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“Yes on Measure JJ” Campaign Kicks Off to Protect Oakland Renters

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The “Yes on Measure JJ” campaign kicked off last Saturday at Lake Merritt, as dozens of community members and local leaders gathered to show their commitment to making sure renter protection passes in Oakland this November.

 

 

With less than seven weeks before the elections, the Committee to Protect Oakland Renters—a coalition of local housing rights, labor and interfaith organizations—is gearing up for its campaign to spread awareness among voters.

 

“The campaign is planning to hit the streets and go into neighborhoods, especially with high voting impact, and to also do a voter registration drive,” said James Vann of the Oakland Tenants Union and Post Salon Community Assembly.

 

“The committee knows that voter registration is fairly low in the flatlands and other neighborhoods where renter protection is most needed,” he said. “That’s where we’re going to have to pull a lot of votes.”

 

Twenty local organizations are spearheading the campaign efforts to pass Measure JJ and register Oakland voters, including SEIU Local 1021, California Nurses Association, ACCE Action, Causa Justa: Just Cause, Asian Pacific Environment Network (APEN), PolicyLink and the Ella Baker Center.

 

The ballot measure also has the endorsement of many local politicians, the Alameda Labor Council and the Alameda County Democratic Party.

 

Locally, there is broad support for the need to pass a strong renter protection law in Oakland and the City Council made a unanimous decision to place the measure on the November ballot.

 

However, committee members are expecting a highly visible opposition campaign, funded by state and national real estate groups.

 

“We’re definitely expecting these non-local groups to come out strong, and we’ve estimated they’re going to spend around $3 million to fight this measure,” said Camilo Zamora of Causa Justa: Just Cause.

 

The estimated spending by anti-rent protection organizations is based on what they have done in other California cities that have put renter protection measures on the ballot in the past, said Zamora.

 

Already, sources have told the Post that people are receiving phone calls for an anonymous “push” poll opposing the renter protection measure in Oakland.

 

It is for this reason that this group of community organizations will need all the help it can get, Vann said.

 

“We’re reaching out to the faith community and other local organizations and asking that they endorse the measure and make it a priority issue in their community,” said Vann.

 

“Spread the word and reach out to us to help get people registered to vote,” he said.

 

To get information on how to endorse, volunteer or become a part of the “Yes on Measure JJ” campaign, visit www.protectoaklandrenters.org

 

For help registering to vote, you can visit acceaction.org/ register_here

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.   

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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

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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: https://redistricting2021.acgov.org/meetings/)

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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: https://redistricting2021.acgov.org/

The next hearing will occur on Tuesday, Oct.12 at noon on Zoom (Access the meeting link at: https://redistricting2021.acgov.org/meetings/)

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