Dear Friends,

It's National Small Business Week! In honor of this, at Tuesday's City Council meeting, I had the opportunity to honor Fernando "Rush" Santos and Beast Oakland from the Laurel.
Fernando brings his artistry and graphic design to the heart of the Laurel Business District and allows us to celebrate Oakland and our sports teams with his own unique flavor. Fernando also gives his artistic gifts to our Oakland youth as an art teacher at Lazear Charter Academy. Recently, Fernando led a group of students to create the beautiful "Love the Laurel" mural at the vacant lot at High and MacArthur.
To celebrate our local, small businesses in District 4 and across Oakland, we are highlighting an innovative program that allows you to  directly support your favorite neighborhood businesses.
Introducing Kiva Oakland - a program that makes it easy to help crowdfund 0% interest loans to Oakland small businesses with as little as $25. When you get repaid, you can re-lend that money to support another small business, continuing to create more opportunity with the same funds.
By lending to local, small businesses you take an active role in shaping Oakland's future, strengthening our neighborhoods and creating jobs. Discover the inspiring stories of the businesses in your neighborhood, or if you're a small business owner in Oakland learn more about borrowing through Kiva.
Right now, you have the opportunity to lend to our very own Fist of Flour Pizza Company in the Laurel Business District. Check out their Kiva loan page before it expires in 14 days!
In the remaining days of National Small Business week, we encourage you to make a special trip to your favorite neighborhood businesses to say "Thank you!"
We owe so much to our small, local business owners who pour their hearts and souls into the businesses that are truly the engine of our economy, that make our neighborhoods interesting, and help us all thrive!
In Service to Oakland,
We're thrilled to announce that earlier this week, the Oakland City Council voted unanimously to place a Sugar Sweetened Beverage Tax on the November 2016 ballot.

Thank you to the Healthy Oakland Children Coalition -- to all of the Oakland residents, business owners and community leaders -- who came in person to the City Council meeting to speak in favor of this initiative.

This tax has three goals:
(1) Raise awareness (especially in children) of the direct correlation between sugar intake and Type II Diabetes and tooth decay;
(2) Raise revenue that can be used for nutrition and school-based programs focused on children's health and well-being; and
(3) Reduce consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages, which makes up half of the sugar intake in the American diet.

The campaign is just beginning!  Click on the "learn more" button below for more details. 
Earlier this week, the City Council officially gave final approval to the adoption of Citywide Impact Fees for Affordable Housing. The new ordinance permits the city to charge developers who want to build market-rate housing a one-time fee to help fund subsidized affordable housing.

The city had been negotiating with developers on a case-by-case basis to determine if an impact fee would be paid and how much it would amount to. This ordinance creates a system allowing (1) the City to more effectively manage these activities, (2) developers to better predict the financial costs associated with projects and (3) communities to rely on a more consistent stream of affordable housing funding, as well as transportation and capital improvement fees.

Fees will be phased in but will begin to apply to developers submitting building permits for multifamily projects on or after September 1st. The fee associated with each project will be based on the number of units in the development and where in the City the project is located, within three geographic zones.

Fees will be highest in the area with the highest rents and home prices: downtown and Lake Merritt, North Oakland and the Oakland Hills (Zone 1). In this geographic zone, fees will start at $7,000 per unit this year and will rise gradually to $24,000 per unit in 2018. Fees will be lower in West Oakland and areas east of Lake Merritt (Zone 2) and lowest in East Oakland, where an affordable housing fee will not be collected for two years (Zone 3).

If you have any questions about the Citywide Impact Fee Ordinance, please call my office at (510) 238-7004 or take a look at the ordinance and accompanying staff reports by clicking on the "learn more" button below. 
From 10am - 12pm at The Hive in the Dimond District at 2139 MacArthur Blvd. Every first Saturday of the month. Staffed by Adam Simons. 

From 10am - 12pm at The Fairfax Freedom Farm Stand at 5316 Fairfax Avenue. Every second Saturday of the month.  Staffed by Jamila English.

From 10am - 12pm at the Montclair Farmer's Market on LaSalle between Mountain and Moraga. Every last Sunday of the month. Staffed by Nayeli Maxson.

Meet Dominic, he is about 5 to 6 years old. He's what they call a ball-dog--he'll fetch a tennis ball all day long! I'm also mellow and take life as it comes. I would love nothing more than to cuddle up with you on the couch. 
Come meet Dominic  at  Oakland Animal Services, 1101 29th Avenue Oakland,  if you're looking to add a friendly, sweet guy to your family!


Be prepared for a love-fest.  Solomon will wrap himself around you and  hold on  tight so that you can give him lots of love and pets. As a senior kitty Solomon has arthritis of his back legs and hips. Solomon is quite mobile but tires easily, so we put him in a condo where he does not have to climb or jump. We recommend a quiet home with easy access to food, water and litter, and no young children or dogs. 
Come meet Solomon  at  Oakland Animal Services, 1101 29th Avenue Oakland
Earth Day was an incredible success! Working together, our community planted new trees and plants, pulled weeds, picked up trash, cleaned up gardens and rehabilitated community spaces. It was a beautiful day full of hard work and smiling faces. 

Here are a collection of photos from around the District - look forward to working with you next year!


Last month, hosted a group of students from San Francisco's Mission District on a hike through Joaquin Miller Park. Would you like to participate in a guided hike that is customized just for you and your group? Here's how to set up your private hiking tour:
  • Organize your group of 10-30 people.
  • Pick one point person to coordinate with the tour leader, Stan Dodson.
  • Click here to contact Stan and plan a custom hiking tour based on your group's ability, and to agree on a date and time.

We are proud to share with you the free online release of TRAILHEAD here! Since its premiere back in October, 2015, this 20-minute documentary has been screened at more than 20 venues throughout the Bay Area. We hope you'll watch it, love it, and share it widely! Here is the link for easy sharing:

Although the film is now online, is still participating in community screenings. They would love to bring the film to your group, school, or local theater and engage in Q&A about Oakland parks and stewardship. Contact here if you'd like to set up such an event.

Year-to-date, has logged 280 volunteer hours in (and for) Oakland's wildland parks. Big thank you to all the organizers, volunteers, and donors to their continued support!
Happy Mother's Day to all of our wonderful District 4 Moms!
You can find the perfect gift in the Montclair Shopping District and support local schools in the process!
Participating schools include Montera Middle School, Montclair Elementary, Thornhill Elementary, Joaquin Miller Elementary, Hillcrest Elementary and Corpus Christi. Simply mention one of these schools and a portion of your purchase will go to them!

SATURDAY, MAY 7th, 1pm
Gateway Emergency Preparedness Exhibit Center, off of Hwy 24 at Tunnel Road and Caldecott Lane
P lease join me on National Wildfire Preparedness Day, Saturday, May 7, at 1 pm to dedicate the fire resistant demonstration garden at the Gateway Emergency Preparedness Exhibit Center.

A coalition of wildfire prevention advocates from the North Oakland Community Association, Oakland Firesafe Council, Oakland Landscape Committee and Wildfire Prevention Assessment District coordinated a community effort to install a fire resistant demonstration garden. The garden showcases succulents and other plant and mulch material suitable for the Oakland hills that meet the City of Oakland's defensible space requirements. More than 3,000 succulents, most of them donated by local growers, were planted by volunteers during Creek to Bay Day, September 9, 2015.

Volunteers continue to maintain the garden, which was created by the Oakland Landscape Committee in 2003 to educate the public about emergency preparedness for earthquakes and wildfires. 
SATURDAY, MAY 7th, 9am - 12pm
Joaquin Miller Dog Park between Ranger's Station & Amphitheater 
This project is sponsored by the Oakland Fire Department and the Wildfire Prevention Assessment District. Volunteers are needed to help pull French broom in Joaquin Miller Park (JMP) and around the JMP dog parks for fire saefty and restoration.

Bring gloves, a hat, wear long pants, long sleeves and sturdy shoes.   Please RSVP to Lin Barron here Oakland Public Works and the Wildfire Prevention Assessment District (WPAD) will supply the broom pullers and other tools! Hope you can participate! Bring a friend or two, but volunteers are preferred to be at least high school age
THURSDAY, MAY 12th, 7a m
Laurel Cyclery, 3715 MacArthur Blvd., Oakland

Please join me in riding to the famous Pancake Breakfast at Oakland's Frank Ogawa/Oscar Grant Plaza for the annual Bike to Work Day festivities from the parklet in front of Laurel Cyclery no later than 7:10 am.

Mechanics from the Cyclery will provide coffee, light breakfast grub, air, water and minor brake and shifting adjustments starting at 6:45 am. Be there early to be front of the pack!
SATURDAY, MAY 14th, 9 am - 1pm
Henry J. Kaiser Convention Center Parking Lot 10, 10th Street, Oakland

Take home a free bag of WM EarthCare Homegrown Compost made from Oakland food scraps and certified for organic farming.  Take the pledge to compost for a greener, cleaner Oakland.  Receive a free kitchen pail to collect your food scraps at home.  Please note that the parking lot is only accessible via the west end of 10th Street due to road closure along estuary at 2nd Avenue.  For more information, visit  or call  510.613.8710.
SATURDAY, MAY 14th,  10:30am - 3pm
Montclair Library, 1687 Mountain Blvd., Oakland
Choose from an excellent selection of gently-used books at the Friends of the Montclair Library Spring Book Sale.  Find great deals all day with a large collection of children's and classic books and fill-a-bag discounts from  2-3pm . All proceeds directly benefit the Montclair branch of the Oakland Public Library.
SUNDAY, MAY 15th,  10am - 3pm
Redwood Heights Neighborhood 

The Redwood Heights Garden Tour showcases 7 unique and inspiring gardens in Oakland's Redwood Heights neighborhood. Planting boxes, chickens, rain catchment systems, drought tolerant plants, California natives, stonework, fruit trees, outdoor "rooms" and spectacular bay views give this tour something for everyone. All gardens are within one mile of each other and have ample parking making this a great walking or driving tour. 

The self-guided tour starts at a lovely Mediterranean garden where you will pick up a map with the addresses and descriptions of each garden so that you can tour the gardens in the order you choose. 

The Redwoods Heights Garden Tour is a benefit for Redwood Heights Elementary School. All proceeds from the Redwood Heights Garden Tour will go directly towards funding important school programs like art and garden that are no longer funded by the school district. 
SUNDAY, MAY 15th, 4 - 6 pm
455 7th Street, Oakland 

The Oakland Police Department is hosting its 5th Annual Open House Friday, May 15th, from 4:00pm to 6:00pm at 455 7th Street.  The theme this year is "Community Policing: It Takes A Village!" Bring your family to meet your OPD team and learn more about community policing here in Oakland.  
WEDNESDAY,  MAY 18th, 7-9pm
Dimond Library, 3565 Fruitvale Ave, Oakland,

Jerry Kent, recently retired after a 41- year career with the East Bay Regional Park District, will document the history of large-scale tree planting in the East Bay. Where did our urban forest come from? How did planting relate to residential development? What are the consequences and public costs of dealing with its legacy today? Jerry will specifically address fire and its inevitability in urban wildland areas. 
SATURDAY, MAY 21st, 9am
Dimond Park recreation center entrance (3860 Hanly Rd., Oakland) 

Join local high school students and community members in a march against trash and illegal dumping in the watershed! The march will begin at the Dimond Park recreation center entrance at 9 a.m., move around the Fruitvale neighborhood, and end at Wood Park at 10 a.m. Community members are encouraged to participate in this event and support the student leaders. Please bring signs, costumes, drums, and chants, and be prepared to spread the word!

A stewardship workday at Wood Park will follow the march. If you will be participating in the workday, please sign and bring both the FOSC and City of Oakland Waivers. A parental signature is required for anyone under 18.  For questions, copies of  both the FOSC and City of Oakland Waivers,  or to RSVP, please email Michelle Krieg here .
SUNDAY, JUNE 5th, 4 - 7:30pm
Kaiser Rooftop Garden, Oakland
This Meals on Wheels of Alameda County is honoring France, the beautiful and diverse country that has been through so much this past year. Meals on Wheels of Alameda County are inspired by the French - their resiliency, sheer determination, and spirit in face of adversity. These traits are much like those they see in their homebound seniors who face their own struggles daily to have even something as simple as a nutritious meal. Many seniors are challenged with mental, physical, social or financial adversity, but with your generous financial support we are able to provide for them, so that they can continue to have the same hope and spirit as the people of France.

Your generosity enables our local Meals on Wheels programs to not only prepare and deliver over 2,100 nutritious meals each day, but also to provide companionship, daily contact, and much needed safety wellness checks.
Please be part of the spirit of this evening that is filled with meeting wonderful people, enjoying an array of culinary delights, bidding on worthwhile auction items, sipping fine wines and champagnes, and being delighted by the entertainment.
SATURDAY - SUNDAY, JUNE 18-19th, 8:30am - 6pm
St. Mary's Center 
925 Brockhurst Street (San Pablo Avenue, between 32nd and 33rd Streets)
The Alternatives to Violence Project was developed in 1975 in the New York State Prison System by inmates and Quakers. The 18 hour workshop consists of a series of structured experiences, or exercises, rather than lectures. Participants may enter the program as strangers and often leave as kindred spirits. Currently, AVP workshops are found throughout the states in both prisons and in the community. It is also found in over 50 countries including Nepal, Burundi, Ecuador, Palestine and Israel. Breakfast, Snacks and Lunch provided. Join us in creating a more peaceful place to live! $35 - $100 donation requested. No one turned away for lack of funds.
African American Museum and Library, 659 14th Street  
Today through Saturday, July 16th, the African American Museum and Library at Oakland (AAMLO) is hosting a major exhibit, Heroines of the Civil Rights Movement, presenting history and textile designs that honor women whose actions were instrumental in the success of the Civil Rights Movement. The exhibit features the creative "Swing Coat" designs of Ms. Patricia Montgomery, master quilter. Photographs as well as audio and video clips are also featured. 
AAMLO's Chief Curator Rick Moss created an environment that compliments each swing coat and is conducive to placing the actions of these women in the historical context of this great movement. Especially for this exhibit, Mr. Moss commissioned the construction of a representation of the Montgomery, Alabama, city bus made famous by Rosa Parks and the ensuing bus boycott by African American citizens of that city. 
This project was made possible in part by a grant from The Creative Work Fund, a program of the Walter and Elise Haas Fund supported by generous grants from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and The James Irvine Foundation. Funds were also provided by the Friends of the Oakland Public Library. AAMLO, located at 659 14th Street, is open from Noon to 5:30 p.m., Tuesdays to Saturdays.  For more information, please contact Rick Moss, Chief Curator at or (510) 637-0197 .
SUNDAY, JULY 17th, 10am - 4pm
Dimond Park, 3860 Hanly Rd., Oakland

The Grand opening of the Sausal Creek Restoration Project is scheduled for July 17, 2016, in conjunction with the Dimond Park Community Picnic, Oakland Parks Recreation Center Open House, and the Friends of Sausal Creek 20th Anniversary celebration. Grand Opening celebration partners include: The Friends of Sausal Creek, the Dimond Park Recreation Center, and the Dimond Improvement Association.
We are thrilled to announce the launch of the Oakland Volunteer Park Patrol program and encourage your participation!
The mission of Oakland Volunteer Park Patrol (OVPP) is to improve the quality and safety of City parks. OVPP participants will be given special training to assist park users, support emergency responders, and report park issues to the proper City of Oakland agencies.
OVPP, established in Dimond Canyon and Joaquin Miller Park, is a pilot program for a potential citywide, volunteer park patrol effort.

This program is being launched by an Exploratory Committee 
with sponsorship from, lead by  my
District 4 City Council Office, City staff support from the Fire Department, Police Department, Public Works, Parks and Recreation, and volunteer support from the Oakland Bike Patrol, East Bay Regional Parks District Volunteer Trail Safety Patrol, Friends of Joaquin Miller Park, Piedmont Pines Neighborhood Association and the Bicycle Council of the East Bay.

Learn more about this exciting, new volunteer opportunity Visit for more details.

An important community forum on airplane noise in Oakland neighborhoods took place last Thursday, March 31st from 7:00 - 9:30 PM at Montclair Presbyterian Church
. I co-hosted this meeting with Save Our Skies - East Bay, a local organization of East bay residents who are concerned about the disproportionate impact of airplane noise caused by the Federal Aviation administration (FAA) Next Generation Air Transportation System.
This event was a critical opportunity for residents to learn from experts, hear from Port of Oakland staff members familiar with the Next Generation Air Transportation System changes, and ask questions about the program and its impacts.
OAK Noise Management Forum
The next Noise Management Forum meeting will take place on Wednesday, April 20th at 6:30pm at the Port of Oakland's offices on Water Street. The recent increase in community noise concerns associated with local airports was discussed at the January noise management forum meeting at length. Nearly every one of the public speakers came from the Montclair area.

To provide a sense of the magnitude of this increase, Forum staff reported that although only 48 
complaints were made in Oakland in 2014,
 319 complaints were made in 2015, and over 200 complaints have been made in the first weeks of 2016 alone. These noise concerns became an issue for this community in the Fall of 2015 even though implementation of the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) changes began in the end of 2014. 

Federal Legislation
We have come to learn that increased noise complaint issues have been brought forward to the Federal Aviation Administration's Associate Administrator of Airports by way of two federal bills:

- HR 3384 - Quiet Communities Act of 2015 -- Helps to carry out a national noise control research program, assessing the impacts of noise from varied noise sources on mental and physical health. 

- HR 3965 - FAA Community Accountability Act of 2015 -- Takes action to limit negative impacts on the human environment in the vicinity of an affected airport; and may give preference to overlays of existing flight paths or procedures to ensure compatibility with land use in the vicinity of an affected airport.
Support for Congressional Action
In recent weeks, I have voiced your concerns to the FAA and my support for these two bills moving through Congress in two ways. First, I wrote to leaders in Congress with my support for these two bills in a letter signed by myself, President Pro Tem Larry Reid and Mayor Schaaf. Second,  I brought a Resolution of Support for these two bills to the full Council and received unanimous support.
One important role as Councilmember is appointing residents to our local Boards and Commissions. If you are interested in assisting Oakland as a member of one of the following Boards and Commissions, please don't hestitate to reach out to my office at 510-238-7004.

1.  Children's Fund Planning & Oversight Committee - 1 adult and 1 youth seat
2. Youth Advisory Commission - 2 seats
3. Community Action Partnership Administrating Board - 4 seats will be available
4. Cannabis Regulatory Commission - 1 seat
5. Wildfire Prevention Assessment District Board - 2 seats available
6. Alameda County Grand Jury - 1 seat available
Kiva Zip offers interest-free loans up to $10K. Kiva Oakland in partnership with the City of Oakland has begun a three-year project to assist 700+ entrepreneurs, artists and non-profits in Oakland. 

Kiva, a non-profit micro-finance organization based in the Bay Area, has been in operation for 10 years and has lent $800M in interest free capital to over $1.3M small business entrepreneurs in over 65 countries around the world. Kiva Zip operates in the U.S., through a peer-to-peer lending model, based on character or social capital, versus financials and collateral.
City of Oakland Economic Development staff and Kiva partners are available to assist with the application process. Bilingual support is available. Please contact Brian McKeown at  (415)426-8221 or Juno Thomas at (510)238-4727 at City of Oakland for more information.
Since 2009, "Keep Dimond Clean" volunteers have walked the main streets that make up the Dimond Business District, including MacArthur Blvd from Canon Ave to Lincoln Ave; Fruitvale Ave from Coloma St to Harold St; Bienati Way and parking lot; parts of Dimond Ave, May Ct, Champion St and Montana St, collecting litter from public sidewalks and gutters twice a week. This is a dedicated team of volunteers who spend approximately 20 combined hours a week removing litter from the Dimond Business District
 Despite volunteers'  best efforts, outreach, and visibility, litter remains a persistent presence in the Dimond neighborhood.  Volunteers alone cannot keep up with the daily litter  in Dimond.  This litter, once it is on the ground, in the gutters,"belongs" to all of us  - merchants, property owners, residents, and friends of Dimond.

The "Help! Keep Dimond Clean" fundraiser goal of $12,000 will allow for continued service by First Building Maintenance crew for the 5-day weekly litter removal. "Keep Dimond Clean" volunteers will continue to work 2 days a week on Wednesdays and Saturdays. There are also work days in Dimond Park.
Learn more here!
Thank you for all that you do for the City of Oakland!  We are delighted to serve this beautiful community.  Please reach out to us with ideas or concerns. 
We want to hear from you!

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