Making Democracy Work

Speaker Series: Housing in Oakland

Charmaine Curtis is a leader in the Bay Area development community where she is known for her ability to solve complex development issues and deliver results. Whether running her own venture or playing key roles in prominent development firms, Charmaine approaches her work with integrity and passion. Her real estate experience encompasses a diverse range of multi-family, mixed-use, urban infill projects including the groundbreaking conversions of formerly industrial buildings to lofts and an entire city block with housing over a full service grocery store. She has overseen or otherwise participated in the development of over 7,000 units of housing.

Charmaine sees the unique potential of pioneering sites and neighborhoods and how to contribute to and enhance their vibrancy and livability. She understands the risks inherent at each stage of the development process and how to effectively manage them.

Before starting her own ventures, Charmaine was President of A.F. Evans Development and Director of Development for Mercy Housing. She has a Master's Degree in City and Regional Planning form the University of California, Berkeley and a Bachelor's degree from Dartmouth College. She is a longtime board member of SPUR, a public policy think tank that focuses on good planning and good government.

Margaretta Lin is a long-time Oakland and Berkeley resident and dedicated to community preservation and justice. She serves as the Executive Director of the Dellums Institute for Social Justice, a new start up social justice venture. She worked in the City of Oakland as Deputy City Administrator, Senior Advisor to Mayor Dellums, and founding Director of the Strategic Initiatives unit. She led City of Oakland community equity initiatives including the Oakland Housing Equity Roadmap, the OSNI Collaborative for East Oakland equitable development, foreclosure prevention and mitigation, the Housing Assistance Center, Oakland's participation in the Rockefeller Foundation's 100 Resilient Cities Initiative, and federal stimulus efforts. Margaretta has also served as a public interest attorney at the East Bay Community Law Center and Public Advocates. She is the founding Director of Youth Together, a multi-racial youth leadership and racial justice organization that developed youth-centered institutions like Youth Uprising and the Skyline High Youth Center.

Pamela Hall is a Home Management Special with the City of Oakland's Housing Assistance Center. As a member of ACCE (Alliance of Community Empowerment) her background consists of non-profit organization for the community, which builds power in low to moderate income neighborhoods to stand and fight for social, economic, and racial injustice.

She brings to the table 20 years of experience in the real estate industry, which has given her a wealth of knowledge to be the one stop shop for the City of Oakland's Housing Assistance Center when dealing with foreclosure prevention, inhabitability, eviction, displacement, utility, homelessness, credit counseling, code enforcement relocation ordinance and many other crises.

Alan Dones is managing partner and co-founder of Strategic Urban Development Alliance, LLC, (SUDA) specializing in large-scale, innovative, public agency projects and mixed-use development. Under his leadership SUDA has completed over $80 million of development projects in California and is currently pioneering international development projects in Africa. Mr. Dones is a long-time entrepreneur, a licensed general engineering construction contractor, and community advocate of equal opportunity in employment and contracting. Mr. Dones is a co-founder, and served as CEO, of Rondeau Bay Construction, Inc. (RBC), an engineering and construction firm established in 1988. Under his leadership, RBC grew to include offices in five major US cities and completed over $70 million of construction projects. Mr. Dones is active in a number of local, national, and international organizations and has worked with agencies throughout the United States to revise and enhance their small business policies. He is a current member of the Board of the Oakland Private Industry Council, the Ghana National Museum on Slavery and Freedom. He has previously served on the City of Oakland's Workforce Investment Board; the Board of the Oakland Chamber Of Commerce; as Board member of the Minority Business