I represent the nonprofit Street Level Health Project, which houses the City of Oakland Day Laborer program (AKA the Oakland Workers' Collective). I want to ensure the City budget supports Oakland's most vulnerable communities; Oakland's day laborers, the Maya-Mam-speaking indigenous community, low-income community members, those who are undocumented, and others.
Street Level has been in the Mayor's budget since 2014 and is now the sole-source contractor for the day laborer program. Unfortunately, we do not currently see this funding listed in the budget proposal.
Small amounts of funds such as these directly uplift our lowest-income neighborhoods, and support Council budget priority C: Good jobs and vibrant economy and the City's overarching Economic Development priorities.
We are asking for at a minimum, $220K ($440K/2 years, the status quo) which supports 3 nonprofits with Centro Legal de la Raza and Causa Justa::Just Cause. Funding such as this is but a drop in the bucket that supports hundreds of individuals and families in Oakland, relative to the entire city budget and other costlier expenditures.
Regardless of documentation status, these community members are vital members of the economy, and are some of those who have been hit hardest by the pandemic. If we want to heal the economy as a whole, and from an equity lens, we must include the day laborer program in our economic recovery plan to ensure those most vulnerable can sustain themselves and their families.
My name is Gabriela Galicia and I am the Executive Director of Street Level Health Project, which houses the City of Oakland Day Laborer program under contract with the city since 2014. SLHP remains as a hub for day laborers and one of the only organizations responding to the needs of day laborers. Many were hit financially but also physically as many contracted the virus from being exposed waiting for work, employers who didn't follow protocols, and living in overcrowding housing. We must include the day laborer program in our economic recovery plan to ensure those most vulnerable can sustain themselves and their families. SLHP has been included in the Mayor's budget in past years and due to our program's success, has become the sole-source contractor. Unfortunately, we do not currently see day laborer program funding listed in the current budget proposal. Funds such as these directly uplift our lowest-income neighborhoods, and fits under Council budget priority C: (Good jobs and vibrant economy) and the City's overarching Economic Development priorities (ADD). We are asking for at a minimum, $220K ($440K over the two years) which supports 3 nonprofits in the contract along with Centro Legal de la Raza and Causa Justa:Just Cause. We also are a part of the minimum wage outreach and education line item that we would like to see the amount of $250,000 continue for the collaborative that has been doing tremendous work to educate Oakland workers during the pandemic.
I am very troubled to see a proposed increase in investment in OPD when Oakland residents have made clear our priorities and values are elsewhere. Only with investment in mental health, housing, and jobs will we keep each other safe. Please heed the recommendations of the Reimagining Public Safety Task Force!!
Please support funding to clean up our streets. Before the pandemic, we had guests from Europe who walked under the 580 underpass at Harrison Ave headed to Lake Merritt and said it looked like the slums of Delhi. This was their first impression of Oakland after we had bragged how beautiful and wonderful our city is and that they should come visit. It has improved lately, but we still encounter garbage and even hypodermic needles. Thank you for all of your hard work on the budget!
The residents of Park Blvd have been asking the city to address the unsafe driving on Park for 20 years with no major improvements on the street. Over the course of the pandemic, reckless driving has reached extraordinary levels, even as there is more pedestrians on the street. Then, on mother’s day, a 41 year old father standing on the sidewalk was killed in broad daylight by a speeding car.
As I have advocated for a safer Park Blvd, all I keep hearing is that speeding and reckless driving is a problem across the city. The city has a department of transportation with a vision of zero traffic fatalities. That department knows that implementing smarter traffic and street design, along not only Park but streets across the city will protect pedestrians without requiring additional police presence and traffic enforcement.
The budget should prioritize capital improvements to city streets, including Park, that will move Oakland closer to its vision zero without additional police enforcement. While this is a major investment now, it will pay out long after the projects are finished.
Changes to Park Blvd are on the budget’s unfunded capital improvements list. The city is liable for each and every incident on Park. I ask that, after 20 years of requests, the city prioritize Park Blvd improvements before there is another tragedy. Further, I ask that the city prioritize protecting pedestrians across the city by investing in safe streets. Thank you.
From Jean Moses, Faith In Action East Bay
As a leader in Faith In Action East Bay, I want to urge the City Council members to rectify Mayor Schaaf’s under-funding of MACRO. That program requires at least $3.3 million to assure a robust and successful pilot. And if we are calling for a “just recovery” from the COVID epidemic, we must pay MACRO employees at least $33/hour. To suggest that they earn less is undervaluing their roles, missing an opportunity to create good jobs for our local community members, and significantly increasing the risk of high turnover and poor outcomes for the new program.
It is also vitally important that you fully fund the Ceasefire program. With the COVID-driven spike in gun violence, our City needs this proven approach now more than ever. Each element of Ceasefire is crucial. In addition to the OPD budget, there must be strong funding for the Ceasefire Life Coaches and for the resources that they can offer to our men and women at risk to support them in transitioning away from gun violence. We also strongly recommend that you make provision for revitalizing community involvement in OPD procedural justice training. Ceasefire can and should be all about the communities we are serving.
I'm writing from District 5 to state my opposition to the increase of $22.6M for the OPD. This is a short-sighted investment that ignores the organizing efforts and voices of so many Oakland residents, including city council members. In my experience, police do not PREVENT crimes, but create environments that perpetuate crime and harm communities. Think of the support services that could be used with these funds. Please reallocate these funds for programs that truly make our communities safe and healthy: affordable housing, mental health and addiction services, worker protections, economic and employment development, parks and recreation and youth programs, and community alternatives to policing.
Please fund the Caldecott/Tunnel Road sidewalk. LACK OF SIDEWALKS IS A MAJOR PEDESTRIAN SAFETY ISSUE in our neighborhood. We are just one distracted driver away from a serious injury or a fatality. Cars travelling along this commuter corridor connecting Highways 13, 24 and 580 routinely exceed the legal speed limit as they approach or exit the freeway ramps by way of steep and winding roads with blind curves and poor visibility. Speeding cars regularly come within inches of pedestrians.
Pedestrians are left on their own to compete for space with a higher volume of bicyclists & autos - without the protection of sidewalks. Unless they want to be directly in the path of oncoming cars, pedestrians in neighborhoods west of the Caldecott Tunnel entrance are forced to walk along narrow shoulders of steep, dimly-lit streets, and uneven dirt pathways strewn with glass and road debris, in order to get to jobs, public transportation, schools, commercial districts, health/recreation facilities, parks and gardens. These options are not ADA-compliant, and do not fulfill the City's Complete Streets mandate to provide equal access for pedestrians and cyclists - in addition to cars.
Thank you for giving our neighborhood Happy Feet!
280 Caldecott Lane
I am a district 2 resident and live on Lakeshore Ave. I implore the council and mayor to continue funding measures to keep Lake Merritt residents and visitors safe and the manage the vendors market. It is essential to have Lakeshore closed on the weekends and to have authority personnel present to ensure there are no unauthorized vendors, double and triple parking, parking in the median, dangerous sideshows, etc. at the lake.
Neighbors have requested that there be permanent barriers in the middle turning lane on Lakeshore as a low cost and preventative measure.
As a resident of district 2, I strongly urge the FY21-23 budget to include funding to continue the Lake Merritt plan that CM Fortunato Bas implemented this April. This is critical to protect Lake Merritt residents' and visitors’ health & safety. Given Lake Merritt is a destination for all Oaklanders this is a citywide issue. Before the plan, emergency vehicles could not get through Lakeshore due to multiple levels of parked cars & traffic jams. Sidewalks were filled with motorcycles blocking the way for people with disabilities or families with strollers to get through. Cars blocked driveways so residents could not leave or get to their homes. Extremely loud music played for hours and hours - which is extremely detrimental to health. Trash piled up & blew into the Lake & caused the rat populate to explode. People deficated and urinated in residents' doorways. Dozens of alcohol & drug vendors operated. We need consistent enforcement & cooperation with parking, municipal code enforcement, & OPD (or park ambassadors) to work together to better organize compliance. Continuing to budget for these interventions is necessary to bring order at Lake Merritt. The chaos & safety issues will return & escalate if this program ends.
Why are you proposing to give more money to OPD when the people of Oakland have clearly demanded their support and desire to defund the police? This money should be used for policing alternatives or affordable housing or mental health groups. The people of Oakland have spoken and now is the time to act. Find a better use for these funds.
Dear Oakland City Council, I write to support funding for the Caldecott Tunnel Mitigations project (Sidewalk from the Hiller Drive Light to East End of Caldecott Lane) which was promised to our community 10 years ago - due to the highly disruptive Fourth Bore construction outside our doorsteps from 2009-2013.
I am a resident of Parkwoods Community and represent the 570 residents who signed our petition to fund the sidewalk: https://www.change.org/Hiller_Caldecott
From the Oakland Little Leaguers who frequent Caldecott Fields (aka N. Oakland Regional Sports Center) to the students at Bentley School - and the many young families, seniors, and people with disabilities and on moderate income - on Caldecott Lane and the North Hills areas in general - we simply ask for safe access to the resources within our own communities: public transit, parks & recreation, schools and commercial districts. Without the sidewalk, we don't have that access. We are proud Oaklanders who long to be safely connected with the rest of our City and enjoy the Complete Streets design that we see in other parts of Oakland.
We live at Ground Zero of the Oakland Hills Fire of 1991. In this 30th year anniversary of the devastating event, at a time when the fire season is longer and climate conditions worse than ever before, we hope to have safe sidewalks to allow for pedestrian evacuation in the likely event that cars become grid-locked in a future emergency.
240 Caldecott Ln
The City has already spent much money designing the sidewalk from the Hiller Light to the Parkwoods. It would be a complete waste of money not to build the sidewalk as you would waste all that design time. Therefore, the City of Oakland must build a sidewalk so that people without cars can walk safely and not contend with traffic going to and from Highway 13.
Please budget Lake Merritt traffic control and calming measures beyond June 20, 2021. Fund a park ambassador program. Initiate outreach to other neighboring municipalities to design a new transportation route from 580 to 880 to avoid the freeway that exists around the Lake currently. Create the largest parks and rec location at the Lake, more kids-less partying.
Cleveland Heights Low Income Tenant since 1976
Please budget Lake Merritt traffic control and calming measures beyond June 20, 2021. Fund a park ambassador program.
I am a black homeowner near Lake Merritt and I would like the Council and the Mayor to continue to support CM Bas's current and planned initiatives for Lake Merritt. The current interventions have greatly improved the well being of my family as they have eliminated a lot of the illegal parking (which literally prevented us from leaving our home on weekends), amplified noise until late in the evening which prevented my newborn from sleeping in her room, illegal vending and trash that covered the lake, sidewalks and residents homes. Continuing these intervention through the summer is critical as well as funding the Park Ambassador program to reduce cost/reliance on OPD while also having a level of ongoing enforcement that is partnership with the community and visitors to the lake. Without ongoing funding, the conditions at the lake will likely revert back to what they were before which created a real public safety issue as the traffic from illegal vending, motorcycle crews, sideshows and drag racing prevented emergency services from accessing our street and prevented my newborn daughter from receiving medication deliveries due to the conditions on Lakeshore Ave.
Hello to Coucil and the mayor,
I am a business owner in Eastlake. I endorse and support the following budget priorities:
• Creation of a homelessness division, long overdue, to prioritize encampment management and homelessness solutions. This team’s work must also evaluate whether homelessness interventions are working and enable our City to shift if/when they are not.
A focus of housing and community development resources on protecting renters and small property owners and investing in preserving and rehabilitating affordable housing to help Oaklanders stay in their homes. Displacement and gentrification have gone much too far already, we must not delay any longer in mitigating of this historical atrocity; a moratorium on market rate housing until the injustice stops would be my personal recommendation.
• Empowerment and funding of a Chinatown Community Benefit District; a great way to leverage community power to prevent further displacement.
• Investment in recommendations of the Reimagining Public Safety Task Force, including Mobile Assistance Crisis Response of Oakland (MACRO) and shifting some traffic enforcement functions out of OPD and into the Department of Transportation. After decades of violations to the consent decree, this is what the future of police reform looks like. Get on board or lose elections.
Thanks for your time,
I believe our lower income communities need more green spaces. In our Clinton/East Lake neighborhood there is a school with a rec center adjacent to it with a large enclosed softball field. For some strange reason our neighborhood does not have access to this green space, it is locked and has an enormous fence surrounding it. The only people who use it -- aside from the school occasionally -- are softball teams that are from outside the neighborhood. Additionally, many of our neighbors have cemented their yards to park their cars due to break-ins. This means less trees to clean the air. All of these things are intertwined, the families in this neighborhood deserve better who have already had a hard enough life.