In this issue: Yellow Tier, Lake Merritt Lodge, Summer Food Program, Guaranteed Income, and more
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June 11, 2021
Alameda County Advances to State’s Yellow Tier, Prompting More Allowed Activities
On Wednesday, June 9, Alameda County advanced to the Yellow Tier in the State’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy reopening framework. In the Yellow Tier, indoor dining is allowed at 50% capacity; most retail store capacity increases to 100%; gyms, fitness centers and yoga studios may operate indoors at 50% capacity with modifications; and movie theaters’ capacity increases to 50%. Bars, where no meals are served, may open indoors at 25% capacity.
Lake Merritt Lodge at Full Capacity 92 units of housing for formerly unsheltered residents
Oakland City officials, community leaders, and community members came together to highlight the occupancy status of the Lake Merritt Lodge. The City established Lake Merritt Lodge as a site for emergency COVID-19 response housing, intended to keep our most vulnerable homeless community members safe. The 92-unit building is now at full occupancy.

Oakland Opens Annual Summer Food Program
Today, the City of Oakland Human Services Department, Summer Food Service Program continued an annual tradition providing free breakfast and lunch for the community during the school summer break.

Approximately 20,000 children in the Oakland community depend on free and reduced-cost school meals during the school year. However, most families struggle to replace those meals for their children during the summer months. The City’s Summer Food Service Program bridges the meal gap by providing access to nutritious meals at convenient locations throughout Oakland while school is out of session.

The Oakland Human Services Department’s Summer Food Service Program is open June 7 – August 6 with the addition of new partner sites and locations. More than 20 sponsored youth-serving sites throughout Oakland – including faith and community-based organizations – will offer free breakfast and lunch.
Guaranteed Income Applications Open for East Oakland
On Tuesday, we opened the application window for East Oakland residents who want to participate in our guaranteed income demonstration that will give families $500 a month, for 18 months, no strings attached.

In the first phase, 300 families from a roughly one square-mile area from East Oakland will be randomly selected the receive the payments. Later this summer, we'll open Phase 2 for an additional 300 families citywide.

City of Oakland Prioritizes Community Health and Wellness with the Addition of Two Fitness Courts®
On Friday June 4, 2021, Oakland Parks, Recreation & Youth Development (OPRYD) will unveil its newest quality of life addition at Arroyo Viejo and Lowell parks, sleek and modern outdoor Fitness Courts® with a supporting mobile app. This capital project installed by Oakland Public Works is a featured part of a 2021 initiative launched by National Fitness Campaign (NFC), a nationwide consulting organization that partners with cities and schools to plan, build and fund healthy infrastructure.

The OPRYD was awarded $60,000 in grants from NFC to help support the program. In addition to grant funding, a city match and funding awarded from the Sugar Sweetened Beverage Community Advisory Board (SSB) contributed to make the project possible in Oakland.

City Announces Inaugural Poet Laureate
Today, the City of Oakland’s Cultural Affairs Division announced Ms. Ayodele Nzinga has been selected as the inaugural Oakland Poet Laureate. She is a poet, playwright and community advocate. During her two-year term through May 2023, Ms. Nzinga will deliver an inaugural address, partner with the Oakland Public Library’s Oakland Youth Poet Laureate on a collaborative reading series, deliver four readings at City-owned locations throughout Oakland, and write one poem that commemorates our city.

“As our Poet Laureate, Ayodele will make poetry more accessible across Oakland,” said Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf. “Her decades-long commitment to Oakland’s arts scene will feed the richness of her storytelling as she nurtures creativity in others.”

Ms. Nzinga is author of SorrrowLand Oracle and The Horse Eaters, both books of poetry. She is also the founding producing director of the Lower Bottom Playaz, Inc., a theater company in West Oakland. Ayodele is a founding director of the Black Arts Movement Business District (BAMBD) Community Development Corporation, where she produces BAMBDFEST, an annual international month-long arts and cultural festival celebrating the Black Arts.

City Arts Grant Applications Available June 15
The City of Oakland announced that applications will be available on Tuesday, June 15 for its 2021-2022 Cultural Funding Program grants supporting arts and cultural activities in three separate project categories:

  • Neighborhood Voices Individual Artist Projects
  • Neighborhood Voices Organization Projects
  • Organizational Assistance (general operating support)

All applicants must be Oakland-based, and all arts activities must be presented in Oakland between July 1, 2021 and June 30, 2022. Interested artists and nonprofit organizations may access the grant guidelines and application forms at The application submission deadline is 5 p.m. on Thursday, July 15, 2021.

We're Hiring
Check out these job opportunities with the City of Oakland!

· Lifeguard, Part-Time
· Deputy Director of Housing
· Police Communications Dispatcher
· Human Resource Operations Technician
· Spatial Data Analyst III
· Police Officer Trainee
· Civil Engineer

To learn more about these exciting opportunities, and to see all available job postings, please visit

In the Spotlight
Check out these movers and shakers: Oakland employees whose service extends beyond the City to uplift our community and advance our City values, and City programs/services receiving accolades for excellence.

On Wednesday, June 9, the Economic & Workforce Development Department’s Cultural Affairs Manager Roberto Bedoya was named one of two recipients of the 2021 Berresford Prize, an annal award presented by the United States Artists honoring cultural practitioners who have contributed significantly to the advancement, well-being, and care of artists in society. In selecting him, the national organization noted Roberto’s “writing and organizing on the politics of space, place-keeping, and other vital ideas around ‘belonging’ have generated change and ongoing conversation at a policy and institutional level.”

The Planning & Building Department fields literally thousands of calls per week from the general public. Most recently, a Building Bureau manager received a voicemail message on the complaint line praising three City employees who have assisted the resident with an extremely burdensome situation. They handled the calls with grace, professionalism, and courtesy. Spotlight on Public Service Representatives Traci Campbell, Karen Cheng, & Alicia Leighton for regularly providing customer service that the caller noted as “so outstanding…they are the unsung heroes!”

Featured Meetings & Events
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