This Women’s Month, I’m sharing the stories of inspiring female and femme leaders who are dreaming and achieving love and justice for the people. Check out our spotlights on the fierce young Radical Monarchs (pictured below), our newly appointed City Clerk Asha Reed, and more features to come of women who’ve inspired me deeply.
The Oakland-founded Radical Monarchs are young girls of color forming fierce sisterhood, celebrating their identities and contributing radically to their communities. It was life-giving to meet with them recently and share our journeys navigating leadership, overcoming sexism and racism, and stepping into our voice and power. 🦋
REOPENING UPDATE: I’m also happy to share that Alameda County moved from the Purple to Red Tier this past week, meaning that more activities are now allowed, including indoor dining, movie theaters, museums, and zoos at 25% capacity, retail at 50% capacity, and gyms/fitness centers at 10% capacity. I urge us to remain vigilant and save lives as the majority of our communities have not yet been vaccinated.
In this newsletter, you’ll find information about:
- Efforts to ensure rapid implementation of MACRO community responders
- Our recent videos: D2 Budget Town Hall and Community Visions for San Antonio Park
- Important items for Tuesday’s Council meeting
- City and District 2 news and resources
MACRO / Civilian Crisis + Mental Health Response
Supporting Rapid Implementation and Accountability
At Tuesday’s Council meeting, I’m introducing with Councilmember Dan Kalb a resolution to support rapid, community-informed implementation of MACRO / Mobile Assistance Community Responders of Oakland within the Fire Department.
The MACRO model pairs an EMT with a civilian crisis responder to respond to a broad range of non-violent calls for service, such as incidents involving individuals, sheltered or unsheltered, experiencing mental health challenges or non-emergency medical issues.
MACRO provides a culturally- and trauma-informed alternative response in situations that do not require armed law enforcement. This can significantly reduce the likelihood of police + state violence in Oakland, and provides the compassionate medical and behavioral care that individuals experiencing homelessness and mental health challenges need and deserve.
My legislation would advance the MACRO program immediately by putting the Fire Department in charge of mental health crisis calls. MACRO must be staffed by city workers who have expertise working with communities suffering from mental health, addiction and domestic violence. It must be set up with direction from a community advisory board led by those with experience providing mental health support to survivors of state violence and other impacted communities.
Thank you to the many community organizations who have led this important work in Oakland for many years and who have advocated for MACRO. Appreciations to Vice Mayor Rebecca Kaplan for championing this critical work. Learn more and share e-comments here.
In Case You Missed It: Community Events
D2 Budget Town Hall & Community Visions for San Antonio Park
BUDGET TOWN HALL: As part of the process to begin developing Oakland’s next 2021-23 balanced budget, my office hosted a virtual town hall which you can view here.
- We reviewed budget basics, including how our budget is funded and how the source of funds determines how money can be spent.
- We explored deeper aspects of the budget with guest speaker Kristen Schumacher from IFPTE Local 21, including the importance of understanding the city’s consistent projected deficits versus actual surpluses, police overtime overspending using city revenue surpluses, and the growing vacancy issues in city departments since the last recession. Thank you, Kristen!
- We shared preliminary findings from my office's budget survey and highlights from the city’s official budget survey.
- We answered community members’ questions on a range of topics including parks, public safety, and addressing homeless encampments in D2.
If you haven't already, please complete our budget survey here; we’ve extended the deadline until mid-April. Next week, look out on social media for the release of our survey in Chinese, Vietnamese and Spanish, and our budget priorities memo.
SAN ANTONIO PARK MASTER PLANNING PROCESS: We hosted a community visions conversation which you can view here with Andrew Park (Executive Director of TRYBE), K-Dub Williams (a leader in Oakland’s skate and youth service community) and Jinhee Ha (Parks & Rec. Advisory Commissioner). We talked about the importance of centering community needs and priorities as the City goes through its master planning process for San Antonio Park to determine investments in services, programs and infrastructure.
I’m committed to ensuring the City's community engagement process is meaningful and transparent so that your voices are heard and valued. Learn more here, including about upcoming Community Engagement Meetings on March 23, 24, and 25 in English, Vietnamese, ASL, Cantonese, and Spanish.
ADDRESSING ANTI-ASIAN VIOLENCE: It was a pleasure to join a discussion hosted by Commonwealth Club of California with Russell Jeung of Stop AAPI Hate and activist leader Michelle Kim @michellekimkim. We talked about the spike in violence against our API communities during COVID and how to move forward towards justice, healing and unity.
Tuesday 3/16: Council Meeting Preview
MACRO Implementation, City Budget, Lincoln Rec Center Next Steps, Addressing Exclusionary Zoning
This coming Tuesday, March 16th’s 1pm City Council meeting will include the following important agenda items:
- Items 20 & 21: We’ll consider adopting my and Councilmember Kalb’s legislation to: 1) amend our Fire Department’s duties to include administering MACRO / Mobile Assistance Community Responders of Oakland and any civilian crisis response program and 2) direct the City Administrator to explore and implement option/s for expediting the one-year pilot phase of MACRO. See details above.
- Items 7 & S18: We will continue to discuss important issues related to our city budget. First, we will hear a report from the Finance Department on the City’s 5-year Financial Forecast for Fiscal Years 2021-26. Then, we’ll discuss budget amendments for the current Fiscal Year 2020-2021 to allocate additional revenue and to restore services that were cut by the Mayoral Administration in December without Council approval. The City will receive $163 - 192M from the newly approved American Rescue Plan Act. It’s critical that the Council acts strategically in our public budgeting process to balance our city budget and plan for a just economic recovery that benefits our most vulnerable communities and provides critical city services.
- Item 8: We’ll receive an informational report from the City Administrator on the status and timeline of easing the process for adding Accessory Dwelling Units. Learn more about ADUs in Oakland here.
- Item 9: We’ll consider adopting a resolution regarding allowing four-plexes in areas currently designated for single-family residences. Learn more from East Bay Times on efforts in Oakland and Berkeley to address exclusionary zoning and affordability.
- Item 2.9: We’ll consider adopting a resolution to award an architectural services and engineering design contract for the expansion and renovation of Lincoln Recreation Center in Chinatown, the most used rec. center in Oakland. Thank you to the Friends of Lincoln Square Park for your vision and advocacy.
City + District 2 News and Resources
Summer Jobs for Youth, Meal Delivery for Seniors and more
Summer Jobs for Youth 16+ with Oakland Parks, Rec & Youth Development: Apply by Sunday, March 21 to join OPRYD for the summer season! OPRYD is hiring for temporary part-time Recreation Aides, Attendants, Leaders, Specialists; Lifeguards; Water Safety Instructors; and Pool Managers. Pay ranges from approx. $15-$25 / hour. See flyer in Spanish and Chinese.
Nominate Oakland’s Mama of the Year: Since 1954, every year on the Saturday before Mother’s Day, a powerful mother leader in our community is honored by Oakland Parks, Recreation & Youth Development for her contributions to our community & her name is added to the Mother's Walk at the Morcom Rose Garden in District 2. Honorees will be recognized on Saturday, May 8, at 10:30am through a Zoom virtual event. Complete the nomination form and submit with requested info to [email protected]m by March 31, 4pm.
OUSD Student Solidarity Workshops: High school interns at MetWest and Skyline High are working with OUSD’s Office of Equity to host a 3-Workshop virtual series for Black & Asian, Pacific Islander & Middle Eastern identified youth on March 24, 25 & 26 from 3-5pm. Students will discuss how to build stronger solidarity, in light of recent violence and tensions that have arisen in the last year and that have existed in Oakland historically. Register here. Raffle grand prizes include Beats by Dre Flex Earphones!
Expansion of Great Plates Delivered Program: Off the Grid has partnered with the City to expand this temporary food program that delivers fresh prepared meals from Oakland restaurants daily to seniors 60+ who are at high risk for COVID-19 and are struggling to obtain food. Learn more here, see multilingual flyer or call 510-288-7887.
Oakland Flex Streets Survey: To help Oakland small businesses operate under County Health Orders during COVID-19, the City streamlined permit processes for use of sidewalks, parklets, streets and more for outdoor dining, retail sales and personal services. Provide your feedback on Flex Streets by taking a brief online survey or text FLEX to (510) 380-7360.
Children’s Fairyland Reopens on March 19: Lake Merritt’s beloved Children’s Fairyland will reopen on a 3-day schedule to start with two daily sessions. Reserve your tickets in advance!