Oakland – Happy Pride Month! Our office is excited to announce that this month started with a huge win for homelessness interventions! On June 1, 2021, Vice-Mayor Rebecca Kaplan’s resolution authorized the Oakland City Administration to pursue Homeless Intervention Sites throughout the City of Oakland was approved by council. The City of Oakland has experienced a 47 percent increase in its homeless population between 2017 and 2019, the majority of whom live in encampments, vehicles, and places not meant for human habitation. As our City Auditor has found in her Homelessness Services Audit, the city’s current resources for our unhoused are inadequate. We must implement housing interventions to address the needs of homeless residents, including but not limited to emergency beds, co-governed sites, RV safe parking, hotel rooms, and modular housing. Vice- Mayor Kaplan thanks her colleagues on the city council for identifying sites in each of their districts. It is time that we use City-owned, privately owned, and other publicly owned parcels in each Council District for use as emergency homelessness interventions.
In this press release, you will also find:
· June 1, 2021, Council meeting: Additional wins
· June 8, 2021, Public Safety Committee: Military Equipment & Violent Crime
June 1, 2021, Council meeting: Additional Wins
Helping Oakland Breath Easier: Urging the State to Increase Weight for Zero Emission Trucks
Kaplan is urging the State to increase the truck weight for Zero Emissions Trucks! We must start prioritizing the health of our planet and the lives of our communities who have historically been subjected to excessive air pollution. The transportation sector is responsible for more than half of all of California’s carbon pollution, and the overwhelming majority of toxic diesel emissions.
The Vice- Mayor has been working diligently with multiple stakeholders to bring zero-emission trucks to Oakland, recognizing that diesel particulate emissions from trucks are one of the major sources of pollution harming our community, including disproportionately African-American communities in East and West Oakland.
This resolution is part of her work to protect our community’s public health. Kaplan recently helped successfully advocate for important grants to implement a zero-emission Hydrogen Fuel Trucks Pilot Program, and install a hydrogen fueling station near the Port of Oakland.
Many thousands of trucks currently serve the Port of Oakland, almost all of which are diesel. In order to protect public health, we must do more to move to zero emission trucks. Zero emission vehicles tend to be heavier than diesel vehicles, and thus, in order to reduce pollution and encourage more use of zero-emission trucks, we propose to ask the State of California to increase the maximum allowable weight for zero emission trucks on state roadways.
Supporting Our Oakland Youth: Pushing the Implementation of Measure QQ
On November 3, 2020, Oakland voters passed Measure QQ, which amends the city charter to allow 16- and 17-year-olds to vote for the office of the School Board Director. Vice- Mayor Kaplan introduced this resolution to begin the process of implementation by directing the City Administrator to prepare an ordinance amending OMC 3.08 to include youth voting procedures. Once fully implemented, thousands of Oakland youth will be able to vote in every school board election cycle.
As the author of the resolution that created Measure QQ and a strong supporter of our youth and their desire to become more civically engaged, she will continue to pursue its implementation.
Photo of the Vice-Mayor and youth working on the resolution to create the Youth Voting Ballot measure prior to Covid.
June 8, 2021, Public Safety Committee: Military Equipment & Violent Crime
Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87862914040
OPD’s Use of Military Equipment
At the June 8, 2021, Public Safety Committee, Vice- Mayor Kaplan will introduce an Ordinance amendment to the Oakland’s Municipal code to regulate the Police Department’s acquisition and use of specified military and militaristic equipment. This addition to the City Ordinance would require the Police Department to submit policies, impact reports, and annual reports regarding the equipment to the Oakland Police Commission for review, who will make recommendations to the City Council regarding the acquisition and use of the equipment.
This ordinance will also ensure that the use of military and militaristic equipment is the most cost-effective option among all available alternatives and create a regulation of use and purchase. Thus, it may lead to cost-savings for the City and allow for those funds to be allocated elsewhere, including to support vital community programs and services.
Action Plan to Address Violent Crime
The Public Safety Committee will also receive an update regarding the Oakland Police Department’s (OPD) plan to address violent crime from Police Chief Armstrong. Our Oakland community has seen a rise in violent crime in the past year and a half. Nonetheless, we have continually seen a lack of response to violent crimes. For example, OPD leadership directed hundreds of officers to stay downtown overseeing a peaceful demonstration while failing to respond to local businesses elsewhere in Oakland that were being hit by organized armed robbery.
This scheduled report asks Chief Armstrong for an update on several resolutions Kaplan introduced and successfully passed. Such as her resolutions and budget allocations to fill vacant positions focused on violent crime and investigations, including gun tracing positions; and her resolution to make gun violence a top priority.
The oral report asks the Police Chief to answer:
How does deployment and overtime strategy lead to outcomes reducing violent crime.
How is the Oakland Police Department collaborating with the Department of Violence Prevention on the highest violent crime beats and the reported small number of people committing crimes, identifying the units, number of officers, budgeted amount focused on violent crime and investigations.
Identifying vacant positions focused on violent crime and investigations, including gun tracing positions.
This will be an oral report heard at the June 8, 2021, Public safety committee under item S6.
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