I hope your summer is off to a good start.
I just attended from a morning event put on by the Uptown and Lake Merritt Community Benefit Districts (CBD's). They are the folks who provide the friendly security ambassadors and clean-up crews in the blue and orange jackets. (They do this via a tax that the districts' property owners assess themselves.) The CBDs did a great presentation on all the new businesses and positive changes that have happened in downtown since 2004. The theme was "Celebrate What's Right in Oakland." And there is a lot to celebrate. Here are a few of the websites where you can find information on the venues, restaurants and activities to explore in downtown.
www.visitoakland.org www.oaklandloveit.org www.downtownoakland.org
Also on the good news front, for the first time in four years, the annual City budget adjustment is resulting in no service cuts, no lay-offs, and no further employee give-backs. We are stabilizing! We still need to be very fiscally cautious, as there are long-term issues that pose financial challenges, but we are out of crisis mode. In order to "grow the pie", Oakland's City Administrator is proposing two new high level positions to work on economic development. At my request, the Administration is also budgeting for a second police training academy so that more officers can be hired to replace the ones who are retiring every month.
I am co-hosting a community meeting on Monday, June 25, to discuss the City budget and priorities for City services. It will take place at Crocker Highlands Elementary School at 7:00 pm. My co-host is Councilmember Libby Schaaf of District 4. Budget Director Sabrina Landreth will make a presentation. Even if you are not a budget wonk, this meeting will be a good opportunity for residents to talk about what City services are most important to them. I can tell you right now that public safety is highest on my list.
But while we Celebrate What's Right, City leaders also need to Face Up to What's Wrong. Leading in that category is recognizing we have a terrible crime rate and taking responsibiity to change it. Closely related is facing up to systemic problems in our Police Department. Those problems were confirmed by the Frazier report, a report by an independent body, released this week, which analyzed OPD's response to the protests of October 25. The City commissioned the Frazier study to get an independent, professional analysis of those events. You can read more about that in the OPD article in this newsletter. Suffice it to say that the problem is not just within OPD. The reports notes that their efforts to change are severely hampered by being very under-staffed. The City Council needs to take responsiblity for that. Please read more about this report and about recent crime trends in the article in this E-newsletter about the Oakland Police Department.
I hope to see you at the community meeting on June 25, where all these issues are likely to be discussed.
District 2 Councilmember
June 2012 Events
Every Wednesday through August 29: Summer Sounds Concerts - City Center Plaza 14th St. & Broadway - 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm
Free outdoor concerts every Wednesday. Enjoy live music and much more. Click here for upcoming City Center events.
Thursday June 21: Oakland Community Organizations' San Antonio Community Action - Israelite Missionary Baptist Church, 2043 E. 21 St - A community rally starting with a block party, food and raffle at 6:00 pm, followed by a meeting that will take place from 7:00 pm to 8:15 pm.
The rally's focus is on quality education for all kids, safety in the community and jobs for residents. The goal of the meeting is to create a middle school /high school career college path and safe communities in partnership with the City and businesses. The City of Oakland is considering plans for major economic development projects. OCO supports development projects that produce good paying jobs.
Reygan Harman, the Mayor's Public Safety Advisor, OPD Patrol Lieutenant of Police Leronne L. Armstrong, Roosevelt Middle School Cliff Hong will be present along with community leaders from seven local faith-based institutions. Business leaders have been invited, too.
June 21 and July 19: Special Advanced Workshops For CORE Graduates - 1605 Martin Luther King Way, OES Media Room - 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm
On Thursday, June 21st the CORE program will offer a special advanced workshop about the critically important topic of Neighborhood Evacuation. This workshop will be held from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm at the OES Media Room, 1605 Martin Luther King, Jr. Way. None of us is comfortable with the idea that we might one day have to evacuate our neighborhood. Because many of us have vivid memories of the Oakland firestorm, this possibility might seem more palpable for some of us than for others.
This class will review CORE home evacuation guidelines, planning for and executing a neighborhood evacuation, and the steps necessary to deactivate your Neighborhood Incident Command Center. A brief Go Bag demonstration will offer ideas for what to take with you.
If you live in an organized neighborhood and have never practiced an evacuation drill or if you do not live in an organized neighborhood and want to know what to do if it is necessary to leave in a hurry, please plan to join us on June 21st. Feel free to share this notice with your friends and neighbors, but be advised this is an advanced training workshop designed for CORE graduates only.
Next month's special workshop, scheduled for the evening of Thursday, July 19th, will be a "Tabletop Exercise for your Incident Command Team." Information is available at the CORE website here.
These new monthly Thursday night workshops will continue into the Fall and hopefully beyond. The complete fall training schedule will be announced on July 2nd, and posted on CORE's website, www.oaklandcore.org.
To register for the June 21st Neighborhood Evacuation workshop, the June 30th CORE Refresher, the July 19th Tabletop Exercise, or any other upcoming CORE training, please contact CORE at email@example.com or 510.238.6351 to reserve your spot. Space is limited and advance registration is required for all classes.
Friday, June 22: World Refugee Day 2012 - San Antonio Park- Foothill Blvd. & 16th - 12:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Come help the The East Bay Refugee Forum celebrate and honor the refugees around the world and those right here in Oakland. The event is to help raise awareness of their contributions and presence in the community. There will be great food, games, cultural performances and inspriational speakers. Families and kids welcome! For more information, contact Blythe Raphael, Forum Coordinator 510.717.3100 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Saturday and Sunday, June 23 - 24: Oakland's Great American Camp-out - Joaquin Miller Park, 3564 Sanborn Drive - Saturday, 2:00 pm to Sunday, 10:00 am
The City of Oakland Parks and Recreation Department partners with National Wildlife Federation to create a fun, educational family get-together at Jaoquin Miller Park.
Fees per person include dinner, camp snacks and a continental breakfast:
$10 per person if registered by June 21.
$20 per person if registered on the day of the Camp-Out (on-site).
There is a non-resident fee of $2.00 per person.
To register, go here.
For special dietary needs, please call Stephanie Benavidez at 510.867.0669 BEFORE June 15, 2012. To learn more, call Stephanie Benavidez or Rotary Nature Center at 510.238.3739. Refer to Activity No. 92336.101.
Sunday, June 24th: Global Equality: Oakland contingent at the San Francisco Pride Parade - Downtown San Francisco - beginning at 9:30 am
Monday, June 25: City's '12-'13 Budget: A Joint Community Meeting of Councilmembers Kernighan and Schaaf - Crocker Highlands School, 525 Midcrest Rd, Multi-purpose Room, 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Join us for a spirited discussion of city priorities.
Parking available on street and on playground.
The Proposed Budget Fact sheet can be downloaded at: http://www2.oaklandnet.com/w/OAK034994
And, the Proposed Amended Midcycle Policy Budget is online at:
Friday, June 29: "Summer Nights" & Outdoor 1968 Movie Night - Oakland Museum of California, 1000 Oak Street - 5:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Held on the final Friday of each month, Summer Nights features special evening hours and half-price Museum admission after 5:00 pm, featuring '68 film screenings under the stars, Amoeba Music DJs spinning '60s-inspired sets. Visit http://museumca.org/summer-nights for more information.
Monday to Friday, July 16-20: Girls' Self-Defense/Martial Arts Camp -5680 San Pablo Avenue - from 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Hand to Hand is designed to empower girls ages 9-13 through games, movement, role plays, partner and group work. Girls will build self-confidence by practicing martial arts kicks, punches, blocks and movement and the physical and verbal techniques of basic self defense. The skills learned will help girls feel safer in the world and to better respond to challenges they face in and out of school. The camp will be held at Hand to Hand Kajukenbo Self Defense Center. Hand to Hand has been offering martial arts and self-defense classes for over 30 years. The class is taught by martial artists who have experience teaching self defense and in working with girls this age.
Hand to Hand is located at 5680 San Pablo Avenue. Please register at www.handtohandkajukenbo.com. If there are any questions please address them to email@example.com. Sliding scale $25-$150, ages 9-13.
.... Coming in August
Saturday, August 4: Buddhist Church of Oakland's Obon Festival, 825 Jackson St, 3:00 pm to 9:00 pm with Obon Odori (dancing) on Jackson Street starting at 7:30 pm. Cultural exhibits and performances including tea ceremony, koto recital, ikebana (flower) exhibits; taiko performance by the Eden Aoba Taiko Group and live music by the Chidori Band from San Jose.
Saturday and Sunday, August 4-5: THE BAY AREA'S BEST FESTIVAL ART & SOUL, Downtown Oakland
ALL NEW SATURDAY NIGHT STREET PARTY, musical performances, and mobile food trucks
Tickets On-sale July 9
Online prices for single-day admission are $10 for adults, $5 for seniors (65 and older) and youth (ages 13-17). Advance tickets will be available online at www.ArtandSoulOakland.com beginning on Monday, July 9. At the gate, single-day admission will be $15 for adults, $8 for seniors and youth. Children 12 and under enjoy free admission to the festival.
For more information on Art & Soul Oakland 2012, visit www.ArtandSoulOakland.com or call (510) 444-CITY.
Tuesday, August 7: Oakland's Annual National Night Out - Organize a block party, barbeque, ice cream social or other outdoor event that brings your neighbors together. Councilmembers, the Mayor and other City staff, police officers and fire fighters (and their big red trucks) visit many of the events. Register early to receive give-away items for kids and a special gift for the host. For more information or to register on-line, go to www2.oaklandnet.com/nno or call 510.238.3091.
Wednesday to Friday, August 15 - 17: Registration for Edna Brewer Middle School's 2012-13 school year
All students, new and returning, must register or make prior arrangements with the school in order to reserve their place on the school roster:
August 15 - All New Students Register - 8:30 am - 1:00 pm
August 16 - All Returning Students Register - 8:30 - 11:00 am (Last names from A - L) & 1 pm - 4 pm (Last names from M - Z)
August 17 - All Students (New or Returning) 8:30 am -11:00 am and 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
If you cannot complete the registration process for your child at one of these sessions, or make prior arrangements with the school for alternate dates, your child will be dropped from the Edna Brewer roster for the fall. The Edna Brewer School will start a waiting list on Monday August 20th. Please make sure you attend one of these registration sessions, or contact the school and make arrangements prior to the deadline. For more information, please contact Counselor Alice Philips at Alice.Philips@ousd.k12.ca.us.
Saturday, August 18: Pedalfest at Jack London Square
A celebration of bikes, cycling, family, food & fun. For more information, visit www.pedalfestjacklondon.com.
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|Important News and Developments Concerning the Oakland Police Department|
There are several critical issues concerning OPD that I would like to share. The issues are well-described in today's Weekly Newsletter from the City Administrator, which I have excerpted below.
The first issue is concerning crime rates and how OPD strategy is addressing it. There has been a great deal of public discussion and concern about crime in recent months. There was been a lot of criticism that while the police focused on the "100 block" that burglaries and robberies increased citywide. The good news reported below is that trend started to reverse in May. All crimes have started to trend downward, as you can see in the report below. That doesn't mean that we are out of the woods, but that we are starting to see some positive results from OPD's work. Contributing factors could be the strategic partnership between OPD and the federal ATF that arrested 60 major offenders and took many guns off the streets. Also, OPD put extra resources addressed at the wave of burglaries.
(To decipher the report below: BFO is Bureau of Field Operations. BFO 1 is the West/North half of the city, and BFO 2 is the East/South half. The dividing line is 23rd Avenue.)
From: Deanna J. Santana
SUBJECT: City Administrator's Weekly Report
DATE: June 15, 2012
Clarification of Statistics Released by the Oakland Police Department - On Wednesday, June 6, the Oakland Police Department (OPD) publically released a 30-day crime reduction report. The report was linked to recent crime reduction in part due to enhanced community involvement and improved coordination of enforcement strategies. A summary of crime for the city and each bureau was provided for the specified 30-day period, April 7, 2012 through May 4, 2012 compared to May 5, 2012 through June 1, 2012. The new citywide statistics provided are listed below:
Following are the key activities to be highlighted this week:
-Murders are down 56%
-Burglaries are down 17%
-Robberies are down 7%
-Property Crimes are down 17%
-Violent Crimes are down 9%
-Part 1 Crimes are down 15%
-Murders are down 80%
-Burglaries are down 15%
-Robberies are up 14%
-Property Crimes are down 16%
-Violent Crimes are down 3%
-Part 1 Crimes are down 14%
-Murders are down 25%
-Burglaries are down 20%
-Robberies are down 24%
-Property Crimes are down 18%
-Violent Crimes are down 14%
-Part 1 Crimes are down 17%
The OPD continues to have focused crime reduction operations citywide which have resulted in multiple arrests for burglary, robbery and parole violations, recovery of firearms and narcotics. With the community's help, and ongoing strategies to reduce violent crime, OPD is hopeful that preliminary and positive crime reduction results continue. For additional information, please contact the OPD media relations office at 510.238.7230 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
City Releases Independent Report on Oakland Police Response to October 25 "Occupy Oakland" Protest- On Thursday, June 14, Mayor Jean Quan, City Administrator Deanna J. Santana and Oakland Police Chief Howard Jordan held a press conference to release the findings of an independent report commissioned by the City Administration and completed by the Frazier Group, LLC. The 10/25 Report, has confirmed that the Oakland Police Department's response to the Occupy Oakland protest on October 25 last year was flawed by inadequate staffing, insufficient planning, lack of understanding of modern crowd management techniques, and outdated policies and protocols. At the same time, the report credited the current administration for recognizing these deficiencies and making improvements. A series of 68 findings and recommendations were made to improve the Police Department's response to future protests by the independent team hired by the City to investigate concerns about the policing of Occupy Oakland protests. Of the 68 recommendations made, 74% are currently completed or underway.
Recognizing the urgency of this effort, in the mid-cycle Budget proposal now under consideration by the City Council, the Mayor and City Administrator have proposed several critical, strategic investments to fund structural changes required immediately:
- Conduct organizational assessment and systemic review of OPD, including development of a training portfolio;
- Civilianize the Office of Inspector General and change its reporting from OPD to City Administration; OIG to conduct performance audits and spot audits;
- Fund second police academy to maintain police staffing levels;
- Stabilize funding for the Citizens Police Review Board; and,
- Secure outside investigative services to assist with police investigations.
To read the media release, please visit www2.oaklandnet.com/w/oak036237.
To review the 10/25 Report Summary & Status of Recommendations, please visit www2.oaklandnet.com/w/oak036235.
To read the Final Report: Independent Investigation, Occupy Oakland Response, October 25, 2011, please visit www2.oaklandnet.com/w/oak036236.
For additional information, please contact Karen Boyd, Citywide Communications Director, 510.238.6365 or email@example.com.
To download a copy of this week's entire City Administrator's Weekly Report, please visit: http://www2.oaklandnet.com/w/OAK036243.
|District 2's Three Streetscapes: An Update|
When the State eliminated redevelopment agencies, we received questions asking whether three District 2 streetscape projects would be impacted. This is a good question because the three streetscapes are all funded with redevelopment funding. Because contractual commitments for each of those projects were in place, the funding to complete each of them is safe. The 23rd Ave Streetscape has been completed, and the E 18th St/Lower Park Blvd Streetscape will be completed by the end of August (see photo below).
The 14th Ave Streetscape project, which extends along 14th Ave from E 12th to E 27th St, is moving forward. Under a "design build" contract signed last Fall, Ray's Electric is proceeding with design and construction documents. The documents should be completed in October 2012. Construction is expected to be completed by July, 2013.
East Bay Greenway Project from 19th Avenue to the Hayward BART Station: Notice of Availability of Initial Study and Proposed Mitigated Negative Declaration
The Alameda County Transportation Commission (Alameda CTC) is proposing to construct a 12-mile long, Class I Multi-Use Path, Class II (on-street) Bike Lanes, and Class III Bike Routes from 19th Avenue in Oakland to the Hayward Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) Station. The concept for this project was originally developed and proposed in the East Bay Greenway Concept Plan for a Bicycle and Pedestrian Path. The planning work completed for the Concept Plan provided the basis for the preliminary design and environmental review that has been further advanced and described in the environmental document. This project will be made possible if the new Alameda County sales tax measure, known as the Transportation Expenditure Plan (TEP), is passed by voters in the November 6, 2012 election.
An Initial Study and Proposed Mitigated Negative Declaration is available on the Alameda CTC website for a 30-day public review period that will end on July 5. Information about Initial Study/Mitigated Negative Declaration (IS/MND) for the East Bay Greenway may be reviewed online here. Comments should be submitted in writing, and should focus on the sufficiency of the IS/MND in discussing possible impacts on the environment and ways in which adverse effects may be minimized. Send comments to arrive no later than 5:00 pm on July 5, 2012 to the attention of: Victoria Eisen, Project Manager, Alameda County Transportation Commission 1333 Broadway, Suite 300, Oakland, CA 94612 or e-mail: Victoria@eisenletunic.com.
|Oakland Army Base agreements go to City Council on June 19|
After many years of planning and negotiating, the City Council is days away from approving the contracts with a Master Developers for the Oakland Army Base. The contract is before the City Council this coming Tuesday, June 19. The Army Base project, located adjacent to the Port of Oakland, holds huge potential benefits for Oakland in terms of job creation, as well as expanding business opportunities in the goods movement industry.
The City and the developers, CCIG (an Oakland company) and Prologis (an international company headquartered in San Francisco), have reached agreement on almost all of the terms, but negotiations are still going on at the 11th hour over the extent of the developers' commitments to local hire and related community benefits. A coalition of community-based organizations and labor unions has been involved for almost two years in seeking assurances of good-paying jobs and that at least 50% of the new jobs be filled by Oakland residents. Agreement has already been reached to have a Project Labor Agreement on all the construction. The remaining issue is to what extent the tenant companies in the new warehouses will have to abide by the local hire rules.
The project has three main phases. First, the "horizontal" construction, which is the replacement of all the antiquated underground utilities and raising the ground level so that it wil stay above sea level as the climate gets warmer over the decades. Second is the "vertical" construction, consisting of warehouses and other buildings that will be used to facilitate goods movement to and from the Port. Third, is the leasing of the buildings and operations of the companies who lease them. Eventually, once the construction has been completed and the new businesses are in operation, thousands of new jobs will have been created.
|Pueblo's Urban Youth Harvest Program|
Call Pueblo's Urban Youth Harvest Program at 510 535 2525
or email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a harvest date.
You may also register online: http://bit.ly./uyrequest
|Oakland Tool Lending Library Announces Longer Check-Out Times and Changes|
The Oakland Public Library's Tool Lending Library, 5205 Telegraph Ave., is making improvements to its popular services, including increasing check-out times to four days. The changes are effective immediately.
Tools can now be checked out for four days, instead of three. Tool Lending Library staff say that longer check-out times will help even out the flow of tools in and out of the system. It will have obvious benefits to patrons needing tools for an extra day.
Additionally, the Tool Lending Library is making changes to its holds system, which could impact frequent patrons who have grown accustomed to the old system. The new system, which will utilize new software in use at the Library, is believed to be more efficient, but patrons may need to adjust to the changes. A hold on a tool will last until the same time the next business day. A request for a tool will last until the end of the next business day. Patrons will still need to call or come into the Tool Lending Library to place a hold on tools.
The program is a free service to property owners and residents of Oakland, Emeryville, and Piedmont. For information, call the Tool Lending Library at 512.597.5089. For a list of tools, hours, rules and regulations, guidelines, and information on registration please visit here.
For Oakland Public Library information, please visit www.oaklandlibrary.org.
Celebration of May's Older American's Month: "Never Too Old to Play"
On May 16, senior citizens throughout Oakland performed at Frank H.Ogawa Plaza to celebrate the 8th annual Older American's Month. Department of Human Services' Director, Tammy Siu stated, "Without my grandmother I wouldn't be where I am today. My grandmother gave me strength. My grandmother gave me wisdom. My grandmother took me to school. She braided my hair. My grandmother was my world." Mayor Jean Quan spoke and presented a Proclamation. This year's theme was, you are "Never Too Old to Play." Participants included Office of Parks and Recreations, seniors, their families, and grandchildren. Yue Liu, a District 2 resident and volunteer at the Senior Companion Program, shared her feelings about living in Oakland, "Oakland is a great place to grow old. I take care of many seniors in the area and they all love calling Oakland their home, where they raise their grandchildren." Liu continued, "We wanted to show the spirit of Oakland. We deal with crime and the economic crisis like every major city, but we also have a unique and unquenchable community spirit. We take every chance to celebrate our oneness while sharing our different perspectives. I think that's why people travel from afar to come here to debate their views. They know they will be on center cultural stage."
Cleveland Elementary School fifth graders attended the Council's Public Safety Committee and toured Oakland City Hall to learn more about their local government.