Mayor Of Oakland Economic Recovery Council Shows She Doesn’t Get The Immediacy Of Our Problem
(Last Updated On: May 14, 2020)

Mayor Of Oakland Economic Recovery Council Shows She Doesn’t Get The Immediacy Of Our Problem


ONN – Mayor Of Oakland Economic Recovery Council Shows She Doesn’t Get The Immediacy Of Our Problem

The Mayor of Oakland sent a press release via her assistantpress release via her assistant that I still can’t get over. It starts like this:


Oakland, CA – Mayor Libby Schaaf and Vice Mayor Larry Reid today announced the formation of the Oakland Economic Recovery Advisory Council to help ensure an equitable economic recovery in Oakland. The Advisory Council will be charged with identifying both short-term recommendations to facilitate the reopening and recovery of Oakland’s economic sectors from the COVID-19 crisis, and longer-term strategies for systemic change that creates a more equitable economy into the future.

And already, I’m thinking, “You mean to tell me it just dawned on my 30-year-friends Larry and Libby that Oakland needs an economic plan for the pandemic, and she does this?” At a time when a giant number of people, maybe yourself, are just working to make sure you have enough money to buy food, or if you have work, you’re working like hell to maintain your job, and find more work, if you can. Point is, everyone’s scared. Now. B

But then I read this next part…

The Advisory Council will be co-chaired by Mayor Libby Schaaf and Vice Mayor Larry Reid, who is chair of the Community & Economic Development Committee of the City Council, in partnership with Jose Corona, Eat. Learn. Play., Barbara Leslie, Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, and Michael McAfee, PolicyLink. The Advisory Council will be facilitated by James Head, East Bay Community Foundation and Micah Weinberg, California Forward, with research support from the Mills College Center for Transformative Action and the Bay Area Council Economic Institute. Participants will include a broad range of stakeholders across business sectors, labor, nonprofits, community-based organizations, the arts, State and regional government, and City departments. The Advisory Council will be supported by the City Administrator’s Office and the Economic & Workforce Development Department.

Oakland Councilmember Larry Reid
Oakland Councilmember Larry Reid

And thought, “Who gives a giant dang-on-damn about names? Only someone with enough time and money to play politics in the middle of the most awful time of our lives does. And Libby and Larry are my friends – even if they’re hard headed!”  I was and still am fuming. So, I take this personally. This was a major screw-up on the part of my friends Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf and Oakland District 7 Councilmember Larry Reid – and I’m insulted.

And then, it gets even worse…

The Advisory Council will hold an initial convening next week, and meet for the next 4 to 6 months to develop short- and long-term recommendations.

You mean to tell me these people are going to sit in shelter-in-place comfort for “the next 4 to 6 months” and then come out of hibernation with an Oakland economic plan that will be dead-on-arrival. I gotta say this is stuck-on-stupid, and from someone who can do better, Libby. This is shameful! And I will tell you why.

First, we’re all afraid of dying from a virus that has no vacine. Second, as I said, everyone is economically either broke, near broke, scared, holding on, or rich, but feeling guilty about it. There’s no variation. Third, we’re all thinking someone else has it better, so we’re all some degree of pissed off. Finally, some of us believe something will happen and that God will help us. I am one of those, but I believe God has empowered us with the ability to take charge when things don’t happen. Just saying. Let’s get back to the plan.

Look, many of you have filled out the Payroll Protection Plan. You know: where you declare how much of your business revenue or independent contractor revenue you are losing, and so the government can give you a forgivable loan. Hey, my friend Steve Nelson at Summit Bank in Oakland’s done a super-job helping his clients land Payroll Protection Plan lians, and Zennie62Media will be in the fold as an account holder one day this year. But for now, in Georgia, we give props to Bank of America, who, amid claims it didn’t help blacks in business, really came to bat for my firm – Zennie62Media proudly banks with Bank of America!

The Payroll Protection Plan forms a guideline for Oakland: simply estimate lost City of Oakland revenue, multiply that times two-point-five, and then add an estimate for economic disaster, which is up to $10,000 in the PPP, but should be set at $100 million for Oakland. Using the Mayor’s own numbers from her press release, that’s $405 million, or $122 million times 2.5 plus $100 million. That’s the government end of the City’s economic bailout.

The population end of the economic bailout has to take into account the total estimated economic revenue loss of the city’s households and businesses. Thus, for businesses, that is 50,000 (the last reliable number was 44,000 in 2012), times an estimated average revenue of $100,000 (reflecting the large number of independent contractors in Oakland), which comes to $5 billion total. We take a easy-to-determine rate of 50 percent – where the total revenue for all was cut by 50 percent, and that gives us $2.5 billion as the business assistance bailout number the City of Oakland should seek for its independent contractors and businesses.

In my plan, the Oakland household’s are assumed to be the responsibility of the federal government because of the bailout checks that have been sent, but the City of Oakland must be the first advocate for Oakland’s households in making sure they get federal dollars – and state too, if California Governor Gavin Newsom has a program. This way Oakland can focus squarely on getting the homeless into homes and with money – taking this time to shore up a weak part of Oakland’s economic picture, is top priority in my plan.

Thus, this economic development plan squarely addresses what the problem is, anyway: lack of money. Period. End of story. No one has time for Mayor Schaaf and her gang to contemplate its collective navel. That’s lazy. The economic counsel, or task force, or whatever it calls itself, is wasting precious time if it embarks on the schedule Libby and Larry have laid out. It is supposed to do the hard job of finding money, and now.

If you want to tell the Mayor and Larry Reid to stop her plan and get on the stick, call her office (510-238-3141) and Larry’s too (510-238-7007), find them on social media, and let them know to stop that silliness and get with the program!

Eleanor Wikstrom From Skyline High School Is Harvard Bound
Eleanor Wikstrom From Skyline High School Is Harvard Bound

Let’s end with some good news – read, please: Eleanor Wikstrom: Harvard-Bound Skyline High Senior First Oakland CIF Scholar-Athlete Of The Year!Eleanor Wikstrom: Harvard-Bound Skyline High Senior First Oakland CIF Scholar-Athlete Of The Year!

Stay tuned.

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By Zennie Abraham

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