Dear Oakland,

On Thursday we held our weekly virtual Town Hall with special guest Congresswoman Barbara Lee. In case you missed it, here’s a run down with links to join the conversation where you are most interested:

  • To see my update on the citywide response and resources for residents, you can watch on YouTube by clicking here.
  • To hear updates on Oakland’s eviction moratorium start here.
  • For the latest on our effort to move unsheltered residents into hotels and services, click here.
  • To learn the latest on worker’s benefits and new unemployment resources, start here.
  • For information about grants and support for small business owners, click here.
  • To hear an update from Kaiser Permanente’s Public Health Director, watch it here.
  • The panel and I answer several questions from viewers starting here.
  • Congresswoman Barbara Lee calls in at this point.

We will continue our virtual Town Halls every Thursday at 6 p.m. until the emergency is lifted.

To catch my daily video updates, please follow me on Facebook , Twitter , and Instagram
On Monday Oakland will open a drive through COVID-19 test site specifically for direct service providers – our healthcare workers, grocery store and food bank employees, homeless outreach workers, and many other groups who work directly with the public every day.

We are working with organizations who represent workers in these areas and creating appointments by referral. If you wonder if you are eligible, please email

The new site will have the capacity to conduct 240 tests per day. We must continue to take care of those who take care of us.

I’m grateful to every Oaklander and philanthropic organization who has contributed to the Oakland COVID-19 Relief Fund we launched on March 20. The fund has helped us stand up this site and deliver food to our most vulnerable seniors, fight displacement and protect renters, and assist small local business owners.

To learn more about the fund’s goals and contribute – no amount is too small – please visit the website here .  
As we rally around our small local businesses, I want to remind residents and entrepreneurs about , where business owners — regardless of documentation status — can receive no-interest micro-loans. Oaklanders can also lend directly to Oaklanders.

In response to the COVID-19 crisis, Kiva increased the loan amounts to $15,000 and extended the repayment time — borrowers do not have to start repayment for six months.

If you’re a small business owner in need of assistance, make sure you also visit the city’s Business Assistance Center and take the impact survey
Even during a shelter in place, the critical daily work of our City continues. I want to thank every City of Oakland employee who thrives in their role as an Oakland Place Keeper , as captured in the video above.

Our leadership team also has a great new addition. On Friday, after a thorough national search, I announced the appointment of Ed Reiskin as Oakland’s new City Administrator.

Ed started his distinguished public service career in Oakland and returned in 2019, where he immediately showed extraordinary leadership during the power shutdowns and has continued during this unprecedented pandemic. Ed will officially begin after a confirmation vote, which is expected at the next regular City Council meeting scheduled for April 21.

I am also proud to make two announcements in our top public safety positions.

I recently appointed Susan Manheimer as Interim Police Chief. Chief Manheimer, who will begin Monday, served nearly 20 years as the Police Chief in San Mateo and was the first woman elected as head of the California Police Chiefs Association and the San Mateo County Chiefs and Sheriffs Association.

Also effective April 4, Deputy Fire Chief Melinda Drayton began her service as Interim Fire Chief. Chief Drayton has served Oakland residents with excellence for 22 years.

As we all continue to move through these trying times together, I could not be more proud of the leadership and dedication shown by every employee who serves Oakland.

Thank you,

Mayor Libby Schaaf