Abel’s eNews: National Night Out, free waste drop-offs, cleanup days for San Antonio/Chinatown, recycling award for local bakery, info site on homeless programs

Back to School: Ready for a Great Year!   
Good luck to all of our teachers, staff, students and families returning to school this week. Shout out to everyone who serves the future of our city – our youth!

Thanks also to all the neighbors, fire fighters and other volunteers for welcoming our young scholars of all ages to the new school year. I had the opportunity Monday morning to join the students and staff at Garfield Elementary – Wildcats! – for a great day full of optimism and hope!

Go Franklin, Garfield, Lincoln, La Escuelita, Crocker, Roosevelt, Bella Vista, Cleveland, Dewey, Oakland High and MetWest High!


Three Block Parties | Don’t Dump – Drop Off Bulky Waste Items
• East Oakland: Saturday, August 25, 7101 Edgewater Dr.
• Central Oakland: Saturday, September 15, 250 Victory Court
• Jack North/West Oakland: Saturday, September 29, Engineer Rd. at Wake Ave.
Drop-off times: 9:00 am-1:00 pm

Oakland Public Works is hosting three “Bulky Block Parties” where residents (bring proof of Oakland residence) can drop off bulky unwanted items – rather than dump them on the street. We will have free dumpsters for large items as well as education/waiver information for residents and landlords.

Curbside Bulky Pickup service is provided by Waste Management of Alameda County as a part of the City of Oakland’s Zero Waste program.

Information about curbside Bulky Pickup service is available online. Homeowners may call Waste Management directly to schedule a bulky pickup at 510-613-8710.

Renters are entitled to one bulky pickup per living unit per year. To access the service, tenants can ask their property managers to schedule a pickup. Property managers are required by law to provide access to Bulky Pickup service to tenants. Property managers may also sign a waiver allowing their tenants to schedule pickups directly with Waste Management.

A good portion of illegal dumping in Oakland comes from local residential sources, not just from out-of-town contractors. This is one of those persistent problems where the solution comes not just in the form of a new city service but requires a combination of community members and the government working together: eliminating dumping on our streets means adding a city program AND changing people’s behavior. Stopping illegal dumping is a community effort that we’re taking on together – join us!


Saturday, September 8 | San Antonio Park Day of Action
8:00 am-12:00 pm | meet at San Antonio Park tennis courts, 1701 E. 19th St.
One of my goals as a Councilmember has been to improve every neighborhood in District 2. While we’ve made other improvements at Astro Park and Lincoln Rec Center, I’m glad to announce that I have secured funding and a partnership to make real improvements to the historic San Antonio Park.

Four years ago, I heard we need a new bathroom, new lights and fix our park. I’m proud that we are taking steps next month to make real changes.

Please join me and my team and neighbors, along with the Alameda County Building Trades Council and Oakland Public Works, to help make much-needed repairs and clean up our park. On our list of projects: pick up trash, rake leaves, painting and sanding, install lighting, bench and garbage repair, fix play equipment, repair track around soccer field, add mulch to tree basins, patch concrete, and install new water fountains.

Morning coffee, pastries and snacks will be provided. Bring your own water bottle and join us at Noon for a short program.

For more info: Victor Flores, vflores@oaklandca.gov, 510-238-7021 Sign up to volunteer (or contact Victor)


Creating Safer, Stronger Communities – Block by Block
National Night out it one of my favorite days of the year!  More than 2,700 people registered for District 2 block parties and neighborhood mixers for National Night Out on August 7. My staff and I stopped by 32 of the venues! The entertainment ranged from an orchestral concert at the Main Library to a Q&A prize game that I moderated for Chinatown seniors.  We also had tasty snacks and enjoyed great music! 

Thanks to all the gracious hosts and helpers who again made National Night Out a great success in our district.


Helping the Homeless
Homelessness is a growing epidemic across our region and our nation. The City of Oakland has pulled together information about our community’s package of available resources and actions we’re taking to help address the problem for our most vulnerable residents. The new website also provides actionable resources and information about how residents, businesses, and community organizations can support the City and our partners in this complex work. Read more (please share this link with your neighbors)

Sunday, August 19 | Chinatown Cleanup
10:00 am-1:00pm | meet at Pacific Renaissance Plaza fountain, 388 9th St.
To celebrate Chinatown Street Fest on August 25-26, Councilmember Guillén and OCA are hosting a Chinatown PickItUp street cleaning event. Bring your family and friends to beautify Oakland’s historic Chinatown and welcome the upcoming Street Fest. Bring your water bottle. Water and light refreshments will be provided. For more info: Chinatown Liaison Jessica Chen, clchen@oaklandca.gov, 510-238-7022

Sunday, August 19 | Abel’s Community Office Hours in Chinatown
12:00 pm-2:00 pm | meet in front of Asian Health Services Clinic, 835 Webster St.
Meet Councilmember Guillén after the Chinatown cleanup. To schedule a 10-minute individual chat: Jessica Chen, 510-238-7022 or clchen@oaklandca.gov

Bike and Pedestrian Commission Seeks Members | Apply by August 31
The City of Oakland is accepting applications to fill three seats on the Oakland Bicyclist and Pedestrian Advisory Commission for three-year terms starting in January 2019. Commissioner duties are described on the commission’s website. Candidates must live in Oakland and have a demonstrated history of professional and/or community involvement with bicyclist and/or pedestrian issues. In selecting commissioners, the mayor will strive for equity and geographic representation of Oakland’s neighborhoods. Download the form if you’re interested in applying.


Chinatown’s Ruby King Bakery Wins Recycling Award
Ruby King Bakery in the heart of Oakland’s Chinatown neighborhood has received a 2018 Business Efficiency Award from StopWaste, the public agency in charge of reducing waste in Alameda County. The bakery is among five businesses recognized countywide for outstanding environmental performance and business efficiency this year.

Owners Weng Kee Fu and his wife Sue Zhen Du have run the bakery for more than 30 years, getting rave reviews for their pastries, especially their signature egg tarts.

The bakery set up a model recycling and composting program, with exemplary recycling stations in both the production and customer areas. Weng Kee was motivated by environmental factors, saying he “didn’t want his children to live with growing landfills.”

Bakery scraps and food-soiled paper, like napkins and paper coffee cups, now go into the organics bin, although most of their coffee grounds are picked up by neighbors for backyard composting.

There are also economic savings. With the new three-bin system, Ruby King Bakery was able to cut its weekly garbage collection service in half, going to just one cubic yard.


New Gateway for Children’s Fairyland | Ribbon-cutting on August 27
Children’s Fairyland, the oldest storybook theme park in the nation, is getting Oakland’s newest sign – and it’s a story in itself. The 19-foot sign proclaiming “CHILDREN’S FAIRYLAND” in 3-foot-tall letters (photos with Executive Directive CJ Hirschfield) was installed at the park’s Grand Ave. entrance last Friday. Bring your kids for the ribbon-cutting ceremony on Monday, August 27.

At night, the sign will be illuminated by LED downlights. The sign is the finishing touch on the 15-month renovation of Lakeside Park, which included the new Fairyland entrance and a shortened, more navigable crosswalk at Bellevue Ave.

The sign was designed by Ace Architects, which also designed Fairyland’s open-air Aesop’s Playhouse, and fabricated by Oakland-based Arrow Sign Company. Funding for the entrance renovations and other Lakeside Park improvements came from Measure WW bonds passed by Oakland voters in 2008.

Woodminster Summer Musicals: Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “In the Heights”
August 31, September 1-2, 7, 8-10
Don’t miss the final show of Woodminster’s 2018 season. “In The Heights” – the first Broadway hit by Lin-Manuel Miranda of Hamilton fame – won four ony Awards in 2008, plus a Grammy, and was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize. It’s a lively, energetic, infectious modern show that addresses the themes of immigration and the American Dream. Live orchestra, outdoors in Oakland’s beautiful Woodminster Amphitheater. Tickets are available in advance or at the door. Check the website for discounts, including half-price tickets for Oakland residents on opening night Aug 31, free and steeply reduced price tickets for children and teens 16 and younger, half-price tickets at the door for 17-30 year olds, group rates, and more.


Back to School | Free Transit Passes for Students
We voted to fund a program to provide free AC Transit passes for students through Measure BB. The program is now being piloted in several OUSD schools, including Roosevelt Middle and Oakland High in District 2. For more info

Want to Grow Your Business? Apply for a State Tax Credit by August 20
The California Competes Tax Credit is an income tax credit available to businesses of all sizes that want to expand in or relocate to California. The program considers factors such as the number of jobs created or retained and the proposed compensation. Applications are being accepted through August 20. Apply now

Several Oakland businesses have participated in this tax-credit program, including Baby List, Borrego Solar Systems, Cohen Ventures (dba Energy Solutions), Fehr & Peers, Hodo, Kemeera (dba Fathom), MACH Energy, Matson, Peerless Coffee, Plazita Schools, Rockbot, Samuel C. Derouin (dba Axial to Terminal) and the Willdan Group.