Protecting women's health, investing in housing, streets and safety

Protecting Women’s Health: New Oakland Law against Anti-Choice Deceptive Practices

Oakland’s “Pregnancy Information and Disclosure Protection” ordinance, which I co-authored, was approved by the City Council this week (a second, final reading is slated for July 19). This legislation against false advertising by anti-choice centers can be a model for other cities. Mindful of the Supreme Court’s recent ruling in defense of abortion rights, we can send a clear message across the country that misinformation about women’s health and reproductive rights will not be tolerated.

Delays in care, exacerbated by these centers’ deceptive practices, can mean women may have to get a more invasive, more expensive procedure, or may lose their right to terminate the pregnancy because too much time has passed and the pregnancy is too far along to lawfully terminate.

The Oakland ordinance builds on California’s Reproductive FACT Act, a new statewide law passed last fall, which requires crisis pregnancy centers to notify their clients if they are not medically licensed.

Investing in Oakland’s Future | Housing and Infrastructure Bond on the Ballot
We need your help to get more funding for street repairs, libraries, public safety and affordable housing in Oakland. At its July 19 meeting, the City Council will consider placing a proposed city infrastructure and housing bond on the November ballot. Voters will be asked to invest $600 million in safer streets and sidewalks, improved libraries and parks, and upgrades to our public-safety buildings and fire stations – to renovate them and make them more environmentally sustainable and less costly to maintain. Most of these needs are currently unfunded – meaning they will not get addressed unless a funding source is secured.

The housing component of this city measure ($100 million of the total) will also help protect long-term residents so they can stay in Oakland in safe, high-quality and affordable housing. We need a substantial and sustained funding source if we are to address the housing crisis that threatens Oakland’s economy and the quality of our neighborhoods. This bond will help achieve Oakland these goals.

With input from District 2 residents, I co-authored this measure – and fought to have more of the city bond funds to be used for affordable housing and will help address major street and pacing needs in District 2 neighborhoods.

I have also led the nearly year-long effort for a countywide housing bond that will generate approximately $90 million to build more affordable housing in Oakland for low-income residents, working families, seniors and the homeless. I urge you to learn more about both measures – and vote YES on November 8.

More Housing Updates: Owner-Occupancy Requirement for Secondary Units, Regulations for Short-Term Rentals
Councilmember Guillén has been pushing to put the owner-occupancy requirement back in the new rules for secondary units. The Planning Commission heard this issue at its June 22 meeting, and the matter will return to the full Council this fall. We will keep you posted on the date.

Councilmember Guillén also introduced a resolution that will direct the Planning and Building Department and the Planning Commission to prepare appropriate legislation to regulate short-term rentals (STR) such as those advertised on Airbnb. This legislation will seek to create a regulatory system where residents are able to responsibly offer their primary residences for short-term rental as long as this activity doesn’t adversely impact the quality of life of the neighborhood, reduce the supply of long-term rental housing, or displace current tenants.

Two of the new rules that Councilmember Guillén is pushing for would allow an short-term rental only if the home is the operator’s primary residence; and require that one of the property’s two units be owner-occupied if there is a secondary unit (this is one way to help reduce “party house” nuisances). Oakland must ensure that its supply of long-term housing is not reduced due to the conversion to full-time “STR hotels” or permanently rented vacation homes in residential neighborhoods.

Coal Ban Is Finalized
At its July 19 meeting, the City Council will finalize its decision to prohibit the handling and shipment of coal in Oakland. This coal ban is consistent with our existing climate action plan and environmental protections, and demonstrates that Oakland is committed to being a great place for climate-smart investment and innovation. The staff report found that fewer than 200 jobs would be generated by the trans-loading and storage of coal. These jobs will be there for alternative commodities that can be shipped safely without endangering the health and safety of residents. Oakland can have clean, healthy jobs, jobs that will be more economically sustainable long-term than those from dirty-energy sources. The Council and City staff also concluded the coal ban will not legally impede the developer’s use of the property. Everybody wants the old Oakland Army Base developed – and that revitalization can and will happen in a way that is vibrant, resilient and equitable. 



Rebuilding Astro Park Tot Lot Reaches July 1 Fundraising Goal
Thanks to an in-kind contribution from Signature Properties to provide the demolition work needed to build a new Tot Lot, we reached our $40,000 fundraising goal for July 1. We still need your help to meet our ultimate goal of $100,000 by November. Check out the project facebook page for more info and to donate. Every little bit helps!

Last Chance to Report Potholes for District 2 Blitz | July 18-22
You have a few more days let to report potholes to be fixed this month. Public Works will conduct its annual Pothole Blitz in District 2 on July 18-22. They will work from a list of all potholes within each council district and fill potholes by the highest priority within that district. So be sure to submit those requests now! To report a problem pothole in your neighborhood, use the mobile app SeeClickFix, Public Works or email

National Night Out | Register by July 15
Oakland neighborhood and community groups who want to host a National Night Out event (August 2, 7:00-9:00 pm) should register with the City of Oakland to have their street blocked off at no-cost. National Night Out is a time for neighbors to get together and have a block party or other outdoor event to build neighborhood spirit and unity. These efforts are a first defense against crime. Block parties can be hosted anywhere, including apartment buildings or a nearby park. For more info or to register:


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Building Community…One Pizza at a Time
The best way to build community is with personal face-to-face interaction. It was great to hang out with District 2 neighbors. Thank you for joining us for Pizza & Beer night. I appreciate all your thoughts and suggestions you shared with me. And a special thanks to Leaning Tower of Pizza for providing the delicious pizza – check them out this summer.


More Pizza Is A Good Thing | Welcome to Philomena
District 2 welcomes another new business to our community – Philomena Pizza (1801 14th Ave), which has its grand opening this Saturday (July 9). Stop by then for some amazing food, great beer and games! Win some prizes and get to know each other. And check them out for lunch, dinner or weekend brunch. A big group of neighbors gave them a test-run during my walk-and-talk tour of 14th Ave. streetscape improvements last month, and we can testify that the food is delicious.


Tiny Houses in Oakland: Think Small, Dream Big
Check out the SF Chronicle’s story about the benefits and potential of our tiny houses project, which Councilmember Guillén secured City funding for last month.


Oakland Symphony Makes Beautiful Music | Dealing with Fireworks on the Fourth
The Oakland Symphony performed at a free concert and fireworks celebration at the Craneway Pavilion (Richmond) this holiday weekend. About 6,000 people were in attendance, including several District 2 residents – one of whom was the event’s host, KDFC’s Dianne Nicolini. The Oakland Youth Symphony kicked off the festivities –they’re off to Cuba this week for a cultural exchange (read more). We wish them well. I hope we will soon be hosting a 4th of July concert at a venue in Oakland – the grounds at the Henry J. Kaiser center (the same team that renovated Fort Point/Craneway is also revitalizing the Kaiser center) comes to mind. Stay tuned.

I’m hoping that the return of a public fireworks celebration in Oakland might be one part of an overall strategy to curb the number of illegal fireworks in our neighborhoods. I spent the 4th of July with the Oakland Fire Department, where they responded to multiple calls for service, including a structure fire in District 2 that may have been caused by illegal fireworks. 

As a result, at the Council meeting this week, I asked the City Administrator to report back to the Council on the City's efforts on what is being done to deal with the excessive illegal fireworks that were a disturbing nuisance for many residents around town, especially for people who suffer from PTSD – as well as for pets startled by the sudden, loud noises.



Residential Parking Permits Now Available Online
The City of Oakland launched a new online portal last month to make it easier to apply for a new Residential Parking Permit. The new process allows you to apply for parking permits online instead of coming to the Parking Citation Assistance Center. Apply online For more info: (800) 500-6484


Free Boat Rentals, Swimming and More Park Fun in July
Join friends and family at Oakland’s parks to celebrate National Park and Recreation Month. Throughout July, check out community-appreciation events at recreation centers and parks across Oakland. Events range from free boat rentals at the Lake Merritt Boating Center (568 Bellevue, adjacent to Lakeside Park) and free swimming at Oakland pools to family carnivals and movie nights. For more info

Summer Reading at the Library – Explore the Bay Area
Through August 6, the Oakland Public Library is offering its annual Summer Reading programs for young kids, teens and adults. Teens can participate in the Teen Summer Passport – earn digital badges and engage with their community while visiting cultural spots around the Bay Area. Free lunch for youth will be available at several library locations. Visit Oakland Summer Reading or drop by your neighborhood library and pick up a reading log.

Oakland Kids Get an Early Start 
The City of Oakland has secured more than $16 million in federal funding to provide comprehensive and full-day, early-childhood learning experiences for more than 1,000 children and families throughout Oakland. These funds will provide high-quality services for low-income children (to age 5) at more than a dozen centers citywide. As the Oakland Unified School District expands its Transitional Kindergarten program for four-year-olds, there is an opportunity for Head Start to focus on the very earliest years of development, thereby creating a seamless system of early care for families. The City will also embark on new partnerships with OUSD and Laney College to provide Head Start wrap-around support services.

State Money in New Budget for Policing Initiatives and Quake-Retrofit Loans
Funding in the newly approved state budget was specifically set aside for Oakland that provides more than $600,000 for Oakland’s anti-violence Ceasefire program and another $325,000 for the City’s “Grow Our Own” police pipeline project to recruit and hire Oakland residents for OPD.

More public-safety news from the new budget: One of the City’s top legislative priorities in the Capitol this year – including advocacy efforts by Councilmembers Guillén and Kalb – was the creation of a seismic-safety revolving loan program for retrofitting homes and multi-unit buildings. It was included in the new budget, as was $3 million for the statewide “Brace and Bolt” program.

Got a question or problem with city services? We have added a constituent-request form to our City website to help make it easier to communicate with us.