This Women’s Month, I’m sharing the stories of inspiring female and femme leaders who are dreaming and achieving love and justice for the people. Check out our spotlights on the fierce young Radical Monarchs (pictured below), our newly appointed City Clerk Asha Reed, and more features to come of women who’ve inspired me deeply.
The Oakland-founded Radical Monarchs are young girls of color forming fierce sisterhood, celebrating their identities and contributing radically to their communities. It was life-giving to meet with them recently and share our journeys navigating leadership, overcoming sexism and racism, and stepping into our voice and power.
REOPENING UPDATE: I’m also happy to share that Alameda County moved from the Purple to Red Tier this past week, meaning that more activities are now allowed, including indoor dining, movie theaters, museums, and zoos at 25% capacity, retail at 50% capacity, and gyms/fitness centers at 10% capacity. I urge us to remain vigilant and save lives as the majority of our communities have not yet been vaccinated.
In this newsletter, you’ll find information about:
Efforts to ensure rapid implementation of MACRO community responders
Our recent videos: D2 Budget Town Hall and Community Visions for San Antonio Park
Important items for Tuesday’s Council meeting
City and District 2 news and resources
With Oakland Love,
Nikki Fortunato Bas
Council President + District 2, City of Oakland
At Tuesday’s Council meeting, I’m introducing with Councilmember Dan Kalb a resolution to support rapid, community-informed implementation of MACRO / Mobile Assistance Community Responders of Oakland within the Fire Department.
The MACRO model pairs an EMT with a civilian crisis responder to respond to a broad range of non-violent calls for service, such as incidents involving individuals, sheltered or unsheltered, experiencing mental health challenges or non-emergency medical issues.
MACRO provides a culturally- and trauma-informed alternative response in situations that do not require armed law enforcement. This can significantly reduce the likelihood of police + state violence in Oakland, and provides the compassionate medical and behavioral care that individuals experiencing homelessness and mental health challenges need and deserve.
My legislation would advance the MACRO program immediately by putting the Fire Department in charge of mental health crisis calls. MACRO must be staffed by city workers who have expertise working with communities suffering from mental health, addiction and domestic violence. It must be set up with direction from a community advisory board led by those with experience providing mental health support to survivors of state violence and other impacted communities.
Thank you to the many community organizations who have led this important work in Oakland for many years and who have advocated for MACRO. Appreciations to Vice Mayor Rebecca Kaplan for championing this critical work. Learn more and share e-comments here.
BUDGET TOWN HALL: As part of the process to begin developing Oakland’s next 2021-23 balanced budget, my office hosted a virtual town hall which you can view here.
We reviewed budget basics, including how our budget is funded and how the source of funds determines how money can be spent.
We explored deeper aspects of the budget with guest speaker Kristen Schumacher from IFPTE Local 21, including the importance of understanding the city’s consistent projected deficits versus actual surpluses, police overtime overspending using city revenue surpluses, and the growing vacancy issues in city departments since the last recession. Thank you, Kristen!
We shared preliminary findings from my office’s budget survey and highlights from the city’s official budget survey.
We answered community members’ questions on a range of topics including parks, public safety, and addressing homeless encampments in D2.
If you haven’t already, please complete our budget survey here; we’ve extended the deadline until mid-April. Next week, look out on social media for the release of our survey in Chinese, Vietnamese and Spanish, and our budget priorities memo.
SAN ANTONIO PARK MASTER PLANNING PROCESS: We hosted a community visions conversation which you can view here with Andrew Park (Executive Director of TRYBE), K-Dub Williams (a leader in Oakland’s skate and youth service community) and Jinhee Ha (Parks & Rec. Advisory Commissioner). We talked about the importance of centering community needs and priorities as the City goes through its master planning process for San Antonio Park to determine investments in services, programs and infrastructure.
I’m committed to ensuring the City’s community engagement process is meaningful and transparent so that your voices are heard and valued. Learn more here, including about upcoming Community Engagement Meetings on March 23, 24, and 25 in English, Vietnamese, ASL, Cantonese, and Spanish.
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