Oakland’s Vice Mayor Rebecca Kaplan Calls on City’s New Funding to Be Used to Restore Vital City Services
Oakland, CA — At the March 16, 2021, Oakland City Council meeting, we will discuss the allocation of Oakland’s additional funds — $10 million from the OACCA/Warriors litigation and large sums from the Federal COVID relief packet, and the launch of MACRO in-house. Vice Mayor Rebecca Kaplan is proposing to use these new funds to close the city’s deficit and to take action to provide a just and healthy recovery for the Oakland community, including restoring and funding vitally needed services.
Kaplan worked with the Oakland Alameda County Coliseum Authority Board (“OACCA”), to have $10 million available to be transferred to the City of Oakland, due to the victory of a significant litigation between the OAACA and the Warriors. These funds were authorized by the Board to be allocated to the city at their February meeting. Oakland now has this new $10 million to utilize to help our community safety and recovery. The City of Oakland will also obtain funds from the Federal COVID relief package, which was passed by Congress on March 10, 2021. These funds will be more than sufficient to close the identified $44 million General Purpose Fund gap and will also provide significant additional funds that should be planned for our upcoming budget for the next two years.
Kaplan states, “It is essential that we use funding effectively to remedy the cuts that hurt and endanger our communities, especially during this pandemic. By authorizing the use of specified revenues to balance the budget and maintain services and provide for vital public needs, we can provide needed public resources and protect public health and safety in the City of Oakland. We must protect our financial integrity as well, and thus we also propose to ensure a public process, and validation and maintenance of proper reserves.”
Kaplan’s proposal calls on the city to restore vital public needs such as
fully restoring fire department services;
reducing blight and illegal dumping, by restoring positions that help stop litter and trash;
Community Safety Ambassadors in Chinatown, Eastlake, East Oakland, West Oakland and business districts;
Restore Ceasefire Operation;
Restore walking foot patrol officers;
Expand Shotspotter to parts of East Oakland currently not covered;
Reopen recreation centers;
Reopen closed swimming pool;
Help close gap in funds for Violence Prevention Funding plan, including programs for youth;
Fund grants to community-based organizations, for work in Oakland underserved communities to provide information and access for COVID testing and vaccination.
unfreeze essential positions, including the civilian Evidence Technicians and related positions that help solve crime and improve community safety; and
improve responsiveness for needs around traffic calming, such as speed bumps and other infrastructure improvements that can help reduce speeding and accidents and protect the public.
Additionally, Kaplan’s proposal would also ensure the protection of the City’s reserve funds, by holding them in a separate fund that cannot be accessed without Council approval and restoring the public process for budget adoption – – to take place at noticed meetings with public input and a public vote.
This item is scheduled for discussion and input at the March 16, 2021, 1:00PM Oakland City Council meeting, based on this discussion the Council will take action to allocate the funding at the subsequent meeting.
Kaplan’s budget Proposal Memo: http://oakland.legistar.com/gateway.aspx?M=F&ID=230cbe49-4023-4dd4-9bc7-f8a5bdf6a22b.pdf
Spreadsheet for Kaplan’s proposed budget items:
The Tuesday Council meeting will also include action to launch in-house civilian responder program, also known as MACRO, in the fire department. For more information about MACRO, see prior coverage at: Oakland News Now.
The MACRO program is covered in items 20 & 21 on the Tuesday Agenda.
LINK to the full 3/16 Council Agenda:
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