Policymakers from Across County Visit Oakland to Export Innovative Education and Broadband Programs

Delegation of state and local officials to study the models of ground-breaking collective impact initiatives developed and implemented in Oakland to address digital divide and provide students with “Cradle to College” educational services

Mayor Schaaf meeting with a group of state and local lawmakers from across the country at Oakland City Hall.

Washington, D.C. (August 28, 2022) – Recognizing the success of college access efforts developed and implemented in Oakland, Calif. – including the $50 million Generation Fund to provide over 30,000 students and babies from low-income backgrounds with scholarships or College Savings Accounts by 2035 announced this month by Vice President Kamala Harris and Mayor Libby Schaaf – the NewDEAL Forum will convene a delegation of state and local policymakers from across the country on Monday, August 29, in an effort to export the city’s progress nationwide.

The delegation of elected officials, who will participate in briefings and discussions at City Hall followed by a visit to the Oakland High School Future Center, are members of the Forum’s sister organization, the NewDEAL, which supports an elite network of rising state and local leaders across levels of government.

These leaders are chosen for their forward-thinking approach to governing and ability to get things done. (Media schedule and list of policymakers attending event below.) The Forum and NewDEAL have a track record of spreading policy solutions on issues including education, broadband, the future of work, and climate change. Education Policy Group Co-chair Senator Elena Parent (Atlanta, GA) will attend the convening.

Date: Monday, August 29 at 11:00 a.m.

Locations: City Hall and Oakland High School (See schedule below)

Members of the delegation will meet with leaders of city initiatives that have addressed inequities and expanded opportunities among Oakland students, including:

  • Oakland Promise, which provides cradle to college and career support to ensure every student receives financial resources, educational programming, mentorship, and a supportive community to help them thrive in higher education and the career of their choosing. Vice President Harris, Mayor Schaaf, and Oakland Promise CEO Sandra Ernst announced earlier this month that within 4 years, every income-eligible Oakland public school student will receive $1,000/year while pursuing a degree and every medical-eligible baby will receive $500 in a college savings account through 2035. The Future Center at Oakland High School that the delegation will visit assists students with college and career research, college and scholarship applications, and financial aid planning.
  • #OaklandUndivided is a collective impact movement led by the Mayor’s Office in partnership with Oakland Unified School District (OUSD), The City of Oakland, Tech Exchange, and the Oakland Public Education Fund along with 20 other leadership partners to meet their goal of closing the digital divide for good. On May 6, the Mayor and Superintendent announced that for the third straight year, they will continue to ensure that all 50,000 Oakland public school students have home access to a computer, internet connection, and technology support. Additionally, #OaklandUndivied is expanding cradle-to-career to also provide digital access to preschool and college students and announced a bold new goal to connect 90% of the city’s 37,000 unconnected residents within 5 years.

As a result of these efforts and distributing over 35,000 computers and 15,000 hotspots and responding to over 18,000 tech support requests to date, by the end of the 20-21 school year 98% of students from low-income backgrounds were connected, up from only 12% at the beginning of the pandemic. In addition, since Oakland Promise was formally launched in 2016, over 1,900 babies and students have received College Savings Accounts, 30,000 students have received early college scholarships, Oakland public and charter school students have increased access to college and career centers, and thousands received targeted college access and persistence support in addition to growing scholarship funds. If you would like more info, go to www.oaklandpromise.org and www.oaklandundivided.org or contact David Silver, dsilver@oaklandca.gov.

With an influx of resources from the federal government to improve educational opportunities and internet access in the wake of the pandemic, state and local officials have a unique opportunity to implement the lessons from Oakland in state and local policy. In addition to organizing the convening on August 29, the NewDEAL Forum will publish takeaways from the visit to share with a larger network of policymakers and to support the export of these efforts elsewhere.

About the NewDEAL Forum

The NewDEAL Forum is a non-profit organization which identifies and promotes innovative, future-oriented state and local pro-growth progressive policies that can improve the lives of all Americans. By facilitating the identification and spread of policy ideas, the NewDEAL Forum seeks to foster economic growth, reduce barriers to opportunity and promote good government in communities and states. The Forum advances its mission by researching, identifying, and sharing state and local pro-growth progressive policy ideas and bringing together public, private, and non-profit sector policy experts to exchange ideas and discuss the country’s biggest challenges.

Schedule - Monday, August 29, 2022

11:00 a.m. Presentations at City Hall

1 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, Oakland, CA 94612, Mayor’s Conference Room

Enter on 14th Street and head to the 3rd Floor

  • Welcome Remarks by Mayor Libby Schaaf and NewDEAL Forum CEO Debbie Cox Bultan
  • Presentations by leaders of Oakland Promise and #OaklandUndivided including OP and #OU co-founder Director of Education David Silver, elected leadership, students, educators, and community-based organizations

1:30 p.m. Oakland Promise School Visit

Oakland High School, 1023 MacArthur Blvd, Oakland, CA 94610

  • Presentation by Oakland Promise CEO Sandra Ernst including Oakland High staff speakers
  • Student Panel led by Oakland High School Seniors and School Board Directors Natalie Gallegos and Linh Le


Oakland High School, 1023 MacArthur Blvd, Oakland, CA 94610

  • Featuring visiting policymakers and Oakland Promise leaders

Visiting Delegation of State and Local Leaders include:

Alabama: Representative Anthony Daniels - House Minority Leader - Huntsville

Connecticut: Senator Bob Duff - Senate Majority Leader - Norwalk

Georgia: Senator Elena Parent - Senate Democratic Caucus Leader - Atlanta

Maryland: Councilman Hans Riemer - Montgomery County

Missouri: Alderwoman Annie Rice - St. Louis

Nevada: Assemblywoman Daniele Monroe-Moreno - Asst. Majority Floor Leader - Las Vegas

Oklahoma: Senator Michael Brooks-Jimenez - Oklahoma City

Oregon: Mayor Lacey Beaty - Beaverton


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Posted: August 31st, 2022 7:08 PM

Last Updated: August 31st, 2022 7:08 PM

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