I hope that you’ve had the chance to enjoy the beautiful weather and fresh air that has finally returned. I’m grateful for our natural environment but reminded that we can’t take its resilience for granted and must work together to care for her.
And, like many of you, I’ve been grieving the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who pushed fiercely for a more just world through our legal system. In processing, I’m channeling sorrow to recommit to fighting for more just communities here in Oakland.
In this newsletter, you’ll find information about:
- Tuesday's Council meeting on next steps to transform our public safety system
- District 2’s Multilingual Family Forum
- Traffic Safety in District 2
- New grant opportunities for small businesses, nonprofits, artists
- Applications for the City's Homeless Advisory Commission
TUESDAY: Council Meeting Preview
Reimagining Public Safety Task Force
This Tuesday, September 29th at 4:30pm, there will be a special joint meeting with Oakland City Council and our public safety commissions -- Community Policing Advisory Board, Police Commission, and Safety and Services Oversight Commission.
At this meeting, we will officially launch the new Reimagining Public Safety Task Force, which I co-chair with CM Loren Taylor. Between now and March, the Task Force will draft a set of recommendations for Council on increasing community safety through alternative responses to policing, with a goal of reducing the general fund allocation to OPD by 50%. Final recommendations will be presented in March for consideration in the City’s FY 2021-23 budget to be adopted in June 2021. See timeline here.
WEDNESDAY: For Families of School-Aged Children
District 2 Multilingual Family Forum
Together with OUSD School Board Director Aimee Eng and OUSD leadership, my office will co-host a Q&A on Distance Learning and Safe Return to Schools next Wednesday September 30 from 6-7:30pm.
Send us your questions and RSVP here. Interpretation will be available in Spanish, Cantonese, and Vietnamese.
Join the video Zoom meeting here (Meeting ID: 870 3758 9590, Passcode: 994107). You can also call in by phone at +1 669 900 9128.
In the meantime, here are a few resources to support your children:
- Oakland Family Resource Guide for Programs During COVID for out of school time learning opportunities.
- Tech Check survey to receive laptop, internet connection devices and other technical help.
- If you know of a student or family without access to technological resources, including a computer to participate in remote learning, complete the OUSD Technology Intake Form. OUSD will ensure that the students identified there receive a computer within 24-48 hours.
Improving Traffic Safety in District 2
Updates on Local & State Legislation
On September 15th, in a tragic accident, we lost Lizhu Ping, a member of our District 2 community, when her bicycle was hit by a van at 2nd Ave. and 12th St. For too long, there have been serious, sometimes fatal, accidents on major corridors like Foothill Blvd. and Mandana Blvd as well as other streets. I am extremely concerned about preventing these accidents in our district and across the city, and have taken additional steps to focus on ensuring our streets are safe.
- We are working with D2 neighbors and OakDOT to assess and develop safety measures in targeted areas with a history of accidents and speeding, advocating for speed bumps and better signage.
- We are supporting OakDOT's grant to the State's Active Transportation Program (ATP) to implement more permanent improvements around Garfield Elementary School where we have worked with the school community and neighbors following the tragic death of Huong Thi Truong at 22nd and Foothill.
Pre-COVID community outreach for traffic safety
We are also working at the state and local levels to affect policy change to ensure traffic safety in our communities:
- I’m partnering with Council President Rebecca Kaplan on a resolution requesting that the state enact legislation that would give cities the flexibility to adopt more effective methods for speeding enforcement. This will be heard at our October 6 Council meeting.
- I’m partnering with Councilmember Dan Kalb to receive a comprehensive report on speeding enforcement, safety priorities, and policies across the City of Oakland. I hope this will be completed and shared with Council and the public as soon as possible.
City of Oakland Homeless Advisory Commission
The City is seeking nine Oakland residents to sit on the inaugural Homeless Advisory Commission to recommend strategies to address homelessness and advise on priorities for using Vacant Parcel Tax / Measure W funds for homeless services.
The Commission will include at least 2 currently unhoused, formerly unhoused, or low-income residents, and at least 3 members with professional experience in homeless services / housing. Learn more here about the Commission’s responsibilities and composition.
Councilmembers will make recommendations on Commissioners to the Mayor, who will appoint them for Council confirmation.
In other homeless and housing news:
- State gives Oakland $20 million for homeless housing, Oaklandside
- When can the City close a homeless camp? Oakland considers new rules, Oaklandside
- Oakland moves forward with new rules governing homeless encampments, The Mercury News
City / District News and Resources
Grants for Small Biz, Artists, Nonprofits, and Violence Prevention Projects
$10K Grants for Essential Businesses: California State Compensation Insurance Fund is offering up to $10K to State Fund policyholders to help reimburse the costs of COVID-19 safety expenses such as the purchase of goggles, masks, gloves, cleaning supples, and worksite modifications. Grants are available until September 30.
$10K Grants for Small Businesses: The City of Oakland received $36.9 million in State of California CARES Act funding. More than $4 million of those funds will go to the Oakland CARES Act Small Business Grant Program to support Oakland small businesses that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The program anticipates distributing $10,000 grants to 402 Oakland small businesses. Grants may be used to cover day-to-day operating costs, such as worker payroll, rent and fixed debts. The application period for the small business grants opened Tuesday, September 22 at 1 p.m., and ends at 5 p.m. on Monday, October 12, 2020. Online applications in four languages are available at: https://mainstreetlaunch.org/oakland-cares-act-grant/.
$20-25K Grants for Oakland Nonprofits: Of the funds Oakland has received from California's CARES Act, $850K are going to support nonprofits impacted by COVID-19. The grant program will support about 34 nonprofits with grants of $20-$25K each, for organizations with an annual budget of less than $1 million that are currently providing programs and services 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. Learn more and apply here by 5pm on Wednesday, October 14.
$3K Grants for Individual Artists, $20K for Arts Nonprofits: $1.425 million of the City's funds from California’s CARES Act will go to support individual artists and arts nonprofit organizations that have been impacted by COVID-19. The Oakland CARES Arts Organizational Grant will award grants of up to $20,000 to arts nonprofits, while the Oakland CARES Individual Artist Grant seeks to support individual artists with grants of up to $3,000 each. Apply here by 1pm on Friday, October 9, 2020.
$5-10K Mini-Grants for Violence Prevention and Community Healing: The Department of Violence Prevention, in partnership with Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth (RJOY), Urban Peace Movement (UPM), Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice (CURYJ), Building Opportunities for Self-Sufficiency (BOSS), and Roots Community Health Center (Roots) will provide approximately $400K through grants of up to $10K for small nonprofit organizations (with an annual budget of less than $500K) and up to $5K for individuals (with an identified fiscal sponsor). Learn more, attend information sessions and apply here by 11:59pm on October 18th.
This Saturday, Food Court at Clinton Park / Celebrate Mid-Autumn Festival: Take advantage of the lovely weather this Saturday at the first Food Court in the Park put on by Oakland Vietnamese Chamber of Commerce. You'll have the chance to support small businesses in the Little Saigon area, pick up a Mid-Autumn Festival Box, and enjoy fun & festivities.
Help Relieve Chinatown Small Businesses Impacted by Fire: As many of you know, Chinatown was hit by a devastating five-alarm fire last Wednesday that has directly impacted 16 small businesses including T&K Café, Gum Wah Restaurant, Rang Dong Restaurant, Huangcheng Noodle, Aloha Market, Great Wall Company, and Anson Travel. Thankfully, there were no fatalities. Big appreciations to the 80+ firefighters and first responders who contained the fire.
Please consider supporting these small businesses to recover from their losses.
- Save our Chinatowns and Good Good Eatz have a GoFundMe Campaign to help Rang Dong Restaurant and Huangcheng Noodle rise from the ashes.
- Oakland Chinatown Chamber of Commerce is helping businesses to access resources to relocate and rebuild their business in Chinatown.
- Oakland Toishan Family Association is also supporting these businesses; reach out to Josephine Hui at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Expanded Public Library Service: Oakland Public Library recently expanded sidewalk service to additional locations, 16 citywide. Some locations are also expanding hours to provide more access to books, DVDs, CDs, Wi-Fi hotspots, and more. District 2 locations open are Main Library, Asian Branch, Lakeview Branch. Learn more here.
Virtual Job Fairs: To connect employers who are hiring with Oakland residents seeking jobs, the City of Oakland’s Workforce Development Board is hosting a series of monthly job fairs from September to December for different industries, including retail, hospitality and essential work; transportation, distribution / logistics and manufacturing; healthcare; and IT. Businesses can register for the fairs here and job seekers here.
Paving & Street Improvements Update: The Department of Transportation recently released an interactive tool sharing information on Year 1 progress in Oakland's 3-year paving plan. In this first year, the City paved 32 miles (a new annual record), built 700+ curb ramps, striped 800+ high visibility crosswalks, repaired 29K sidewalk square feet, constructed more than a dozen traffic circles, and striped 2/3 of all new bikeway miles built in the previous year. Thank you OakDOT!
Register to Vote by October 19: The deadline to register to vote for the November 3 election is coming up. Check your registration status here or register for the first time or renew here. You should receive a mail-in ballot sometime after October 5th if you’re registered. To track your ballot in the mail, use this free tracking tool. If you prefer not to send your ballot back through mail, drop it off at any ballot drop box in the county.
2020 Census Updates
Deadline Extended to October 31!
On September 25th, a federal judge extended the deadline for the census one month to October 31th. Alameda County and the City of Oakland are responding well to the 2020 Census. Here’s how we are doing:
- Alameda County: 73.8% response rate (Note: This is higher than in 2010.)
- City of Oakland: 68.6% response rate
- Unfortunately, many tracts in East and West Oakland are only at 50% response rates.
- Check out this Real-Time Response Rate Map
Please complete the Census today and by October 31.
- Online at www.my2020census.gov (very fast and easy to do)
- By mail -- return the paper form you received
- By phone:
- English 844-330-2020
- Spanish 844-468-2020
- Mandarin: 844-391-2020
- Cantonese: 844-398-2020
- Vietnamese: 844-461-2020
- Korean: 844-392-2020
- Russian: 844-417-2020
- Arabic: 844-416-2020
- Tagalog: 844-478-2020
- OR in person with a Census taker on your porch
- Have concerns? Call Alina Farooq (Operations and Program Manager for Alameda County Census Office) at (510) 314-3686.
Help your neighbors respond to the 2020 Census! Please contact your neighbors and loved ones with a friendly reminder to make sure they get counted. Every Californian who is counted ensures that $10,000 in federal funding comes back to our community for schools, food stamps, affordable housing, emergency services, and much more.