Subject line: Abel’s eNews: Join in spring clean-up days, new homeless center, new traffic lights, state honors for Oakland school


City Moves to Acquire New Homeless Center for Shelter and Services
Earlier this week, the Community Economic Development Committee voted to move forward on acquiring a single-room occupancy hotel on West Grand Ave., which will expand the number of City-owned shelter beds for homeless residents. The building (641 W. Grand near I-980) will provide a second navigation center – like the existing Henry Robinson Multi-Service Center – that provides housing and support services for recently homeless people. More than one-half of the people housed at the Robinson center last year have been successfully transitioned into permanent housing.

The building has 70 units with shared bathrooms and a single kitchen on each floor.

The City had previously sued the former West Grand Hotel’s owners for numerous fire and building code violations and uninhabitable living conditions. The building was purchased for $7 million using Measure KK funds, the 2016 bond measure for affordable housing.

New Date: Meeting on Plastic Straws Rescheduled
The Council’s Community and Economic Development Committee has rescheduled the “straws by request only” ordinance to Tuesday, April 24 – we will need the community to come out to show their support! We will keep you posted on the new date for the full Council’s vote (originally slated for April 17).

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Civic Center/Chinatown Get New Traffic Lights for Pedestrian Safety
Thanks to a federal Highway Safety Improvement Grant, Oakland is getting new traffic lights at key intersections at 7th, 8th and 9th Streets between Jackson and Oak Streets. These street improvements will upgrade existing intersections for pedestrian safety, including countdown signals and improved pedestrian accessibility. This project is part of $4.7 million in federal funds for Oakland pedestrian-safety improvements that will allow us to make significant improvements consistent with our citywide vision for safe, accessible, equitable and sustainable transportation.

More Crossing Guards for Local Schools
The Council’s Public Works Committee voted this week to allocate $320,000 for 16 additional crossing guards for Oakland schools for the next school year. The FY 2018-19 funding would come from Measure BB sales-tax revenue. This is a welcome complement to Safe Routes to Schools pedestrian improvements we’ve been making around District 2 schools to slow traffic and make crosswalks and drop-off/pick-up zones safer.



Saturday, April 14 | 14th Ave. Median Clean-up Day
11:00 am | meet at 14th Ave. and E. 17th St. (across from the two big redwood trees)
Join your friends and neighbors to help clean up the 14th Ave. median. Tools, gloves garbage bags and buckets will be provided, but you’re welcome to bring your own tools. Water and snacks will be provided. Be sure to wear closed-toe shoes and sunscreen, if needed. RSVP: or call/text 510-381-7203, so we can be sure to have enough tools and supplies.

Emergency Preparedness Training for Grand Lake Residents
Wednesday, April 18, 7:00-9:30 pm | CORE I – Home and Family Preparedness

Wednesday, May 16, 700-9:30 pm | CORE II – Neighborhood Preparedness and Response
Both sessions at Lakeshore Baptist Church, 3534 Lakeshore Ave.
Grand Lake Neighbors will host two Communities of Oakland Respond to Emergencies (CORE) training sessions this spring. For more info and to register: Eric Hughes,


Saturday, April 21 | Earth Day in Oakland
Join friends, family and neighbors to clean and green Oakland! Groups and individuals of all ages and abilities are invited to join clean-up and restoration projects at creeks, parks and neighborhood sites throughout Oakland. All tools are provided. Volunteer at a project near you.

My staff and I will be stopping by several District 2 locations, including Lincoln Square Park (with Cantonese Speaking Citizen Academy alumni), the Morcom Rose Garden (with the Friends of Morcom Rose Garden), and Highland Hospital (with volunteers from Alameda Health System). List and map of locations throughout Oakland


Saturday, April 21 | Earth Day at the Cleveland Cascade
9:00-11:00 am | meet at bottom of Cleveland Cascade on Lakeside Ave.
Join your friends and neighbors to celebrate Earth Day with a little cleanup at the Cleveland Cascade. Activities include the usual sweeping, pruning and planting. Snacks and refreshments will be provided.

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Saturday, April 28 | Walk-and-Talk with Lakeshore & Grand Ave. Businesses
10:00 am-12:00 pm | meet at Main Squeeze, 3435 Lakeshore Ave.
In advance of Oakland’s Small Business Week (April 29-May 5), I will be hosting a walk-and-talk with small businesses on Lakeshore and Grand Avenues. Our walk will start at Main Squeeze and move to Bay Made, also on Lakeshore Ave., followed by stops at Wilde Brothers Coffee Shop, next to the Grand Lake Theatre, and Walden Pond Books on Grand Ave. (April 28 is National Independent Bookstore Day!) If you plan on attending, RSVP to 510-238-7023 or, so we can have an accurate head count. Hope to see you there!

Sunday, April 29 | Grand Avenue Neighborhood Clean-Up
9:00 am-1:00 pm | meet at Walker parking lot entrance next to Ikaros, 3268 Grand Ave.

Join neighbors to spiff up containers and do some spring tree maintenance on Grand Ave. (between I-580 and a bit past Mandana Blvd.). Tools, gloves and water will be provided, but you’re welcome to bring your own. Supervised children are welcome. For more info: Eric Hughes,



State Honors for Cleveland Elementary
Cleveland Elementary School has been selected as a “California Distinguished School.” Home to more than 400 young students, the school is a safe, nurturing and inclusive environment that fosters family involvement and community partnerships to help meet the needs of the whole child. Congratulations to Principal Peter Van Tassel, teachers, staff and the entire Cleveland Community for making this possible!

In making the awards, State Schools Superintendent Tom Torlakson wrote: “These schools implement outstanding educational programs and practices that help California students realize their potential, and put them on the path to achieve their dreams. Every day at these schools, teachers, administrators and classified employees, working with parents, apply their dedication, creativity, and talents toward providing a great education for all their students.” For a full list of 2018 distinguished schools

Cleveland Elementary teachers organize three parent education nights a year, focused on literacy, math, and science and engineering, while the community partners host engaging family roundtables twice a year. The annual Spring Open House also gives students an opportunity to show off their hard work and progress.


Wednesday, April 18 | Youth Job and Paid Internship Fair (for 12-25 year olds)
2:00-5:00 pm | Main Library, 125 14th St., Walters Community Room
Wednesday, May 23 |
Adult Job Fair  (for 18 and older)

2:00-4:00 pm | Main Library, 125 14th St., Walters Community Room
The Oakland Public Library is conducting two job fairs in conjunction with its job seekers’ Instagram account (@oaklandhasjobs). Both job fairs include on-site resume review. Dozens of employers and organizations from diverse fields, from farming to technology, customer service to radio production, and justice, will be present. Attendees are encouraged to dress professionally and bring copies of their resumes. For those interested in job leads, follow @oaklandhasjobs on Instagram for new openings daily.

Saturday April 21 | Workshop for First-Time Homebuyers
10:00 am-1:00 pm | Hayward Airport Plaza, 22693 Hesperian Blvd., Hayward

Learn more about strategies for success with credit reports and scoring, improving your credit, how to shop and qualify for a mortgage loan, budgeting, current market conditions, mortgage pre-qualifying, and down payment assistance. Bring all your questions professionals on site will be happy to assist you with resources and the information you need. Sponsored by A-1 Community Housing Services. To register