Rental Housing Registry and the Zoo turns 100

The Oakland City Council meeting begins at 1 p.m. tomorrow with some big items on housing and homelessness on the agenda. (Also don’t forget to vote in the primary elections. Tomorrow is the last day to vote and the polls close at 8 p.m.)

Rental register: A new database could be coming to Oakland: a rental housing registry that would allow everyone to see how much renters are being charged in rent. Oakland would join Richmond, Berkeley and San Francisco in establishing a rental registry. Proponents say it would increase transparency and awareness of housing laws, but landlords say it’s a violation of privacy. Learn more about what the council is planning in previous coverage by The Oaklandside.

Proposed homeless shelter: An idea to help house Oakland’s homeless population will be presented to council. Council member Carroll Fife called for the creation of a large shelter at the former Oakland Army Base in West Oakland. The city administration plans to submit a report on housing at least 1,000 people at the proposed site.

Rent cap: The city council is expected to finalize a decision on permanently capping annual rent increases at 3%. It was a hot topic at the last board meeting, which The Oaklandside reported on. Learn more here. The board is required to do a “second reading” of the ordinance before the cap becomes law.

Potential New Housing Ballot Measure: The Fife council member wants the town to build 13,000 affordable homes, or social or low-income housing. Fife is asking the council to consider placing a measure on the November 8, 2022 ballot to bring that idea to Oakland voters. “Many of the challenges that frustrate Oakland residents and lawmakers are struggling to find solutions to entrench in policies and practices that have yet to be addressed,” Fife said. “In order to create a city and a state where all residents have access to safe and affordable housing, we must correct the mistakes of the past. My ballot initiative aims to do that for Oakland. While Oakland has built thousands of market-priced housing units over the past decade, the city has failed to facilitate the construction of affordable housing.

The Oakland Zoo celebrates its 100th anniversary: June 6 starting today will be known as “Oakland Zoo Day.” The zoo was founded on this day in 1922 by Henry A. Snow and Sidney Snow. Over the past century, it has grown from a downtown Oakland mansion in Joaquin Miller Park in 1926, to its current home in Knowland Park in the Oakland Hills in 1939. Council Member Treva Reid, whose district includes the zoo, wrote in a note that the zoo has evolved over the years and is now dedicated to “protecting nature, wildlife and implementing best care practices and humane animal welfare and animal welfare everywhere”. Reid and the city plan to recognize zoo staff for these accomplishments and for providing jobs for thousands of young Oaklanders.

City Attorney Increase: Barbara Parker, the city’s elected attorney, earns an annual salary of approximately $229,000. His salary is lower than some members of his office who belong to municipal unions that negotiate salaries for their members. Parker’s salary is set by the council and in accordance with the city charter. The board is being asked to increase his annual salary to approximately $244,000. Ian Appleyard, the director of human resources, noted in a memo that this will “help address the inequitable alignment” of Parker’s salary. If the council approves the raise, his income would still be less than the salary of the assistant city attorneys in his office. They earn $248,000 a year, Appleyard wrote.

$1 Contract: A $132,700 project to repave, paint and add artwork to Lowell Park basketball courts is a godsend. Project Backboard, a nonprofit, is offering to do the in-kind work to improve the courts on 14th Street in West Oakland. But the city council must first approve the $1 contract.

police station : Approval of two new alternate members – Angela Jackson-Castain and Karely Ordaz – to the Police Commission is before the board. Jackson-Castain is originally from Oakland and most recently worked for Unify Consulting. Ordaz is currently the Chief of Staff of the Unity Council. She previously worked as a special assistant to Mayor Libby Schaaf, who is asking the council to appoint Ordaz as one of the Mayor’s Citizens’ Committee members.

$ for libraries: Over the next year, consultants hired by the city will study the construction of a new library in the Hoover-Durant neighborhood of West Oakland and renovate or possibly relocate the main downtown library. The consultancy contracts, which total $1 million, will be voted on by the board tomorrow.

The agenda for Tuesday’s meeting is available here. And here’s a helpful guide to watching and speaking at council meetings.

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