As we near the end of five months sheltering in place, I truly hope you and your loved ones are healthy.
Thanks to your participation and power by the thousands, City Council recently committed to create a Task Force to Reimagine Public Safety. The goal of the task force is to make recommendations to City Council that will reinvest in community programs and services that address the root causes of violence and increase community safety, developing alternative responses by divesting 50% of traditional policing resources in the next FY 2021-23 budget cycle -- see more below.
In this newsletter, you’ll find information on these topics:
- Updates on creating a healthy, safe, and inclusive environment at Lake Merritt
- Shifting half of policing resources to community needs & how to get involved
- Updates including OUSD First Day of School, Housing Resources, AC Transit BRT, Chinatown StreetFest, Black Arts / Black August, COVID businesses resources
This week, I was alarmed to learn about new COVID data from Roots Community Health Center that shows COVID cases are surging and many infections are from parties and social gatherings. This is a sobering reminder to continue to shelter in place and follow guidelines to protect everyone’s health. And, as rent becomes due on the 1st soon, I’m glad to share that my eviction moratorium extension passed unanimously. Oakland has the strongest eviction moratorium in the state, and it will last through the end of the Local Emergency. The City will also provide millions in rent and mortgage relief with federal CARES Act funds.
In this newsletter, you’ll find important policy updates and neighborhood news:
- COVID cases surge, many linked to parties/gatherings
- Eviction moratorium extended until end of Local Emergency
- Preview of Tuesday’s Council meeting
- News on homelessness, the Ghost Ship tragedy and more
I’m grateful for the many ways City Council, our District 2 neighbors, youth, community leaders, and organizers across Oakland have been working to cultivate relationships of care, love, and healing.
In this newsletter, you’ll find some of the reasons why I’m inspired and information on:
- Recent policy wins to protect small businesses, tenants and workers
- Preview of Tuesday’s Council meeting, including more on reimagining public safety
- Solidarity in standing up for Black Lives in the Grand Lake neighborhood
- Call to action supporting Oakland youth & families
- COVID-19 and City updates, including County reopening information
The decisions we make now about how to recover from this economic and health crisis provide rare, promising opportunities -- not to “go back to normal” or the status quo, but to emerge as a stronger and more equitable city on the other side.
That’s why I’m writing to ask for your support of three important policies coming to City Council on Tuesday. These policies aim to protect Oakland small businesses, renters, and travel and hospitality workers from the ongoing impacts of COVID-19 and to help address inequities that existed before the pandemic -- see below.
This July 4th weekend, I’m reminded that our communities and country still have a very long way to go towards freedom for all, and I’m hopeful that in Oakland we will continue coming together to achieve this dream.
As folks gather this weekend, I encourage us to look out for each other. The City is continuing its expanded efforts at Lake Merritt to manage parking, traffic and trash, as well as deploying Parks Ambassadors to hand out masks and promote physical distancing. We appreciate our City workers for providing these services, and our Firefighters who circled the Lake yesterday providing medical assistance, masks, and guidance to help ensure fire safety and address illegal fireworks.
In this newsletter you’ll find:
- Recap of last week’s Council meetings
- Upcoming Council meetings and important agenda items
- COVID-19 updates on paused reopening plans, emergency homelessness response and resources, parking changes and more
Last week, I was very disappointed by the Council’s rush to approve a budget without transparency. However, after spending the weekend in the community with neighbors and grassroots organizations, I have renewed hope about reimagining community safety. See the first section below for more.
In this newsletter you’ll find:
- Updates on our city budget process and community safety efforts
- Updates on community wins for our students to experience police-free schools
- Preview of this week’s important City Council activities, including tenant and worker protections and directives to undertake a thorough review of 911 and non-emergency police calls for service towards shifting to alternative responder models
- An invitation to join a Community Town Hall to discuss my proposal to modernize Oakland’s business tax and make it more fair
- Call to action to support Oakland's LGBTQ Community Center
It’s been just a few days since we celebrated Juneteenth. I’m hopeful that our Black brothers, sisters, ancestors, and all Oaklanders felt the abundance, joy, and power of community.
With recent news of alleged nooses and fake bodies at Lake Merritt, we must stand together with zero tolerance and community care. I’m inspired by how the Town responded immediately -- from the emergence of people-powered Community Patrol to artist-leaders like Kev Choice, DJ Lady Ryan and many more organizing healing efforts. This outpouring of love is what the real Oakland stands for.
If you have information, contact investigators at (510) 238- 3728 or the OPD Hate Crime Hotline at (510) 637-4283. You can remain anonymous. Meanwhile, we’ve called on City leaders to investigate and have been informed that there will be a full, thorough investigation. The City has also notified the FBI.
I also want to inform and ask for your support to spread the word about two important things happening soon:
- An update on my efforts to improve community safety & redirect OPD funds during our city budgeting process
- My proposal to modernize Oakland’s business tax structure & benefit our small businesses.
To our Black brothers and sisters who are grieving and demanding change, I see and stand with you. To our community who has protested, testified at meetings, and sent thousands of messages to me and City leaders, I hear your calls for police accountability and for transformation of a system beyond reform.Read more
I’m inspired by how Oaklanders are staying strong, showing love and solidarity with the movement to support our Black brothers and sisters, continuing to shelter in place, and coming together to help our small businesses.
In case you missed it, see my recent message on honoring George Floyd + Black Lives and working towards police accountability.
In this newsletter, you’ll find:
- How my office, the City & community are helping small biz post-demonstrations
- COVID-19 biz updates & resources for re-opening
- Preview of Tuesday’s Council meeting
We’ve reached 3 months sheltering in place. As Black Lives Matter demonstrations continue nationwide, as we face an unprecedented health pandemic and economic recession, here in Oakland we must close a $120M budget gap.
I’ve heard loud and clear from hundreds of you: we must invest in visionary solutions that reimagine community safety and prosperity as the housing, jobs, and services we all need.
The choices Oakland makes now about how to recover should focus NOT on “getting back to normal” but on moving towards a more just, fair, and equitable future, so that our children can live and thrive in our beloved Town, safely, affordably, and sustainably for years to come.