Now that I have hit six months since taking office, I wanted to take the time to reflect on some of the highlights of my first 150 days of service as Mayor of our amazing city, and share them with you in this inaugural newsletter. Through this platform, I plan to share the latest updates—from priority issues, to helpful tips and resources, to a roundup of where we’ve been in the community and what’s coming up. My hope is to have a direct line of communication between the Mayor’s Office and you, and I am eager to keep you updated on everything we’re doing in service to all our communities.

Since this is our first newsletter, there is a lot to cover, so let’s get started!

One Oakland. My approach from Day One has been to bring people together as One Oakland—so you will hear that phrase a lot from me. Even, and especially, when we have to make tough choices, I am doing what I can to move forward as a united city.

City Hall Reopening. One of my first priorities when taking office was to reopen City Hall—and why not make it a celebration? On April 5, we hosted a downtown activation event not only to reopen City Hall, but reactivate our downtown area as well. Get ready to see more of these downtown activations over the summer.

Budget. Despite inheriting a $350 million deficit, the City’s largest in history, I was determined to preserve critical City services. Thanks to the hard work of City staff, we were able to do just that. While we had to make tough decisions, my proposed budget includes the largest investment in affordable housing in the City’s history and preserved vital services throughout our communities, such as services for Parks & Recreation, as we know this helps with crime prevention, abating, illegal dumping and removal of abandoned vehicles.

Homelessness. Everyone deserves the right to have safe and stable housing. City staff worked tirelessly and compassionately with two years of planning to relocate homeless individuals at Wood Street, remaining portion of the largest homeless encampment in Oakland and Northern California. With 85% of the encampment residents moved into City shelter programs, permanent affordable housing is able to be built on the cleared site. We need to create vastly more housing - and more affordable housing - for Oaklanders. Thanks to the voters passing Measure U, I’m proposing spending more than $200 million on affordable housing in my budget, and will continue to stand up for renters. We need to both keep people housed and we need to get people into housing.

Community safety. Gun violence has touched too many lives in Oakland. I myself have known the victims of gun violence and their families. Police play an important role and we worked hard to avoid police layoffs in our budget, despite a historic deficit. We want to support and help them in solving and detering these horrific crimes. At the same time, we also need to focus on preventing crime. That’s why I put forward a series of action steps we’re taking to help us better address crime and gun violence, some of which are listed in the One Oakland Summer Safety Plan below.

Spring Clean. Thanks to City staff, community partners, and volunteers, April’s “One Oakland Spring Clean” was a huge success in accelerating City services that demonstrate my Administration is making Oakland cleaner and safer—not through words, but through action. This was an effort that required collaboration across City departments and agencies, including Oakland Department of Transportation (OakDOT), Oakland Public Works, our Councilmembers, and of course, City staff and community volunteers.

By the time we wrapped up on Earth Day, we had:

  • Filled 2,700 potholes since March 1
  • Doubled the number of abandoned vehicles removed per month from 150 to nearly 300
  • Established and operated more than 50 volunteer sites on Earth Day throughout the City
  • Established and operated 7 park cleanups with 130+ staff participating in the parks cleanup

We will continue this work daily. Please report any service requests to 311.

City Administrator. Last month, I announced my choice for the next City Administrator, Jestin Johnson. Mr. Johnson was unanimously approved by the City Council and started leading the City Administration on June 5th. Jestin has extensive service in municipal and large organization management and is committed to working with City leaders and staff to address the challenges we face.

These are just some of the highlights of our first 150 days—and as you can see, it’s a lot! We’ve just begun and I look forward to continuing the work to create a city where everyone has the opportunity to live, work, learn and play in a safe and joyous environment. This is One Oakland.



Summer is finally here! After winter and spring brought us record rainfall, we’ve started to enjoy the warmer temperatures in The Town, with kids home from school and our parks and outdoor spaces filled with activities. With so much going on we wanted to provide information to let you know what steps we are taking as well as provide tips for you to stay safe this summer. The Mayor’s Office has been coordinating with the Oakland Police Department, the Department of Violence Prevention and various other agencies to provide a summer safety plan that will ensure that everyone stays relaxed and rested, but also aware and prepared, over the summer months. Here are just a few activities we are taking to make this summer safer, as well as resources and tips for all Oaklanders.

Mayor’s Office
  • Domestic-related gun violence. Since the pandemic, gun violence related to domestic and interpersonal relationships has increased. In the 2021-2023 budget, the City doubled the funding for gender-based violence services. Those resources allocated through the Department of Violence prevention are secured through the 2023-2024 fiscal year. For information, go to the City of Oakland’s webpage on Gender Based Violence Response.
  • Gang- and group-related violence. The Mayor’s Office is initiating a comprehensive audit of the Ceasefire strategy, a partnership between the Oakland Police Department, the Department of Violence Prevention, Alameda County Probation Department, community-based organizations, and faith-based organizations.
  • Root cause. By securing critical resources, my Administration is supporting the Career Technical Education TAY Hub (transitional-aged youth), which provides housing, wraparound services, a technical education center in several trades, a space for athletic programs, a student-run cafe, and additional services and support for the 50% of Oakland’s high school graduates who do not enter post-secondary programs.
  • Community input. My Office will launch a citywide engagement process this summer that invites residents of all backgrounds to provide input. The community’s feedback will be used to identify priority areas and empower residents to co-construct potential policies. Community safety will be a key part of this engagement effort.
  • Foot patrols. Reinvesting foot patrols with 7 sworn staff now dedicated to foot patrol;
  • Police academies. The proposed budget also includes funding for 6 police academies, we estimate this will increase the number of officers from roughly 700 to 730 over the next two years.
  • Human trafficking. My Office recently announced the launch of the Mayor’s Advisory Council on Human Trafficking, a cross-sector of survivors, community organizations and public agencies. For information, go to the City of Oakland’s webpage on Gender Based Violence Response. To make an online report, go to the Oakland Police Department’s online form, available in different languages with the ability to submit anonymously.

Department of Violence Prevention

The Department of Violence Prevention (DVP) awards more than $19 million to over 30 community-based organizations (CBOs) across violence prevention and intervention strategies, and also employs approximately 15 direct service staff across the areas of violent incident crisis response, life coaching, and family support. These positions include violence interrupters (credible messengers who help stop retaliation and provide peaceful interventions); gender-based violence specialists (individuals who advocate, prevent, and/or intervene direct harms against specific genders); life coaches (individuals who help clients navigate and obtain resources for essential services, such as housing, employment, and wellness). The DVP is implementing the following initiatives for the summer:

  • Town Nights: This place-based violence reduction strategy focuses on engaging residents and community members in free prosocial activities in hotspot areas and building safety agreements. Town Nights will be from 6-10 p.m. on June 16, 23, 30, and July 7, 14, 21 at the following locations: Acorn Learning Center; Arroyo Viejo Park; Carter Gilmore Park; Elmhurst Park; Jozie de La Cruz Park; Lincoln Square Park; San Antonio Park; Verdese Carter/Sunnyside Park; and West Oakland Youth Center.
  • School-Site Violence Intervention and Prevention: The DVP is collaborating with the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) to provide services during summer school, as well as coordinating training and learning communities to advance and support the improvement of school safety.
  • Community Engagement Teams (CET): Team members are trusted messengers with lived experiences and familiarity in neighborhoods of focus to deliver outreach messages to community members.
  • Enhanced Youth Service Referral Pipeline: The DVP, OUSD and the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office and Probation are collaborating to create referrals to DVP programs and services specifically for juveniles involved in crime or violence.
  • Family Matters Program Pilot: The DVP is offering family-centered coaching focused on strengthening family functioning and communication to reduce the risk of violence.
  • Summer Youth Employment: DVP-funded CBOs provide summer internships and work experience opportunities to youth at the center of violence to keep them engaged in positive activities during summer vacation.
  • Triangle Incident Response: This 24/7 real-time, coordinated crime scene response aims to reduce retaliatory group/gang-related violence; lessen the levels of trauma suffered by individuals, families and community members; and improve police-community relations.

Oakland Police Department

OPD Robbery Intervention Operation

The goal of the Robbery Intervention Operation is to significantly reduce robberies in Oakland through coordinated enforcement, rapid investigation, public messaging and community intervention. Staff will conduct a blend of strategic enforcement operations and direct communication with known prolific robbery suspects. A citywide operation consisting of OPD Criminal Investigation Division (CID), Crime Gun Intelligence Center (CGIC), Ceasefire, the Violent Crimes Operation Center (VCOC) and Outside Federal Partners. Staff from CID, Ceasefire and VCOC will immediately respond to robberies that occur in the field. This plan provides OPD a unique opportunity to impact robberies and explore a new manner in which to respond to robberies that will likely be more effective by eliminating the lag time from which a crime occurs and the investigation begins. This plan will be assessed daily and any needed adjustments to adapt to new information or intelligence will be made.

Traffic Safety

The Oakland Police Department and the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department are working in partnership to combat illegal sideshows, with an intentional focus on hotspots. This involves proactive investigations which help them identify potential sideshow locations as well as dedicated units to respond when sideshows occur. In addition, the City of Oakland has secured grant funding in partnership with Alameda County Sheriff's department to prevent DUI-related accidents. The partnership has a special focus on the summer season and also integrates crime hotspot data to identify the most strategic locations.

Since I took office, OPD motorcycle detail has been conducting traffic stops and have been deployed in an effort to apprehend traffic violators.

Safety Tips

Following are OPD safety tips for robberies, sideshows and auto burglaries:

  • Robberies: Remain calm, do not resist and remember that property can be replaced. Be a good witness and pay attention to the description of the individual or vehicle. Be aware of your surroundings, do not be distracted by electronic devices and be discreet with your property. When possible, walk with another person and in well-lit, high traffic areas.
  • Sideshows: If you encounter sideshow activities, look for a safe alternate route that will allow you to bypass the activities. If you are involved in a vehicle collision with a sideshow participant, call 911 and do not confront the individual. Do not risk your life by engaging with participants or by trying to stop the sideshow. If there is an emergency or immediate safety threat, call 911. Report illegal sideshows at sideshowtips@oaklandca.gov.
  • Auto burglaries: Always lock your vehicle, utilize anti-theft devices and never leave valuables or personal information inside. Park in well-lit areas or secure garages. When possible, avoid renting vehicles with out-of-state license plates.
  • Visit our Staying Safe page for more safety tips.

Vehicle Safety

Before hitting the road this summer, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says planning and safety checks will go a long way in avoiding unwanted consequences with your vehicle.

  • Air conditioning: Check your air conditioner’s performance before traveling. Your A/C has to work harder to keep your vehicle cool once temperatures rise. Hot temperatures are particularly dangerous for people who are in poor health or who are sensitive to heat, such as children and older adults.
  • Heatstroke: Never leave children alone in a car, not even for a few minutes. Cars heat up quickly during the summertime, leaving unattended children vulnerable to vehicular heatstroke. Even if the temperature outside is in the 70s and the windows are cracked, the temperatures inside a vehicle can reach deadly levels quickly.
  • Belts and Hoses: Inspect all rubber belts and hoses under the hood to ensure there are no bulges, blisters, cracks or cuts in the rubber, and make sure all connections are tight. High temperatures speed up the rate at which belts and hoses degrade, and the best time to replace them is before they show signs of wear.

Employment for Youth

A number of city agencies are offering employment opportunities for youth, which not only provides them a salary but also work experience and valuable skills that instill confidence.

  • Summer Youth Employment Program: More than 1,500 young people between the ages of 16-21 will be connected to career exploration opportunities and paid work experience throughout the City of Oakland. The youth will be exposed to various industries, including technology, education, local government, food and restaurants, marketing and entertainment. The program is a partnership between the Oakland Workforce Development Board, OUSD, CBOs and City departments.
  • Oakland Parks, Recreation & Youth Development: Hundreds of youth ages 16-21 serve the community at parks, pools, rec centers, golf courses, and Lake Merritt in a number of job classifications through the development program, which also conducts Counselor in Training programs for those under the age of 16. Visit

Youth Volunteer Program

On May 22, my Office partnered with California Volunteers to host the California Volunteers Service Members Regional Convening. California Volunteers, led by the state’s Chief Service officer, Josh Fryday, is the state office tasked with engaging Californians in service, volunteering and civic action to tackle our State’s most pressing challenges—while mobilizing all Californians to volunteer and serve in their communities. As a City of Service, Oakland is the only city in the state that has implemented 3 programs: Climate Action Corps, Youth Jobs Corps, and AmeriCorps. Shoutout to Gov. Gavin Newsom and his team for seeing the power and value in volunteering and engaging our young people.

Join the City of Oakland's cohort of California Climate Action Corps Fellows and make a direct impact on climate justice and resiliency in one of the most diverse and dynamic Cities in the country. You'll work on projects that serve the community while addressing the climate crisis— including food waste recovery and re-distribution, urban gardening, wildfire resiliency, and the transition to clean, resilient energy.

Fellows receive a stipend for service plus $10,000 that can be used on tuition or student loan forbearance.

We are aiming to build a cohort with a wide range of skills and interests. Please forward to community organizations and individuals who you believe may be a good fit for the program. For professionals passionate about equity, climate action, and making a difference in Oakland, see our full position description and apply here: https://bacr.app.box.com/s/y8ld2hbbkjoci83jiivaxffwmyibwpgm

Get Involved

Apply for Oakland’s Boards & Commissions

If you’re passionate about promoting equity and advocating for greater accessibility for persons with disabilities in the City of Oakland, consider applying to join the Mayor's Commission on Persons with Disabilities (MCPD) or attending the monthly meetings every 3rd Monday. As a commissioner, you will advise City Council and City of Oakland staff on disability community-specific policies, projects, and programs, and work to ensure that all policies and projects in Oakland are safe, effective, and equitable. To qualify, you must live or work in Oakland and have a demonstrated history of professional and/or community involvement with the disability community.

You can also apply for this and other commissions here:https://oakland.granicus.com/boards/w/8552f8c4c0e15460/boards/6681

For more information, contact adaprograms@oaklandca.gov

And stay tuned for more updates!

In the meantime, I hope you and your loved ones have a safe and enriching Pride Month and Juneteenth. Oakland is one of the most diverse cities in the nation, and we know that diversity is key to our culture and resilience as a community. I hope you will join me in celebrating this diversity and strength and recommit to our efforts in making Oakland and the world a better and safer place to live!

Mayor Spotlight

I will be using this space to highlight residents who are showing up, leading by example, representing The Town, and simply doing positive things in the community. For this issue, I am spotlighting 13-year-old Robert Whitlock, who has earned a historic opportunity to be the first-ever youth from Oakland to represent Team USA in Olympic weightlifting in Venezuela! Robert got this opportunity through Lift Us Foundation, an organization that was founded by Mike Jenkins that helps our youth become physically and mentally strong and helps prepare our next generation to become Oakland’s leaders. Please learn more about this amazing foundation and consider supporting them buy going to their website at liftusfoundation.org.

In Service,

Sheng Thao,

Mayor of Oakland