City of Oakland Wants Us To Tell Them What We Think About Budget and Police – Let’s Do It!

Make Oakland Better Now! believes that the Oakland should regularly conduct scientifically valid polls of its citizens to learn what Oaklanders feel about how the police department is doing, and how the city’s budget process is meeting Oaklanders’ needs.

Valid polls typically cost about $25,000, and we believe the money would be well-spent.  We will continue to urge Oakland to conduct this type of survey.  But until it does, Oaklanders should take participate in two non-scientific surveys that will allow them to provide their views on the Oakland Police Department and the city’s budget process.  Make Oakland Better Now! urges all Oaklanders to take the 15 minutes it will take to respond to both of these surveys:
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City Council to Consider Adopting Budget and Amendments Tonight

Tonight, beginning sometime after 6:30pm, the Oakland City Council is expected to adopt the fiscal year 2013-2015 budget (item #9).  The importance of the budget can hardly be understated: this document will control the City’s expenditures over the next two years.  The budget is where the Council is called upon to put its money where its mouth is; more than any other document, it reflects the values and priorities of our elected leadership.

In April the Mayor submitted her budget to the City Council, which proposes $487 million in appropriations over two years.  You can find MOBN!’s discussion of the Mayor’s budget here, here, and here.

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Make Oakland Better Now! Looks at the Mayor’s Budget and Two Proposed Amendments – Part 3

On June 13, Make Oakland Better Now! will be present at the Oakland City Council Meeting at 6:30pm to urge the City Council to adopt the Mayor’s proposed budget with Council President Kernighan’s proposed changes.  In recent posts, we’ve been looking at budget amendments proposed by Council President Kernighan and others proposed by Council Members Brooks, Reid, and Gallo.  We encourage all Oaklanders to join us at council in urging your representatives to adopt a budget reflecting the city’s need for public safety and fiscal responsibility.

A recent resolution enacted by council has significantly increased the involvement in the budget process of the Budget Advisory Committee.  That committee met last week, and has submitted its recommendations to council here.  The highlights:

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Make Oakland Better Now! Looks At Two Proposed Amendments to the Mayor’s Budget – Part 2

Make Oakland Better Now! will be present at the next Oakland City Council Meeting on June 13th at 6:30pm to urge the City Council to adopt the Mayor’s proposed budget with Council President Kernighan’s proposed changes.  This post is the second in a series to look at the budget amendments proposed by Council President Kernighan and those proposed by Council Members Brooks, Reid and Gallo.  More information can be found in the Oakland Tribune’s Coverage, here, and Chip Johnson’s column in the San Francisco Chronicle, here (paywall).  We encourage all Oaklanders to join us at council in urging your representatives to adopt a budget reflecting the city’s need for public safety and fiscal responsibility.

Make Oakland Better Now! was set to publish a post today that costed out the City Council President’s proposed budget amendments (we’ve been calling the proposal “APB1”) and the proposed amendments to the budget by Council Members Brooks, Reid and Gallo (“APB2”).  We had reached the conclusion that APB2 would result in a city budget out of balance by millions of dollars.

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Make Oakland Better Now! Looks At Two Proposed Amendments to the Mayor’s Budget – Part 1

On June 13, Make Oakland Better Now! will be present at the Oakland City Council Meeting at 6:30 p.m., urging the City Council to adopt the Mayor’s proposed budget with Council President Kernighan’s proposed changes.  This post is the first in a series to look at the budget amendments proposed by Council President Kernighan and those proposed by Council Members Brooks, Reid, and Gallo.  More information can be found in the Oakland Tribune’s Coverage, here, and Chip Johnson’s column in the San Francisco Chronicle, here (paywall).  We encourage all Oaklanders to join us at council in urging your representatives to adopt a budget reflecting the city’s need for public safety and fiscal responsibility.

Oaklanders who follow these things know what’s happening with the city budget.  As our City Council gets ready to pass a new two-year budget between now and July 1, we have the following:
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Will the Mayor’s Proposed Budget Rebuild Oakland’s Police Department?

On Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 1:30 p.m. at St. Paul’s Church, 114 Montecito, Make Oakland Better Now! will sponsor a public forum, “Can Oakland Afford to Be Safe?,” featuring Chief of Police Howard Jordan, City Administrator Deanna Santana and key staff members to discuss the connection between Oakland’s budget challenges and the need to rebuild the Oakland Police Department. All concerned Oaklanders are urged to attend. Meanwhile, we are beginning our analysis of the mayor’s proposed policy budget and its impact on public safety.

Make Oakland Better Now! is in the process of analyzing the mayor’s proposed policy budget that was released on Wednesday. One element struck us immediately. While this is the first proposed budget to include police academies in years, we question whether those academies will result in the sworn officer increases the mayor has announced. We are concerned that because Oakland needs at least 900 officers, if not more, the goal she posted are being moved and not in the right direction.
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Make Oakland Better Now! Begins Its 2013 Guide to the Oakland City Budget Process

Tuesday, April 2 at 5:45 p.m., Oakland City Council begins its budget process for fiscal years 2013-15 with a budget workshop. Today, Make Oakland Better Now! begins a series of posts to help Oaklanders understand the budget and the budget process.

Earlier this year, the Make Oakland Better Now! board agreed our primary focus for now will be public safety. One thing we learned long ago is that budget facts drive just about everything. If you don’t understand the city budget, you can’t understand public safety policy. And if don’t fix what’s wrong with the city’s budget, you can’t fix what’s wrong with public safety, either.  Put simply:  this budget process is going to be a critical element in determining if, how and when Oakland can restore it police department.

With that in mind, we are publishing a series of blog posts on the upcoming Oakland budget process.  We will start with some simple introductory facts about the process.  Some readers will already know these, but we want everybody to have the same baseline knowledge.
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What Will It Take To Restore The Oakland Police Department?

As we explained last month, all four City Council members elected in the most recent election have adopted the MOBN! position that rebuilding the City’s police department is the City’s highest priority.  Last month, City Council Members Larry Reid and Libby Schaaf proposed three public safety measures, including one that Council confirm a police academy conditionally budgeted for June, 2013.

MOBN! supports all three measures, including the academy confirmation, the use of Alameda County Sherriff’s deputies and the hiring of civilian technicians.  But even if these proposals are adopted, the City’s current course will not restore the department in the near future.  Here’s why:
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