We made it through our first week of “sheltering in place.” It was hard. The world around us has changed dramatically and so have our everyday lives.
But our commitment to follow the new statewide order to “shelter in place” and to practice “social distancing” of six feet when outside will save lives.
I’m heartened by the generosity and resiliency that Oaklanders are showing. Below are some new resources to keep you informed and some opportunities to support each other. Be sure to also follow me on social media like Facebook for more frequent updates.
New Oakland COVID-19 Relief Fund
Last Friday, I joined the Mayor, city leaders and generous donors to launch the Oakland COVID-19 Relief Fund. It will serve at-risk seniors and families in need of food security, community organizations who serve uninsured residents, our unhoused neighbors, those facing housing challenges, those without access to paid sick leave, and provide testing for first responders and frontline workers, and grants to small businesses to help cover costs like rent and worker payroll. If you are able, please join me in making a donation to support Oaklanders during this crisis.
If you are a small business owner, be sure to complete the City of Oakland COVID-19 Business Impact Survey available in English, Spanish, Chinese and Vietnamese. This will provide the City with important data to inform our programs to support you during this emergency, and enable the City to follow up with you to hear your concerns directly and provide 1-on-1 technical assistance. Because the majority of responses to-date shared the need for grants, versus loans, the Oakland COVID-19 Relief Fund includes seed funding for $250,000 in grants to small businesses, with the goal of raising at least $500,000 in the near-term.
Support our Neighborhood Businesses
The Lakeshore Business Improvement District and Splash Pad News - Oakland shared “How to Shop Responsibly,” information on how you can support our local economy in the Grand Lake and Lakeshore Ave corridors. It includes information from virtual fitness classes and online or by-phone purchases to gift cards and take-out / delivery hours. Also see the detailed guide of businesses.
San Antonio, Eastlake and Chinatown businesses, please send us your information to share too!
The Oakland Chamber of Commerce has launched Oakland’s Open, a crowdsourced list of organizations providing modified services during COVID-19. Support these #OAKPROUD organizations where and when you can. Help the Chamber build the list by letting them know how you’re adapting and/or which spots you know are operational. The list is open to businesses whether or not they are a Chamber member. Email email@example.com to be included.
Donation and Volunteer Opportunities
Food access is one of the highest concerns for our vulnerable neighbors, and agencies can use all the help possible during this time of emergency. If you are able to offer assistance, two of the organizations that need volunteers now are Meals on Wheels and Alameda County Community Food Bank.
Last year, I volunteered with Meals on Wheels; it was rewarding to meet and support so many of our neighbors.
You can also get involved with Oakland At Risk Match, a new effort seeking to match those with needs with those who can help.
Californians can learn about ways to assist their community at a new state web portal for volunteers: serve.ca.gov.
“A shortage of medical supplies is leaving Bay Area hospitals scrambling as they contend with increasing numbers of COVID-19 patients...Californians with unused N95 masks leftover from wildfire season can donate these and other items such as gloves, eye protection and hand sanitizer.” — Learn where to donate masks and other protective gear from KQED.
Official Information and Updates
Because things are changing rapidly, please note these official web sites for information and updates:
- The State of California has numerous updates including current health risks, employment benefits, and new tax information. En Español: Para obtener información en español, visite nuestra página del Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19).
- The Alameda County Public Health Department issues local health protocols daily and has a clear FAQ section on what “shelter at home” means. You can also text "coronavirus" or "COVID19" to 211211 for information on how the illness spreads, prevention tips & more.
- Our City of Oakland has a site dedicated to our local resources.
- The Oakland Unified School District has updates on its web site.
- The East Bay Regional Park District put out an FAQ addressing the regulations about using trails and open spaces at this time.
Oakland Paid Sick Leave
Do you work in Oakland? If so, you are probably eligible for paid sick days, provided by your employer.
- Employers are required to provide Paid Sick Days to their workers so they can stay home when they are sick or need to go to the doctor or to care for others who may be sick or need care.
- All Oakland workers are covered under this law. All workers performing at least 2 hours of work per week within the geographic boundaries of Oakland are eligible to accrue and use paid sick time.
- Workers can use Paid Sick Days to take care of family members who are sick, including designating any individual for whom the worker can use sick leave to support.
- Workers accrue 1 hour of sick time for every 30 hours worked. Workers at small businesses with 10 employees or less can accumulate up to 40 hours of sick leave at a time. Workers at all other businesses can accumulate up to 72 hours of sick leave at a time.
- Oakland's Paid Sick Leave ordinance incorporates changes made to California law after the passage of AB 5. Therefore, app-based or "gig" workers would also qualify for coverage under the ordinance to both accrue and use sick leave.
For additional information, questions or concerns, please call the Fair Labor Oakland hotline (510) 646-0521. Also see Oakland’s Resources for Businesses, Nonprofits and Workers.
Stop Hate — Racism Is a Virus Too
I appreciate and join our state leaders Governor Newsom and Assemblymembers David Chiu and Rob Bonta in condemning rising anti-Asian racism and discrimination. Here in Oakland, I am working to support our Chinese, Vietnamese and other Asian American businesses who have experienced this and have also had steep declines in customers since February, before the health pandemic was declared. The Asian Pacific Planning and Policy Council and others launched the Stop AAPI Hate Reporting Center to collect and track incidents of anti-Asian American and Pacific Islander hate, violence and discrimination in California and throughout the country. These incidents will help inform future policy discussions.
Now, more than ever, we are in this together and we must ensure the health, safety and dignity of everyone, without exception.
We will continue to keep you updated and please reach out to our District 2 team with your questions, concerns and ideas.