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Schools & Parks
Schools and Parks are the foundations our neighborhoods. I believe that every park should be clean and accessible and that youth should have quality school campuses and ample after school options. I have used the majority of my Council office’s discretionary funds on Oakland schools and parks to improve accessibility, quality, and safety.
Every school deserves our support, whether is it a conventional public school, a small school, a charter school or a private school. I am currently planning or implementing projects using my discretionary funds at the following public schools: Glenview Elementary, Delores Huerta Learning Academy, Urban Promise Academy, and United for Success (at Calvin Simmons). I would like to do projects at Fremont Federation (Mandela, Robeson, Architecture, and Media College), Jefferson Elementary, Lazear Elementary, and Hawthorne Elementary. I also coordinate with the Oakland Unified School District regularly around issues of safety and access to recreation facilities.
Parks are key to a good neighborhood. Geographically, District 5 is one of the smallest districts but the most densely populated. It has a limited amount of open space to serve its residents. I am committed to developing creative uses of schools and other public facilitates to bring recreational opportunities to District 5 residents. I am planning or implementing improvements at the following parks: Josie De La Cruz/Sanborn Park, Cesar Chavez Park, Jungle Hill, Manzanita Recreation Center and Fremont Pool.
Oakland taxpayers have been very generous in supporting our youth. In 1996, Voters passed Measure K, which created the Oakland Fund for Children and Youth (OFCY). This is funded by a 2.5% earmark of the City’s General Fund ($10-$12 million). Measure Y (The Public Safety and Violence Prevention Act of 2004) is a voter-approved parcel and parking tax that funds about $6 million per year in violence prevention programs. I continue to work to ensure these programs are well-managed and effective.
- Oakland Unified School District
- California Department of Education
- Peralta Colleges
- Oakland Small Schools Foundation
- Bay Area Coalition for Equitable Schools
- Oakland Fund for Children and Youth
- OFCY Evaluations
- Measure Y
- Oakland Parks and Recreation
- Peralta Hacienda Historical Park
- Jack London Aquatic Center
- Secured funding for expanded programming at Peralta Hacienda Historical Park. (2007)
- Helped fund a new play structure for Glenview Elementary School to help address obesity and increase neighborhood recreation options (2007).
- Gave discretionary funds to purchase computers to complete a computer lab at Sobrante Park Elementary. (2006)
- Served as a Marcus Foster Educational Institute Principal for a Day several years.
- Visited every public school and most private schools in Oakland - over 100 schools, met with each principal to discuss concerns and ideas for improving schools (2005-2006)
- Led efforts to build the first 3 new schools in Oakland (2003-2005).
- Launched pilot initiative with School District to open recreational facilities until 9 p.m. for neighborhood youth. (2005)
- Identified critical funding for neighborhood schools such as Glenview Elementary, Edna Brewer Middle, Manzanita Elementary, Hawthorne Elementary, Think College Now, International Community School, Urban Promise Academy, Lighthouse Community Charter School, Dolores Huerta Elementary, and other public schools.
- Worked with community groups to support “small autonomous schools” that enhance student learning with lower teacher-student ratios.
- Improved pedestrian safety for school children by enhancing crosswalks and installing stop lights near schools such as the Cesar Chavez Educational Center, Hawthorne and Melrose.
- Supported innovative After-School Initiative to provide comprehensive after-school programs for 20 elementary and middle schools including homework assistance, sports, and the arts. (2004)
- Leveraged resources with Glenview Neighborhood Association to beautify a mile-long stretch of Park Boulevard. (2003-2005)
- Led the movement to consolidate the maintenance of our parks under one agency to increase accountability for clean parks.
- Created more new open space than any other Councilmember, including Union Point Park (along the Estuary), Peralta Hacienda Park, and the soccer and baseball fields at the Cesar Chavez Educational Center.
- Coordinated the planting of 177 trees in Council District 5 (2002) and supporting funding for 100 more trees near the 23rd Avenue business district (2005)
- Led efforts to create a sports field at Lazear School.
- Led the effort to relocate OHA housing to create open space for the Peralta Hacienda Park.
- Led the effort to demolish the Montgomery Ward building to make way for construction of the Cesar Chavez school including full-size artificial turf soccer field for youth and community use.