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Profile: Councilmember Larry Reid
Councilmember Larry Reid is serving his fifth 4 year term on the City Council, and was elected Vice Mayor this year. Since serving on the Council, he has worked tirelessly to continue to create change in, not only District 7 (which he represents), but throughout the entire City of Oakland. Through his efforts and diligence, he has managed to champion a transformation of a district that now includes retail development centers, market rate housing projects, premier auto dealership developments, as well as the most anticipated Transit Village Development site, that many have stated, will truly be the catalyst for transit villages throughout California.
Within the past four terms, Vice Mayor Reid has convinced developers, such as Signature Properties, to build a $95 million dollar market rate housing project at Durant Square, a new 48,000 square foot Food Maxx Supermarket, and a new CitiBank which is the first full-service bank in East Oakland in several years. He led the change on MacArthur Boulevard, which now includes a 78- unit affordable housing development (Palm Villas) and a 19-unit market rate Housing Development (Covington Manor). The transformation of MacArthur Boulevard continues with the construction of 36 units of work force housing and 1,200 square feet retail space at 98th & MacArthur Boulevard and 33units of senior housing with 1,200 square feet of commercial space at Durant Avenue & MacArthur Boulevard. Working with the owners of Foothill Square, Vice Mayor Reid has advocated for additional retail at the shopping center. The rebirth of Foothill Square is underway with construction of an 80,000 square foot Foods Co grocery store, Anna Linen, Rainbow Apparel and Ross Department stores. With this new construction happening at Foothill Square, current tenants DaViia Health Care Partners, Inc., provider of kidney care, is building a new 8,200 square foot free standing facility and Head Start will have a new facility. Through these efforts and the effectiveness of his vision of changing a community, the residents of District 7 can experience a true transformation of East Oakland. With retail and services as a part of the change for District 7, Vice Mayor Reid has supported efforts to create a retail base within the City of Oakland. Along the Coliseum and Airport Area, which Vice Mayor Reid represents, he has championed efforts to bring the WalMart store on Hegenberger Road (which is currently one of the highest grossing WalMart stores in Northern California), Magic Johnson’s Starbuck’s Coffee, the Raider Nation Store, and a host of restaurants, including an In-And-Out- Burger. Vice Mayor Reid’s most recent efforts have been on the rebirth of Foothill Square. A new 17,000 square foot LEED certified Veterinary Medical Hospital opened in October 2012 at the Oakland Zoo. The construction of The California Trail exhibit, a 56 acre change to the footprint of the Zoo will feature 20+ acres of open space habitat and 20 acres of new exhibits featuring regionally extinct animals such as the grizzly bears.
Vice Mayor Reid has also spearheaded efforts with other notable agencies and participants to continue his plans for economic growth in Oakland. Examples include working with the Port of Oakland in the renovation of the Oakland International Airport, and working with BART to develop the Airport Connector. Additionally, for nine years, in an effort to fulfill the objectives of the Oakland/San Leandro Joint Revitalization Plan, Vice Mayor Reid in collaboration with the City of San Leandro hosted an annual job fair which attracted up to 100 employers/employment assistance providers and more than 2,000 job seekers.
Vice Mayor Reid has also devoted his efforts in assisting and establishing local small business owners. For 7 years, Vice Mayor Reid sponsored a Small Business Symposium which consisted of over 30 workshops, luncheons and mixers for potential and current small business owners. This symposium generally attracted over 700 participants.
Vice Mayor Reid is a member of the Public Works and Rules and Legislation Committees for the City of Oakland and is Chairman of the Community and Economic Development Committee. He is the former Chairman (and currently a member) of the Alameda County Transportation Commission (formerly known as the Alameda County Congestion Management Agency), Member of the Joint Powers Authority, which oversees the operations for the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. In addition to the various Boards and Commissions for the City of Oakland, Vice Mayor Reid also dedicates his time and service to helping numerous members of his district who are less fortunate. Vice Mayor Reid, through “Larry’s Kids”, has donated hundreds of new coats and gift cards to school kids throughout his district. Additionally, he has also donated hundreds of turkeys and dinners for the holidays. The schools in District 7 have also benefited from the generosity of Vice Mayor Reid as he has donated thousands of dollars through various organizations to schools in his district.
Vice Mayor Reid was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, attended the University of Cincinnati, and has dedicated his community service efforts for the past 30 years in the City of Oakland. He served as Chief of Staff for former Oakland City Councilmember Aleta Cannon and former Mayor and Assemblymember Elihu Harris.