We sent the following letter to Oakland City Council for their December 14, 2018 meeting. Read more about it on the city website.
We write to register our support for the public lands policy directive authored by Councilmembers Rebecca Kaplan and Abel Guillén. The Bay Area’s affordability crisis is hurting Oaklanders; cost-burdening and driving displacement of renters. Oakland’s public lands present a unique opportunity to prioritize deep affordability, sustainable wage policy and economic development.
In addition to its headline commitments to housing justice, we applaud the proposal for its quadrennial re-evaluation of public lands, as well the directive that staff study potential land use changes to allow Oakland to maximize its investment in affordable housing and community services. Please also consider requiring staff, as part of the re-evaluation process, to analyze the potential redevelopment and co-location of public services with affordable housing, as San Francisco is doing with its Potrero MTA yard. Including such analysis can support needed investment in agency assets while expanding housing access for Oaklanders.
Finally, we ask that Council aggressively advocate for local, regional, state and federal revenue to construct affordable housing. It’s not enough to create just a public lands policy, we must find the resources to construct the housing Oaklanders deserve.