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City Government

Three Ballot Measures That Could Change Oakland in November



The Oakland Justice Coalition, a coalition of social justice oriented organizations working to support ballot initiatives and progressive candidates in 2016, has announced support for three measures for which it is gathering signatures to go on the November ballot. 


The three measures are: a charter amendment to create a police commission, the Protect Oakland Tenants Initiative, and a measure to establish a $20 minimum wage by 2020.



The police commission initiative, also known as Measure X, would create a civilian oversight body that has the power to approve police policies and to discipline officers who are found guilty of misconduct.



The Protect Oakland Tenants Initiative, or the “Renters Upgrade,” would offer protections to renters by strengthening existing renter protection laws and by expanding Oakland’s current “Just Cause for Eviction” law.



The third ballot measure would raise Oakland’s minimum wage to $20 by 2020 and a more immediate increase to $14 by the end of 2016.



The organizations belonging to the Oakland Justice Coalition and backing these initiatives include the National Union of Healthcare Workers, the Oakland Education Association, the Anti Police-Terror Project, Block by Block Organizing Network, the Oakland Tenants Union, Oakland Alliance and the Oakland Livable Wage Assembly.



Measure X, introduced by the Coalition for Police Accountability, is designed to address concerns about how residents will keep the Oakland Police Department (OPD) accountable once its federal oversight ends.



In 2003, the police department entered into a negotiated settlement agreement to implement internal reforms under federal supervision, after four officers known as the “Riders” were found guilty of consistently planting evidence and making false arrests.



The Riders case was viewed by attorneys and civil rights leaders as the tip of the iceberg that reflected a pattern of widespread police abuse in Oakland.



According to the overseeing federal Judge Thelton Henderson, although OPD is now in its 13th year of oversight— the longest period of continuous federal oversight in the country’s history—the city is improving but still failing to make the required department changes that guarantee sustainability.



“Real reform…requires actually changing the city government itself,” said Rashidah Grinage of the Coalition for Police Accountability. “We need a city institution that represents the communities the police is intended to serve. We need an Oakland Police Commission.”



The Oakland Tenants Union introduced the “Renters Upgrade” to protect renters who are poorly protected by the city’s existing landlord-written rent law.



The law was created over 35 years ago and puts all the responsibility on tenants to enforce the law, according to James Vann, co-founder of the Oakland Tenants Union.



If passed, the ballot measure would ensure that owners file a petition to the Rent Board before increasing rents by more than five percent per year. If an owner unlawfully increases rent, a tenant would not have to hire a lawyer but would simply be able to report the illegal activity.



Oakland currently has no cap on how high an owner can increase rents and some have reported increases of 60 percent, 100 percent and 200 percent in the last year.



In addition to unrestricted rent increases, if the increase is unlawful and a tenant does not file a petition on time, the unlawful rent increase becomes final and cannot be challenged.



“The way it is now, the tenant becomes penalized for not challenging an illegal act by the landlord,” said James Vann.



The proposed “Renters Upgrade” also expands protections against no-cause evictions to all properties in Oakland, whereas currently properties built after 1983 are exempt from eviction protection due to the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act.



The proposed measure would still exempt duplexes where small landlords are dependent on rent as a significant means of income.



The Oakland Livable Wage Assembly’s minimum wage increase is connected to the city’s housing affordability crisis since many of Oakland’s renters are minimum wage workers.



For a minimum-wage earner to be able to afford renting in Oakland, they would have to work 121 hours a week for a 1-bedroom apartment and 185 hours a week for a 2-bedroom apartment, according to Oakland’s Citywide Rental Survey, published in 2015.



“Workers in Oakland need and deserve a $20 minimum wage just to keep up with the rising costs of housing in the Bay Area,” said Shonda Roberts of the Oakland Livable Wage Assembly.



“Our struggles for fair wages, affordable housing and police accountability are linked, and solidarity is our only path to victory,” said Roberts.



For more information on the Oakland Justice Coalition’s 2016 election endorsements, visit



City Government

City Council Passes Reid’s Gun Violence Resolution

Officially declaring gun violence a public health crisis within the City of Oakland, the resolution endorses the call from many community-based organizations for Alameda County’s Board of Supervisors to direct an equitable amount of the county’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds into violence prevention resources.   



stop gun violence sign photo courtesy chip vincent via unsplash

Reacting to Oakland’s 100th homicide of the year, the City Council unanimously voted to adopt Councilmember Treva Reid’s gun violence resolution.

Officially declaring gun violence a public health crisis within the City of Oakland, the resolution endorses the call from many community-based organizations for Alameda County’s Board of Supervisors to direct an equitable amount of the county’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds into violence prevention resources.

“We are in a state of emergency. We can no longer continue to report the lives lost of our loved ones without intentionally working to implement immediate and strategic solutions to stop the onslaught of violence that we are experiencing,” said Reid.

By officially declaring gun violence a public health crisis and calling for additional funding from the county, Reid says Oakland can achieve the following:

  • Deeper investments for violence prevention programs, like Ceasefire and Mobile Assistance Community Responders of Oakland (MACRO), as well as community healing organizations
  • Funds for culturally responsive mental health services
  • Additional community clinics and providers to support holistic delivery of health services
  • Rental support, down payment assistance, homeownership retention, and affordable housing development
  • Access to life coaching, service connectors, living wage jobs and grants and technical assistance for Black business to enhance economic self sufficiency
  • Expanded work force development and business assistance resources

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.

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City Government

Mayor Breed, S.F. Airport Announce Vaccination Requirement for All Airport Workers

Mandate for all airline, service, concession, and construction employees effective immediately



Portrait of flight attendant standing on airport, wearing face masks and looking at camera.

Mayor London N. Breed and the San Francisco International Airport (SFO) announced a requirement on Tuesday that all airport workers be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The mandate, the first for a U.S. airport, goes into effect immediately and requires all on-site personnel to be vaccinated or, if exempt, be tested weekly for COVID-19.

“We know that vaccines are the most effective way to prevent COVID-19 transmission and reduce hospitalizations and deaths,” said Breed. “This new requirement supports our aggressive measures to protect the health and safety of our region and our continued economic recovery. I want to thank SFO for their continued leadership protecting our city and its visitors.”

“Throughout this pandemic, SFO has been leading the aviation industry in protecting passengers and employees alike,” said Airport Director Ivar C. Satero. “As SFO prepares for the upcoming holiday travel season, and the return of pre-pandemic passenger levels, we have an obligation to provide a safe airport facility for the traveling public and our on-site employees. According to the Centers for Disease Control, vaccination is the most effective way to prevent transmission of COVID-19.”

Effective immediately, every SFO tenant or contractor must require all on-site personnel to be fully vaccinated. The Airport continues to offer free vaccines at the SFO Medical Clinic. Exemptions from the vaccination requirement can be granted by the employer for either medical disability or sincerely held religious belief. For employees granted an exemption, the tenant or contractor employer must establish a weekly COVID-19 testing and reporting protocol.

Tenants and contractors will also be required to submit reports on the status of their respective workforce until all on-site personnel are fully vaccinated. Failure to comply could result in fines under the Airport’s Rule and Regulations.

In August 2020, SFO became the first U.S. airport to establish an on-site rapid testing capability and now administers tests to an average of 500 travelers at various on-site locations every day.

In February 2021, SFO first offered vaccines on-site when it partnered with the County of San Mateo to provide vaccines to health care workers and County residents over 65. The Airport converted one of its multi-level garages to serve as a drive-through vaccination facility.

Over 26,500 doses were administered through this program. SFO also launched a vaccination clinic in early May, located in the International Terminal, which offered doses to airport workers, local residents, and travelers. This program was administered through a partnership with Safeway and administered almost 2,200 doses.

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City Government

Alameda County Launches New Redistricting Process

The next hearing will occur on Tuesday, Oct.12 at noon on Zoom (Access the meeting link at:



Alameda Redistricting Flyer; "Our Community Has Changed"

The Alameda County Board of Supervisors held a Special Meeting Tuesday to hear public input on redistricting.

The county will begin redrawing districts for its five Board of Supervisors. Redistricting is the process of adjusting existing district boundaries and must occur every 10 years after the population data is available from the decennial Census.

The City of Oakland is also underway with redistricting for its city council and corresponding school board districts. Those new maps will be approved by an Independent Redistricting Commission, as was approved by voters in a 2014 ballot measure.

Alameda County’s Board of Supervisors will vote on the final maps, which must be passed with a 2/3 majority.

Census 2020 data shows that Alameda County grew by 10.7% over that last 10 years and is now home to 1,682,353 residents. More data will be released soon to reflect which Supervisorial districts are too large and which districts are too small in population as currently configured.

With the passage of the FAIR MAPS Act (Fair and Inclusive Redistricting for Municipalities and Political Subdivisions), state law now requires counties to follow specific timelines and requirements for their redistricting processes, including holding at least four public hearings, ensuring language access, publishing all materials and meeting information on a website, and collecting input from the public in multiple formats.

“Alameda County is exceeding the new transparency laws for our redistricting process. We’ve even procured a mapping tool to allow the public to draw their own “Communities of Interest” and to propose district maps,” said Casey Farmer, director of community engagement for Alameda County Redistricting 2021.

“Public input is vital to this process, so we’ve made it easy to engage in many ways,” said Farmer. “By taking a few minutes to share your “Communities of Interest,” you will ensure the Board knows which areas you want to remain intact in the new district boundaries.”

Members of the public can engage in the redistricting process in multiple ways, including sharing their Communities of Interest (a geographic area of residents who share economic or social interests) using an online mapping tool, submitting written input or phoning in feedback. The public can also speak at any of the eight Redistricting hearings.

The new district maps must abide by the following criteria: Comply with US and California Constitution (which requires equal population amongst districts), comply with federal Voting Rights Act (to protect race and language minorities), maintain geographic contiguity, and uphold geographic integrity (minimizing the division of neighborhoods, local Communities of Interest “COIs”, or unincorporated areas). District boundaries should be easily identifiable and understandable by residents, should be compactly configured, and cannot favor or discriminate against political parties.

The County’s Redistricting website contains detailed information about the process, the timeline, videos, multilingual outreach materials, and the online Community of Interest mapping tool:

The next hearing will occur on Tuesday, Oct.12 at noon on Zoom (Access the meeting link at:

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