Challenging the typical top-down approach to community development, the Better Neighborhoods, Same Neighbors Initiative builds on decades of activism in East Oakland, and the recent East Oakland Neighborhood Initiative (EONI). EONI focused on deep engagement in six East Oakland neighborhoods: Melrose, Highland/Elmhurst, Sobrante Park, Brookfield Village/Columbia Gardens, Stonehurst, Coliseum/Rusdale/Lockwood/Havenscourt.
"Better Neighborhoods, Same Neighbors" is supported by California Strategic Growth Council’s Transformative Climate Communities Program with funds from California Climate Investments, a statewide initiative that puts billions of Cap-and-Trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy, and improving public health and the environment – particularly in disadvantaged communities.
June 26, 2020 Release: City of Oakland, CBOs Awarded $28.2 Million Grant for Transformative East Oakland Projects
The five projects in the “Better Neighborhoods, Same Neighbors” proposal are:
- 95th and International Housing, Health and Connectivity
The project, led by Related Companies of California and Acts Community Development, will create 55 units of 100% affordable housing (20% to 50% of Average Median Income (AMI) with 25% of the units designated for homeless populations) on 95th Avenue and International Boulevard. The ground floor will include a community health clinic.
Groundbreaking Press Release Fact Sheet
- San Leandro Creek Urban Greenway
A 1.2-mile trail will be opened to East Oakland residents, transforming a concrete barrier into a pathway for Deep East Oakland neighborhoods to connect to the regional Martin Luther King, Jr. Shoreline Park. Under the East Bay Regional Parks District, the trail will be used for active transportation, recreation, access to open space and environmental education programming.
- Community Greening
The Community Greening Project will bring together multiple community groups, organizations and local jurisdictions to plant 2,000 trees in the Project Area through a combination of street trees and trees on privately owned properties. Some of the trees will be locally sourced from the Planting Justice nursery, with the Oakland Parks and Recreation Foundation partnering with community organizations to provide training and paid internships for tree planting.
- Planting Justice Aquaponics Farm and Food Hub
Funds to acquire a historic three-acre nursery and support neighborhood residents in building out the largest/most productive urban aquaponics farm in the U.S. The site will produce hundreds of thousands of pounds of organic produce and edible nursery starts each year, create 27 living-wage jobs, house a food hub in Oakland’s most segregated neighborhood, and serve youth education, health/wellness, community development, and business incubation programming.
- Higher Ground & Scraper Bike Team Bike Share and Youth Development
The Scraper Bike Team will partner with Higher Ground to develop curriculum for bike safety and repair and teach the afterschool enrichment classes to youth. The Oakland Public Library will partner with Oakland Public Works to design and construct an expanded bike repair and programming space known as “The Shed” located at Martin Luther King, Jr. Branch Library. The City of Oakland’s Department of Transportation will collaborate with Scraper Bike Team and Higher Ground to implement and grow the East Oakland Mobility Action Plan.
The projects will be guided by the principles of community engagement, displacement avoidance, workforce development and climate resiliency throughout the four-year implementation period and will be stewarded by a to-be-formed stakeholder committee, comprised of the project co-applicants, community organizations and area residents. The Black Cultural Zone will lead business and community engagement, while the East Bay Permanent Real Estate Cooperative will lead the displacement avoidance work by connecting East Oakland residents with programs to halt displacement, build community wealth, and produce Additional Dwelling Units.
A critical component of the Better Neighborhoods, Same Neighbors TCC grant is the consistent community engagement and dissemination of information about the projects. The primary vehicle for ensuring the community is informed about the projects and engaged in the implementation of priority projects is through the TCC Stakeholder Committee. Within the first year of the grant term, the City will help coordinate the establishment of TCC Stakeholder Committee. The TCC Stakeholder Committee will function with the Lead Applicant (City of Oakland), Co-Applicants and community representatives having equal representation on a democratic and representative governing council (“Stakeholder Committee”).
There are many ways to get involved with the Better Neighborhoods, Same Neighbors proposal, including working or volunteering directly for partners, enrolling in the programs and initiatives and/ or joining the advisory group.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to get involved.
In addition to community members and partner organizations, staff from the following City departments had supporting roles in the “Better Neighborhoods, Same Neighbors” proposal:
- City Administrator’s Office
- Economic & Workforce Development
- Housing & Community Development
- Information Technology
- Mayor’s Office
- Oakland Public Library
- Oakland Workforce Development Board
- Parks, Recreation & Youth Development
- Planning & Building
- Public Works
- Race & Equity