August Newsletter - My Commitment to Public Safety

Last Monday, the City Council unanimously passed amendments I championed to the two-year budget that continue Oakland’s commitment to public safety. One of those amendments was to allocate nearly $450,000 to Walking Officers in our business corridors during the holiday season as well as more support for 911 response. I worked on these amendments with Police Chief Armstrong, Council President Nikki Fortunato Bas, and Councilmembers Reid and Taylor.

These amendments, along with an $8 million increase to OPD and an $18 million investment in violence prevention programs like MACRO, address the rise in violent crime in Oakland. I continue to work with Police Chief Armstrong on making Oakland more safe.

In addition to increased public safety funding, I was able to secure:
Councilmember Thao stands with Chief Armstrong and Chief Freeman and the peace rally at lake Merritt

District 4:
  • $150,000 for traffic calming and sideshow deterrence at the MacArthur/Coolidge and MacArthur/Fruitvale intersections

  • Sidewalk Cutouts to add trees to our business corridor streets

  • Small Business Reopening Assistance for the Dimond, Laurel, and Fairfax

  • Permanent, vandal-proof litter receptacles for Dimond Park and Courtland Creek

  • $60,000for Murals in District 4

  • $312,000 for roundabouts at Suter and Liese, 38th and Penniman, and Brookdale Ave off Courtland

  • $100,000 for Redwood Heights Park Tot Lot Improvements

  • $306,101 to reopen the Brookdale Park Recreation Center

  • $35,000 to resurface the Montclair Park Tot Lot

  • $35,000 for the Montclair Park restrooms

  • $250,000 for a new Courtland Creek Park Outdoor Fitness Court

  • $250,000 to resurface the Courtland Creek basketball court and for a new mini tot lot

  • $175,592 for the Joaquin Miller Park restrooms


  • $650,009 for traffic calming and sideshow deterrence across Oakland

  • $1,000,000 additional funding for Wildfire Prevention and Vegetation Management

  • $260,000 additional funding for Emergency Preparedness and CERT training

We need to support OPD’s efforts to respond to violent crime while also reimagining what public safety means. We must invest in programs that tackle the roots of crime while ensuring we can respond to violent crimes when they occur. By proceeding with a balanced approach, we can keep people safe today while working to eradicate the causes of crime over time. With this goal, I will continue to work with reform groups, Violence Prevention Chief Cespedes, and Police Chief Armstrong to make our city safer and make sure everyone is treated equally in our justice system.

Join us for National Night Out 2021!

One of the best ways we can make our communities safer is by getting to know our neighbors and build stronger relationships. This is why we are thrilled to be participating in National Night Out tomorrow Tuesday, August 3rd from 6:00pm - 8:00pm.

National Night Out (NNO) is a community-police awareness-raising event held on the first Tuesday of every August. It is meant to raise awareness of public safety in communities, as well as give neighbors an opportunity to get to know one another. This year, the City of Oakland’s National Night Out will be focused on Emergency Preparedness.

If you would like to invite us to a block party, reach out to my office at You can register for a block party here. You can view a guide on how to safely enjoy a block party here. For more information on where and when block parties will be held, here is the link to the City’s website with all the resources you’ll need!

Also check out the Oakland Community Preparedness & Response Program for some great emergency preparedness resources.

In this newsletter you will find:

  • COVID-19 Updates

  • City Hall Report

    • Howard Terminal

    • Summer Recess

  • Greenlining Oakland Digital Inclusion Program

  • Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Workshops

  • Oakland Redistricting Commission Public Hearings

  • Job Postings

    • MACRO

  • Ways to get involved

    • Community Clean Ups

    • Courtland Creek Listening sessions

  • District 4 Spotlight

County Orders Indoor Mask Mandate

A new indoor mandatory masking announced today by 7 Bay Area Counties and the City of Berkeley. This order includes Alameda County. All individuals, regardless of vaccination status, must wear face coverings
when indoors in public settings, starting tomorrow, August 3rd.

Read more about the order here.

Don’t Wait; Get Vaccinated!

From January 1 to July 14, 99% of COVID-19 cases in California were among unvaccinated people. The COVID-19 vaccines are the most important tool we have to stop transmission, prevent new variants, and save lives.

The COVID-19 vaccines are safe, effective, and 100% free for everyone 12 and up in California’s 58 counties. Alameda County is encouraging unvaccinated residents 12 and older, and those who missed their second dose, to call 510-208-4VAX to schedule an appointment.

Go to for more information.

Rental Assistance Available Now!

If you are a renter having difficulty paying your rent or anticipate that you will have difficulty in the next few months, or if you are a landlord whose tenant has not been able to pay rent, California has just authorized additional funds to provide financial relief to tenants and landlords.

Budget bill AB 832 provides $5.2 billion to help struggling California renters by covering rent that a tenant may owe for as far back as April 2020 - along with future rent payments, if needed. AB 832 also extends California's eviction moratorium to Sept. 30.

Either renters or landlords can apply. NOTE: the application process works best (and fastest) if both the tenant and landlord complete it cooperatively.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Renters who submit an application to the rental assistance program by Sept. 30 are protected from eviction beyond Sept. 30 while their rental assistance application is being processed.

So submit your application ASAP. Don't wait.

The City Council adjourned for its Summer Recess last week. The City Council will reconvene in September 21st.

Howard Terminal Updates

On July 20, the City Council approved a non-binding Term Sheet with the Oakland A’s to give City staff direction on the City’s priorities regarding the development of Howard Terminal.

My goal is to keep the As in Oakland and make a deal that is financially responsible for the City of Oakland. As a financial steward Oaklanders, it is my job to use taxpayer revenue responsibly. We cannot risk negative impacts to our General Purpose Fund, which would take away from funding Oakland’s most basic needs, like our parks, roads, wildfire prevention, and public safety services and infrastructure. Recently, a fire station in District 4 had to close due to maintenance issues hours before a red flag warning.

Moreover, it’s incredibly important that we also consider neighboring communities that will be impacted directly by relocating the As to Howard Terminal, including Chinatown and our West Oakland communities.

There is absolutely a path forward on this project, but the A’s must stay at the negotiating table and negotiate in good faith with the City. A new stadium must make financial sense for the City, not make the City vulnerable to being left on the hook, and improve the neighborhood where a stadium is built.

GreenLining Oakland Digital Inclusion Program

In 2020, as workplaces and businesses shuttered due to COVID-19 lockdowns, we were reminded that internet access is a fundamental right. It showed us that the internet is no longer a luxury — rather it is a necessity for us to connect to friends and families, access government services, achieve economic security and to be a full member of today’s digital society. Despite the internet’s importance, the latest data shows that 94,000 Oakland residents lack internet access and are on the wrong side of the digital divide.

There are many reasons for the digital divide but several key barriers to internet

connectivity include:

  1. Affordability - The high cost of internet service limits access to high-speed home

  2. Devices - Many families cannot afford reliable computing devices that have internet connectivity.

  3. Digital Literacy - Many of those in the digital divide are not comfortable with using the internet.

To address these barriers, The Greenlining Institute, in collaboration with the City of

Oakland, has developed a year-long program intended to:

  1. Build digital inclusion and digital literacy through trainings and educational

  2. Build awareness around free and affordable broadband plans,

  3. Provide computers and tablets to residents that lack devices, and

  4. Provide $100,000 in grants and technical assistance to 10 local organizations ($10,000 per organization) with the goal of increasing internet adoption and digital literacy in priority communities and neighborhoods.

For more information about the program and to download the full application packet please visit the project webpage.

Economic Injury Disaster Loan Workshops

If your business or nonprofit is in a low-income area, you may qualify for up to $15,000 in federal Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) advances. These "advances" are like grants, and do not need to be repaid. You do not have to qualify for or accept a loan to receive the advances. Much of Oakland below I-580 qualifies as a low-income area!

  1. Up to $10,000 Targeted EIDL Advance if your business or nonprofit is in a low-income area, lost more than 30 percent in revenue, and has 300 or fewer employees.

  2. Additional $5,000 Supplemental Targeted Advance if your business or nonprofit is in a low-income area, lost more than 50 percent in revenue, and has 10 or fewer employees.

If you have not previously applied for EIDL, apply now! To help eligible businesses apply, the City is hosting free, in-person application workshops in East Oakland and West Oakland:

81st Avenue Library

  • Thursday, July 29 at 10 a.m., 11 a.m. or Noon

  • Wednesday, August 4 at 5 p.m., 6 p.m. or 7 p.m.

West Oakland Youth Center

  • Thursday, August 5 at 5 pm, 6 pm or 7 pm

Oakland Redistricting Commission Public Hearings

Oakland’s inaugural Redistricting Commission announced its public hearing schedule as it deliberates and adopts new district boundaries for the City Council and School Board of Directors. District boundaries define and consolidate shared communities of interest which translate to voting power and political influence.

The Commission will receive public testimony on the following dates (all times at 6:00 pm):

  • Wednesday, October 13, 2021

  • Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Additional public hearings and in-person workshops may be announced at later dates. To stay informed of Oakland’s redistricting process, visit: and select the ‘Provide Input’ icon at the top of the page.

Job Opportunities in the City of Oakland

· Electrical Supervisor

· Principal Employee Relations Analyst

· Heavy Equipment Service Worker

· Senior Emergency Planning Coordinator

· Capital Contracts Manager (Exempt)

· MACRO Program Manager (Exempt Limited Duration)

For these jobs, and many more, please visit

New Mural in the Dimond!

Look what’s new in the Dimond District! I’m honored to have been invited to support the unveiling of the beautiful “Skip” mural by the talented Robin Gibson.

Thank you to the Dimond Improvement Association, Dimond merchants and Popoca for the free samples of your yummy food! (Note: Popoca is coming soon to the Dimond!)

Barbara Lee Comes to District 4

It was an honor to be able to host my good friend and our Congresswoman Barbara Lee for a birthday meet and greet on Saturday. Congresswoman Lee has been an incredible role model to so many, including myself. Thank you Congresswoman for your fierceness and for leading with heart and values.

Special thank you to Keith Uriarte and Linda Dittes for hosting and sharing your beautiful Oakland home with us for this amazing event. ❤️

You can find photos from the event here.

Courtland Creek Restoration Project in Courtland Creek Park

Two of my biggest priorities are bringing Brookdale Park and Courtland Creek to a standard that celebrates and uplifts the surrounding community. This is why I brought in real investments to the area in this last budget and why we are working closely with city staff and the community on the renovations and restoration of Courtland Creek.

This past Saturday I joined the community meeting at Courtland Creek to hear more about the project from amazing staff and to hear more about the concerns the community has. This meeting was a follow up from the big cleanup we participated in at Courtland Creek in June.

Learn more about the restoration project here!

Updates on the Oakland Hills Paving Project

The roads in Oakland are in desperate need of repair, and our 3-year paving plan is hyper focused on this. More paving will be happening in the hills this August, and you can find their dates below and see more by checking out the paving schedule from the 2021 Oakland Hills Paving Project:

  • Week of 8/2/2021

  • Week of 8/2/21


      • full closure

  • Week of 8/16/21





  • Week of 8/23/21




  • Week of 8/30/21




Don’t live in the hills? No worries! You can find the 3-Year Paving Project Here!

New Sideshow Prevention in the Laurel

This past spring I held a Public Safety Town Hall where I committed to bringing new improvements to MacArthur to stop sideshows. After meeting with our Department of Transportation and advocating for the community we are thrilled to see the installation of new “Botts' Dots” to deter sideshows on 35th and MacArthur.

This installation, along with the money my office won for additional sideshow deterrents, will help put an end to sideshows in our neighborhoods.

Piedmont Pines Utility Undergrounding Moves Forward!

Thanks to the incredible hard work of the Piedmont Pines Neighborhood Association and a strong partnership between city staff, the CPUC, and PG&E led by office, the second phase of the Piedmont Pines Utility Undergrounding was approved by the community with 93%% of the vote!

THANK YOU to Robbie Neely for helping organize this effort, and my predecessor Councilmember Dick Spees for beginning this long journey. Both of you have been phenomenal advisors and mentors through this process.

You can read more about the undergrounding of utilities at Piedmont Pines here and more about the utility undergrounding process here.

In service,

Sheng Thao
Council President Pro Tem
District 4

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Posted: August 2nd, 2021 5:10 PM

Last Updated: August 2nd, 2021 5:11 PM

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