Kaplan to Propose Amendments to Schaaf’s Budget at June 10 Meeting

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Nikki Fortunato Bas leads Monday’s D2 town hall on the City’s budget, where over 200 people filled the Lincoln Square Recreation Center. Photo by Pamela Drake.

City Council President Rebecca Kaplan has called a special City Council meeting in June to present proposed  amendments to the $3.2 billion, two-year budget proposal recently released by Mayor Libby Schaaf’s administration.

“I have been working with numerous stakeholders, my team and community to ensure we have the opportunity to adopt a budget to protect and enhance vital needs and honor Oakland’s communities and priorities,” said Kaplan in a media release.

“In drafting my amendments, I will be taking into consideration the importance of a budget that is sound and thoughtful and respects vital needs and equity in our community,” Kaplan wrote. She is “still considering and receiving suggestions” and already has some initial proposals.

Her proposed amendments seek to address:

“Significant and Inequitable Harm to our Parks.”

Mayor Schaaf’s budget proposal cuts 8.5 full-time employees who perform park maintenance.

“This would result in unacceptable degradation of these important public spaces, as they become less well maintained and more trashed, and less usable by our communities,” wrote Kaplan. “Even worse, they propose to cut maintenance inequitably—for some parks and not others—leaving some of our hardest hit communities with more blight and less safe spaces for healthy recreation.

“Stronger Action Needed on Homelessness.”

“Over the past few years, the number of people living on the streets, sidewalks and underpasses in Oakland has increased dramatically,” Kaplan wrote. “Oakland’s…budget needs to respond to the scale of the crisis we face.  This should include navigation centers  and designating allowable locations for people in tents and RVs which are staffed and clean and have storage options and toilet access.  We also need to prevent more people from being pushed into homelessness, by strengthening support for tenants facing displacement.”

Kaplan encouraged residents to send budget suggestions to [email protected]

The special council meeting will take place Monday, June 10, 5 p.m., at Oakland City Hall.  The city is required to approve a new budget by the end of June.

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