General Plan Equity Working Group Members Selected!

Date Posted: April 26th, 2022 @ 9:38 AM
Last Updated: December 15th, 2022 @ 10:50 AM
Sun Shining on lawn with trees by Lake Merritt

Equity Working Group to Identify Challenges & Advocate for Solutions

Congratulations to the 20 Oaklanders who have been selected to serve on the General Plan Equity Working Group! We are excited to have the group finalized and know that they will make valuable contributions to the General Plan Update process!

The Equity Working Group is an informal advisory body, and the volunteers have not been appointed by the Mayor and/or City Council. The body is advisory to Deeply Rooted, who utilizes the information in crafting recommendations to the Planning Department’s General Plan Project Team. The Equity Working Group does not have independent decision-making authority.

See below for a message from our community consultant partner Deeply Rooted who will convene the working group.

Equity Working Group Announcement from Deeply Rooted

Deeply Rooted (DR) is a collaboration of Oakland multiracial community organizations working to engage residents in defining Oakland’s future through the Oakland General Plan Update. DR is convening an Equity Working Group (EWG) made up of 20 diverse residents to 1) Identify the major challenges and impacts of the General Plan (housing, safety, environmental justice, land use, transportation, and parks) and 2) Advocate for solutions that advance equitable and healthy communities for Oakland residents.

Selected by an interview committee from Deeply Rooted that balanced important diversity considerations, the members of the newly selected EWG are: Arthur Shanks, Bethsaida Ruiz, Cathy Eberhardt, Champ Green, David Peters, Esther Goolsby, Gyssell Perez, Iris Quach, Janny Castillo, Keta Price, Liana Molina, liz suk, Naru Kwina, Nayeli Bernal, Nicole Burns, Nora Smith, Priscilla Hoang, Reinaldi Gilder, Sandra Ue, and Shina Robinson. They come from diverse backgrounds and neighborhoods across Oakland including the following:

  • Hard to reach communities: People from communities that the City traditionally has trouble engaging with including unhoused, formerly incarcerated, low-income, Asian American, Black, Latinx, multiracial, people with disabilities, undocumented, and people experiencing environmental injustices.
  • In target geographic areas of: West Oakland, East Oakland, Chinatown, and Fruitvale.
  • Age diversity: People at different stages of their lives to ensure varied knowledge and experiences.
  • Diversity of gender and sexual orientation: To ensure women’s and LGBTQ+ perspectives are included in this process.
  • People who own small businesses in Oakland.

Deeply Rooted would like to express gratitude to the 66 EWG applicants for their passion and pride in Oakland and their vision for an equitable city. To see more information regarding the selection process please click here.


The collaborative includes the following organizations:
Black Arts Movement Business District, CDC; CURYJ; EastSide Arts Alliance; House/Full of Black Women/ Deep Waters Dance Theater; Just Cities; Lao Family Community Development, Inc; Malonga Arts Residents Association (MARA); Oakland Asian Cultural Center (OACC)/ API Cultural Center; The Black Cultural Zone Community Development Corporation; The Village in Oakland; Urban Strategies Council; Unity Council; and West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project (WOEIP). Read more about Deeply Rooted’s role in the General Plan process and our partners here.

Media Contact

Portrait of Planner IV, Lakshmi Rajagopalan

Lakshmi Rajagopalan
Planner IV
Planning & Building