Last Monday, we began a Bay Area-wide stay-at-home order in which all sectors other than essential operations and retail at 20% capacity should be closed. This includes closure of outdoor dining, indoor and outdoor playgrounds, hair salons, barbershops, and personal care services. The new restrictions will remain in place until January 4, 2021.
In Alameda County, ICU beds occupied by COVID-19 patients have been increasing steadily since November 23rd and Bay Area-wide ICU capacity has fallen drastically in the last week. Let's all play our part to save lives: stay home unless for essential activities, wear a mask whenever outside your home and practice physical distancing.
See ICU capacity by region below:
As we approach the end of this challenging year, I’m grateful for all the adversity we have endured in 2020. We’ve strengthened our ability to persist through uncertainty, take care of each other and ourselves, and listen to and advocate with our most impacted communities for their needs.
At the same time, the pandemic has exposed how deeply our systems have divested from the social safety net and institutions that keep our communities safe, healthy and thriving. This is why I am leading the effort to reimagine public safety, to ensure that our precious public resources are targeted to address (1) violent crime which is increasing during the pandemic, (2) providing effective alternative responses to non-violent and non-criminal issues such mental health crises and public nuisances and (3) supporting programs that get to the root causes of violence and poverty.
Props to the Black Organizing Project and OUSD for developing a new safety plan that maps a future for Oakland schools without police, a future that disrupts the school to prison pipeline. To encourage cultural change at OUSD, staff and administrators will receive training on de-escalation, mental health, crisis prevention, and the new protocols for when it’s appropriate to call police.
Another important part of public safety is traffic safety for pedestrians and cyclists as well as drivers. My condolences to the family and friends of the man who was fatally struck on Grand Ave. Thursday evening. My next newsletter will focus on several efforts in our district to improve traffic safety, and we appreciate your partnership to keep all of us safe.
In this newsletter, you’ll find information about:
- District 2 businesses, schools, and organizations to support this holiday season
- D2 Town Hall on Homelessness, ICYMI - watch the video
- Tuesday’s Council meeting, including resolutions I’m introducing to support our public school educators, unhoused neighbors, renters and the Black Arts Movement & Business District
Support Oakland + D2 Businesses, Schools, Families
So many are hurting from the impacts of the pandemic and economic recession. The more we support our local economy, institutions and each other, the stronger we’ll emerge through recovery.
Support Garfield Elementary Families: Garfield will provide families in need with $150 gift cards to grocery stores for the holidays. Please join me in helping out! Thank you to Garfield staff and EBAYC for your work supporting families through these trying times, including providing food delivery and attendance check-ins.
Toy Drive for District 2 Children: Can you contribute toys or funds to help Franklin Recreation Center / Oakland Parks & Rec share holiday cheer with families and children from Franklin Elementary, FM Smith Rec Center, Lincoln Square, and other rec centers? Reach out to Karen Chung to coordinate donations of toys and gifts by Dec. 16 at 510-338-2961 or [email protected].
Lakeshore Holiday Love: Support the Lakeshore Business Improvement District’s campaign to help local businesses during these challenging times. Shop at Lakeshore, Lake Park or Rand Ave. businesses and submit your entry for a chance to win one of two Grand Prize packets worth $100, or one of over 30 fabulous prizes. Learn which businesses are participating and how to enter.
Save Our Chinatowns created a little holiday shopping guide to Bay Area AAPI creatives and businesses! Shop small always and support local folks!
East Side Arts Alliance / Bandung Books: As you think of holiday gifts for loved ones this year, consider East Side Arts Alliance located in D2’s San Antonio and their third world community bookstore which carries new and used books, records, posters featuring Black, Asian, Raza/Indigenous history, stories, poetry, and art. The bookstore's mission is to raise political and cultural consciousness in our communities as a requisite to self-determination and political empowerment.
City + D2 News and Resources
Minimum Wage Increases January 1: On January 1, 2021, Oakland’s minimum wage rises to $14.36. Employers should print posters, available here in multiple languages, for posting at workplaces by December 15. Hotels with 50 or more guest rooms are subject to Measure Z minimum wage requirements, which effective January 1, will be $15.61 with health benefits or $20.82 without health benefits.
$400-800 Grants for Unemployed Oaklanders: If you lost your job due to COVID, apply by December 15 for direct financial assistance. Funds are paid directly to vendors or landlords. East Oakland residents, contact Lao Family Community Development at 510-328-4505; services in English, Español, 廣東話, 普通話, ဗမာ. Lakeside and West Oakland residents, contact Oakland Private Industry Council at 510-858-6742; services in English, Español. Central Oakland residents, contact The Unity Council at 510-535-6944; services in English, Español, Mam.
Community Heroes -- Asian Health Services:Gratitude to Asian Health Services for surpassing 15,000 COVID tests since starting to provide these services 3.5 months ago. Not only has this multilingual team set up at Madison Square Park week after week through heat, air quality issues, rain and cold, they've also brought testing services to sites throughout the city like Clinton Park, partnering with Oakland Vietnamese Chamber of Commerce and Trybe.
D2 Town Hall on Homelessness
In case you missed our District 2 Town Hall on Homelessness last Thursday, you can view the event here. In the spirit of International Human Rights Day, we heard from community leaders who shared their experiences being unsheltered, a human rights framework to homelessness, our efforts to launch a co-governed encampment in D2, shelter and service resources from the City, and medical resources from the County. Love and Justice in the Streets is one of many organizations you can donate to this holiday season to support our curbside communities.
TUESDAY 12/15: Council Meeting Preview
COVID Vaccines for Educators, Supporting Renters and Unhoused Residents, and More
Tuesday, December 15th’s 1pm City Council meeting will include several important agenda items which my office has introduced or co-sponsored:
- Item 2.9: Clarifying Alternative Shelter in line with the Center for Disease Control Interim Guidelines for Homelessness and COVID-19
- Item 2.14: SPONSOR - Awarding a grant to the Black Arts Movement & Business District CDC to mitigate the erosion of cultural identity and diversity within the district
- Item 2.15: SPONSOR - Urging Governor Newsom and the CA Department of Public Health to prioritize public school educators for COVID-19 vaccine access -- a key to reopening schools safely and preventing school-based COVID outbreaks -- along with testing, contact tracing, improving ventilation in schools, creating support for small and stable cohorts of students, and other mitigation measures. Read more here.
- Item 2.24: SPONSOR - Recommending that the city’s newly formed Homeless Commission create a working group of unhoused residents to advise the Commission on a quarterly basis, and for the City Administration to look into stipends for these members.
- Item 10: Amending the Surveillance Technology Ordinance
- Item 14: CO-SPONSOR - Establishing no parking zone on Lakeshore Ave from Lake Merritt Blvd to 1st Ave and allowing a community process to proceed for establishing a residential parking permit area
- Item 17: CO-SPONSOR - Urging Governor Newsom to issue a moratorium on Ellis Act evictions during COVID and urging the state legislature to repeal the Ellis Act, which would address current loopholes that allow landlords to evict tenants before converting their rental units into condominiums. Please note that the Oakland eviction moratorium that I authored extends until the end of the local COVID emergency. Read more on the local eviction moratorium here.
- Item S20: Homeless Funding report
There is also a special Council meeting on Tuesday at 4:30pm to adopt the Department of Violence Spending Plan. See information on the spending plan here and information on joining and commenting here.