The below communication is from the executive director of the Oakland-based nonprofit PUEBLO (People United For A Better Oakland). It is being provided without comment and with permission.
Following the communication is contextual information about PUEBLO and the author, executive director John Yuasa.
Jose Luis Fuentes is a current Pacifica Foundation director.
From: John Yuasa
Date: Wed, Mar 23, 2016 at 3:39 PM
Subject: Letter from PUEBLO ED to board regarding antics of J.L.Fuentes
PUEBLO Board Members,
I am writing to inform you that I have not resigned as the Executive Director of PUEBLO. This decision has come after much thought and conversation with my staff.
Yesterday, I had responded to Jose Luis Fuentes’ request that I meet with him with the answer that I would be happy to meet with him with the full board. Later in the day, Jose Luis walked into the office without an appointment and began to say he needed information on several topics involving PUEBLO.
He said that he needed to know these things as he would be in charge while I was gone. I responded that I had designated Maria to be in charge while I was gone and that we would be in daily contact by phone. He then said that I reported to him and that he would be in charge when I was gone. I tried to explain him that I report to the board and he accused me of being insubordinate and that he could fire me. I said that he could ask for my resignation which he did. I responded that I would resign.
At this point, the discussion had become one sided and he was at a minimum condescending, rude, impolite, threatening and hostile. I was unable to give any kind of full explanation to his questions. He had also affected the disposition of the staff that were present and I felt the need to get him out of the office before things escalated further. After Jose Luis left, the staff was visibly shaken with the result being, having been disrupted from our work, a long discussion took place about how to proceed. Today, the staff is still in apprehension and fearful for their safety.
Many of us have worked very hard to try to turn PUEBLO into a well-run business. For me to resign as a result of the harassment that I endured would be unfair to my hard working staff, untrue to the funders and partners that have supported us and most of all a neglecting of our duties to our clients. For this reason, I intend to continue as your Executive Director.
John Yuasa, Executive Director, People United for a Better Life in Oakland (PUEBLO), 3528 Foothill Blvd. Oakland, CA 94601
PUEBLO is a multi-issue nonprofit community organization whose mission is to address the most pressing needs of marginalized communities in Oakland by creating healthy, economically self-sufficient and peaceful neighborhoods where local development and employment can start, grow and become an integral part of the community through leadership development and inter-generational grassroots organizing.
John Yuasa comes to PUEBLO with a lifetime of involvement in Oakland and East Bay communities. John is a graduate of the Hastings College of Law. John began his career as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Dominican Republic followed with work in various programs of the War on Poverty including OEDCI, the Oakland program. He was the Executive Director of several local non-profits, including the Tiburcio Vasquez Health Center and the East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation. In 1976, John became an HEW Fellow and then was appointed as the Deputy Director of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs in the Department of Labor. After the change in administrations, John held a senior management position in the New York City Transit Authority. In 2001, John returned to Oakland where he held the positions of Health Policy Director and Director of Claiming Our Democracy at The Greenlining Institute. Following that, he became the Director of Health Career Connection. Most recently, he has been a management consultant to various nonprofits.