I hope Mother’s Day was fantastic for our beloved sisters, aunties, grandmothers, daughters, mothers & more — chosen and blood. Mother’s Day morning, I joined the senior volunteers with Toi Shan Association to surprise them with flowers and stroll the streets to support community safety in Chinatown.
On Friday, Oakland Mayor Libby Mayor Schaaf released her proposed biennial city budget for FY 2021-23. We have been spending this weekend reviewing several hundred pages of information in a new online format before our Monday, May 10, 1:30 pm budget hearing tomorrow.
Initial Findings Of Review Of Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf’s Budget
In this $3.85 billion budget, there are some wins that are a result of our people-powered advocacy and participation over the last year; there are also areas where we must make deeper investments in our communities and workers to ensure a truly just recovery from COVID-19:
Creation of a homelessness division, long overdue, to prioritize encampment management and homelessness solutions. This team’s work must also evaluate whether homelessness interventions are working and enable our City to shift if/when they are not.
A focus of housing and community development resources on protecting renters and small property owners and investing in preserving and rehabilitating affordable housing to help Oaklanders stay in their homes.
Staffing to support both workers and employers, staffing improvements to city permitting services, and continuing my office’s work to create a Chinatown Community Benefit District.
Investment in recommendations of the Reimagining Public Safety Task Force, including Mobile Assistance Crisis Response of Oakland (MACRO) and shifting some traffic enforcement functions out of OPD and into the Department of Transportation.
There is also so much more to do to implement the priority recommendations of the Reimagining Public Safety Task Force (read more below), and to continue providing transparency and accountability of OPD which receives the majority of our general, unrestricted funds
The Capital Improvement Project (CIP) proposal includes several D2 neighborhood investments, such as improvements to these facilities:
Asian Branch Library,
Lakeview Branch Library,
Lincoln Recreation Center, and
Oakland Museum of California.
The CIP also includes several transportation planning and safety projects across District 2 neighborhoods, including pedestrian safety improvements at Garfield Elementary.
My priorities for this budget are homelessness and affordable housing solutions; community safety and violence prevention; a just and equitable recovery for Oaklanders; services for every neighborhood; and dignity for our frontline City workers. This budget is an opportunity to make system-wide investments that will help lead us into a COVID-19 recovery that ensures more affordable housing and job opportunities for vulnerable Oaklanders and cleaner and safer streets and neighborhoods.
Our city budget must support all to thrive — especially our unsheltered neighbors, essential and city workers, Black, Brown, Indigenous, Asian American and Pacific Islander residents, and immigrant communities. We cannot go back to the status quo — the unacceptable conditions our most marginalized communities were already facing pre-pandemic and that have only worsened during COVID.
As Council President, I’m working with my budget team of Councilmembers Carroll Fife, Noel Gallo, and Dan Kalb to prepare amendments to the Mayor’s budget for Council consideration. This proposal will be heard on June 17 — following public budget town halls in each of Oakland’s seven districts, towards Council approval of a balanced budget by June 30.
Reminder — D2 Budget Town Hall this Wednesday: COVID-Safe, in-person at Lincoln Square Park and live-streamed on Facebook
Call for volunteers! If you’re interested in volunteering at the town hall, please contact [email protected] by Tuesday for details.
In addition to checking out the preliminary Budget Basics Town Hall I held in March:
…and completing our budget survey in English, Chinese, Vietnamese or Spanish, please join my Budget Town Hall this Wednesday at Lincoln Square Park. Thank you to Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN), Asian Health Services, OCA East Bay and API Legal Outreach for co-hosting!
With Oakland Love,
Nikki Fortunato Bas
Council President + District 2, City of Oakland
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