Land Action project in Oakland (1 Viewer)

Matt Derrick

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Hey folks, I got this email the other day and I think it might interest some of the folks here on StP, so I'm reposting the email in it's entirety so you get the whole story:

Dear squatter allies,

I am compelled to spread the word about this project: an organization called Land Action, started by my friend Steve DeCaprio (of squatter fame), is raising money toward their goal of starting one hundred new "urban micro-farms" in Oakland in the next five years. (More info below.)

Land Action is an awesome organization that has done much legal defense work for squatters and others facing eviction—they try not to use words like "squatting" in their solicitations for funds (because it sounds controversial), but that is exactly the idea behind their micro-farms proposal. They already have at least one demonstration of this concept, complete with a resident caretaker for the farm who is housed in a "tiny home" on the formerly abandoned and vacant lot.

I see this as one brilliant solution to land speculation run amok in Oakland. Please consider donating to their project or sending this request along to other interested people you may know. I've been away from Bay Area for a long time, but I know that this is one of the most exciting squatter campaigns in recent memory.

Also, a special hello to some of you whom I haven't connected with in many years! Please feel free to be in touch—I'd love to have you as a pen-pal. :)

Thanks for your attention in this matter!

Much love,
Hannah
-------------------------

A letter from Steve DeCaprio:

Dear friends, allies and supporters,

I am writing to announce that Land Action is launching our campaign to create 100 farms in Oakland in the next 5 years.

Land Action has had many victories since I founded the organization in 2011. Recently Land Action was able to prevent the eviction of gardens in Oakland that the city had planned to sell to developers. Not only were we able to stop the evictions, but we were able to develop a framework with the city and the county to create more gardens, farms, and conservation projects on abandoned properties throughout the city.

However as we move forward we have a huge challenge.

First, it is uncertain if the understanding we have with the city will remain in place as we move forward. There is constant pressure by developers to acquire the properties that can be used for urban agriculture and open space. Also, there has been a change in leadership within the city of Oakland.

Second, even if the city and county follow through with our agreements Land Action needs to build the capacity to reach out to our urban agriculture community as well as facilitate the setup of these farms throughout the City of Oakland.

Because of these challenges Land Action has decided to move forward with a campaign to create 100 farms in Oakland in the next 5 years so we can mobilize support to force the City of Oakland to maintain its commitment to the urban agriculture program.

Land Action has already facilitated the establishment of the Buried Seeds Medicinal Garden. Now we have 99 farms to go. Land Action is advocating the microfarm approach where tiny homes are built on these sites so that stewards can access low cost housing thus making these farms economically, environmentally, and socially sustainable.

For Land Action to be successful in this campaign we need your support.

As we launch this campaign we have set a goal to raise $35,000 in the next 40 days.

We need your support!

Go to our website http://land-action.org and donate today.

Steven DeCaprio
 
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Matt Derrick

Matt Derrick

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it's a great idea, but it bums me out to see anarchists/activists/punks try to raise money and fall completely flat on their faces. the reason for this is because they have no real idea of how crowdfunding works, and everybody thinks it's just the equivalent of internet spanging, where you just put up a sign and everyone makes your dreams come true.

the reality is that crowdfunding is practically a full time job if you want it to be successful, and you have to provide incentives for people to give you money. no one gives a crap about an email thanking them, or an email of an image (which are 90% of this campaign's 'perks'). hell, if you donate TEN GRAND you only get a 'tour' of what they're working on.

folks need to start thinking through these kinds of campaigns more thoroughly, since 99.9% of the ones i see by people in our community/culture fail completely and utterly. that sucks, cause i'd really like to see something like this happen, but rarely are people willing to put forth the effort to make online fundraising actually work.
 

landpirate

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it's a great idea, but it bums me out to see anarchists/activists/punks try to raise money and fall completely flat on their faces. the reason for this is because they have no real idea of how crowdfunding works, and everybody thinks it's just the equivalent of internet spanging, where you just put up a sign and everyone makes your dreams come true.

the reality is that crowdfunding is practically a full time job if you want it to be successful, and you have to provide incentives for people to give you money. no one gives a crap about an email thanking them, or an email of an image (which are 90% of this campaign's 'perks'). hell, if you donate TEN GRAND you only get a 'tour' of what they're working on.

folks need to start thinking through these kinds of campaigns more thoroughly, since 99.9% of the ones i see by people in our community/culture fail completely and utterly. that sucks, cause i'd really like to see something like this happen, but rarely are people willing to put forth the effort to make online fundraising actually work.
Couldn't agree more. I think the other problem I find with crowdfunding things is that they are trying to get money from people who have no money. I see stuff all the time that I think is a great idea but I don't have any money to give. People need to advertise themselves outside of their own community because the thing is if you're a skint bum trying to raise money chances are everyone you know probably is too.

I also think people should be offered the chance to help in ways that aren't just money orientated. People can donate their time and skills or loan equipment etc.

I've worked as a charity fundraiser and it's bloody hard work. I sometimes find these half arsed attempts at crowdfunding a joke. Asking for $35,000 off the bat is pretty ridiculous also, people need to think that what they are giving is actually helping however small it is and if you know they are trying to get together $35,000 in one go your $5 seems pathetically small and so most people won't bother donating.

It does sound like a great project and it would be amazing if they can pull it together.
 
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Besides the crowdfunding aspect (we tried that a bit too but decided to give it a rest till we had more to show and offer and a bit more legitimacy) his project sounds like something we tried to do at anarchy and chaos. We actually built a tiny house at one location and the city bulldozed it supposedly because where we built it was technically on an old paper street. It's a bit encouraging that the city thought it needed that excuse to bulldoze our squat tiny house. It's encouraging simply because well another location (i wanted to do it more secluded if at all) the tiny house may have gotten to stay. It had been there for a year by the time it got bulldozed.This project sounds similar. There is even the framework with the city and developer story. Hmmm. It's interesting to see an idea that is almost the same on the other side of the country. We ended up deciding to see what we can do to fund it ourselves hence the idea of trying to start the permaculture oriented landscaping company. Once we begin to crowdfund again we can even offer that as a reward for donations (limited by distance from us obviously). Also in many senses, in the beginning, we don't need any funding to move some soil and plant some seeds. None of that is very expensive. Granted we have no aspirations of being able to pull off 100 micro farms within a year or whatever. We decided to focus on the core ecovillage project that hopefully becomes contagious combined with the permaculture oriented landscaping company that will seek IWW endorsement (i am not big into a hierarchy and all that) it think could create a pretty good focal for it to spread throughout the rest of Pittsburgh. I like to call it urban nonviolent guerilla warfare. At least when I try to describe what I mean by not getting to scattered.They push us out we pop up somewhere else. Create a strong focal (focal point) recruit the populace to be on your side, expand. I wonder if this guy from Oakland and land action would be interested in a permaculture oriented landscaping company idea to fund their projects. If done properly it can give people like us (i am assuming he likes this system about as much as me) that want out. A nonexploited job to work. They can escape the rat race and do something positive while still being able to pay the bills. Profits go into the micro farm project. That's what I would do if I were him. It's what we are trying to do. Even in the beginning if you can't find a market for permaculture landscaping normal landscaping waste will provide you with tons of materials for the micro farms. I think I may try to contact these people just to throw that idea out there. I think it's really the best hope for funding for our projects. I think I can even have it connected to the 501 (c)3 as long as profits (after paying labor and materials) go into the eco-village or micro farms projects. Just in case I suppose I should apply for a separate EIN in case I can't do that for some reason. Not too hard. I love the idea. But lack what seems to already of been said I don't have extra money to give to this. If I did it would have to go to my project anyways. I think he would be better off asking for resources or manpower. Because when it comes down to it...that's what this project needs. Not currency. I wonder how it is going now. I am going to go check that out.
 
Joined
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really gotta work on using that enter key my friend :p
Yeah, I probably should. I thought of it right before I posted the reply, but then in all reality, I would have had to reorder things as well. I kind of wrote it like a brainstorming session almost. I do need to get better with that though. I guess it would of looked something like this if i did it the first time.

This project sounds similar to what we are trying to do in Pittsburgh PA, besides the crowdfunding aspect which we tried to do on a much smaller scale. We only wanted like 2,500$. Enough to get first plot and 501 status.We ended up deciding to see what we can do to fund it ourselves hence the idea of trying to start the permaculture oriented landscaping company. Once we begin to crowdfund again we can even offer that as a reward for donations, limited by distance from us obviously. Also in many senses, in the beginning, we don't need any funding to move some soil and plant some seeds. None of that is very expensive. Granted we have no aspirations of being able to pull off 100 micro farms within a year or whatever. We decided to focus on the core ecovillage project that hopefully becomes contagious combined with the permaculture oriented landscaping company that will seek IWW endorsement (i am not big into a hierarchy and all that) it think could create a pretty good focal for it to spread throughout the rest of Pittsburgh.

We actually built a tiny house at one location and the city bulldozed it supposedly because where we built it was technically on an old paper street. It's a bit encouraging that the city thought it needed that excuse to bulldoze our squat tiny house. It's encouraging simply because well at another location that could have been a bit more secluded the tiny house may have gotten to stay. It had been there for a year by the time it got bulldozed..

There is even the framework with the city and developer part. Something exists like that in pittsburgh called the eco innovation project. All though there are some fears that developers may use it to gentrify with tiny house communities that our entirely to expensive. The framework here is abit of a mixed bag I guess. I think that is why the locals liked us at the city council meeting. We were a counter force to that.

I like to call it urban nonviolent guerilla warfare. At least when I try to describe what I mean by not getting to scattered.They push us out we pop up somewhere else. Create a strong focal (focal point) recruit the populace to be on your side, expand. I wonder if this guy from Oakland and land action would be interested in a permaculture oriented landscaping company idea to fund their projects. If done properly it can give people like us (i am assuming he likes this system about as much as me) that want out. A nonexploited job to work. They can escape the rat race and do something positive while still being able to pay the bills. Profits go into the micro farm project. That's what I would do if I were him. It's what we are trying to do. Even in the beginning if you can't find a market for permaculture landscaping normal landscaping waste will provide you with tons of materials for the micro farms. I think I may try to contact these people just to throw that idea out therI think it's really the best hope for funding for our projects. I think I can even have it connected to the 501 (c)3 as long as profits (after paying labor and materials) go into the eco-village or micro farms projects. Just in case I suppose I should apply for a separate EIN in case I can't do that for some reason. Not too hard.
I love the idea. But lack what seems to already of been said I don't have extra money to give to this. If I did it would have to go to my project anyways. I think he would be better off asking for resources or manpower. Because when it comes down to it...that's what this project needs. Not currency. I wonder how it is going now. I am going to go check that out.




Long story short I guess i am saying not pressing enter was only one of the problems. Everything was disordered and chaotic. That happens unless i conciously decide to edit it. Sorry. I sometimes forget i am not just brainstorming ideas.
 

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