May -- Asian Pacific American Heritage Month -- is a time that means a lot to me. And May is also a time to celebrate mothers. Happy Mother’s Day!
In this newsletter, you’ll find:
- Celebrating Mothers
- Ways to support our APA Community & Report Anti-Asian Hate
- Parks Ambassadors, Lake Merritt and 510 Day
- A Preview of Tuesday’s Special Council Meeting
May -- Asian Pacific American Heritage Month -- is a time that means a lot to me.
As the daughter of immigrant parents from the Philippines, I’m honored to be Oakland’s first Pinay Councilmember. Representing District 2 with the city’s highest rate of Asian residents, I’m grateful for the power and resilience of Asian immigrant and diasporic communities in our city. Our voices, culture, and contributions have helped make Oakland a special and safe haven for all.
And May is also a time to celebrate mothers. Happy Mother’s Day! My mother was a nurse and I am grateful for how she has cared for my family. I’m also thankful for all our nurses and healthcare workers who are caring for all of us during this pandemic. As the mother of a high schooler adjusting to sheltering in place and distance learning, I send my love and support to all the other mothers who are nurturing our kids during unprecedented times.
And while we won’t be holding the annual Mother of the Year ceremony at District 2’s Morcom Rose Garden, we honor this year’s honoree Harriett Schlader, a leader in Oakland’s arts community and co-founder of the organization that has produced the Woodminster Summer Musicals at Joaquin Miller Park for over 50 years.
COVID-19 Anti-Asian Racism
Support Our Community & Report Hate
The coronavirus does not discriminate and neither should we.
Sadly, COVID-19 has triggered a wave of increased xenophobia against Asians and Chinese people, who are now more likely to experience harassment, refusals of service, and other direct acts of hatred. President Trump calling COVID-19 the “Chinese Virus” is misleading, sensationalist, and has only worsened anti-Asian sentiment, which is likely to continue increasing after shelter-in-place has lifted.
This is why at Tuesday’s Council meeting, Councilmember Sheng Thao and I will introduce a resolution condemning COVID-19 anti-Asian sentiment and reaffirming Oakland’s protection of our AAPI communities. As the second most ethnically diverse large city in the country, we must ensure the safety and well-being of our AAPI community members, who make up 1 in 6 Oakland residents.
In addition, please use these resources to support our community. Several are specific to Oakland:
- Report anti-AAPI hate and hostility. Since launching in mid-March, the Stop AAPI Hate project has received nearly 1,500 reports with 42% of incidents coming from California and a high concentration in the Bay Area.
- Help stabilize local working-class Asian immigrant and refugee households by contributing to APEN’s COVID-19 Emergency Stabilization Fund. These funds have been helping Lincoln Elementary families who have lost their jobs with groceries and much more.
- Services for Undocumented Immigrants & DACA Renewal Funding. API Legal Outreach is helping people with the $495 DACA Renewal filing fee before June 30 and with applying for benefits from California’s Undocu-Fund. See information in Chinese, Japanese, Tagalog, Korean, Spanish, and Vietnamese.
- South Asian COVID-19 Community Guides in English, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Gujarati, Malayalam, Kannada, Punjabi, Urdu, Nepali, Burmese, Bengali, and Marathi. Thank you, Equality Labs!
- Daily AAPI Power Honorees. Educate and share these inspiring daily profiles of leaders who’ve built power for marginalized communities and inspired social movements. Thank you, AAPIs for Civic Empowerment Education Fund!
- Support Oakland Chinatown Businesses by following Good Good Eatz, contributing to fundraising efforts, and getting involved in “Chefs for Oakland Kids” which will fund chefs and small Chinatown restaurants to provide meals to children, seniors and families with disabilities this summer.
- Support Oakland Vietnamese Businesses. Although Shelter-in-Place has been extended, your taste buds can still roam free by supporting these Vietnamese take-out restaurants.
Park Ambassadors, Lake Merritt & 510 Day
Continuing Safety Changes
Let’s continue to #LoveOurLake, all our parks and each other. Last weekend, we still saw overcrowding at Lake Merritt. Please #GiveTheLakeABreak and get fresh air and exercise in your neighborhood or on a #SlowStreet.
If you visit the Lake or another park, please do so responsibly. Wear a mask and stay 6 feet apart, and 10 feet apart if you're exercising or running! Exercise alone or with your household, not in groups. Do not use amenities such as playgrounds and exercise equipment. #StopTheSpread
To advance the City’s goal of education to achieve compliance with the County Health Order, we are expanding activities this weekend.
COVID-19 Park Ambassadors: From 12 noon - 5 pm, two (2) teams of COVID-19 Park Ambassadors will circle Lake Merritt educating the public about compliance with the Alameda County Health Officer’s Order and Park/City rules, handing out face masks to those who need them as supplies allow. Park Ambassador Teams consist of 3 to 4 Ambassadors wearing bright colored shirts with clear City of Oakland insignia so that they will be visible and easily identifiable.
There will be one (1) additional Citywide Roving Team of 3 to 4 Ambassadors roving highly used parks citywide communicating information about physical distancing on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, 12 noon – 5 pm. The roving team will be deployed to areas that have become known to have large numbers of groups congregating, people without access to Personal Protective Equipment, and those not adhering to physical distancing as outlined by County order.
Signage: The City is placing four (4) electronic signs around Lake Merritt displaying health and safety rules. One sign, on Lakeshore Ave., addresses the need for visitors to and residents by the Lake to adhere to parking and amplified sound rules. There are also new multi-lingual signs with safety information at our parks.
Food Vending: Starting this weekend, Municipal Code Enforcement Officers will conduct outreach at Lake Merritt, providing vendors and their customers with information on both how to vend legally and how to comply with Alameda County Public Health's physical distancing requirements. Staff will also distribute masks to vendors and their customers as supplies allow.
OPD: The Oakland Police Department (OPD) will continue its educational efforts around the Health Order at the Lake and across the City, assisting with traffic flow and other issues at the Lake as personnel are available.
510 Day: Sunday is 510 Day and there are two exciting virtual events.
Preview of Tuesday’s Special Council Meeting
Expanding Paid Sick Leave & More
Last Tuesday, our Special Council meeting at 1:30pm was cancelled due to technical difficulties, and our Regular Council meeting at 5:30pm was cancelled due to a lack of quorum which is 5 of 8 Councilmembers.
I was extremely disappointed by this sudden cancellation because I stood ready with my co-sponsors Councilmembers Sheng Thao and Dan Kalb to pass emergency paid sick leave legislation to benefit thousands of Oaklanders.
On Tuesday, May 12 at 1:30pm, we will have a special meeting of the City Council. Our agenda includes:
- Resolution co-sponsored by myself and CM Sheng Thao recognizing May as Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month and condemning anti-Asian sentiment
- Emergency ordinance to expand paid sick leave co-sponsored by CMs Sheng Thao, Dan Kalb, Loren Taylor and myself.
- Emergency grants of up to $10,000 to eligible businesses along the BRT route to help address impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, co-sponsored by myself, Councilmember Loren Taylor and Vice Mayor Larry Reid.
- Several grant awards and contracts to provide services for homelessness, Head Start Programs, among other issues.
- Interim rules of procedure for the City Council.
- Action to suspend requirements of our fiscal policy to address the projected revenue shortfall.
- Action to advance a ballot measure amending the powers of the Police Commission.
Please note that the Special Community and Economic Development Committee meeting scheduled for May 12 was cancelled.
We were to hear legislation on tenant protection amendments co-sponsored by City Attorney Barbara Parker, CM Dan Kalb and myself. I’ll keep you posted on when this item will be rescheduled.