John George Democratic Club Youth Art/Essay Contest–2017

         2017 Art & Essay Contest

Art: West Oakland Students Only

Essays: Open to All Oakland Public School                Students

  john george

“The Statue of Liberty and Immigration in America: 

Is America Still a Refuge for Immigrants? ”

More than 100 years ago, France gifted the United States with the Statue of Liberty because the French viewed America as a beacon of hope and democracy.  In 1883 the poet Emma Lazarus wrote the poem that is inscribed on the Statue’s pedestal.  The most famous lines, which refer directly to immigrants and refugees, are:


“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

the wretched refuse of your teeming shore.  Send these, the homeless,

tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”


  • Middle and High School Students:  Write an essay on the topic: “As you look at the issue of immigration in America today, how are the Statue of Liberty and Emma Lazarus’s poem still relevant?”  (500 words maximum)


  • Elementary School Students:  Draw a picture that shows Oakland as a healthy place to live.  (maximum size 11” by 17”)


Each winner will receive $300 – in the form of a $150 gift certificate and $150 to open a credit union savings account. 


Submit your entry (drop off or mail) by WEDNESDAY, MAY 17, 2017 to the West Oakland Public Library at 1801 Adeline Street, Oakland, 94607 to the attention of the John George Democratic Club. Essays may be emailed (see instructions on back).   Please be sure to attach the submission form on the back of this flier to your entry.


Awards Presentation

Saturday, June 10, 2017

1:00 PM – 2:00 PM

West Oakland Public Library, 1801 Adeline Street, Oakland


Co-sponsored by the West Oakland Public Library, the John George Democratic Club, and the John George Educational Trust Fund



For more information, please call Jack Lucero Fleck at (510) 436-7682 or visit

                                                       Refreshments Will Be Served  —-  Labor Donated

Rules for the 2017 Art and Essay Contest


  • All students who submit ART entries must attend public schools in West Oakland.
  • Students who submit ESSAYS may attend any Oakland Unified School District public school.
  • Art work should be on paper no larger than 11” by 17”.
  • Essays should be no more than 500 words.
  • All art and essays must be submitted by Wednesday, May 17, 2017 to the West Oakland Public Library at 1801 Adeline Street, Oakland, 94607, to the “Attention of the John George Democratic Club”.  You can drop off or mail entries but they must be received by May 17th!  Don’t forget to attach the submission form below to your entry.  Essays also can be emailed, with the info on the submission form, to Laurie Soman at  Please put “JG Essay” in the subject line.  Emailed entries still have to reach us by May 17th.
  • Each winner will receive a $150 gift certificate and $150 to open a credit union savings account.


For background information on environmental justice and coal in Oakland:


:  Google phrases like “history and meaning of Statue of Liberty” and “Emma Lazarus poem”.

:  Check out websites/posts like the following:


Who is John George?


This contest honors the memory of the late Alameda County Supervisor John

George, Alameda County’s first African American member of the Board of

Supervisors, and a tireless fighter for health care, education, the rights of labor and poor people, a better environment, and peace and social justice.


John’s slogan was Think Globally, Act Locally

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