Citi Property Holdings, Inc.: Save the Marcus Garvey Building home of Overcomers with Hope
  • Petitioned Vikram Pandit

This petition was delivered to:

CEO, Citigroup, Citi Property Holdings Inc.
Vikram Pandit

Citi Property Holdings, Inc.: Save the Marcus Garvey Building home of Overcomers with Hope

    1. Ayori Selassie
    2. Petition by

      Ayori Selassie

      Oakland, CA

  1.  
  2.   
August 2013

Victory

Ayori Selassie: I am happy to announce that The Save Liberty Hall Campaign has saved the Marcus Garvey Building and therefore recovered the National Historic Landmark. The deal closed last week to buy the building back from a Hedge Fund (subsidiary of Citibank) and all the community services rendered within. This would not have been possible without the support of those who signed this petition, attended our community town hall meetings, passed out flyers, spread the word via social media, and supported this cause by coming together! Special thanks to the private donor (who wishes to remain anonymous) who stepped forward to enable this deal to take place! Our work is not done, we still need to raise another $500,000 for this project and I hope you all will continue to support us as we make this National Historic Landmark a steward and prime example of African American History. I'm happy to make this announcement on the end of Marcus Garvey's birthday as a showing of respect for his legacy and what his vision represented for American people of African descent. Please join me in celebration by spreading the word of this success and the continued efforts to bring more entrepreneurial services to our communities! Fore more information see: http://hellaoccupyoakland.org/oaklands-marcus-garvey-building-saved-from-citibank-foreclosure

Liberty Hall, also called The Marcus Garvey Building is a National Landmark and Historic Building in West Oakland, CA. Since Liberty Hall’s purchase by a HEDGE FUND (Citi Property Holdings, Inc) Overcomers With Hope (a non-profit organization that trains at risk youth in Television/Digital Arts Media Production) is being forced to leave and relocate their program after they previously signed a 10 year lease with the previous owners of Liberty Hall. Citi Property Holdings, Inc. refused to issue a proper lease. Please help save the Marcus Garvey Building/Liberty Hall and the community services delivered by Overcomers With Hope by signing this petition.

Liberty Hall is the only privately funded renovation project dealing with black history in Northern California (the project was started by Sister Pat Sears, CST, and Sister Joanna Bramble, CST), and is significant in the area of Ethnic/Black Heritage because it served from 1925 to 1931 as headquarters for Local 188 of Marcus Garvey's Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA).  It was home to the movement's largest chapter in Northern California, and from 1932 was the main Oakland branch Father Divine's Peace Mission. Liberty Hall is significant because it was owned—not rented—by the local chapters of both movements. This is a national landmark and has been a staple to the West Oakland community for over 100 years by being a beacon for community service, goodwill, and empowerment.


Overcomers With Hope (OWH), founded by Bishop J. E. Watkins, is the current tenant of Liberty Hall, 1485 8th Street, Oakland, CA, and is a non-profit organization that trains at risk youth in Television/Digital Arts Media Production.   Overcomers With Hope also uses the building as a community center that organizes referrals for jobs, food, utilities restoration, housing search and financial assistance.  They will even help those in need with finding a means for first and last month’s rent and help pay up to 3 months in back rent.  Bishop Watkins operates a community chapel in the building with counseling and prayer services from 10-4pm, with a 24 hour prayer line in the works.  Citi Property Holdings, Inc. has refused to renew the lease for Overcomers With Hope at Liberty Hall which means Overcomers With Hope needs to relocate and find a new home (by February 2, 2013) for over $1 million worth of equipment, and find a new place to render services to the community, putting their constituents in West Oakland at further risk.


We are asking Citi Property Holdings, Inc to sell the property at a FAIR market value with an affordable scheduled payment plan; Overcomers With Hope’s programs are a beacon of light to the block of Eighth Street and Chester, from youth to elderly citizens who leverage the information center. Work with them to make Liberty Hall an even brighter star for the community members of West Oakland so the next 30 years of redevelopment will show even greater hopes for the future.


Over the past 3 months, Overcomers With Hope lost $170,000 worth of grant funding (from the City of Oakland and federal government) to repair Liberty Hall and continue to run their programs at no cost to Citi Property Holdings, Inc. (new owners). This was a result of a decision to refuse a renewal of the lease, which made Overcomers ineligible to claim these grants and others.   Overcomers With Hope originally had a 10 year lease, and when the property was picked up during the foreclosure a hand written, month-to-month lease was sent to Bishop Watkins.  In good faith, Bishop Watkins signed the lease as it was reported that the 10 year lease was unable to be located by the prior owners or the new ones.  When Bishop Watkins presented the hand written lease to the City of Oakland as part of the process to secure the grants, the lease was questioned because of the lack of professionalism in its appearance.


We ask now for your commitment in supporting ownership of Liberty Hall by an organization who is committed to the continued rendering of community services to support economic development for the under-served community, especially the African Americans who have traditionally settled in that area of West Oakland. I implore you to look into the vast history of this building and it's national, and local significance to our country and work with us to preserve it's future as a bedrock in the community of West Oakland, California.  
For more information and updates on this campaign like our facebook page to Save the Marcus Garvey Building.


Thank you,


Bishop J.E. Watkins, Pastor Jack London Square Chapel Ministries, C.O.G.I.C.
Founder, Overcomers With Hope

William Hammons
General Manager, Urban Advantage Consulting

Ayori Selassie
Founder/Director, Pitch Mixer Entrepreneur Forum
Oakland Native and Concerned Citizen

Kellie Hunter
Founder, Things A Brew

Faye Oliver
Supporter

Akiko Takashima
Founder, Chief Business Development Officer, Intuitive Interactive
Oakland Native

Aaron Patrick Darby
Concerned Citizen

 

Shake Anderson

Executive Director, OMY Artist Development

 

To:
Vikram Pandit, CEO, Citigroup, Citi Property Holdings Inc.
Don't Evict Overcomers With Hope from Liberty Hall, 1485 8th Street, Oakland, California. Liberty Hall is a property recently acquired by Citi Property Holdings, Inc. Liberty Hall is a national landmark and should be reserved to deliver community services to residents of West Oakland as it has been for the last 100 years.

Sincerely,
[Your name]

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Oakland National Historic landmark evades forclosure

      Ayori Selassie
      Petition Organizer

      Says Fong, “When we work together, we can fight and win. As a nation, we face the greatest consolidation of wealth and power that we’ve ever known. A comparatively few people and organizations are monopolizing our public life. A large portion of that consolidation is happening through foreclosures. If we want to turn that back, we have to organize. The process that we went through in saving Liberty Hall is something that other communities and organizations can replicate.”

      http://oaklandlocal.com/2013/08/oakland-landmark-evades-forclosure/

    2. Victory: With your support we've Saved Liberty Hall

      Ayori Selassie
      Petition Organizer

      I am happy to announce that The Save Liberty Hall Campaign has saved the Marcus Garvey Building and therefore recovered the National Historic Landmark. The deal closed last week to buy the building back from a Hedge Fund (subsidiary of Citibank) and all the community services rendered within.

      This would not have been possible without the support of those who signed this petition, attended our community town hall meetings, passed out flyers, spread the word via social media, and supported this cause by coming together!

      Special thanks to the private donor (who wishes to remain anonymous) who stepped forward to enable this deal to take place!

      Please join me in celebration by spreading the word of this success and the continued efforts to bring more entrepreneurial services to our communities!

      Fore more information see: http://hellaoccupyoakland.org/oaklands-marcus-garvey-building-saved-from-citibank-foreclosure/

      Ayori

    3. Keep Pressure on the Bank! Share this Petition with your friends

      Ayori Selassie
      Petition Organizer

      Local KTVU News Station covered the campaign to #SaveLibertyHall and Save the community services rendered to the community in Oakland at the Marcus Garvey Building and National Historic Landmark. WATCH HERE: bcove.me/z4cvcv1y

      Then Share this petition with your friends. Thank you for your support!

    4. Reached 500 signatures
    5. Town Hall Meeting Saturday @ 4pm | Candle Light Vigil to End Violence @ 5pm

      Ayori Selassie
      Petition Organizer

      End Gun Violence Candle Light Vigil
      Liberty Hall - National Landmark - The Marcus Garvey Building
      1485 8th Street
      Oakland, CA 94621
      Saturday, 15 Dec 2012, 5:00 PM
      The Friends of Liberty Hall demand action now to end gun violence and other forms of violence in our community. We must advocate, design and organize solutions to help victims of mental illness, poverty, and social injustice to pretect our communities and keep our childrn safe. Please join us in front of Liberty Hall for a candle light vigil to end gun violence at 5PM, prior to that we will have a Town Hall Meeting to #SaveLibertyHall at 4PM.

      Signup to attend Town Hall Meeting & Candle Light Vigil here: http://www.facebook.com/events/306515392793198/

      Signup for Vigil only here:
      http://pol.moveon.org/event/endviolence/136598

      MoveOn.org Civic Action

      Message from your host, Ayori S.: The Friends of Liberty Hall demand action now to end gun violence and other forms of violence in our community. We must advocate, design and organize solutions to help victims of mental illness, poverty, and social injustice to pretect our communities and keep our childrn safe.

    6. We need you NOW MORE THAN EVER - Please share this email with your friends!

      Ayori Selassie
      Petition Organizer

      Thanks to you our Petition now has 400 Signatures. But we can't stop there! Now is the time to share the link with your friends and keep the momentum going! We the bank this week but they won't respond to our calls, we are still being ignored. We need to apply pressure to the banks to #SaveLibertyHall and keep The Marcus Garvey Building dedicated to the community!

      We need your support to make Citi Property Holdings sell this building back to the community! Share the link with your friends and network.

      Contact me directly if you can help us get this message to the press and other community resources who can help us spread the word and get more support. We are also looking for help to build our fundraising team.

      Thank you for spreading the word and supporting this cause!

      - Friends of Liberty Hall

      Citi Property Holdings, Inc.: Save the Marcus Garvey Building home of Overcomers with Hope

      Liberty Hall, also called The Marcus Garvey Building is a National Landmark and Historic Building in West Oakland, CA. Since Liberty Hall's purchase by a HEDGE FUND (Citi Property Holdings, Inc) Overcomers With Hope (a non-profit organization that trains at risk youth in Television/Digital Arts Media Production) is being forced to leave and relocate their program after they previously signed a 10 year lease with the previous owners of Liberty Hall.

    7. Reached 250 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Kimberly Touray OAKLAND, CA
      • about 1 year ago

      Main Line: (843) 846-8900

      Website: www.oyotunji.org

      Email: info@oyotunji.org

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Tim Stewart EMERYVILLE, CA
      • over 1 year ago

      Because it houses a program the helps underprivileged youths a chance to become productive well-rounded citizens.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Camille Graves OAKLAND, CA
      • over 1 year ago

      We need this place for community members to gather and make positive changes.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Shamia Thompson OAKLAND, CA
      • over 1 year ago

      Because history is important and should never be torn down or destroyed. Period.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • james kamau BURNABY, CANADA
      • over 1 year ago

      Preserve Black History

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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