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At 22nd Ave and Foothill next to Garfield Elementary, a hit & run collision last Tuesday killed Ms. Huong Thi Truong and injured her 4-year-old niece.
This is an unacceptable tragedy. My heart is with Ms. Truong’s husband, daughter, son and loved ones; students, staff and families at Garfield; and San Antonio neighbors. As a mother, I am filled with grief and anger, and I am here to support the school and neighborhood. As Councilmember, I am doing all I can to help make our community safer.
Last week, I brought together OakDOT, OPD, and the Mayor’s Office with the Principal and Garfield Elementary community to prioritize pedestrian safety and make a plan to help ensure a tragedy like this never happens again.
There is a history of safety concerns along the Foothill corridor. Last April, we grieved a mother and son who were killed as they crossed the street a few blocks away. A month later in May, the City implemented traffic safety measures around Garfield. The City repaved Foothill, created a "road diet" between 22nd and 23rd Avenues that reduced 4 lanes into 3, with one lane per direction and left turn pockets. High-visibility crosswalks were reinstalled, and a new one was added on Foothill and Munson.
But more must be done. We hear residents' feelings of frustration that the City has not made adequate improvements and does not invest the full extent of resources needed because this area is in the flats. We also hear concerns about the need to address speeding and reckless driving.
I joined the school community before and after school last Friday and met with community and school leaders to hear their experiences and recommendations.
We know the school community wants to see immediate pedestrian and traffic safety changes, including flashing crosswalk lights, dedicated turn signals, and speed bumps. We are working with city agencies to take concrete action to make our streets and communities safe for pedestrians and cyclists.
Tragedies like this profoundly impact our communities. I am committed to improving traffic safety along this corridor and equitably throughout Oakland, including the Safe Routes to Schools initiative.
OPD and Crime Stoppers of Oakland are offering a reward of up to $15,000 for an arrest in this case. Anyone with information should contact the OPD Traffic Investigation Unit at (510) 777-8570.
With Oakland Love,
Nikki Fortunato Bas
P.S. - Join us in the San Antonio neighborhood for these two upcoming events.
Policy Issues: Coming to Council
(1) Measure W Vacant Property Tax Implementation Ordinance
Council will consider the implementing ordinance for Measure W on Tuesday, October 15, 5:30 pm. Meeting details here.
In November 2018, Oakland voters approved Measure W, the Vacant Property Tax Act. As stated in the measure, the purpose of Measure W is to “rais[e] revenue necessary to support and fund services for homeless people and affordable housing, and related programs." Measure W calls for the City Council to pass an ordinance establishing the method for determining and identifying the “use” and vacancy status of properties subject to the tax.
(2) Housing & Homelessness
City Council committees will discuss important housing and homelessness issues on Tuesday, October 22. Meeting details will be available here on Friday.
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.
Job Opportunity: Housing Development Manager. The City is seeking a Housing Development Manager to be responsible for the overall administration of the housing development, finance, planning, and asset management functions of the Housing & Community Development Department. This is a full-time position with a salary range of $131K - $161K.
Call for Individuals & Organizations to Become Alameda County Census Ambassadors. The County's Complete Count Committee invites you to support a complete count by becoming a Census 2020 expert, conducting outreach, keeping our community informed, and tracking progress.
Body, Mind, Spirit: Asian Family’s Challenges and Outlook. What can we do about the challenges of immigration loss, culture shock and assimilation, family structure adjustment, inter-generational communication challenges, and youth mental health? Join Oakland Asian Cultural Center and Asian Health Services to engage in workshops, resource booths, activities, and panel discussions to better understand & support emotional health across generations. The event will be held in English, Cantonese, Mandarin, and Vietnamese.
Apply for the City's Cultural Affairs Commission. The Cultural Affairs Commission advises the Mayor, City Council and City Administrator on matters affecting cultural development in Oakland and acts as ambassadors and advocates for arts & culture.
Parking & Towing Survey. Oakland's Civic Design lab is partnering with OakDOT to learn more about residents' experiences with parking and towing -- specifically regarding challenges paying for tickets -- to develop additional support services. Please share your feedback in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, or Chinese to help inform solutions!
Neighborhood Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) Meetings. Get involved with your local NCPC or Neighborhood Council to help make our communities safe and connected.
Cleveland Heights / Beat 15X
Bella Vista NCPC
San Antonio NCPC
Mini-Grants for Resident-Led Community Healing & Violence Reduction Projects. With Urban Peace Movement, Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth, Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice, Building Opportunities for Self-Sufficiency, and Roots Community Health Center, Oakland Unite will issue $400K+ in mini-grants of up to $15K for small non-profits and $5K for individuals. Applications are due Monday, October 21.
Apply to Urban Habitat's Boards & Commissions Leadership Institute. Are you looking to deepen your understanding of housing, transportation, and land use planning issues through an intersectional lens? Urban Habitat's BCLI is an incredible program designed to support emerging leaders from low-income communities of color to become advocate commissioners. Applications are due October 20th.
Provide feedback on the City's Draft Specific Plan for Downtown Oakland. The Planning & Building Department recently released the official draft Downtown Oakland Specific Plan and draft Environmental Impact Report. These critical documents aim to help guide development and growth downtown over the next 20 years. Public comment for these documents closes on November 8 (extended deadline); please get involved at upcoming public meetings to learn more and weigh in.
Litquake at the Oakland Public Library. Litquake, San Francisco's 20-year literary festival, is making a stop at the Main Branch library to bring East Bay authors before East Bay residents! On Monday, October 14 at 6pm, hear local female African American authors Kira Lynne Allen, Jeneé Darden, Natalie Devora, Dr. Adrienne Danyelle Oliver and Kelechi Ubozoh read from their work and participate in a group discussion. On Friday, October 18 at 6:30pm, hear from authors Lucy Jane Bledsoe, Alison Hart, Vanessa Hua, Saul Lelchuk, Jenny Odell, and Margaret Wilkerson Sexton.
Apply to serve on the Screening Panel for Oakland's Redistricting Commission. The Redistricting Commission draws new lines to define districts for City Council and OUSD every 10 years. The screening process is critical to ensuring that new equitable boundaries are drawn, free from special interests, politics, and political influence. To serve on the screening panel, a person must be a retired judge, or a current law or graduate public policy student, or a representative of a non-profit organization.
HELLAWEEN Costume Run 5K around Lake Merritt. Join me for a fun costume run for one of my favorite holidays, Halloween, on Saturday, October 26 from 4-7 pm! There will be a DJ, photo booth, local business vendors, costume contest with prizes, and more. Let us know if you can volunteer with our booth.
Around the Neighborhood
Solidarity with the City of Oakland workers. Our public service professionals are the backbone of our City. Let's make sure City workers get a fair contract and full staffing, and residents get quality services! We also congratulate the 83,000 healthcare workers nationwide who reached a tentative contract settlement with Kaiser Permanente.
The targeting of refugees, especially those who have experienced trauma and rehabilitation, is unconscionable and exceedingly cruel. Attacks on immigrant communities are attacks on us all. I went to ICE Offices in San Francisco to denounce the 6th round of immigration raids targeting Cambodian refugees under Trump. My fellow Oaklander, Saman Pho, a beloved father & Union member, was called to report to ICE. Assemblymember David Chiu and I were with him when he and another community member, Sakun Phok, were separated from their families and detained. Gov. Gavin Newsom has the power to stop this with pardon power. I urged the Governor to pardon Saman with Mayor Libby Schaaf, Councilmembers Loren Taylor, Sheng Thao and Rebecca Kaplan and we will keep advocating to re-unite him with his family permanently. You can help by signing the petition here. Photo by Kevin Lo.
We had a fabulous time and office hours at the Oakland Mid-Autumn Festival and Night Market in Clinton Park organized by the Vietnamese Chamber of Commerce. Delicious food, children playing, fun music and festivities, neighbors hanging out--true community building and community safety. Thank you to the organizers, including the Vietnamese Chamber of Commerce, for a wonderful time!
At our Chinatown Census Convening, we came together with Chinatown leaders and community members to share and build on outreach plans towards a complete count in 2020 and ensure that Chinatown receives the resources it needs to care for the well-being of our diverse residents.
Council honored Oakland Museum of California (OMCA) for their 50th anniversary. We're so grateful to OMCA for being the museum of the people, working hard to represent our communities' voices and stories, and bringing folks together in love & solidarity time and time again.
I joined the Oakland Chamber of Commerce Public Policy Forum to share my priorities with its diverse member organizations and to discuss a range of issues that impact them. I also joined the Jobs and Housing Coalition's monthly meeting to connect with their members.
What a joy getting to read to 1st and 5th graders at Bella Vista Elementary for Latinx Read-In, in honor of Latinx Heritage Month and organized by the Oakland Public Education Fund. We read ¡Si Se Puede!, a book about the LA janitors' strike in 2000, authored by my friend Diana Cohn. The kids made great connections between the story and the climate strike they participated in recently. I'm hopeful for a just & inclusive future with leaders like these little ones showing us the way.
It was a pleasure to join community members as well as hospital and Alameda Health System volunteers in cleaning up & beautifying the perimeter and neighborhood around Highland Hospital.
It was so grounding to spend an afternoon with the children and team at Harbor House. The kids shared what they love about Oakland, asked smart questions and offered creative ideas about what we should be doing like making food free and banning homework! Thank you, Harbor House, for serving the San Antonio community with after-school programs, internships for high school students, ESL classes for adults, emergency food and building community.
Did you know there are 174-year-old roses growing at the Morcom Rose Garden? My team and I spent time weeding with the Dedicated Deadheaders, the garden's master volunteers. We so appreciate their commitment to stewarding this wonderful garden!
We joined Grand Lake Neighbors to hear from nonprofit developer EAH Housing about plans for the affordable housing development at the site of the old Kwik Way Drive-In on Lake Park Ave. Read more from Oakland North here.
Oakland declared September 29 Old School Copes Day! We celebrated James Copes, a long-time clothing entrepreneur and community leader, who started putting Oaktown on clothing in 1987. Now you can find Old School Copes tees & clothing at the kiosk outside City Hall, as well as across from the Grand Lake Farmers Market on most Saturdays.
Congrats to Asian Health Services on 45 years of ensuring patients who face language, economic and social barriers receive the quality health care services they need. It's a pleasure to partner with Executive Director Sherri Hirota and the AHS team on health, immigration and community issues with our diverse API neighbors.
Congrats to the Oakland Asian Cultural Center on bringing our diverse communities & generations together with unparalleled cultural programming for 23 years. I was so humbled to be honored along with Councilmember Sheng Thao celebrating “Strong Women, Strong Communities”.
We joined neighbors bright and early to clean up & beautify Splash Pad Park! The group typically meets the 4th Sunday of the month from 9 am to 12 noon. They provide tools, gloves and water. To confirm the date or ask questions, email [email protected]. We also joined the Battle for the Bay clean up by volunteering on Grand Ave. Thanks to the dedicated volunteers who keep our parks and communities clean.
Thank you Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN) for 25 years of your fearless, radical, loving vision of a world that is safe, sustainable and vibrant for the most vulnerable among us. It gave me deep joy to reconnect with old environmental justice allies. Here's to continue building grassroots power and winning!
I was excited to honor Bishop Keith L. Clark of Word Assembly Church for 26 years of incredible service and commitment to our community -- thank you, Bishop Clark, for all you have done and continue to do to care for San Antonio residents and beyond.
It was a pleasure to tour the Port of Oakland's facilities and infrastructure, learning and seeing firsthand our city's thriving port industry which is the 4th busiest container port on the West Coast. Our port generates more than 70K jobs in the region and 800K+ jobs nationwide!
It was an honor & inspiration to join other women of color elected officials at the California Donor Table to speak about what kinds of supports we need to govern progressively and pass progressive policies.
Another beautiful evening at Lincoln Summer Nights spent with young people, families, seniors, and community organizations throughout and beyond Chinatown. Congratulations to the organizers for a successful series of events this summer and thank you for helping build connection, fun, and community in Oakland!
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