We're publishing answers to the questions our audience submitted at January's Ceasefire Summit. (Read part one, with responses from OPD's Sean Whent and members of Oakland Ceasefire, here.) Today, we provide answers from Sara…
In our last post we analyzed Mayor Libby Schaaf’s strategy for “holistic community safety” outlined in her State of the City address. Today, we’ll continue our discussion, looking at her other three stated top priorities: responsive, trustworthy government, sustainable infrastructure, and equitable jobs and housing.
Responsive, trustworthy government
The Mayor’s total policy discussion on accountability was as follows:
“I could tell you about our transparency and ‘gov 2.0’ projects—like our Digital Front Door website redesign, our employee civic lab or plans for a 3-1-1 call center, but it really starts with the people.”
She then praised top staff members, the City Administrator, and other recent additions to her team.
Our take: We don’t criticize the Mayor for publicly and openly supporting her people—that’s an important part of leadership. But we call for more emphasis on policy. A starting point might be these initiatives from her campaign white paper on how to “bring Oakland government intothe 21st Century”:
What I Will Do
Implement 311 System for better service delivery: Do you know what number to call to report illegal dumping or a pothole? Most big cities use a 3-1-1 system to make it easy for residents to request help from their government. As Mayor I will implement a world-class 311 customer service center that transitions the City to a new generation of technology that centralizes citizen requests and makes the process and resolution of each request accessible to the public 24/7 on our website.
CityStat and the Office of Strategic Performance:
I will link the 311 service request system with a CityStat performance accountability system led by a newly established Office of Strategic Performance (see Louisville, Kentucky for a good model). I will work with department heads to establish clear performance measures and nurture a culture of continuous improvement within City Hall. In pursuit of this goal, OSP will help City departments and agencies deliver high quality services to citizens in a cost-efficient and transparent manner. Three core efforts include strategic planning, performance management, continuous improvement consulting and training. We can save on technology procurement dollars by conducting internal and external user research to scope projects more efficiently, determine what the needs are and design a scope of work to fulfill those needs. Too often contracts are signed without a clear understanding of the pain points, and key opportunities to solve actual problems are missed.
Sometime soon, Oaklanders should hear about where we stand on these efforts.
Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf gave her first State of the City address and outlined her plan for "holistic community safety." Make Oakland Better Now! weighs in on strengthening OPD, the city's Comprehensive Public Safety Plan, and more.
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.