Now that we’re enjoying the last few weeks of summer, it’s a good time to think about the value that parks play in our communities. One of my favorite things about summer is seeing our parks filled with children and families, gathering for barbecues, playing games, or just strolling with pets. We know that clean and safe parks play a key role in community safety by getting neighbors outside to gather, building relationships and creating strong communities.
That's why I was thrilled to join City leaders, including Councilmember Carroll Fife, Councilmember Dan Kalb, the Office of Assemblymember Mia Bonta, Oakland Public Works Director G. Harold Duffey, Oakland Parks Recreation & Youth Development General Supervisor Donte Watson, as well as City staff and community stakeholders, in Mosswood Park to break ground on the new Mosswood Community Center.
The design and construction of the project is being led by Oakland Public Works, and the completed facility will be operated by Oakland Parks, Recreation & Youth Development. The project will deliver a new two-story, 12,193 square-foot recreation center and improvements to the iconic park, which will benefit all Oaklanders, no matter what neighborhood you live in.
Funding for the $20.8 million project was provided by Oakland’s 2016 Infrastructure and Affordable Housing Bond Measure KK and 2022 Public Facilities Bond Measure U, as well as grants from the Kaiser Permanente Community Benefit Program and the State of California Natural Resources Agency. The project which will be under construction from Summer of 2023 to Spring 2025.
The new community center and revitalized park will be a vibrant destination for Oakland families to once again gather for civic, cultural, and recreational activities. This milestone is the culmination of years of work and the support of our community partners at Kaiser Permanente and the California Natural Resources Agency. And of course, none of this would be possible without Oakland voters who are investing in our community through Measures KK and U.
Working as One Oakland, we can strengthen community services and facilities so our families can thrive.
Mayor of Oakland
|One Oakland: Community Safety The City of Oakland is united as One Oakland in working to not only solve crimes when they occur, but to prevent them from happening. Learn more about the steps the City of Oakland has taken under my Administration to strengthen community safety and prevent crime.|
Ceasefire audit is under way—with a multi-agency team working together to represent One Oakland. Members of my Office recently met with Interim Chief Darren Allison with the Oakland Police Department and Interim Chief of Violence Prevention Kentrell Killens with the Department of Violence Prevention—with OPD and DVP facilitating the assessment of every component of the Ceasefire strategy. Our team also included members of the California Partnership for Safe Communities.
As I’ve shared in previous newsletters, my office initiated a comprehensive audit of the Ceasefire Initiative, a partnership between the Oakland Police Department, the Department of Violence Prevention, community-based organizations, and faith-based organizations. This is an initiative focused on reducing violent crime. Together, we can address community safety through both prevention and accountability.
|Walk in Oakland Pride with Us!
Mayor Thao would love to invite you to walk with her in the upcoming Oakland Pride Parade on September 10th, 2023. The parade will start at 11:00am and we are encouraging everyone to arrive at 10:30am ready to safely walk or roll in style with our contingent.
Dress the part: we are proud of Oakland's strong LGBTQ+ community and we encourage you to dress in pride and be yourself! Just remember to bring some shoes you can walk in.
Registrants will receive an email with instructions on where to meet once they are available.
I recently announced the launch of the Talking Transition Oakland Survey, which will be used to gather insights that will help shape the agenda of my Administration and the future of Oakland. Oaklanders are invited to share their thoughts on critical issues that impact daily lives, including the city’s housing, community safety, and economic development. As part of the effort and to encourage our next generation of civil servants and community organizers, we are employing Youth Data Fellows, ages 16 through 24, to help spread the word and drive responses in underrepresented communities.
Take the Talking Transition Survey Today:
The survey is also available in:
Talking Transition Oakland is a citywide community engagement effort to develop a path forward that City Hall, community organizations, and philanthropy can move on together, all the while centering Oakland’s youth and building their capacity as the city's future leaders. Talking Transition is a partnership between community leaders, the Office of Mayor Sheng Thao, Council President Nikki Fortunato Bas, and City Administrator Johnson, implemented with support from local philanthropic partners.
It’s a new administration, but the same Oakland. We want to build an agenda for and with residents that will raise the bar for city government. Talking Transition builds on previous civic engagement efforts, strengthens partnerships between government and community leaders, and trains and empowers our youth to participate in local government in a new way.
How can you get involved?
We want 5,000 Oaklanders to share what’s important to you around housing and homelessness, community safety, and economic opportunity. Take the 10-minute survey today and tell your friends, families, and networks to do the same – your insights will help shape the agenda of Mayor Thao’s administration and the future of the city.
Come out to public events to be announced soon and meet government officials, learn how Oakland’s government works, and share your experiences and ideas to make Oakland better for all.
This effort needs to uplift the underrepresented voices of Oakland – we know not everyone can take an online survey or come to a public event, but we want to reach everyone. If you can help connect Oaklanders with Talking Transition or have an idea of how we can do so better, please reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Investing in Deep East Oakland
I was honored to join Deep East Oakland community leaders in announcing a new $100 million Rise East initiative to make lasting improvements in the neighborhood. I am especially proud to be part of this initiative, not just because of the important outcomes that it will achieve, but because of the community leaders who came together during this process. This plan is a direct reflection of the community it serves. The Rise East initiative fills a critical gap in improving the health and quality of life of residents in Deep East Oakland, an area that has been disproportionately affected by systemic and generational racism. We know that dismantling those systems will take time, which is why The Rise East 10 Year Plan is crucial to make lasting improvements in Deep East Oakland. This is not about quick fixes, this is about making a long-term investment in Deep East Oakland that will continue to impact future generations. I want to thank the leaders of this planning process, Oakland Thrives and the 40x40 Council, and I want to thank Kaiser and Blue Meridian Partners for their support.
Oakland Thrives is working to raise $50M in local funding, which will be matched by national philanthropic organization Blue Meridian Partners for a total of $100M in new investment for East Oakland. Rise East strategies will be implemented over 10 years, beginning in 2024, and fundraising will continue as the work unfolds. More information can be found at riseeast.com.
|Back to School & #OaklandUndivided
#OaklandUndivided believes in taking a holistic and comprehensive approach to digital equity, realizing digital equity impacts virtually every sector and intersection of society: Education, Healthcare, Workforce (employment), and Economic Development.
Chief of Education & Community Safety, Brooklyn Williams, attended #OaklandUndivided's Back to School Connected Community Celebration representing our Office to help announce that OUSD secured $13.3M from the federal Emergency Connectivity Fund to ensure all PreK-12 OUSD students have a home computer and high-speed Internet in the 2023-2024 school year for the 4th consecutive year. More than 34,000 OUSD students started the 2023-2024 school year on August 7. In partnership with the City IT Department, I have been and remain a proud supporter of the work to achieve broadband for all in our city. OUSD has been a model to the nation in ensuring that every student in Oakland has access to the tools needed for a 21st-century education. I am grateful for and proud of the way that this city has come together – including OUSD, Oakland Public Libraries, and Oakland Housing Authority, and trusted non-profits like Tech Exchange – to ensure that all members of our community have the resources they need to get connected.
|Oakland Fire Lends Support
I want to acknowledge and commend our Oakland Fire Department for not only working hard to keep Oakland and Oaklanders safe, but also for lending support to impacted communities outside our jurisdiction as they respond to wildfires in Oregon and Northern California, Hurricane Hillary impacting in Southern California, and the ongoing local, state and federal response to the wildfire that has devastated the island of Maui in Hawaii.
We appreciate the service and sacrifice made by our firefighters and their first responder partners from other local jurisdictions as they work tirelessly to provide much needed support to vulnerable communities around the nation.
|Vietnam Trade Mission
As you may have seen in the news, I recently returned from a trade mission to Vietnam, with the goal of bringing more jobs and opportunities to Oakland. Among my top priorities as Mayor is economic development, and that goes hand in hand with public safety. By creating more jobs and bringing new revenue to the city, we are able to increase the overall pie that goes toward critical City services to all our communities. I am happy to say that we accomplished our goal. Among the highlights of our trade mission:
This trip was an investment in Oakland’s future, by cultivating critical relationships that will grow our city’s economy. The Port of Oakland is among the Top busiest ports in the nation and among Top 3 busiest in California. It is one of the biggest job creators in our region - more than 98,000 jobs are connected to Port activity, whether it’s at the seaport or the airport or along our waterfront. I have been committed to enhancing our partnership with the Port and supporting those jobs.
Oakland is home to a powerful and inspiring network of faith-based organizations, and I was honored to be among some of them at the Bay Cities Baptist Ministers Union Citywide Revival, held at the Good Hope Baptist Church. I kicked off the amazing gathering where 30 ministers and their congregants were in attendance. Thank you to this amazing community for the amazing welcome!
Unionist of the Year
I was honored to attend the Alameda Labor Council, AFL CIO’s 2023 Unionist of the Year Dinner. The awardees included:
Congratulations to everyone honored and thank you for your service!
This is an opportunity to work with our fabulous Community Homelessness Team! This is an excellent career opportunity for someone wanting to address the unsheltered crisis of homelessness in Oakland. We have 4 openings for the Program Analyst II (Selective Certification - Community Homelessness) position.
|Join Public Works
Are you a young adult looking for a PAID job training opportunity with the City of Oakland? Apply today to the Oakland Public Works Training Academy: a 4-6 month program for Oaklanders aged 18-30 who want to prepare for a career in public service!
|Public Information Officer Info Night
The Oakland Police Department (OPD) is hosting a Police Communications Dispatcher Information Night on August 30, 2023, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
We will have representatives present to answer questions regarding the recruitment process, and members of the 911 Center will be on hand to discuss training, expectations, and the types of calls we service.
Oakland Police Administration Building (Auditorium)
455 7th Street
Applications for the Bicyclist and Pedestrian Advisory Commission (BPAC) are due on September 14, 2023. The purpose of the BPAC is to advise City Council and City of Oakland staff on bicyclist and pedestrian-specific policies, projects, and programs, and to advocate for safe, effective and equitable bicycle and pedestrian projects and programs throughout Oakland.
Creek to Bay Day
Creek to Bay Day is our annual day of watershed cleanups and education on practices to keep our city and waterways clean! A reminder that registration for Site Coordinators is now open and ends Friday, September 1!
I use this space to highlight residents who are showing up, leading by example, representing The Town, and simply doing positive things in the community. This week, we are celebrating Black Business Month in Oakland! Oakland is home to a wide range of thriving Black-owned businesses, and this month I have been highlighting a few of these amazing businesses, including:
Meet Jessica Scortt, owner of The Self-ish Society—a non-profit organization that operates as both a hair salon and community resource hub. Their unique structure blends people from diverse backgrounds and gives them a safe space to participate in salon services, therapy, case management, youth mentorship, and community engagement.
Learn more about them at self-ishsociety.org.
Meet Joyce Gordon, owner of Joyce Gordon Gallery, which celebrates its 20th anniversary on September 1 with “Turning Point: A 20th Anniversary Gallery Retrospective”. Joyce Gordon Gallery has been home to world-renown artists such as Joe Sam, Ed Dwight, Raymond Saunders, the late Louis Delsarte and more. Learn more about the gallery at joycegordon.gallery - and experience it yourself at 406 14th Street.
Gallery curator: Eric Murphy