Last week, we kicked off our fall legislative session with some major news — new state funds for affordable housing, increased investment in our 911 dispatch system, more investment in violence prevention, and a new program for activating our commercial corridors with events.
State Awards $40 M for Nearly 700 Affordable Housing Units — East 12th Project to Break Ground Next Year!
Last Monday, September 11th, I joined the Mayor, Councilmembers, community partners and State officials to announce a new $40 million state grant to support the development of 673 housing units affordable to residents who earn between 20% and 80% of the area's median income, across seven projects throughout Oakland.
This important state grant will support the kind of senior and family housing that are essential for preventing displacement in Oakland. I am especially thrilled to see that three projects in District 2, near the Lake Merritt BART Station, will be funded. In fact, this investment means that one of the projects — at E 12th St. and 2nd Ave. — will break ground early next year. Read more here and watch the press conference here.
Congratulations to the East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation (EBALDC) for persisting and securing funds to build the first of two 100% affordable housing project on the E 12th site. Appreciations to East Lake United for Justice, the E12th Coalition, the OUSD/Dewey community and others who have been steadfast in advocating that public land be used for public good. We have all come a long way to bring this project so far.
Oakland Announces New $2.5 M Investment to Improve 911 Response
Also last Monday, September 11th, I joined the Mayor, Councilmembers and City Administrator to announce $2.5 million in new funds to improve the 911 response system. The improvements include:
When you are in crisis, you deserve a swift response, and our City is committed to delivering those results. Read more about our 911 improvements here and watch the press conference here. In October, the City Administrator will bring a response to the Grand Jury Report on 911 to the City Council. We'll keep you posted.
Mayor & Councilmembers Identify Millions to Continue Violence Prevention
At Tuesday's Public Safety Committee meeting on September 12th, the Committee advanced a recommendation to the full City Council to approve $28 million in two-year violence prevention grants for 24 community-based organizations. These organizations work on a range of strategies including: group and gang violence, gender-based violence and community healing. I'm proud of the work that we accomplished with our community partners to close the Department of Violence Prevention funding gap. In June, my budget team (CMs Bas, Fife, Jenkins, and Kaplan) and CM Kalb added $2.85 million more to the approved, balanced budget to continue these important investments in prevention, intervention and healing.
In addition, Violence Prevention staff announced at the committee meeting that the Mayor and her Administration identified an additional $3.3 million in cost savings within the department to continue critical employment grants. I'm grateful for Public Safety Chair Rebecca Kaplan for her advocacy to make this happen, together with myself and Councilmember Carroll Fife; and to the committee for moving these grants forward to the full City Council to be heard on Tuesday, September 19th. Read more in The Oaklandside.
New Activate Oakland Program Offers Grants & Support to Commercial Corridors
Last Thursday, September 14th, Mayor Thao and City leaders launched Activate Oakland in partnership with Visit Oakland to increase foot traffic in Oakland’s commercial corridors, support Oakland’s small businesses, and showcase Oakland’s arts and culture community. The program provides up to $10,000 to assist with funding events and activations of all sizes from block parties to festivals. Apply by October 12th for eligible projects including: free exercise/dance classes, fashion shows, paint parties, movie nights, kids’ story time, games or activities, outdoor karaoke, pickleball lessons and tournaments, block parties, music, art, spoken word performances, yoga, cooking classes, art-making activities, district walking tours, poetry readings, pop-up retail shops, and more. Learn more at Activate Oakland.
Amid last week's highlights of new investments in housing and community safety, I was also extremely frustrated by the missed state grant opportunity to help prevent retail theft. City Administrator Johnson is investigating what happened in order to prevent this from happening again. As Council President, I gave input to the city staff responsible for writing and submitting the grant, and I stood ready to lead the Council process to accept and appropriate the grant if awarded. I remain committed to securing more resources for Oakland. I am also very grateful to our city staff who worked collaboratively across departments and with our business community to craft a strong proposal to help deter and solve crimes, which we can share with other partners to get the resources our community needs. The City Administrator is expediting the process to hire a Grant Writer that my budget team proposed and the Council approved. This position would focus on community safety, coordinating across departments in the City Administrator's Office. A report on this position and funding opportunities should come before the Council in October. We'll keep you posted.
Finally, at this Tuesday's Council meeting we will hear a number of important items including millions in violence prevention and police grants, as well as a resolution from CM Kalb prioritizing public safety actions. Read more below. In case you missed it, please see my August 27, 2023 community safety letter.
I continue to value and invite your engagement and collaboration, because when we come together as One Oakland, I know we can address the issues facing our City, and create a better Oakland for all.
With Oakland Love,
AROUND OAKLAND & D2
San Antonio Master Plan - Supporting Public Land for Public Good (9/5): A huge congratulations goes out to Miya Sommers from the Friends of San Antonio Park coalition, as well as Mi Kyung Lew from the Department of Public Works for their presentations of the San Antonio Master Plan on September 5th, 2023 at the Planning and Building Commission! The Plan received great feedback, and will be heading to City Council in the next few months. I am proud to support FOSAP and the allied organizations and community members in their work to create a more vibrant and accessible neighborhood through the creation of a Community Library and Resilience Center at the Park, and encourage residents to reach out and get involved in the process. You can learn more about the San Antonio Park Master Plan here and more about Friends of San Antonio Park here.
Traffic Safety Vigil (9/6): Every traffic death is an unacceptable tragedy. As a mother, my heart grieves with the family who lost their child and now lives with this unimaginable void. As a cyclist, I ride down Lakeshore and know first-hand how narrow the space is between your body and a car door. As Council President, I’ve added funds to our city budget to improve traffic safety for cyclists and pedestrians. Implementing these improvements is more urgent than ever after bearing the 15th traffic death in Oakland this year. I appreciate the community’s ongoing advocacy for safety. I also appreciate OakDOT’s immediate response to: (1) install signage about being mindful of cyclists before opening the car door, and (2) share bicyclist safety education videos directed at both drivers and bicyclists. In addition, we must do much more! I’ll be working with OakDOT to urge and support them to expedite existing street safety projects and prioritize longer term improvements - including protected bike lanes - with our Capital Improvement Plan and 5 Year Paving Plan. I look forward to continuing to work with our Oakland community on these improvements. Read more in The Oaklandside.
Garfield Paint The Town Mural Unveiling (9/8): I was honored to stand with youth, community partners, and residents at the celebration for installing the new mural on E. 17th Street next to Garfield Elementary last Friday! Created through a partnership with OakDOT, OaklandTrybe, Lotus Bloom, EBAYC, East Side Arts Alliance, and Garfield Elementary through the Paint the Town Program, artist Coco, youth, and residents came out over the course of a week to paint an amazing community mural. I am so thankful to our partners and residents, who came out to support youth in this proactive step towards creating safer, active spaces where everyone can have a true sense of belonging.
PRIDE Breakfast and Parade (9/10): My staff and I had a blast celebrating Pride! East Bay Stonewall Democratic Club's annual Pride breakfast was, as always, delicious, and an awesome beginning to Pride. It was great to see so many advocates and leaders come together to share and celebrate the good work they’ve done in our community! Thank you to Fluid510 for hosting this year's Pride Breakfast. Each year, I am reminded of the resiliency and vibrancy of our Trans & Queer community in Oakland through Pride, and as Council President, I was humbled to be able to march alongside advocates, organizers, and organizations working to advance the rights and protections of our Trans and Queer community members. Thank you to the Oakland LGBTQ Center and Oakland Pride Coalition for your amazing work this year!
9/11 Day of Remembrance (9/11): We as a city and nation gathered for a moment of silence to honor the lives lost in New York on September 11, 2001, and to appreciate the dedication of the firefighters and first responders. As I stood with our Oakland OFD Family, I shared our immense gratitude for their commitment and service every day to the safety of our community.
Grand & Lakeshore Business Meetings (9/11 and 9/18): We joined two meetings of our Grand Lake businesses, and are pleased to share these updates: (1) OPD is increasing foot patrol across the entire city and has assigned a Foot Patrol officer beginning this week for the commercial corridors of Grand & Lakeshore Avenues. (2) The City's Encampment Management Team has scheduled a clean-up and closure for the Grand Avenue encampment below 580 for September 25. The team will work with unhoused residents to offer services and shelter. (3) The long-awaited security cameras at the Walker Parking Lot off Grand Ave. have been installed to deter auto break-ins. Our Office shared community input with the Department of Transportation staff about recent issues impacting neighbors, including reducing the volume of the alert, which has been implemented. The security cameras are monitoring activity during peak hours when auto break-ins have occurred. We look forward to sharing the results of this pilot program. Please reach out to our staff Debra Israel for information: [email protected].
Jack London BID Safety Meeting (9/12): The Jack London BID held a business safety meeting this past Tuesday, with OPD captains present to hear concerns and share solutions with different business owners. I thank the many business owners who came out to share their concerns, stories, fears, and hopes with my staff present, and look forward to partnering with you all on some of the initiatives we’ve already identified. I also want to encourage all business owners to utilize the City’s Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) services to help plan out your business’s safety and find other possible resources. You can find more about CPTED here.
Chinatown Bank of the Orient Opening (9/12): It was terrific to welcome the Bank of the Orient to the heart of Oakland Chinatown last Saturday. The bank relocated to the Pacific Renaissance Plaza, and we’re thrilled they will be serving our community and contributing to our local economy. We also welcomed our new Chinatown Liaison Officer, Officer Wesley Huynh. Thanks to our partners Oakland Chinatown Improvement Council and Oakland Chinatown Chamber of Commerce.
San Antonio Neighborhood Council (9/13): Thank you to all the residents who came out to the most recent San Antonio Neighborhood Council (NC) meeting! Residents got to hear a presentation on crime stats, share some personal stories and information around safety, and hear a presentation about Link21 and the community coalition pushing for an infill station in San Antonio neighborhood off of 14th Ave. San Antonio NC meetings are odd months on the second Wednesday of the month. You can sign up and get more information for your NC here.
Bella Vista Neighborhood Council (9/13): The Bella Vista Neighborhood Council met this past Wednesday, and discussed concerns and shared solutions for safe and equitable use of the Park and Rec Center. Bella Vista NC meets on the second Wednesdays at 6:30pm. You can sign up and get more information for your NC here.
Lincoln Summer Nights Mid Autumn Festival (9/14): I had a great time at Lincoln Summer Nights, where the Mid Autumn Festival included performances by the Lincoln Rec Explorers doing a lantern parade, storytelling by the Destiny Muhammad Trio, and Chinatown’s Noble Tower Dance Troupe! I was also pleased to welcome back Chinatown's foot patrol Officer Tony Chang, who returned to foot patrol assignment which he previously did for four years, and I was pleased to see Oakland's City Administrator Jestin Johnson visiting and connecting with community partners.
Friends of San Antonio Park - Welcome Back to The Park Night! (9/14): FOSAP’s Welcome Back to the Park Night was a smashing success, with dozens of neighborhood participants coming together through the course of the event in three different languages to talk about the future of the playground, the tennis courts, and the San Antonio Park Master Plan. A huge thank you to Trybe, Friends of San Antonio Park, Vertical Skillz, and all of the other partners helping to keep San Antonio Park vibrant!
Talking Transitions @ McClymmonds High School (9/16): My staff and I had a great time out with the Mayor, Deputy Mayor, City Administrator, community partners, and youth as we kicked off the Talking Transitions Town Talks with a canvassing event in West Oakland! I'm so proud to see our young people engage in bringing the community together through thoughtful conversation and relationship building with their neighbors, and I'm extremely excited to see the survey results! See details below for the September 23rd Talking Transitions event.
Tuesday 9/19: Council Meeting Preview
Celebrating Pride, General Plan, Violence Prevention Grants, Public Safety & More
The next Oakland City Council meeting is September 19th, 2023 at 2pm. As always, you can participate by joining in person or via Zoom. Download the agenda here. Below are some highlights:
Upcoming Committee Meetings are:
See our calendar for more information, including agendas that detail how to share public comments for those items you care about and submitting e-comments (24 hours before the meeting). We look forward to seeing and hearing from you!
Community Calendar ️
National Indoor Plants Week Starts! (9/17 - 9/23): With air quality being an important issue in the Bay Area, I’m encouraging everyone to take part in National Indoor Plants Week this year as a way to raise awareness about the benefits and effects of indoor plants, and why you should add some green to your space!
Grand Lake Neighborhoods (9/20):Join the Grand Lake Neighbors which meets on the third Wednesdays of the month at 7pm at the Lakeshore Avenue Baptist Church. Oakland's Neighborhood Councils serve as platforms for open dialogue and collective decision-making around neighborhood priorities with city staff and Council offices.Email Co-Chair David Flack at[email protected]for more information.
Caring for our Economic Future (9/21): As the season begins to shift, Real Peoples Fund invites you to join them and envision an Oakland economy that cares for our BIPOC communities and each other. This is an in-person mixer and orientation for BIPOC businesses and neighbors to co-design our organizing goals and needs for an abundant local economy — with food, connection and future-building. RSVP at bit.my/RPFsmallbiz. For questions, reach out to [email protected].
International Day of Peace (9/21): For this year’s International Day of Peace, I’m encouraging everyone to think about ways that they can take action to encourage personal, community, and city-wide peace. Oakland has been experiencing a lot of different types of violence, and many of our residents need healing, so I ask that we take this day to not only think about peace, but to help actively maintain it.
American Businesswoman Day (9/22): As a mother, organizer, and elected official who formed a childcare co-op when my daughter was an infant, I know the struggles and barriers that women face to achieving their goals. That's why this year I’m participating in American Businesswoman Day, as a reminder of the glass ceiling, the pink tax, and more. I encourage you to celebrate American Businesswoman Day by supporting some of the amazing woman-owned businesses right here in District 2!
National Public Lands Day (9/23): As an advocate for Public Land for Public Good, I also strongly believe in the importance of preserving our natural lands and resources for future generations to see, experience, and appreciate. I’m celebrating #PublicLandsDay this year by appreciating some of my favorite public lands and parks!
Talking Transitions @ Castlemont High School (9/23): RSVP for our Town Talk event on Saturday, September 23 from 9:30AM-2:30PM at Castlemont High School (8601 MacArthur Blvd Bldg. 300, Oakland CA 94605)! Join Mayor Thao to chat with city officials about housing and homelessness, community safety, and economic opportunity. RSVP on the Eventbrite.Talking Transition Oakland is a citywide community engagement initiative that invites BIPOC, immigrant, young, poor, and other marginalized communities to co-author the next chapter of Oakland’s future with Mayor Sheng Thao, Oakland’s City Council, and nonprofit organizations. Mayor Thao is also conducting a survey with a goal of having 5,000 Oaklanders share what’s important to you.The survey should only take about 10 minutes, take it today!
FM Smith Park Community Event (9/23): Make sure to come out to this community event activating FM Smith Park! Organized by neighbors in partnership with my office, this end-of-the-summer celebration will have music, games, and food! If you’re a neighbor, I recommend you attend – you won’t want to miss out! Contact [email protected] with questions.
Memorial of Gus Newport (9/23): Gus Newport dedicated his life to protecting the rights of all people to live in peace and realize their full potential. Gus is best remembered for serving two terms as mayor of Berkeley, where he championed progressive causes — from police reform to rent control — that drew national attention. But Gus fought for social justice long before he was elected to office — and long after his tenure. He was a crusader, both at home and abroad. I miss him dearly and know his legacy will live on. Find out more about how you can celebrate him in community on 9/23 1pm at the Paramount Theatre here: celebrating-the-legacy.
Creek to Bay Day (9/23): Creek to Bay Day 2023 is a day of watershed cleanups, education, and commitment to practices to keep our city and water clean, from creek, to bay, and beyond! You can learn more here.
Ikaros Restaurant Music and Events (9/24): Be sure to stop by Ikaros Restaurant and catch some fantastic performances and great food! The next performance is Sunday, September 24th from 12:30 - 3 PM.
Splash Pad Park Monthly Volunteer Day (9/24): A monthly work day in Splash Pad Park’s California Native Garden (across from the Grand Lake Theatre), the Volunteer Day is the 4th Sunday of every month from 9 am - 12 noon. Gloves and tools will be provided or you can bring your own. For more information, reach out to [email protected].
Autumn Moon Festival at Clinton Park (9/24): Join community at Clinton Park for a vibrant celebration of the Mid-Autumn Festival, hosted by the Oakland Vietnamese Chamber of Commerce. Immerse yourself in the rich culture of Little Saigon as we come together to commemorate this special occasion. Indulge in a variety of Asian cuisine, enjoy cultural performances, and explore the bustling marketplace filled with unique crafts and gifts. From lion dances to a lantern giveaway, this event promises an unforgettable experience for all ages. Reserve a spot here.
Cleveland Heights Neighborhood Council (9/26): The Cleveland Heights Neighborhood Council is returning on September 26th, 2023! For all the neighbors in Cleveland Heights, please mark your calendars and try to attend. Our Neighborhood Councils are an important touchpoint where community resource officers, residents, community partners, and city staff come together to talk about pressing issues, and I highly encourage everyone to get involved with the NC for your community! You can sign up and get more information for your NC here.
Jack London Neighborhood Council (9/26): The Jack London NC is going strong, and will be meeting on September 26th from 6:15pm - 7pm. You can sign up and get more information for your NC here.
National Voter Registration Day (9/26): As a lifelong organizer and advocate, I am always quick to remind someone that voting is a fundamental part of our change-making system. Without taking our voices to the polls, we are often unable to affect the change that we want to see, or elect the leaders we need to see, which is why there is such a long history of voter suppression and disenfranchisement in our country today.
Crocker Mosaic Night (9/27): Come out to Crocker Highlands Elementary's Mosaic Night, filled with fun, games, food, prizes, and joy! Doors are open from 5:30pm - 8pm, so make sure you stop by!
D2 Office Hours (9/30): Come out to my next Office Hours, 9/30 between 11 - 12:30pm. Sign up here.
Bulky Block Party: Every last Saturday of the month: Oakland residents! Do you have bulky items that you can't seem to get rid of? Let the City help! Come to one of our Bulky Block Parties every last Saturday of the month. For more information, check out the website here, or see the flyer below for more info.
City & District 2 News and Resources
New Incentive Finder from East Bay Community Energy
Information & Support for Tenants & Property Owners since Covid-19 Eviction Moratorium Ended on July 15th
One-Stop Permit Center Expands Hours!
Our Boards & Commissions have vacancies! Apply today!
Become a Public Ethic Commissioner:
Job Opportunities: Apply & Share!
Find City of Oakland Jobs here!