A’s Update: Standing up to fight for Oakland & Chinatown

Last week, Council approved a term sheet for the Oakland A’s ballpark proposal at the Port’s Howard Terminal. With Vice Mayor Kaplan, I made important amendments to address our city’s urgent need for deeply affordable housing and anti-displacement protections for renters, as well as concerns about impacts to our Port and neighboring communities.

We still have a long way to go to ensure that our most impacted neighborhoods like Chinatown and West Oakland receive community benefits and protections, that the project is compatible with a thriving Port, and that Alameda County partners with us to create a fiscally responsible plan.

 

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A’s Update: Let’s hit a win-win for Oakland

This coming Tuesday, July 20 at 9 am, Council will have a Special Meeting to discuss terms to guide negotiations between the City and the Oakland A’s for the proposed Oakland Waterfront Ballpark project at Howard Terminal at the Port of Oakland. In case you missed it, read about our Council study session on the A’s project from SF Chronicle. 

There are key issues to continue working on: financing of offsite infrastructure such as transportation, affordable housing, and funding for community benefits. The City remains dedicated to negotiating these points with the A’s. 

I am committed to fighting for a responsible, beneficial deal for Oakland that keeps the A’s rooted in our hometown: that means compatibility with our marginalized neighborhoods that will be most impacted by the project -- Chinatown and West Oakland -- and with our Port economy, as well as urgently needed affordable housing, well-paying union jobs for local residents, and a responsible financial plan for our taxpayers and City.

 

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What does violence interruption mean & look like?

In each of our neighborhoods, we deserve to feel safe. And Oakland is now implementing our new budget to support comprehensive solutions for community safety including more investment in violence prevention, alternative crisis response, homeless solutions, good jobs, parks, arts and more. 

Violence interrupter, community ambassador, community healing. What do these terms really mean, why do they matter, and how can we expand our impact to address violence now that Oakland’s budget has tripled the Department of Violence Prevention’s (DVP) funding?

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[NEWS] Wins in our budget for community safety & violence prevention

Last Thursday, Council passed our two-year budget, meeting this historic moment by changing course in our city. Our balanced budget makes unprecedented new investments in our most impacted residents and neighborhoods and in transforming public safety.

The time couldn’t be more urgent. Gun violence, homicides, and robberies have been devastating Oakland and cities across the country. Our marginalized communities suffer most from the trauma and loss caused by violence in all forms -- communal, systemic, historic. Just two weekends ago, we lost Dashawn Rhoades to gun violence at Lake Merritt, and two 17-year-olds, Marcel Alley Jr. and Isaac Mitchell, several weeks before in Highland Park. Our solve/clearance rates for serious and violent crimes are low, and as a city, we are not keeping our community safe.

As Council President, my job is to ensure we allocate and balance our budget to meet peoples’ needs. The people of Oakland are reeling from the economic fallout of the pandemic; people are out of work, more are unhoused and on the verge of losing their homes; we are at a crossroads. 

The Mayor proposed adding $57M to the Police Budget, which makes up nearly half of our general fund -- over $692 million in two years. The budget we passed, instead, diverts $18M from the police towards violence prevention, alternatives responses to non-violent 911 calls, reactivating our parks and open spaces, supporting disadvantaged small businesses with reopening, expanding arts and culture, and homelessness solutions. There will be a one year transition period to divert non-violent, non-criminal 911 calls before the police staff reductions take place a year from now in July 2022. 

The Police Department will receive a $38 million increase and will hold four police academies over the next two years. Their budget will continue to make up nearly half of our general purpose fund. In the meantime, we’ll conduct an independent audit of the Department to understand what is working, what isn’t, and right-size our investments to make sure we are doing all we can to keep Oaklanders safe.

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Budget vote tomorrow - Make your voice heard!

Tomorrow, please join our Special Budget Meeting at 10:30 AM (post comments here), when Council will vote on budget amendments from my team, Councilmembers Carroll Fife, Noel Gallo and Dan Kalb.

Our goal is to build a comprehensive community safety infrastructure. We make historic investments in violence prevention and alternative crisis responders. We also make significant investments in homelessness solutions, addressing illegal dumping, affordable housing, good jobs, small businesses, parks, arts, and culture directly in our most historically disinvested neighborhoods.

Thank you to my Council colleagues and so many people of Oakland, for your valuable contributions and feedback through this process.

With gun violence, pain, and trauma continuing to rise in our communities, my budget invests in violence prevention while maintaining a large portion of the City’s General Purpose Fund for the Police Department, including four police academies over the next two years, to focus on solving serious and violent crime. This provides us with a transition period to divert non-criminal calls for service to alternative responses and improve the outcomes of our public safety system. 

 

Pictured: Nikki with Taco, Kentrell, and Wayne of the Good Brotha Network, leaders in community safety and violence prevention, at the Peace and Healing Vigil at Lake Merritt on June 22, 2021.

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Our Council amendments to the Mayor's Budget

As we near the final steps of adopting our next 2021-23 city budget by June 30, I’m energized by the commitment so many of you have shown to advocating for a just and equitable recovery that centers Oaklanders most impacted by -- and already hurting before -- the pandemic. 

IMPORTANT BUDGET NEXT STEPS

[1] Preview my budget at my Budget Team's press conference, when I joined Oakland Rising for Monday Meals on Instagram Live and read more in Oaklandside. See my Budget Team's proposal here. Share comments with Council here. 

 

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San Antonio Park + Fire Station 4 Update

Hello San Antonio Community, 

I am grateful for your advocacy and engagement on the need for an equitable and authentic process for San Antonio Park’s Master Plan. 

I want to publicly share my strong support of the community’s overwhelming desire to:  

  1. separate the San Antonio Park Master Planning process from the relocation of Fire Station 4,
  2. Conduct robust community engagement for the master plan, as proposed by the Friends of San Antonio Park during the months of August through October, and
  3. Identify additional potential sites for Fire Station 4
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Door-knock for a budget that supports a just recovery for our people!

I’m thankful for so many of you who’ve been engaging on our city budget and who attended this week’s hearing on the Mayor’s proposed budget. In case you missed it, check out my initial analysis of the proposed budget and Capital Improvement Plan.

As I’m leading our Council amendments to the Mayor’s budget, I'm hopeful because we have already achieved initial wins and progress on an equitable City budget:

  • We are seeing initial increased investments in violence prevention and alternative responses to calls for service, which will improve community safety.
  • We are building support to prevent the elimination of 29 firefighter positions.
  • We are building support for equitable pay for frontline city workers, many of whom were not able to shelter in place, and who have continued to clean up our streets, fill potholes, and serve Oaklanders throughout the pandemic. 

 

It’s critical that we continue to work together to achieve community support for a people-centered budget that funds the housing, jobs, and services we truly need for all Oaklanders to recover and thrive. Here are two ways you can get involved:

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City Budget Update, Oakland A's, Public Spaces / Parks in COVID Recovery

This coming Wednesday the 26th at 9:30 a.m., I urge you to participate in a Special City Council Meeting on Mayor Schaaf’s proposed biennial city budget for FY 2021-23. In this budget, there are wins resulting from our people-powered advocacy and participation over the last year; there are also areas where we must make deeper investments in our communities to ensure a truly just recovery from COVID.

See highlights here from my initial analysis of the Mayor’s budget and Capital Improvements Plan.

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Engage in the City's New 2-Year Budget

Happy Mother’s Day to our beloved sisters, aunties, grandmothers, daughters, mothers & more — chosen and blood. This morning, I joined the senior volunteers with Toi Shan Association to surprise them with flowers and stroll the streets to support community safety in Chinatown.

On Friday, Mayor Schaaf released her proposed biennial city budget for FY 2021-23. We have been spending this weekend reviewing several hundred pages of information in a new online format before our Monday, May 10, 1:30 pm budget hearing tomorrow. 

 

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