Abel’s eNews: More improvements at San Antonio Park, neighborhood meetings in October, ideas for infrastructure projects, update on street repairs

Update on More Improvements at San Antonio Park - 
Our work to improve San Antonio Park continues. The track around the soccer field has been refreshed with decomposed granite and looks great. We hope to have the new bathrooms installed beginning next week. I’m working on securing funds to fix the soccer field and dilapidated tennis courts as our next step. If you would like to help: Sarah Ting, sting@oaklandca.gov

Updates on Other Street-Safety Improvements
In November 2016, voters overwhelmingly approved Measure KK, which I co-authored, to provide $350 million over the next decade to make needed street repairs. That money is being put to work now, with $25 million in Measure KK spending approved by the City Council in the 2017-19 budget. Among the upcoming projects in the coming months:

- Intersection improvements around the Lake Merritt BART station.

- Street repaving on E. 8th St., 8th Ave., 4th St., 13th Ave. and E. 18th St.

- New stop signs, restriped crosswalks and two full-stop intersections to be installed on 13th Ave.


Saturday, October 13 | Chinatown Community Health and Safety Fair
10:00 am-2:00 pm | Lincoln Recreation Center, 261 11th St.
Hosted by the Asian Advisory Committee on Crime and the Oakland Chinatown Lions Club, this annual community health and safety fair will provide personal health, dental, vision, education and safety-awareness classes for Oakland residents. This year’s safety discussion will be focused on homelessness issues. Police officers will conduct presentations in multiple languages, including Spanish, Cantonese, Mandarin, Vietnamese, Cambodian and English. Free food and beverages will be provided.

Monday, October 15 | Cleveland Heights/China Hill Neighborhood Meeting
6:00-7:30 pm | St. Vartan Church, 650 Spruce St.
Please join Councilmember Guillén, neighbors and representatives from the Oakland Police Department and the Department of Transportation for the next Cleveland Heights neighborhood meeting. We will discuss updates on public safety and traffic issues in the neighborhood as well as any new concerns you may have. For more info and RSVP: Pamela Erickson, 510-238-7023, perickson@oaklandca.gov

Wednesday, October 17 | Grand Lake Neighbors Meeting
7:00-8:30 pm | Lakeshore Avenue Baptist Church, 3534 Lakeshore Ave.
Join your friends and Grand Lake neighbors for this month’s Neighborhood Council meeting for OPD beats 14Y and 16X. For more info: Pamela Erickson, 510-238-7023, perickson@oaklandca.gov

Wednesday, October 17 | Estuary Park Community Meeting
6:00-8:00 pm | Jack London Aquatic Center, 115 Embarcadero
Join your friends and neighbors to help shape the future of Oakland’s Estuary Park. The City is hosting a series of three community meetings to gather public input and ideas, review draft designs, and present a final design proposal. You can also fill out the online survey. Read more about the project. RSVP: a.sabo@circlepoint.com

What’s Your Idea for Funding Infrastructure and Facilities in District 2? | Deadline October 21
The City of Oakland has improved its process for funding capital projects to ensure that our money is rooted in community values and priorities. Capital projects include facilities and infrastructure, ranging from revitalizing fire stations to repaving broken streets to building a new recreation center. If you have recommendations for a potential project – particularly one in District 2 – to be considered for the upcoming two-year Capital Improvement Program, submit a request online by Sunday, October 21. For questions about project requests in District 2: aguillen@oaklandca.gov, 510-238-7002



Re-launching Junk Boat at Lincoln Square Park
We cut the ribbon last Friday to “re-launch” Chinatown’s beloved Junk Boat, the whimsical, half-century-old playground structure at Lincoln Square Park, celebrating the completion of renovations. The Junk Boat is an important symbol for the community and a safe, welcoming place for our children to play and interact with friends and family.

Rebuilding the play structure was a labor of love – and made possible by City and community financial support. Along with support from the Wa Sun Community Service Club and other Chinatown organizations, I secured $195,000 in Community Development Block Grant funds to finance the renovations through the first-ever Participatory Budgeting Project for CDBG funds. With the earlier funding for the basketball court renovations, that represents almost $350,000 total investments there just in the past two years (plus another $50,000 to keep the center open two extra hours a day to provide more programs).

One of the next projects is updating the fences around the park, including replacing the temporary fence, old and rusty sections of the existing perimeter and the vehicle gate – another $350,000 in funding for that is already in place.

The City’s commitment to restoring the Junk Boat is a signal for more resources for Lincoln in the future. I want us to put more Measure KK funds into our recreation centers. We also have soda-tax revenue that can help support health and recreation programs at Lincoln Rec Center and Chinatown. There is also state Prop 68 money available for park programs next year – and I’m going to make sure Oakland is applying for those grants in support of our parks and open spaces.

October 18-20 | Autumn Lights Festival at the Lake
6:00-11:00 pm | Gardens at Lake Merritt, 666 Bellevue Ave. (off Grand Ave., just below Harrison St.)
Support City Gardens at Lake Merritt! Imagine yourself immersed in lush gardens brightly illuminated with mesmerizing art installations created by talented Bay Area artists. Join Friends of the Gardens at Lake Merritt and the City of Oakland for the 7th Annual Autumn Lights Festival near the shores of Lake Merritt. Enjoy scores of larger-than-life art pieces lit up against the night sky, live music, a new interactive kid’s area and delicious locally made food and beverages. Read more and buy tickets soon.



Residents Donate Everyday Essentials for Families in Need
A huge thank you to our friends who donated basic goods for our neighbors without homes. We collected more than 50 pounds of toiletries, socks and other basic essentials, and delivered them to the Housing Resource Center as part of its Essentials Drive on Monday.

The Housing Resource Center gets regular visits from Oakland residents who are transitioning to new housing, have recently been displaced, or are unsheltered. Families and individuals often find themselves in need of everyday grooming supplies. The center brings vulnerable Oaklanders much-needed supplies for their everyday experience. Read more about center resources and services

Over $1 Million in Cultural Funding Grants Awarded
The City Council approved more than $1.1 million in 2018-19 grants to Oakland-based nonprofit organizations and individual artists through the City’s Cultural Funding Program. The 79 grants range from $4,999 to $37,500, and went to 69 different recipients. The funds will support more than 50,000 arts events and activities citywide, most of them offered free or low-cost to the public. Nearly 9,000 Oakland students will also be served through 64 artist residencies funded by the program.

The grants support a wide range of Oakland-based artists and nonprofits providing arts and cultural services; infuse Oakland’s neighborhood with arts and cultural activities that increase exposure to, understanding of and respect for diverse cultural heritages as well as support arts activities that engage the community; and support arts-education activities in Oakland’s schools.

October 16-18 | Oakland Clean Economy Week
The VERGE 18 conference and expo will bring more than 2,000 sustainability and resiliency-minded individuals to town during Oakland Clean Energy Week. The forum’s three tracks on the circular economy, clean-energy solutions and clean transportation will address practical solutions and climate action by companies and cities around the world. A diversified renewable-energy grid, open to the public, will also be set up on 10th St. north of Broadway to power the conference at the Oakland Convention Center. The Cleantech Open West Innovation Showcase will feature clean-economy startup firms.