On Sunday, we set our clocks forward one hour, propelling our lives forward into Spring – the season of rebirth and renewal.  With Spring comes the much needed rainy season that replenishes our lakes and nourishes our crops.  It welcomes the season of rebirth celebrations from many faiths including Easter and Passover.  March is also Women’s History Month, providing us time to recognize the important contribution of women in our City and around the world.

In the leader-rich Bay Area we have become accustomed to seeing women in prominent positions of leadership in every sector.  But this is not the case throughout the nation.  With women comprising 51% of the US population, women currently hold 99 (or 18.5%) of the 535 seats in the Congress (79 in the 435-member House of Representatives; 20 in the 100-member Senate).  In California, our numbers are only slightly better with 32 women (or 26.7%) serving in both the Assembly and the State Senate.  Oakland native Kamala Harris is the first woman to ever be elected to serve as the California’s Attorney General, and no woman has ever been elected to serve as governor. Until President Obama signed the Lillie Ledbetter Fair Pay Act in 2009, companies were able to avoid prosecution for paying women less on the basis of their gender.

These facts are sobering considering the important role that women play in our economy, democracy and families. In honor of Women’s History Month, I want to share with you a few of my favorite facts about how Oakland women have made history:

·         In 1908, Oakland hosted the first suffragist rally in the State of California.

·         Amelia Earhart stopped in Oakland on her voyage around the world.

·         Oakland was the birthplace of many famous women, including entrepreneur and baker Mrs. Fields (cookies anyone?), best-selling author Amy Tan (Joy Luck Club, The Kitchen God’s Wife), renowned percussionist Sheila E. and Image Award-winner Keyshia Cole

·         Oakland was the home of many famous women, including Delilah Leontium Beasley who was the first African-American woman to be published regularly in a Major U.S. Newspaper (The Oakland Tribune) as well as Ms. Ina Coolbirth who was the first director of the Oakland Free Library (the 2nd library in California), architect Julia Morgan, the first woman architect licensed in California, and the incredible activist, scholar and professor Angela Davis.

·         In 1914, Bertha Wright and Mabel Weed, and 28 other women founded Oakland Children’s Hospital which, for the past 100 years, has been committed to treating every child, regardless of their ability to pay for health care.

Oaklanders owe a lot to women! Throughout our history, many important successes and contributions can be attributed to Oakland women. Strengthening our city today means that we must do more to engage girls in positive, constructive activities.  Be sure to encourage the girls in your life to dream big and accomplish great things. Let’s continue the Oakland tradition of producing leading ladies in arts, business, industry, faith, government and sports.

Happy Spring – Here’s wishing you all the best of the season!

Thanks to the folks who created the Oakland Wiki where our history is being preserved and important information is shared. Visit OaklandWiki.org for more information.


West Oakland Community Clean Up – The San Pablo Corridor

Volunteers are Needed

March 22nd will mark the sixth neighborhood clean-up coordinated by the District 3 Council Office. This one will be our biggest and best yet! Please join us in the Hoover, San Pablo, and McClymonds Neighborhoods of West Oakland on Saturday, March 22 from 8:45am-12noon. Breakfast & lunch will be served.


Thank you to our many partners!

The Movement Church, West Oakland Green Initiative, West Oakland Neighbors, the California Hotel, Hoover Elementary School, Attitudinal Healing Connection, ILWU Local 6, True Vine Ministries, Soldiers Against Violence Everywhere and more!

For more information or to RSVP, please click here. http://bit.ly/1jRJUkE
We have 12 projects planned and we need 30 more volunteers to fulfill all of our project goals!


Attitudinal Healing Connection brings beauty & fights grime in West Oakland


 Attitudinal Healing Connection is a well known non-profit organization with a deep commitment to creating community change, healing, and beauty through the arts. This week, the District 3 Council Office was pleased to attend the unveiling and ribbon cutting ceremony of their newest mural on Market Street between 35th and 36th Street below the 580 Freeway. We are grateful for their incredible community transformation work and for turning these large walls into beautiful spaces for all to enjoy. You make Oakland proud!




no3Oakland Unified is getting a new superintendent

OUSD intends to appoint a permanent Superintendent before the new school year begins. The application process ends this month and a professional consulting firm has been hired to search for great candidates. The School Board is seeking community feedback from all community members who can share their thoughts on what Oakland needs in this important leadership position. Please take five minutes to offer your thoughts.  



Safety Matters

no4Improving Public Safety is my primary objective.  As a member of the Public Safety Committee I work with the community, the Administration and OPD to enact reforms, improve relationships and drive down crime.  Highlights this month are:






District 3 is beginning to see a decline in personal and property crimes which is down 12% from last year in homicide, robbery, burglary and auto theft.  Overall crime in the city is down.  Although trending down, crime is still unacceptably high.  The reforms we enacted last year are beginning to show improvements.  We can track improved 911 response times, targeted patrols, more focused investigations and more people are being arrested.  The non-profit street outreach teams have been working with families to stop retaliation and provide the needed support to help people make safe choices.  We expect continued improvement with on-going support and insight from our community. Use Nixle to report crimes and suspicious activity. The City is looking for residents to join the Oakland Police Department.


Due to civil rights violations discovered during the now infamous Riders’ case, OPD’s practices have been monitored by the Federal Court Justice Thelton Henderson since 2004.  The Court had hoped that OPD reform would take no more than 5 years but nearly 10 years after the Court began monitoring OPD has yet to  reach full compliance. Last month Judge Henderson issued an order granting broader authority to Compliance Monitor Robert Warshaw. This move was a welcomed change by the OPD and the attorneys representing those whose rights were violated.

In recent months the OPD has made significant strides towards meeting the Courts mandates. Interim Chief Sean Whent is confident that the department will reach compliance by the end of the year.  The department is expected to maintain compliance for one year in order to be relieved from Court oversight.



In 2004 the voters approved a special tax to fund an anti-violence initiative known as Measure Y. The $98 parcel tax and parking surcharge currently provides app/ $20M to fund vital violence prevention programs and about 60 police officers. The measure and funding is set to expire in December 2014 leaving programs and police services vulnerable to cuts. As a member of the Public Safety committee I’ve been meeting with key leaders and residents throughout the city to ask: what should we do now?
Measure Y was the first measure of its kind to be implemented in Oakland and has taught us a lot. We know that we cannot police our way to safety. And we know that community programs alone won’t deter crime. Both are needed to make our city safe.
I am working in collaboration with President Kernighan and members of the administration to consider a new measure that will help us reach our objective of reducing violent crime and homicides. The Safety & Services Measure of 2014 will be informed by both the success and mistakes over the past 10 years and will seek to fund the most significant priorities in policing and programs.
I’d like to hear from you. Send your thoughts to me at LMcElhaney@Oaklandnet.com.



D3 Events


Community Conversation:no6

UC Berkeley Admissions

Saturday, March 15, 2014

1 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza

First Floor

9:30am – 11:00am

Join our special guest hosts – alumni from UC Berkeley (UCB) – as they sponsor a community conversation with UCB Admissions Officer, Mecca Shakoor. This event is designed for young people in grades 8 – 12, their families, and advocates. Come learn about UC Berkeley’s admissions process and network with alumni of color. Please RSVP at emailgccu@gmail.com or by calling by 323.784.7795. The event is free and open to the public. Space is limited so please RSVP March 15 OUSD African American Parents Conference


Pre-K Play at Poplar Recreation Center (Willie Keys) 

Wednesdays and Fridaysno7

3131 Union Street

10:00am – 1:00pm

Oakland Parks and Recreation has recently started two free, bilingual parent-child playgroups for toddlers up to age 5 and their parents/caregivers.  Children will enjoy arts, crafts, music and gardening and field trips to favorite local destinations. Space is limited, so sign up today. For more info contact Erin at (510)615-5980 or eburton@oaklandnet.com




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