Editor’s Note: I have had the pleasure of working with Barbara on Earth Day cleaning up Cleveland Cascade across from Lake Merritt in Oakland. She believes in Oakland and her energy is boundless. I think it is wonderful to see her rewarded for her tireless efforts. I took the photo above of her plaque on the Mother of the Year Walk in the Morcom Rose Garden in Oakland.
Barbara Newcombe Wins
City of Oakland Mother of the Year Award
57th Annual Award Ceremony Honors Long-Time Oakland Resident & Author of “Paper Trails: A Guide to Public Records in California”
For Immediate Release
on Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Press Contact: Kola Thomas (510) 238-3095
Oakland, CA. City of Oakland’s Office of Parks and Recreation (OPR) will honor Barbara Newcombe as the 2010 Mother of the Year, at its 57th Annual Mother of the Year Award ceremony from 10:30am to 12:30pm on Saturday, May 8 at the Morcom Rose Garden, located at 700 Jean Street in Oakland. Mrs. Newcombe was selected out of a group of nominees consisting of exemplary citizens, all of whom have made significant contributions to the City of Oakland.
Mrs. Newcombe was nominated by the Friends of Cleveland Cascades, with letters of support from the Coalition of Advocates for Lake Merritt; Waterfront Action; and the Oakland Heritage Alliance. Mrs. Newcombe was described as demonstrating “an enviable example of unwavering dedication, activism, and love for her neighborhood, and for enhancing the quality of life for the beautiful people of her beloved city, Oakland” and OPR is very pleased to acknowledge her contribution with this award.
Mrs. Newcombe is an epitome of community activism. With a graduate degree in Library Studies, she worked for ten years as the head librarian at the Chicago Tribune.
In 1984, she moved to Oakland to live closer to family and volunteered at the Center for Investigative Reporting where she authored a book on public record keeping. Her seminal publication, Paper Trails: A Guide to Public Records in California (1991) provided guidance to the Task Force charged with writing the Sunshine Ordinance. Her knowledge of public records was invaluable, resulting in a “more open” government. Mrs. Newcombe’s next focus was the Public Ethics Commission to which she was elected to a three-year term and turned 80 years old at the end of the term. Barbara’s current effort is the restoration of the Cleveland Cascade which has resulted in the formation of Friends of Cleveland Cascade.
Oakland’s Mother of the Year Award is a project of the Office of Parks and Recreation and was initiated in 1954 to publicly honor an Oakland citizen whose contributions to the community symbolize the finest traditions of motherhood, although being a parent is not a requirement to be nominated for the Mother of the Year Award. Past honorees have included hard-working, dedicated community servants whose volunteerism has been exemplary.
City of Oakland
Office of Parks and Recreation
250 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, Suite 3330
Oakland, California 94612
(510) 238-2397 Fax
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