Oakland Impact Fees

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Impact Fees
Building more housing is critically important to our city’s continued economic growth. Every new unit built in Oakland – at any income level – helps relieve the housing shortage, as well as create jobs and retail spending. Oakland’s business community has seen firsthand the economic benefits of what happens when people choose Oakland. Increasing our city’s housing supply to meet the rising demand to live and work in Oakland is a critical part of creating jobs, supporting local business, and expanding Oakland’s sales tax base.

The Chamber believes that the best way to raise money for affordable housing without discouraging new development is to phase in the fee over a 4-year schedule at increments of $5,000, $10,000, $15,000, and $20,000. Given current market conditions and indications from the City’s own economic consultant, this is likely the most aggressive fee schedule Oakland can tolerate. Some in the community are advocating to implement fees over 3 years at increments of $5,000, $10,000, and $20,000 per unit and exempt projects that submit building permit applications before Dec. 1, 2016, and some are advocating to implement fees well over $20,000 immediately.
Impact Fee Update 1/27/16

The Community and Economic Development Committee heard a brief summary of the staff report on development impact fees on Tuesday, Jan. 26, followed by public testimony from approximately 40 housing activists organized by East Bay Housing Organizations. EBHO speakers called for immediate impact fees at $25,000 with few pipeline project exemptions. The 7-8 non-EBHO speakers all called for a phased in approach generally maxing out at $20,000. Those speakers included the Chamber, Jobs and Housing Coalition, a BID leader, and others. Approximately 15 speakers also came to advocate to use a significant portion of the money raised for park improvements.

 

Read the update here.

Read the Chamber’s letter regarding impact fees to the Oakland City Council here.

Source: Oakland Metropolitan Chamber Of Commerce

The Oakland Poetry Slam & Open-Mic

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We are halfway through our season at The Oakland Slam and the competition is getting fierce! Come and qualify for semi-finals early!

This month our gracious host, Awaken Cafe, will stay open til 11pm and feature special Oakland Slam drink and food specials!
***No outside food or beverages are allowed***

This month is an OPEN slam, with the top two competitors qualifying for our Semi-Finals in May. Sign up is FIRST COME FIRST SERVE, starting at 7:30 – come early, the list will fill quickly.

$7 for audience members, $5 for anyone performing, CASH ONLY at the door.

Show is 8pm – 11pm, and we pack the house! Get there early if you want a seat!

***NOTE – This is our ONLY event this month***

The Oakland Poetry Slam & Open Mic
Thursday, February 11th, 8pm – 11pm
Awaken Cafe
1429 Broadway (at 15th St)

Source: The Oakland Poetry Slam & Open-Mic

Oakland: Body camera shows man screamed “I can’t breathe” before death

By Dan Lawton

OAKLAND — Face down with police pressing him to the sidewalk, 51-year-old Hernan Jaramillo wailed two refrains over and over before he died.

“They’re killing me!” he howled 20 times in a 4-minute stretch.

“I can’t breathe,” he moaned again and again.

As the minutes passed, the cries grew softer until Jaramillo fell silent.

Jaramillo’s last moments, captured on a police body camera in 2013 and unveiled this week, are a macabre tableau in which he can be heard imploring Oakland officers to let him up as his sister watched tearfully.

The video — exclusively obtained by this newspaper but never released by police — shows officers ignoring Jaramillo’s pleas for help and continuing to restrain him, a tactic associated with in-custody deaths and sharply criticized after the 2014 death of Eric Garner in New York. Garner’s family settled a lawsuit last year for $5.9 million.

It raises questions about how Jaramillo — who was never a suspect and has no criminal record in Alameda County — ended up bloody, unconscious and eventually dead.

The police department did not respond to questions about the incident, including whether an internal investigation was conducted and if the department has policies on restraint and medical treatment.

Last week, Oakland settled a wrongful-death lawsuit for $450,000. The city attorney’s office referred questions about the settlement to the City Council.

Jaramillo’s death was induced by a bizarre and disastrous chain of events

The catalyst was his sister calling police on July 8, 2013, at about 1:40 a.m. and reporting that she believed an intruder was trying to kill her brother.

When officers arrived, they found Jaramillo in a bedroom and no one else besides his sister present. When Jaramillo didn’t obey commands to let them in, they handcuffed him.

In court filings, the city attorney argued that Jaramillo resisted when police attempted to put him in the squad car, refusing 20 requests by the officers.

Officers detained him because Jaramillo had blocked their efforts to investigate the incident and appeared to be having a mental health episode, the city argued.

In his deposition, Officer Ira Anderson said that while attempting to force Jaramillo into the car, he suddenly saw the man’s hands were no longer handcuffed behind his back but out in front.

“I grabbed him by the shirt,” Anderson said. “I brought him away from the car … did a leg sweep and put him on the sidewalk.”

Once Jaramillo hit the asphalt, the exact manner and length of restraint is unclear.

Officers said they held Jaramillo down by his arms and wrists.

But three witnesses said they saw an officer pressing a knee into Jaramillo’s back.

John Peters, a former police officer and president of the Institute for the Prevention of In-Custody Deaths, said that when a suspect complains of breathing difficulties, restraint should immediately stop and medical treatment should begin.

“When a person is having a medical emergency, law enforcement needs to transfer that person from a suspect to a patient,” Peters said.

On the body camera video, at least 6 minutes pass from when Jaramillo last yells and when medics arrive and begin CPR.

According to the paramedics’ report, Jaramillo was in handcuffs and nonresponsive, with vomit in his airways, when they reached him.

He never regained consciousness.

An autopsy, conducted by Thomas Rogers, a doctor with the coroner’s office, found the cause of death to be multiple drug intoxication associated with physical exertion.

Rogers said he found evidence of cocaine metabolites and alcohol in Jaramillo’s blood.

He testified that there was no evidence of internal injuries and that Jaramillo had a compromised heart because of hardening arteries.

Attorney John Burris, who represented Jaramillo’s relatives in the wrongful death lawsuit, said that an independent pathologist rejected that drugs were at play. He also said there was no evidence that Jaramillo had used cocaine that evening and that he believes the use of force by police killed him.

“People have been taught that you don’t get on somebody’s back and press down,” Burris said.

The three officers named in the complaint were Anderson, Carlos Navarro and Steven Stout.

The Alameda County District Attorney does not investigate in-custody deaths that don’t involve shootings.

dlawton@bayareanewsgroup.com

To view video, please go to source: Contra Costa Times

Racial Profiling Via Nextdoor.com

The strange glances are starting to become more frequent. James Fisher, a fourteen-year-old freshman at Oakland Charter High School, has noticed that as he gets older, more people on the street eye him with suspicious or fearful stares. “Some of them just look at me, and then they’ll look away,” he said. “Or sometimes, I go into stores, and they look at me like they think I’m going to do something bad.”

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James is a Black teenager who is soft-spoken and looks about three years older than his actual age. On a recent afternoon last month, I chatted with him and Emma, his thirteen-year-old sister, at their house in the Upper Dimond neighborhood in the Oakland hills. The two siblings told me about their first weeks of high school and how they have enjoyed the freedom at times to walk around Oakland’s Chinatown district without their parents.

But they never walk around their own neighborhood alone.

The tree-lined residential street of large single-family homes where the Fishers live more closely resembles suburbia than a densely populated city. Positioned at the top of a steep hill near Dimond Canyon Park, their house feels worlds away from the busy urban bustle of MacArthur Boulevard and the Fruitvale district just to the southwest. On the surface, their block looks like an ideal place to raise kids — safe, family-friendly, and quiet. Although their individual street is very diverse — with about ten Black or mixed-race kids now living nearby — white residents are by far the largest racial group in the surrounding area. And it’s in this neighborhood, perhaps more so than any other part of Oakland, that James feels most like a target for the uncomfortable glances that are becoming increasingly common in his life.

Emma and James Fisher don’t walk around the Upper Dimond due to concerns about racial profiling.

But he and his parents are not just worried about hurtful stares from neighbors or passersby. Over the last two years, their neighborhood has become overrun with racial profiling — but not by police, rather by mostly white residents incorrectly assuming that people of color who are walking, driving, hanging out, or living in the neighborhood are criminal suspects. These residents often don’t recognize that they may have long held racial prejudices or unconscious biases, but recently, they’ve been able to instantly broadcast their unsubstantiated suspicions to thousands of their neighbors with the click of a mouse.

Nextdoor.com, a website that bills itself as the “private social network for neighborhoods,” offers a free web platform on which members can blast a wide variety of messages to people who live in their immediate neighborhood. A San Francisco-based company founded in 2010, Nextdoor’s user-friendly site has exploded in popularity over the last two years in Oakland. As of this fall, a total of 176 Oakland neighborhoods have Nextdoor groups — and 20 percent of all households in the city use the site, according to the company.

On Nextdoor, people give away free furniture or fruit from their backyards. Users reunite lost dogs with their owners. Members organize community meetings and share tips about babysitters and plumbers. But under the “Crime and Safety” section of the site, the tone is much less neighborly. There, residents frequently post unsubstantiated “suspicious activity” warnings that result in calls to the police on Black citizens who have done nothing wrong. In recent months, people from across the city have shared with me Nextdoor posts labeling Black people as suspects simply for walking down the street, driving a car, or knocking on a door. Users have suggested that Black salesmen and mail carriers may be burglars. One Nextdoor member posted a photo of a young Black boy who failed to pick up dog poop and suggested that his neighbors call the police on him.

White residents have also used Nextdoor to complain and organize calls to police about Black residents being too noisy in public parks and bars — raising concerns that the site amplifies the harmful impacts of gentrification. On Nextdoor and other online neighborhood groups — including Facebook pages and Yahoo and Google listservs — residents have called Black and Latino men suspicious for being near bus stops, standing in “shadows,” making U-turns, and hanging around outside coffee shops. Residents frequently warn each other to be on the look out for suspects with little more description than “Black” and “wearing a hoodie.”

“These posts cast such a wide net on our young Black men,” said Shikira Porter, an Upper Dimond resident, who is Black. “You start seeing this over and over again, and you understand quickly that, oh, it’s the Black body that they’re afraid of.”

In some Nextdoor groups, when people ask their neighbors to think twice before labeling someone suspicious, other users attack them for playing the “race card” and being the “political correctness police.” Some groups have even actively silenced and banned the few vocal voices of color speaking up on the websites, according to records that I reviewed.

This sometimes toxic virtual environment has real-world impacts. Residents encourage each other to call police, share tips on how to reach law enforcement, and sometimes even alert cops and security guards about suspicious activity they’ve only read secondhand from other commenters. I spoke to longtime Oaklanders who say the profiling is getting worse, noting that they have recently had neighbors question them on their block or in their own driveway — suspicious of whether they might be up to no good. People of color described stories of white residents running away from them, screaming at them to leave a shared garden space, and calling police on young children in their own home. In some areas, the profiling is further exacerbated by the growing presence of private patrol officers whom residents have hired to guard the streets.

Even high-ranking officials with OPD, which has a formal partnership with Nextdoor, have admitted that the department is sometimes forced to respond to baseless suspicions about residents of color — the kind of profiling that can go unchecked in online groups. “If … they’re all feeding off of the same bias, then that could be harmful,” said OPD Assistant Chief Paul Figueroa. He later added, “Fear can really drive the application of bias.”

Now, a group of Oakland residents calling themselves Neighbors for Racial Justice is trying to fight back against the rampant profiling online and in their neighborhoods. But Nextdoor officials and the white residents who control and dominate the online groups do not appear to be taking their concerns seriously or willing to make substantive changes.

And as long as the profiling and prejudiced online posts persist, Mitsu Fisher, the father of James and Emma, is not letting his kids play outside or walk the streets of their own neighborhood without supervision. Mitsu made that an official policy in February 2014 after a patrol officer in the Oakmore neighborhood — who was working for a private security company and was not supposed to be armed — chased and shot a Black teenage boy suspected of committing a burglary, according to police. The fact that a private guard shot a young suspect was upsetting enough to Mitsu, but it was the response from his neighbors online that led him to truly fear for his own kids’ safety…

 

Source: Please click for the full text at East Bay Express

At-risk students improve when they take a race and ethnicity class – study

January 14, 2016

Stanford researchers concluded that ‘culturally relevant’ teaching is an important part of the education of students who could flunk or might drop out

High school students saw large improvements in their grades and attendance records when they enrolled in a class dedicated to exploring race and ethnicity, researchers in California found.

The Stanford University study analyzed a pilot program of ethnic studies classes at three San Francisco high schools and found that, on average, at-risk ninth-graders encouraged to enroll in the course performed significantly better than their peers who didn’t.

Student attendance increased by 21%, while grade-point averages surged nearly a grade and a half for those enrolled in the class – striking results, according to the researchers.

“I was surprised that this particular course could have such dramatic effects on the academic outcomes of at-risk kids,” said Thomas S Dee, a professor at Stanford who co-authored the study with postdoctoral researcher Emily Penner. “If I was reading a newspaper with results like this, I would read it with incredulity, [but] the results were very robust.”

CEPA Publications

Whites who gentrified Oakland are calling the police on innocent Black residents

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Photo credit: City of Oakland Facebook page

East Oakland is one of the last locations in the Bay Area with reasonable prices for housing. The area, which is historically Black, is being gentrified by White residents. But like most cases of gentrification, the new White residents are viewing the existing Black residents as menaces to the neighborhood.

According to reports by East Bay Express, Whites are calling the police on innocent Blacks in Oakland at an alarming rate. Taking data from the website Nextdoor.com, Whites have called the police on Blacks for walking down the street, knocking on a door, and not picking up dog poop. The White residents have also called the police on Black salesmen and postal workers who were delivering items. White residents have also hired private officers to patrol the neighborhood.

Members of the Oakland Police Department have even shared that they are being forced to respond to baseless 911 calls. Police currently get over 700 calls per month on suspicious vehicles and people every month.

The response by White residents proves how racist attitudes are an essential part of the gentrification of Black neighborhoods. Along with the racial profiling, the gentrification has allowed some property owners to increase rent by as much as 120 percent due to a rise in value. It has forced some Black residents who can’t afford the increases to move.

The reverse of White flight is occurring across America. As a result, the racist biases will continue until there are legal repercussions for racial profiling by citizens.

Source

2016 TCXPI Young Scholars SSP

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On Saturday, January 16, 2016, The Chinue X Project, Inc. began its first session of the 2016 TCXPI Afrocentric Young Scholars Saturday School Program at the Impact Hub Oakland, 2323 Broadway. (TCXPI SSP)

The program will be  be held in four six-week sessions beginning the second Saturdays of the months of  January, April, July, and October. It is offered to children 5-14 years old and will hold as its subject matter African History and the many contributions made by people of African descent to world and human civilization. Each Saturday session will run from 9-12 am and may change dependent on scheduled events.

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The program will have a non-traditional educational setting. The facilitated instruction will include but will not be limited to: Ancient African Civilization, African Geography and its Cultures and Traditions, and Kwanzaa and the Nguzo Saba. The young scholars will also experience theme-based community events during each six week session.

The goal of the program is to build each scholars African-centered knowledge base in order to extend their research and education for African heritage and culture.

For additional information on how to donate to our FREE program, please visit: GoFundMeFundly, or Eventbrite

For additional information on how to enroll your young scholar, please email: TCXPI Email

I hope that you will share this within your community. Our children deserve education that centers them as subjects, not objects; as victors, not victims.

Chinue X, Founder

TCXPI