June 16, 2020

Walnut Creek City Council

1666 North Main Street

Walnut Creek, CA 94596

Open letter to Walnut Creek’s City Council Members,

I want to propose that Walnut Creek show our support of the Black Lives Matter movement and that we demonstrate our commitment to dismantling systemic racism within our businesses, educational institutions, and government agencies through a large BLACK LIVES MATTER mural painted on Bonanza Street. One Planet Group, located at 1820 Bonanza Street, will finance this project. I also propose we change the name of Bonanza Street to Black Lives Matter Way.

This is not performative art. It is a public announcement that Walnut Creek supports and promotes its businesses, organizations, and individuals making these necessary changes to move this progressive city forward with love, respect, and sharing in the community’s success.

The street name change is significant for several reasons. The word “bonanza” means a situation or event that creates a sudden increase in wealth, good fortune, or profits. Now is the time to do away with the archaic business model of “winning at all costs,” because oftentimes, it means an unequal distribution of wealth and a “win” at the harm of others. Walnut Creek is predominantly white (nearly 80%) and upper middle class. We need to show that we are not a “hamlet” untouched by the tragedies and harm done to Black people in our society, but that we are willing to step up, educate ourselves, listen, and change for the betterment of the whole community.

Bonanza Street is only 0.3 miles, but with several restaurants and hair salons along it closed during the pandemic, the street could see a revitalization that demonstrates a welcoming and inclusive attitude towards all, rejecting the idea of a “bonanza.”

Over the years, Walnut Creek has championed movements to be progressive and more inclusive. In 2019, The Walnut Creek East Bay Women’s Conference attracted 560 attendees to discuss inequalities in the workplace, with emphasis on race discrimination. It was put on by the Chamber of Commerce with sponsorships from several local businesses and individuals.  

I believe that Walnut Creek will receive overwhelming support from the community at large for these changes. As a dedicated business partner, One Planet pledges to assist the city in making these changes a reality immediately.

I humbly request that you take immediate action at your meeting today, Tuesday, June 16, and make your announcement on Juneteenth.

Best regards, 

Payam Zamani

Founder, Chairman, & CEO