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This Saturday: Earth Day & District 2 Graffiti Removal Day!
Over 50 Earth Day events are taking place all over Oakland and are can be found here.
The events in District 2 include:
Laney Bistro @ the rear of the "E" Building
Project activity: Trash pickup, graffiti removal
East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation (EBALDC)
Madison Square Park @ 810 Jackson Street
Project activity: Trash pickup
Oakland Chinatown Chamber
Gateway Bank @ 360 8th Street
Project activity: Trash pickup, graffiti removal
Cantonese-Speaking Citizen's Academy Alumni
Lincoln Square Recreation Center @ 10th and Harrison Street
Project activity: Trash pickup
Morcom Rose Garden
700 Jean Street
Project activity: Weeding/pruning
Oakland's Brooklyn Beautification Project
2629 E. 21st Street @ upper driveway
Project activity: Planting
10th and Wood Street, West Oakland
Project activity: Trash pickup, blight/dumping removal
Grand Avenue and Lake Park
Project activity: Planting, weeding/pruning, trash pickup
Eastlake and San Antonio Graffiti Clean-up
(See announcement below)
Project activity: Painting over graffiti and trash clean-up
District 2 Graffiti Removal Day in the San Antonio Neighborhood!
On the same day, you can sign up to volunteer for the District 2 Graffiti Removal Day! We have two locations to choose from:
1) Meet at Clinton Park @ 6th Avenue and International Boulevard at 9:00 am
2) Meet at Manta Products, 1647 International Boulevard (at the back parking lot).
Meet at 9:00 at either location. Supplies and tools will be included. See flyers below for information and spread the word!
* On-going Collaborative partnerships with merchant and community groups are encouraged! If you would like to organize your own group or make donations to the effort, contact Mandalyn Mendoza at MMendoza@oaklandnet.com or 510.238.7021.
|Healthy Earth, Health You! Community Health and Safety Event|
Saturday, April 27: Healthy Earth, Healthy You! Bella Vista Park - 11th Avenue, between E. 24th and E. 28th Street, 10:00 am - 2:00 pm
Attend the Healthy Earth, Healthy You community health and safety fair. Meet the Friends of Bella Vista Park, Trybe and your 17x/y NCPC crew! Learn about health and community resources, options and safety information. Community partners will offer free healthy screening and low-cost programs and fun activities for you and your family.
|Community Meeting with the City's Transportation Services Division Regarding Pedestrian Crossings on Grand & Lakeshore Avenue|
|Monday, April 29:
Community Meeting with the City's Transportation Services Division regarding pedestrian crossings on Grand Avenue and Lakeshore Avenue
, Resurrection Lutheran Church - 397 Euclid Avenue (enter side door at parking lot), 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm
|Parks & Recreation Advisory Commission (PRAC) Considers Proposed Snow Park Dog Play Area|
|Wednesday, May 8: Parks & Recreation Advisory Commission (PRAC) considers proposed Snow Park Dog Play Area, will receive an informational report on the proposed Snow Park Dog Play Area - Lakeside Park Garden Center - 666 Bellevue, 4:30 pm
PRAC invites members of the community to attend who wish to comment on the informational report. The meeting agenda and report will be available here by close of business on May 3.
|Oakland Police Department's 2013 Open House!|
Friday, May 10: OPD Open House, 455 7th Street, 4:00 PM - 7:00 PM
It's time for the Oakland Police Department's Open House again! Come meet the public safety team and enjoy live music, food and speak to the officers!
|Diaghilev Imagery by Oakland Ballet Company|
Friday to Sunday, May 10 to 11: Oakland Ballet Company Presents Diaghilev Imagery, Malonga Casquelourd Center for the Arts - 1428 Alice Street - Various times: May 10 @ 8:00 pm, May 11 @ 2:00 pm and May 11 @ 8:00 pm
Pay tribute to the legacy of the Oakland Ballet through reconstructions of ballets from the legendary Ballets Russes of Sergei Diaghilev.
Purchase tickets here.
|Puppet Show: Grandpa Bunny's Egg-citing Day|
Until May 19: Puppet Show: Grandpa Bunny's Egg-citing Day, Children's Fairyland - 699 Bellevue Avenue, 11:00 am, 2:00 pm & 4:00 pm
Listen to a delightful tale about the seasons, and how poor Grandpa Bunny discovers that he can use the colors of nature to paint eggs for children. Just watch out for Frisky Puppy! Scenery by Annie Wong.
Puppets and script by Randal Metz.
Visit www.fairyland.org for more information.
|Bilingual Toddler Storytime & Teens Game and Craft @ the Asian Branch Library|
Every Wednesday until May 29: Bilingual Toddler Storytime, Oakland Public Library, Asian Branch - 388 9th Street, 10:30 am
Come experience songs, active rhymes, and stories especially for ages 18 months to 3 years, followed by playtime. Presented in English and Mandarin. For large groups, please call in advance, 510.238.3400.
Every Wednesday until July 31: Teens Game and Craft Day, 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Teens 12 to 18 are welcome at our friendly after-school program. Do homework, chat with friends, play video, card, and board games, or do arts and crafts.
Visit www.oaklandlibrary.org for more information.
|Policing and Public Safety |
There is always much lively debate about how to achieve public safety in Oakland. Below is a well-researched and thought-provoking article on policing by my colleague, Councilmember Libby Schaaf.
Isn't Safety Worth It?
New York City has proven it's possible - big cities can become safe. New York has reduced crimes like murder, robbery and burglary by more than 80% and sustained it for 20 years -- a record no other city has ever come close to.
As we prepare Oakland's next two-year budget, I'm focused on achieving the levels of safety for Oakland that New York enjoys. But it will be challenging. A recently released budget report shows:
- The cost of delivering all city services will be increasing over the next two years as $41 million in labor concessions expire and CalPers benefit costs sky-rocket by $44 million. That's why despite growing revenues, Oakland will need to come up with another $55 million over the next two years just to keep all city services and staffing levels (including police) where they are today.
- If we want to increase the Police Force by 72 Officers and 56 Civilians over the next two years (bringing sworn strength to 732 officers), we will have to come up with another $41.89 million.
Oakland has been investing - and should continue to invest - in effective crime prevention and intervention strategies, including Head Start, after-school programs, libraries, rec programs, conflict resolution and restorative justice, Ceasefire gang violence strategy, public health model street outreach and job training. But we have failed to maintain adequate policing, despite mounting evidence of its effectiveness.
Is policing the most effective strategy for making cities safer?
Franklin Zimring's comprehensive study
of New York says yes: "The only obvious candidate to take credit for the city's crime decline-was policing." He credits NYPD's "hotspots" strategy and their management and data-mapping system called CompStat. He questions whether New York's controversial stop-and-frisk tactics played any role in its success.
Zimring proves several factors were not responsible for New York's success, including gentrification, decreased poverty, lower unemployment rates, less drug use or putting more people in jail. In fact, New York's effective policing caused a significant decrease in incarceration - creating a savings that more than pays for the increased police.
"The city and the state have been saving $1.5 billion a year, more than twice as much as it cost to finance the additional police officers in the 1990s," writes the New York Times. If New York's homicide and incarceration trends had not changed, 1,200 additional New Yorkers would have been killled last year and 100,000 more black and Hispanic men would have been sent to prison in the past decade.
But police are expense. Are they worth it?
A recent study by Justin McCrary on the Cost-Benefit of Policing concludes that police have consistently been found to reduce crime. The study declares Oakland the 24th most under-policed of the 242 largest cities in America. It concludes that every dollar spent on increasing police in Oakland would generate $2.90 in reduced victimization costs.
Additionally, a recent RAND report shows that a 10% increase in the size of a police force decreases the rate of homicide by 9%, robbery by 6% and vehicle theft by 4% each year. It says, "taxpayers could reap a good return on investment by adding police officers... In the particularly understaffed police departments of Oakland and St. Louis, each additional officer could reduce crime costs by more than $1 million a year."
Adopting the City's budget this June will require hard choices. I believe increasing police and investing in proven policing practices is the most cost-effective investment Oakland can make in our safety. Importantly, Oakland needs to continue using community policing methods and respectful practices to ensure that sense of safety from policing is felt by all.
Effective policing is not just about after-the-fact arrests. It can prevent crime from ever happening, reduce incarceration, reduce the tremendous costs to victims and government and, most importantly, save lives. We can do this -- a safe Oakland is worth it.
Councilmember Libby Schaaf
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|Public Safety in Oakland: What to Expect in 2013 |
Message from Mayor Jean Quan & Chief Howard A. Jordan
As your Mayor and Police Chief, nothing is more important to us than the safety and well-being of the people of Oakland. Crime affects us all, and we are fighting to bring down a crime rate we know everyone in Oakland finds totally unacceptable.
Together with City Administrator Deanna J. Santana, we are rallying all possible resources to bring crime down and protect our residents and businesses.
We are engaged in the most exhaustive and comprehensive approach the City has ever taken to address violent crime and the burglaries and robberies that afflict our neighborhoods.
This document is a brief guide to the major elements of our plan. It is a starting point to show how all our individual programs are part of a larger strategy to make strong and sustainable improvements to safety in Oakland. Throughout 2013, we will release more details about upcoming iniatives and provide updates on our efforts. They include:
* Fighting crime
* Increasing staffing and using current police more effectively
* Violence prevention programs
* Accelerating police department reforms
* Improving community-police trust and collabortion
* More collaboraton with federal, state and local agencies
This year we are already seeing some progress on this challenging, vitally important issue. We need the whole community to stand against violence and support strong collaboration between the community and police.
Together, we can make Oakland a safe and secure community.
Mayor Jean Quan & Chief Howard A. Jordan
Rebuilding OPD is a top priority. Despite the recession, we reorganized services and negotiated pensions payments to bring back laid off officers. We won one of the largest federal grants in the nation to hire 25 more.
We have invested much of the new revenue of our growing economy into three police academies this year, graduating about 120 new officers.
Immediate extra help -- In the meantime, the California Highway Patrol and Alameda County Sheriff's Office are providing supplemental support on week nights and weekends.
We are adding walking officers in commercial districts.
Hiring civilians -- 20 police service technicians to free up officers from desk jobs to patrol our streets.
Attracting officers that mirror our community -- more local residents and women, more people of color, more bilingual trainees, higher education attainment -- through changes to our recruitment process.
We are working with the nation's best minds in policing, including Robert Wasserman and William Bratton, who have proven track records in achieving major reductions in crime. Our focus is how to most efficiently deploy our limited resources for maximum impact.
- Developing a short-term strategy to have an immediate, high impact on crime trends;
- Developing a sustainable, long-term citywide crime reduction strategy.
Improving data systems around crime tracking, data-driven deployment and accountability (CompStat).
New neighborhood policing model:
- Will break the city into five areas each led by a Captain accessible to the community;
- Will begin in East Oakland and then expand to the rest of the city;
- Provides for geographically accountable police managers and officers linked to the expanded;
- Will focus on policing smaller geographic regions and dealing with different crime trends in different parts of Oakland.
Ceasefire -- Nationally recognized best practice that has reduced shootings and homicides in many cities.
- Targets the groups/gangs responsible for the most violence in the most troubled neighborhoods;
- Leverages partnerships with the community; violence prevention service providers; and county, state and federal law enforcement partners;
- Goals are to: 1) Reduce shootings and homicides through respectful direct communication and 2) follow-through with those at highest risk of violence;
- Decrease recidivism and incarceration rates of individuals participating in the intervention;
- Provides support for those seeking alternatives OR more supervision and attention to those who continue violent behavior as in the recent gang arrests.
State and Federal partnerships -- Strengthened collaboration with law enforcement partners at county, state and federal level to combat gun violence.
COMPLETE POLICE REFORMS
Accelerate reforms. We are working to accelerate police reforms and ensure full compliance with the Negotiated Settlement Agreement that arose from the Riders police misconduct case almost ten years ago.
Enhanced oversight. On March 6, 2013, a Federal judge honored the City's request for enhanced oversight coupled with additional support to accelerate and achieve reforms in the coming year. Appointed to the job was Tom Frazier, a renowned policing expert who successfully and recently worked with the City to make important improvements to our police department.
Strengthen community relations. An important aspect of the reform process is to strengthen the relationship between OPD and the community we serve. Street outreach teams play a pivotal role in decreasing retaliatory shootings and violence.
It's not enough to tackle crime from the enforcement side alone. Violence prevention programs have provided critical interventions before problems escalate into more violence, and provide young people with the support, tools, training and advocacy they need to keep them out of harm's way.
Street outreach teams play a pivotal role in decreasing retaliatory shootings and violence.
Crisis intervention and legal services are available for victims of family violence or sexual exploitation.
Juvenile Justice Center Wrap Around focuses on helping youth who are leaving juvenile detention get back to school as quickly as possible; provides mentoring and advocacy to support that transition.
Afterschool and summer employment programs help high-risk youth acquire skills and make a small income. We are striving to provide 2,000 youth jobs this summer.
Gang prevention program provides services and case management to gang-involved youth at Oakland public alternative schools and parent education classes to school parents.
Trained personnel conduct outreach and provide services to the most at-risk youth and young adults, who are most likely to be victims and/or perpetrators of violence, and their families. These services are provided in coordination with Oakland Police Department in order to maximize impact.
School Safety -- Officer assigned to middle schools to make pathways to school safe and protect campuses from crime.
Turning the corner on our public safety challenges will require a collective effort; we must work together to change the patterns of violence in our community.
Here are a few ways you can get involved:
Join Neighborhood Watch
-- Neighborhood Watch is a partnership between neighbors and the Oakland Police Department to improve safety and prevent crime. Forming a Neighborhood Watch group on your block is the first step to making and keeping your neighborhood safe. For more information, contact Felicia Verdin at 510.238.3128 or FVerdin@oaklandnet.com.
Join a Neighborhood Crime Prevention Council -- To locate your NCPC and identify your Neighborhood Services Coordinator, please visit http://bit.ly/9X5kfj.
Participate in Night Walks in the Ceasefire target area in East Oakland. Community members are trained to engage the community and walk every Friday. For more information, contact Jennifer Argueta at JArgueta@oaklandnet.com or Reverend Damita Davis-Howard at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sign up for text and/or email alerts from OPD through Nixle: http://nixle.us/register/
Connect with your neighborhood's Problem Solving Officer: www.oaklandpolice.com
4 ways to send an anonymous tip to OPD:
1. Text TIP OAKLANDPD to 888777 from your cell phone
2. Call our toll-free tipping hotline at 855-TIPS-247 (855-847-7247)
3. Respond to OPD's Nixle messages
4. Visit http://bit.ly/PFxk7D for an online Tip Form
Presentation of Mayor's Proposed Budget at Special City Council meeting, April 30
Tune in to the City Council meeting on Tuesday, April 30, at 5:45 pm to hear the first presentation of the Mayor's Proposed Budget. It can be viewed in Cable Channel 10 or via streaming video on the City website, www.oaklandnet.com. The City Administration will present the main features of the budget and will describe any significant changes to public services.
Over the next two months, the City Council will listen to public input and discuss possible changes to the Mayor's budget. The next Special Council meeting on the budget will be on Thursday, May 23, starting at 6:30 pm. Also in May will be several community meetings on the budget around the city sponsored by Councilmembers. Dates and times will be forthcoming. The final budget will be voted on at a Special Council Meeting the evening of Thursday, June 27.
The Mayor's proposed budget will be available to read online by Wednesday, May 17, at 3:00 pm at the City website.
Combined District 2 and District 4 Community Budget Meeting @ Edna Brewer Middle School, from 3:30 pm to 5:30 pm
Sunday, May 19: D2-D4 Community Budget Meeting - Edna Brewer Middle School - 3748 13th Avenue (plenty of on-street parking), from 3:30 pm to 5:30 pm
Several community meetings on the budget will be held around the City. At these, you will be able to hear a summary presentation of the budget, ask questions of City staff and the Councilmembers, and make comments about your public service priorities. Districts 2 and 4 will hold a combined meeting on Sunday, May 19 from 3:30 to 5:30 at Edna Brewer Middle School Auditorium, 3748 13th Avenue. We invite you to attend.
Details for the other community budget meetings will be listed on the City website. One is confirmed for Saturday, May 18, 10:00 am. at Beebe Memorial United Methodist Church at 3900 Telegraph Avenue, Oakland, hosted by Districts 1 and 3. Another will be held in the Fruitvale neighborhood hosted by District 5 and the At-large Councilmember. Districts 6 and 7 will also hold meetings.
|Community Volunteers Needed for OPD Hiring Panels: May 6th and 7th
OPD is looking for community members who are interested in becoming involved in the hiring of future police officers for the City of Oakland by serving on oral board panels.
On May 6 and May 7, 2013, the Oakland Police Department will hold oral boards to interview potential candidates for police officer positions. Involving community perspectives early and often in the recruiting, hiring, and training process are essential elements in our obligation to strengthen community trust and collaboration.
This could be a one-day or two-day commitment for those who are interested in serving. Community members do not have to serve both days, but willingness to commit to both days is appreciated for the success of this recruitment. A normal day in the life of a panel member is to arrive at 8:00 am with the first hour consisting of training, and depart at 5:30 pm.
Each panel will consist of three members, (a sworn member of the Oakland Police Department, a City of Oakland employee and a community member). To qualify, one must live, work or be a business owner in Oakland.
For more information, please contact Officer Wendy Rae at email@example.com or 510.238.3339. For full details, view this message on the web.
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Court Hearing Outcome for Nuisance Motels in District 2
On August 1, 2012, the Alameda County Superior Court Judge ruled in the City of Oakland's favor to close the Economy Inn, located at 122 E. 12th Street, for a period of one year (the maximum amount of time allowed per state law) due to on-going prostitution at the site. A court-appointed receiver immediately took over the Inn upon its closure. The Economy Inn's owners have since proposed a new business plan to the court, hoping to reopen their business prior to the currently scheduled re-open date of August 1, 2013.
At the hearing on February 22, 2013 regarding the owner's Petition to Reopen the Economy Inn, the Oakland City Attorney opposed the petition but requested that, if the Judge were to grant the petition, there be Court oversight and a number of conditions imposed. The judge decided to grant the owner's petition, making it possible for the Inn to open as early as May 1, 2013 - but with the City's requested conditions. These conditions include but are not limited to:
- Continue court-appointed receiver's supervision of the Economy Inn's operations for an additional two year period (meaning the owners will not be allowed to run the Inn for another two year period).
- Hire a professional hotel management company to run the Economy Inn.
- Provide security patrol by a private company from 4:00 pm to 4:00 am.
- Meet with community members at least twice a year to discuss and address any concerns related to the motel.
- File periodic reports updating the Court regarding the motel's operations.
- Make all cosmetic changes outlined in the owners' proposed business plan, including but not limited to upgrading the room décor, repainting and replacing mattresses.
Perhaps the two most important conditions are: 1) the permanent injunction against any prostitution will remain in place and 2) the City Attorney has the right to ask the Court to close the Inn at any time without the need for a new lawsuit or trial.
The Judge's granting of the Economy Inn's owners' petition to re-open early, although originally opposed by the City, is a positive step towards the eradication of prostitution in this neighborhood. The conditions that will be in place over the next two years will ensure that the City has a strong hold over the activity at the Economy Inn and will therefore be one way to make sure that prostitution does not return.
|Public Works' 2013 "Pothole Blitz" |
The Public Works Agency is gearing up for the 2013 "Pothole Blitz", which will begin on April 29, 2013 and end on June 26, 2013.
During this year's annual blitz the Streets & Sidewalks Maintenance Division staff will address as many potholes as possible in each Council District. PWA staff will plan on being in each Police Beat according to a schedule being developed.
Now is the time to send the location (and picture if it's really bad) of any pothole you'd like to put on the PWA list to fill. Send to firstname.lastname@example.org.
|18x/y and 19 NCPC Meeting at St. Anthony's School |
Last Thursday, I spoke at the 18x/y, 19 Neighborhood Crime Prevention Council (NCPC). Officers Ponce de Leon and Garcia addressed the recent crime trends in the area, special neighborhood projects, and crime-reduction approaches by the Oakland Police Department. I had the chance to talk about the upcoming budget and answered questions about City revenue, hiring more police officers and the upcoming District 2 Graffiti Removal Day (see April Event under "Earth Day" for more information). Local residents spoke about issues that affect them and their neighborhoods.
If you live in the area and would like to participate in the 18x/y and 19 NCPC, contact Neighborhood Service Coordinator, Michael, Sun-Kwong Sze at email@example.com or Beat officers, Rodger Ponce De Leon at firstname.lastname@example.org or Officer Garcia at email@example.com.
To find the beat you live in and the NCPCs closest to your home, visit here.
The 18x/y and 19 NCPC takes place every 2nd Thursday of the month at St. Anthony's School Cafeteria located at 1500 East 15th Street.
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|Lotus Bloom Child and Family Resource Center Wins the Jefferson Award |
Congratulations, Angela Louie-Howard, Founder and Director of the Lotus Bloom Child and Family Resource Center, for winning the Jefferson Award!
Located right here in District 2, the center was founded in 2006 and grew to serve up to 300 kids and their families at five different sites today. The program prepares kids for preschool basics like ABCs, art, story time and even gardening.
It began when Howard heard the disturbing statistics that 86% of third graders are not reading and testing at grade level. It became Howard's vision to help kids read and learn better.
Lotus Bloom's unique diverse teaching program includes singing in English, Chinese, Japanese and Spanish and training parent leaders who will model the Lotus Bloom approach to help kids and families love creative learning!
For more information, visit the Lotus Bloom website at
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|Bay Area Muslim Women and the Hijab Featured in Oakland Public Library Film Screening
The 81st Avenue Branch Library, 1021 81st Avenue, is presenting a free film screening of Just a Piece of Cloth, about Bay Area Muslim women who either wear or choose not to wear the hijab. The hijab is the veil worn by Muslim women to cover their head or face in public. The 34-minute documentary will screen Saturday, May 11, from 2:00 pm to 4 pm.
In post-9/11 America, the choice of Muslim women to wear or not wear hijab has become a focal point for debate and education about the many ways to be Muslim in America. Just a Piece of Cloth unravels stereotypes that the mainstream media perpetuate about Muslim women, with intimate profiles of four women who challenge us to understand the stories behind hijab and to see the shared human dilemmas that lie just beneath the surface. Through their own words and deeply personal experiences, we come to see that wearing hijab in the multicultural US has very different meanings than it does in Muslim countries.
The film's producer and director, Dr. Rosemary Henze, a professor of Linguistics and Language Development at San Jose State University, will be on hand. Muslim women are encouraged to attend and join the discussion. All are welcome.
A preview of the film can be viewed here:
For more information, please visit www.oaklandlibrary.org
or contact Joyce Bratton at the 81st Avenue Branch Library at 510.615.5812 or firstname.lastname@example.org.