11 neighbors in the lefty Eastlake United for Justice group (EUJ) took a free 2.5-hour home safety and disaster preparedness class, CORE I, led by a lovely geologist named Jerry.

We want to improve our disaster readiness in light of the overdue earthquake anticipated to hit the San Francisco Bay Area any day now. This training covered a lot of ground — safety plans, evacuation strategies, gas and electric, water, food, and more. The basic premise is that we should be prepared, in the event of an earthquake or major disaster, to survive for 7 to 10 days with no running water, cell phones, or electricity.

Our larger vision is to support a culture in which neighbors reach out to each other for safety and support, instead of police, since police make things more dangerous.

Eastlake United for Justice – Group Intention

Our Neighborhood group initially came together with the intention of building neighborhood relationships, creating neighborhood security and alternatives to policing and surveillance, supporting individual families/households in preparing for emergencies and creating a network of mutual support with immediate neighbors in case of any emergency (fire, earthquake, storm, street violence, etc.) and prevent gentrification and displacement. We also have the intention of forming sub-working groups for neighborhood scale projects such as guerrilla gardening, advocating for affordable housing restoration, organizing cultural events, etc.We believe that all ecological and social problems stem from our profit-based economic system as well as the forms of discrimination that support it, and that organizing people into collective action to meet their needs and improve the conditions of their lives is one of the most critical and inspiring ways to build a just, safe and beautiful life for everyone.

Who should participate in the EUJ neighbor group?

Our neighborhood group seeks to cultivate neighborhood-level relationships between people who share our intention and believe left politics and political change is needed and important in our communities. Our group is for people who live in the East Lake Neighborhood, broadly defined as the area on the East Side of Lake Merritt. Examples of issues our group has discussed and/or worked on in the past include: emergency preparedness, guerrilla gardening, gentrification, and policing. We encourage people to bring new ideas to the group and hope to discuss a range of issues impacting the East Lake area through a shared, left perspective and intention.