Last week, I delivered the first State of the City address since I proudly became your Mayor. During the address, I reflected on our accomplishments and our challenges. I also had the opportunity to chart a course for our great city. My agenda is focused on four key areas: Community Safety, Homelessness and Affordable Housing, Clean and Healthy Neighborhoods, and Economic Opportunity.
Community safety is my top priority, and making Oakland safer for children, families, businesses, and visitors is the first thing I think about when I wake up in the morning and the only thing on my mind when I fall asleep at night. My administration will aggressively pursue a comprehensive community safety strategy by investing in a more robust and accountable police department, strengthening our violence prevention initiatives, and utilizing technology to modernize our investigations and disrupt criminal networks.
In my first ten months in office, we laid the groundwork for our community safety strategy by:
As a result of our investments, Oakland has more police officers on the street than at any time in the past two years. In the coming year, my administration will build on these efforts by:
Officer Cornejo-Valdivia speaks with local merchants as he makes his round. Officer Cornejo-Valdivia is just one of 14 dedicated foot patrols making their rounds in business corridors throughout the city.
Homelessness and Affordable Housing
My approach to the Bay Area’s homelessness and affordable housing crisis aggressively invests in affordable housing and protections for renters to help prevent homelessness. Homelessness and affordable housing are personal to me. My son and I slept in our car regularly until we could find secure housing.
Oakland cannot do this alone, and a regional approach is necessary. In the months ahead, I will take the lead in organizing with other Bay Area mayors to place a regional housing measure on the November 2024 ballot to expand the construction of affordable housing throughout the region.
The blueprint for this regional effort can be found in my administration’s aggressive approach to affordable housing. Oakland has created a healthy, affordable housing pipeline that includes:
In total, Oakland has begun the process of building or preserving more than 1400 units of new affordable housing in our city. Over the next year, Oakland will break ground on over 615 units.
Homelessness is a challenge facing cities across the United States. In Oakland, we coordinate critical care and wrap-around services to help unhoused residents find a path off the streets. We will pursue this compassionate approach while promoting clean, safe, and accessible public spaces for all to use. This year, my administration worked with the City Council to create a Rapid Response Homeless Housing Acquisition Fund to help unhoused residents into safe shelters. Our city also closed Northern California’s largest homeless encampment on Wood Street. City staff offered care and critical support services to every unhoused resident, and 85% accepted services. City workers removed more than 800 tons of hazardous debris from the site so construction could begin on 169 affordable housing units.
Mayor Thao stands with Councilmembers, Affordable Housing officials, and community members at Akoma Market after the state announced $40 million for affordable housing in Oakland.
Clean and Healthy Neighborhoods
Clean and healthy neighborhoods are safer neighborhoods, and Oakland is developing and implementing new strategies to achieve this outcome. In the next year, we will launch Oakland Fresh. This initiative brings together multiple city departments to tow abandoned cars, paint curbs, fix signs, clean up illegal dumping, and deploy inspectors looking for blighted properties in coordinated operations.
Oakland Fresh will join the many efforts already underway, which include:
City of Oakland employees remain committed to a cleaner, greener city for everyone.
The City of Oakland must focus on investments that will help increase economic opportunity equitably and sustainably to grow the pie for all Oaklanders. I am working with all levels of government and business, labor, and community leaders to invest in the green economy, streamline permitting, and highlight Oakland culture. My administration’s efforts include:
Oakland, I stand before you, determined. I’m ready to fight for that safer Oakland, that more affordable Oakland, that more just Oakland we all deserve. Join me and stand up for our beloved town. We can and will do better, and together, we will fight for the resources we need to promote a strong, safe, and thriving Oakland
Mayor of Oakland
|Coming Soon: New High Tech Cameras to Help Combat Crime
The Oakland City Council has unanimously approved my proposal to install 300 high-tech cameras throughout the city. These cameras are not just regular license plate readers, as they can help the Oakland Police Department track criminal vehicles across the city based on their unique features such as make, model, and color.
This will greatly aid the police in their efforts to make arrests and gather evidence. I would like to express my gratitude to everyone who came together under the spirit of OneOakland to ensure that this critical community safety tool was approved for use.
|Mayor’s Advisory Council on Human Trafficking
Oakland will not stand by while humans and in many cases, children are trafficked and exploited. This why I have launched a Human Trafficking Advisory Council for Oakland. Community organizations, survivor advocates, and public safety agencies will work together to disrupt the organized criminal networks which prey on the most vulnerable and harm our communities.
|President Biden Announces Major Green Job Investments in Oakland
Last week, President Biden announced a major investment into green jobs including a $1.2 billion investment into California’s Hydrogen Hub.The California Hydrogen Hub includes the Port of Oakland– one of the largest economic engines on the west coast.
This announcement by President Biden is a win for Oakland, a win for our state, and a win for our planet. The clean hydrogen energy project in Oakland will build a healthier future and create local quality green jobs while reducing pollution impacts and transitioning to clean locally produced energy. We are grateful to President Biden for recognizing that Oakland is a leader in adopting and advancing clean energy technology. I want to thank the Oakland City Council, city staff, and the Port of Oakland for working in collaboration with the Newsom Administration and the State of California to secure this critical funding.
Auto Burglary Suppression Unit Makes Critical Arrests & Announces Social Media Reporting Pilot
I want to acknowledge the diligent work of the Oakland Police Department’s Auto Suppression Unit in identifying and apprehending several groups of auto burglary suspects and armed robbery suspects over the last three weeks. We will not tolerate individuals coming into Oakland and traumatize our residents. This work is ongoing and we are determined to ensure every neighborhood and commercial corridor is safe for our residents.
OPD is testing a new option to report auto burglaries in process on X and Instagram.
If you see an Auto Burglary in progress during the testing period, send a Direct Message (DM) to @OaklandAutoBurg on X & Instagram with details of individuals, vehicles, license plates, and the location starting Friday.
If it's safe, snap a pic/video from a distance.
Don't engage with individuals in these crimes.
|Just Future Summit 2023|
Last week, I was honored to welcome the attendees of the Just Future Summit in Oakland. People from across the US gathered to discuss building a future when communities of color can build wealth and live in healthy places filled with economic opportunity at the summit hosted by the Greenlining Institute. Events like this help Oakland’s hotels, businesses, and workers and help advance a more just and equitable future. Thank you The Greenlining Institute for choosing Oakland for this important summit!
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, I wanted to honor the youth who supported us in our outreach initiative Talking Transition.
These youth fellows were paid to do door to door and community outreach to gather feedback from communities across the city. Talking Transition was the largest single community outreach effort done by the city and at the core of that outreach were these young Oaklanders.
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