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I’m committed to doing everything within my power as a City Councilmember to provide you with a city government that works - one that is well-managed and responds to the needs of citizens, a city government that works efficiently, and one that is ethical. I strive for real solutions and have a track record for creating City government that is responsive and a City that’s good to live in. I also believe in an informed and engaged citizenry. Some current Responsive Government efforts I support include:
- GPS technology in all City equipment to better manage our equipment and better deploy city staff, especially in times of emergency.
- A 311 call center to better respond to and track calls for service.
- Audits of City departments and evaluations of City programs to identify areas of waste and the appropriate solutions to better use taxpayer dollars.
- Full implementation of the Equal Access Ordinance (see below).
- Efficient and fair hiring practices so that we can get the highest quality City employees.
I think everyone should be talking to City Hall and getting equal treatment from the City. I introduced the Equal Access ordinance to ensure that individuals with limited English speaking skills had access to services in their native language. Everyone loses when people are intimidated or afraid to complain about what’s going wrong in their neighborhood. My staff is at your service and available to help you address problems with City services. You can speak to Claudia Burgos (bilingual-Spanish) at (510) 238-7051 or Lisa Ruhland at (510) 238-7247 for a response to your concern. Or, see our City Services page to find the appropriate City contact.
I am very proud of the Nuisance Abatement Unit that I initiated to bring prompt administrative actions against problem properties for nuisance activities. Some of the successes we have had in District 5 utilizing the expertise of this department are the sale of a drug house on Park Blvd., eviction of 10 nuisance tenants, the resolution of over 57 nuisance properties, and the unit currently monitors 16 compliance plans for properties in District 5.
The City Auditor is a great resource for addressing waste in city government. The Auditor welcomes and encourages requests for audits and reviews from Oakland citizens. Courtney Ruby was elected in 2006 to the office of City Auditor and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (510) 238-3378.
In my role as Chairperson of the Rules and Legislation Committee, I monitor state and federal legislation that is pertinent to Oakland. Our State legislative priorities for the 2008 legislative session will be posted in December 2007. Here is a report outlining our state legislative activities in Sacramento last year:
- 2009-11 City of Oakland Policy Budget
- City of Oakland Job Openings
- AccesoEquitativo-City of Oakland
- Cantonese-Cityof Oakland
- Oakland City Auditor Web Site
- League of California Cities
- Official California Legislative Information
- Public Policy Institute of California
- Institute for Local Government
Responsive Government Highlights
- Purchased radios for CORE (Citizens of Oakland Respond to Emergencies) for communication among community leaders during an emergency.
- Crafted and enacted a ground-breaking Equal Access Ordinance making Oakland the first multi-lingual city in the US, so that all Oakland taxpayers have access to city services and their elected officials. (2001)
- Led the movement to consolidate the maintenance of our parks under one agency to increase accountability for clean parks.
- Leading the fight to stop the proposed gambling casino by communicating our concerns to leaders in Sacramento and Washington, DC. Oakland is not for sale! (2005)
- Reduced bureaucratic barriers enabling East Bay Habitat for Humanity to clean-up a “brownfield” and build new homes for Oaklanders, a project recognized as a national model by the Environmental Protection Agency.
- Launched “Dirty Dozen” campaign forcing 71 problem-landlords to improve their properties, which not only benefited Oakland families but also revitalized their neighborhoods. (1999)
- Leading a citywide effort to take on some of the worst absentee slumlords by bringing forth public nuisance lawsuits and unfair business practice lawsuits to prevent abuse of neighborhoods and tenants.
- Worked with local nonprofits to help 45 Oakland families win battle against slum lord and to transform Oak Park Apartments into a neighborhood gem.
- Saved the historic buildings and gardens of the Altenheim (Glenview / Dimond neighborhoods) by identifying city funds to enable the development of new senior housing.
- Leading effort to protect animals by reforming the Oakland Animal Shelter after holding a Town Hall meeting on allegations of animal abuse. (2005)