February 16, 2017 meeting notes


Attendance:  15.5

Pastor Lankford, Karen, Anne & husband, Rosa, ?lady, Peter, Teri, Madeleine, Elaine & Linden, Renata, Tim Andersen,  Tim’s neighbor (can’t remember name), Ray, Diana, Brigitte

No agenda document

Next meeting:

Thursday March 16, 2017


John Mineta – project director Oakland Army Base development.  Cass & CWS planning to move.  Thurs Mar 16 – city holding meeting 1-2:30 at city hall- discussion with Cass regarding community benefits.  Will be vacating 7.5 acres, how can we shape what will be there.


City has special number 238-SAVE for waste management – http://www.oaklandrecycles.com/ They are in charge of picking up illegal dumping.

OPD + Cameras

Camera registry program – share your surveillance camera with OPD.  Link: oaklandnet.com/camera


CalEPA – had a meeting 2/15, and bus tour 2/15 afternoon. They are in West Oakland as part of statewide initiative after LA & Fresno.  Here to help out heavily impacted community- have clout as state agency.  Yesterday’s meetings were opening introduction as they will be here for 2 (?) months.  Goes along with deep East Oakland.  Looking at environmental and health issues they can help with.  Next step / engagement with community, or if you want to register concerns?  916-323-2514 calepa.ca.gov  Not sure when next meeting or dialogue will be.

Sidenote from Tim on air quality – If you want to see what is wrong with West Oakland – EIR for West Oakland Specific Plan.  Available at counter at city hall.  Look at maps of asthma .  Lead screening maps.  99% highest particulate matter (#1 in state) same for asthma rates.

Re; diesel particulate & the improved air quality- Truckers all independent, federal law prevents them from organizing.  Tim- to avoid trouble they just move downwind of the sensor so don’t believe all the data. Personal experience of perverse disincentives lead to more waiting – Tim sent a trucker in port to retrieve a container, took 2 days.  Instead of 10 trucks working, 1000 trucks waiting.  Sending them in circles, uncontrolled merges, etc.

3250 Hollis – tree permit T16-155 by Madison Park

Permit granted to cut 6 trees @ 3250 Hollis- where Madison Park is building 94 units of housing.   5 are London plain sycamore  1 is black acacia.  They argue that they should just remove the trees because of extensive need of pruning to accommodate the building, as well as the roots that are busting the sidewalk and would need to be root pruned to accommodate sidewalk fix & foundation.

Ray sent a message last month to the city to oppose.  These are street trees, not on private land.  Do not block access to the site.  Christopher Buckley – arborist & ally- replied to decision – agreed tree 1& 2 should go, but far less than 50% of the remaining trees need pruning (more like 15-20%). Disagree that the amount of root pruning needed would necessitate removal for remaining trees because of instability.  Christopher rejects chinese elm replacement trees.  Appeal process extended to 3pm Friday 2/17/17.  Chris would like to appeal and believes this will be a test case for West Oakland.  He will put up ½ of money (total is $712), Ray is asking if WON could put up $200.  Suggest for expedience that we just fund out of WON treasury for now but would really like to share the burden with more parties

Karen motioned to fund $356 from WON to file an appeal on street trees permit. Anne seconds the motion.  All in attendance voted yes, no nays or abstains.

Ray- Perhaps Oakland Heritage Alliance would be willing to add $156?  Madeleine thinks no but will mention it to them.

Ray – The developer has brought nothing to us, we have only helped them by aiding in Alliance closing. Notes that Madison park was not open to any negotiations when they came to our meeting last year, we made suggestions and they put up a stone wall of no adjustments.  We are fighting for more tree canopy in West Oakland so we want to preserve this.

Action: Request if any neighbors are willing to pitch in some $$ to help offset the $356.

Renata volunteered to go down to file paperwork before 3pm Friday 2/17?  When will it be ready?

Derek may be able to help too (sierra club?)

UPDATE 2/17:  Renata & Ray met at the site on Haven with Bob Hoff, Project Manager of Madison Park and Jim, his construction supervisor.  We aimed to save 3 of the 6 trees and walked away with an agreement that they would shelter in place 2 of them.  It is being formally written into the permit.  We ultimately did not file an appeal for the permit because of what was negotiated so don’t need the cash outlay from WON.  They agreed that we would submit our suggestions for trees to be planted (34 trees) and also that our arborist could come and take a look when they pull up the sidewalk to check root structure on the 2 trees to be kept.  Hoping that this can be a start to talking to MPF about more community benefit.

Madeleine comment- city is not on our side with regards to cleaning up and beautifying our area.   Feels the city needs to go over and above to help beautify and upgrade our neighborhood.

Pastor Lankford: City council is proposing to require developers to pay a community benefit.  Suggest we need to talk to council person to figure out how to tap in.  He notes we are one of the few districts that are trying to keep the city accountable and we bring a lot to the table in terms of leadership.  Has participated in some meetings with ministers – interested in helping negotiate those types of deals. (I think he was saying ministers and developers?  Not sure) Need to be vocal about fairness and investment in order to get it.

Community Benefit could be: potentially 10-12 million for the district in example of 2nd street development. (I think this is what he said?  Would need to follow up)

Ray knows of no currently existing community benefit requirement by the city.  Reiterates talk of impact fee to developers.

Action: form a letter to the city council endorsing need for impact fee/community benefit requirement for developers .  needs volunteer. (renata’s idea after.  Feels like this needs action so it doesn’t fall away)

Ray noted: Mike, Bob Huff –  talked about closing off triangle to make a park. (union st / 32nd?)
Brigitte recommends: Send chief of staff (Zach) a note about our intention to appeal the tree decision. Action: Renata sending note.

Madeleine recommends forming a committee to bring up concerns with Madison Park / John Protopoppas and keep an eye on red flags.  Anyone interested?

Action: need volunteers for a development (?) committe (is this what Nancy Nadel usually helps with, looking for red flags?)

Movie Night at the Farm Park

Renata – working on putting together programming for farm park movie nights.  Maybe opportunity to combine with NCPC spring fling- picnic & a movie?    time change is 3/12.


WOYC closed, management has gone to a private non-profit.  Still operational.  Majority of programming had been by outside programmers, now in transition.  Mentoring center contract being revamped – fiscal agent vs rental. Brigitte is currently running the center.

Discussion about grants, how to access…

A lot of money is available for grants – requires time, skill.  Ray asks B- What is the city’s position on this? B- Discussion on how to staff this…  Youth center as entity doesn’t really exist, just mentoring program.

City grant writers are not working on this.  SFFS came on tour, East Bay Foundation  (Akanadi?) Cannabis clubs, call from Dark Heart to help fundraise/ donate to youth center- sounds like our council person has lots of irons in the fire for funding for the youth center.  Currently only has an operational budget of $195K, while other community center has 3.3 million (i don’t remember which she said)


Ray: Oakland can’t do it on its own.  If we take care, it will be a vaccuum and more will come in.  Long term: regional? Statewide?  Incentives, mandates to require cities to take care of its own homeless.

Praise for our community giving it a chance, Wood street next.

Brigitte- still planning on keeping promise to neighborhood that 4/1 35th/Peralta be decommissioned.  Personnel who are helping with services are not happy with that but it is important to Lynette that they keep the promise to the community.  Scrambling to find other places for current residents.  Working with OHA, county, & nonprofits to help renovate some existing underutilized buildings.  Discussion with an SRO to do master lease where people can be housed.  Goal is not to shuffle people around, really to find housing.

Still looking at a number of different spots that people can go after this gets decommissioned.

As a regional problem- Lynette says Walnut Creek, San Mateo and others now seeing more of an issue than they ever have before

ABAC, and EDAB economic development- engaging state level.  Lynette got a percentage of Measure KK for 0-20% ami.   Got 20% or 20million bond for that category.   Working with Barbara Boxer’s office (needs more detail)

As part of Oakland’s housing – we place people wherever we can find housing for them, including Fresno, other cities.  So it is an interdependent regional problem.

Ray – an immediate issue to have action on (aside from Wood st) – there is one site that people were talking about the city owning but it is toxic – old Oakland Naval hospital?  In the hills.  Developers will be developing part of the parcel but it will not be affordable housing. City owns 7 acres. Tim suggests:  Call it a startup incubator with dorms and the attendees will be paid in stock.

Brigitte – bids are starting to get more involved – the compassionate communities program started from Biz Alert.

Neighbors in kono want the city support to do the same- they are funding port-o-lets, showers, sanitation, etc.

Lynette asked for 400k for 3 sites in original ask.  Only got enough for 1. Operation Diginity provided services so fortunately that didn’t have to come out of this 195 k budget.  Thus B is optimistic that they can stretch money and do 3 sanctioned encampments at once.   Looking for K-rails for wood st, but need about 40 (asking other cities for help with that, Oakland doesn’t have enough).   Potential for emeryville to pitch in $- they are feeling the impact so want to help contribute to solution.

Primary encampments: 35/mlk under freeway, 23rd / mlk, west grand, wood street, 35th / peralta, 29th st, north gate / 27th, 5 or 6 in jack london.

Onesies- people sleeping in doorways – B notes seeing more, people with addiction issues.  Encampment at city hall – at 250 is usually 3 tents by the time she is leaving work, and they leave in the morning.

Find space for RVs.

Ray – All of the encampments on caltrans property – technically not legal – since 1989 especially worried about earthquake safety, however they have been retrofitting and now underneath freeways may be safest place.  No reason that it’s not possible to change the parameters, but CalTrans moves slowly. Other reason is that air quality is bad and lead in soil (like ALL OF WEST OAKLAND).  Felt optimistic that the CalEPA folks may be able to help with this.

Madeleine – Talking about warehouses – they’ve suspended ordinances.  If they don’t do something inertia will set in and all will be normal. (not sure this is helpful)

Brigitte – on human resources side- city has not recovered from recession.  Laid off 2/3rds of staff and have not brought them back.  Delay in getting those services because don’t have people on board (union, stringent process)  Need push and nudge to city administrators office.

ACTION:  Who can we write to in city administrators office to fill city positions?  How can this all function if there isn’t staff?  

Tim notes: Caltrans makes the people move on Caltrans property.  There’s lots of rules on the books, ex. Sleep / lie.   Quan passed a new anti-rv law on the books.  Rules aren’t enforced – only enforced selectively.  Brigitte notes that they are Generally complaint driven so when there are complaints the city acts.  Tim notes that piles of trash are a strategy to protect / slow down the rousting so that they can get their belongings while the other trash is being dealt with.

The village (at Grove/Shafter park)- their leaders didn’t engage the community at all, and the camp got shut down.  Ray expressed how they were very organized and methodical and lots of volunteers, similar to the group that went in at St. Andrews plaza and left it clean and organized but is unwilling to reach actually collaborate with WON, the City, etc.  Brigitte wants to make sure that we work together and everyone in the community has a stake / input and works on solutions together.  She notes what she heard from neighbors- folks who ran the village weren’t interacting with / including the (older african american men & women) folks who have been homeless and living there at mlk underpass.   Brigitte reiterates that the city wants to work on plans together with community, stakeholders, otherwise they have no option other than to react to complaints.
Steve DeCaprio – squatter guru  – working on adverse possession.  What other underutilized land could be used?  How can we get past bureaucracy that is randomly enforced.

Lankford – what is the city policy on homelessness?  Looking forward, moving forward – we haven’t seen this in our city, unlike anything else. No example we can look to as a guide.

Policy directs elected officials and staff to direct money, resources, etc. When it is policy it requires things being budgeted, resources, etc.

The next City meeting about homeless encampments and related issues is Feb 27 at 4 PM at City Hall, hearing room 3.

Actions: how can we help start a conversation on what Oakland’s city policy should be around homelessness.  Attend city meeting 2/27 at 4pm meeting room 3

Total count from Alameda County homeless census won’t be available for a few months –  last count was 1400 , 70% in D3.  Brigitte – anecdotes – it is cleaner living in a tent than some of the rat infested SROs.   Or don’t want to stay in a certain SRO because there is drug dealing, etc, and they want to stay clean.

SF and LA are both city and county – those are only places that can regulate SROs.  Oakland has 15 SROs, used to be 40, but cannot regulate them. Lynette working on trying to change this rule.   See this article about Assemblymember Bonta’s effort to do so- http://bit.ly/noak2kHa9QB

Also the $30 hotels on macarthur are now jumped to $125+ knowing they can make money because people will pay it, so now people pushed out.

Action: encourage revamp of laws to allow Oakland to regulate SROs?

Brigitte – in conversation with planting justice – a neighbor has volunteered their private land for a sanctioned encampment.

Brigitte’s story of 2 skate parks

2 skate parks- defremery park, and culdesac 9th & pine.  KDub built wooden skate park.  Approached the city, wanted to do a concrete one – estimated cost $1mil – got levi’s to pay for it- done in 1 year for 350K because used volunteer labor @ Defremery.  9th & pine – renegade skate park, $50K wasted, concrete skate park with no plans, no way to tell if it’s seismically ok, etc.  They didn’t want to work with KDub, they wanted to do their own thing.  Now it’s fenced off, graffiti, blight on community.

Moral:  when you just do it the city has no other option but to react.  So is best to work with city.

If someone gets hurt, the city gets sued, that’s why the city has to enforce more.

If the city has all the information the city is required to do something.  So let’s bring the info.  Pastor Lankford – do we do a homeless town hall?

Madeleine – it’s about time for something to happen.  In the 50s the urban freeways took the heart out of Oakland for the convenience of the suburbs.

Ray – if the city (brigitte) made contact with the grover shafter / st. andrews group and had them connect with WON – we want to talk to them but keep getting nowhere.

Peter suggested signage saying the encampment is closing on 31st, but Ray points out it is not the residents or neighbors that could pose a problem.  Brigitte says staffers are there 5 days a week to talk so the residents know and there’s constant communication.   She wants to talk to advocates (i.e. the people who set up the village) to reinforce that we are trying to get the unhoused housing and placement, and that they are working in a positive direction.

Alliance space

Alliance: Bought in private sale.  Rumor that might want to do cannabis.  Zoned industrial, may go to HBX- housing business mix.  Want to do a discussion about cannabis equity in Oakland, put some zones in West Oakland.  Brigitte will put on council member’s desk to come in next month.

Action: make sure we do a discussion about fair and equitable … re: cannabis

Want to talk about and have a stake in what will happen with Cass for the neighborhood

Illegal Dumping

There is a proposal to fund a team CDBG – community development block grant – to work on waste pickups.  Waste managment is supposed to pick up 75 cubic yards, but they’re “working on it”.  Remind people to see click fix so that there’s data.

Action: SCF!

Notes by Renata Foucré.


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