Back to School, Back to Community: Creating Safer Neighborhoods

Let’s be clear. Community safety is Oakland’s top priority. I witness the fear, anger and trauma in our community and want you to know that your City is working hard and working collaboratively across city departments, with other government partners, and with community and business organizations. We’re responding with short term urgency to make things better now and with long-term strategies to address root causes that will pay future dividends of safe communities. We know these challenges are much bigger than Oakland and that there’s no quick fix and no single solution. But we know we can do better and that we must.

Let me also be clear. There are some in Oakland and across our nation who use fear to drive wedges between us. This is a time for love, not hate. It’s a time for unity and working as One Oakland. I remain committed to creating an Oakland where:

  • children can walk to school and play in our parks,
  • neighbors gather in community and patronize our local businesses,
  • seniors feel secure and respected, and
  • we all experience love, joy and healing with the foundation of a thriving neighborhood, good jobs, affordable housing, quality education and accessible healthcare.


Oakland's challenges (like other major cities) require a collaborative approach — across the City and with our government partners, community organizations, business associations, and residents. We are expanding our comprehensive community safety solutions to:

  1. Address the root causes of violence and poverty, 
  2. Prevent violence, retaliation and recidivism, and 
  3. Improve response times to crises and solve more crimes.


In June, I proposed and funded an OPD staffing study which will assess the appropriate management and allocation of resources to ensure effectiveness and equity. For two years, I’ve said that the appropriate measures for effective policing are response times, solve rates, and crime rates. I’m committed to supporting improvements in all three, as well as achieving constitutional policing by getting out of the decades-long Negotiated Settlement Agreement that mandates police reform.

Now, here is the work that Oakland is doing, and that I am leading in my role as a Councilmember and Council President passing policy and approving budgets which the City Administration, under the Mayor's leadership, then implements to deliver services to Oaklanders.  

Root causes

Growing inequality and state disinvestment in the resources that support working families are the root causes of poverty, homelessness and violence that harm our communities. Through the Housing Bond I put on the ballot, Oakland is now investing over $200 million to create affordable housing. We’re also expanding job opportunities for youth and adults, like our training academy for 18 to 30 year olds. By offering dignity and hope for the future, we’re making a powerful intervention in the cycles that produce harm.

Violence prevention

We’re also  preventing violence before it happens. By partnering with trusted violence interrupters, outreach workers, and community ambassadors, we prioritize neighborhoods most impacted by gun violence and human trafficking — and save real lives. Community outreach workers and violence interrupters play a vital role in connecting with at-risk individuals, providing support, and offering alternatives to violence. Through their presence and expertise, they help build trust and work towards reducing violence, preventing retaliation, and decreasing recidivism in our communities. Community building events, like Town Nights, also offer safe spaces to prevent violence and foster unity in a fun and family friendly environment. 

Town Nights in San Antonio & Chinatown

We’re also improving community safety with Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED)by actively creating neighborhoods that discourage harmful and criminal activities. We’ve improved lighting, installed traffic calming speed bumps and traffic diverters, and invested in business facade improvements. And we’re rolling out even more of these projects in the coming months. Through CPTED, we aim to reduce traffic violence and disruptive events, like sideshows, and to discourage burglaries. In San Antonio, along E 15th Street, I worked with the community and city staff to install traffic diverters which have reduced human trafficking and dangerous driving in a residential neighborhood; and we will continue to address these issues across the neighborhood and our city. 

Community meeting evaluating traffic diverters on E 15th Street

This Fall we will be activating our public spaces with even more events, partnering with our commercial corridors on safety strategies and services, conducting community safety awareness campaigns, and marketing the things we love about our town

Community policing, crisis response, solving crimes

When you are in crisis, you deserve a swift response. When you have been the victim of a crime, you deserve justice. Oakland’s measures of success are shorter response times to 911 calls, higher clearance rates in solving crimes, and fewer crimes.

We’re not just talking, we’re doing it. We’ve prioritized hiring and retaining 911 dispatchers, MACRO crisis responders, firefighters and police officers. We are expanding MACRO (Mobile Assistance Community Responders of Oakland in the Fire Department) to answer non-violent 911 calls, allowing OPD to focus on violent crime. We have also civilianized police functions including special events and certain traffic enforcement to focus police on serious and violent crime, and we will civilianize internal affairs investigations next. We are adding more foot patrol officers in business corridors to improve community policing, and adding civilian investigators to solve more crimes. 

With Mayor Thao's leadership, we are partnering more closely with all our government leaders and agencies. Our county and state law enforcement partners are providing support in key areas of Oakland. We are working together to identify those small groups of people committing crimes in our region. We are also working together to expand our tools and technology to deter and solve crimes, and these items, such as automated license plate readers that identify vehicles involved in crimes, will come before the Privacy Advisory Commission and City Council this Fall. 

Little Saigon Community/Business meeting with OPD Capt. Yu & CP Bas

MACRO (crisis responders) ride-along with CP Bas & Staff

Community engagement is essential in our pursuit of a safer Oakland. Residents can voice their concerns, contribute ideas, and collaborate on solutions through active participation in Oakland's Neighborhood Councils (NCs). These councils serve as platforms for open dialogue and collective decision-making around neighborhood priorities with city staff and Council offices. (See our Neighborhood Updates below for more information on NCs.)

My team and I have been spending this summer recess connecting with neighbors and businesses to listen and problem solve, and we will continue to do so. (Read more below.) You can also engage in Oakland's citywide survey and town halls to help build our agenda and strengthen our partnership. 

Additionally, community organizations such as Restore Oakland, CURYJ, and Asian Health Services play crucial roles in addressing trauma, promoting healing, and providing support to individuals and families affected by violence through offering free services and connecting victims to other services and resources.

Lastly, as your Councilmember and Council President, I am committed to building a safer and thriving Oakland, where every resident and business owner feels safe, secure, and supported. I continue to value and invite your collaboration and engagement to build an Oakland for all.


P.S. — Scroll down to view how we have connected with neighbors and businesses over the summer, D2 neighborhood updates, upcoming events, and resources. 


Back to School - August 7th, 2023

  • It was fun and uplifting to welcome our kids back to school and tour Bella Vista Elementary with Superintendent Kyla Johnson and School Boardmember Jennifer Brouhard! As a parent of a now college student that attended OUSD, I care deeply about our children's education and support services. I look forward to continuing to work in collaboration with the leadership of OUSD and community partners to ensure that our youth are receiving high quality services, resources, and teachers!

Lincoln Summer Nights - August 10th, 2023

  • Our D2 Office had a great time at this Lincoln Summer Nights, focused on "Back to School," where community partners handed out school supplies, backpacks, and other necessities to youth and families — all free! There was also an electrifying martial arts demonstration by youth, which everyone really enjoyed. 

United Seniors of Oakland/Alameda County - August 11th, 2023

  • Convened by the United Seniors of Oakland and Alameda County, the community & representatives from the Mayor's Office, the D2 & D3 Offices, and the City Administrator, met on August 11th to talk about improving traffic safety at the intersection directly across from St. Paul's Towers. Traffic safety is an ongoing issue for many neighborhoods in Oakland, which the Council is working to address through our recent budget allocations on traffic calming infrastructure.

OCA Pick-It-Up - August 13th, 2023 and Clinton Park Clean Up - August 6th, 2023

  • Our D2 staff joined community partners for monthly clean up events at Wilma Chan Park in Chinatown and Clinton Park in Little Saigon. Thanks to all the volunteers who beautified the areas, picked up litter, and removed other blight. See below for information about these monthly events by OCA East Bay (second Sundays at Wilma Chan Park) and Tzu Chi Foundation and Oakland Vietnamese Chamber of Commerce (first Sundays at Clinton Park).

National Night Out Volunteer Appreciation - August 17th, 2023

  • Staff and I had a great time honoring volunteers and facilitators of this year's National Night Out. As one of our longer-running annual community safety events, National Night Out leads to connections and relationships between neighbors that create opportunities and raise the overall safety of the neighborhood. A huge shoutout to Lake Chalet for hosting us on their gorgeous dock and feeding us all a tasty feast, and to our City of Oakland team for their hard work and leadership! 

Resilience Tour of Lincoln Rec Center - August 18th, 2023

  • Our team appreciated joining Asian Pacific Environmental Network and Friends of Lincoln Square Park to tour Lincoln Rec Center and preview the community's designs for a resilience hub that includes solar panels and battery storage, a greywater system, and integrated emergency response services. We imagine Lincoln as a place that can provide backup power, clean air, cooling, food storage and distribution, shelter, internet, and additional resources in times of disaster. A place where people access critical in-language information and organize to support their communities. To make that vision real, we need resources and support. I'm proud to partner with our community to make this vision real. 

Little Saigon Business Community Meeting - August 18th, 2023

  • Thanks to the Little Saigon business community and the Oakland Vietnamese Chamber of Commerce for hosting me and OPD Captain Alan Yu to listen and problem-solve around issues with public safety. It was good to meet and reconnect with the over 30 people who joined us. While I heard frustration, anger, fear, and trauma, I also heard those who want a better future for Little Saigon, and I am here to partner with them to do just that.

D2 Office Hours - August 19th, 2023

  • It was good to connect directly with residents and business owners at my Office Hours this past weekend at Park Boulevard Plaza! I appreciated hearing the the different ideas that community members have for some of our most pressing issues, and their drive to come together with their neighbors to make our community safer. I look forward to continuing to connect with constituents in Office Hours in the future! Request a meeting here. 

Bible Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church's D2 Block Party - August 19th, 2023

  • My staff and I had a great time with Pastor Hawkins at the Bible Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church's Block Party this past Saturday as they passed out meals, backpacks, books, and other school necessities to at least a hundred children and families, as well as set up a small water park for children! I deeply value and appreciate the necessary culture & community work that churches like Bible Fellowship do in our district, and I am proud to support their efforts. 


SAG-AFTRA Strike! - August 10th, 2023

  • When we fight, we win! When we strike, we win! I was proud to stand with our local artists and performers with SAG-AFTRA, demanding fair wages and benefits from the multi-million dollar media corporations that profit from their hard work and talent, and protections from being replaced by AI Tech. As the incomparable Margo Hall said: "This fight is for all of us." Oakland is an arts and union town. We stand with you.

Unionists of the Year - August 18th, 2023

  • Congratulations to the Alameda Labor Council, AFL-CIO and the Unionists of the Year!

    Zac Unger, Firefighters Local 55
    Hon. Liz Ortega-Toro, CA State Assembly
    Rosemarie Boothe-Bey, OPEIU Local 29
    Lawrence Abbott, Teamsters Local 70
    Hon. Richard Valle

    We salute you for keeping workers SAFE + SOUND and proudly stand in solidarity with you.


Neighborhood Updates

Across District 2's diverse neighborhoods, our office engages with residents and business owners about their experiences and works hard to support your requests and connect you with city resources & services. Check out this article from Oaklandside about the role of Councilmembers in addressing safety. It helps explain our primary role in policy and budgeting and city staff's role in implementing policy and budget decisions to deliver services to Oaklanders. 

East Lake:

  • My team joins the Bella Vista Neighborhood Council meetings together with OPD and community partners, where we problem solve concerns and foster community building. 
  • We appreciate our ongoing partnership with the Lake Merritt Community Advocates and other groups around the Lake to address issue impacting our safety, quality of life, environment and wildlife, while ensuring Lake Merritt is inclusive and equitable for all. 
  • In the Lakeshore cul-de-sac, we met with residents together with OPD, Public Works and the City Administrator's Office. We listened to concerns and made plans for addressing late night activities while the park is closed, picking up trash and maintaining the park, and addressing homeless encampments. 
  • In Ivy Hill, we met with residents and businesses along Park Blvd. hosted by the Rooz Cafe. Together with OPD and our Economic & Workforce Development staff, we heard about the community's commitment to supporting our small local businesses and building strong neighborhood relationships. We are working to address safety along the commercial corridor, trash and illegal dumping, and homeless encampments. We're also planning a community event at FM Smith Park on September 23rd. (Photo credit below: Rooz Cafe)

  • In our Cleveland Heights community, we co-hosted a community meeting with neighbor Gala King, where we heard residents' concerns and ideas for a safer, healthier neighborhood. One of the next steps I'm looking forward to is neighbors reactivating the Neighborhood Council, and official city structure for neighbors, city departments/staff, and Council Offices to work together to prioritize issues and problem solve. 
  • In our Clinton / Little Saigon community, the Oakland Vietnamese Chamber of Commerce and Tzu Chi Foundation hosted me and OPD Captain Alan Yu at a recent meeting focused on public safety. It was good to meet and reconnect with the over 30 people who joined us. While I heard frustration, anger, fear, and trauma, I also heard those who want a better future for Little Saigon, and I am here to partner with them to do just that.


Grand Lake:

  • My team joins the Grand Lake Neighbors meetings together with OPD and other partners, where we review crime stats with our Community Resource Officers and problem solve. 
  • We hosted a meeting of businesses with our merchant partners and OPD to listen to specific concerns. We're glad to share that one of our Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) strategies is being implemented. Next time you park in the parking lot between Grand and Walker, you will notice a new security camera system in the center. We look forward to working with the Grand Ave. Business Association to continue making our neighborhood safer. 
  • I'm grateful to the Lakeshore Business Improvement District's (BID) team, Abebe Lemma & Carol Knight, for their partnership with myself & my District 2 staff, as well as their commitment to work with us on creative solutions & strategies to address issues impacting local businesses.


San Antonio:

  • My team joins the San Antonio Neighborhood Council meetings together with OPD and other partners, where we work together for a safer community, including working to curb violence and blight. 
  • We are grateful for our partnership with the San Antonio Neighborhood Coalition for our collaboration to address human trafficking, violence and dangerous driving including harm reduction solutions like the traffic barriers along E 15th Street. Our office will continue to collaborate on short-term strategies like targeted enforcement focused on exploiters and longer-term solutions involving outreach and services to women and children being exploited. 
  • We also appreciate our collaboration with Friends of San Antonio ParkThe Park Master Plan is headed to the Planning Commission for the chosen Capital Improvement Projects – the playground and the Community Library and Resilience Hub. Our community vision for the park is part of a strategy for building a safer, healthier, thriving neighborhood.  


Chinatown, Downtown, Jack London:

  • In Oakland Chinatown, the recent Safety Meeting brought much-needed alignment around ways to stay safe, and how we can work together to deter crime and other violence. Thanks to the Oakland Chinatown Improvement Council and the Oakland Chinatown Chamber of Commerce for working with me to host community meetings to hear residents' and businesses' concerns and work together to address them. Appreciations to our former Chinatown Officer Mae Phu and welcome to our new Officer Wesley Hyunh. 
  • At the recent Jack London Neighborhood Council, we discussed the trends in incidents with Community Resource Officer Templeman and had a great conversation about follow-up from National Night Out. OPD is looking into improving reporting and encouraging residents to utilize the online reporting function as often as possible. 

City Council Meetings on Recess Until September

The next Oakland City Council meeting is September 19th, 2023 at 4pm. As always, you can participate by joining in person or via Zoom.

Upcoming Committee Meetings are:

  • Finance & Management Committee - September 12th, @ 9:30am
  • Public Works and Transportation Committee - September 12th @ 11:30 am
  • Community & Economic Development Committee - September 12th @ 1:30pm
  • Life Enrichment Committee - September 12th @ 4 pm
  • Public Safety Committee - September 12th @ 6 pm
  • Rules & Legislation Committee - September 14th @ 10:30am


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

34th Oakland Chinatown StreetFest: August 26th & 27th, 2023, 10am - 5pm
The 34th Annual Chinatown Street Festival is happening THIS weekend! Come see the great vendors' wares, catch amazing performances, and feast on your favorite street foods! The Festival runs from 10 am to 5 pm both days. Can't wait to see you all there! 

Splash Pad Park Monthly Volunteer Gardening & Cleanup Event: 8/27/23
Monthly work day in Splash Pad Park’s California Native Garden (across from the Grand Lake Theatre) 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].

Clinton/Little Saigon Cleanup: 9/3/23 | Chinatown Clean Up: 9/10/23
Get ready for another Oakland Vietnamese Chamber of Commerce & Tzu Chi Foundation Clinton/Little Saigon Cleanup at Clinton Park, September 3rd, 1:30 - 3:30pm! Join OCA East Bay for its monthly PickItUp event at Wilma Chan Park, September 10th, 11am - 2pm!


Ikaros Restaurant Music and Events: 9/3/23
Be sure to stop by Ikaros Restaurant and catch some fantastic performances and great food! Performances are on Sundays: September 3rd and 24th from 12:30 - 3 PM. 

Talking Transitions: September 16th & 23rd, 2023
The next events for Talking Transitions is September 16th, 2023, "I am proud to lead a city that has a powerful tradition of engagement – we speak truth to power in The Town,” said Mayor Sheng Thao. “I want to take that energy and local knowledge and put it into an all-hands-on-deck initiative to create a collective agenda for Oakland. I also recognize that many voices have still not been heard. This is why a big part of Talking Transitions involves engaging young Oaklanders as we launch this solutions-based survey—empowering our next generation to be engaged in developing a relationship with their community and building their advocacy muscle.” 

Lincoln Summer Nights: monthly on 2nd Thursdays, next is September 14th
Lincoln Summer Nights is an amazing community program at Lincoln Square Park happening every 2nd Thursday from 5 - 8 pm. 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 series aims 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. The September 14th event will be an Mid-Autumn Festival! See you all there!


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. 

Who can participate?

  • All Oakland residents, including homeowners 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.

City & District 2 News and Resources


  • Talking Transitions Survey — The City of Oakland, led by Mayor Sheng Thao, is inviting residents to share their thoughts on how to improve housing, community safety, and economic opportunity—three areas that the Thao administration has identified as priorities. You can take the survey here. You can also learn more information about the survey in this article from Oaklandside


  • Chinatown Streets Survey — EBALDC is collaborating with the City of Oakland’s Department of Transportation on a Complete Streets Plan to support safe use and mobility for everyone in Chinatown. Today, we are seeking your input on what improvements are needed on these important streets in Chinatown: 10th Street, 7th Street, 8th & 9th Streets, Webster & Harrison Streets. Find out more about the plan, and the process, and sign up for future engagement opportunities on the City of Oakland’s project page

  • Public Works Academy for Youth — Are you a young adult seeking a PAID job training opportunity with the City of Oakland? Apply today to the Oakland Public Works (OPW) Training Academy: a 4-6 month program for Oaklanders aged 18-30 who want to prepare for a career in public service. The Academy is an excellent opportunity to get hands-on training that will give you a leg up in applying for entry-level openings with OPW, including Park Attendant, Office Assistant, and Custodial positions. It will also provide valuable career-building skills like resume writing, interviewing, and interpersonal communication. Applications are open now through August 31 and can be found here.

  • Lake Merritt Project to Improve Oxygen Levels and Water Quality for Wildlife — The new fountain is located near the Pergola by El Embarcadero Avenue and replaces an out-of-service fountain at that location. By mixing air into the water, the fountain will improve dissolved oxygen levels in the Lake, helping to maintain an oxygenated refuge for aquatic life near the fountain. The design and spray settings on the new fountain maximize the benefit to wildlife. Read more here.

  • Creek to Bay - Creek to Bay Day is our annual day of watershed cleanups and education on practices to keep our city and waterways clean! A reminder that registration for Site Coordinators is now open and ends Friday, September 1! Visit to learn more. 

  • New Mosswood Center Breaks Ground — The new Mosswood Community Center broke  ground on August 24th! Learn more about the history of this project and how you can stay updated on construction here.



New Incentive Finder from East Bay Community Energy
Are you planning a home energy efficiency upgrade? Do you have your eye on that hot, new electric vehicle? It can be exhausting and confusing to wade through all the potential incentives out there! East Bay Community Energy (EBCE) just launched a new incentive finder to help you navigate the process. 

Information & Support for Tenants & Property Owners as Covid-19 Eviction Moratorium Ended on July 15th

  • On July 15, 2023, the City of Oakland’s COVID-19 pandemic-related eviction moratorium ended. The City is conducting an educational campaign to provide tenants and property owners with the information they need to understand how this policy change affects them, their rights, and how they can access support. Learn more here:
  • The Rental Adjustment Program will host several workshops from July 19th until November 15th. For more information, you can also check out the RAP website here:
  • I'm proud to have authored the original eviction moratorium legislation in March 2020 and worked with my colleagues and the community to protect tenant rights, help prevent displacement, and with the adopted budget to have added $1 million per year to provide tenant legal services.


Cultural Funding Program Grant Applications
Applications are now being accepted for the City of Oakland’s 2022-2023 Cultural Funding Program grants supporting organization programs and individual artist projects. Applicants must be Oakland-based and all activities must be presented in Oakland between July 1, 2023, and June 30, 2024. The submission deadline is Thursday, August 31, 2023, at 5 p.m. Learn more here.

One-Stop Permit Center Expands Hours!
Oakland's One-Stop Permit Center has expanded its hours to serve residents and contractors better. Monday walk-in services have expanded by two hours. Walk-in services are now Mondays from 9 am - 3 pm, and Wednesdays from 10 am - 2 pm. Appointments are Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 am - 4 pm.

Our Boards & Commissions have vacancies! Apply today!
To advance a #PeoplePoweredGovernment, we need residents like YOU to join our Boards and Commissions! There are nearly forty boards and commissions, each with a specific stake in keeping Oakland running. Check out vacancies and apply today! Learn more in the Oaklandside. Some Boards and Commissions you may be interested in are:

  • 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


Abandoned Autos 
The City of Oakland prefers you to use these contacts for abandoned vehicles (over 311 or 911).

  • Call - Vehicle Abatement Detail at (510) 777-8538 and leave a voicemail message or
    email [email protected]
  • If a vehicle is blocking your driveway and you can’t get out, call police non-emergency at (510) 777-3333. An officer will be dispatched to cite and/or tow the vehicle as appropriate.
  • If a car is parked in your parking stall on private property, talk to your apartment manager or property manager. Oakland Police will not tow in this case.
  • Click here for more information about vehicle abatement from private property.

Job Opportunities: Apply & Share!

Find City of Oakland Jobs here!