What’s in the New “Oakland Together” Budget?

(This is a post in our Budget Bits series, following Oakland’s mid-cycle budget policy and process. Read our previous updates: post one, two, three, and four.)

On June 24th, the City Council unanimously adopted its two-year, $3.29 billion budget. (The full budget document can be read here.) The final adoption reflected a combination of the Mayor’s Proposed Budget and augmented by $44.4 million in amendments proposed in the “Oakland Together Proposal,” which was a combination of amendments by numerous council Members. The Mayor’s Proposed Budget included the funding needed to continue many necessary city services and required funding for continuing obligations such as bond payments, retirement and healthcare. The Council amendments added increased services in a number of critical areas. 

Make Oakland Better Now! believes that many of the service issues presented in both the Mayor’s proposed budget and in the adopted budget are critical. However, in the Adopted Budget, the Council took little action to significantly pay down our City’s long-term unfunded liabilities of $2.7 billion nor did it significantly increase the protections in the Rainy-Day Fund. Oakland also has unfunded Capital projects of $2 billion.

We are now in longest positive economic surge since WWII. However, there have been numerous indications that economic conditions may change during the period of this two-year budget. How will Oakland respond?

Here’s a brief summary of the budget enhancements and improvements:

  • Homelessness ($32.0 million) Including $19.3 in State Homeless Emergency Aid Program (HEAP) funding and $8 million in anti-displacement funds from the San Francisco Foundation and numerous other improvements. Also includes creation of a Commission on Homelessness.
  • Protect Tenants and Produce Affordable Housing ($55.4 million) Funding of numerous programs to protect tenants, provide affordable housing and improve ADA access.
  • Street Paving and Transportation ($113.3 million)
  • Fire Prevention and Emergency Services ($17.6 million) Funding of $3.6 million for wildfire protection, increasing fire inspection staffing thru 11 new fee funded position, and increased 911 staffing.
  • Illegal Dumping ($3.6 million)
  • Investments in Children ($74.5 million) Funding of $12 million for expanded Parks Recreation and Youth Development Programs; Healthy food for children; Measure KK bond funds for recreation centers and libraries; assistance to OUSD for Restorative Justice, foster care and chronic absenteeism; Providing $37.6 to support community youth organizations through Kids First.
  • Violence Prevention ($7.0 million) Funding of Department of Violence Prevention, expanding shot spotters, school crossing guards, an additional investigator for the Community Police Review Agency.
  • Economic and Workforce Development ($4.5 million) Funding of East Oakland business assistance, youth summer employment, workforce development, and implementation of Measure Z workers rights and safety program.
  • Library Services ($24.0 million) Funding thru Measure D of expanded library hours and establishment of Tool Lending Library 
  • Citywide Services Numerous programs to increase needed services throughout the city.
  • Capital Improvement Program. Adopted a robust Capital Improvement Program of approximately $200 million which reflected a strong infusion of Measure KK bond funds.

It’s now our mission, as citizens, to hold the City accountable to this budget and to consider new sources of revenue for the city.

Make Oakland Better Now!

OakTalk Here is the blog of Make Oakland Better Now!, an Oakland community grassroots group of a grass-roots group of voters, volunteers, and policy advocates committed to improving the City of Oakland by focusing on public safety, public works, and responsible budgets. Founded in 2003, we’ve researched, lobbied, and successfully campaigned for a number of new, impactful policies, including the city’s Rainy Day Fund, Measure Z and Operation Ceasefire.

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