City of Oakland offices are closed today, Monday, February 18, in observance of Presidents' Day.

Post Date: Feb 8, 2019

Nearly 150 neighbors from across District 2 and beyond joined us on Saturday, January 5th to make their voices heard by weighing in on our three starting priorities to strengthen Oakland in the first 100 days and first year of my term. Below are the main needs, hopes, ideas, and questions that people shared in groups.

[1] Housing is a Human Right

“We need” // To prioritize affordable housing for families, low-income, homeless, and senior residents •To strengthen protections for renters • To promote and stabilize home ownership • To use public lands for public good • To decriminalize homelessness • Community benefits from new developments •Community engagement in the Downtown Plan

“We wonder" // How do we redefine what’s considered “affordable,” given the skyrocketing cost of housing? • How will we coordinate efforts to create short- and long-term solutions to homelessness? •How will Oakland’s Public Lands Policy be implemented and how can we participate?

“We have" // Experts in public lands policy • Groups who know how to build community land trusts •Architects and planners who know how to build low-income housing and see opportunities in Oakland development plans • Tenant rights expertise

[2] A Budget that Meets Our Community’s Needs

“We need resources for" // Solutions to housing + homelessness • Job training + workforce development opportunities for youth, homeless, formerly incarcerated • Our public schools, students, and teachers • Community programs, services including mental health, recreation centers, parks, gardens

“We wonder" // What will community participation in budgeting/policy look like? • How does Oakland generate revenue? • How are funds spent? • How will we engage and participate, given our job schedules? • Can we reduce the police budget and increase funds for prevention like housing and services? • Can the City partner with and support our public schools?

“We have" // Neighbors who know details of the Soda Tax and Infrastructure Bond implementation •Accountants who can translate the City’s budget to neighbors • Friends who work for the City and with the City’s labor unions

[3] Services for Every Neighborhood

“We need" // Equitable response times to requests for services no matter your zipcode • Clean, fixed streets • Pedestrian, cyclist and traffic safety • Communications and engagement for non-English speaking community members • Support for our undocumented neighbors • Accountability, trust with the police

“We wonder" // How do we learn about and get access to services for our neighborhoods? • Why are responses to requests for services so different, depending on where you live? • How can we come together in our own neighborhoods and be supported to address issues we see in our neighborhoods?

“We have" // Neighborhood leaders already connecting us • Civil engineers who have ideas for filling potholes • Faith leaders who serve unsheltered and undocumented neighbors • Residents in local organizations who provide community services • Residents who know clean transportation alternatives

What’s Next?

My team and I will continue to work with community members like you to develop policy and budget priorities and share how our city government works. We will build these priorities with our values of equity, inclusion, and community participation. We will move our shared priorities through the City Council committees that I am a member of:

  • Community & Economic Development
  • Finance & Management
  • Public Safety
  • Life Enrichment
  • Education Partnership (Chair) with the Oakland Unified School District Board of Directors
  • City-Port Liaison

I am also working with Council President Rebecca Kaplan and Council Member Sheng Thao on a resolution in support of OUSD teachers in improving their working conditions, urging the OUSD Board to ensure vital public needs are met and to seek to avoid closing public schools and to provide all schools the resources to help students thrive.

Stay connected in these ways:

  • Sign up for our newsletter for City Council, District and other news, events, and volunteer opportunities (Hang tight -- we're in the process of updating our website and will soon introduce you to the team!)
  • Join and speak up at upcoming City Council meetings
  • Join a neighborhood meeting or invite our office to participate. Reach us at 510-238-7002 and NFBas[at]OaklandCA.gov.
  • Stay tuned for a February community meeting on the redevelopment of Kaiser Convention Center.
  • Stay tuned for a March community meeting with Assemblymember Rob Bonta.

With Oakland Love,

Nikki Fortunato Bas
Council Member, City of Oakland, District 2