Residents and merchants east of the Lake gather at Woody's Cafe with their Problem Solving Officers and Neighbor Service Coordinator after a recent Safety Walk


Friday, March 11FREE Income Tax Preparation Services
Saturday, March 12Youth & Family Conference to Discuss OUSD's Strategic Plan


Application Deadline Friday, March 18


Enroll in OPD's Citizens Police Academy 2011


Saturday, March 19 (and April 30)Volunteers Needed for Beautification Projects at Edna Brewer Middle School
Wednesday, March 23Community Meeting on Proposed Dog Play Area near Lakeview Library
Friday, March 25The Freedom Bus Project to Celebrate East Bay's Rich Legacy of Civil Rights, Artwork by Students
Saturday, March 26Lake Merritt Master Volunteers Monthly Work Day - Meet at Pergola
Saturday, March 268th Annual Lakeshore Neighborhood Plant Exchange
Saturday, March 26Oakland Running Festival - Twilight 5K Fun Run
Sunday, March 27

Oakland Running Festival - Full Marathon, Half-Marathon, Team Relay, Kids' Fun Run

Thursday, March 31March Against Prostitution on International Blvd
Throughout MarchGreat Things to See and Do in Oakland CA
Throughout MarchMarch News from EastSide Cultural Center
Thursday, April 79th Oakland International Film Festival: Opening Night Films
Saturday, April 16Earth Day - Volunteer Events
Saturday, April 30Mayor Jean Quan's District 2 Community Meeting

Status Report on the City's Budget Challenges
Thank you for the Anonymous Contribution
City Nearly Complete on Abatement of 601 MacArthur Construction Site
Status Updates on Streetscape Projects in District 2
Reporting Potholes
Dedicated Left-Turn Lane Coming to west-bound Mandana Blvd at Lakeshore Ave
Helpful Tips from the City of Oakland's Business Assistance Center
Please Share Your Comments about the Proposed Dog Play Area at MacArthur and Lakeshore Avenue

Status Report on the City's Budget Challenges



There are still many unknowns about how much of our City revenues will remain or disappear, depending on the actions taken by the federal and State governments in the next month or two. What we do know is that our own basic budget shortfall will be at least $46 million, which is very large given all the cuts we've made in the past two years. In addition, it appears almost certain that the State will end Redevelopment, which currently for many years has been a substantial source of revenue to the City.

The Mayor and City Administration have been working hard preparing budget plans based on possible scenarios, but the City Council has not seen them yet. When the Mayor's proposed budget is released, probably the first week in April, the City Council will begin discussions in public hearings about how to balance the budget. Though we don't yet know the particulars, we know it will be painful. We assume major cuts to all programs, and even possible elimination of some. City employees will be asked for even further concessions, and the public will probably be asked to approve additional taxes. All stakeholders will need to contribute in order to close the budget gap.

Financial effects of the economy are generally felt by governments two years after they are felt in the private sector. Consequently, the next three years are going to be a very difficult time for governments and citizens in Oakland and other cities throughout the United States. Sadly, many people are going to suffer in the short term. My goal is that in the process of dealing with this crisis, we make needed changes and reforms that will eventually put our City government on more stable financial footing for the future.


Thank you for the Anonymous Contribution


Councilmember Pat Kernighan,

I'm not sure where to send this donation, but I really do want to help with the City's financial crisis while I am able.  This should make up for what I would have paid had the parcel tax not failed.

Happy Holidays


This message, accompanying a generous check to the City of Oakland and signed by a District 2 resident, was a wonderful gesture of generosity and civic responsibility. Amid the climate of grousing about high taxes and cuts to public services, here is a citizen who was willing to contribute toward keeping public services alive regardless of whether anyone else was chipping in. Quite an inspiration to the rest of us! To this wonderful citizen, and all of you who do what you can to make Oakland a better community, I say a huge thank you.


City Nearly Complete on Abatement of 601 MacArthur Construction Site

Our last update on this story was in July 2010. You can find the story here.

After the long saga reported in the previous story, the property owner again lost the property to one of his lenders, Arctus Capital. The City attempted to get Arctus to take immediate action to stabilize the hillside and abate the blighted condition, but when they refused to do so, the City continued with its plan to do the work with the deposit money that the owner forfeited when he failed to comply with agreed-upon construction deadlines. Arctus attempted legal action to stop the work from happening, but was unsuccessful.


Click here to read more... 

Status Updates on Streetscape Projects in District 2


Here is a brief update on the status of the three streetscape projects in our district, funded by Redevelopment funds.

E.18th/Park Blvd. Streetscape
This project is undergoing completion of engineering drawings after which it will be put out for bid. The City has taken action to protect the $2.4 million in Central City East redevelopment funding to pay for the streetscape. We think it is safe from any actions the state legislature and Governor Brown might take regarding redevelopment funding. Groundbreaking and construction aren't expected until the end of 2011.

14th Ave. Streetscape
Staff has completed 35% construction documents, and is working with the consultant to bring the project to 100% documents. The project originally covered an area from E. 8th extending up to E.19th Street. At the community's request, I've worked with City staff to extend the project as far as E. 27th Street, where Highland Hospital begins. The extension from E.19th to E. 27th streets would provide much needed aesthetic enhancements for the upper portion of 14th Avenue by improving the street median and trees.

23rd Ave. Streetscape
Contractor Rays Electric is mobilizing to start construction soon. Staff estimates the field work to be completed by November 2011. 

Reporting Potholes

We hear consistently about the poor condition of Oakland's streets. Councilmember Kernighan wrote in detail about the topic in the January e-news article.

Please do report potholes to or use the online Service Request Form here which allows you to track your request through the Public Works Viewer here, where you can see in map or table format, when work is scheduled, performed and completed. Your reports will allow Public Works crews to focus their attention in areas that are in particularly poor condition during the annual pothole blitz.

The Public Works Agency does a pothole blitz for three to four weeks each Spring allocating additional staff and resources to fill potholes throughout the City to mitigate at least some of the damage created in the rainy season. Admittedly this is a stop-gap measure given the overall deteriorated condition of Oakland's streets, especially in some residential areas that qualify for almost no state or federal funding. 

Dedicated Left-Turn Lane Coming to west-bound Mandana Blvd at Lakeshore Ave

The City's Transportation Services Division received numerous resident requests for a dedicated left turn lane at the traffic signal on Mandana east of Lakeshore Ave. The width of the street can accommodate a left-turn lane as well as a through lane, and TSD thinks that a dedicated left-turn lane will enhance safety of the intersection. They are implementing a change to the lane striping. Above is a drawing of new lane striping. The work will likely take place in the next two weeks.


Helpful Tips from the City of Oakland's Business Assistance Center


Doing business in Oakland is easier than ever with the City of Oakland's one-stop Business Assistance Center. Whether you are starting, relocating or expanding your business, the Oakland BAC can assist you with:
An individual face-to-face meeting to identify your needs and tailor an appropriate course of action
Guidance to the applicable City department or agency with specific contact name and information
Oakland backs Business, a resource guide for doing business in Oakland
Referrals to more than 40 external business support service partners
Assignment to an industry specific specialist within the Economic Development or Redevelopment staff for specific industry related inquiries
Step-by-step flowcharts outlining City permitting, licensing, regulatory approvals and much more
Location assistance including a customized site search based on your specific needs
Demographic and statistical information for your location and market
Online assistance center accessible 24/7
Courteous, responsive service

Visit the BAC website here.  

Please Share Your Comments about the Proposed Dog Play Area at MacArthur and Lakeshore Avenue

We want to invite your comments via email about the proposed dog play area near the Lakeview library. Please see the full story here. We are also holding a community meeting on this subject on March 23, as listed here in the Events section of this e-news.