Civics and Electoral Engagement

Fewer than half of the voting population votes in most elections. Here in California, the problem is worse! One of us has 14 years’ experience with Election Protection in California, New Mexico, and Colorado. She found that going to unfamiliar states and cities did not help much to protect voters and get them to the polls. 

From this, she developed the idea of serving local “blocks” as a voting assistant and arranger for voter forums in the neighborhood. We call it the “Our Block” civics program. Students from sophomore to senior year in high school would be able to earn extra credit in school by working in their own neighborhoods to register and empower voters. 

Why not precincts instead of blocks? 

  • The precinct does not have borders that are easy for people to remember. 
  • Voting sites can change from election to election. 
  • The program intends to focus on the neighborhood directly surrounding the student’s or volunteer’s home. 

Will volunteers be supporting or opposing candidates? 

  • No; volunteers will not be for or against candidates or issues within school programs. 
  • The “Our Block” program aims to be nonpartisan in all its aspects. 
  • What volunteers do on their time outside of these roles is their own business.

Can students serve as poll workers? 

Will all county schools offer this program? 

  • Students must check with their own school to see if the “Our Block” program is offered. 
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Oakland Cultural Center

We are a new multifaceted center meant to

  • serve Oakland’s youth with educational, recreational, health, and occupational options
  • serve disabled and senior Oaklanders with community-stabilizing services

Positive Thinking

  • Willpower
  • Health
  • Discipline

Real life skills education

Investing in the Oakland family

Bring cultures together in harmony for the good of humanity

Civics education – how does government work and why does it work that way

Work with all ages to release negative energy from mind body and soul

Positive thinking training – new thinking for all ages

Self-defense and empowerment

Conflict management

Contemplation, reflection, spiritual wellbeing

Kung fu (fight without fighting)

Mixed martial arts

How to live in a metropolitan city

Labor rights

Professional etiquette and demeanor skills

Tax preparation training leading to the professional Enrolled Agent designation without BA degree or college

Food preparation skills – Operate Catering truck once a week and distribute healthy food to homeless

                Nutrition education

Entrepreneurial skills

Outreach to Corporations

  • Invest profit back into Oakland, employment, apprenticeships, benefits to  company,


Moses Cruz – Instructor, Director

Rosalie Ann Dyson– Dance Instructor, Director

Abel Gomez – Director, Community Relations, Youth Counselor, Senior Counselor

Deborah Lagutaris, LL.M. Taxation, J.D. UC Hastings, BA UC Santa Barbara

Nonprofit executive director, Business Instructor, Tax Preparation Instructor


a location along major bus lines

Funding – Sports are leaving bay Area, so let;s keep the money in Oakland by investing in our communities

Fiscal Sponsor La Casablanca Community Services 81-4182417 a 501(c)(3) organization Contributions may be tax deductible Executive Director Deborah Lagutaris