Fixing Streets, Supporting our Rec Centers, Making Progress on Affordable Housing

This week marks the end of the school year and the beginning of summer. I'd like to thank all our teachers, principals, and educators for all you do in service to our young people. I hope you find our newsletter informative. -Abel   Fixing Sidewalks and StreetsConstruction to repair broken sidewalks on E. 34th Street from 13th Ave. to Park Blvd. began last week. We’re also working with EBMUD on a plan to fully repave streets after they make their upgrades, not just having them patched up. In a related move, Mayor Schaaf announced the establishment of Oakland’s first Department of Transportation yesterday. The new department will help increase the City’s ability to accelerate street and infrastructure maintenance, provide new mobility alternatives, and leverage the accelerated repair of our streets to make them “complete streets” that increase pedestrian safety and support the needs of drivers, transit riders and bicyclists alike. Continue reading

Oakland gets federal dollars for homeless, passes landmark medical cannabis changes

Oakland Secures Federal Funds for Homeless Shelter and SupportI have been advocating for improved services and solutions to the chronic problem of homelessness and the need for more shelters for this vulnerable segment of our community. I’m happy to report that the City of Oakland has secured more than $4.8 million in federal grants this month to provide immediate housing and support for youth, families and adults grappling with housing insecurity and homelessness in Oakland, where on any given night more than 1,300 people are unsheltered. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has renewed all five of the City’s current grants and added a new grant to Oakland’s Community Housing Services that will help establish rapid-rehousing services for 60 homeless youth. The grants will free up additional local dollars to add shelter beds and explore more innovative long-term solutions to this growing problem. Continue reading

Investing in infrastructure -- and a tot lot; new bike lanes opened

Happy Bike to Work Day! This morning we had a “grand opening” for the new Grand Avenue Bike Lanes – a perfect way to start the day! Our pedal pool started at the northern edge of District 2 at the Piedmont/Oakland border and made the quick 15-minute ride to City Hall, where bicyclists were treated to a pancake breakfast.  If you haven’t walked, biked or driven along Grand Avenue lately, check the new lanes out and visit some of our many great merchants on the corridor. Share your photos of Bike to Work Day with hashtags #BTWD2016 and #OakD2.    -Abel  Continue reading

Art replaces graffiti, finding funds for affordable housing

      Bella Vista Volunteers Create New Mosaic MuralCouncilmember Guillén is proud to announce the progress on the first of several mural projects coming to District 2. The first mural, “Garden of Delights,” is a mosaic at the Bella Vista Child Development Center (along E. 24th St. near the corner of 10th Ave.). The design for the new artwork was created by local artist Pam Consear. An enthusiastic group of kids, parents and neighbors from the Bella Vista School and surrounding neighborhood have been helping with the installation. Funding for this mural and the other six murals in the works comes from Councilmember Guillén’s graffiti-abatement budget for District 2. The murals were selected through a community wide call for proposals last spring. We’ll keep you posted on the unveiling of the “Garden of Delights” mural next month.  Continue reading

Big steps in fight against housing crisis, Earth Day in D2

     COMMUNITY RALLIES TO CLEAN UP SAN ANTONIO PARK Thanks to the more than 40 neighborhood volunteers, Parks and Rec staff, and Mayor Schaaf for pitching in to clean up San Antonio Park as part of District 2’s Chávez Day of Service earlier this month. Park benches got a fresh coat of paint; graffiti was cleaned off; and about two-dozen bags of trash were collected. After all the hard work, we had a great community picnic to celebrate, with BBQ by Oakland Firefighters Local 55 and beverages by Safeway. Thanks to everybody for making the day a great success! Continue reading

A special message about the Council's moratorium on no-cause evictions and unauthorized rent increases

Rents in Oakland have increased at a phenomenal rate over the past year, and the escalation of evictions – more than 11,000 eviction notices filed since January 2015, or roughly 12% of Oakland’s rental units – is frightening. When you consider that a majority of families in our city are renters, and the typical renter earns less than $40,000 per year, it’s easy to understand why many current residents are finding it increasingly difficult to find an apartment they can afford in Oakland. Continue reading

Cleaning up parks, getting feedback on plans and priorities

  Today, Oakland Unified Schools, the Peralta Colleges and the State of California will recognize the birthday of César E. Chávez – truly one of the great labor and civil rights leader of our time. Sadly, the City of Oakland does not yet recognize this holiday. When I was a trustee for the Peralta Colleges, I worked closely with SEIU and the Peralta Federation of Teachers to make the celebration of his historic contributions – and those of the movement he led and still inspires to this day – a reality on our local community-college campuses. I’m hopeful that, in future years, the City of Oakland will officially recognize César Chávez's birthday and his legacy of economic justice and peaceful nonviolence to change the agricultural industry in California and throughout the country. In recognition of César, I hope you'll join me in San Antonio Park this Saturday… ¡Si se puede! Yes, We Can!-Abel Continue reading

What's new in housing, parking and parks

COUNCIL APPROVES NEW HOUSING FOR 12TH St. PARCEL, MAXIMIZES PUBLIC GOOD The City Council voted 6-1 to use the 12th Street remainder parcel to create 360 new units of mixed-income housing, including 108 units for low- and moderate-income residents (30% of the total), and secure $66 million in tax revenues from the development to fund essential community services citywide and build additional affordable housing on other sites throughout Oakland. This decision, made from among three proposals that all contained affordable housing, maximizes the public good from this one-acre parcel. I encourage you to read my full remarks from the Council meeting for a more detailed examination of the reasoning behind this decision. Continue reading