Councilmember Newsletter: May 20, 2019


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Dear Friend,

Tomorrow's Council meeting has a full agenda, including a Ceremonial Resolution in honor of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month introduced by Councilmember Thao and I, as well as two resolutions I introduced that are up for approval:

  1. Calling for an independent audit of the Sheriff's Office. After passing unanimously in the Public Safety Committee, the full Council will vote to join community groups, Berkeley City Council, and Senator Nancy Skinner calling for an audit to shine a light on serious issues that must be addressed in order to increase the safety and well-being of Oaklanders and everyone in Alameda County. Potential cost savings that may result from information provided in the audit could be redirected toward education, housing, public safety, and other critical community priorities. Thank you to Mayor Schaaf and Councilmember Kalb for co-sponsoring my resolution. 
  2. Support of AB 362, Overdose Prevention Programs. Mayor Schaaf and I are partnering to support and amend this bill to allow Oakland the discretion to authorize overdose prevention programs, which have been shown to reduce infectious disease transmission, increase the likelihood that people initiate drug treatment, reduce syringe litter, and improve neighborhood safety. Research suggests that overdose prevention programs are an effective way to address drug use as a health issue rather than as a criminal justice issue among communities that do not currently have housing. Learn more.

Other important items on tomorrow's agenda include:

  • affordable housing at Brooklyn Basin & Fruitvale Transit Village,
  • removing exemptions from rent control for owner-occupied duplexes & triplexes,
  • lowering cannabis business tax rates,
  • the 3-year paving plan contracts, and
  • the Citizen Options for Public Safety Grant with a potential purchase of a new Bearcat armored vehicle.

Regarding the paving plan, our roads are in desperate need of repair and must be repaved as soon as possible. I support the Department of Transportation's 3-year paving plan, which Council approved unanimously on May 7. Tomorrow, May 21, Council will vote on $35 million in paving contracts, which I support. Also, Council has dedicated $7M in state funding towards completing 311 community service requests for Priority 1 and 2 pothole and concrete repair submitted to 311/SeeClickFix. Today, the City announced its “pothole blitz” and District 2 potholes will be filled June 12-14. Be sure your potholes are reported on 311

Last, thank you to the 200+ neighbors who joined my office's District 2 Budget Forum (watch here) last Thursday to weigh in on my budget priorities and help shape how the City spends its resources in service of Oaklanders. Read more in the section below and stay tuned for a recap of the community's questions, ideas, and concerns soon. 

Mark your calendars for these upcoming dates to make your voice heard in the City's budget process:

  • Monday, June 10, 5 pm. Special Budget Meeting on the Council President’s Budget
  • Tuesday, June 18, 4 pm. Special Budget Meeting
  • Monday, June 24, 5:30 pm. Special Budget Meeting (if needed)

As always, please share your feedback on this newsletter, as well as future opportunities you'd like to share with our neighbors. 

With Oakland Love,


Nikki Fortunato Bas
Councilmember, City of Oakland, District 2


#PeoplePoweredGovernment: Stay connected
to key efforts to support Oaklanders.

(1) Condemning Deportations of Southeast Asian
Refugee Community Members

At the May 28th Public Safety Committee meeting, I will introduce a resolution urging Governor Newsom to grant pardons to rehabilitated formerly incarcerated Southeast Asian Americans being targeted for deportation by the Trump Administration's ICE, and urging Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O'Malley to collaborate with the Public Defender to reopen old cases and lower offensives to non-deportable charges. 

Why it matters: ICE raids have targeted Southeast Asian Americans across the country including in Oakland, San Francisco, and San Jose. These individuals are facing deportation orders based on decades old convictions, despite having demonstrated rehabilitation. I recently wrote to Governor Newsom - with the Mayor and Councilmembers Thao, Kaplan and Reid - urging him to grant pardons to Kang Hen, Hay Hov, and Roeun Pich, loving fathers, sons and husbands from the Bay Area, two of whom are Oaklanders, facing imminent deportation orders.

Governor Newsom granted pardons in response to two of our requests; however, Roeun Pich was not granted clemency. In our resolution, we again ask this action to be taken. 

Thank you to the many public interest lawyers and organizations such as the Asian Prisoner Support Committee (APSC), Center for Empowering Refugees and Immigrants (CERI), and Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Asian Law Caucus who have been working relentlessly to protect and advocate for formerly incarcerated Southeast Asian Americans. 

(2) Calling for Citywide Efforts to Close Racial Wage Gap among Oakland Restaurant Workers

I joined the Mayor last week to call for citywide incentives for restaurant owners to undergo a thorough racial equity training process, after the release of new findings of a 3-year study from advocacy groups Restaurant Opportunities Center Bay Area and Race Forward. 

Why it matters: The new findings showed that the Bay Area's race-wage gap among restaurant workers -- the difference in pay between white workers and people of color -- was the nation's highest. Workers of color represent over 70% of the restaurant workforce in California and those jobs are predominantly concentrated at the "back of the house," in lower-wage jobs. When people of color are able to find "front of the house" work, their wages, on average, are lower than white workers in the same position. The study found that 51% of white bartenders and 45% of white servers earn livable wages, compared to 28% of bartenders and servers of color in the Bay Area.

We have much to do to make this industry more equitable and must begin to implement policies such as a certification process to provide tax and licensing incentives for restaurants that complete equity training.

(3) Homeless Encampment Management Program 

After I requested an information report from the City Administrator to provide information and publicize in detail how the homeless encampment program works (e.g. deciding on and executing encampment closures, outreach and services, and housing options), we heard the report at the May 14 Life Enrichment Committee meeting.

At the meeting, dozens of unsheltered residents and advocates came out to describe their experiences and make recommendations to the city about how we can improve services and programs that aide our unsheltered neighbors and advance the health and safety of everyone. We must seek more compassionate and sustainable solutions to the unsheltered crises. On March 28, I will present recommendations at the Life Enrichment Committee. 

(4) Oakland's 2019-21 Budget: District 2 Budget Forum

More than 200 neighbors joined us last week to weigh in on the City's two-year budget. Stay tuned for a more detailed recap of themes and questions discussed as well as next steps in the process towards budget approval by  June 30th. Topics that residents brought up frequently were housing and homelessness, funding for our parks and recreation centers, the City's vacancy crisis, the condition of our streets, and resource allocations for policing and public safety.

The city budget provides us with a real, systemic opportunity to prioritize Oaklanders' needs - to put resources towards solving problems and strengthening supports. The Mayor's proposed budget includes important service increases to: fire prevention & emergency services, and street paving & transportation. It also includes reductions to services - freezing vacant positions in parks maintenance, despite our growing need.

My first priority is housing as a human right, and the city's own public budget survey revealed housing and homelessness are overwhelmingly the top issues residents want to prioritize. I'd like us to invest more in these areas. My other top priorities include: community safety, economic development, our parks, our streets, and our children and students.

(5) Advancing Environmental and Climate Justice in Oakland

Last month, I was humbled to join thousands of volunteers who cleaned and greened our streets for Oakland's 25th Annual Earth Day events. I am inspired by District 2 neighbors and Oaklanders who work year-round to carry out the vision for environmental justice and climate solutions.

Programs like California's Climate Investments that have dedicated $1.5 billion so far for affordable housing at transit hubs, hundreds of millions in free solar and energy efficiency installations in disadvantaged communities, and prioritizing air pollution clean up can all be traced back to District 2 groups and leaders, including the Asian Pacific Environmental Network, whom I am honoring at our May 21 Council meeting as part of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage month. 

Looking ahead, Oakland will have a new draft of the Energy and Climate Action Plan (ECAP) to reach our 2030 climate pollution reduction targets as well as equitable community solutions to get us there. Years ago, I helped win clean air and good jobs programs at the Port of Oakland, and I want to see our city find those win-win solutions in the ECAP.

I nominated District 2 leaders to the City's ECAP Advisory Committee and am partnering with the Oakland Climate Action Coalition to ensure we have meaningful community engagement to develop this plan.

Join the first in a series of community meetings this Thursday, May 23rd at 6 - 8:30 p.m. at Lincoln Square Recreation Center.

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.

ECAP Community Workshop. The City's Equitable Climate Action Plan (ECAP) aims to identify how to equip Oakland businesses and residents to take action to stop climate change and adapt to a changing climate. Join the Oakland Climate Action Coalition at the District 2 Community Workshop to share your vision and solutions for Oakland’s 2030 ECAP.

Thursday, May 23, 2019
6 - 8:30 p.m.
Lincoln Square Recreation Center
250 10th St, Oakland

Free Preparation for Apprenticeship and
Civil Service Testing. 
Interested in hands-on work? Union apprenticeships and careers at public agencies offer benefits and opportunities for advancement. Get prepared to perform well on apprenticeship and civil service exams with this free 5-week program offered by JVS (Jewish Vocational Services). Women and job seekers with previous conviction histories are encouraged to apply.

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

Bella Vista NCPC
Wednesday, June 12, 2019
7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Bella Vista Elementary School
1025 E. 28th St.

San Antonio NCPC
Wednesday, July 10, 2019
6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Word Assembly Church
1445 23rd Ave. 

Chinatown NCPC
Wednesday, June 19, 2019
Starts at 4:00 p.m.
Lincoln Square Recreation center
250 10th St.

Grandlake NCPC 
Wednesday, June 19, 2019
7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Lakeshore Ave. Baptist Church
3534 Lakeshore Ave.

Cleveland Heights / Beat 15X recently voted to formally establish a Neighborhood Council at its first well-attended meeting at FM Smith Rec Center. We will share information about upcoming meetings when it becomes available.

Helmet Give Away with the City of Oakland Department of Transportation. Bring your pre-reading child to celebrate National Bike Month with a bicycle themed 10:30 a.m. story time and a free helmet give away afterwards (while supplies last) sponsored by Oakland's Department of Transportation.

Saturday, May 25, 2019
10:30 - 11:30 a.m.
Lakeview Branch Library
550 El Embarcadero

City of Oakland E-Scooter Survey. The Oakland Department of Transportation is seeking public input on e-scooters to inform future plans and policies. Take the survey in English, Spanish, or Chinese.

Town Camp. Registration is open for Oakland Parks, Recreation, and Youth Development's (OPRYD) annual Town Camp, which offers youth an opportunity to learn leadership skills and develop self-confidence in a safe and inclusive environment. Each week of camp has an exciting theme including activities such as swimming, field trips, crafts, games, and cooking projects. 



Rent Adjustment Program Trainings and Workshops. The City is hosting a series of trainings and workshops for landlords and tenants. Upcoming topics include tenant rights, evictions, security deposits, and owner-occupied duplexes and triplexes. The next one is for small property owners on Tuesday, March 26 from 5:30 - 7 p.m. at City Hall.

FM Smith Recreation Center Basketball Court Project. Project Backboard is collaborating with local artist Alicia McCarthy to design the graphic for the rec center's basketball court resurfacing project. Provide your input on the graphic design concepts at the following community engagement meetings:

Wednesday May 22, 2019
6 - 7 p.m.
FM Smith Recreation Center
1969 Park Boulevard

4th Annual Older Americans Month Reception. Join Warren Publishing Group and the City's Aging and Adult Services to honor healthcare agencies providing services to seniors over 50.

Downtown Oakland Senior Center
Friday, May 31, 2019
4 - 7 p.m. $20 / person
200 Grand Avenue, Oakland

Get Help from the Homeless Action Center. On Tuesday, May 21 from 10:30 - 11:30 a.m., drop by the Main Library’s Community Kiosk and Veterans Center (125 14th St.) to get help, say hi, or enjoy free coffee. The Homeless Action Center provides legal services in the area of public benefits, including help with applications and appeals for Food Stamps, General Assistance, and Medi-Cal benefits in Alameda County; with applications and appeals for Social Security disability benefits & SSI; with legal information about public benefits issues, and referrals for other issues.

The Homeless Action Center is open every Tuesday, except the first Tuesday of the month. Contact Dayni Kuo, Librarian at (510) 238-3134 for more information.

Scholar Athlete Coding and Basketball Youth Camp. From June 3 to June 7, Willie Keyes Recreation Center will offer a sports and technology camp; The Scholar Athlete Coding and Basketball Camp is a one-week camp combining technology, academics and sports for youth age 8-12 sponsored by Antonio Davis and Jason Kidd. 


Oakland Launches Adaptive Bike Share. The newly launched program will provide people with disabilities an accessible bike share transportation option in Oakland. The program will include handcycles, adaptive trikes, and a side-by-side tandem bike, which will be available at Lake Merritt on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

23rd Ave Street Cleanup. Join the 23rd Avenue Beautification Group (23ABG) for its monthly cleanup on Saturday, May 25th from 9-11 a.m. Meet at 2209 23rd Avenue. Tools, gloves, and safety vests will be provided.

Expanded Oakland Public Library Hours. Thanks to the passage of Measure D, all library locations increased their hours since April 1 and will now be open on Mondays. Previously, only three branches were open Mondays. In addition, the Main Library and 81st Ave Branch are open 7 days a week with full days on Saturday and Sunday. 

Around the Neighborhood

Joining the Multi-Cultural Chambers' Members of the Year Awards Reception to honor the diverse small businesses that contribute to our city. Oakland Chinatown Chamber of Commerce honored home remodeling material supplier Sincere Home Décor. 

Thank you, Alameda Labor Council and Executive Secretary-Treasurer Liz Ortega for supporting leadership for change. I am proud to stand with labor and working families and work together to change our future.    

Congratulations to the community organizers and groups who celebrated the groundbreaking of affordable housing at Brooklyn Basin after 16 years of advocacy. All 465 units will be affordable to households earning 25-60% AMI with units for families, seniors, and homeless folks.

Standing with the API community and allies to call on Alameda County to fully investigate and take action in response to the racially offensive new year card from the Alameda County Fire Station and further a work environment that is centered around equity, fairness and respect. 

District 2 had the honor of celebrating Arizmendi Bakery on Lakeshore for Small Business Week! Other honorees across Oakland included Ruby's Garden, Uncle Willie's BBQ and Fish, Delightful Foods, Taqueria La Casita, Leona's Soul Food Cafe, Paul Cobb / Post News Group, and Clean360.  

A great Bike to Work Day 2019 with neighbors and kids from Grand and Lakeshore to City Hall, with District 2’s representative on our Bike & Pedestrian Advisory Commission Andy Campbell and our Grand Lake NCPC co-chair Eric Hughes. Thanks Walk Oakland Bike Oakland, Bike East Bay, The Original Scraper Bike Team, OakDOT and Blackberry Soul!

Congratulations to EBHO (East Bay Housing Organizations) on 35 years of creating, preserving and protecting affordable housing. It was great to celebrate the kickoff of Affordable Housing Week with many community groups and advocates. 

With partners like the Harm Reduction Coalition, Drug Policy Alliance and HEPPAC (HIV Education and Prevention Project of Alameda County) introducing a resolution with the Mayor calling for the City Council to support AB 362 and amend it to allow Oakland the discretion to authorize overdose prevention programs. These programs have been shown to significantly reduce infectious disease transmission, increase the likelihood that people initiate drug treatment, reduce syringe litter and improve neighborhood safety. Council votes tomorrow May 21 on this effort.

At the city's Family Legacy Business Awards Celebration of Small Business Week, we were excited to honor Lake Merritt Optometry, a 3rd generation family-owned small business which first opened in Chinatown in the 1930s.

Community Corner

As part of the City's relationship with the Oakland Coliseum, Councilmembers receive tickets to sporting events and concerts. We are grateful for the opportunity to honor community members with these tickets.

Join us in recognizing Vivian Huang, Kenneth Tang, and Jessica Guadalupe Tovar for their work supporting Oakland.

Vivian and Kenneth organize with low-income Asian immigrants and refugees to advance environmental and social justice with Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN). We appreciate all you and APEN do to build healthy, fair, and just neighborhoods and bring change to economic and social institutions to prioritize public good over profits. 

"I love Oakland for its strong legacy of people power and all the dedicated people who are advancing wins for workers, immigrants, educators, and the environment!" -- Vivian

"Oakland has this natural charm that makes the Town so likable and irresistible. The locals, all its cultures and don't get me started on the food! I love all of it!" - Kenneth

Jessica is an organizer with the Local Clean Energy Alliance, promoting “Clean Power to the People” as coordinator of the East Bay Clean Power Alliance, which advocated for the establishment of East Bay Community Energy, Alameda County's Community Choice energy program. Local Clean Energy Alliance is currently organizing to implement a Local Development Business Plan -- A Green New Deal for Alameda County to create clean energy jobs and resources in the East Bay Area that benefit low income, people of color, renters and small businesses who are often left out of the clean energy economy. Thank you, Jessica, for your important work.

In the News

  • KTVU // Oakland council committee joins growing chorus calling for audit of Alameda County sheriff's office
  • SF Chronicle // Oakland explores possibility of opening safe injection site
  • California Globe // Gov. Newsom Grants Seven Pardons
  • Drake Talk Oakland // Plea to Governor Newsom - Please Save These Cambodian-Americans from Deportation!
  • KQED // Report: Racial Segregation, Bias Deny Living Wages to Bay Area Restaurant Workers
  • Oakland North // School budget woes strain the bonds between Oakland foster youth and their case managers
  • SF Chronicle // Alameda County Fire Dept. investigates firefighters over Lunar New Year card
  • Oakland North // Historic Parkway Theater on track to open as cannabis lounge
  • 94.1 KPFA // The Community of Grace
  • Streets Blog SF // Oakland Adds Bike Share for People with Disabilities

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 Drake, Community Liaison
[email protected], (510) 238-7022