As we enter our 10th week of sheltering in place, know that we are all helping to stop the spread. COVID-19 cases are still rising, and we need to stay vigilant, continuing to stay home unless it’s for essential business, covering our faces out in public, washing our hands often, staying 6 feet apart, and avoiding group gatherings. Oakland, together we can #BeatCOVID19!
In this newsletter, you’ll find:
- COVID-19 Updates on Sick Leave, Testing, Resources and More
- City Parks Update
- A Preview of Tuesday’s Council Meeting
Testing, Paid Sick Leave & More
Community Story: Our office recently donated 400 masks to EBALDC Chinatown's on-site staff to help their teams continue supporting residents at properties and providing services like maintenance, food distribution, and wellness calls to those with health conditions. Especially during times like these, we're grateful for all you do EBALDC (East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation) to make and maintain affordable housing options in Chinatown and across Oakland.
Emergency Paid Sick Leave: Last week, together with Councilmembers Sheng Thao, Dan Kalb and Loren Taylor, City Council unanimously passed our legislation for emergency paid sick leave of 80 hours for essential workers. Thank you to the East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy, workers and businesses who worked with us to achieve this. Read more here.
New Testing Site: Tomorrow Monday, May 18, the City of Oakland and Allen Temple Baptist Church will open a new East Oakland COVID-19 drive-through community-based testing site available for free to all community members by appointment, regardless of insurance or immigration status. Make an appointment here.
Food Distribution: The city has a new food distribution web page that lists all food distribution centers citywide. It also links to an interactive County Map of food distribution, testing and services.
State COVID-19 Assistance for Immigrants: California is providing one-time, state-funded disaster relief assistance to undocumented adults ineligible for other forms of assistance, including assistance under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and pandemic unemployment benefits, due to their immigration status. Qualifying adults can receive $500 in direct assistance, with a maximum of $1,000 per household. You can begin applying tomorrow Monday, May 18. See details here and contact Catholic Charities of California at (866) 490-3899.
City Parks Update
Vending & Parking
To reduce overcrowding and encourage physical distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic and in alignment with the Alameda County Public Health Order in effect through the end of May, Oakland is implementing the following measures at City parks through Sunday, May 31:
- No vending—including food trucks—allowed in/adjacent to City parks.
- Parking lots at all City parks will remain closed.
- No parking adjacent to Lake Merritt will be permitted on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, and the Memorial Day holiday.
We still encourage walkers, joggers, and cyclists to get outdoors for fresh air and exercise, which is important to our health. Check out Oakland Slow Streets for good options in neighborhoods throughout the city for exercise!
On Fridays and weekends, teams of City Park Ambassadors will continue to rove City parks and circle Lake Merritt wearing bright-colored shirts to remind park users about park rules and physical distancing, and provide face coverings and information about free COVID-19 testing.
City Council Meeting
What's On the Agenda?
- Eviction Moratorium Emergency Ordinance Extension. I am introducing this emergency ordinance with CM Dan Kalb and City Attorney Barbara Parker to extend the eviction moratorium for tenants, small businesses and nonprofits beyond May 31. This ensures the public’s health and safety as we continue to shelter in place. Recognizing that renters and property owners need comprehensive legislation at the state and federal levels to weather this health and economic emergency, we also continue to call on the state and federal government, and financial institutions, for action and relief. Of note, the federal HEROES Act includes $100 billion in rental assistance and $50 billion in mortgage assistance, and proposals are developing at the state level to support small businesses, renters and mortgage holders.
- Local Health Emergency for Oakland’s Black Residents. At the request of leaders in the Black community who created The Black New Deal, I am co-sponsoring this resolution with Council President Rebecca Kaplan and CM Sheng Thao. County health data shows that Black residents in Oakland are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. By focusing on this highest-need community, we help ensure that everyone -- without exception -- can be safe and healthy.
- Youth Vote Ballot Measure. I’m proud to co-sponsor this resolution with Council President Rebecca Kaplan, and CMs Thao and Taylor, which would place a measure on the November 2020 ballot to allow 16 and 17 year olds in our community to vote for the office of School Board Director. Learn more about Oakland Youth Vote.
- Housing Element Annual Progress Report. We will hear the 2019 progress report on implementing policies in Oakland’s General Plan Housing Element and meeting our share of regional housing needs.
- Appointment of City Administrator. We will hear a resolution to confirm Mayor Schaaf’s appointment of Edward Reiskin and authorize his employment agreement.
Lastly, legislation on tenant protection amendments co-sponsored by City Attorney Barbara Parker, CM Dan Kalb and myself will be heard on Tuesday, June 23 at 1:30pm at a meeting of the Community & Economic Development Committee.