Start on new downtown housing project, safer routes to school, transportation-housing funds, holiday events abound

New Housing on Downtown Garage, Alternative Parking Available More housing is about to come to District 2: The Merchants Garage (at 1314 Franklin St.) is scheduled to close November 15, with demolition beginning the next day. The developer, Carmel Partners, and the community reached an agreement to replace the parking structure near BART with an iconic, 40-story building consisting of 634 new homes (including approximately 27 to 54 new units of permanently affordable units on-site), nearly 17,000 square feet of retail space and a substantial community-benefits package that will help the neighborhood in a variety of ways. Continue reading

Abel's eNews: Update on interim ballpark protections, more potholes filled, tiny homes progress

Ballpark Update: Interim Protections to Planning CommissionI’ve been working with City staff to establish interim measures to protect tenants and small businesses in the Chinatown and Eastlake neighborhoods threatened by market speculation resulting from the Oakland Athletics’ recent announcement that they will be seeking to build a new ballpark on the site of the current Peralta Community College District’s headquarters (E. 7th St. at 5th Ave.). City staff are preparing a report that will be presented to the Planning Commission at its November 1 meeting. Continue reading

Abel's eNews: Repaving Cleveland Heights streets, safe routes to schools, paint your street, cleanup days

Homelessness: Shelter Crisis Ordinance Extended, Outdoor Safe Haven Sites The City Council has extended its declaration of a “shelter crisis” in Oakland for two more years, and this week approved the establishment of Safe Haven sites where homeless residents can stay and get access to resources for housing, showers, jobs, health treatment and other support services. I brought forward the original legislation in 2016. Continue reading

Abel's eNews: Neighborhood protections for ballpark, shelter crisis ordinance, updates on new housing, street safety and arts funding

Ballpark: Emergency Measures to Protect NeighborhoodBy now, I’m sure you’ve heard about the Oakland Athletics’ proposal to build a new ballpark at the Peralta Colleges headquarters site between Laney College and I-880. There is much to do before the City can make any decision about the proposed development (see my letter outlining community concerns). However, there are certain steps we need to take now to protect our neighborhoods from immediate impacts while that decision process takes its course. Continue reading

Abel's eNews: Defending Dreamers, feedback on A's ballpark, clean up our creeks!

Hope this newsletter continues to be useful and of interest to you. Please share it with your friends and neighbors. If you have any questions, comments or story ideas, please email me at    Fighting for Our Dreamers – and Our FutureTo our Dreamers: You are fighters, you are resilient. We stand with you and for you in this struggle. The vast majority of Americans stand with you: They see you serving bravely in our military, pursuing your education in hopes of a better life, working hard, creating small businesses, paying taxes, and helping every day to make our nation stronger. We stand united in this fight because this cause is bigger than you alone. We will win because your American Dream is the same as that of all the people born in this country. Our shared principles of freedom, fairness and opportunity are much bigger than the narrow-minded and short-sighted claims of this Republican administration. Our country is bigger – and better – than Trump. Continue reading

Abel's eNews: Cleaning up neighborhood graffiti and trash, planning an equitable Downtown, feedback on an new ballpark

    Building Makeovers: Cleaning Up Graffiti in District 2My team and I have had a number of conversations with East Lake merchants lately about graffiti and other acts of vandalism that affect their businesses as well as the streetscape experiences of residents and shoppers in the neighborhood. Continue reading

Abel’s eNews: Reforming the budget process, showing solidarity with immigrants, stopping sex trafficking

Fall Is Coming | The Oakland Episodes It’s not quite “Game of Thrones,” but it has been pretty busy at City Hall and around District 2 the past couple months. The Council’s August recess comes at an opportune time to recharge our batteries and get ready for an equally fast-paced fall. Continue reading

Abel’s eNews: Council passes “Healthy Future” budget, Pothole Blitz is here, Bikeshare comes to town

BUDGET Council approves City budget to help build a healthy future for our community Last week, the City Council passed a progressive and balanced budget that dramatically ramps up our citywide efforts to stop the displacement of current residents, provide services and housing for the homeless, fight illegal dumping, and implement a public-health approach to preventing violence in our neighborhoods. Focused around the principles of “Building a Healthy Future,” this budget makes substantial, strategic investments in our community’s core priorities and values – and underscores our steadfast commitment to build a stronger foundation for the things that most improve and enrich our quality of life.  Continue reading

Abel's eNews: A budget for a healthy future, new community pop-up on Broadway, free lunches for kids

Council Budget Includes Affordable Housing and District 2 PrioritiesWe’re getting closer to a City budget for FY 2017-19. The City Council president presented a revised budget proposal this week, and we will vote on the final budget next Monday, June 26. Thanks to everybody I’ve heard from for your input about city needs and priorities during the process. The latest version incorporates several of my priorities for District 2 while tackling our biggest citywide challenges. Continue reading