Oakland City Council Preview
1 Frank Ogawa Plaza
Tuesday, Jan. 7, 5:30 p.m.
[FULL AGENDA HERE]

LATHAM SQUARE (Item 14)
The City Council will hear both sides of a slowly-building and contentious issue over the future of Latham Square, a small plaza near City Hall and tucked near Broadway and Telegraph Avenue. Business owners in the area have derided the “pilot project” that currently includes one southbound lane from Telegraph to Broadway as bad for business. Community members want the plaza to stay and hopefully flourish with cultural events.

WHAT IT MEANS
At a committee hearing last month, a possible middle ground was sought that would greatly expand Latham Square from 2,500 sq. ft to 9,500 sq. ft., but also shrink the number of lanes from three to two—one northbound, one southbound. This is an issue revolving around the look and feel of the downtown area and how it can be used to create strong community bounds. Passionate voices will be heard Tuesday night.

HELP WITH CRIME SOLVING (Item 7.21)
A memorandum of understanding for use by the Oakland PD with the U.S. Department of Justice for use of CODIS, an index system used to catalog DNA from known offenders and unknown crime scenes. According to a city staff report, “Loss of the ability to search CODIS would be devastating to the laboratory’s ability to solve crime with DNA.”

WHAT IT MEANS
The OPD’s crime lab already has enough difficulty solving crime as it is. Any additional road block would only make it worse. A report earlier this year found other areas of investigation were seriously backlogged. As a whole, the odds of getting away scott-free after committing crimes in Oakland are relatively good.

>>> OTHER AGENDA HIGHLIGHTS

BE AWARE
Final passage of the council ordinance raising animal humane standards at circuses performing in Oakland expected (Item 7.7). Also, expect approval for installation of four new electronic bike lockers at the 12th Street BART station and space for 500 bikes throughout the city (Item 7.14). In addition, the council will finalize the whopping $645,000 settlement with Keyvan Sabeghi for excessive force during a November 2011 Occupy Oakland protest. Lastly, Councilmember Dan Kalb’s resolution supporting a kill-switch for smartphone will be heard (Item 7.22).

>>> POMP & CIRCUMSTANCE