Release: Councilmember Carroll Fife On The Path To A Black New Deal In Oakland, Funding Source Identified

Date Posted: November 1st, 2022 @ 4:01 PM
Last Updated: January 12th, 2023 @ 4:02 PM

NOVEMBER 1, 2022


Oakland, CA - Councilmember Carroll Fife On The Path To A Black New Deal In Oakland, Funding Source Identified

During the November 1st Oakland City Council meeting, Councilmember Carroll Fife and City Council President Pro Tem Sheng Thao will introduce a new resolution to move the City of Oakland toward establishing an Enhanced Infrastructure Financing District (EIFD), and directed the City Administrator to deliver a report outlining the timeline and process for an EIFD in both West and East Oakland.

The EIFD directs a share of future property taxes to revitalization efforts, affordable housing developments for city residents, public works projects and environmental cleanup -- all without increasing local tax rates. It is expected to finance $138 million of City bonds over the next 10 years. A poll conducted by David Binder found that nearly 3 in 4 voters support the creation of an Infrastructure Finance District to fund development of affordable housing, address critical infrastructure needs, and support small businesses.

Councilmember Fife has been spearheading the development of an EIFD since her first day in office, identifying the revenue stream to partly address the financial requirements of a Black New Deal in Oakland. In a statement from Councilmember Fife:

“We often look at today’s social challenges as disconnected from the past; disconnected from history, but we are the cumulative embodiment of what came before. The economic disparities we see today are primarily a result of decades of discriminatory policy. The New Deal Era of the 1930s and urban renewal in the 1950s led to Black Americans being excluded from social support systems that subsidized the lives and futures of white suburbanites and further deepened the divide created by enslavement, segregation and a host of race-based legislation.

Fife continued:

The EIFD is a revenue stream that could provide a substantial amount of funding to begin addressing the deeply rooted harms of past policies. The city administration has often used lack of funds to explain why we cannot remediate brownfield sites so we can create homelessness interventions; they have used lack of funds to explain why we cannot develop, acquire or construct badly needed low-rent housing. With an EIFD, we have a chance at realizing these large-scale, long-term projects that the private market predominantly ignores and has no incentive to pursue.


During the June 28th Community & Economic Development Committee meeting of the Oakland City Council, the Department of Race and Equity presented a report that began to detail the loss of wealth and services to District 3 as a result of redlining, suburbanization and urban renewal. The report found the economic impact of racist housing policy in Oakland over decades has cost Black people in Oakland between $4.9 and $5.2 billion dollars; this figure does not include a wide range of other impacts including lack of school funding, job opportunities, income gaps, etc. The City of Oakland developed and published this report in response to a motion made by Councilmember Carroll Fife.

In response to this June report, Councilmember Carroll Fife requested the city spend $150,000 to continue this research through a formal race and equity impact analysis that will define a concrete strategy and funding amounts required to implement a Black New Deal for Oakland. This Oakland-based project will serve as a catalyst to spur economic regeneration and health for Black residents, many of whom were displaced from the Western area of the city and forced Eastward or out of Oakland completely. It’s time we right this historic wrong.