Oakland’s Vice Mayor Kaplan Denounces Dangerous Plan to Cut Fire Services, Finds Millions of Dollars to Save Vital Services
Oakland – Oakland Vice Mayor Rebecca Kaplan has identified an additional $10 million to help save vital services in Oakland, in the face of proposed budget cuts and threats to public safety. In recent days, numerous community members and other officials have joined together in denouncing the plan, from Oakland’s Mayor and City Administrator, to cut Fire Stations in Oakland. [Link]. With our region facing unprecedented high heat and wind, we are at significant fire risk. And with the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to grow, our community cannot risk cutting these first responders, who handle vast numbers of medical calls.
At the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority’s (JPA) first meeting of the year, on Friday, newly appointed board member, Vice Mayor Kaplan took bold action on behalf of the City of Oakland. In her first meeting, Kaplan was part of the effort to make the Coliseum a large-scale vaccination site, to improve distribution of the COVID vaccines in Alameda County. This move is also being pursued by other California cities with Dodger stadium in Los Angeles and Petco Park in San Diego. Kaplan and the Coliseum Authority look forward to working with stakeholders, including the A’s and Alameda County Public Health to get more of the local community vaccinated at a more rapid rate.
Kaplan also was hard at work during this meeting, not only to take action to stem the coronavirus pandemic, but also for the fiscal health of Oakland. She was also able to identify $10 million of surplus available funds that can be transferred to Oakland to fund vital needs. [LINK]. Kaplan will be bringing up this funding, and further solutions to Oakland’s fiscal challenges, at the Finance Committee meeting on January 25th, and is urging that the Administration not cut fire services.
Said Oakland Council member at-large Rebecca Kaplan: “I am thankful to my colleagues for confirming me last week to serve as an Oakland representative on the Coliseum Authority board. In that role, my focus is using this large and important public resource in ways that benefit our community, and protect public health and safety. I appreciate the opportunity to move forward with a large scale vaccination site at the Coliseum, as well as to bring millions of dollars for Oakland to close our budget gap in a safe and responsible manner.”
The City Council has neither approved, nor voted for the closure of fire stations. The Oakland community has not had an opportunity to offer its comments, as it is normally done in a democratic budget process. Nonetheless, the Mayor and Administrator have said they plan to go ahead with these closures, significantly endangering the health and safety of Oakland residents.
January 15th OACCA Meeting Agenda:
Oakland Athletics President, Dave Kaval’s Tweet regarding vaccination site:
Rebecca Kaplan is an honors graduate from MIT and was elected in 2008 to serve as Oakland’s citywide Councilmember, she was re-elected in 2020. She also serves on the Alameda County Transportation Commission (ACTC) and the Oakland- Alameda County Coliseum Authority Board (OACCA) .