Today's Council Meeting: Vote to Allocate $10 Million for Civilian Responders & Report on Negotiations for Arena Lease for an Oakland WNBA Team!

Posted: July 26th, 2021 8:30 AM

Last Updated: July 26th, 2021 8:50 AM

Graphic of the Vice Mayors logo and a photo of her

Hello Neighbor,

At today’s July 26, 2021, Special Oakland City Council meeting, I will introduce the following: my amendments to the FY 21-23 Budget, WNBA item report and action on the Oakland Arena lease for a WNBA team, and along with Council member Carroll Fife, support for AB 1256. I seek to improve the safety and revitalization of the Oakland community through these items.

July 26, 2021, 1:30pm Council meeting Agenda: Link

Zoom Meeting Link :

Allocating Funding For MACRO

My amendments will accept and allocate $10 MILLION of additional state funding, which the I successfully requested on behalf of the Oakland community to fund Oakland's civilian crisis responders -- MACRO. This funding will allow Oakland to better launch MACRO as a well-resourced program of civilian crisis responders and allow the Oakland Police Department (OPD) to answer violent priority calls. I thanks Governor Newsom, the State Legislature, and specifically Senator Nancy Skinner, for her amendments to the Budget Act of 2021.

On May 4, 2021, I wrote a letter to the Senate and Assembly Budget Committee Chairs advocating funding for MACRO. I have continuously championed creating a trained civilian emergency response program in the City of Oakland. I successfully included the funding for the study of MACRO in my FY 2019-20 Budget Amendments. In March, I called on the city to launch MACRO as an in- house program through the Oakland Fire Department (“OFD”). Now, through the OFD, civilian responders will answer nonviolent 9-1-1 calls, providing access to mental health, conflict mediation, and social resources. Thus, allowing police to focus on responding and investigating violent crime.

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3/18/21, ABC 7 News, Oakland launches civilian crisis response team to handle nonviolent mental health calls:
Report and Action on Proposed Arena Lease for a WNBA team

As part of the my role on the Oakland- Alameda County Coliseum Authority (“JPA”), I have scheduled a report from the Executive Director of the Oakland- Alameda County Coliseum Authority on a report and action regarding the Oakland Arena lease for a WNBA team. On July 16, 2021, the JPA, which oversees the Oakland Arena, unanimously voted to authorize the executive director to move forward with the process of negotiating a lease with the African American Sports and Entertainment Group (“AASEG”) to bring a Women's National Basketball Association (“WNBA”) team to the Oakland Arena.

The AASEG has expressed interest in bringing a WNBA team to the City of Oakland and has submitted a proposal to the JPA to lease the Arena. AASEG is an Oakland-based group focused on creating economic opportunity for the Black community in East Oakland and using the Coliseum Complex as a vehicle for economic equity and social justice. This agenda item provides an opportunity to receive a report from Henry Gardner, Executive Director of the JPA, on the status of negotiations with AASEG and next steps that will be considered at the JPA’s July 30th meeting.

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Related News Article: 7/14/2021, East Bay Express, Hoop Dreams: Support solidifies for an Oakland WNBA team:

Evidence of the WNBA’s growing popularity and importance was noted in a recent Sports Illustrated cover story,

6/14/2021, East Bay Times, An Oakland WNBA team is on One Group Plans For the Coliseum:

Support for AB1256

Co-Author Councilmember Carroll Fife and I are asking our colleagues to join us in endorsing AB 1256 and urging the California State Legislature and Governor Gavin Newsom to support its enactment into law. If enacted, AB 1256 will prohibit employers in the state of California from discriminating against a person in hiring, termination, or any term or condition of employment on account of the fact that a drug screening test has found that person to have non-psychoactive cannabis metabolites in their urine, hair, or bodily fluids.

Oakland residents and applicants in the City of Oakland should not be punished for usage of legalized cannabis. Preventing applicants from being hired for usage of legalized medications and legalized recreational substances places barriers of entry that is discriminatory and negatively impacts applicants from underserved and disadvantaged neighborhoods in the City of Oakland and its surrounding communities.

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Media Contact

Kimberly Jones
Chief of Staff
At Large Member & Vice Mayor