May 1, 2011
Vol 1, Issue 17

Take A Fresh Look  

at Oakland
News from

Mayor Jean Quan 



Cinco de Mayo in the Fruitvale Sunday started with an old fashion parade. 


   This week we celebrate Cinco de Mayo and Mother's Day; there are many Oakland events to recognize both.  The Fruitvale relaunched a Cinco de Mayo street fair this year with a smaller, more community based event that seemed more family friendly and less corporate. Last year the organizers canceled because of the economy; this year even San Jose canceled.  So it was an important event for our Hispanic community and continues Oakland's role as a regional cultural center.  I joined my colleagues Council President Reid and Council members Kernighan & Brooks in the parade and on stage with Mexican Consulate Carlos Felix Corona in celebrating this holiday which celebrates Mexican American heritage and pride. Congratulations to Shelly Garza and all the volunteers. 

Vaqueros, floats, and mariachis and other bands join the parade. 


We continue to celebrate Latino/Hispanic culture with a number of Cinco de Mayo events. This week the rotunda area outside of the Mayor's office will feature and exhibit by local Latino artists. Please join me there on Wednesday, May 4 from 5-6 pm to honor the artists:  

Erika C�spdes Kent

Nube Cruz

Chris Granillo

Adolfo Hernandez

Monica Mendoza

Graciela Olguin

Favianna Rodriguez




Last Friday was one of the saddest days for me in 20 years as a public servant.  I presented 3 budgets based on the possible revenue scenarios facing the City:  The Bad represents a combination of contributions by both employees and taxpayers but would still lead to about 80 layoffs and program cuts.  The Very Bad represents contributions by employees now in negotiations with the City.  The Ugly represents no contributions by employees or parcel tax revenues and would lead to about 385 layoffs.  See #3 for more information.  Cecily Burt's article in The Tribune is a good summary.  



TOWN HALL MEETINGS CONTINUE TO HAVE BROAD COMMUNITY SUPPORT:  This Saturday we continued to have strong participation as over 200 District 2 residents participated in the Town Hall meeting at Regeneration Church.  We expect more District 2 residents to participate when we have our Chinese Language Town Hall later in June. (See #4.)


The next Town Hall Meeting is planned for District 4, my old district, Saturday, May 14, 11:00 am-1:30 pm, Bret Harte Middle School, 3700 Coolidge Avenue.  This weekend I joined Block by Block volunteers in walking the Allendale area to mobilize.  If you would like to help distribute flyers, contact: Peg Lum @   If you want to help us continue grass roots organizing, come to the next Block by Block meeting this week Thursday, May 5th, 6:30 pm, at the ILWU Hall, 99 Hegenberger. (Above) Evans Daniels, Floyd and Will Huen organize leafleting for recent Town Hall meeting. 


Michael Carraway with mother Shaheda Wright and grandmother Lula Jones-Wright was recognized as a Citizen Hero. 



Most people only hear about youth problems in the city, but there are some incredible young leaders in our city.  The Firefighters' non profit group, Random Acts of Kindness, held its annual fundraiser this weekend which honors citizen heroes who have gone to extraordinary lengths to help others in trouble or at risk.  This year two wonderful students received the award. In 2008 Michael Carraway was very ill but thanks to a liver transplant he is a healthy and happy young man.  Grateful for his new life that Christmas, he told his mother that for Christmas he wanted to feed the homeless.  With the help of his family he started Mikey's Meals and regularly feeds people on the corner of 34th and Peralta Streets, serving thousands of meals.


The second heroine is Pilar Ortega, a second grader at Sequoia Elementary School.  She went class to class and raised $1150 for the earthquake survivors in Japan.



   Mayor Jean Quan

This publication is not produced at public expense.
In This Issue
1. Building Oakland: Ed Ono & CORE
2. Discover Oakland This Week
3. City News:Budget Proposals Release
4. Neighbrhoods Speak Up--District 2 Town Hall Meeting
5. The 25% Solution
6. The Greening of Oakland
7. School and YOuth
8. Safe and Healthy Oakland
9. Circle Your Calendar
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  • In the News
    Oakland Energy and Climate Action Plan on the docket for
    Sunday, May 1
    Barbara Grady, Oakland Local
    April 29, 2011

    Oakland tries to conquer digital divide
    Celia Vega, KGO-TV, April 28, 2011

    Oakland High School Teacher Selected to Participate in NASA Program
    KRON-4, April 28, 2011

    Oakland Public Works crews begin pothole blitz
    KGO-TV, April 25, 2011

     Oakland Chinatown unveils new camera system for Lincoln Center
    Jennifer Ward, Oakland Local
    April 25, 2011

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    Discover Oakland
    Oakland Convention Center Hosts First Annual Battle of the Oakland Taco Trucks
    Saturday, May 7
     7 pm-Midnlght
    Oakland Marriott City Center and Convention Center

     Voting began in early April and there are over 20 trucks in the running but only one can be named Oakland's Favorite!

    Join Wild 94.9 Radio Host, RICO, along with celebrity DJ Magic Matt at the Marriott City Center and Convention Center to celebrate the Top 5 Oakland Taco Trucks. t downtown location.  

    Come out on Saturday, May 7, 2011 to party and celebrate the naming of Oakland's Favorite Taco Truck. The First Annual Battle of the Taco Trucks party runs from 7pm to 12am and will include:

    �   Live dance performances

    �   Pi�ata Bash

    �   Great Cheap Tacos

    �   Tequila Tasting Garden


    Tickets are $25 in advance online or $15 at the door before 8:00 p.m. For more information about the Oakland Taco trucks celebration at the Oakland Marriott City and Convention Center, or to cast your vote now for your favorite truck, please visit:


    Change will not come if we wait for some other person or for some other time.   

    We are the ones we have been waiting for.


    Barack Obama  

    1. Building Oakland: Ed Ono and CORE

    Hiller Highlands resident Ed Ono first got involved with Communities of Oakland Respond to Emergencies (CORE) more than 17 years ago, when he and his neighbors moved back into the Firestorm ravaged neighborhood.  The community of about 350 residents organized itself according to the condominium phases (1-6) and the houses in Hiller Highlands Homes Association. Ed served as the representative for his group of condominiums.


    Over time, he became more involved with the CORE Advisory Task Force, revising the manuals, presenting CORE I & II to other neighborhoods,  and monitoring the CORE III Hands-on classes taught by the Firefighters.  Currently he is advising a neighborhood that is in the process of forming a CORE group.   


    "I believe the message CORE presents is vital to the communities these days.  The situations in Haiti and Japan point out we must all be prepared. Even though we are all very busy with our private lives, many of the lessons CORE teaches can save lives and can help us cope with tragedies such as fire, earthquakes or landslides.," explained Ed.


    "Beyond that, the response from the students to what I'm doing is very positive. I have meet many people and have enjoyed hearing of their stories of how they are preparing for the 'big one'. It makes me feel good that the various communities throughout Oakland will be able to handle any emergency they may encounter."


    Above: CORE Volunteer Ed Ono reviewing the contents of his neighborhood's CORE emergency box. 



    To learn more about CORE and how to organize your neighborhood, go to


    For disaster preparedness tips for individuals, families, pet care and business, go to 


    For earthquake information go to

    2. Discover Oakland This Week

     Brookfield Branch Library Reopens Tuesday, May 3: After undergoing repair work, the Brookfield Branch Library, 9255 Edes Ave., will re-open on Tuesday, May 3, 2011. Repairs to the branch include renovation of the building's skylights, which previously caused excessive heat in the library on sunny days.

    Special Diversity Blood Drive at City Hall, Thursday, May 5, 10 am-3pm: I'm co-sponsoring this event with the Khadafy Washington Foundation For Nonviolence, the Oakland Police Deparatment  the National Coalition of 100 Black Men and Blood Centers of the Pacific.  One out of every three people will need a life saving blood transfusion, and you never know when you or someone you love might be that one. For an appointment to donate, please go to or call (415) 354-1381.


    Future Fridays at Chabot Space & Science Center, Friday, May 6, 6-7:30 pm:  Join Mary Roach to celebrate the release of the paperback version of her bestselling book: Packing for Mars. Ms. Roach is a columnist and popular science writer, who dares to ask experienced space travelers the questions only children have the courage to inquire. What happens if an astronaut vomits inside a space helmet? What does the space shuttle smell like after a two week mission?  Mary Roach will sign copies of her book Packing for Mars after the event. For ticket information.



    Merritt College Horticulture Spring Community Plant Sale, Saturday, May 7, 9 am-3 pm, and Sunday, May 8, Noon-3 pm: Rare fruits, perennial and annual vegetables, grasses, California natives, food, music, permaculture tours and more.  12500 Campus Drive.


    FOSC Community Workshop in Dimond Park: The Backyard Ecosystem, Saturday, May 7, 10 am-Noon: Jennifer Smith will present on creating garden space for native plants that attract native bees, and Friends of Sausal Creek Restoration and Nursery Manager Megan Hess will discuss the environmental advantages of gardening with native plants. Meet in the native plant demonstration garden uphill from the tot lot next to the Dimond Recreation Center (3860 Hanly Rd., Oakland). Please RSVP to or 325-9006.


    Celebrate AmeriCorps and a Day of Community Service and Celebration in West Oakland, Saturday, May 7, 9:30 am-3 pm, Defremery Park, 1651 Adeline Street: My office has been working closely with OPR and Council Member Nancy Nadel's office in organizing this event to celebrate the work of AmeriCorps volunteers during AmeriCorp Awareness Week. The City of Oakland has benefited from their dedication at our schools and in so many other ways ever since the program was began in 1993. AmeriCorps was originally founded in 1965 as VISTA, the national service  program designed specifically to fight poverty.   


    FREE COMIC BOOK DAY, Saturday, May 7:  Go to any public library branch to pick up a free comic while supplies last. The first Saturday in May each year  participating comic book shops (and libraries!) across North America and around the world give away comic books absolutely FREE to anyone who walks in their door.


    Friends of the Dimond Library Quarterly Meeting, Saturday, May 7, 1:30 pm, 3565 Fruitvale Avenue: Come here how our friends and neighbors are making the Dimond Library even better!  


    Author Event with Serena Wu, Saturday, 2:30 - 3:30 pm, Asian Branch, 388 9th St., Ste. 190:
    To celebrate Asian Pacific Heritage Month, and in honor of Mother's Day, Asian American blogger and writer Serena Wu will share her new book My Mom is a FOB: Earnest Advice in Broken English From Your Asian-American Mom. She will tell heartfelt and funny stories about how Asian mothers adapt to American culture. 238-3400. 


    Pio Pico: California's Black, Native & Mexican Governor, Saturday, May 7, 6 pm, Center for History and Community at Peralta Hacienda Historical Park, 2488 Coolidge Avenue: Hear Carlos Salomon, Fruitvale resident and Director of the Latin American Studies Program at Cal State East Bay, give a special talk about his book Pio Pick, the Last Mexican Governor of California. Pio fought to maintain influence after the Mexican-American war of 1846-48 and was of mixed heritage: Black, Native American, and Spanish. RSVP to or call 532-9142.  






    Honor Mother Earth at MLK Regional Shoreline Park, Sunday, May 8, 9 am, help weed and clean.  If you have never been to the restored marsh lands here, it is a glimpse into how the bay once looked.  The bird sightings are unparalleled for our area.  


    Mother's Day at the Zoo, Sunday, May 8, 10 am - 6 pm:  Mothers ride the Zoo Train for free 


    Dunsmuir Mother's Day High Tea, Sunday, May 8, 1 pm:  Reservations are needed for the High Tea at the Dinkelspiel Cottage on the estate.  Take a step back in time and enjoy the Dunsmuir Hellman estate and gardens.  

    3. City News: Budget Proposals Released: Parcel Tax or an ALL Cut Budget ?

    Nearly 200 residents attended last week's Planning Department's report out about plans for increased retail and housing near Valdez & Broadway.  This is one of the areas that retail surveys show may attract national retailers to Oakland.

    BUDGET PROPOSALS ARE NOW ON LINE:  The Bad, the Really Bad & the Really Ugly
    Because so much is still in the air, we present 3 budgets:

    Budget Facts--a quick overview of the budget:
    1 page comparison
    The Bad---Balancing the budget with cuts, employee contributions and the Parcel Tax
    The Really Bad--Balancing the budget with cuts and employee contributions
    The Really Ugly--Balancing the budget only through cuts

    Currently, the Council has not scheduled a new vote on a mail ballot for a 25 cent a day emergency parcel tax for 5 years; I am asking them to let the voters decide.  All of three budgets are painful but an ALL CUTS budget will mean major closings of libraries, fire stations, and recreation centers, reduction of days at senior centers, and reduction by attrition of the police force. Council meetings on the budget are scheduled for May 2, 12, and 19.


    Council Delays Parcel Tax Vote:  Several weeks ago the Council agreed to put an $80 parcel tax on the special election ballot planned by Governor Brown.  When it became apparent that Brown would not be able to get a special election, our office went to the Council to ask for an all mail vote.  Disappointingly, three members of the Council did not support an "urgency" vote which needs 6 votes.  

    • Does this Kill the Parcel Tax Vote?  This does not kill the initiative but does delay the vote until next months because of the Council recess. 
    • Why is the delay important?  It means that if we get a special election by mail, we will not know the results until August two months into the fiscal year.  Even if the parcel tax passes, we will likely have to layoff and cut programs during July & August.  This is something I was hoping to avoid.
    • Is the Vote by Mail expensive?  Actually a vote by mail is about the same cost to the city as being part of a consolidated election, about $800 K.
    • I believe the citizens of Oakland should be allowed to decide.  The parcel tax would raise about one fifth of the funds needed to close the gap, it would cost the average home owner about a quarter a day. 
    • Without a parcel tax we will have an all cuts budget for the most part.  Ironically this parallels the struggles going on in Washington and Sacramento. 



    The Budget Process:  Since I took office we have worked every day on the budget.  

    • We spent most of the first two months establishing the budget baseline, correcting mistakes in reporting and estimates that were too optimistic.  We expect the current budget to run up to a $6M shortfall.
    • We also started meeting with departments immediately to work out what options we would have to increase revenues or to reduce their budgets by 15-20%.
    • We have spent much of our time fighting proposed deep federal and state cuts including redevelopment.  Federal cuts could be $7-8M and state cuts could be over $30 M, including redevelopment.    
    • Last month we issued an 85-page budget memo for our day long Budget Workshop with the Council and the Cabinet  You can download the report here.  We are starting the budget process about 6 weeks earlier than in past years. In past years the Mayor and Council had retreats to discuss city priorities in the fall or new year, that did not happen this year so this was a critical meeting.  The document focuses on the $46M shortfall in next years general fund budget.  To close that gap I believe all options must be on the table and everyone must contribute:  1) There will be cuts to programs and consolidation of programs, but we must leave the city in the best possible position for when the economy rebounds . 2) Employees will be asked to contribute; this will mean a continuation of furlough days and other items now under negotiations with all our unions.  3) We need the passage of the $80 emergency parcel tax for 5 years to reduce the necessary levels of cuts.  4)  Other new revenues including increasing rentals of city facilities, sharing of services, etc.  5) Collaborating with other government agencies and organizations to reduce costs.  
    • April 29th--Mayor Releases Budget Proposals 
    • Council & Public Hearings:  Council meetings are scheduled for May 2, 12, and 19.  We are planning a series of community hearings with Council members and will distribute budget fact sheets through the remaining Town Hall meetings, Neighborhood Councils and other organizations.  In the past some programs were spared such as police, senior programs and Headstart, I think this year all programs will take a cut although not necessarily equally.  
    • Council Hearings and Votes:  Historically, the Council holds its final budget hearings in June.  The charter requires a budget by June 30th.   

    MacArthur Transit Village Groundbreaking, Monday, May 23, 1 pm: One of the tenets of smart growth policy is the idea of building mixed-use, mixed-income development adjacent to public transportation. The Fruitvale Village was our first Transit Village effort. Groundbreaking for another similar effort at the MacArthur BART station will be held on Monday, May 23 at 1 pm.






    We are still looking for a few good volunteers to serve on the Citizen's Police Review Board.  This important body "investigates and reviews certain complaints regarding conduct of Oakland police officers," which makes it an extremely important volunteer activity, especially if you can evaluate people and actions in an even handed manner. In particular, we are trying to ensure that members of this Board come from throughout the City. Contact Richard Cowan at 238-3990 if you are interested.


    We are also looking for volunteers to serve on the Parks And Recreation Commission (PRAC), which oversees projects in Oakland's parks and recreation centers. Contract Richard Cowan at 238-3990 if you are interested. 

    Oakland has nearly 30 Boards and Commissions ranging from community policing to cultural affairs.This means that Boards and Commissions can provide over 400 opportunities for rewarding volunteer activity.  Since I became Mayor, my staff has filled many vacancies and there are many more openings ready for you to participate in. You can access a directory of Boards and Commissions at the City website.  Take a look and let us know where you would like to work.  


    4. Neighborhoods Speak Up--District 2 Town Hall Meeting

    Our fifth Town Hall Meeting at Regeneration Church in District 2 brought out about 200 people on a beautiful sunny Saturday morning. City Council Member Pat Kernighan, School Board Director David Kakishiba, City Administrator P. Lamont Ewell, Police Chief Anthony Batts and other city department leaders participated in breakout sessions with local residents, who identified the following priorities:


    Public Safety

    1. Safety on the streets for seniors and students walking in commercial corridors, especially after school and at night.
    2. Better communication between OPD and the community-on both sides.



    Vision statement: Each student is empowered through education, regardless of background, with the involvement of family and teachers. 

    1.  Every student should have a complete education plan with family and teachers to get them through school, finding a path for their education potential.
    2. Community: volunteers to provide academic support and programs at rec centers; group mentoring programs, supply a variety of appropriate reading materials in the classrooms; business offer internships.  
    3. City: foster more interagency collaboration to support above; provide pathways for community members to become mentors; establish parent support networks and hold ore events to promote literacy.


    Youth Issues

    Vision statement: Mentor the young people to get them off the street.

    1.  Encourage youth to get involved, organize youth caucuses in each of the Council Districts
    2. Training for mentors at the local schools-reach 25% of the 2000 goal by first year, all 2000 by year 4.
    3. Have community work better with Oakland to fund programs for youth

    At end of year 4-peer-to-peer mentors, establishing more youth centers as a home base for these mentors. We'll know that we have achieved the above with higher graduation rates, fewer drop outs and reaching the goal of 2000 mentors.


    Public Works

    Vision Statement:  Beautification by harnessing public energy to improve infrastructure; access to parks for dogs and people, maintenance and reduce blight to create greener city.


    Synergies: dog friendly city, work with volunteers /stewards to improve public spaces.








    Economic Development

    4-year plan: more jobs, attracting better and bigger business and nurturing small businesses in our neighborhoods.

    1 year plan:

    1. Emphasize attracting high tech, bio tech and other green tech business to our neighborhoods.
    2. Development of local jobs-hiring locally so that money earned will be spent in the community; link local businesses with neighbors seeking employment.
    3. Parkway Theater is an anchor business; we want to see it reopen as it encourages business along Park Blvd. and East 18th Street.

    Community: meet with our business owners in their associations, networking for jobs

    City: incentives for business, tax cuts, streamline business process; local hiring-get behind the initiatives; encourage Port of Oakland to hire more local employees.


    Housing, Homeless and Foreclosures

    Issue is how information about what is available is communicated to the people who need them.

    1. Produce a comprehensive resource directory that is easy to understand and accessible- printed and electronic.
    2.  City should fund this effort in multiple languages and help distribute to people where they are.


    Other Social Issues (immigration, human slavery, prostitution related to immigration, etc.)

    1. Increase outreach and ensure protection for physical, emotional, safety and from deportation.
    2. Community-encourage better curriculum in education system at younger ages.
    3. City-shut down motels that attract prostitution; education campaign, advertisement by billboard, make Municipal ID a priority and remember that Oakland is a Sanctuary City-concrete MOUs between city and OPD that decriminalizes immigration status and prostitution.

    Environment and Health

    1. Walkability encourages a sense of community.
    2. Beautification-moving concrete from front years, gathering trash, more people on the street, more greenery, more paths-all of this will help reduce crime
    3. Community: Clean up our own blocks, walking more, adopt a spot
    4. City: easier access to doing things, easier to start community gardens, better information about City Codes, fostering a sense of neighborhood identity; improve safety on the streets-more lights; publicize city resources by mailers  

    Chinese Community Issues

    1. Housing-making people safer-more affordable housing
    2. Safety- cheaper to have community patrol than a police substation; consider high school and college students doing patrols
    3. Public bathroom at Lake Merritt should stay open longer.



    Photography by Howard Dykoff and Sue Piper

    5. The 25% Solution

     If all Oaklanders bought 25 percent more of their normal purchases from Oakland retailers, the sales tax increase would be about $10 to $15 million.  This year that could eliminate up to one-quarter of this year's budget deficit.    



    There's plenty of art, music and culture right here in Oakland!


    Take advantage of the Spring weather and specials. These are great ways to introduce your out-of-city friends to the delights of Oakland. 



    First Friday's Art Murmur in Uptown, Friday, May 6, 6-9 pm: Find out what thousands already know--Uptown is THE place to be on the first Friday of every month. The Oakland Art Murmur is a collaboration of art galleries located on the Telegraph and Broadway corridors between 22nd and 26th Streets. Every First Friday of the month, member galleries are open to the public from 6-9 pm. Additionally 23rd Street between Telegraph and Valley is closed to car traffic, and craft, art, and food vendors are set up along this corridor. There's music, terrific food, street performances and great community spirit.  And if you can't make this Friday's event, plan on attending Murmurama on Saturday, May 21 from 7-10 pm: a multi-venue celebration including art exhibitions, artist talks, live music, food, wine tasting, special performances and more. A short list of special events includes music performances by Kara Alexis Young Project and Goodriddler, Early and Often; artist talks by Lisa Levine and Peter Tonningsen; and wine tasting by Bigvine Wines.  Farley's East cafe is just one of the local businesses offering specials during Murmurama.




    Oakland Museum of California 

    Oakland Museum of California at 1000 Oak Street--half price Fridays through the end of June! Free First Sundays--every month! Check out the refurbished  for it's great history and California art.


    And take advantage of the OMCA Bike Tours of Oakland on Two Wheels, Sunday, May 15, 10am to Noon.



    Oakland East Bay Symphony  presents a concert version of Street Scene, Kurt Weill's extraordinary musical theater piece, Friday, May 13, 8 pm  buy tickets


    Don't forget the 15th Annual Young Artist Competition, May 22 and June 5 at Crowden Music Center and California State University East Bay. learn more/register



    Free Orchestra Concert, Oakland Civic Orchestra, Sunday, May 22, 4 pm, Lake Merritt United Methodist Church, 1330 Lakeshore Avenue: The Oakland Civic Orchestra, conducted by Artistic Director Martha Stoddard and Guest Conductor Nat Berman, presents its season finale. The program features Beethoven's Symphony No 3 ("Eroica") and also includes Ravel's Pavane pour une infante d�funte and Mendelssohn's Heimkehr aus der Fremde Overture.  Admission is free.  For more information, please call 238-7275 or visit Now in its 19th year, the volunteer orchestra
    brings together musicians of all ages and backgrounds to share in the joy and magic of music-making.  They rely on funding from the City of Oakland Office of Parks and Recreation,
    donations from the public, and membership dues.


    Chabot Space & Science Center-- Museums on Us for Bank of America Card Holders

    Through Chabot's participation in the Museums on Us� program, Bank of America Cardholders receive free admission during the first full weekend of every month. Present your valid Bank of America/Merrill Lynch credit or debit card at the Visitor Services desk for one free admission.

    • Each Bank of America cardholder is allowed one free general admission on any eligible MOU day.
    • Admission is non-transferable and for the cardholder only.
    • Any valid Bank of America/Merrill Lynch credit or debit card is acceptable. Photo ID is required along with the card.
    • The program applies only to the first full weekend (consecutive Saturday and Sunday) of every month
    • Not to be combined with other offers.
    Coming up Future Fridays, May 6: Join Mary Roach to celebrate the release of the paperback version of her bestselling book: Packing for Mars. Ms. Roach is a columnist and popular science writer and author of previous books Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers, Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife, and Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex. Ages 16 or older. Tickets $23; $29 at the door subject to availability.

    he Oakland Asian Cultural Center's (OACC) annual Asian Pacific American (APA) Heritage Festival 2011 features a full and diverse program of events celebrating Asian and Pacific American culture and traditions from April 21 to May 26.

    All events are in collaboration with local artists and non-profit organizations and will be held at the Oakland Asian Cultural Center, 388 9th Street, Suite 290 in Oakland. Many events are free but for those where tickets are required, please check the listings on their website.

    Record your story

    Do you have personal recollections about life in Oakland Chinatown that you would like to share for OACC's Oakland Chinatown Oral History Project and the Library of Congress?  OACC has partnered up with StoryCorps to give community members an opportunity to have their stories recorded professionally for archiving.  Forty minute interview slots for you and a recording partner are available throughout this Spring.  To participate, you must sign up in advance by emailing Anne Huang.


    Isabel Wilkerson, Author of The Warmth of Other Suns, to Speak at AAMLO, Wednesday, May 25, 7 pm: The Warmth of Other Suns, The Epic Story of America's Great Migration examines the migration of African Americans from the rural South to cities in the North and the West. The Great Migration was massive in scope and significance but seldom receives due consideration in American histories. From 1915 to 1970, some 6 million African Americans migrated within the US. Ms. Wilkerson, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist for the New York Times, condenses and humanizes this  vast history by delivering three compelling narratives, each focusing on the experience of an individual who left the South behind. This event commemorates National Library Week and the 10th anniversary of AAMLO. It is co-sponsored by the Friends of the Oakland Public Library.


    East Bay Open Studios--June 4-5-11-12, 11 am-6 pm: During the first two weekends in June, and throughout the year by appointment, East Bay Open Studios connects the public with over 400 artists in 14 cities in the East Bay. Since 1979, this event remains the largest art event in the region and draws an annual audience over 50,000! Sponsored by Pro Arts




    Check out one of our  40 unique neighborhood business districts. Each one has a different mix of restaurants and shops. The Shop Oakland website is a great place to start. There's a wonderful map, as well.  


    Visit Oakland Grown for the latest on local independent merchants  

    and their wares.  

    6. The Greening of Oakland:  Garden Tours, Plant Sales, Free Solar 

    Bike To Work Day, Thursday, May 12:  This will be the first year that I will not be able to join riders from my home district on the annual ride to City Hall, as I will be returning from a trade mission to China. Each year more and more people take advantage of this wonderful opportunity to enjoy the outdoors and make a statement about reducing our carbon footprint by bicycling to work. For details, contact the East Bay Bicycle Coalition.

    WOBO To Launch Oakland Bikeways Campaign, Thursday, May 12, 8:30-9 am, Oakland City Hall:
    As a part of Oakland's 18th Annual Bike to Work Day, May 12, 2011, Walk Oakland-Bike Oakland (WOBO) is launching the Oakland Bikeways Campaign, their plan for implementing Oakland's Master Bicycle Plan by 2020:
    • 30 miles of new, safe bikeways by the end of 2011
    • Continuous bikeways on five key corridors by 2015
    • All 218 miles of Oakland's bicycle network complete by 2020
    For additional information, contact WOBO at 269-4034 or visit their website at

    Free Home Weatherization Program:  Renters or homeowners that meet income requirements can have their homes or apartments weatherized to improve energy efficiency for FREE.  The County Community Development Agency received funds to weatherize homes in Alameda County.  Click here to read more.

    Free Solar Electric Installations, Energy Efficiency Services and Trainings for OaklandersThrough generous funding from the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), the City of Oakland's Redevelopment Agency and a number of foundation, corporate and individual donors we have been able to dramatically increase the number of families and workers served in Oakland and around the state of California. To qualify for the program, residents need only:
    1.  Reside in a single-family, owner-occupied home in an Oakland Redevelopment Area (or have a deed-restricted home)
    2. Have a total household income below 80 percent AMI
    3. Posses a solar-suitable roof in good shape (generally less than 12 years old) or be willing to work with the City of Oakland for a low-interest deferred loan
    4. Provide basic documents (PGE bill, tax return, homeowners insurance declaration) to GA Staff in a timely way

    Contact  Jahahara Amen-RA Alkebulan-Ma at Grid Alternatives at 731-1320,


    East Bay Regional Parks Master Plan Survey: You can add your two cents on their online survey for the 2011 Master Plan at 

    2011 Bay Friendly Garden Tour, Sunday, May 15, Alameda County: The 8th annual Bay Friendly Garden tour is expanding beyond Alameda County, Now it is is Napa and Santa Clara Counties, as well. The Bay-Friendly Coalition and its sponsors hope that by expanding into a regional event the tour will encourage more residents to make environmentally friendly gardening choices. In previous years, the tour had been organized by StopWaste.Org and was only offered in Alameda County. This year, the tour is being organized by the Bay-Friendly Coalition. Registration $10.


    Strawberry Creek Restoration Program Presentation at Friends of Sausal Creek Meeting, Wednesday, May 18, 7-9 pm, Dimond Library, 3565 Fruitvale Avenue: The Strawberry Creek Restoration Program at UC Berkeley is a success story of habitat renewal in resource-constrained times. Led by students in partnership with the UCB Office of Environment, Health and Safety and the Grounds Management Department, the mostly volunteer program is rolling back nearly 30 years of neglect and invasion by non-native vegetation within the campus natural areas. Join Environmental Protection Specialist Tim Pine and Lead Student Restoration Coordinator Tyler Grinberg for a presentation on the challenges overcome to restore biodiversity and habitat health in UC Berkeley's part of Strawberry Creek. This environmental education presentation takes place at the bimonthly Friends of Sausal Creek member meeting. All are welcome! For more information, call 501-3672 or email

    7. School and Youth

    Ancestry Project Connects Youth to Family Heritage:   Every week since February, staff from Alameda County Supervisor Keith Carson's Office and volunteers from the African American Genealogical Society of Northern California have met with youth from McClymonds High School and Beyond Emancipation, a program for former foster care youth in Alameda County.  Recently they introduced the program to a group of African American young men at the Berkeley Techonlogy Academy.  Read more about the program in Supervisor Carson's newsletter.

    ASCEND Student Art Exhibit at Oakland's Museum of Children's Art, Friday, May 13, 5-9 pm, 538 9th Street: Arts integration has long been a hallmark at ASCEND. While students' art is always on display on campus, stop by MOCHA for a true art experience. If you cannot make the event but would still like to support our young visual artists, you can make a tax-deductible donation online here, or by mail to: "OSF/ASCEND," P.O. Box 20238, Oakland, CA 94620. All donations support ASCEND's Visual Arts Integration Program -- namely art supplies for  kids and arts integration coaching for our teachers.

    Piedmont Avenue Elementary School Annual Spring Carnival and Silent Auction, Saturday, May 14, 11 am-3pm; 4314 Piedmont Avenue:
    Games & prizes; international food; bouncy house; rock wall; free book exchange; community vendors; silent auction--enter to win a cruise for 2! Proceeds from the event fund enrichment programs such as music, pay for field trip transportation, and provide supplemental classroom materials. Visit their website at  for details.

    Half Price Books and East Bay Children's Book Project Literacy Event, Saturday, May 14, 1-4 pm, FM Smith Park, 1969 Park Blvd.: Free books, entertainment and food. For details, call 408-READ. 


    8.  Safe and Healthy Oakland 

    About 1300 residents participate in Citywide Disaster Preparation Drill: 
    Oaklanders in 75 neighborhoods practiced emergency search and rescue activities throughout the city on Saturday.

    << Residents at Housewives Housing Coop in  downtown Oakland gather outside the command center to report on search efforts.

    Safe Friday & Saturday Nights: 
    This weekend we did a trial run of a new joint initiative between the City, Schools, and Community Organizations to provide safe alternatives for young people in neighborhoods where there has been a history of youth violence.  The Oakland Schools did a study of homicides involving school aged youth for the last decade; they found that most incidents occurred on the weekends, especially Friday & Saturday Nights.  In two East Oakland and one West Oakland neighborhood, we will be opening school gyms, rec centers, non-profit programs and by June the 81st Avenue libraries late on Friday and/or Saturday nights.  Stay tuned for more information on sites.  If you are interested in volunteering, contact us.  (Above) The Mayor, staff, and youth at Rainbow Recreation Center Friday night.

    Help for the Family of Adam Williams:
    Last week we mourned the loss of two Oakland residents in a rare but troubling shooting incident late at night in downtown Oakland. One of the victims was 22-year-old Adam Williams, who worked at P.E.A.C.E.--Peralta Elementary School's after school program. Adam's family has very close ties to Peralta; his mother, June Edwards Wilson, is a long-time member of Peralta's support staff, and her husband Prince Wilson is a former Peralta custodian. The Peralta Community has established a rapid 10-day fund raising goal to help pay for the funeral and related family expenses as well as support for Adam's son, who will turn 5 on May 21.  For additional information and to make a donation, go to

    New OPD Email for Homicide Investigations:
    he Oakland Police Department Homicide Section has a new email address for citizens to provide information to investigators about any homicide that has occurred. Tips can always be submitted by calling 238-3821, or

    Beware of Door to Door Solicitors:
    As the weather warms up, so do sightings of door-to-door-solicitors. Just this week, the list serv from Crocker Highlands was abuzz about "charming young men encouraging homeowners to purchase books for Children's Hospital as a fund raiser for their school orchestra to take a trip to play with the London Symphony. Note that the City of Oakland requires solicitors to have a permit from the Oakland Police Department. We recommend that you not even open your door to strangers, but if you do and they start their pitch, ask to see their permit and then let them know that it is illegal to solicit door to door without one and that you are going to call the police immediately. Then call the non-emergency number 777-3333 and report what you see. It is also a good idea to spread the word on your local list serv, as well.  

    Parent Class on Gang Prevention at Carmen Flores Recreation Center, Thursdays, 6-8:30 pm:
    Project Re-Connect in collaboration with Carmen Flores Recreation Center offers effective parenting classes. Call 482-1738 for details.  1637 Fruitvale Avenue.


    May 05, 2011                    When Stress gets Your Best

    May 12, 2011                    Nutrition

    May 19, 2011                    A Safe Home

    May 26, 2011                    Putting it all Together

    June 02, 2011                   Celebration



    Crime Down for Fourth Year:  Even with the surge in homicides, violent crime rates are still going down overall for the city by about 4%; -14% for all crimes. OPD and community leaders in our neighborhood councils and in merchant groups such as the one in the Fruitvale are working together to address crime in our city.   

    9. Circle Your Calendar.

    Oakland Indie Awards, Friday, May 13, 6 pm, Kaiser Center Theatre: Celebrate the social and environmental impact of Oakland's independent businesses and artists at the annual
    Oakland Indie Awards.Party at the Kaiser Rooftop Garden, 300 Lakeside Drive following the awards (6:30 pm.) Sponsored by the One Pacific Coast Foundation and East Bay Express.

    District 4 Town Hall Meeting, Saturday, May 14, 10-12:30 pm, Bret Harte Middle School, 3700 Coolidge Avenue: Our ongoing series of Town Hall meetings continue, this time in District 4. Please join Council Member Libby Schaaf along with me, neighbors, friends and city staff in sharing your priorities and suggestions for improving the city. For details, contact Office of the Mayor for details.

    Garden Party & Luncheon at the Camron-Stanford House, 1418 Lakeside Drive, Saturday, May 14, Noon-2 pm: Tour the spring garden at Camron-Stanford House and enjoy a catered buffet on the veranda overlooking Lake Merritt. Hear Bobbi Feyerabend, of Feyerabend & Madden Landscape Design, present the history  of 19th century gardens in Oakland, and introducing "The Victorian Garden Project" at Camron-Stanford House. Reservations are required. Members $20, Non-members and guests, $30. Call 847-7802 for details. 

    The First Ladies Tea Party, Free Women's and Girls' Health Conversation, s Saturday, May 14, 1 pm, Allen Temple Family Life Center, 8501 International Blvd.: The Diva Foundation and Kaiser Permanente sponsor this special health conversation for Oakland women and girls. Hats & gloves are enouraged! RSVP at 1-888-389-0331 ext 2 or at

    Half Price Books and East Bay Children's Book Project Literacy Event, Saturday, May 14, 1-4 pm, FM Smith Park, 1969 Park Blvd.: Free books, entertainment and food. For details, call 408-READ. 



    25th Anniversary of the Bay Area Black Comedy Competition and Festival, Saturday, May 14, 8 pm-Midnight, Paramount Theatre: See the final round of the world's largest, longest-running and most diverse showcase of urban stand-up comedians. This year's Competition began last February in Pleasanton, with 67 comedians chosen from a poll of hundreds of potential participants form diverse backgrounds from all across America. They're competing for over $15,000 in cash and prizes, which include future bookings as well as potential television and film opportunities. Final Round show tickets are $45, $40 and $25. $55 for special pre-show VIP reception  ticket for the Annual Inspired Artist Awards Reception and admission to the Final Competition. For more information call 421-9207 or log on to


    LGBT Roundtable, Monday, May 16, 5:30 pm, Hearing Room 3: Chief Anthony Batts  and members of the OPD LBGTQ Advisory Committee will discuss Hate Crimes, Hatzune Aguilar from our office will discuss planning for the San Francisco PRIDE parade, and PRIDE Board members will share plans for Oakland PRIDE's event on Labor Day. For details contact Ada Chan in Council Member-at-Large Rebecca Kaplan's Office. 


    Final Spring 2001 Town Hall Meeting in District 7, Saturday, May 21,  1-3:30 pm, East Oakland School of the Arts @ Castlemont, 8901 MacArthur Blvd.:

    Residents of District 7 are invited to join me and Council President Larry Reid as we break out into groups to focus on issues of specific concern to District 7 residents. Translation will be available. Please contact Office of the Mayor for details. 

    6th Awalk to end povertynnual Walk to End Poverty, Saturday, May 21, 9 am, Oakland Lake Merritt Bandstand: Free community fair, children's activities, and live entertainment.Sponsored by the Oakland Community Action Partnership. For more information visit or phone 238-2362.   




    Oakland Fukuoka Sister City Association Concert and Fund Raiser for Japan, Sunday, May 29, 7 pm at Yoshi's Oakland,510 Embarcadero West, Jack London Square: The Oakland Fukuoka Sister City Association is hosting a concert fund-raiser at Yoshi's Oakland with the band Hiroshima.  The net proceeds from ticket and CD sales will be donated to the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern CA (JCCCNC) for Northern Japan Earthquake Relief. Tickets are $40 and may be purchased online. For details, contact Liane Scott at 482-5896 or email her at


    Free Art & Music in the Gardens, Saturday, June 4 and Sunday, June 5:  "Art and Music in the Gardens" will showcase the East Bay's dynamic art community in a magical, seven-acre garden setting in the heart of Oakland adjacent to beautiful Lake Merritt. Selected artists and gardeners will lead hands-on workshops and performances. A selection of foods, from local sources, will be available for purchase. Botanical and landscape art will be given special consideration and emphasis. Special childrens' events, demonstrations and activities will be emphasized. The Gardens were recently named a "Top Five California Garden" by AAA's via Magazine. For details call  Chair Jerry Miller at 547-8894 or visit The Gardens at Lake Merritt website.  



    Art in Harmony, An Afternoon with Michael Morgan & Friends, Saturday, June 4, 2-5 pm, Tessera Gallery, 1225A 7th Street: Oakland East Bay Symphony's Third Annual Spring Celebration benefiting the Symphony's music, education and outreach programs. Celebrate Art in Harmony in a unique urban art space with the delicious food of Devoted Catering by Amiee Alan, the fabulous wines of our Season's Wine Sponsors, live entertainment, and a multitude of silent and live auction items. Individual tickets start at $90. For details...  


    A leader in music education, Oakland East Bay Symphony has developed a comprehensive instrumental music program that serves over 3,000 students in grades 3-12 at eighteen Oakland public schools. Oakland East Bay Symphony's programs serve a student population that is primarily African American, Asian and Latino, in some of the city's most economically depressed neighborhoods. These include Music for Excellence (MUSE), Young People's Concerts, Young Arts Competition, and school visits and ensembles in the schools.

    (Above, a past Young People's Concert.)