I am proud to recognize and affirm the many mothers - and all those who nurture - in our Oakland community this Mother’s Day, whether by blood or chosen family. As a mother to a college-going daughter, I know how important it is to have a village of support to rely on, and I am eternally thankful to all of the mothers in the community that have become a part of my village, and who are a village to others. May you enjoy this day with your mamas, children, and loved ones.
As Summer approaches, we know that more are out to enjoy and engage in our community and parks, and remind everyone to be conscientious and thoughtful neighbors, as well as to encourage safety when out and about. Oakland belongs to all of us, and holding space for each other is a necessary part of creating the Oakland we want to see and maintain.
Also, I’m excited that Council will be approving two major affordable housing plans in District 2 at this Tuesday’s Council meeting — at the E 12th St parcel and Brooklyn Basin. Read more below in our Council Preview.
Join our District 2 Budget Town Hall! Oakland is facing a historic budget deficit, and your voice matters in helping us prioritize services. Learn about the Mayor’s proposed budget & Capital Improvements Plan. Share your feedback on City Council and D2 priorities. Meet with your neighbors and discuss important issues like:
- Housing security and homeless solutions
- Community safety, prevention, and healing
- Good jobs and vibrant economy
- Clean, healthy, sustainable neighborhoods
Thanks to the many people already engaging in our budget process. Your voices and perspectives are critical to understanding the needs and solutions in our city. I especially appreciate hearing from traffic safety advocates who visited our Council Office to push for infrastructure improvements to make our streets safer and others sharing concerns about issues from Cultural Affairs to Democracy Dollars.
Around D2 & Oakland
AAPI Heritage Month Honoree: Reverend Deborah Lee
For this year's Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month, I am honored to recognize Reverend Deborah Lee for her amazing work at the intersection of faith and social justice for 25+ years in popular education, community organizing & advocacy connecting issues of race, gender, economic justice, anti-militarism, LGBTQ inclusion, and immigrant rights.
Reverend Lee has consistently sought to strengthen the voice and role of faith communities in today’s social movements. As the Executive Director of the Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity, she has built up the Immigrant Justice program of the organization, engaging dozens of congregations in Northern California to become Sanctuary congregations and to respond to the wave of migrant youth and families being impacted by the detention and deportation crisis. Her work has been recognized as innovative and impactful with awards from the United Nations Association of the East Bay, East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy, and the national United Church of Christ Justice and Witness Ministry.
She is the daughter of immigrants and part of the Chinese diaspora that has taken her family through Southeast Asia, Mexico, and now the United States. Since the 1990’s, Rev. Lee and I have organized and advocated together on immigrant and refugee rights, and more recently, collaborated to stop unjust ICE detentions and deportations, and seek pardons for community members from Gov. Gavin Newsom. Throughout the pandemic, and as anti-Asian hate incidents have risen, Rev. Lee has been a powerful leader in creating cross-racial healing spaces and promoting Asian, Black, and Brown solidarity. I hope that everyone can join me in celebrating Rev. Lee's work and achievements in honor or AAPI Heritage Month, and in celebrating the City's other honorees!
Celebrating Our Arab American Community: Arab American Heritage Month
A huge shoutout to John Lauti and Sabria Hassan of OUSD's Arab, Asian, and Pacific Islander Student Achievement initiative for their Arab American Heritage Month celebration, and all the work they do year-round to make sure that Arab, Asian, and Pacific Islanders are supported, seen, and represented in our schools! Thank you for all of your hard work and dedication, and for the space that you’re creating for our young people in Oakland!
Older Americans Day
I am proud to have kicked off our Older Americans Month celebration as the opening speaker, and thankful to the organizers and Mayor’s Commission on Aging who brought out groups like the West Oakland Line Dancers to perform and celebrate our seniors! As Council President, and as an Oaklander, I appreciate the diverse community of elders here, who wear many hats, and help keep our communities strong. And with that comes specific challenges, like housing and food insecurity, isolation, and health concerns. I want to make sure that we uplift our seniors as an important part of maintaining a thriving Oakland community, and am committed to supporting seniors and elders across the board here in Oakland.
March for Meals on Wheels
My staff and I had a great time serving our elderly residents and community members with the Meals on Wheels crew this past Wednesday, May 10th. Shout out to Ambassador David Stroud who has been an amazing and dedicated volunteer for several years. So many of our elders deal with food insecurity and isolation, and being able to volunteer and serve some of our most in need seniors gave me a chance to hear some of their stories, and better understand the ways that we can support them. I encourage everyone to consider volunteering with Meals on Wheels, which you can learn more about here.
Lincoln Summer Nights Kick Off
Last Thursday, May 11th, my staff Amaya Lin and I had a blast at the kick off to this year's Lincoln Summer Nights in Chinatown. There was entertainment, art, games, food, resources, and more. Join us on the 2nd Thursday of each month and bring the whole family to help us build a stronger community.
Last Sunday, May 7th, I joined the Spanish Speaking Citizens’ Foundation’s Aztec Run/Walk, which follows one of Oakland’s most historic routes, once-around Lake Merritt and marked its 17th year. The Aztec Run has been produced year after year by the Spanish Speaking Citizens’ Foundation as a way to encourage community health, exercise, and engagement, and residents throughout Oakland and the greater Bay Area return yearly to celebrate that cause. A HUGE ‘Thank You’ to the Spanish Speaking Citizens’ Foundation for flawlessly executing this event yet again, and for helping build a stronger Oakland community.
Oakland Small Business Week
It was inspiring to be able to visit and meet so many of our D2 and Oakland businesses and entrepreneurs throughout the week, and to share space with them last Friday, May 5th at Everett & Jones over food, music, and great conversation! A huge shoutout to Everett & Jones for hosting and providing delicious fare, and for the Business Week team that brought all of us together. Thank you for all you do keeping Oakland businesses running!
EBHO Affordable Housing Kickoff
On May 4th, I celebrated East Bay Housing Organization's Affordable Housing Month with Honoree Raise the Roof Coalition, of which Kristi Laughlin and Kelley Zhao of the East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy are members. The coalition, which is based in Contra Costa County, has successfully organized and passed renter protections and tenants rights legislation in several cities in the county, and are working to expand.
Urban University's 2023 Sidewalk Talk Panel: Our Point of View: Listening to Black Single Mothers
It was a delight to be able to celebrate and hear from Black Mothers about their tireless work to address poverty, the 27th anniversary of the Welfare Reform Act, and raising their families. Thank you to all of the speakers who shared their stories, and inspired listeners to continue taking action in the fight against poverty. I would also like to thank the Urban University for this moving program, and for all of the work they do organizing for a more equitable Oakland. Learn more about Urban University here and visit their shop on Grand Ave.
On Monday, May 8th, Early Childhood Educators and Childcare Providers across the nation organized rallies and actions in more than 25 states, calling for 1) an equitable child acre system, built on racial and gender justice, 2) Thriving wages for child care providers, and 3) Affordable child care for all families. As a mother and as Council President, I was proud to stand with and speak out for early childhood educators & childcare providers, who are the unseen backbone of our economy.
Tuesday 5/16: Council Meeting Preview
Highlights for this coming Tuesday, May 16, 4pm Council Meeting:
Item 6.5: Exclusive Negotiation Agreement with SAHA for A Portion of the 12th Street Remainder Parcel
From: Economic And Workforce Development Department
Satellite Affordable Housing Associates (SAHA) seeks to partner with the City to create a 100% affordable housing project on the 12th Street Remainder Parcel in District 2. I'm proud to be working in collaboration with SAHA and a coalition of neighbors and OUSD community members to support this project that advances our goal of public land for public good.
Item 6.9: Brooklyn Basin Marina Expansion Project
From: Planning and Building Department
The expansion of the Brooklyn Basin Project in District 2 had a public hearing at the last Council meeting. This expansion comes with a set of community benefits including $9 million to preserve and acquire affordable housing in the nearby neighborhoods of Chinatown, Eastlake, and San Antonio in partnership with the Oakland Community Land Trust. I thank the community coalition for their persistence over the two decades this project has evolved, and am proud to support them. So far, there are 341 affordable units among the 823 apartments. Read more here.
Item 6.20: Sherry Hirota Way Street Renaming
From: Council President Nikki Fortunato Bas
Sherry Hirota was the founding Chief Executive Officer at Asian Health Services, founded in 1976 in Oakland Chinatown. Over the past 47 years, Ms. Hirota led the clinic to become the high-quality community health center it is today, with 12 sites, employing 450 community members, and serving 50,000 patients in 12 languages. Join us in commemorating her legacy by renaming Alice Street between 9th and 10th Streets in her honor.
Item 6.21: Celebration of Jewish American Heritage Month
From: President Pro Tem Kalb and Mayor Thao
In celebration of Jewish Heritage Month, District 2 is honoring Talya Husbands-Hankin for her work advocating and organizing with Love And Justice In The Streets to advance more equity and uplift the voices, organizing and policy efforts of our unhoused neighbors toward a world where Housing is a Human Right. Love And Justice In The Streets is an all volunteer-run organization, committed to increasing the capacity of unhoused Oakland residents by providing direct material assistance to individuals and curbside communities. Talya has been an invaluable partner with our D2 Office in supporting our unhoused neighbors.
Item S6.38: Adding Chapter 10.74 To The OMC Imposing Fines And Penalties (Sideshow Ordinance)
From: Councilmember Gallo
Last week, the Public Safety Committee sent the Sideshow Ordinance to the full Council for approval. The ordinance creates penalties for sideshow organizers. Dangerous sideshows are a concern for District 2 and the entire City, and we have been working to curb them with targeted police deterrence and enforcement and street infrastructure measures. In addition, CM Fife and AASEG are working on a legal alternative to sideshows at the Coliseum. Report illegal sideshows to [email protected] with as much specific information as possible, including location, day, time, how many cars, license plates, number of spectators, any firearm activity, and social media posts.
Item S11: A Resolution Confirming Mayor Thao’s Appointment of Jestin D. Johnson As City Administrator
From: Office of the Mayor
Mayor Thao seeks Council confirmation of her appointment of Jestin Johnson as City Administrator. Mr. Johnson has over 15 years of local government experience including in Atlanta and Tucson.
We are meeting in person at City Hall with an option to join via Zoom. Please note that mask requirements are in place inside City Hall and other public facilities. We are taking public comment on each agenda item, so make sure to fill out your speaker card to participate in public comment for those items you care about — see the agenda for instructions. We look forward to seeing and hearing from you!
Lincoln Summer Nights - monthly on 2nd Thursdays, next is June 8th
I was excited to join the launch of this year’s Lincoln Summer Nights, which is an amazing community program at Lincoln Square Park happening every 2nd Thursday from 5 - 8pm. For the past 6 years, Friends of Lincoln Square Park has held Lincoln Summer Nights, a monthly multi-generational (seniors and youth) community building event in partnership with many other Oakland Chinatown organizations. The goal of the series is to strengthen community bonds by co-creating a shared sense of belonging between generations and across racial and socio-economic divides. The event series focuses on bringing art, culture, games, and other services and resources to youth, families, seniors, and the community. I’m excited to see you all there!
Who can participate?
- All Oakland residents, including home owners and renters.
- Who cannot come: businesses, for-hire haulers, contractors, painters, organizations, apartments & condominium managers, clubs, and non-profits.
For more information, check out the website here, or see the flyer below for more info.
5/20: Malcolm X Jazz Festival
Each year, Eastside Arts Alliance celebrates the evolving traditions and continuing political struggles of BIPOC communities through the Malcolm X Jazz Festival. Jazz is celebrated as African American classical music, made universal, and this country's greatest cultural contribution to the world - another opportunity to unite our communities through a celebration of Jazz in all its forms - Latin Jazz, straight ahead, jazz and hip hop! Join Eastside for another AMAZING Malcolm X Jazz Festival on May 20th at San Antonio Park! As always, the event is free to attend, and you can see amazing performances, find your favorite vendors, and experience the community with amazing music and food. Learn more and support here.
Freedom Vendors Market - 5.20.23, 9am - 6pm on El Embarcadero @ Lake Merritt
In an effort to support our diverse and deeply appreciated vendor community, the District 2 Office is working with a strategist to support local vendors in creating a safer, more inclusive, and accessible community marketplace. Their inaugural event, the Freedom Vendor's Market, will launch on May 20th on El Embarcadero at Lake Merritt. We hope to see you there!
EBMUD 100th Anniversary Celebratory Event on May 21st
As EBMUD celebrates a century of service, they will host the EBMUD 100th Birthday Party and Community Fair. Through this event at Lake Temescal in Oakland, they hope to bring the community together to celebrate the value of water, connection, and environment. The event is free, and you can register here.
City & District 2 News and Resources
Rental Housing Providers Grants Available
Are you a rental housing provider in Alameda County that has a unit in need of repairs? You could be eligible for grants up to 10K for lead paint mitigation, and 5k per unit for housing repairs. Fill out the survey hereto get more information.
RAP Rental Registry is LIVE
The City of Oakland’s Rental Adjustment Program's Rent Registry portal is live! The Oakland City Council has adopted a requirement to establish a rent registry for all units subject to the Rent Adjustment Program (RAP) Fee. As of July 1, 2023, owners of these units will be required to report rent and tenancy information to RAP. Because July 1, 2023, falls on a Saturday, the deadline to register will be extended to July 3, 2023. Starting in 2024: Owners will be required to confirm or update their units’ tenancy information annually by March 1.
Our Boards & Commissions have vacancies! Join today!
To advance a #PeoplePoweredGovernment, we need residents like YOU to be a part of our Boards and Commissions! There are over forty boards and commissions, each with a specific stake in keeping Oakland running. Check out vacancies and apply today! Some Boards and Commissions you may be interested in are:
Police Commission, applications due May 31.
- Do you want to help oversee the Oakland Police Department? Apply to be on the Police Commission, which ensures OPD policies, practices, and customs conform to national standards of constitutional policing. It takes significant time in meetings, meeting prep, and committee work, but you can help bring fair and just policing to Oakland communities. Commissioners must be over 18 and live in Oakland. They cannot be police officers or City employees. A high school diploma is not required, and formerly incarcerated people are encouraged to apply. To apply, go to www.oaklandca.gov/policecommission where you can also find more information about the Police Commission. You can watch videos of past meetings, find out about upcoming meetings, and learn about City Code Section 604, which describes the powers and responsibilities of the Police Commission. If you have any questions please call 510-368-5598 between 9:00 am and 9:00 pm any day of the week.
- Police Commission Selection Panel
- Community Policing Advisory Board
- Children’s Fund Planning & Oversight Committee
- Affordable Housing & Infrastructure Bond Public Oversight Committee
- Commission on Persons with Disabilities
- Public Art Advisory Commission
- Library Advisory Commission
- Police Commission, applications due May 31.
MLK Freedom Center Civic Engagement Summer Tour
The Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom Center is hosting their 27th annual, intergenerational Civic Engagement Tour! From June 24th to August 5, travel with an intergenerational cohort of leaders and learn to sharpen your skills, learn more about the democratic process across the nation, and create important connections! We are looking to nominate youth who have an interest in social justice, community organizing, and equity. If you know or are a youth interested in being nominated for this FREE opportunity, please email Eric Adams at [email protected]. For more information about the Tour, contact Isabella Lopez at [email protected], or call (714) 335 3192.
Check out our D2 Neighborhood pages for resources & events!
Chinatown, Downtown, Jack London: oaklandca.gov/topics/chinatown-downtown-jack-london-neighborhood
East Lake: oaklandca.gov/topics/eastlake_neighborhood
Grand Lake: oaklandca.gov/topics/grandlake-neighborhood
San Antonio: oaklandca.gov/topics/san-antonio-neighborhood
Oakland Animal Services Town Halls: Check out OAS’s Town Hall Series about their services and different topics you may be interested in. Upcoming Dates are: June 7th, and July 12th, 2023. Learn more here.
Home Electrification Resources: In December of 2020, the City started requiring all new buildings to be all electric, which will create safer homes, more jobs, and an overall better Oakland. Learn more about the timeline and resources and benefits to electrifying your home here:www.oaklandca.gov/projects/electrify
Clean Cars for All and Charge Program: The Bay Area Air Quality Management District’s Clean Cars for All program provides up to $9,500 for income-qualified members of communities disproportionately affected by air pollution to retire older vehicles and replace them with a new or used hybrid, plug-in hybrid, electric, or fuel cell vehicle, or get a transit card or e-bike. Additionally, up to $2,000 in funding is available for home-charging equipment and installation for purchasing a plug-in hybrid or electric vehicle. Applicants must live in a designated, eligible community in the Bay Area and their household income must fall under a specified limit based on their household size. For more information or to apply for Clean Cars for All, visit www.baaqmd.gov/cleancarsforall.
- Does your business have compost and recycling services? Fines to Businesses for lack of compost and recycling service started January 2023: If your business fails to establish compost and recycle collection or get an approved waiver, StopWaste, the Alameda County public agency working on behalf of the City of Oakland to enforce the law, will issue citations for non-compliance. Starting fines range from $50 to $100, depending on the size of a site’s trash service and will increase every 60 days up to $500 if a site continues to not have the required service. Actions to comply with SB 1383 and avoid fines:
- Protect yourself, protect your community! CA Dept. of Public Health strongly recommends wearing a well-fitted, high-quality mask (N95, KN95, KF94) indoors and in crowded outdoor spaces, along with vaccination, testing, and ventilation. Find a FREE N95 mask near you online or call 1-800-232-0233.