Councilmember Newsletter: March 29, 2019


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Dear {{recipient.first_name_or_friend}},

On Friday March 15th, I shared my budget priorities with the Mayor, City Administrator, and Finance Director as the City begins the process of developing Oakland's 2-year budget for FY 2019-21.

Your input as District 2 residents and Oaklanders is critical to helping create a budget that meets our diverse community's needs. Stay tuned for a survey to provide your feedback. Also, save the date for a District 2 Budget Forum on Monday, May 6 at 6:00 p.m. -- we'll follow-up soon with details.

Below is a summary of my top four priorities, informed by the needs and perspectives of hundreds of families, community organizations, and advocates:

  1. Prioritize a Housing First Model by humanely serving unsheltered residents and developing innovative, immediate, and permanent housing solutions. This includes stopping the displacement of Oakland residents and preventing homelessness, as well as ensuring 100% of residential development supported by the City is permanently affordable.
  2. Invest in responding to community needs that serve the most vulnerable, preserve our arts and cultural heritage, and promote sustainability. This includes investing in prevention as a safety strategy by redirecting resources from OPD overspending on overtime to areas such as mental health services and workforce development. It also includes creating a Department of Workplace and Employment Standards to protect the rights of Oakland’s workforce and fully implement existing laws, as required by Measure Z, which passed in November 2018. 
  3. Provide high quality services to all Oaklanders that improve our quality of life and prioritizes our parks and open spaces. This includes prioritizing a response to the City’s job vacancy crisis with an independent analysis of the problem and solutions, and dedicated funding for outreach, hiring, and retention of City staff. It also includes proactively addressing illegal dumping by funding a fourth illegal dumping crew to ensure each of the City’s four zones are covered, as well as investing in Lincoln Recreation Center (the most utilized park in all of Oakland) and Madison Park.
  4. Invest in our future -- our students and public school system. This includes aligning the City's budget with OUSD, the County, and State to maximize our resources and assets (such as facilities and public land) to build full-service community schools where local schools have the decision-making power. It also includes prioritizing investments to meet the needs identified by the OUSD Student Survey: restorative justice, foster youth case managers, and the Asian Pacific Islander student program. 

I believe our budget should allow us to grow as a City with the goals of equity, inclusion, and sustainability while making decisions with community engagement, transparency, and accountability.

As always, please share your feedback on this newsletter, as well as future opportunities you'd like to share with our neighbors. 

With Oakland Love,


Nikki Fortunato Bas
Councilmember, City of Oakland, District 2


Thank you for providing opportunities for me to connect in the District 2 community and throughout Oakland:

P.S. I appreciate all who came out to the vigil on March 18 to stand against hate, white nationalism, and Islamophobia in Oakland and across the globe in the wake of the New Zealand mosque terror attack. Oakland is home to 50,000 Muslims and District 2 is home to the Islamic Cultural Center. I am deeply grateful for organizations like AROC, CAIR and faith leaders from diverse backgrounds who come together time and again to support, love, and reach for a future where we can be free of structural violence and oppression.


P.P.S. This past weekend, I had an incredible day with my relay marathon team Down for the Town and my District 2 team who volunteered at the water stop at Mile 5.5 with Raider Nation volunteers. Congrats to marathon winner Semereab Gebrekidan from Berkeley, and thank you to all the volunteers who made this 10th annual Oakland Running Festival a great success!  

P.P.P.S. Did you know Alameda County Meals on Wheels delivers healthy meals every day to 900 seniors in Oakland alone? Last week it warmed my heart to join their team to drop off meals to seniors in District 2. Meals on Wheels locally is powered by more than 100 volunteers who help prepare and deliver meals. Oakland Police Department officers also pitch in. I am committed to helping preserve this important program that supports the wellbeing of Oakland's growing senior population.

P.P.P.P.S. I had the pleasure of meeting and hearing from the Friends of the Morcom Rose Garden, a group of volunteers who regularly takes care of this rare 7+ acre green oasis located on Jean Street, one block off Grand Avenue. Their passion for this Oakland jewel gave me a renewed appreciation for this 30’s era formal rose garden surrounded by winding paths, graceful stairways, dramatic water features, and wildlife. We discussed the garden's needs including irrigation, City gardening staff time, lighting, pest control, and more. Be sure to visit and volunteer with these Dedicated Deadheaders!

P.P.P.P.P.S! Join me in a huge congratulations and gratitude to the Interfaith Council of Alameda County, under the leadership of Reverend Ken Chambers, for their dedication to responding to Oakland’s homelessness crisis through the launch of the Safe Car Park Program. This program leverages 4 church parking lots to provide unhoused neighbors living out of their vehicles with a safe place to park. They will have access to portable toilets, hand-washing stations, barber, laundry, shower, and evening security services, employment resources, program coordinators who’ll work with residents to find more permanent affordable housing, and partnerships with food banks. Williams Chapel Baptist Church in District 2 is the first site to open a car park through this program! Congrats to Williams Chapel Baptist Church and Rev. Dr. Kenneth Anderson on the Church's 80th anniversary!


Orton Development's Response to Community Feedback on Kaiser Convention Center Redevelopment 

Orton Development responded to the community feedback and questions from our March 2nd Community Forum. I'm sharing these responses publicly to continue to inform and engage the community in this major development project.

If we do this right, Oakland can achieve:

BACKGROUND: The Henry J. Kaiser Convention Center is an historic landmark and a publicly owned building on public land. With its reopening, Oakland has a tremendous opportunity to maximize the use of this unique public asset for the public good through meaningful engagement with the City and Orton Development on the project’s design, use, and community benefits. On March 2, 2019, I co-hosted with Laney College Facilities Planning Committee a Community Forum on the redevelopment. Orton shared an overview of the project; local arts and nonprofit organizations shared their responses, needs, and hopes; and 150+ residents, arts stakeholders, and neighborhood advocates weighed in with questions and feedback.

The project comes before the Planning Commission
at its April 3rd meeting
at 6pm.

Have you heard about Oakland's
2019 Three-Year Road Paving Plan? 

After community meetings over the past few weeks, Oakland's Department of Transportation (OakDOT) will bring its next paving plan to City Council in April. If you missed the meetings, learn about the paving plan here 

OakDOT developed a proposal that incorporates equity, street conditions, and safety to prioritize repaving. The plan aims to: deliver $100M in paving construction, tripling Oakland's average annual spending, and prioritize $75M on local streets to improve neighborhood quality of life. 
SF Chronicle reported on job vacancies impacting the pace of upgrading our infrastructure. "[OakDOT] has a 20 percent job vacancy rate overall, and 27 percent of its engineering and planning positions are open. Those holes 'severely' impact its ability to deliver projects." This is an example of why Oakland's next two-year budget must seriously address our job vacancy crisis. Once we effectively fill vacant positions and successfully retain staff, we will be able to deliver the quality services that Oaklanders deserve. 
We must also ensure that voters have information on bond measures we passed such as Measure KK which will raise $600 million for infrastructure and affordable housing. When the Finance Committee heard a report from the Measure KK oversight commission on March 19, 2019 regarding the first round of spending, I made several comments to ensure accessible information and accountability:
  • The city's job vacancy crisis impacts our ability to complete our infrastructure projects, and we must address this first. 
  • The public deserves user-friendly, transparent summaries of projects that also include exact locations, project status and timelines.
  • We should expand our view of equity in these projects by looking at who benefits - not only who lives near projects, but who uses those parks and who will live in those housing units - are they for single people or are they family-friendly, and how affordable are they?
  • We should explicitly create green infrastructure and seek multi-benefit goals that align with our sustainability plans with energy efficiency, waste reduction, etc. 
The Measure KK Oversight Commission report will come before City Council on April 2nd.

Make your voice heard on upcoming
decisions + projects that impact our communities. 

Apply to be part of OPD's Community Police Academy (CPA). The CPA provides business, religious, civic, and community leaders with an inside look at the Oakland Police Department. This is a good opportunity to learn about the structure, operations, and training of OPD and non-sworn personnel. 

The CPA starts in late April and takes place on 9 consecutive Mondays from 6-9 pm. In the near future, there will be Spanish and Cantonese CPA opportunities, which we'll share.

Mark your calendars for these
future Council meetings.

Tuesday's Council Meeting. At the next meeting on Tuesday, April 2, Council will pay tribute to Victor McElhaney. We will also receive a report from the Measure KK Oversight Committee on the first year of spending on infrastructure and affordable housing; receive an annual report of the Rent Adjustment Program (RAP) and consider a RAP service fee increase to shift to active enforcement; and conduct a public hearing on delinquent business taxes.

In addition, in celebration of Cesar Chavez Day, each Councilmember will recognize leadership and community service. My office is excited to honor Mujeres Unidas y Activas (MUA) for their incredible work -- especially with the Latinx immigrant community in the Bay Area -- embodying Cesar Chavez's spirit of activism, volunteerism, and social justice. Join the meeting at 4:30 p.m. to celebrate MUA with us.

Monday's Education Partnership. The first meeting of the year of the Education Partnership between the City Council and Oakland Unified School District Board of Directors is next Monday, April 1, 5:30pm at City Hall.

As co-chair of this committee with School Board President Aimee Eng, I look forward to working collaboratively with the District to maximize our resources and assets to support our students and our public school system. 

We will receive a briefing from OUSD on their budget and asset management, and discuss how the City and school district can work together. We will also consider my resolution supporting the CA Schools and Local Communities Funding Act of 2020, which would close a state corporate tax loophole and raise billions for public schools and infrastructure across the state, including an estimated $24.6 million for Oakland. 

Community Resources + Opportunities 

Report issues or services needed using OAK 311. 311 is an easy-to-remember telephone number that connects you with highly trained City of Oakland Call Center representatives ready to help you with requests for non-emergency City services and information. You can also report issues online or on the OAK 311 mobile phone app.

Trees for the Oakland Flatlands Project. The Oakland Parks & Recreation Foundation has received a grant to fund the "Trees for the Oakland Flatlands" project, transforming concrete into greenspace in neighborhoods deemed "environmentally disadvantaged", based on the CalEnviroScreen 2.0Check to see if your area qualifies for free trees.

Emergency Financial Assistance and Free Legal Services Program with Alameda County Housing Secure. Centro Legal de la Raza is a comprehensive legal services agency protecting and advancing the rights of low-income communities through bilingual legal representation, education, and advocacy. They, along with several other local providers through the Alameda County Housing Secure Program, help provide free legal services and emergency financial assistance to tenants and homeowners at risk of losing their homes.  

Neighborhood Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) Meetings. Get involved with your local NCPC to help make our communities safe and connected. 

Bella Vista NCPC
Wednesday, April 10, 2019
7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Bella Vista Elementary School
1025 E. 28th St.

San Antonio NCPC
Wednesday, May 8, 2019
6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Word Assembly Church
1445 23rd Ave. 

Chinatown NCPC
Wednesday, Apri l17, 2019
Starts at 4:00 p.m.
270 13th St. (Hotel Oakland)

Grandlake NCPC 
Wednesday, April 17, 2019
7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Lakeshore Ave. Baptist Church
3534 Lakeshore Ave.

Alameda County Emergency Preparedness Day. Alameda County and Supervisor Keith Carson will host an emergency preparedness education and resource day aimed at informing, educating, and sharing information on how to prepare for an impending disaster, establish a plan for immediate stability, and understand the steps to begin the rebuilding process.

Saturday, April 13, 2019
Chabot Elementary School
6686 Chabot Road

New Report on Oakland's Progress to Meeting Housing Goals. According to a new report by the City of Oakland and Enterprise Community Partners, the City is on track to exceed its goal of protecting 17,000 households from displacement and building 17,000 new homes by 2024.

In the three years since the Housing Cabinet released the Oakland at Home report and 17k/17k Plan, over 90% of the Cabinet’s recommended actions are complete or underway. Nearly 13,000 Oaklanders have new tenant protections and services and the City has produced more than 10,000 new homes.




Cleveland Heights (Beat 15X) Community Meeting. Join local business and neighborhood leaders for a meeting next Wednesday evening focused on: beginning to organize the Police Beat 15X community to address public safety and quality of life issues, meeting the area's Community Resource Officer Maxwell D'Orso and Neighborhood Service Coordinator Jason Wallace, voting for Beat 15X NCPC / Neighborhood Council leadership.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019
6:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
FM Smith Recreation Center
1969 Park Boulevard

Grand/Walker Avenue Mural Project. Neighborhood residents Lucy and Randy Glover have proposed a 14 by 70 foot mural at the southern end of the City of Oakland parking lot between Grand and Walker Avenues in Oakland’s Grand Lake neighborhood. The mural will feature the Grand Lake Farmers Market at Splash Pad Park with the Grand Lake Theater in the background. The muralist, Stefen, is a local artist who recently painted the mural in the Trader Joe’s parking lot on Lakeshore, as well as many others in the East Bay. Help meet the $6,000 goal to create the mural. 

Oakland Area Census Office 2020 Census Job Opportunities. The US Census Bureau is recruiting for positions to help with the 2020 Census count, providing pay from $20 to $27.50 hourly, flexible hours, and paid training. There are field jobs available for this winter and office jobs available for this summer. 


Lakeshore Avenue Business Improvement District (BID). Originally chartered in 1997, the Lakeshore Avenue BID was the first organization of its kind in Oakland. Composed of property owners on Lakeshore Avenue (between Mandana and Lake Park and from Lake Park to Walker Avenue), Lakeshore BID provides district administration, janitorial, security, and landscaping services, and also hosts special events.  

23rd Avenue Beautification Group Monthly Clean-Up. Join volunteers to clean sidewalks, street curbs and storm drains beginning at 23rd Avenue and East 22nd Street with plans to clean as much of the Avenue and East numbered cross street corners as possible. The City of Oakland Environmental Services provides the groups with tools, gloves and safety vests; 23 ABG provides water and snacks.

Saturday, March 30, 2019
9 - 11 a.m.
Meet at 2209 23rd Ave.

Constituent Corner

As part of the City of Oakland's relationship with Oakland Coliseum, Councilmembers receive tickets to sporting events and concerts. We are grateful for the opportunity to give away tickets to honor community members and their service to Oakland. Join us in honoring Chaz Garcia and Christian Boyle! Chaz serves as a leader with the Oakland Education Association and has spent decades serving Oakland students. Christian works with the City's Public Works department and has played a critical role in taking care of Morcom Rose Garden and other parks. Thank you, Chaz and Christian, for all you do!

"My love for Oakland’s diverse, unique, empowered community and students drove me to change my career path to become a bilingual Spanish teacher in East Oakland. I worked as a classroom educator for 20 years, founded Esperanza Elementary School in East Oakland, went on to coach educators, and became one of the Vice Presidents of the Oakland Education Association where I continue my work to engage educators and community members to advocate for the schools our students deserve." -- Chaz Garcia

I recently had the opportunity to meet Christian Boyle, Morcom Rose Garden's Head Gardener. The volunteers of the Friends of the Morcom Rose Garden called Christian's work outstanding! In past years, there have been 2-4 full time gardeners. Now, there is just Christian, working part time, with occasional help from a rookie gardener. With 7.5 acres and over 2,500 rose bushes, including many rare varieties, Christian does a fantastic job with the volunteers maintaining the Rose Garden and other parks with very limited resources. I hope that the City will invest more in our parks in our new FY 2019-21 budget. Thanks for your dedication and exceptional work, Christian!

In the News

  • Post News Group // Churches Launch Car Park for Homeless
  • City of Oakland // New Report Shows City of Oakland's Strong Progress on Housing Goals
  • ABC 7 // Memorial held for son of Oakland councilwoman who was fatally shot in Los Angeles
  • SF Gate // Program Launched for Overnight Parking for Homeless
  • SF Chronicle // Oakland's plan to improve roads stuck in a rut
  • The Mercury News // Vigil for victims of the New Zealand mosque shootings held at Oakland's Lake Merritt Amphitheater  
  • City of Oakland // Oakland Upgrades 200 School Crosswalks

Connect with Team D2!

D2 Office: (510) 238-7002
Email us at [email protected]

Miya Saika ChenChief of Staff
[email protected], (510) 238-7246

Lia Azul SalaverryPolicy Analyst, Community Liaison
[email protected], (510) 238-7023

Linna LinChinatown Liaison and Aide
[email protected], (510) 238-7022

Tiffany KangCommunications Specialist, Community Liaison
[email protected], (510) 238-7022

Pamela Drake, Community Liaison
[email protected], (510) 238-7022