Rebecca Kaplan has worked to establish coherent and holistic approaches to public safety, economic opportunity & job creation, fiscal responsibility and other strategies to create a thriving city and move Oakland forward. Oakland deserves an At-Large Councilmember who will keep providing energetic and effective leadership on issues that matter – restoring safety, creating jobs, and rebuilding trust government.
That’s exactly the kind of leadership that Rebecca Kaplan has provided for the last four years, and will continue to provide if she is re-elected in November.
Without safe communities, Oakland’s neighborhoods will not thrive, our economy will not grow, and our city will not be the place we know it can be. The lack of public safety contributes to a wide range of problems – for families, for businesses, and for our city government.
We have to pursue effective strategies to prevent, reduce, and solve crimes. This means giving our public safety officers the tools they need to succeed, and holding them accountable if they break the public trust. This means not being afraid to tackle big issues like gun violence and embrace innovative approaches. And this means demanding a collaboration between our community and police, based on a mutual understanding that public safety and personal security is the basic building block of society.
As your Councilmember, Rebecca Kaplan has worked to keep our communities safe by:
- Fighting against police layoffs that have contributed to the increase in violent crime
- Joining faith community in requesting federal resources to stop flow of illegal guns and establish reducing gun violence as Oakland’s top public safety priority
- Casting deciding vote to add three new police academies in Oakland
- Helped secure millions of dollars in violence prevention funding
- Obtaining funding to implement and expand “ShotSpotter” technology to help police prevent and solve gun crimes
- Supporting innovative approaches to crime reduction like Operation Ceasefire
Re-Elect Rebecca Kaplan so she can continue the fight for public safety by:
- Assigning an officer to every “beat” in Oakland. We know that visible, walking “beat” officers who are assigned to cover a particular area is one of the best ways to deter crime. When officers are visible, it sends a message that Oakland is not a place to commit crime. But only when officers are consistently assigned to cover the same area do they get to know it better, and the community gets to know them. This reduces tension and mistrust, and improves the ability of police to gather information to solve and prevent crimes.
- Providing for the other personnel needed to ensure that we have the capacity to answer 9-1-1 calls, gather evidence and solve crimes. Human resources are critical in public safety efforts, and we cannot let our budget crunch allow us to lose sight of that.
- Looking for creative and successful programs to help with ex-felon re-entry. A majority of crimes are committed by ex-offenders, who are often released from prison with no help to seek a changed life. There are re-entry groups in Oakland, such as the Men of Valor program, which have a great track record helped ex-offenders turn their lives around, stop committing crime, and obtain jobs — and the City should be supporting and expanding these type of programs.
- Expanding the use of Safety Ambassadors. Thanks to the Business Improvement Districts, this program has recently been launched in the Uptown and Downtown of Oakland, employing uniformed safety professionals (who are not sworn police officers) that can both provide directions and information, and improve public safety. This program should be strengthened, including extended hours, and in additional locations. Once fully implemented, the City of Atlanta reported that their public safety and information patrol has reduced crime in the area by 60%.
- Providing the Chief of Police with support. The Chief of Police needs to be able deploy personnel in the best way possible to enhance public safety. We should give that flexibility but hold him and the Department strictly accountable for any activities that violate the public trust or individual rights.
- Supporting “Street Outreach Workers, who directly intervene to prevent the cycle of violence, and provide positive role models.
- Attacking the issue of blight. Broken windows isn’t just a theory, it’s a reality. Residents can take pride in clean neighborhoods, and data show that blight-free neighborhoods have lower crime rates. We should make blight reporting easier for residents, and do what it takes to improve blight clean-up and removal and enforcement.
Creating jobs must be job one for any Oakland public official. Many of Oakland’s most challenging problems are financial – and strengthening our local economy will not only provide jobs for our residents, but will also provide revenue for the city budget, which in turn allows us to maintain essential public services.
It is going to take a focused and coordinated effort from labor, business, and our government to improve our economy, attract jobs for local residents, and retain and expand businesses. All the while, we must ensure that we honor the struggles and the professional of the working people who make Oakland what it is.
As your Councilmember, Rebecca Kaplan has helped to create jobs by:
- Supporting the Oakland Army Base redevelopment, Coliseum City project, and $7.7 billion countywide transportation plan that will bring tens of thousands of good-paying union jobs to Oakland.
- Encouraging businesses to relocate and create jobs in Oakland by expanding the “Enterprise Zone” tax credit program.
- Cutting red tape and permitting fees to help attract high-growth industries to headquarter in Oakland.
- Securing funding to plan for transit-oriented development to revitalize Oakland neighborhoods, especially around transit hubs like BART stations and Eastmont Center.
- Obtaining funding to launch “The B” – a free transit shuttle connecting BART, Amtrak, and the Ferry to outlying areas – to encourage economic activity in neighborhood commercial corridors.
- Reforming outdated Cabaret Ordinance to allow food and entertainment industry small businesses to flourish and grow.
- Assisting entrepreneurs and retailers in overcoming bureaucratic barriers to opening and expanding.
- Successfully fighting against unfair no-notice layoffs during the 2011 budget crisis.
Re-Elect Rebecca Kaplan so she can continue the fight for good paying jobs in Oakland by:
- Enforcing our local hire laws. We must ensure that local residents know about and take advantage of the job opportunities created by city-funded projects.
- Updating our zoning to help attract the right kinds of investment in desired locations. Oakland does not do a good enough job of using our land use regulations to encourage economic growth. We can do better, and we will.
- Developing Oakland as a center for emerging industries. We can make simple policy changes – to zoning regulations, to the tax code, and more – to make Oakland a more attractive location for green technology, health care, arts, and other high-growth sectors.
- Streamlining the permit process, by making permits, fees, and more available online so that people do not need to stand in line or waste time on these tasks.
- Ending business license requirements and fees for very small businesses (e.g. income up to $25,000 per year), since the fees collected from such businesses are often less than the cost of collecting them – but impose a real and administrative cost on small job creators.
- Systematically reviewing and pursuing outside funding opportunities. Oakland has not historically positioned itself well to apply for and effectively use state and federal funds that are being made available to cities for economic development projects. A particularly strong area to seek funding is for “Transit Oriented Development,” because the State and Federal governments are offering grants to help cities develop revitalized urban areas with improved sidewalks, roads, and lighting, shops, housing, jobs, services, and more in walk-able, bike-able areas accessible to transit. These opportunities can allow us to create jobs while improving quality of life in the community.
- Continuing to build on our growing food sector, by encouraging development of the full range including food production, and creating a coherent permit system for mobile food trucks.
- Growing our retail sector by making it easier for responsible retailers and small business entrepreneurs to open their doors for business. This keeps sales dollars stay in our economy, providing funding for vital public services.
- Fighting predatory loans and unjust foreclosures and wrongful evictions, which are creating a significant negative impact on our economy while harming families and neighborhoods.
- Expediting and encouraging green development and transit-oriented projects, which can create thousands of jobs while also reducing environmental impacts and dependency on foreign oil.
The people of Oakland deserve a government that works as hard as they do. Enough with the backroom deals and pay-to-play, and enough with the politicians who fight harder for their own job than for yours.
City government should accessible, responds quickly and accurately, not waste people’s time, and welcome community involvement. It must be respectful of differences of both opinion and background, and must be dedicated stewards of public money and public trust.
As your Councilmember, Rebecca Kaplan has helped to rebuild trust in government by:
- Leading the effort to organize the city boycott of Goldman Sachs for their unfair financial practices and profiting off the financial collapse.
- Preventing foreclosures and holding big banks accountable by requiring them to pay to fix blighted, abandoned and vacant properties.
- Building a broad coalition to pass four revenue ballot measures to protect and expand vital city services.
- Voting against paying damages for officers found guilty of illegally strip-searching suspects in West Oakland.
- Protecting Oakland residents from predatory lending and bad-deal payday loans and increasing access to legal help to fight foreclosures and unjust evictions
- Repealing the discriminatory “gender appropriate clothing” ordinance.
Re-Elect Rebecca Kaplan so she can continue the build a government Oakland can be proud of by:
- Ensuring that phone calls to City of Oakland are answered and public response is effective, timely, and thoughtful. This includes in areas ranging from parking tickets to permits and more.
- Improving public records retention and search capabilities, including putting Oakland’s City documents online in a “full text searchable” format so the public can find needed materials and information.
- Building a 21st century government workforce. We should use the opportunity of upcoming retirements to re-examine appropriate and needed job tasks due to changed circumstances, and shift job descriptions and expectations to fit our present and our future.
- Using modern technology effectively to improve responsiveness to the public and reduce time wasted doing things like having staff re-enter data which was already entered into a different system.
- Providing clear assignments so that staff knows what is expected of them, and the public knows what to expect of the City.