Councilmember Newsletter: May 5, 2019


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Dear Friend,

It's budget season. On May 1st, Mayor Libby Schaaf released her FY 2019-21 Proposed Policy Budget after gathering input from the public and reviewing each Councilmembers' budget priorities. Through May, Councilmembers will engage community members to collect and respond to feedback and work towards budget approval by June 30th. 

The city budget provides us with a real, systemic opportunity to prioritize Oaklanders' needs - to put resources towards solving problems and strengthening supports.

The Mayor's proposed budget includes important service increases to: fire prevention & emergency services, and street paving & transportation. It also includes reductions to services - freezing vacant positions in parks maintenance, despite our growing need. 

My first priority is housing as a human right, and the city's own public budget survey revealed homelessness and housing are overwhelmingly the top issues residents want to prioritize. I'd like us to invest more in these areas. My other top priorities include: community safety, economic development, our parks, and our children and students.   

Please join my Thursday, May 16th District 2 Budget Forum to help shape how Oakland spends its resources and serves residents.

This Tuesday, May 7th at 4pm, you can also join a special meeting of the City Council to learn more about the Mayor's proposed budget. Then at our regular City Council meeting at 5:30pm, our full agenda includes an important part of the budget - the proposed 3-year Paving Plan, which 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 70 miles of local streets. View the plan, including an online map of streets to be paved: here. Council will also consider a resolution to dedicate $7M in state funding towards completing 311 community service requests for priority 1 and 2 pothole and concrete repair submitted to 311/SeeClickFix. In addition, Council already approved $3.25M towards prioritizing street resurfacing this year. View information, including a list of streets: here. 

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


#PeoplePoweredGovernment: Mark your calendars for key Council meetings and policy efforts.

(1) Strengthening Rules on Police Use of Force:
Resolution in Support of AB 392

My resolution in support of the California Act to Save Lives passed the Rules and Legislation Committee on April 18th and will go to the full Council on May 7th at 5:30 p.m. Thanks to our co-sponsors Council President Kaplan, President Pro Tem Kalb and CM Taylor. 

Why it matters: The current legal standard on police use of force was written in 1872 and allows police to shoot and kill an individual whenever it is considered “justified.” Police kill people at a rate 37% higher in California than the national average. In 2017, California police officers killed 172 people, half of whom were unarmed. Black people are three times more likely to be victims of police violence.

The controversy surrounding the recent shooting death of a sleeping homeless man in Oakland illustrates our urgent duty to follow through on amending the Oakland Police Department’s use of force policy and to fully support the work of our independent Police Commission.

Thank you to all the families who are leading this effort, including Oscar Grant's family and Uncle Bobby X. Thank you to the community groups including Anti Police-Terror Project, Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice, Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, and ACLU of Northern California. 

(2) Support of Kaiser mental health patients and clinicians

At the May 7th Council meeting, we will vote on a resolution in support of Kaiser mental health patients and clinicians sponsored by Council President Kaplan, President Pro Tem Kalb and myself.

Nearly 1 in 6 adults in California experiences a form of mental illness, and 1 in 13 children has an emotional disturbance that impedes major life activities. Yet, two-thirds of adults and adolescents with major depressive episodes do not get treatment.

Kaiser is one of the biggest providers of health services to Californians with 12.2 million health plan members, many in the Bay Area. Kaiser is a leader in health care, an anchor industry employing hundreds of Oakland residents, and a partner to our city. We are urging Kaiser and its unions to come to terms with each other in a fair manner to provide the best care possible for Oakland residents and their mental health needs.

Why it matters: In December, I joined Kaiser mental health clinicians, represented by NUHW (National Union of Healthcare Workers) during their 5 day strike. They took this bold action to bring awareness to: their experience of unrealistic expectations of mental health providers by Kaiser, lack of support/resources, and the impacts of these conditions on patients. They spoke about how there is one full-time mental health provider for every 3,000 Kaiser members, one full-time provider for every 100 seriously mentally ill members, and a return wait time between 4 to 6+ weeks. Many Kaiser members have shared their stories about the wait times and how it has negatively impacted their mental health, and in some cases, led to serious or fatal consequences. 

The resolution declares that the Council strongly supports the establishment of full parity for mental health patients and clinicians at Kaiser with three critical steps:

  1. boost clinician staffing to levels sufficient to ensure timely access to appropriate care;
  2. strictly limit and ultimately phase out the outsourcing of mental health services; and
  3. provide Kaiser’s mental health clinicians with the same raises and benefits enjoyed by all other members of Kaiser’s unionized workforce throughout the State of California, as required to address staff shortages and recruit and retain a stable and experienced workforce.


(3) Standing with Community Organizations:
Calling for Audit of Alameda County Sheriff's Office

At the April 18th Rules and Legislation Committee, I introduced a recommendation for the Council to adopt a resolution supporting the community's requests for an independent audit of the Alameda County Sheriff's office. This item will go to the Public Safety Committee on May 14 at 6 p.m. Thank you to Mayor Schaaf and Council President Pro Tem Dan Kalb for joining this resolution. 

We stand in solidarity with the community organizations who have called upon the Alameda County Board of Supervisors to conduct an independent financial and performance audit of the Sheriff's office; these groups include the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, the Justice Reinvestment Coalition of Alameda County, CA Immigrant Youth Justice Alliance, Causa Justa | Just Cause, and Urban Peace Movement, among others.

Why it matters: In the last five years, the Sheriff's office has experienced 33 in-custody deaths.  CA Senator Nancy Skinner called for an audit after troubling reports including the story of a pregnant woman who ended up giving birth alone in a jail cell while deputies allegedly ignored her cries for help. Learn more here.

An independent audit would shine a light on issues that must be addressed in order to increase the safety and well-being of Oaklanders. Potential cost savings that may result from information provided in the audit could be redirected toward education, housing, public safety, and other critical community priorities impacting Oakland and the County. 

(4) Homeless Encampment Management Program 

My office requested an information report from the City Administrator to provide information and publicize in detail how the homeless encampment program works (e.g. deciding on and executing encampment closures, outreach and services, and housing options). It will be presented at the May 14, 4 p.m. Life Enrichment Committee meeting. By sharing this information, I hope to advance more compassionate and sustainable solutions to the unsheltered crises.

(5) Overdose Prevention Programs & Safe Consumption Sites: Resolution in Support of AB 362 

At the May 9th Rules and Legislation Committee meeting, I will introduce a recommendation in partnership with Mayor Schaaf for the City Council to adopt a resolution in support of AB 362, which would allow Oakland the discretion to authorize overdose prevention programs:

  • where adults may use controlled substances under supervision of staff trained to prevent and treat overdose,
  • aimed to prevent HIV and hepatitis infection, and
  • facilitate entry into drug treatment and other services.

If passed by Committee, the resolution could go to the full Council on May 21.

Why it Matters: According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2010 nearly 4,000 new cases of HIV were attributed to unsafe injections. Many of the most marginalized and high-risk drug users are homeless or housing insecure and are forced to inject in public or semi-public spaces; the lack of privacy compromises the health, well-being and safety of the injection drug user and the surrounding community. In 2018, Oakland's 311 system recorded 569 service requests for needle collection/disposal and $143,000 was expended on the biohazard contract for collection. 

AB 362 will help homelessness and focuses on treatment and using a public health approach rather than a criminal justice approach. In our current system, people who use drugs and are homeless are frequently arrested for their drug use; this creates a cycle of destabilization while also not addressing underlying health issues driving addiction.

Overdose prevention programs have been shown to significantly reduce infectious disease transmission and increase the likelihood that people initiate drug treatment. These programs have also been shown to reduce syringe litter and improve neighborhood safety. 

Celebrating the dreams and contributions of Oakland entrepreneurs this Small Business Week, May 5 - 11!

Oakland Family Legacy Business Awards. On Monday, May 6, the City of Oakland will celebrate family-owned legacy businesses at a reception at City Hall at 4:30 p.m. followed by an awards ceremony at 5 p.m. in Council Chambers.

District 2's Lake Merritt Optometry and La Estrellita will receive a plaque from Mayor Schaaf. Combined, the five businesses being honored have more than 325 years of business experience serving our community! 

Lake Merritt Optometry is a 3rd generation family-owned small business currently run by Dr. Serene Ngin. Dr. Raymond Eng opened the business in Chinatown in the 1930s. He was also the first Chinese American elected to Oakland's City Council. In 1969, he moved the business to 3rd Ave where they are celebrating their 50th anniversary. Generations of Oakland families have had their eyes checked here and today they are the City of Oakland’s vendor for safety glasses. 

City Council Small Business Honorees. At the Council meeting on Tuesday, May 7 at 5:30 p.m. each Councilmember will honor an Oakland small business from their  district.

We are proud to honor Arizmendi Bakery on Lakeshore Avenue, which opened in 1997, the same year I moved to the neighborhood.

Arizmendi is modeled after the successful worker-owned Cheeseboard in Berkeley and is now one of six Arizmendi bakeries in the Bay Area. The small business recruits its worker-owners from underserved Oakland communities and focuses on providing healthy food as well as technical, educational, and organizational support to member cooperatives throughout the Bay. 

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.

Free Workshops, Events for Small Business Week May 5-11. Entrepreneurs and small business owners may choose from networking events, informative workshops and insightful panels in Downtown, East Oakland, Fruitvale and West Oakland. Topics will include social media, tech tools, access to capital, cyber security, business models, women mentoring women, business operations and more.

Fantastic Negrito Debuts Free Curated Street Performance Series. Two-time Grammy Award Winner and Oakland's own Fantastic Negrito launched AMP (Arts, Music, Performance) Oakland, a curated busker/street performance series throughout Downtown Oakland from May until October, organized by Oakland Central. This project aims to further the vibrancy of Downtown Oakland and strengthen the foundation of our local cultural arts economy by directly supporting local artists and performers.

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

Bella Vista NCPC
Wednesday, May 8, 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, May 15, 2019
Starts at 4:00 p.m.
270 13th St. (Hotel Oakland)

Grandlake NCPC 
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Lakeshore Ave. Baptist Church
3534 Lakeshore Ave.

Cleveland Heights / Beat 15X recently voted to formally establish a Neighborhood Council at its first well-attended meeting at FM Smith Rec Center. We will share information about upcoming meetings when it becomes available.

Ride with Councilmember Bas on 2019 Bike to Work Day! On Thursday, May 9, meet Nikki, School Board Member Aimee Eng, and Walk Oakland Bike Oakland (WOBO) at Grand Lake Ace Hardware at 7:15 a.m. and bike to City Hall where a pancake breakfast celebration and fun activities await you. Sign up to volunteer here.

City of Oakland E-Scooter Survey. The Oakland Department of Transportation is seeking public input on e-scooters to inform future plans and policies. Take the survey in English, Spanish, or Chinese.

Alameda County Launches Home Down Payment Assistance Program. The County Board of Supervisors' AC Boost program is a county-wide down payment assistance loan program funded by the county’s 2016 Measure A1 Housing Bond. The program offers shared equity loans of up to $150,000 to first-time homebuyers who live, work, or have been displaced from Alameda County. Educators (including all public school employees) may have double the chance to access AC Boost funds. 

19th Annual Malcolm X Jazz and Arts Festival. On Saturday, May 18 from 11 a.m - 7 p.m., join Eastside Arts Alliance at San Antonio Park for a full day featuring local musicians, poets, dancers, artists, vendors, and community.

East Bay Housing Organizations (EBHO) 35th Anniversary Affordable Housing Week Kick-Off. Join EBHO for an evening of fun, food, music, and a celebration of the community's collective work for affordable homes. 

Thursday, May 9th, 2019
6:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Classic Cars West
411 26th Street
Oakland, CA 94612

See the full schedule for Affordable Housing Week May 9-19 here

Free Walking Tours of Downtown Oakland. Through October, the City's Cultural Affairs Division is hosting 90-minute free walking tours every Wednesday and Saturday. They're a great way for residents, visitors and newcomers to get to know Oakland's history, culture, landmarks, churches, and today's happenings. The tours focus on Old Oakland, City Center, Uptown to the Lake, Preservation Park, Chinatown, Jack London Waterfront, churches and temples, and Oakland's African American landmarks and leaders.


Town Camp. Registration is open for Oakland Parks, Recreation, and Youth Development's (OPRYD) annual Town Camp, which offers youth an opportunity to learn leadership skills and develop self-confidence in a safe and inclusive environment. Each week of camp has an exciting theme including activities such as swimming, field trips, crafts, games, and cooking projects. 

Oakland Feather River Art Camp. This is a family-friendly art camp (directed by District 2 neighbors) whose instructors are mostly East Bay artists, specialists in their disciplines. It takes place from June 9-16 this summer.




Friends of Lincoln Square Park Project. Lincoln Recreation Center  is the most utilized recreation facility and community gathering spot in all of Oakland, drawing residents from throughout Alameda County over generations. It serves 1,500 children and offers a huge array of community programming seven days a week from early morning Tai Chi to evening ballroom classes. The renovation and expansion project is a priority budget item for my office - I hope you'll learn more and consider helping this facility grow to continue to meet the needs of Oaklanders.

FM Smith Recreation Center Basketball Court Project. Project Backboard is collaborating with local artist Alicia McCarthy to design the graphic for the rec center's basketball court resurfacing project. Provide your input on the graphic design concepts at the following community engagement meetings:

Wednesday May 8, 2019
4:30 - 6:30 p.m.
666 Bellevue Ave

Tuesday May 21, 2019
6 - 7 p.m.
FM Smith Recreation Center
1969 Park Boulevard

The Town Talks Community. Join the Department of Race & Equity for a conversation with the department's director Darlene Flynn and Robin DiAngelo, author of White Fragility. Community members will learn about and discuss the way race shapes the lives of White people and explore the experiences, challenges, and skills required of people of color who navigate a white-dominant society daily. Individuals interested in purchasing the book are encouraged to purchase it from Marcus Book store.

Monday, May 6, 2019
6:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Oakland Asian Cultural Center
388 9th St, Oakland, CA 94607

510 Day 2019. Urban Peace Movement, Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice (CURYJ), AYPAL, and The East Oakland Collective invite you to Lake Merritt for 510 Day on Friday, May 10th from 4 - 8 p.m to celebrate the unique culture of Oakland and the East Bay. #WeStillHere

Safe Oakland Summit. This Summit on June 8th at the Oakland Museum of California is designed by and intended for residents impacted by violence. The gathering will focus on eradicating gun violence, ending the commercial sexual exploitation of youth, ending domestic partner violence, and enhancing family support services. 


Funding Opportunities for Arts & Culture Projects. The City's 2019-20 Cultural Funding Program grants application deadline is Monday, May 15. In addition, the Kenneth Rainin Foundation's Open Spaces Program is inviting letters of inquiry until May 31 for grants of $50-200K for nonprofits to partner with artists to create temporary, place-based public art projects in San Francisco and Oakland.

ACCELA Citizen Tool / Online Permitting Center. The City's new ACCELA database allows Oakland's fire, building, and planning departments to track, record and view property inspections in real time. This technology is easily accessible to the public, allowing residents to search by record or parcel number to record pictures and other relevant information related to inspections and compliance. 

23rd Ave Street Cleanup. Join the 23rd Avenue Beautification Group (23ABG) for its monthly cleanup on Saturday, May 25th from 9-11 a.m. Meet at 2209 23rd Avenue. Tools, gloves, and safety vests will be provided.

Expanded Oakland Public Library Hours. Thanks to the passage of Measure D, all library locations increased their hours since April 1 and will now be open on Mondays. Previously, only three branches were open Mondays. In addition, the Main Library and 81st Ave Branch are open 7 days a week with full days on Saturday and Sunday. 

BBQ Becky One Year Anniversary Event. On Sunday, May 12, 11:00 a.m. Kenzie Smith and community organizers are commemorating the one-year anniversary of the 'Barbeque Becky' incident with a free, family-friendly BBQ at Lake Merritt. The incident brought national attention to the racial profiling of Black Americans. The organizers are fundraising to ensure the event is free and accessible to all.

Oakland Veg Fest. Organized by the Factory Farming Awareness Coalition (FFAC), the festival returns for its fifth year on Saturday, May 18 from 11 a.m. - 5 p.m at the Lake Merritt Amphitheater. It is free and open to the public and will feature food, vendors, speakers, a 'cutest dog' contest, and kids area.

Queer California: Untold Stories Exhibit. Through August 11, head to the Oakland Museum of California to visit this incredible new exhibit on non-mainstream stories and experiences of queerness. It focuses on transgender communities, people of color, women, and others who have often been left out of history.

Around the Neighborhood

Sharing the City's proclamation declaring the month of May to be Older Americans Month at the Human Services Department's kickoff event on May 1st. We learned about the resources, supports, and community organizations working to make Oakland friendly for seniors and people with disabilities. Later, we joined the community to celebrate May Day and call for worker and immigrant rights. 

¡Feliz Cinco de Mayo! I had a blast at the Aztec Run supporting the Spanish Speaking Citizens' Foundation. Great to see Councilmember Noel Gallo and School Board member Rosie Torres. The organizers said I was the first Oakland City Councilmember to run and finish the race! Maybe next year I'll win a medal, though it was fun to award medals to the girls who finished in record time.   

Meeting with residents and small businesses in Chinatown during my last monthly office hours and engaging in a retail walk to learn about merchants' hopes, challenges, and histories.

It was a real honor to meet these firefighters from Station 12 in Chinatown who serve the surrounding area. I look forward to working together to make sure we keep our city and residents safe and healthy. 

I met so many wonderful people at Lincoln Elementary's carnival celebration, including the local Boy Scouts Troop.

Celebrating the girls basketball teams of Oakland High and Oakland Tech for making herstory and winning the state championship titles -- you go, ladies! 

What a lovely day celebrating the 63rd Annual Easter Pancake Community Breakfast with the Wa Sung Community Service Club, community organizations and hundreds of neighbors. 

Joining families and neighbors in Chinatown with Asian Health Services for the 25th annual Oakland Earth Day clean up efforts. 

Community Corner

As part of the City's relationship with Oakland Coliseum, Councilmembers receive tickets to sporting events and concerts. We are grateful for the opportunity to honor community members with these tickets.

Join us in recognizing Griffen Castillo and Coach John Beam for their work supporting Oakland.

Griffen is a leader with All City Council Student Union Governing Board with Oakland Unified School District. He says, "All of the work that I do is done to support my fellow students. In Restorative Justice, I mediate conflicts between my peers and help them learn how to deal with struggles in their life and learn from them. In All City Council, I work as the Vice President to represent other students and make sure that their voices are heard by inviting them to board meetings."

Coach Beam is Director of Athletics at Laney College, whose football team recently earned the title of number one junior college football team in the country for the 2018-19 season! Coach Beam's motto is "Laney Built--Oakland Proud." With 39 years of coaching and 15 of them at Laney, he has made lasting, positive impacts on the lives of many young people in Oakland. In 2018 he was voted the California Community College Athletic Association's Coach of the Year. He previously won state high school coach of the year and national regional coach of the year awards as head coach at Skyline High School.

# # # # #

Recently, Eastlake resident Dontae Moore was the victim of a hate crime. His car was spray-painted with the N word in his driveway. This racist attack is an attack on our entire community. As a single parent father and new employee with the city's Parks and Recreation department, Dontae had to walk to work following the incident and find other ways to send his son to school.

Thank you, Oakland, for helping Dontae and showing that hate and anti-Blackness have no place in our community or anywhere. Even as Trump invites white nationalism and violence out of the shadows, we know love and light have greater power. 

His neighbor Lanese Martin, who is also Co-Founder of The Hood Incubator, set up a fundraiser to help Dontae with the costs of restoring his car. In less than 72 hours, Oaklanders and friends across the country raised more than double the goal of $1,700 for Dontae -- he has since gotten his car fixed. Dontae: your positivity through this experience inspires all of us. We hope you feel the strength and love of Oakland and the Bay Area the way you've shown yours.

In the News

  • SF Chronicle // Oakland ups spending on fire inspections, prevention in proposed budget
  • NBC Bay Area // Racist Graffiti Spray-Painted on Man's Car in Oakland 
  • KRON // Oakland man turns hate into positivity after car vandalized with racial slur
  • SF Gate // Council Votes To Give $1.2M To School District To Save Programs
  • SF Gate // Oakland council postpones collection of Measure AA taxes amid concerns over voter trust
  • The Bold Italic // The Rebirth of the Oakland Auditorium
  • Oakland Post // Oakland Leaders Celebrate César Chávez’s Legacy
  • KQED Arts // Sideshows and the extractive economy 
  • SF Chronicle // Sideshows, first spun in Oakland, pose unique challenges for law enforcement
  • East Bay Times // ‘Queer California’ LGBTQ exhibit in Oakland is not what you’ll expect
  • SF Chronicle // Oakland pothole plan paves path to equity for lower-income areas
  • SPUR // The Politics of Potholes in Oakland: Fairness, Equity, City Budgets and the Public Good
  • KRON // One year after 'BBQ Becky' incident in Oakland, family wants to 'stop hate' with 2nd event

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

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