BBBON Demands to Solve the Housing Crisis

The Council Has Passed the “Housing Roadmap” – Now What?


Declare Housing State of Emergency and Immediate Moratorium on Approval of New Projects

To meet the crisis that is upon us and to stabilize the housing market in this moment, we call on city government to declare a Housing State of Emergency and a moratorium on approval of new projects until significant developer impact fees are implemented, along with a timeline to implement the Housing Equity Roadmap, including an inclusionary zoning ordinance.

Impose Developer Impact Fees

Complete the study which will allow the City to impose impact fees on developers that will go toward affordable and low income housing (and other impacts, like better roads). Impose the highest amount suggested by the study and dedicate the majority of it to affordable housing. Do not approve new projects until the impact fees are in place.

Allow Inclusionary Zoning

We call on our elected officials to demand that Governor Jerry Brown sign an amendment to Costa Hawkins to allow for inclusionary zoning in all California cities, and to pass immediate substantial Developer Impact fees that can produce the equivalent of at least 30% affordable housing in new developments. To ensure that the cultural and economic diversity we all love about Oakland can stay here, we advocate that at least 15% of new units are accessible to 40% and below AMI, and that at least 15% of new units are accessible to 40%-80% AMI.

Use 50% of Boomerang Funds for Affordable Housing

The City should increase the percent of proceeds received from former redevelopment funds from 25% to 50% to increase the number of affordable units that can be built.

Mandate At Least 50% New Development Around Transit Be Affordable

As studies have shown, low-income residents use public transit more and market-rate developments around transit increase car usage. Therefore, at least 50% of new development around BART and AC Transit hubs should be held for affordable housing at 80% AMI or below. Oakland’s Fruitvale Village is a national model for equitable transit-oriented development without displacement, and Oakland should continue leading this important work.

Allocate Public Land for Public Good

Allocate un-used lands and properties currently supported by public tax dollars to affordable housing or mixed-usage for public good. This includes working with the Oakland Housing Authority to ensure that the 2530 9th Avenue property currently for sale and all properties purchased with public tax dollars remain affordable housing units.

Fund the Down Payment Assistance and First Time Homebuyer Programs

Ensure that down payment assistance programs targeted to long-time Oakland residents to be able to purchase their homes are funded at levels that actually enable low-income and middle-income residents to buy homes in the Oakland market.

Protect Tenants Rights

We call on city government to implement a comprehensive rent control ordinance. Oakland’s Rent Adjustment law was written by landlords to preference landlords in the majority of cases. We call for a revisiting of the Rent Adjustment process to ensure that tenants rightsareprotected, including more than two seats of the Rent Board held for tenants (as homeowners often side with landlords) and the burden of proof put on the landlord rather than the tenant.
We also call for the implementation of the Tenant Protection Ordinance to be funded through public attorney assistance for tenants, because the majority of tenants cannot afford lawyers to file cases in Superior Court. All landlords should be required to provide a copy of Tenant Rights laws with all tenants, or be charged fines that go to funding the Tenant Protection Ordinance.

Pass an Anti-Speculation Tax

To prevent further displacement of residents resulting from the flipping of houses and properties for profit, the City should implement a higher tax on for-profit corporations that buy foreclosed properties or buyout current residents to make a profit. This should include any companies using services like AirBnB to take large numbers of rental units permanently off the market.

Revise Accessory Dwelling Unit Policy

Cities across the nation are revising policies to allow for more smart density as the country re-urbanizes. The City Council should pass an ordinance that allows homeowners to add accessory units on their open land, including allowing tiny homes and easing parking restrictions with the understanding that more and more residents are biking and taking public transit.
We ask our elected officials to take these bold steps now, and to not be timid in this critical small window of time that we have right now to save Oakland’s diversity. We call on our elected officials to stop giving developers whatever they want because they tell you that no one will develop in Oakland if you place restrictions on them. Oakland is at the hub of a very profitable economy, and people will continue to build here. It is your responsibility to the residents to ensure that Oakland is built and developed as an inclusive and equitable city.

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Call to Action on the Housing Crisis

Join BBBON and other organizations (Wellstone Democratic Club, Oakland Alliance, John George Democratic Club, Oakland Tenants Union, Post Salon & other Housing Activists)

Mobilize to tell the City Council on April 5th @5:30

HouseDeclare a Housing State of Emergency

HouseDeclare a Moratorium on No Cause Evictions

HouseAlso Declare a Moratorium on Rent Increases

HousePass or place on ballot the Renters’ Upgrade Measure by the Oakland Tenants Union

HouseRequire Community Benefits-Impact Fees & Percentage of Affordable Units

If you can’t make the 5:30 rally, you can sign up to speak during discussions on this agenda item here.

If you can’t make it to the City Council meeting, download this Housing letter , insert your specific details in the fill-in fields and send it to your Council member and the at-Large Council member.

Just because many of us are secure in our homes, it doesn’t mean we can ignore the plight or concerns of the 60% of our neighbors and friends who rent and are at the mercy of their landlords or speculators who are out to make money on the backs of our diverse community that gives us the reason why we haven’t moved over the hill to the whiter and less diverse burbs to the East.

Here is the contact information for your Council members:

Mail: [Council Member’s Name]

1 Frank Ogowa Plaza

Oakland, CA  94612


District 1 – Councilmember Dan Kalb 

Phone: (510) 238-7001



District 2 – Councilmember Abel Guillen

Ph: (510) 238-7002



District 3 – Councilmember Lynette McElhaney 

Ph: 510-238-7003



District 4 – Councilmember Annie Campbell Washington

Ph: (510) 238-7004



District 5 – Councilmember Noel Gallo

Ph: (510) 238-7005



District 6 – Councilmember Desley Brooks

Ph: (510) 238-7006 (office)



District 7 – Councilmember Larry Reid

Ph: (510) 238-7007



Councilmember – At-Large Rebecca Kaplan 

Ph: (510) 238-7008



Posted in Housing Political Action by Michael Tigges. Comments Off on Call to Action on the Housing Crisis
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February GA Minutes

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Approval of Agenda and Minutes

The agenda was unanimously approved as distributed.  The minutes of the January meeting were not available, so approval was deferred


  • Friday at 30th & Broadway at 1 pm there will be a demonstration for return of bus stop sponsored by ACCE. Valentines will be delivered to the Summit Bank branch at the close of the demonstration.  Tuesday at Open Forum at City Council, volunteers are need to speak on behalf of the bus stop return.
  • Lailan led a march to preserve the mural at a site greenlighted for development without mitigation or affordable housing. See Pamela Drake’s blog ( for background information and comments.
  • The Oakland Tenants Union is starting an effort to put a rent control ballot measure on the November ballot. They need to raise $175K to support the effort.
  • Jean – The Area specific plans specified that there be 25% affordable housing. This is an important struggle for that and community benefits.  This after the city gave them a gift equivalent to half of the boomerang funds coming to the Town after the destruction of redevelopment.  Take leaflets on coal coalition when canvassing.  Coal will before the council on next Tuesday.

Committee Reports

  • Affordable housing update: Impact fees have finally come to the council in committee meetings (2).  The committees are holding the matter over for another meeting.  The current proposal is for $20K per unit that the council is stalling until after the boom.  Jean Quan proposed a harder line; no new projects until the impact fee is imposed and more money.  The housing coalition is still asking for a declaration of housing emergency.  There was a request for a bullet point of talking points so email and calls can be made to the council in the next week.  [Note that the document is posted on the BBBON web site,] James Vann was furious that surrounding cities collect fees while Oakland acts as if it’s not good enough.
  • ACORN housing issues: The issue is the Gateway Shopping Center at Market and 8th.  Getting an anchor tenant (a market) has been a struggle.  EBASE, WOMAC & Tom Henderson own 75% of the development and the remaining 25% is owned by the city as a community benefit.  EBALSE has been phased out of the deal after Henderson bought out EBALSE’s share.  This is an Oakland redevelopment project.  Bridge Housing owns the property.  The community doesn’t realize that they own the properties.     Patterson and Mahammad (ACORN residents who have been described as West Oakland poverty pimps) have been obstructing the process of redevelopment.  It looks like the property is being engineered to pass into their hands.    Henderson stopped payments to WOMAC, which resulted in a lawsuit.  (See Oakland Post Jan 13-19 issue for more details).
  • Police Accountability update: The latest draft of the ballot measure has been distributed and is on the BBBON web site.  The letter of intent and text have been submitted to the City Attorney, which also indicates the intention to collect signatures.  SEIU 1021 will hold a workshop on how to do the signature gathering on Feb 18.  This night the coalition is also facilitating a meeting with the monitor on police interactions.  Details and a flyer have been posted to the web site.
  • Political Action update: The search for progressive candidates continues.  The Oakland alliance is putting together a coalition of local groups to find and support progressives for local office.  The procedures are being discussed.  The concentration this round are D3 and D7 council and school board seats.  Once things gel the SC will be asked to consider joining the coalition and presenting it to the GA for approval.
  • ACDCC and Sandre Swanson: The CA Primary is June 7th.  BBBON endorsed Sandre in November.  Because the primary is now a top 2 and the three running are Sandre, Nancy Skinner, and Katheryn Welch from Piedmont.  The expectation is that Swanson and Skinner will be in the general.  Nelsy Bautista has been hired as paid staff for the campaign on the AD 15 slate.  Wellstone will host a debate between Welch, Skinner and Swanson as part of the endorsement process.  Also 4 others were nominated for the slate in January.  The Wellston meeting will be on the web site calendar.  Jean Quan spoke about the importance of getting progressives involved in Dem party politics.

Program: Ceasefire Walks

Speaker:  Rev. Damita, Ceasefire Community Chair.  Her function is to facilitate the community part to reduce violence in the city.  She has been organizing weekly night walks in deep East between High St. and the San Leandro border Friday nights since 2012, where 50% of shootings occurred.  This was an area where gangs hang out as ceasefire data showed.  The Friday walks take different routes (lately at 78th and Bancroft) from St.  Benedicts to walk behind Castlemont.  While the group invites neighbors to be part of the group, it works best with the inclusion of people from other neighborhoods.  Mills students have also been part of the walks as part of their community service.  Walks usually include 22 walkers.  When there are less than 8, no walk.   No walks on holiday Fridays.  All walks start from a community church at 6:30 and end around 9 pm.

Crime data drives the routes.  The group’s presence is to say they care about the guys hanging out and that the gun violence has to stop.  In West Oakland there has been an uptick of shootings in Ghost town (the historic Hoover neighborhood).  Walks started the first Friday in Feb.  The weekly schedule is as follows:

  • Center Street Missionary Baptist, 940 Center Street
  • Elevate Gospel Church, 3265 Market Street
  • Zion MBC, 1203 Willow Street
  • Mary’s Center, 945 Brockhurst Street

Volunteers are needed to reach out to the people who need to be gotten to.  Most of the homicides are relational, so the war on drugs doesn’t reduce the violence.  In first year the call-ins very few voluntary returns occurred, because of where they were held and the amount of police presence.  Feedback from clients led to adjusted meetings.  Now > 50% of clients take steps to get out of the life.  Permanent housing has lately been more important than jobs for stability.  BBBON members were asked to volunteer for a week in West Oakland each month.

Next Meeting

Lions Creek Crossing, March 10th


Minutes submitted by:     Michael Tigges

Posted in General Assembly Minutes by Michael Tigges. Comments Off on February GA Minutes

D7 MLK Day of Service Results

Every year Block by Block Organizing Network District 7 (BBBON D7) holds a service event in District 7 to commemorate Martin Luther King Day. In 2016, BBBON D7 continued this tradition by hosting a planting and cleaning event on G-Street (between 85th and 92nd Avenues).FullSizeRender_5

For over the past two years, BBBON D7 and HOPE Collaborative have partnered to reduce blight on G-Street. Heavy illegal trash dumping was identified by hundreds of Elmhurst residents as a community concern and health impediment during the development of the Elmhurst Neighborhood Plan. Responding to this neighborhood need, HOPE Collaborative has partnered with BBBON D7 to host regular service activities on G-Street. Some past accomplishments include planting approximately 30 trees on G-Street, installation of motion lights and door-to door-outreach to residents and businesses on and nearby G-Street. This work has been made possible by two rounds of mini-grants administered by HOPE Collaborative and funded by The California Endowment.This year’s event built on past efforts by focusing on bringing local attention to the activities on G-Street and installing five large planter boxes on G-Street. Ideally, bringing additional greenery to G-Street will decorate and beautify the area while also acting as a blight impediment. Overall, 50 individuals participated in the event. Together, folks collected 97 bags of trash, and 5 big planter boxes were painted by kids who live in the neighborhood working alongside local artists at NIMBY.

The planter boxes are now located throughout G-Street. The event was a success due to the diverse groups who volunteered. Thanks to everyone who participated, including the local youth (11 in all) and their parents who helped decorate the planter bIMG_4848oxes, NIMBY, Oakland Catholic Workers, Youth Action Board and HOPE members, OUSD school board member Shanti Gonzales and former Mayor Quan, and of course, BBBON D7 for organizing the event. Thanks as well to the Oakland Public Works Department for the tools and materials.

If you are interested in learning more about the G-Street project or in attending BBBON D7’s next monthly meeting (scheduled for Friday, February 26, 6:
30-8:00pm at Allen Temple Baptist Church, Family Life Ctr. 2nd Flr., end of the hall) please contact Sheryl Walton of BBBON D7 or Ruben at or 510.444.4295.

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Community Forum on Police Accountability

The Coalition for Police Accountability announced a community forum with the Federal monitor of the now 13 year old consent decree that was imposed after the Rider’s scandal.

Community Forum

Testimony at this forum will provide more public awareness of the drive to establish a Police Commission with a charter amendment.

Text of the measure

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Building Community Trust

If you’re interested in public safety, here is an opportunity to learn and weigh in.

PS Forum

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D7 MLK Day of Service


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Wellstone DRC Meeting to Endorse CA Assembly and Senate Candidates

BBBON has endorsed Sandre Swanson for California State Senate, 9th District (which includes Oakland).  Now those of us who are also members of the Wellstone Democratic Renewal Club will have another chance to vote to support him.  With the endorsement in hand, the Club’s delegates to the Alameda County Democratic Central Committee will be able to vote for Swanson in that body’s endorsement meeting.  Please plan to attend this important meeting.


Wellstone CluSandre biopicb Meeting
Thursday, January 28
Humanist Hall, 390 27th St., Oakland
between Telegraph and Broadway

Potluck at 6:00 PM, Meeting at 6:45 PM


For more information, please call Pamela Drake, BBBON Political Action co-chair, at 510-593-3721.  Or see the campaign web site.

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Oakland Police Commission Fundraiser

The Coalition for Police Accountability has been working for months to craft a ballot initiative to create an oversight body to step in when Federal oversight of the OPD ends.  BBBON is part of the coalition and our lead representative is Allene Warren.  While the preferred course to the ballot is to convince the City Council to sponsor the initiative, we recognize the need for a plan B.  One element of plan B is a fundraiser to go to Oakland citizens if their representatives lack the courage to do the right thing.

Poetry fo the People

If you haven’t followed the details of the struggle in many cities, especially Oakland, to forge a means to hold those who are sworn to “serve and protect” to their oaths for all of our citizens, here is an outline of what the new Oakland Police Commission is intended to accomplish:

Click to see the outline

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Peace Ambassador Training

BBBON member Jennae Wallach has been working on peace building and peace education in Oakland for the past several years. As part of that work, she learned about the Global Peace Ambassador Training sponsored by the Shift Network (TSN). Jennae writes, “It is an amazing but expensive course. For the last five years, TSN has honored my request to make the training available to anyone who lives or works in Oakland at significantly discounted rates. There are approximately sixty of who have taken earlier iterations of the course. It has been a bonding experience and given us a common set of principles, concepts and language to discuss our peace building efforts.

“This year I asked them to expand the offer to anyone who lives, works, or contributes to Oakland. The last phrase includes anyone who worships in Oakland so I am now in conversation with faith-based organizations.

“Feel free to call me with any questions. In case it makes any difference, I don’t work for or receive any remuneration from The Shift Network.”


~ A Gift To Yourself and Your Community ~

Find Peace Within and Without – The Peace Ambassador Training 2.0

Registration is Now Open – Special Rates for Oakland

Learning and deepening in community is an amazing growing and bonding experience. Join fellow peace builders in Oakland and around the world taking this course together.

The 2016 global Peace Ambassador Training begins on January 13th. This 12-week tele-course features live calls with world leaders committed to peace building. The training includes:
• Mindfulness, Inner Peace and Resilience
• Healing Personal and Collective Wounds
• Communicating Peace
• Mastering Systems and Organizing for Peace
Throughout the course, Oakland community leaders and peace builders who are engaged in the work being featured on the call will be part of the conversation.


▪ Be a part of a global conversation on peace-building principles, practices and tools taught by guest faculty from around the world and right here at home.

▪ Live calls are on Wednesday starting at 5 pm – Pacific Time. However, you can listen whenever it works for you.

▪ All calls are recorded, transcribed, and the files can be downloaded to your computer.

▪ Being on the call live provides the opportunity to ask questions and engage with other participants in Oakland and around the world.

Anyone who lives, works, or contributes to Oakland as a vibrant, thriving, and peaceful city is eligible for the special Oakland rate.

The Harmony Center has generously offered to be a gathering space for participants who would like to be in community for the Wednesday calls and discuss the material afterwards. Once you register, contact Jennae for more details. (See below.)


See the full website for the Peace Ambassador Training 2.0 to review the details of the course. See the links below to register.

The Shift Network has generously continued to offer special rates for Oakland each year. Select the tuition link that works for you and scroll to the bottom of the page to register.

Special Oakland Rate – $150

Special Oakland Rate – $100

Special Oakland Rate – $75

Questions: Feel free to contact Jennae Wallach – 510-451-0676

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