Guest blog by Margaretta Lin, Executive Director of the Dellums Institute for Social Justice and former Oakland Deputy City Administrator–includes specific asks of the City Council during its final budget talks. Please forward to your CMs and sign up to speak on Item 13!
PREVENT HOMELESSNESS BY FUNDING ANTI-DISPLACEMENT
On Monday, June 26th, the Oakland City Council will determine whether Oakland’s new homeless epidemic will continue to surge. The Mayor’s budget allocated no funds for anti-displacement and homeless prevention, other than for the City’s Rent Adjustment Program, which does not advocate on the behalf of individual tenants. By allocating only a small housing pot for housing, the Council President’s proposed budget pits the needs of tenants facing evictions against the homeless.
The vast majority of Oakland residents identify anti-displacement and homelessness as their top priority. Yet the Council President’s proposed budget only allocates $1.77 million over 2 years for anti-displacement—less than the budget proposal for the City of Berkeley, with ¼ of Oakland’s population! None of Oakland’s $1.163 BILLION in General Funds is being proposed for anti-displacement or homeless services.
Contact Oakland Council Members NOW and ask them to represent Oakland residents’ values—FUND ANTI-DISPLACEMENT AND HOMELESS PREVENTION!
|Council President Larry Reid, District 7, 510.238.7529, firstname.lastname@example.org||CM Dan Kalb, District 1, 510.238.7001, email@example.com
|CM Abel Guillen, District 2, 510.238.7002, firstname.lastname@example.org
|CM Lynette McElhaney, District 3, 510.238.7003, email@example.com
|CM Annie Campbell-Washington, District 4, 510.238.7004, firstname.lastname@example.org
|CM Noel Gallo, District 5, 510.238.7005, email@example.com
|CM Desley Brooks, District 6, 510.238.7006, firstname.lastname@example.org
|CM Rebecca Kaplan, At Large, 510.238.7308, email@example.com
Oakland has lost over 36,000 African Americans—26%–since 2000, a bigger decline than major cities like San Francisco and DC. The homeless rate has increased by 39% in 2 years as median rents increased by 54%. 70% of low-income tenants going through legal evictions have no lawyer and 3,000 tenants have limited access to housing counseling.
Oakland developed a model anti-displacement safety net with proven strategies of coordinated housing counseling, legal services, and emergency housing funds for low-income tenants and elderly homeowners. City quarterly reports showed that INVESTING IN PREVENTION WORKS to keep people in their homes and out of homelessness.
The problem has been that the City provided limited funds since there are no dedicated funding sources for anti-displacement and homeless prevention strategies.
Let’s turn the tide on Oakland’s displacement and new homeless epidemic and invest in preventing more human suffering. That’s how we’ll build an equitable and inclusive Oakland for All! Please contact the Oakland City Council!!