Op-Ed: Council Needs to Ensure Hiring of Black Workers on City Projects


By Kitty Kelly Epstein


African-Americans are 28 percent of the Oakland population but get only nine percent of the work on projects that their tax dollars are paying for. 


A great set of policy changes to create fairness were requested by the Post Salon and agendized by the Rules Committee of the City Council for immediate action.


Now, the recommendations have been rewritten in such a way as to make it seem that more “studies” will be conducted, instead of action taken.


Councilmembers Larry Reid, Lynette McElhaney, Rebecca Kaplan and Annie Campbell-Washington need to introduce and pass the clear action items (including jobs policies for all city-funded development projects, and rejection of various loopholes) at the CED committee meeting on Oct. 11 and pass them on to City Council at its next meeting.


People who care about fairness will not want to vote for a $600 million infrastructure bond in November to fund projects where Black people do not get jobs.


The jobs policy is on the City Council’s Community and Economic Development (CED) committee agenda Tuesday, Oct. 11, 1:30 p.m. at City Hall.


Kitty Kelly Epstein is an educator and an Oakland community activist.


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