Like many of you, I’m relieved and grateful for the election outcomes. Thank you to all who voted, got out the vote, and organized for these wins. Congratulations to my City Council colleagues — Councilmembers-Elect Carroll Fife and Treva Reid and Councilmembers Rebecca Kaplan, Dan Kalb and Noel Gallo, as well as City Attorney Barbara Parker. Together, let’s keep moving forward for democracy and justice.
We are now under a limited state-issued Stay at Home Order. It requires that non-essential work, movement, and gatherings stop between 10pm and 5am for Purple Tier counties, which includes ours. Please protect all of our health and reduce the spread of COVID-19 by restricting interactions with people outside of your households for non-essential activities and social gatherings.
During this time of year when we give thanks, I hope we also reflect on the legacy of settler colonialism and systemic violence + erasure of our Native and Indigenous brothers and sisters.
Oakland is on stolen Ohlone land. Consider joining my family in our annual Shuumi Land Tax payment to the Sogorea Te’ Land Trust. It will help return land to Indigenous people, establish a cemetery to reinter ancestral remains, and build urban gardens, community centers, and ceremonial spaces for current and future generations of the Bay Area’s Indigenous people.
In case you missed it, check out this great resource from Oaklandside on where to get free Thanksgiving meals, volunteer, and donate in Oakland, Berkeley, and Richmond.
Honoring Our Indigenous Youth & Community: Over 500 Oakland students identify as Native American and Indigenous. Many are newly arriving migrants from Indigenous communities in Mexico, Central America, and South America, including a growing population of 3,000+ Mam speaking families. OUSD recently passed a resolution to declare November Annual Indigenous People’s Heritage Month across the School District. It's important to see our institutions and systems take steps like this to honor the history, culture and impact of Indigenous people in our communities, to support efforts to preserve Native historic sites, and recognize Oakland exists on stolen Ohlone land.
In this newsletter, you’ll find information about:
- Spotlight on community heroes helping neighbors this holiday season
- Heads-up on important opportunities to make your voice heard
- Tuesday’s Council meeting and agenda highlights
- Important news and resources, including reopening roll back
Nourishment for Our Neighbors
District 2 Community Heroes
We are so grateful and inspired by the many organizations and leaders providing nourishment to our neighbors during this time. It gave me joy to join Trybe and Asian Health Services’ recent turkey distributions.
Through strong partnerships with organizations throughout Oakland, Trybe has distributed 3,000+ turkeys, 122K pounds of food product, and 8,500 prepared meals through an incredibly powerful operation based out of San Antonio Rec Center in D2.
Shoutout to Andrew Park for his immense leadership through Trybe, and their partners who reach Eastlake and San Antonio to Fruitvale and East Oakland — Street Level Health Project, East Oakland Collective, Homies Empowerment, Oakland Vietnamese Chamber, Oakland High youth, and so many others for working together to provide culturally competent meals and groceries, making these blessings possible for so many families.
Save the Dates: Make Your Voice Heard
Co-Governed Encampments and Public Safety
 District 2 Homelessness Town Hall on Thursday, December 10, 6pm
Join us to learn and contribute your ideas to our efforts to launch Oakland’s first co-governed encampment in D2! This event will also be an opportunity to tap in with community leaders and organizations leading the work to support unhoused neighbors in District 2 and beyond. RSVP here.
 Community Listening Session to Reimagine Public Safety on Tuesday, December 8 from 6-7:30 pm and Saturday, January 9 from 11-12:30 pm
Join these sessions to share your perspective and support the Reimagining Public Safety Task Force’s work to reinvest 50% of Oakland's Police budget into alternative responses and community programs/services that address the root causes of violence. Please also complete our Community Survey.
TUESDAY 12/1: Council Meeting Preview
Kaiser Convention Center, Greenhouse Gas Emissions/Electric Buildings, Housing Funds
Tuesday, December 1st’s 1:30pm City Council meeting will include the following important agenda items:
- Item 3.5: Public Hearing Amending the 2019/2020 Annual Action Plan to the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development and Accepting and Appropriating Coronavirus Aid, Relief, And Economic Security (CARES Act) Funds to prevent, prepare for and respond to the coronavirus.
- Item 8: Amendment to the Lease Disposition & Development Agreement (LDDA) for the renovation and rehabilitation of the City-owned property located at 10 Tenth Street, commonly known as the Henry J. Kaiser Convention Center.
- Item 10: Informational Report on Affordable Housing Impact Fees.
- Item 13: Proposed Reach Code For All- Electric Construction In Newly Constructed Buildings to address and significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
See details to join the meeting and provide public comment.
City & District 2 News and Resources
County Rolls Back Reopening, New Small Biz Grants, Franklin Elementary
Alameda County Rolls Back Reopening: We urge you not to join indoor gatherings, as Alameda County has moved back to the most restrictive / purple tier. In this tier, indoor dining is not allowed, retail store capacity is capped at 25%, and gyms + fitness centers may only operate outdoors. Hair salons, barbershops and personal care services may continue to operate indoors with modifications. See full details of what's allowed / not allowed. Oakland businesses that need to expand operations outdoors to comply with the State’s guidance should look to the City’s Flex Street Initiative. All fees have been waived and permitting has been streamlined.
Alameda County $5K Small Business Grants: The County Board of Supervisors has authorized $5 million in CARES Act funds for a COVID-19 grant program to provide one-time grants of $5K to small businesses. Learn more and apply here by November 30, 2020, 11:30pm. Eligibility criteria includes: business is located in Alameda County, employs between 1 and 25 employees (self-employed individuals are also eligible), valid business license, layoff of one or more staff due to COVID-19.
Support Franklin Elementary Students: I recently met with Franklin Elementary's new principal Lusa Lai who shared that many of the students miss being in school and feel isolated. When visiting a teacher's class, her poll showed that more than half of the kids were feeling unhappy and longed to feel like they were part of a bigger community. To help address this, Franklin created a T-Shirt Design Contest and the winner's design was selected! Help provide a t-shirt for every student, so they can wear them at monthly assemblies, virtual class, out in the neighborhood, and anywhere else they go. Your support will help Franklin students feel like they are part of a bigger community who deeply cares about them.
Good News // Governor Pardons Danny: Governor Newsom has pardoned Danny Thongsy, a beloved son of Oakland, D2 resident leader who has tirelessly served our community from his work with the Justice Reinvestment Coalition of Alameda County on public safety to Lakeshore Avenue Baptist Church. I met Danny before entering office and have been supporting his pardon since 2018. Oakland is safer and more hopeful with leaders like Danny in our lives. Thank you to partners including CM Sheng Thao, Stand4Danny, Asian Prisoner Support Committee, Center Empowering Refugees & Immigrants (CERI), Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Asian Law Caucus, working tirelessly to protect and advocate for formerly incarcerated Southeast Asian American community members facing deportation.
Support Chinatown’s Legendary Peony Restaurant: For 20 years, Peony has been a Chinatown treasure and dim sum destination for diners throughout the Bay Area. The restaurant was serving nearly 1,000 diners every weekend pre-COVID and needs your support to stay open. They are offering fresh food for to-go orders and also frozen dim sum with steaming instructions in English and Chinese, as well as frozen chicken feet and beef tripe. Call (510) 286-8866 for phone orders!
Huangcheng Noodle House Moves to Swan’s Market: Support Huangcheng at their new location, 911 Washington Street in Old Oakland, once they open in the coming weeks! Shoutout to Good Good Eatz and EBALDC for helping Huangcheng make this move and recover from the devastating fire earlier this year.
Brooklyn Basin Park in District 2 Opens: Check out Township Commons, the newly opened 4.5 acre waterfront park at Brooklyn Basin that features historic restoration of the old shipping terminal, beautiful landscaping, and sculpture art, situated next to the new affordable housing developments.
Affordable Housing for Teachers: Learn about Oakland’s pilot Teacher Residency Program focused on helping students working towards a teaching credential stay in Oakland by providing them with an affordable home. The program provides a $15K stipend for a year of student teaching if participants commit to work for OUSD for four years.
Lake Merritt Vending Pilot Ends: Last weekend, the 8-week long Lake Merritt Vending Pilot ended. Thank you to many people who collaborated to make this program a success that we can build on — Oakland City Administrator and several Departments, Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission, Oakland Black Vendors Association, A to Z Media, neighbors, park users, and more. I'll be working with the City to collect feedback to shape future efforts for a safe, equitable and sustainable Lake Merritt.
More on Gerald the Turkey: Check out follow-up coverage from Oaklandside on Gerald, from his initial interactions with visitors at the Rose Garden to larger contexts around interspecies conflict and wild turkey populations in California.
In Case You Missed It: Check out this article from The Oaklandside about the Grand Lake theater's history of political messaging via its marquee. Did you know that the first marquee went up 20 years ago in December of 2000, the day the Supreme Court stopped the counting of the votes in Florida during that year's contested presidential election? It read: “This is America, every vote should be counted.” Big love to Grand Lake Theater + owner Allen Michaan, our small biz community, and all neighbors who joined safely in solidarity and celebration of the presidential election outcome. Photo by Darwin BondGraham.