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.   


June Ballot: YES on Measure AA to Protect Infrastructure and a Resilient Economy

I urge you to join me in voting for Measure AA on the June 7 ballot to protect and restore thousands of acres of the San Francisco Bay for future generations. Measure AA will improve the Bay for people and wildlife, while strengthening the resiliency of our local economy and preparations against climate-change impacts. Measure AA will help filter out pollution and harmful toxins in the Bay; improve water quality; restore habitat for fish, birds and wildlife; expand Bay trails and shoreline access; and protect low-lying communities and critical infrastructure from floods.

With much of the Bay Area’s vital infrastructure – including airports, hospitals, water-treatment plants and many miles of highways – located at or below sea level, coupled with an aging levee system and reduced wetlands, damages could reach more than $10 billion.

If passed by the voters, Measure AA would complete critical Bay restoration and shoreline-protection projects through a $12/year parcel tax on Bay Area property owners – raising $500 million over 20 years to help restore more than 15,000 acres of wetlands and tidal marsh – and will help us leverage even more state and federal funding.


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Building a New Tot Lot at Astro Park | Donate in May!
We didn’t let the rain dampen our kickoff of the campaign for a new Astro Park Tot Lot. We raised more than $1,000 on Saturday, bringing the total from early donors to nearly $12,000. Our goal is to reach $25,000 by the end of May – which will allow the City to begin the demolition and site-preparation process. If the rain kept you home last Saturday, please consider donating now: We’re also looking for in-kind donations and services, including demolition and site leveling. To learn more about the project and different ways you can participate: Richard Raya,

Saturday, May 14 | Chinatown Graffiti Cleanup Day and Adopt-a-Block Campaign
8:30 am-2:00 pm | meet at Pacific Renaissance Plaza, 388 9th St.
Join Councilmember Guillén and community volunteers for another graffiti cleanup day in Chinatown. As part of National Asian Real Estate Association of America’s “Building Community Day” and Asian American Heritage Month, the AREAA Great East Bay Chapter, the Chinatown Neighborhood Crime Prevention Council and Councilmember Guillén also invite everybody to help kick off the Adopt-a-Block program. To sign up to volunteer and for more info: Dinh Truong,

Wednesday, June 1 | Hearing on Additional Changes to Secondary-Unit Regulations
Planning Commission Meeting, 6:00 pm | City Hall, Hearing Room 1
Councilmember Guillén is pushing to reinstate the owner-occupancy requirement for secondary units, and we need your help. Please contact the other councilmembers to let them know you support the owner-occupancy requirement (contact info here). Also, at its June 1 meeting, the Planning Commission will consider the three amendments that Councilmember Guillen previously introduced when the Council passed the ordinance in February: Establish that the City’s zoning regulations do not invalidate stricter regulations that may be imposed by a homeowners’ association’s Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&Rs); implement a procedure that requires applicants to provide evidence that the proposed new unit complies with applicable CC&Rs, such as those of the Lakeshore Homes Association in District 2; and evaluate the designation of the Harrison-Oakland-MacArthur area as a “transit hub” where off-site parking requirements would be relaxed for secondary units within one-half mile of the intersection of Oakland Ave. and MacArthur Blvd./Santa Clara Ave. For more info on the new regulations For more info or to share your views: Strategic Planning Manager Ed Manasse, and Councilmember Guillén’s office, Maria Henderson,



Changes Coming for Chinatown Parking This Summer
City staff met with community members this week to discuss proposed parking changes in Chinatown, including combining yellow zones and metered parking on several blocks. At these blocks, parking spaces would be designated loading zones from 7:00-10:00 am, and two-hour metered parking from 10:00 am-6:00 pm Monday to Saturday. This change should be implemented in about three months. For more info: Public Works Agency Assistant Engineer Leo Hernando,

Council Hearing on Fossil Fuel Transportation at Oakland Army Base Terminal
The City Council held a special meeting on Monday to receive information and testimony about the public health and safety impacts of the transportation, loading, handling and/or export of fuel oil and gasoline products through the Oakland Bulk and Oversized Terminal proposed to be located at the Oakland Army Base; the adequacy of existing regulations; and the City’s ability to regulate the transportation and handling of such products. A copy of the proposed Oakland Bulk and Oversized Terminal’s Basis of Design is available online.



The State of Latinos: A Cinco de Mayo Call to Action

For Cinco de Mayo last week, I organized a “call to action” forum on “The State of Latinos” in California. More than 100 participants joined experts and elected officials for this vital conversation. The progress of California is directly tied to the health and prosperity of Latino families and communities in California. On the economic front, Latinos in California paid $34 billion in federal taxes, $32 billion in Social Security and Medicare contributions, and $17 billion in state/local taxes in 2013. The forum speakers presented findings from the latest research and trends on education success, economic mobility and political influence in the Latino community as well as the potential impact of Latino voters on key races on the June ballot. (Every 30 seconds, a Latino turns 18 and is eligible to vote).

The forum was hosted by the League of California Cities – Latino Caucus, LinkedIn, Hispanics of LinkedIn Alliance (HOLA), and the Latino Community Foundation. Besides the enlightening info and dialogue, the event also raised about $4,000 for college scholarships for Latino students. Thanks to everybody who made the forum a big success – so much so that we hope to make it an annual event. Check out the program at  #StateofLatinos and tune in to KPFA to hear the story.

East Lake Cleanup
Thanks to the East Lake Merchants Association, local youth and dedicated community volunteers who joined us last weekend to spruce up our East Lake neighborhood, picking up trash, planting flowers, and painting over graffiti. A great lunch was generously donated by Lee’s Sandwiches, with tacos from Anna Wong. Special thanks to Thu Moon Pham for organizing the East Lake Merchants, Ray’s Electric for hanging the Eastlake banners along International Blvd. and the Vietnamese American Community Center of the East Bay for their participation and use of their facility once the rain forced us inside. Check out the action


D2 Students Show Off Science Skills
Oakland High environmental-sciences students demonstrated their science and innovation skills during my visit accompanied by OUSD Superintendent Wilson, State Superintendent Torlakson and Mayor Schaaf last week. Great lessons on monitoring the turbidity of Lake Merritt water to building solar panels – plus taking solar-power suitcases (photo) to rural Kenya during their spring break. The future is in good hands. I’m proud of our District 2 Wildcats!

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Share the Road: More Bikes, More Bike Lanes in Oakland
The number of bicycle commuters in Oakland has more than doubled since 2007, and the city’s bikeway network has grown by 40%. This week, Oakland added two more bike-friendly sections to the roadway. In addition to the Grand Avenue road diet, the new Telegraph Avenue Complete Streets Project was also launched this week, with the installation of the East Bay’s first urban streets protected bike lanes, in which bike lanes are placed next to the curb, where cars are normally parked – providing a buffer from moving traffic.

Thursday, May 19 | Biking the East Bay Regional Parks
6:30 pm | Main Library, Bradley Walters Room, 125 14th St. 
Join East Bay Regional Park District staff to learn more about accessing East Bay trails and connecting to all the bike-friendly resources the Parks have to offer.

Wednesday, May 25 | Bike Route Show & Tell Workshop
6:00 pm | Main Library, Bradley Walters Room, 125 14th St.
Avid local cyclists from the Oakland Yellow Jackets, Pedal Inn Bike Tours, Bicycle Trails Council of the East Bay and more will share a few epic adventures. You’re also invited to step up to the podium and inspire others with your own routes.

Oakland Chinatown Tours
Saturday, May 21, 10:00 am-12:30 pm | Pacific Renaissance Plaza, 388 Ninth St., meet at the fountain
As part of the 2016 Oakland Tours season, explore this multi-ethnic downtown district packed with shops, restaurants and cultural institutions, and learn about the contributions made by Chinese and other Asian immigrants to California’s history. Mark your calendar: The tour will also be offered June 29, July 6, August 6, August 31, September 24 and October 19. RSVP: For more info on all the downtown-area tours (Old Oakland, Uptown to the Lake, Preservation Park, Waterfront and more)


Saturday, May 14 | Free Compost Giveaway
9:00 am-1:00 pm | Kaiser Convention Center Parking Lot, 10 Tenth St. (enter via west end of 10th St.)
Take home a free bag of compost made from Oakland food scraps and certified for organic farming. Take the pledge to compost for a greener, cleaner Oakland. You can also get a free kitchen pail to collect your food scraps at home. For more info