The Oakland City Council meeting begins at 1 p.m. tomorrow with a few big housing and homelessness items on the agenda. (Also, don’t forget to vote in the primary election. Tomorrow’s the last day to vote and polls close at 8 p.m.)
Rental registry: A new database could be coming to Oakland: a registry of rental housing that would allow everyone to see how much tenants are being charged in rent. Oakland would join Richmond, Berkeley, and San Francisco in establishing a rental registry. Proponents say it would boost transparency and awareness of housing laws, but property owners argue it is a privacy violation. Read more about what the council is considering in prior coverage by The Oaklandside.
Proposed homeless shelter: An idea to help house Oakland’s homeless population will be presented to the council. Councilmember Carroll Fife has called for creating a large shelter at the former Oakland Army Base in West Oakland. The City Administration is planning to present a report on housing at least 1,000 people at the proposed site.
Rent cap: The City Council is expected to finalize a decision on permanently capping annual rent increase at 3%. This was a hot issue at the last council meeting, which The Oaklandside covered. Read more about it here. The council is required to do a “second reading” of the ordinance before the cap becomes law.
Potential new housing ballot measure: Councilmember Fife wants the city to build 13,000 affordable housing units, or low-income or “social housing.” Fife is asking the council to consider placing a measure on the Nov. 8, 2022 ballot to put this idea to Oakland voters. “Many of the challenges Oakland residents are frustrated by and legislators are struggling to find solutions to have roots in policies and practices that have yet to be addressed,” Fife said. “In order to create a city and state where all people have access to safe and affordable housing, we must correct the errors of the past. My ballot initiative seeks to do that for Oakland.” While Oakland has built thousands of units of market rate housing over the past decade, the city has failed to facilitate the construction of affordable housing.
Oakland Zoo turns 100 years old: June 6 from today on will be known as “Oakland Zoo Day.” The zoo was founded on this day in 1922 by Henry A. Snow and Sidney Snow. Over the past century, it moved from a downtown Oakland mansion, to Joaquin Miller Park in 1926, to its current home in Knowland Park in the Oakland hills in 1939. Councilmember Treva Reid, whose district includes the zoo, wrote in a memo that the zoo has evolved over the years and now is dedicated to “protecting nature, wildlife, and pioneering the best practices in humane animal care, welfare and advocating for animals everywhere.” Reid and the city plan to recognize zoo staff for those accomplishments and for providing jobs to thousands of Oakland youth.
City Attorney raise: Barbara Parker, the city’s elected attorney, earns an annual salary of about $229,000. Her pay is below some members of her office who belong to city unions who negotiate their members salaries. Parker’s pay is set by the council and in accordance with the City Charter. The council is being asked to raise her annual salary to roughly $244,000. Ian Appleyard, the director of human resources, noted in a memo that this “will help to address the inequitable alignment” of Parker’s paycheck. If the council approves the raise, her income would still be below the salary of assistant city attorneys in her office. They make $248,000 a year, Appleyard wrote.
$1 contract: A $132,700 project to repave, paint, and add artwork to basketball courts at Lowell Park is a steal. Project Backboard, a nonprofit organization, is offering to do the work in-kind to improve the 14th Street courts in West Oakland. But the City Council must first approve the $1 contract.
Police Commision: The approval of two new alternate members—Angela Jackson-Castain and Karely Ordaz—to the Police Commission are before the council. Jackson-Castain is an Oakland native who has most recently worked for Unify Consulting. Ordaz is currently the chief of staff to the Unity Council. She previously worked as a special assistant to Mayor Libby Schaaf, who is requesting the council appoint Ordaz as one of the mayor’s members of the citizen commission.
$ for libraries: Over the next year, consultants hired by the city are going to study building a new library in the Hoover-Durant neighborhood of West Oakland and renovating or possibly relocating the Main Library downtown. The consultant contracts, which total $1 million, will be voted on by council tomorrow.