Small businesses and developers hate us, our schools are teetering on the brink of insolvency, the Emery Go-Round is threatened, residents keep getting priced-out and our beloved City Manager just bolted for Oakland. Overall, there seems to be a swirl of negativity within our city.
On a more positive note, one of our residents has returned home an NBA champion after beating the Cleveland Cavaliers in 6 games in the NBA Finals. Draymond Green, whom we spotlighted in fact lives within our city, has helped bring the East Bay its first Championship since the ’89 Oakland A’s and the Bay Area its first NBA Championship in 40 years.
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There seems to be some optimism about keeping Green after his contract expires this year, but Green … is going to be making green. A lot of it! It seems unlikely he’ll stay put in his rented apartment for long once he starts cashing those million dollar paychecks. Let’s capture this moment for future generations of E’villains … while we still can!
I’ve had some private conversations with folks over the course of the playoffs about how we could honor Green. The Key to the City is a traditional, symbolic gift from the city honoring esteemed visitors or residents and symbolizes the freedom of the recipient to enter and leave the city at will. It’s a ceremonial gesture of appreciation to someone and it seems like a good thing to rally residents around and provide a needed morale boost.
Those I reached out to within the city were unaware this had ever been implemented before (although there hasn’t been a huge number of Championships in Oakland over the past few decades). Former Oakland A’s Pitcher Dave Stewart I was told lived at Pacific Park Plaza during their Bay Bridge Championship in 1989. No record of him being honored by the city.
The City seems receptive to the idea thus far and Councilmember Nora Davis has inquired about issuing a proclamation for the July 21st Council meeting. I’ve personally inquired with the Warriors Media & Public Relations about his availability. Let’s hope little Emeryville can fit in Draymond’s busy schedule and the City will follow through!
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