Connect with us

City Government

Oakland Community Forum Hears Solutions for Affordable Housing, Renter Protection



Community members packed Oakland City Hall chambers Wednesday evening for a forum led by a panel of community leaders to discuss can be done to stop the tidal wave of displacement that is pushing long term residents out of the city and has escalated in the wake of the Ghost Ship fire. 


“We are here to make recommendations and propose solutions. It’s not enough to just point fingers and blame,” said Post publisher Paul Cobb, who helped organize the community meeting, which brought together low-income tenants, artists and residents of warehouse spaces, housing rights activists and homeless people.


Councilmember-at-Large Rebecca Kaplan hosted and moderated the meeting for the community. Other council members who attended were Noel Gallo and Dan Kalb.


Bishop Bob Jackson. Photo by Cornelia Grimes.

Bishop Bob Jackson. Photo by Cornelia Grimes.


The keynote speaker was Bishop Bob Jackson of Acts Full Gospel C.O.G.I.C. who has put together funding to build housing in East Oakland for low-income residents.


“It really grieves my spirit that so many people who are low income cannot afford to live in the city,” Bishop Jackson said, calling on faith-based organizations to step up to build housing that is truly affordable for Oaklanders.


“There are 3,000 vacant properties in the city, and the City of Oakland owns the majority,” he said “We can take the vacant lots and build on them. We can renovate those (abandoned) houses.”


Pastor Ken Chambers of Westside Missionary Baptist Church spoke of the need for living wage jobs for the unemployed and homeless in the city, many of whom are Black.


“In West Oakland you see tent cities. We’re starting to get comfortable seeing tents in this city,” said Pastor Chambers.


The city continues to make deals with developers so they can make large profits, he said. “(But) everything we build in this city should (include) jobs and job training.”


“We need to have cultural diversity in the city and at construction sites and in the (building) trades.”


Several speakers explained that not only are Oakland residents being impacted. Landlords and developers are raising rents and pushing out nonprofit agencies that serve low-income Oaklanders.


Jonah Strauss of the Oakland Warehouse Coalition. Photo by Tulio Ospina.

Jonah Strauss of the Oakland Warehouse Coalition. Photo by Tulio Ospina.


Jonah Strauss of the Oakland Warehouse Coalition presented a five-page proposal for an emergency tenant protection ordinance, which will be presented to the City Council on Jan. 17.


The warehouse coalition, formed in the aftermath of the Ghost Ship fire, advocates for “low-income people who live and or work in converted commercial and industrial spaces,” according to the written proposal.


“Our goal is to prevent displacement, as well as to make these properties safer.”


Immediate demands of the warehouse coalition include:


Extend tenant protections to all residents, regardless of zoning;


“Cease all Notices to Vacate, “red tags,” for non life threatening code violations and evictions;”


“Cease flash inspections of properties, unless there is proof of a life-threatening condition;”


Prohibit the use of anonymous code violation complaints as harassment and as a means to remove tenants.


Councilmember Kaplan underscored the need to stop city inspectors from contributing to the displacement crisis.


“There is no reason why we can’t fight for fire safety and for affordable housing,” she said.


“We cannot accept that the only solution is that we are going to displace everyone. We have to have a strategy that focuses on needed safety improvement while protecting renters.”


Cherri Murphy presented some of the proposals backed by the Oakland Justice Coalition:


Fully enact and enforce the newly approved Measure JJ renter’s protection ordinance;


Increase the number of affordable homeownership pathways;


Increase funding for community land trusts. This includes increasing taxes on development and real estate sales, using all city-owned surplus property for affordable housing, and directing city investments to create new affordable housing units;


Develop relationships with community members most affected by housing inequity, including Black and Brown neighbors, teachers, the homeless, artists, and any others who are typically pushed to the side.


James Vann of the Oakland Post Community Assembly called on the city to pass tenant protection ordinances that the city staff pledged over six months ago to work to implement.


The proposal includes requiring a mandatory mediation process in cases where landlords want to evict tenants for issues other than failure to pay rent. About 12,000 tenants were evicted last year in Oakland.


Vann also said the city should modify the definition of affordable housing. At present, he said, the overwhelming majority of Oakland residents cannot afford spaces that are defined as affordable by the city.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


East Oakland Community Clean-up

The office of Councilmember Treva Reid invites you to…



Oakland Clean Up Flyer

The Oakland Post’s coverage of local news in Alameda County is supported by the Ethnic Media Sustainability Initiative, a program created by California Black Media and Ethnic Media Services to support community newspapers across California.

Continue Reading

City Government

The Next First 100 Days

Building a Healthier Future for Oakland



Symbol of democracy this picture show a child and his mom voting for french presidential elections. Photo Courtesy of Arnaud Jaegers via Unsplash

In 2022, the voters of Oakland will have an opportunity to elect the next Mayor for our city.  The Mayor of Oakland is the head of the executive branch, in charge of implementing actions and laws that have been passed by City Council and community.

The Mayor also selects and hires the City Administrator, appoints members of key Boards and Commissions, and sets the direction for the Administrative branch of government, thus having a major impact on what actions get taken.

In recent years, the City Council has adopted numerous laws and funded positions and projects – many of which have not been implemented, such as providing gun tracing and cracking down on illegal guns, civilianizing special events, providing pro-active illegal dumping remediation, a public lands policy to prioritize affordable housing, direction to provide healthier alternative locations to respond to homelessness, and many more.

In order to ensure that we build a safer and healthier future for Oakland, is it vitally important to ensure that we elect leadership for the executive branch with the dedication and commitment to take the actions needed to fulfill the needs of our communities.

With serious struggles facing our communities, it is vital that the next mayor take immediate action in their first 100 days – and so, I am undertaking to provide proposals regarding what the next mayor can, and should, do in their first 100 days in office.

These efforts will need to include recruitment and retention for the workforce; effective relationships with County government and neighboring cities to solve common problems; working with stakeholders including to expand equitable economic development and housing for all income levels; presenting and passing proposals at Council and bringing in and properly stewarding the finances needed.

Even within the first 100 days, a mayor can accomplish a great deal – including taking action to implement vitally needed services that already have Council authorization, and thus, can be brought about more quickly.

This is the first installment, a listing of some of the first items that the next mayor can, and should, do to build a healthier Oakland, and which should be factors in our decision-making in the year ahead.

  1. Ensure implementation of the directive to prioritize stopping the flow of illegal guns and stopping gun violence, including implementing gun tracing, tracking and shutting down sources of illegal guns, and providing immediate response to shooting notifications.
  2. Remove blight and illegal dumping, implement pro-active removal of blight rather than waiting for complaints, incorporate blight removal throughout city efforts (rewards program, summer jobs program, etc), to clear up backlog and establish a new normal that it is not OK to dump in Oakland.
  3. Provide healthier alternatives for homeless solutions, including safe parking/managed RV sites, and sanitation/dump sites, to reduce public health risks, including by partnering with the County and others.
  4. Implement previously approved Council direction to switch to the use of civilians (rather than sworn police) to manage parades and special events.  Help ensure community and cultural events can go forward without excess costs undermining them, strengthen the arts and economy and equity of event permitting system, and ensure that expensive police resources are directed where they are needed, rather than wasted on watching parades.
  5. Implement previously approved public lands policy to ensure using public lands for public needs, with a priority for affordable housing.
  6. Make it easier for local residents and small businesses to grow, build, and expand by providing coherent and simplified permitting, and by implementing the Council-funded direction to provide evening and weekend hours and easy online access to allow people to do projects like adding Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) and make other renovations and construction projects more timely.
  7. Work with stakeholders and community to advance effective and equitable revitalization of the large public properties at and around the Oakland Coliseum, including with housing for all income levels, jobs and business development, sports and entertainment, convention and hotels and more.
  8. Work to speed up vacancies in needed city staff positions, and improve recruitment and retention, and local hiring, to help provide vitally needed services, including for cleanup, parks upkeep, gun tracing, and other community needs.
  9. Fire prevention and climate resiliency.  Our region is facing growing dangers from climate change and fire risk, and we must take action to reduce and remedy risk and protect our communities with a more resilient future, including by planning for and starting fire prevention and brush remediation activities earlier in the year, improving brush removal on public land as well as private, fully staffing the fire department, and improving public infrastructure to protect cleaner air and reduce risks.
  10. Job training and pathways.  Some industries face challenges finding enough prepared workers while many in our community also need access to quality jobs. Support and connect job training programs and quality job policies with growing sectors, and ensure that Oaklanders are prepared for vital openings in needed jobs while allowing our community to thrive.

The Oakland Post’s coverage of local news in Alameda County is supported by the Ethnic Media Sustainability Initiative, a program created by California Black Media and Ethnic Media Services to support community newspapers across California.

Continue Reading

City Government

S.F. Mayor London Breed Announces $50 Million in Tax Credits to Support San Francisco Non-Profits, Businesses in Disadvantaged Communities

The New Markets Tax Credit program creates a pathway for local businesses and non-profits to activate underutilized buildings in San Francisco’s most high-need neighborhoods, create local jobs, and provide lasting community services.



Two Men Brainstorming Over Papers ; Photo courtesy of Scott Graham via Unsplash

Mayor London N. Breed announced on September 7 that the United States Treasury has awarded $50 million in tax credits to support local non-profit organizations and projects in historically underserved neighborhoods.

This allocation will help move forward critical investments in San Francisco while also creating new economic activity and jobs as San Francisco continues its economic recovery from the pandemic.

The New Market Tax Credits are distributed from the United States Treasury to the San Francisco Community Investment Fund (SFCIF), a non-profit that is tasked with helping to fund projects with substantial and sustainable community benefits in low-income San Francisco neighborhoods.

Previous credits helped fund the construction of projects such as the Meals on Wheels San Francisco food distribution center in the Bayview, SF Jazz and the Boys & Girls Club San Francisco in the Western Addition, and the ACT Strand Theatre on Central Market, the Manufacturing Foundry located at 150 Hooper Street sponsored by PlaceMade, and the renovation of the Geneva Car Barn located in the Excelsior district.

“The neighborhoods that were hit hardest by the pandemic were the same neighborhoods that had lacked access to resources and investment for generations—that is not a coincidence.

“That’s why it’s so important that our economic recovery focus on investing in these communities and creating new jobs in these communities, so we can create a more equitable city.

“The investments that these tax credits have helped advance in the past have had a meaningful impact on our city and I’m excited that this new allocation, the largest that San Francisco has ever received, will continue that progress,” Breed said.

In 2010, the City’s former Redevelopment Agency established the San Francisco Community Investment Fund to make qualified low-income community investments in the City. This program targets construction and capital improvement projects in low-income neighborhoods that deliver strong community outcomes, including job creation for low-income people, commercial and community services, healthy foods, environment sustainability, and flexible lease rates.

The New Markets Tax Credit program creates a pathway for local businesses and non-profits to activate underutilized buildings in San Francisco’s most high-need neighborhoods, create local jobs, and provide lasting community services.

Since 2010, the SFCIF has supported 12 projects across five neighborhoods that created over 1,000 construction jobs, and deployed $163.6 million in New Markets Tax Credit allocations.

“Investing in jobs and supporting opportunities for our underserved communities is critical, especially as we begin emerging from of this pandemic,” said City Administrator Carmen Chu, who serves on the SFCIF Board of Directors. “This allocation of New Market Tax Credits is significant because it means extra dollars in our hands to fully fund and bring so many worthy neighborhood projects to completion.”

“Meals on Wheels San Francisco opened a new $41 million state of the art kitchen in the Bayview neighborhood in November of 2020. Our project could not have moved forward on time and received full financing without the support of the San Francisco Community Investment Fund’s New Markets Tax Credit program,” said Ashley McCumber, CEO and executive director of Meals on Wheels San Francisco.

“Their lead investment attracted additional partners like Community Vision, Community Impact Partners, and Chase Bank to deliver a net of $8.1 million to our project. With this new facility, we have created more than 30 new jobs and expanded our production capabilities from 8,000 meals per day to as much as 30,000 meals per day when needed.”

Applications are received and reviewed on a rolling basis. For more information on the San Francisco Community Investment Fund, visit

     This story comes from the San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Communication.

Continue Reading




Home-based business with potential monthly income of $10K+ per month. A proven training system and website provided to maximize business effectiveness. Perfect job to earn side and primary income. Contact Lynne for more details: 800-334-0540