I’m grateful to share that last week I was elected by my colleagues to serve as Council President. I’m excited to better serve Oakland in this role, in partnership with the Council, Mayor, and City Administration. Our residents, workers, and small businesses need us now more than ever to work boldly together to create a safer, healthier, more inclusive and vibrant city.
I remain committed to representing District 2 and working on our neighborhood priorities, and I look forward to taking on new responsibilities of Council President, including:
- Leading the Council to achieve a city budget that reflects our values, prioritizing the most vulnerable workers and residents of Oakland,
- Chairing Council meetings and working with other city branches to make our government as effective and united as possible, and
- Appointing Councilmembers to our committees as well as external boards.
I will work towards the progressive priorities Oaklanders voted for: housing as a human right, safety focused on prevention and healing, prioritizing violent crime, and inviting large corporations to pay their fair share and invest in a just economic recovery for our city.
I also want to acknowledge the important national events of this week. I woke up Wednesday, thrilled about the Georgia Senate elections and thankful to Stacy Abrams, Black women and organizers who made history for our democracy. Then, like you, I was shocked by the attack on our nation’s Capitol by white supremacists incited by Trump. We must take action to eliminate white supremacy from our institutions and restore true democracy. I will do this work here in Oakland, alongside you.
In this newsletter, you’ll find information about:
- Important items for Tuesday’s Council meeting
- New #RoseBudThorn video updates I’ve launched on social media!
- City and district news and resources
Tuesday 1/12: Council Meeting Preview
Progressive Corporate Tax, Alternative Shelter for Homelessness, Justice for Oscar Grant, & more
This coming Tuesday, January 12th’s 1pm Special Council meeting will include the following important agenda items:
- Item 2.11: I’m introducing a resolution with Councilmember Thao to create a Blue Ribbon Task Force for the Progressive, Modern and Equitable Business Tax Ordinance approved by Council on July 14, 2020 for placement on the November 8, 2022 ballot. By inviting the largest corporations in Oakland to invest in our general purpose fund, we can grow our revenue and ensure a Just and Fair Recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic;
- Item 2.12: I’m joining Councilmembers Taylor, Reid, and Fife in a resolution urging Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley to charge former BART police officer Anthony Pirone in the killing of Oscar Grant;
- Item 2.8: I’m joining Vice Mayor Kaplan, Councilmembers Taylor and Fife in a resolution urging the national park service to initiate an exploratory survey to analyze the appropriateness of a national park or monument dedicated to the Black Panther Party in the Bay Area;
- Item 8: I’m partnering with Vice Mayor Kaplan in amending a resolution requesting the City Administrator to follow the Center For Disease Control (CDC) Interim Guidelines On Homelessness and COVID-19 to only clear encampments if individual housing units or alternative shelter is provided, amending the resolution to prohibit congregate shelters as offers of alternative shelter during COVID.
See details to join the meeting and provide public comment.
Nikki's Rose Bud 🥀 Thorn
New Video Updates to Inform + Call to Action!
I'm excited to have launched a regular video series on my social media to better engage and inform you of what our office is working on and how you can support!
I'll share updates using a #RoseBudThorn format -- a rose is something positive, inspiring, and that brings me joy; a bud is something I'm looking forward to that I hope you'll consider supporting; and a thorn brings challenges and opportunities that I know we can overcome in community.
Please check out my first update, in which my cat and co-star Ace joined me to talk about our joy, excitement, and upcoming challenges.
City + District 2 News and Resources
Small Biz + Youth Grants, New Minimum Wage and more
California Small Business Grant Program: If your annual revenue is $2.5M or less, apply by Wednesday, January 13 at 11:59pm for Round 1 of the state’s relief grant program, which will award $500M in two rounds of funding in amounts from $5-$25K. Learn more and apply here.
Youth to Youth Mini-Grants: Calling all youth ages 13-21, apply by January 19th for up to $5K to fund your project to build community, healing, health and safety in our neighborhoods and schools! Learn more here.
Upcoming Neighborhood Council Meetings: Join District 2 NCPC meetings coming up soon, on 1/12 for Cleveland Heights from 7-8:30pm, 1/13 for San Antonio from 6:30-8pm, 1/20 for Grand Lake from 7-8:30pm. Neighborhood Councils bring residents together to increase quality of life and address issues such as safety, emergency preparedness, beautification projects, and more.
OPD Rolls Out Text-to-911: OPD launched Text-to-911 on December 31, which is a free service that allows you to send a text message to reach 911 emergency dispatchers in situations where it’s not safe to place a voice call. This feature is free and beneficial to the deaf, hard of hearing and speech disabled, people with language and speech disorders, and those who can’t safely call 911.
7th Annual Reclaim MLK’s Radical Legacy Weekend: Join Anti Police-Terror Project on Monday, January 18th for this annual march to reclaim MLK’s radical legacy. This year’s march will be a car caravan beginning at the Port of Oakland and heads down International / E. 14th to East Oakland with a short program at the end.
New Minimum Wage Rates Took Effect Jan. 1: Oakland’s minimum wage is now $14.36. Employers should post these multilingual posters in their workplaces. Hotels with 50 or more guest rooms are subject to Measure Z minimum wage requirements, which effective January 1, are $15.61 with health benefits or $20.82 without health benefits.
Apply for 2021 Oakland Youth Poet Laureate: If you are a young writer ages 13-18, apply for poet laureate before February 1. The Laureate earns an educational scholarship, and all finalists are invited to serve as ambassadors with ongoing opportunities for performances, projects, and peer support!
Oakland Restaurant Week Now Through Jan. 18: If you can, be sure to show love to Oakland’s restaurants, breweries, wineries, food trucks, cafes, pop-ups, dessert spots, caterers and more through this year’s Oakland Restaurant Week specials!
COVID Vaccination Updates, Courtesy of Assemblymember Rob Bonta’s Newsletter: Vaccinations are well underway in California. Currently, health care workers and residents in long-term care facilities are receiving the vaccines. If you or a loved one is currently living in a long-term care facility, CVS and Walgreens are giving out free vaccinations. Later in the winter, the next tier of people can receive the vaccines. This tier includes Californians at least 75 years old, and workers in the following sectors: Education, Child care, Emergency services and Food and Agriculture categories.
"CA Notify" App Still Available to Track COVID-19 Exposures:More than 8 million Californians have signed up so far for CA Notify, a COVID-19 app that lets you know if you've been in prolonged contact with someone who later tests positive for COVID-19. The effectiveness of this resource is enhanced if more Californians sign up. This will allow state health officials to conduct contact tracing more quickly. The app uses Bluetooth technology and is designed to protect the user's privacy. Learn more here.