaign! We will be launching in the next couple months, so stay tuned, and sharpen those signature gathering skills! If you’d like to be involved in helping launch our campaign, we would love to have you – email communitydemocracyproject@ to set up a meeting to discuss how you can plug into this momentous campaign.

Don’t have time? We’re always accepting donations! As an all-volunteer campaign, all of our funds come from community members like YOU and will support our signature gathering drive. We thank you for your support!

In solidarity,

Allee and the CDP team

Love Oakland? Interested in social justice?

Looking for something different to do this weekend? Meet interesting people who also love Oakland? Be a part of a movement to create social change?

The most meaningful part of my experience in CDP has been going out and interacting with people in our community. I’ve talked to so many people who are passionate about Oakland and who are looking for real social change. Believe me, there are a lot of us!

Just last Sunday, I had a great conversation with this Oakland local, who said the following:

My voice and my opinion needs to mean something. Let me listen to you, listen to me, and let’s make a positive change in the community

Are you ready to listen? Join us this Sunday for some important conversations about the future of Oakland!

What: Taking it to the People: Sunday Street Conversations
When: Sunday March 22nd 2014 1-3PM. Afterwards join us for coffee from 3-4 to debrief and relax.
Where: RSVP to for location

In solidarity,

Mandy and the CDP team


Come to our Garage Sale For Good!

Ah, Sunday afternoon! What better way to spend a lovely day in the sun than at our CDP Garage Sale for Good?

This Sunday from 1 – 5pm, CDP will be posted up outside Alchemy Collective Café with all sorts of treasures, trinkets and threads for sale. And of course, we’ll never neglect the opportunity to spread the people power message to community members that stop by.

Got gently used items you’d like to contribute? You’re definitely invited to bring them along. All unsold items will be donated to the local Goodwill.

One man’s junk is another’s treasure. Join us in our quest for a more democratic budget process for Oakland! CLICK HERE to RSVP.

Community Conversations! We’ll also have Street Teams out and about making connections with folks in the area (Ashby Flea Market, anyone?). Meet at 1 for a quick training and to join a team.

When: Sunday, March 15, at 1pm. (Street Teams go until 3, Garage Sale until 5,).

Where: Outside Alchemy Collective (worker–owned cooperative bordering Berkeley and Oakland), 1741 Alcatraz Avenue, Berkeley

Can’t make it then? Join us later!

3pm-4pm: Garage Sale and Street Teams will be meeting up for drinks. RSVP for location.

4pm-6pm: Phone banking at Alchemy Collective while Garage Sale continues

***Also, time is nearly up to cast your vote. What’s in store for CDP’s new logo? Your vote can help decide. CLICK HERE to vote by Saturday.

In solidarity,

Gabrielle and the CDP Team

Oakland’s fave logo+Grand Lake Theater on Sunday!

Vote for Your Favorite Logo, Plus New Weekly Event Kickoff!

The competing designs are in, and now it’s up to you to vote for our new CDP logo! The winning logo will be revealed in our next newsletter, and it will also be featured on our website, social media, flyers, and cell phone covers. (Just kidding about the last one… or are we?) Click here to pick your favorite! Voting ends Friday, March 13th.


We are excited to announce a brand new weekly CDP event, and everyone is invited! Join us THIS SUNDAY, March 8th to kick off an afternoon of meeting new friends, creating buzz for the people’s budget, taking pictures, and having fun in our beautiful city. Our weekly event is in three parts: we will engage in an outreach activity, followed by a recreational activity with new and old CDP friends, and then phone banking/email banking to connect with those who have shown interest in having a participatory budget in Oakland. The plan for this Sunday:

1-3 pm: Meet in front of Grand Lake Theater (3200 Grand Ave, Oakland, CA 94610). We will split off into teams to ask Oakland folks about their vision for an economically just Oakland, and what they would spend $1 million on for their neighborhood. Check out our Instagram for responses from our previous experiences!

3-4 pm: Soccer at Eastshore Park (between Grand Ave, Lakeshore Ave, and MacArthur Blvd) with food!

4-6 pm: Phone-banking/email-banking!

This will be a great time to bring friends, meet our new members/directors/volunteers, and meet up with people who hella love Oakland. Hope to see youthis Sunday at any of our activities! RSVP to

Stay tuned for more exciting events!

In Solidarity,

Talia and the CDP Team

Breakfast+People+Power Neighborhood Hangout Sunday!

If you’ve been looking for the right time to become involved in our campaign, this is it.

New and not sure what we’re about?
Looking to reconnect with the campaign again?
Passionate about social justice and community organizing?

CDP is hanging out with some of our neighbors in East Oakland this Sunday March 1st. There will be breakfast, coffee, and great conversation about the future of Oakland. Come start off Sunday morning the right way your fellow neighbors!

What: CDP Neighborhood Hangout

When: Sunday March 1st 11am-1pm
Where: RSVP for location

Looking forward to see you all there!

In solidarity,
Mandy and CDP team

If you had $1 million to spend on your neighborhood…

If you had a million dollars to spend on your neighborhood or community, what would you spend it on?

This Sunday: Street Conversations for Economic Justice in Oakland

On Sunday, February 22, we’re taking it to the streets (again!) to engage the people of Oakland in conversations about their vision for an economically just Oakland.

Specifically, we’re going to ask, “If you had a million dollars to spend on your neighborhood or community, what would you spend it on?”

We’re doing this to learn from our community. We believe what we learn on Sunday will help us create the blueprint for democracy and mass movement.

Personally, I’m going out there this Sunday because I’m sick and tired of hosting and attending fundraisers to fund programs that are doing really important work. If I had a million dollars, I’d prioritize my neighborhood’s domestic violence service organizations, rooftop edible gardens with collectively owned solar panels built by students (who get paid!), and worker-owned cooperatives.

I used to spend (or waste) a lot of time asking politicians to fund these types of projects.But now, rather than making demands from the power structure, I’m going to stand up with CDP and demand a change in the power structure itself!

If our initiative passes, we wouldn’t have to lobby politicians to spend OUR MONEY in OUR COMMUNITY. Instead, we’d have the difficult but exciting task of answering, “We have a billion-dollar budget in Oakland: What should we spend it on?”

Join us!

We’ll meet at Oscar Grant Plaza (AKA Frank Ogawa Plaza, right next to the 14th St. BART exit) at 11:30 am Sunday. There’ll be snacks, a short training, and then we’ll break out into small groups and fan out to neighborhoods across Oakland to speak directly with Oakland residents. Then we’ll come back together to share our experiences. All are welcome – just come ready to chat it up!

Invite your friends!

In solidarity,

Tia and the CDP Team

You. Me. We. Build the People’s Budget in Oakland.

Happy February!

While it’s only one month into the year CDP has already been busy working to deepen democracy here in Oakland.

During MLK Weekend in January, many groups in the Bay Area came together for 96 hours of action to reclaim Martin Luther King Jr’s legacy as a radical organizer who strived for more than just the end of segregation but also a paradigm shift that would bring true social, economic, and racial justice to the country and the world.

In that spirit CDP led our own action during MLK Weekend where we went out into the community to talk to residents about what MLK’s legacy means for them. We had an amazing time and met some amazing people. You can see some pictures of our event and the people we met on our Facebook page.

The Community Democracy Project’s vision is to see greater connection and engagement in the Oakland community and so we are continuing our street outreach by once again going out to talk to folk all over Oakland on Sunday, February 8th at 11am. RSVP to for location and details.

We hope you can join us in getting to know your city and it’s people and keeping Dr. King’s legacy alive throughout the year.

CDP will also be at the Social Justice Symposium at the First Presbyterian Church of Berkeley this Saturday, February 7th from 11:30am-1pm, so feel free to stop by and say hi, and learn about us and other community organizations.

Finally CDP is looking to create a new logo, and being a organization that is dedicated to community involvement we want you to submit your logo ideas. We want a logo that presents the core values of CDP, which you might have guessed are community, democracy and the elevation of people and their collective wisdom to power in the government. So please submit any logo ideas you have

For more information about The Community Democracy Project, visit our website. Also stay connected via Facebook and Twitter.

In Solidarity,

Kit and the CDP Team


Read our Weekly Newsletter to get updates on CDP.

Contact Us to get more info, share resources, or to endorse our initiative.