2nd Open Letter to the City of Walnut Creek

July 6, 2020
From Our Founder

July 6, 2020

Walnut Creek City Council
1666 North Main Street
Walnut Creek, CA 94596

Open letter to Walnut Creek’s City Council Members & Ad Hoc Committee,

We, at One Planet, submitted our first open letter to the City of Walnut Creek on June 16, 2020 and I personally read the letter at the city council’s remote-access regular meeting, calling for permission to paint a Black Lives Matter mural on Bonanza Street that would be funded by One Planet.

We were told to submit a proposal for the mural to Walnut Creek’s newly formed ad hoc committee. One Planet submitted a 9-page proposal with three artistic renderings of the mural prior to the ad hoc committee’s planned meeting on June 23, 2020.

We have yet to hear a response from the city and our email inquiries have not been answered.

Walnut Creek is missing an opportunity for a timely message from its business community to demonstrate support for racial equality and justice. We have respect for lawful procedure, but slowing down a project of this importance, especially after receiving media attention, sends the wrong message. Silence speaks volumes.

One Planet has been an active and committed partner and business leader in Walnut Creek since2016, and has a new office planned at 1611 North Main Street. A private company taking on this project of a large Black Lives Matter mural will show the community that positive change is happening from within the business community, and with the city’s full support.

It takes a community to look inward and recognize how it can be an agent for healing, to heal a wound that has pained our nation for a long time. Laws won’t change hearts, but community involvement will increase awareness and over time impact our collective attitude towards this vital issue.

It personally pains me that officials in Walnut Creek are not being responsive to a call to support the Black Lives Matter movement and commit to proactively dismantle systemic racism. This project has urgency. It needs to be addressed in a timely manner. There is momentum now for change.

Additionally, we had called for the renaming of Bonanza Street to a name that communicates love and solidarity. To this request, we also have not received an answer.

The name “Bonanza” offers negative connotations around sudden wealth and profits, and is of no significance to the City of Walnut Creek. The name “Bonanza” does not best represent the progressive nature of this great city.

The speed at which we move and how timely we are with our response to the issue of racism in this country does matter.2020 is testing our humanity. I would like to look back on this year with gratitude and be inspired by the actions we took, as one human family, to do the right thing.

We request that the City of Walnut Creek please quickly approve of One Planet’s offer to fund and paint a Black Lives Matter mural on Bonanza Street. We also ask for the immediate approval of the renaming of Bonanza Street to Black Lives Matter Way. We are prepared to meet with you this week to discuss both of these matters in further detail.

Best regards,
Payam Zamani
Founder, Chairman, & CEO

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