Friday Updates from Mayor Sheng Thao


Summer is here and I’m celebrating more than the warm weather!

For those of you who follow local government meetings—and I hope that’s all of you—you’ll know that the City Council passed my proposed One Oakland Budget for Fiscal Years 2023-2025 late into the night on Monday, June 26. Despite the fact that we are facing the worst deficit in our City’s history, we were able to balance our budget while:

· Preserving jobs

· Delivering quality City services to residents and businesses

· Making the largest investment in affordable housing in the City’s history

· Investing in the full landscape of public safety, resulting in more officers moving forward, while also investing in violence prevention

· Preserving resources and programming for our youth, families and seniors

Additionally, with my support, Council President Bas’ amendments to the budget preserves fire service, creates 24/7 crisis response, adds civilian investigators to the police department, adds additional community ambassadors to business districts to increase safety, bolster grants for violence prevention and creates a rapid response for the Homeless Housing Acquisition Fund.

In short, we approached this budget by putting Oaklanders and our values first.

I am deeply grateful for Council President Bas, Councilmembers Fife, Kaplan, Jenkins, and Kalb, who voted to pass this budget and to our City staffers who worked tirelessly on a budget that prioritizes the well-being of our residents and makes major investments in the future. One Oakland!

Something I’m also very excited about is Talking Transition, a new, citywide, civic engagement process that builds on the incredible work that we do in Oakland every day, which we launched during our inaugural Interfaith in the Park event at Arroyo Viejo Park on Saturday, June 24, along with City Administrator Jestin Johnson and Councilmembers.

This initiative will be shaped by everyone – including my partners in City Council, our City Department staff, our community members, our philanthropic partners—and hopefully you. Oaklanders have been telling the City what they need for years. Our dedicated City department staff and our amazing community organizations have put in the work – organizing, surveying, and building the people power to advance ambitious goals. We're here to build on that work and reinforce it.

I also know that many voices have still not been heard. This is why a big part of Talking Transitions involves engaging young Oaklanders, ages 16 through 24. They will be our data fellows as we launch this initiative with a solutions-based survey—empowering our next generation to be engaged in developing a relationship with their community and building their advocacy muscle.

Why? Because the groundwork we do today impacts their future, their children’s future, and beyond. And we can engage our youth now to become our future leaders.

At the end of this process, we will emerge with a concrete, solution-focused, action plan that all of us can implement together.

So please look out for updates here and join us in addressing our present challenges and co-creating our future success.

Hope you all have a SAFE and FUN Fourth of July holiday! REMINDER, fireworks are illegal in Oakland. You can anonymously report firework activity to 510-777-8814.

In Service,

Sheng Thao,

Mayor of Oakland


Summer Activations!

Summer is here and so are all the summer activations Downtown and throughout The Town. Stay updated on all the events on our Summer in Oakland web page here.

National Night Out: It's time to reconnect with neighbors and friends! You can register to organize a block party, barbeque, ice cream social, or other outdoor event that brings your neighbors together. City of Oakland staff, Oakland Fire Department and Police Department personnel and elected officials will be out roaming the neighborhoods and will visit as many parties as possible. Sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch, National Night Out (NNO) is America's night out and a time for neighbors to get together to build neighborhood spirit and unity. Research shows that when neighbors know each other, neighborhoods are safer.

Neighbors can register by July 21 to receive a Host packet and to host a block party, barbeque, ice cream social or other outdoor event that brings neighbors together here.

There are also volunteer opportunities:

  1. Volunteer to create NNO packets. Thursday, July 13 10:00 a.m.- 2:00 p.m. (Only two slots left to fill.)
  2. Volunteer to help do outreach in West & East Oakland. Thursday, July 20 10:00a.m.-12:00 p.m.

If you’re interested in volunteering, please contact Lisa Jue, and Brenda Ivey,

Hope to see you in one (or more) of the gatherings!

Town Nights: This place-based violence reduction strategy focuses on engaging residents and community members in free prosocial activities in hotspot areas and building safety agreements. Town Nights will be from 6-10 p.m. on June 16, 23, 30, and July 7, 14, 21 at the following locations: Acorn Learning Center; Arroyo Viejo Park; Carter Gilmore Park; Elmhurst Park; Jozie de La Cruz Park; Lincoln Square Park; San Antonio Park; Verdese Carter/Sunnyside Park; and West Oakland Youth Center.

First Fridays: Don’t forget that July’s First Friday event is on July 7th, 2023 from 5:00pm - 9:00pm. Find out more here.

“Get ready to immerse yourself in the vibrant essence of Oakland First Fridays, where local independent businesses shine bright, each one a unique gem that adds to the magic of the event. Join us this month as we celebrate the individuals behind these extraordinary enterprises, making First Fridays an unforgettable experience of community, creativity, and boundless inspiration!”

July 4th Preparation

With large crowds anticipated at several locations for the upcoming 4th of July holiday, the City of Oakland will implement temporary safety measures where many gather to enjoy festivities, including at Grizzly Peak, where people gather for a great view of Bay Area fireworks on the Fourth of July.

The Oakland Fire and Police departments continue to work in partnership with neighboring jurisdictions on actions to mitigate fire risk in the Very High Fire Severity Zone and throughout the city during the Fourth of July holiday.

Read the full plan here.

Safety Improvements Coming to Jack London Square Rail Corridor

The California Transportation Commission approved on Wednesday a $30.2 million Trade Corridor Enhancement Program (TCEP) grant for the City of Oakland Department of Transportation (OakDOT) to deliver long-anticipated improvements to the Embarcadero West Rail Corridor located in the Jack London Square District of Oakland.

The grant is one of the largest infrastructure grants to be awarded to OakDOT and is a critical piece of funding for a transformative investment along the Embarcadero West corridor, addressing long-standing local and regional transportation needs. The improvements will benefit residents, workers, and visitors at Jack London Square, improve access to the Oakland ferry terminal, and make both passenger and freight rail safer and more reliable for all of Northern California. An additional grant application to the federal Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) program ($43.3 million) is currently pending for the project and would facilitate additional needed safety upgrades to the corridor.

Read More Here

Mayor's Office Updates

Queer Youth Trivia Night

In partnership with the Oakland LGBTQ Center, my office hosted Oakland’s first Queer Youth Trivia Night alongside special guest Amy Schneider! This youth-focused event was about getting our young, LGBTQ Oaklanders into a safe space to be themselves and get acquainted with City Hall. Our winners received cash prizes and everyone left with an invitation to youth services at the LGBTQ Center!

Interfaith in the Park

As mentioned earlier, this past weekend, our office hosted the first annual Interfaith in the Park, where faith-based leaders, community partners, and city officials came together in Arroyo Viejo Park to celebrate Oakland’s diversity, provide easy-to-access community resources, and to break bread and enjoy a beautiful day in East Oakland.

Thank you to our partners Family Violence Law Center, Faith in Action East Bay, La Familia , Black Cultural Zone, Native American Health Center, Urban Health Group Inc., Street Level Health Project, The Unity Council , Economic & Workforce Development, EBASE, Pastor Dixon Minister Payton, Ceasefire, La Clinica de la Raza, and Councilmembers Kevin Jenkins, Treva Reid, and Dan Kalb for joining us.

Mayor Spotlight

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. For this issue, I am celebrating our amazing Youth Team at the Oakland LGBTQ Center: LaSandra Wells, Amin Robinson, Josylin Green, Ashlee Banks, and Cielo Flores. Earlier this month we not only had the pleasure of co-hosting a Queer Youth Trivia Night here in Oakland City Hall, but we also joined them in celebrating the opening of their new Youth Town Club on Grand Avenue! Their work supporting our young, LGBTQ Oaklanders is essential in making our Town a safer place for everyone.

HUGE congratulations to Amen and Ausur Thompson for being in the top 5 NBA draft picks. These Oakland-born twins will be carrying on Oakland's tradition of athletic excellence by playing for the NBA with Amen joining the Houston Rockets and Ausur joining the Detroit Pistons.

We are so proud of both these young men and I can't wait to see them continue their career in profesisonal sports!

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