As we head into the Fall of this rough year of 2020, I hope you are surrounded by care and support. And as the election draws near, I hope you have the information you need to cast an informed vote.
In this newsletter, you’ll find information about:
- Historic win with Moms 4 Housing
- Lake Merritt Vending Pilot Program Update
- Tuesday’s Council meeting and agenda highlights
- “Know Your Rights” materials for Oakland workers
- Important news and resources, including COVID grants and voting information
Moms 4 Housing Wins Community Victory!
#MomsHouse Becomes Community- & Land Trust-Owned
Last week, I was so moved to see #MomsHouse on Magnolia Street finally become community-owned as permanently affordable, transitional housing for unsheltered mothers.
Congratulations to Dominique Walker, Tolani King, Misty Cross, Sameerah Karim and Carroll Fife for leading this movement to end corporate speculation and house more Oaklanders. I am proud to have stood with them over the last year to call attention to making housing a human right, together with Council President Rebecca Kaplan, Councilmember Dan Kalb and Assemblymember Rob Bonta.
Sustainable, Healthy Use of Lake Merritt
Lake Merritt Vending Pilot Program Update
Coming out of the second weekend of our Lake Merritt Vending Pilot Program, we were excited to be joined by Parks and Recreation Advisory Commissioner Dwayne Aikens, Cultural Affairs Commissioner Kev Choice, the Oakland Black Vendors Association and neighbors to:
- promote health and safety during COVID-19,
- support struggling small businesses and entrepreneurs in this difficult time, and
- ensure sustainable, equitable and inclusive long-term use of the Lake.
This pilot program for merchandise vendors will take place through November 22nd on El Embarcadero and along Lakeshore to Beacon from 10am to 6pm on Saturdays and Sundays.
This weekend, Community Ready Corps (CRC) will be joining the pilot to promote public health during COVID. Volunteers will distribute COVID kits that have face masks, hand sanitizer and gloves to help promote compliance with the County Health Order.
My team is grateful for the collaboration of the Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission (PRAC), the Oakland Black Vendors Association, James “Old School” Copes, city departments, and the community to ensure access, safety and equity at the Lake for everyone in our city.
This is what an Oakland for all of us means to me -- working with a coalition of diverse stakeholders to ensure the Lake, as our city’s pride, is an enjoyable public space that each of us can use.
TUESDAY 10/20: Council Meeting Preview
Homeless Encampment Management Policy and Community Safety
Tuesday, October 20th’s 1:30pm City Council meeting will include the following important agenda items:
Item 6: COVID-19 Emergency Response And The Creation Of Clean Air Buildings For Use Of The Community During The COVID-19 Shelter In Place Emergency.
- Thanks to our awesome D2 constituent and outgoing Cleveland Heights Neighborhood Council Co-Chair Rachel Broadwin for introducing us to Dr. Rupa Basu, Section Chief for the Air and Climate Epidemiology Section of the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment at CalEPA. At our September Council meeting, I expressed concern that our air quality and temperature triggers were too high to fully protect the health and safety of our most vulnerable residents. At my urging, our Fire Department staff met with Dr. Basu to discuss recommendations for activating extreme weather Emergency Respite Centers (ERC) in Oakland. As an outcome of the conversation and further discussions with internal stakeholders and community feedback, the activation triggers for the City of Oakland have been lowered to an Air Quality Index (AQI) of 200 – Very Unhealthy (versus what was previously 250) and temperatures forecasted to reach/exceed 95 degrees for 2 consecutive days or 100 degrees in one day. We are grateful for Dr. Basu and Rachel’s important expertise as we navigate these challenging times!
- Item 7: Gun Violence Top Law Enforcement Priority resolution from President Kaplan to prioritize the decrease in illegal guns and gun violence by increasing gun tracing, improving response time to shooting notifications, and prioritizing response to gun crime.
- Item 8: Homeless Encampment Management resolution, which proposes to designate priority areas for encampment management and outlines actions including the criteria for assessing what locations will be prioritized for enforcement or other homelessness interventions from the city.
- Item 14: Adopt either the resolution proposed by the Oakland Police Commission or Oakland Police Department banning the carotid restraint and all forms of asphyxia.
- Item 16: I’m co-sponsoring with President Kaplan, a resolution Terminating the Oakland Police Department’s Participation In The Joint Terror Task Force to ensure compliance with our local and state laws and focus on threats based on evidence, not bias or racial profiling.
TUESDAY 10/27: Community & Economic Development Meeting
Impact Fees, Economic Recovery Recommendations
On Tuesday October 27th at 1:30pm, the Community and Economic Development Committee will discuss two important items:
- Item 2: Informational report on Impact Fees for Affordable Housing, Jobs/Housing, and Transportation and Capital Improvements, and
- Item 3: Informational report on the Economic Recovery Council’s Draft Recommendations.
Workers, Know Your Rights!
COVID-19 Emergency Paid Sick Leave
Thank you to East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy (EBASE) for creating Know Your Rights materials on the emergency protections for Oakland workers passed by Council earlier this summer, which I was proud to co-sponsor.
The City’s Emergency Paid Sick Leave policy requires certain employers to provide leave to workers who test positive for COVID-19, present symptoms, are caring for family members who were exposed or present symptoms, or are at high risk from an infection. Check out and share the flyers in English and Spanish so that Oakland workers are aware of their rights!
City & District 2 News and Resources
County Reopening Updates, Small Biz Legal Support, Grants for Home-Based Business
New County Health Orders Allow Additional Business Operations: Effective October 9, Alameda County now allows: hotels & lodging for tourism with their fitness centers and indoor pools restricted; museums, zoos & aquariums indoors at < 25% capacity; personal care services indoors with modification (services requiring removal of face covering still prohibited); gyms and fitness centers indoors at < 10% capacity with restrictions on aerobic exercise and classes. While the update allows partial reopening of libraries, Oakland Public LIbrary will remain closed for indoor services until plans are in place for safely reopening the buildings.
Beginning Friday, October 16, Alameda County will permit additional outdoor activities, including playgrounds, that follow the State’s guidance. Additionally, Alameda County is preparing to update the local Health Officer Orders to permit additional activities during the week of October 26. These activities will include: indoor dining up to 25% capacity or less than 100 people, whichever is less; indoor worship services up to 25% capacity or less than 100 people, whichever is less; indoor theaters up to 25% capacity or less than 100 people, whichever is less; expansion of indoor retail and malls at up to 50% of capacity and permitting limited food courts.
County Guidance on Safe Halloween Practices: Bay Area health officials recently released guidance on how to celebrate Halloween and Dia de los Muertos safely. Gatherings, celebrations, events or parties with non-household members are not permitted unless conducted in compliance with local and state health orders. Please avoid participating in traditional trick-or-treating where treats are handed to children who go door to door and do not have trunk-or-treat where treats are handed from car trunks lined up in large parking lots.
- Many traditional Halloween celebrations, such as parties and door-to-door trick-or-treating, pose a high risk of spreading COVID-19 and are strongly discouraged by CDPH
- Not only do traditional celebrations pose a spread risk, they would also result in great difficulty in conducting appropriate contact tracing
- Local Health Departments may have additional, more stringent restrictions
- CDPH recommends that families begin planning for safer alternatives.
Legal Help for Oakland Small Businesses with Lease Negotiations: Oakland has allocated $150,000 of California CARES funding to the nonprofit Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the SF Bay Area to provide legal advice and assistance on lease negotiations to small businesses that have suffered revenue losses due to COVID-19. Business owners can access these free, multilingual legal services here, such as commercial leasing webinars through mid-December, 1:1 one-hour consultations and longer-term assistance which may include lease negotiation, pre-litigation and settlement negotiations or representation in a court proceeding.
$2-4K Grants for Home-Based Businesses: Income from a home-based business is often a big source of household income for our city's entrepreneurs. The Oakland CARES Act Home-Based Business Grant program will distribute $500,000 to home-based, for-profit businesses. Apply here by 11:59pm on Monday, November 2 in 4 languages. Priority will be given to businesses representing a broad geographic diversity in Oakland, especially those located in low-income areas or otherwise historically vulnerable communities; those who have received $4,000 or less in funding from the Paycheck Protection Program; and those with annual gross business revenue under $150,000.
Several Grants Extended:
- The Oakland CARES Act Small Business Grant Program will accept applications until 5 p.m. on Friday, October 23. This program will provide $10,000 grants to qualifying Oakland small businesses that have been negatively impacted by COVID-19 and have gross revenues under $2 million. Online applications and eligibility requirements in four languages are available at: mainstreetlaunch.org/oakland-cares-act-grant/
- The application deadline for the Oakland CARES Nonprofit Grant Fund has been extended to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, October 28. This program will award grants of up to $25,000 to qualifying community-serving nonprofits with annual budgets of less than $1 million that address the impact of COVID-19 and the needs of low-income residents and businesses in the following areas: Health & Human Services; Economic & Workforce Development; Legal Support; Food Security; Homeless and Renter Support Services; and Education. Online applications and eligibility requirements are available at: communityvisionca.org/oaklandcares/
- The application deadline for the Oakland CARES Fund for Artists and Arts Nonprofits impacted by COVID-19 has been extended to 1pm Friday, October 23. The program will distribute awards of up to $20,000 to arts nonprofits with annual budgets of less than $2.5M, while supporting individual artists with grants of up to $3,000 each. Learn more here.
Oakland Parks & Recreation Foundation’s 1st Citywide Parks Workshop: Whether you’re an experienced community leader or a new volunteer, join this free workshop taking place on Saturday, November 14, from 9:00am to 1:00pm to collaborate and learn about strategies and tools to improve Oakland parks. Learn more and register here.
East Bay Community Energy’s Resilient Home Program: Oakland has partnered with nonprofit public electricity provider East Bay Community Energy to launch a solar + battery backup program for homeowners. EBCE has partnered with Sunrun to provide no-cost / obligation-free consultations and will provide a proposal for your consideration. If you decide to move forward, there is a $1,250 incentive to homeowners that enroll their battery in the program and share power with EBCE during peak times when there isn’t a power outage. Since launch in August, nearly 700 homeowners countywide have registered for consultations. Sign up for your consultation and learn more at upcoming webinars.
Given the pandemic and the threats to our democracy, please vote early. All registered voters will be sent an absentee ballot automatically to limit COVID exposure. You must register to vote to receive an absentee ballot!
You can vote in person or drop off your ballot at the Alameda County Registrar of Voters: 1225 Fallon Street, Room G1, Oakland, or put it into one of the official, free 24-hour drop boxes anytime by November 3rd 8pm. If you use a USPS mailbox, postage is free, and it’s critical to vote early!
You can also sign up to track your ballot.
- October 19th is the last day for regular online voter registration.
- October 20th - November 3rd, you can do same day voter registration.
On November 3rd, you can vote in person or drop your ballot off at your polling place by 8pm.