Last updated: 9/12/2018

The City of Oakland is updating our process to identify and select capital projects for funding. Capital projects improve and maintain Oakland’s public facilities and infrastructure. They can range from restoring aging fire stations to repaving broken streets to building new recreation centers. Throughout summer 2018, the City conducted outreach to gather community input to help us build a process that produces a more equitable and transparent Capital Improvement Program, or CIP. Which capital asset projects are funded, how much they cost, and when they are built, maintained or repaired -- that’s all part of the CIP.

Our goal is a CIP process rooted in community values and priorities. Because the City has more demand for capital projects than it has money to pay for them, the CIP must make choices about how to prioritize potential projects. We asked for community input on the development of a “score card” that would be used to evaluate every potential project.

In that spirit, the City asked residents to rank these factors by which every potential project would be considered:

  • Equity: Investment in underserved communities
  • Health/Safety: Improve safety and encourage healthy living
  • Economy: Benefit small Oakland businesses and create job opportunities for Oaklanders
  • Environment: Improve the environment and address climate change
  • Improvement: Build new and upgrade city-owned property
  • Existing Conditions: Renovate or replace broken or outdated city property
  • Project Readiness: Ready-to-go projects without delay
  • Collaboration: Combine city projects to save time and money
  • Required Work: Address areas where the city may be held financially and legally responsible

What We Heard

To gather community input, in June and July the City hosted four community meetings in a town hall style, attended and presented at several meetings hosted by community groups, and promoted an online survey available in four languages. In total the City received input from about 750 people in meetings and workshops, and gathered more than 1300 survey responses – primarily in English, but also in Spanish, Chinese and Vietnamese. Community members’ top three priorities were the same in all groups: equity, health & safety, and existing conditions of capital assets. Find a chart of our survey results in the link at the top of this page.

What We Did With What We Heard

The City made many efforts to ensure that participation in this process was equitable – for example, providing in-person interpreter services in community meetings, and doing focused outreach to groups in underserved communities.

We tracked our results and found that despite these efforts, Black/African-American and Hispanic/Latino Oaklanders were still underrepresented in our survey results. We have several lessons to learn about how to better connect with members of these ethnic groups, and we are committed to improving over time. For the task at hand, our decision was to reweight our results based on race to reflect the City’s population distribution from the 2016 Oakland American Community Survey – our most-recent available snapshot of Oakland’s ethnic makeup. Responses from underrepresented populations were given more weight and the responses from overrepresented populations were adjusted downward to proportionally reflect the makeup within the Oakland population.

Based on these results, the CIP team is proposing a project prioritization model – the score card referenced above – that balances the factors into a “perfect score” of 100 points, assigning the greatest weight to equity and health & safety. Find our draft prioritization model in the link at the top of this page.

What’s Next

Staff are bringing this proposal to the City Council’s Public Works Committee for consideration on Sept. 25. The meeting is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. in Hearing Room 1 on the first floor of City Hall at 1 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, and we invite community participation.

Additionally, anyone who would like to suggest or request that a potential project be considered for the upcoming two-year CIP may submit a request online here. Project requests for the upcoming CIP (July 2019-June 2021) are due on Sunday, October 21, 2018.

For any additional questions, contact Public Information Officer Sean Maher at smaher@oaklandca.gov.