Oakland City Council Took Action To Expand Housing Options, Add Crossing Guards, Support CA AB 2020

Oakland, CA – On Tuesday night April 17th, The Oakland City Council passed Resolutions to do the following:

1) Cause the community development of expanded housing options in the City of Oakland;
2) Add more crossing guards to Oakland schools;
3) Support California Assembly Bill 2020, which would allow local governments to decide where and how to authorize cannabis sales and consumption at special events.

The Resolution to expand housing solutions, which can be read here, directs the City to support community based organizations – including faith-based organizations and other non-profits organizations – seeking to provide temporary shelter and sanitation services on their properties, identify funding sources and public land for these efforts, and ease requirements so more housing alternatives can be provided.

Oakland Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan, who worked with Oakland Councilmembers Lynette Gibson McElhaney and Abel Guillen on forming the Resolution, said “As the City of Oakland struggles with a burgeoning housing and homelessness crisis, we must support both public and private efforts to increase shelter options, promote dignity, and minimize disease and suffering amongst all Oakland residents. That is why I have authored this Resolution to encourage and support the community development of expanded housing options, by ensuring that our City’s laws are being effectively utilized to create meaningful solutions and serve our most vulnerable populations.”

The Resolution to increase school crossing guards allocates $320,000 from Measure BB (transportation funding), which Alameda County voters approved on November 4, 2014, to add 16 crossing guards at schools in Oakland. Councilmember Kaplan also serves on the Alameda County Transportation Commission, and co-authored Measure BB, which provides funding for transportation improvements.

Kaplan told Oakland News Now: “To encourage our young people to attend and succeed in school, and to make it safer to walk or bike to school, we need to provide crossing guards to help protect our students. The voters of our community overwhelmingly approved Measure BB, and these funds should be used in a timely way to benefit our community. This proposal is an important and cost-effective way to improve the safety of our youth and reduce traffic congestion around our schools. I thank my colleagues for voting yes.”

Regarding the Resolution in support of Assembly Bill 2020, introduced by Kaplan, and which Council also approved tonight. Under current law, the permitting of cannabis sales at special events is limited. Despite the fiscal and communal benefits such events bring to a city or local community, current law prohibits local governments from approving applications for cannabis sales at special events if they are held anywhere but county property. Assembly Bill 2020 seeks to remedy this, by allowing local governments to decide where and how to authorize cannabis sales and consumption at special events.

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