Councilmember Newsletter: July 26, 2019



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Dear Friend,

As we continue to enjoy the sunshine, I want to share some updates on activities and community life at Lake Merritt and across our City's parks.

Watch this quick video on Lake Merritt “do’s and dont’s” from my office and our Parks Commissioners Kenzie Smith and Mandolin Kadera-Redmond:

We hear from many Oaklanders how much they value the spirit of community, culture, and celebration at the Lake. We’ve also heard persistent frustration from neighbors living near the Lake about parking, amplified music, vending, and special events / larger gatherings that disrupt their home lives.

My team has been working with the Mayor’s office, City departments, and neighbors to address concerns. We are also working with colleagues to find longer-term community-led solutions including creating a Park Ambassador program and bringing back Park Rangers.

Read more here on Lake guidelines, including reminders & updates on:

  • Parking and enforcement
  • Amplified sound
  • Vending
  • Signage, trash, and bathroom maintenance  
With Oakland Love,


Nikki Fortunato Bas
Councilmember, City of Oakland, District 2


Updates on Redevelopment & Renovation Projects in Our District

(1) Kaiser Auditorium: Proceeding with Community Benefits Agreement

The Kaiser Auditorium, approved by City Council on July 16th, could once again be a cultural gem for all of Oakland, serving and benefiting Oakland's arts and culture organizations and becoming a place for local residents to gather and build community.

Thanks to the many community members and organizations who have engaged with me and my office on this project. I have deep appreciation for the Community Coalition for Equitable Development - including Black Arts Movement Business District CDC, Eastlake United for Justice, among many others - for raising issues of cultural equity and accessibility. Thanks also to the Coalition and Orton Development who negotiated a community benefits agreement. This work is just beginning, and together we will ensure that the new Oakland Civic advances Oakland's Cultural Plan where: Equity is the driving force, Culture is the frame, Belonging is the goal.

Shout out to the Oakland Ballet and its Executive Director Graham Lustig (also a District 2 resident) for staying with us at the Council meeting until 2 a.m. to see this project through. The Ballet are one among many groups who stand to benefit from the new Oakland Civic.     

Read more from KQED Arts on the project's plans to provide permanent affordability for arts groups.

(2) Lincoln Recreation Center: Collecting Community Feedback & Ideas 

My office and the City of Oakland teamed up with Friends of Lincoln Square Park to host a community meeting on July 17th aimed at sharing updates and taking feedback and ideas for the new, expanded center which is the most utilized rec center in the entire city. We heard from residents, seniors, and young people about the facilities, programming, public safety, and more.

We are excited that the City's Capital Improvement Program is investing $1.7 M to move this renovation forward after many years of advocacy by Chinatown community leaders and partnership with the City of Oakland. 

(3) Parkway Theater: Application Withdrawn

Tidewater Patients Group (TPG) - the team leading the project to redevelop the Parkway Theater into a cannabis dispensary with on-site consumption - has withdrawn their application for a Conditional Use Permit and will be taking time to reevaluate the project.

Note that my request for a report on the City's community engagement procedures in cannabis permitting will be heard on Tuesday, September 10th at 10:30 a.m. at the Community & Economic Development Committee. See the report here.  

We will continue to inform you of updates. See background here.

July City Council Highlights

Key issues that my office advanced in July:

(1) Kaiser Auditorium Redevelopment and Community Benefits Agreement

Since March, my office engaged the community and Orton Development in how the Kaiser Auditorium project could best serve the public good by advancing equity, inclusivity, and preventing further displacement of Oakland’s arts and culture community.

We supported the negotiation of a community benefits agreement that helps mitigate concerns about accessibility and displacement, and provides more equity and permanent affordability to arts groups. Read more here and at KQED Arts.

As the City Council approved the project, I added requirements to create greater equity and accountability including:

  1. fully executed community benefits agreement is a condition for the conveyance of the lease,
  2. annual reporting on the community benefits agreement and
  3. Racial Equity Impact Analysis of the project to help ensure that it is the most impactful for the most vulnerable communities. 

(2) Homeless Encampment Management Recommendations

My office’s recommendations for improving communication, coordination and outcomes for the City’s Encampment Management Program were approved.

This is especially important because Oakland’s homeless population has soared 47%. Thank you to unsheltered neighbors, advocates, community members, city staff and colleagues for engaging in this process. Read more here.

The goals of the recommendations are to:

  1. improve information sharing and collaboration among all stakeholders,
  2. conduct critical, yet constructive, evaluations of the City’s work the past two years, and
  3. advance our goals of health and safety, and housing all our residents.

Key elements of this plan include:

  1. regular community engagement,
  2. performance audit by the City Auditor of the Encampment Management Program, and
  3. increased services to encampments and piloting self-governed, sanctioned encampments. 

(3) Equitable Access To Low-Income ("Equal") Housing Ordinance

We partnered with the City Attorney and Councilmember Dan Kalb to pass an ordinance that prevents discrimination against housing assistance/Section 8 voucher holders.

This Equal Housing policy increases access to housing for low-income tenants dependent on housing assistance and provides remedies for violations. Read more here.

(4) Sii Tka Park at Brooklyn Basin

Thank you to the Sogorea Te Land Trust for partnering with me to name one of the new parks at Brooklyn Basin - Sii Tka Park. Sii Tka means “into the water” and is pronounced “Seed-Kah”.

The Sogorea Te Land Trust is an urban Indigenous women-led community organization that facilitates the return of Chochenyo and Karkin Ohlone lands in the San Francisco Bay Area to Indigenous stewardship. Learn more at

Community Resources + Opportunities 

Report issues or services needed using OAK 311. 311 is an easy-to-remember telephone number that connects you with highly trained City of Oakland Call Center representatives ready to help you with requests for non-emergency City services and information. You can also report issues online or on the OAK 311 mobile phone app.

Apply for 2020 Citizens Redistricting Commission. Every ten years, after the federal census, California must re-establish the boundaries of its Congressional, State Senate, State Assembly, and State Board of Equalization districts to reflect new population data and shifting populations. The Voters FIRST Act gave this power to California citizens ensuring that new and fair political boundaries are drawn without special interests, politics and political influence.

Art + Soul Oakland 2019. On July 27 and 28, join the 19th annual Art + Soul festival featuring music-packed days of R&B, blues, gospel and rock performed by national recording artists and top local emerging artists, as well as dozens of hand crafted artisans, food, and children's activities.

Public Hearing on AC Transit Service Changes. Have questions, thoughts, or concerns about upcoming AC Transit service improvements? Attend a community meeting on July 25, 6 - 8 pm at the BRT Information Center (3322A International Blvd) or a public hearing on August 7, 2 pm or 6 pm at the AC Transit General Offices (1600 Franklin St.) If you cannot attend, send comments to [email protected] 

Neighborhood Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) Meetings. Get involved with your local NCPC or Neighborhood Council to help make our communities safe and connected. 

Cleveland Heights / Beat 15X
Tuesday, September 10, 2019
7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
FM Smith Recreation Center
1969 Park Blvd. 

Bella Vista NCPC
Wednesday, Sep. 11, 2019
7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Bella Vista Elementary School
1025 E. 28th St.

San Antonio NCPC
Wednesday, Sep. 11, 2019
6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Word Assembly Church
1445 23rd Ave. 

Chinatown NCPC
Wednesday, August 21, 2019
Starts at 4:00 p.m.
250 10th St.
Lincoln Square Rec Center

Grandlake NCPC 
Wednesday, September 18, 2019
7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Lakeshore Ave. Baptist Church
3534 Lakeshore Ave.

Job Opportunity: Capital Improvement Project Coordinator. Oakland Public Works is seeking a Capital Improvement Project Coordinator to oversee upgrades to public buildings, parks, and more. Applicants should be experienced in design management, construction, and/or architecture. 

Oakland Municipal Band. Enjoy an afternoon of music at Lakeside Park with the Oakland Municipal Band, July 28 & August 4 from 1-3 p.m.

Extended Hours - Oakland Planning & Building. Oakland Planning & Building Department (250 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, 2nd floor) will be extending its counter hours every other Tuesday to help accommodate small residential projects such as Accessory Dwelling Units, home repairs, and home modifications. Extended hours are on August 13 & 27 and September 10 & 17 from 4-7 pm.


Organize your neighborhood block party for National Night Out. Bring your neighbors together on Tuesday, August 6 from 7-9 pm with a block party, BBQ, ice cream social or other outdoor event. Register by July 26th to receive giveaways for children attendees!

Citywide Workshop - 2030 Equitable Climate Action Plan. Climate change affects all of us, especially our most vulnerable communities here in Oakland. Get involved in the City's 2030 ECAP by attending a citywide workshop on Wednesday, July 31, 6 - 8:30 pm at City Hall in Hearing Room 1. Weigh in on actions to reduce pollution, improve health, and create green jobs. 

Survey on Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs). Share your perspective with the City to help shape Oakland’s programs and policies related to ADUs, also called second units, granny flats, and in-law units. The City is looking to learn more about why Oakland homeowners do (and don’t) build ADUs, who lives in them, and what the barriers are to more widespread ADU development. Survey-takers will have the chance to win a $100 gift card to their choice of Farmer Joe’s Marketplace, The New Parkway Theater or tickets to the Oakland A’s.

Sidewalk Repair Discounts. Help ensure that community members are safe on your property's sidewalks. Through September 30th, the City is temporarily waiving all sidewalk permit fees. Contact Sarah Fine at [email protected] for more info.

Alameda County Regional Housing Survey 2019. Provide your input on housing needs and access to resources in Alameda County. Your feedback will be incorporated into the Alameda County Regional Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice report. Survey also available in Chinese and Spanish

Let's Bike Oakland - 2019 Bike Plan. OakDOT is proud to roll out its 2019 Bike Plan supporting safe and equitable cycling. Components of Let’s Bike Oakland include: partnering with community-based organizations, improving bikeway design, connecting neighborhood landmarks, and providing accessible biking resources through Oakland Public Library. City Council approved the new Bike Plan on July 9th. 


Oakland Public Library Summer Reading Program. Folks of all ages can promote learning and win prizes through Oakland Public Library’s Summer Reading Program! Learn more and register now before August 4th. 

Cultural Strategists Pilot Program. Seven individuals rooted in arts and culture will be bringing their expertise to various City departments as part of the Cultural Strategists-in-Government pilot program meant to encourage creativity and equity. Learn more about the inaugural cohort and their specific projects.

Around the Neighborhood

Proud to stand with Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, faith and community groups, and 600+ community members for a vigil gathering for immigrant children and to demand that the camps be closed. #FamiliesBelongTogether

Grateful for the opportunity to ride along with Gabe and Darrin on their route addressing service requests for illegal dumping throughout District 2. We appreciate all that our City workers and Public Works teams do -- taking care of as many as 200 illegal dumping service requests a day -- to make Oakland safe, clean, and beautiful, and we look forward to the addition of Oakland's fourth clean-up crew, which my office advocated for in the FY 19-21 budget.      

We partnered with Assemblymember Rob Bonta and County Assessor Phong La for a Town Hall & Resource Fair on Housing to engage with community members about what’s being done to combat displacement and increase housing affordability and access in Oakland and beyond. Thank you to the City's Rent Adjustment Program and First-Time Homebuyer Program for joining the resource fair!

It was a pleasure to join the Oakland African American Chamber of Commerce to celebrate and honor the Chamber's first chairwoman Shonda Scott and fierce women leaders, including Gay Plair Cobb and Councilmember  Lynette Gibson McElhaney.

We were honored and inspired to meet with high school students in APIs Mobilize's youth leadership program to talk about community organizing and advocacy here in Oakland.

We joined Asian Health Services' Patients Leadership Councils -- who volunteer as peer health advocates, training and supporting their communities in key health and advocacy issues -- for a day of fun outdoor activities!  

It was a pleasure to meet and volunteer with the Lake Merritt Institute, a community based, non-profit membership organization that works with volunteers, schools and the City to keep the Lake clean and beautiful. We discussed ways to partner to address issues at the Lake, including cleanliness, illegal dumping, signage, and use of e-scooters. 

It was a joy to join Lincoln Summer Nights, where so many youth, families, and seniors came out to enjoy music, sports, games, dancing, food, and more. The event takes place from 5-8 pm on the first Friday of each month at Lincoln Square Park.  

Excited to see the launch of the Department of Transportation's pedestrian safety improvements around Lake Merritt BART, which include: painted pedestrian spaces to slow turning cars; protected bike intersections; crossing distances shortened by nearly 60%; new overhead signals to decrease red light running; double wide loading zones for easier pick-ups and drop-offs; and dedicated on-street shuttle loading zones. 

Congratulations to Restore Oakland on their grand opening! Restore Oakland includes a soon-to-be-open living wage restaurant, the nation's largest fine dining job training center, restorative justice space, legal clinic and offices for the Ella Baker Center, Causa Justa | Just Cause, and Restaurant Opportunities Center Bay Area. Photo by Brooke Anderson Photography

I had the privilege of presenting the Kenneth Koh Award to Oakland Chinatown Chamber Executive Director Karen Dea at Family Bridges' 51st Annual Fundraising Gala. Join me in celebrating Karen's incredible contributions to all aspects of community and family life in Chinatown over the last three decades. 

Thank you so much to our veterans. We joined Chinese American Citizens Alliance's Independence Day senior luncheon to recognize those who have protected and served our country and communities.

We were blown away by the talented dancers and musicians who showcased their work at the American Center of Pilipino Arts (ACPA) 10th Anniversary Expo of Filipino American community artists and Philippines-inspired performances by ACPA’s youth program!

In the News

  • KQED Arts // Kaiser Auditorium Redevelopment Proceeds With ‘Permanent Affordability’ for Arts Groups
  • Mercury News // Oakland’s historic Kaiser auditorium renovation to start in early 2020
  • SF Gate // Equity Ripples: Despite Construction Boom, Affordable Housing Elusive For Many
  • SF Chronicle // Oakland homelessness surges 47% — per-capita number now higher than SF and Berkeley
  • Oakland Post // Homeless need trash removal and toilet services
  • SF Chronicle // Oakland opens Bay Area's first 24/7 safe parking area for homeless RV dwellers
  • KPFA // The Community of Grace: The Bay Area’s Unhoused Communities
  • Mercury News // As immigration raids loom, Bay Area residents rally, prepare
  • East Bay Times // Oakland’s second ‘BBQing While Black’ party draws big crowds
  • SF Chronicle // Oakland Police Commission finds officers in fatal shooting should be fired  
  • Oakland Post // City Council Approves Kaiser Permanente Thrive Center To Centralize Workforce in Downtown Oakland 
  • Oakland News Now // John Alden is Executive Director For The Oakland Community Police Review Agency

Connect with Team D2!

D2 Office: (510) 238-7002
Email us at [email protected]

Miya Saika ChenChief of Staff
[email protected], (510) 238-7246

Lia Azul SalaverryPolicy Analyst, Community Liaison
[email protected], (510) 238-7023

Linna LinChinatown Liaison and Aide
[email protected], (510) 238-7022

Tiffany KangCommunications Specialist, Community Liaison
[email protected], (510) 238-7022

Pamela DrakeCommunity Liaison
[email protected], (510) 238-7022

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