Students Add Twist to City Luncheon

Photo by Dennis Evanosky    Alameda students awaited members of the community at last Friday’s State of the City address. The students held two distinct demonstrations. In the first, pictured here, they lay prostrate as student leader Lily Conable read the names of deceased victims of school shootings.

Business and community leaders gathered last Friday for lunch at the Rock Wall Wine Company at Alameda Point. They were meeting to hear Interim City Manager Liz Warmerdam deliver her State of the City address. At the same time students assembled along Central Avenue at Encinal High School and began marching to the winery. They were coming to deliver a message to those attending the State of the City address. 

The march called to mind the Feb. 21 student walkout to protest the shooting death of 17 people at Stoneman Douglas High School. This time the sun was shining, though. None of the students got wet when they arrived at Alameda Point and lay prostrate to recall another school shooting 19 years earlier. 

None of the students lying on the pavement were born when Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold murdered 12 students and one teacher at Columbine High School in Colorado on April 20, 1999. But they aimed to remember and remind local officials of the tragedy. 

As everyone waited for lunch inside, an announcement filled the room. The hushed crowd learned that the students wanted 19 people — one for every year since Columbine — to come outside and listen to what they had to say. The room emptied as everyone went to listen. The students told the adults that they had had enough of gun violence and were there to deliver that message. 

Warmerdam delivered her message as well. Three of the city’s department managers spiced it up with a question-and-answer session. As for who had the more powerful message, the students won the day. 

 

Dennis Evanosky    Alameda Chamber of Commerce President Michael McDonough (far right) moderated a question-and-answer session at this year’s State of the City luncheon. Seated from left to right: Interim City Manager Liz Warmerdam, Director of Base Reuse Jennifer Ott, Director of Community Development Debbie Potter and — answering a question — Director of Public Works Liam Garland.