Councilmember Newsletter Vol. 2 No. 2: February 13, 2020

 

  

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Dear Friend,
This week, I introduced legislation to reauthorize the Oakland Fund for Children and Youth (OFCY) which last year alone served over 25,000 kids and 2,000 families and caregivers across 200 programs sites. I'm excited to share that our Life Enrichment Committee unanimously supported the legislation and it will go before the full City Council for approval on Tuesday, February 18th. Thank you to all the youth, teachers, caregivers and families who packed City Hall to express your support. 

I've seen firsthand the impact and importance of renewing OFCY funding:

  • From San Antonio Family Recreation Center, where the play group of 100 families with babies and toddlers gets together for play-based learning and help navigating school, housing, and family issues,
  • To Oakland High, where OFCY has supported case management with hundreds of students to address homelessness, home violence, community violence, and challenging family dynamics.

These are just two among hundreds of playgroups, after-school, summer, leadership, job training, and work programs that OFCY makes possible throughout Oakland.

Learn more about OFCY, established in 1996, last re-authorized by nearly 3 in 4 voters in 2008 and sunsetting on June 30, 2021. City Council must either (1) extend OFCY in the first half of 2020 for an additional 12 years or (2) place the measure on the November 2020 ballot.

I believe Council should extend OFCY. Join me to support Oakland youth.

OFCY has also helped to leverage millions of dollars in government and private funding for OUSD and other youth programs. Last year, OFCY brought in nearly $23 million in matching funds. 

With Oakland Love,

 

Nikki Fortunato Bas
Councilmember, City of Oakland, District 2

#LoveLife 


Oakland now has the state’s strongest Fair Chance Housing law!

Earlier this month, Council passed Oakland's Fair Chance Housing ordinance, which removes barriers to housing for community members returning from the criminal justice system, making it possible for them to live with family members and access all forms of housing like everyone else needs and deserves.

73% of our homeless encampment residents are formerly incarcerated. Read my op-ed with brother in the movement and coalition leader John Jones III in the San Francisco Chronicle on why this legislation is critical to lowering barriers to housing, reducing homelessness and recidivism. 

Thank you to Alameda County Fair Chance Housing Coalition, advocates, my colleagues at City Hall. This win is a strong example of democratic participatory policy making where formerly incarcerated residents and their families identified both the policy problems and solutions as well as best practices.


Community Resources + Opportunities 

Report issues or services needed using OAK 311. 311 is an easy-to-remember telephone number that connects you with highly trained City of Oakland Call Center representatives ready to help you with requests for non-emergency City services and information. You can also report issues online or on the OAK 311 mobile phone app.

THIS FRIDAY: Pop-Up Care Village for Unsheltered Neighbors. The City's Human Services Department is partnering with Lava Mae to host a one-stop experience where dozens of volunteers will work to provide access for unsheltered residents in need on Friday, February 14th from 11am - 3pm at Frank Ogawa Plaza. Offerings will include food, clothing, showers, haircuts, acupuncture, art & music, animal care / vet services, mental health, social, and medical services, legal aid, and harm reduction. Contact Katie Switek at 415-660-7420 for more info. 

Winter Shelters and Warming Centers in Alameda County. If you or someone you know is in need of a warm, dry place to stay, see this list of countywide Winter Shelters (open every night during the winter months) and Warming Centers (open in rainy or cold weather) operated in Alameda County. Call 211 for additional information about accessing shelters, transitional housing, and other emergency housing.  

Winter Drive for Unhoused Neighbors. The East Oakland Collective continues to collect winter items for our unhoused neighbors, including blankets, jackets/coats, socks, tents, sleeping bags, sleeping, and hygiene items. Send an email to info@eastoaklandcollective.com to coordinate drop-off.  

BART Schedule Changes. Starting Monday, February 10th, Bay Area Rapid Transit will adjust train schedules to improve service. The new schedule impacts all lines to some degree, esp. first and last trips of the day. Highlights include the return of two-line service into SF on Sundays, earlier weekday train service for many riders, and later direct service from SF into Warm Springs.  

Information about Measure Q. Measure Q, the 2020 City of Oakland Parks and Homeless Services Measure, will be on the March 3, 2020 ballot. It will require a two-thirds "Yes" vote to be approved. Measure Q will provide programs to help homeless individuals, including those living in or near parks, move into shelters and obtain housing and support services. It will also increase removal of trash and debris from city parks and rec areas; increase restroom cleaning, mowing of playing fields; and protect water quality of Oakland's creeks, streams, Lake Merritt, and the Estuary.  

Neighborhood Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) Meetings. Get involved with your local NCPC or Neighborhood Council to help make our communities safe and connected. 

Friends of Cleveland Heights
Tuesday, Mar. 10, 2020
7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
FM Smith Recreation Center
1969 Park Blvd.
2nd Tuesdays, odd months 

Bella Vista NCPC
Wednesday, April 8, 2020
7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Bella Vista Elementary School
1025 E. 28th St.
2nd Wednesdays, every other month

San Antonio NCPC
Wednesday, Mar. 11, 2020
6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Word Assembly Church
1445 23rd Ave. 
2nd Wednesdays, odd months

Chinatown NCPC
Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020
Starts at 4:00 p.m.
250 10th St. Lincoln Rec Center
3rd Wednesdays

Grandlake NCPC 
Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020
7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Lakeshore Ave. Baptist Church
3534 Lakeshore Ave.
3rd Wednesdays

City of Oakland Job Opportunities. Visit the City's Employment Information page to learn more and apply -- there are many job openings! For more information, please contact the Human Resources Management Receptionist at (510) 238-3112.

"Portraits of Oakland Chinatown" Art Exhibit. Through February 28th at Oakland Asian Cultural Center, check out the "Portraits of Oakland Chinatown", an exhibit by Leon Kennedy, a Smithsonean-featured artist considered one of the top self-taught painters nationwide. This exhibit, honoring Black History Month & Afro-Asian solidarity, will include a portrait of Councilmember Bas!

OPEN HOUSE: Vietnamese American Community Center of the East Bay (VACCEB). On Sunday, March 1 from 10am to 1pm, join VACCEB (655 International Boulevard) for a free event with health screenings, nutritional info, activities for kids, employment services, food distribution, legal services, and more. Councilmember Bas, Chief of Police Anne Kirkpatrick, and VACCEB Board members will be present.

Join the 2020-21 Redistricting Commission. The City is accepting applications to serve on the Redistricting Commission, which will approve boundary lines for City Council and School Board districts. It's critical that Commissioners reflect the geographic, racial, ethnic and economic diversity of the Town. Application period closes on April 1, 2020.

Legal Advice on Public Charge Rule. Starting Monday, Feb. 24th, Trump's "Public Charge" rule goes into effect. California's eligibility rules for pubic assistance benefits have NOT changed. If you or are concerned this rule may affect you or community members, here are some community-based legal assistance organizations that can help:

Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach 510-251-2846 // Bay Area Legal Aid 510-663-4744 // Catholic Charities of the East Bay 510-437-1554 // Centro Legal De La Raza 510-437-1554 // East Bay Community Law Center 510-548-4040 // International Institute of the East Bay 510-451-2846

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED: Mural for Little Stars Pre-School. Volunteers are needed to help restore the mural at Little Stars Pre-School. Contact Caroline Stern to get involved!

Monthly Bulky Block Party: Free Drop-Off Event. On the last Saturdays of each month from 9am - 1pm at 7101 Edgewater Drive, the City invites you to drop off unwanted bulky household items for free disposal. Bring proof of residence, such as CA driver's license or a household utilities bill. The next two dates are Feb. 29 and March 28. 

 


Around the Neighborhood

On January 30th, I submitted the Moms 4 Housing Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act - TOPA which gives renters the first right to purchase their home if a landlord decides to sell, and also includes a first opportunity for land trusts, co-ops and affordable housing developers to purchase vacant properties from speculators and make them permanently affordable. The goal is for tenants to be able to stay in their homes (not just as renters but as homeowners), to curb displacement, reduce homelessness, and address real estate speculation. 

I will introduce the ordinance at the Community and Economic Development Committee on March 24 and have added Council President Rebecca Kaplan, Councilmember Sheng Thao, and Mayor Libby Schaaf as co-sponsors. Thank you to all who have been part of this movement.

We organized with neighbors, OPD, Public Works and Transportation to conduct a Community Safety Walk in San Antonio. Using the CPTED: Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design philosophy, we looked at the built environment -- for example lighting, signage, windows, entrances, fencing, stairways, landscaping -- to identify potential improvements to increase the quality of life, connectedness, and safety in our communities.

We were incredibly inspired to meet and learn more about the work of the fierce ladies of Mujeres Unidas y Activas, who promote personal transformation and build community power for social and economic justice by organizing Latina immigrant women.

We had a great time beautifying the Rose Garden with the Dedicated Deadheaders volunteer group on MLK, Jr. Day of Service. We are grateful for the group's commitment to stewarding this incredible garden.

"A woman's place is in the revolution." Women are leading -- in our families, communities, schools, organizations and government. I was energized at the Oakland Women’s March with my colleagues Councilmembers Sheng Thao, Rebecca Kaplan, and friends.

Thank you to OPD and Almond & Oak for hosting our meeting convening Grand Avenue businesses about public safety, practices to increase customer and business safety, and improving the security of the Walker Parking Lot. We have much more work to do together and appreciate working with the merchant community on these efforts.

We joined neighborhood beautifying efforts with Councilmember Gallo's District 5 team to help clean encampments with unhoused neighbors, and also teamed up with Abundant Life Church to host a Community Cleanup Day in San Antonio.

Immigrant workers are part of the fabric of our society and deserve dignity and respect. I'm proud to stand with Justice for Janitors and support their fight for a fair union contract and their efforts to sweep sexism, racism and fascism from the janitorial industry and our country. 

We enjoyed the new "Portraits of Oakland Chinatown" Art Exhibit at Oakland Asian Cultural Center, which celebrates Black History Month & Afro-Asian solidarity, showcasing the work of Leon Kennedy, a Smithsonian-featured artist considered one of the top self-taught painters nationwide. I was honored to be one of the portraits featured!

We had a terrific time at OMCA's 19th Annual Lunar New Year celebration with fun activities and incredible family-friendly performances.

We celebrated the Year of the Rat at the Toi Shan Family Association Annual Celebration. It was a joyful time gathering with community members.

When I'm staying active and taking good care of my physical health I'm able to show up better in every part of life. It was great to press pause & join community members at Lincoln Recreation Center for the City's New Year, New You Community Fitness Challenge

We joined BART, Strada, and the Transit Oriented Development team of nonprofit housing developer EBALDC for a community design workshop focused on resident feedback for proposed mixed-income, mixed-use redevelopment of the neighborhoods around Lake Merritt BART Station.

We had a blast celebrating Lunar New Year at Lincoln Recreation Center with Alameda County Supervisor Keith Carson, students, families, and community members. Wishing prosperity and  abundance for you and your loved ones this Year of the Rat! 

We celebrated Lunar New Year with the Wa Sung Service Club's 67th Annual Inaugural Celebration. Thank you to Wa Sung's members for providing educational and community services for many decades.

Grateful to have met many community members at the Chinatown Lunar New Year Festival. The firecrackers & festivities throughout District 2, which is home to Oakland's highest proportion of Asian diasporic residents, brought us so much joy. 

OPD has been working to prevent thefts and auto burglaries across the entire city. We joined their press conference to learn more about OPD's efforts to keep Chinatown safe especially during Lunar New Year, when robberies and burglaries typically increase. 


In the News

HOUSING & HOMELESSNESS

  • NBC Bay Area // "Oakland Residents Fight for their Tiny Homes"
  • SF Chronicle // "New wave of homelessness: Can regionalism, prevention fight tsunami of unsheltered in Bay Area?"
  • KTVU // "Officials say ‘Keep Oakland Housed’ program is working better than anticipated"

Fair Chance Housing

  • SF Chronicle // OP-ED by Councilmember Bas & John Jones III: "Oakland becomes first in state to ban criminal background checks for rental housing"
  • Curbed SF // "Oakland approves ban on tenant criminal background checks: New law, the most aggressive in California, will help formerly incarcerated people have a fair chance to housing"
  • East Bay Times // "Oakland votes to bar landlords from conducting background checks: Ordinance will be the strictest of its kind in the state"
  • California Globe // "Criminal Background Checks on Rental Applicants Now Illegal in Oakland"

Moms 4 Housing & Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act / TOPA

  • 48hills // "Moms 4 Housing spurs right-to-purchase law in Oakland" 
  • KIQI 1010 AM, Hecho en California // Live Radio Interview with Isabel Gutierrez on TOPA
  • Essence Magazine // "All Eyes On Oakland: Moms 4 Housing Continues To Fight"
  • SF Chronicle // "Oakland councilwoman introduces ordinance that would give renters first right to buy their home"
  • East Bay Times // "Oakland councilwoman introduces Moms 4 Housing-inspired ordinance: Act would help tenants stay in their homes, even if landlord sells"
  • Worker's World // "Oakland Moms 4 Housing win, reclaiming King’s radical legacy" 
  • Oakland Post // "After Forcible, Armed Eviction by Local Law Enforcement, Moms 4 Housing Win a Victory"
  • SF Chronicle // "Moms 4 Housing: It’s one victory in a long war over housing"
  • 48hills // "Oakland moms make national statement with housing victory"
  • KPIX // "Thousands March In Oakland To Reclaim Martin Luther King Jr’s Legacy"
  • SF Chronicle // "Moms 4 Housing: Deal reached to negotiate sale of West Oakland house to nonprofit" 

Connect with Team D2!

D2 Office: (510) 238-7002

Miya Saika ChenChief of Staff (POLICY LEAD)
mchen@oaklandca.gov, (510) 238-7246

Lia Azul SalaverryPolicy Analyst, Community Liaison (NEIGHBORHOOD/SERVICES LEAD)
lsalaverry@oaklandca.gov, (510) 238-7023

Linna LinChinatown Liaison and Aide (SCHEDULING LEAD)
nlin@oaklandca.gov, (510) 238-7022

Tiffany KangCommunications Specialist, Community Liaison (MEDIA LEAD)
tkang@oaklandca.gov, (510) 238-7022

Pamela DrakeCommunity Liaison
pdrake@oaklandca.gov, (510) 238-7022

 


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