The COVID-19 pandemic is creating financial challenges for all levels of government, and the City of Oakland is no exception. Numerous revenues will decrease, if they haven't already, as the need for municipal services continues. This downturn occurs at a time when the city was facing very significant financial challenges due to underfunded long-term obligations and the emergence of new challenges such as homelessness.
MOBN! has just donated to the Oakland Fund for Public Innovation, which operates The Oakland COVID-19 Relief Fund. This fund was launched recently by Mayor Schaaf and Councilmembers Kalb, Bas and McElhaney as an emergency fund to serve Oakland’s most vulnerable residents and first responders during the pandemic.
Oakland’s City Council passed a resolution to submit a parcel tax to voters on the March primary ballot in 2020. The tax is expected to generate more than $20 million dollars per year. No less than 60% of the net proceeds for parks, landscape maintenance and recreational services, and 30% percent for services to address homelessness.
Get to know Guillermo Cespedes, the first Chief of Oakland’s new Violence Prevention Department, and what he thinks about Operation Ceasefire and the City’s overall public safety strategy.
Make Oakland Better Now! will have a table at Oakland's Art + Soul Festival all weekend. We'll be at booth 267. Come visit us! Board members will be there ready to talk to people about our organization’s history, advocacy positions, and future.
(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? (more…)