Thank you, EVERYONE, for re-posting this open letter to your pages!  Thank you, Bay Sunday Producer, for posting on Bay Sunday facebook!

Writing Coach Teresa LeYung-Ryan’s Open Letter to First Lady Michelle Obama regarding Healthy Parks Healthy People Proponents and EBRPD Labor Negotiations

June 30, 2013

Dear First Lady Michelle Obama,

Thank you so much for being a truly healthy role model.  I am one of millions of Americans who are proud of you and what your name stands for.

In your remarks at the 2010 National Recreation and Park Association Conference, you had recognized East Bay Regional Parks’ ”Trails Challenge” as a model initiative. Thank you for caring about what we do at EBRPD; we are Healthy Parks Healthy People Proponents.

Here are updates on what’s happening with contract negotiations at EBRPD:

  • 65% of Local 2428 members who voted have rejected the offer from the District. If we do not get a fair contract by Wednesday night July 3rd, 2013 we shall go on strike on July 4th and 5th.    Our Negotiations Team has already appropriately notified the public regarding  our intentions.
  • Since our Local 2428 Negotiations Team and District’s Team will be meeting with the mediator again on Monday July 1st . . .  I humbly ask that you use your mighty voice to express your concern for fair  treatment to ALL employees of a public agency that is thriving because of  OUR property taxes (Measure WW), OUR patronage, OUR support, and the dedication and labor of 600+ employees.  Please contact EBRPD Board Members and General Manager with a simple message:  ”Please give your dedicated employees a fair contract now.”  Please see names and contact info below.
  • Employees’ outstanding achievements continue to garner local and national awards for the park district. Every employee contributes toward the relationship-building that takes place every day in the park district (in person, over the phone, via emails). These individuals, who are union employees, make regional parks and trails safe, clean and beautiful.
  • If  we do go on strike, please come by and cheer for us.
  • We wish to secure a fair contract for current and future coworkers, one that would not further diminish our buying power and narrow negotiating parameters for  future contracts.
I cheer for all EBRPD coworkers (Local 2428 members, seasonal and temporary employees, management, confidentials, public safety) current and future, and our retirees!

Here are names and contact information of the 7 EBRPD Board Members, General Manager, and our Union President. 

“EBRPD Board President John Sutter” <>

“EBRPD Board Vice President Ayn Wieskamp” <>

“EBRPD Board Secretary Ted Radke”  <>

“EBRPD Board Treasurer Whitney Dotson” <>

“EBRPD Board Member Beverly Lane” <>

“EBRPD Board Member Doug Siden” <>

“EBRPD Board Member Carol Severin” <>

“EBRPD GM Robert E. Doyle” <>

Please cc   “AFSCME Local 2428 President Cliff Rocha” <> Tel: 510-566-5985

U.S. mailing address to Board Members and General Manager: EBRPD Board, 2950 Peralta Oaks Court, Oakland, CA 94605 1-888-EBPARKS (1-888-327-2757), extension 2020 for Clerk of the Board

Please cc Local 2428 President Cliff Rocha: Local 2428 East Bay Parks, 80 Swan Way, Suite 110, Oakland, CA 94621 Tel: 510-566-5985

First Lady Obama, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. 


  • California and Federal tax payer
  • user of EBRPD parks and trails
  • supporter of Measure WW
  • part-time Sr. Office Assistant for EBRPD
  • fan of all employees at EBRPD
  • published author and writing coach


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