Chief Opportunity Zones Officer Joins City, $1.2 Million in Cultural Grants, MacArthur Blvd. Gateway Arches, OMCA marks 50th
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This issue marks a new look for the Oakland Economy Now newsletter. The City of Oakland has moved to a new email platform and we’ve updated our design. We hope you continue to find the newsletter an important source of Oakland business news.
Rockefeller Grant-Funded Chief Opportunity Zones Officer Joins City
Monica Edwards, Oakland’s new Chief Opportunity Zones Officer (COZO) started with the City on Monday, October 14. In September, The Rockefeller Foundation announced $3.7 million in grants to Oakland and three other U.S. cities to help drive equitable private investment in Opportunity Zones. This grant will fund the COZO as well as two AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers In Service To America) members, who will facilitate community engagement and expand partnerships with community-based organizations. Monica’s financial expertise in the real estate and business development sectors gained over more than 25 years will enable her to engage the community on their investment priorities and facilitate a pipeline of local real estate and small business projects that connect the interests of investors with those of existing community members. Most recently, she has held leadership roles at The Monarch Group, Bridge Impact Capital and ICA Fund Good Jobs. The COZO and VISTA team will be embedded in the City’s Economic & Workforce Development Department. To learn more, please visit our Opportunity Zones web page or email Monica.
Minimum Wage Rate Will Rise to $14.14 in 2020 – Noticing Deadline Approaches
On January 1, 2020, Oakland’s minimum wage rises to $14.14. This annual increase keeps the minimum wage aligned with the regional Consumer Price Index. Employers should print posters, available here, for display at work by December 15. The other benefits specified in voter-approved Measure FF, including paid sick leave requirements, remain the same. For additional resources, visit minimumwage or email
Cultural Grants Unleash $1.2 Million for the Arts in Oakland
In October, the Oakland City Council approved 91 Cultural Funding grants to 83 different artists and nonprofit arts organizations. The grants, totaling more than $1.2 million, will have a tremendous impact by supporting over 15,000 arts events and activities – most of them free or low-cost to the public – and exposing roughly 1.1 million participants to cultural arts services and programming. This year also marks the first time in recent history that a non-English speaker has submitted a grant application. With support from the City’s Equal Access staff, Cultural Arts staff worked with 91-year-old Chung (Robert) Yuen Mui on his individual artist application to present a Chinese calligraphy (like "Ignorance is Bliss" shown above) and photography exhibition. Mr. Mui presented at the review panel with the aid of interpreters and his request is one of the 91 grants being awarded in this cycle. Contact Cultural Funding Coordinator Denise Pate to learn more.
MacArthur Boulevard Gateway Arches Dedicated
The newest City-funded public art are the colorful, 45-foot-wide, site-specific MacArthur Boulevard Gateway Arches. The Oakland arch, located near Durant Avenue, welcomes motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians as they travel into Oakland from the south, while the Eastmont arch, located near 73rd Avenue, greets visitors and residents traveling into deep East Oakland. Each arch evokes positive, uplifting feelings that invite people to enter and celebrate the neighborhoods along the MacArthur Boulevard corridor. Commissioned by the City’s Public Art Program with funding through the allocation of 1.5% of the City’s Capital Improvement Projects to public art, the arches were hand-painted and -crafted by East Bay artist Eric Powell (pictured above). The project received additional financial support for installation in the form of a CDBG grant for capital improvements in the Eastmont neighborhood. For more information, contact Public Art Coordinator Kristen Zaremba.
OMCA marks 50th, Announces New ‘Front Porch’ to Lake Merritt
The Oakland Museum of California is marking its 50th Anniversary with a series of public events and programming. OMCA also announced plans to transform its campus, including breaking through a wall and creating a new entrance facing Lake Merritt. The transformation is part of a long-term vision to expand the Museum's role as a public gathering place, with a roster of exhibitions and programs and new spaces for the community to convene and connect. As part of the planning process, OMCA has hired Oakland-based landscape architect Walter Hood of Hood Design Studio as well as the architecture firm Mark Cavagnero Associates to support the enhancement of its seven-acre campus.
Resilience in Oakland
Nov 13 @ Oakland SPUR

How to Write a Business Plan
Nov 14 @ Business Assistance Center

Free Legal Clinic
Nov 14 @ Business Assistance Center

Product Lab Residency Application Deadline
Nov 15 @ Port Product Lab

Bay Area Black Music Awards
Nov 17 @ Laney College

Business Accounting
Nov 18 @ Cal State East Bay Oakland Center

What’s on the Horizon?
Nov 20 @ Oakland SPUR

Finding Money to Start & Grow Your Business
Nov 21 @ Cal State East Bay Oakland Center

Planning for Profit
Nov 21 @ Cal State East Bay Oakland Center

Best Practice for Successful Facebook Ads Webinar
Nov 22 @ ICA Fund Good Jobs

Indigenous Red Market
Dec 1 @ Fruitvale Cedar Center

Finding Customers / Marketing Your Idea
Dec 4 @ Cal State East Bay Oakland Center

Economic Development Forum: Harnessing Opportunity Zones in Oakland
Dec 4 @ Oakland Metropolitan Chamber

Oakland Structures
Dec 5 @ Oakland Marriott

Business Startup Basics
Dec 5 @ Cal State East Bay Oakland Center

Pitching 101: Perfecting Your Pitch
Dec 6 @ Impact Hub Oakland

First Fridays
Dec 6 @ KONO

Business Accounting
Dec 9 @ Cal State East Bay Oakland Center

Retail Basics – a Seminar for Online and Brick & Mortar Retailers
Dec 9 @ Cal State East Bay Oakland Center

Legal Issues for the Small Business
Dec 10 @ Cal State East Bay Oakland Center

Small Business Financing
Dec 12 @ Business Assistance Center


Historic Oakland office building hits the market for the fourth time in five years seeking more than $80 million
Nov 7, San Francisco Business Times

Blue Shield of California Opens New Head Office in Oakland City Center
Nov 4, PR News

With New Oakland HQ, Red Bay Coffee Expands its ‘Beautiful Coffee’ Reach
Oct 29, Roast Magazine

AfroTech Conference 2019 In Oakland Brings Together Blacks In Tech
Oct 28, Oakland News Now

Oakland Isn’t San Francisco, But It Is Getting More Startup Funding
Oct 13, Crunchbase News

Telegraph Tower planned for downtown Oakland
Oct 10, East Bay Times

Burning Man Fires Up the Oakland Museum
Oct 8, East Bay Express

Architect Deanna Van Buren on Designing Beautiful Spaces That "Amplify Self-Care, Love, Restoration, and Respect"
Oct 8, Archinect

Overlooked by Venture Capitalists, Underserved Entrepreneurs Find Support from Local Governments
Oct 3, Next City

Nonprofit Focused on Building a More Humane and Restorative Justice System
Oct 2, Business Intelligence Center

Largest U.S. dragon boat festival ends in Northern California
Sep 30,

Women who lead: Oakland IT firm locks down customer service
Sep 26, San Francisco Business Times

San Francisco/Oakland Rent Spread Exceeds $800 Monthly
Sep 26,

Oakland landscape architect Walter Hood wins this year’s MacArthur ‘genius’ grant
Sep 25, Curbed San Francisco

1150 Clay Forms a Vital Piece of Downtown Oakland Fabric
Sep 24,

Planting Justice celebrates 10 years of cultivating gardening skills for incarcerated people
Sep 20, Oakland North

Fab City, the global circular economy movement centered around local makers
Sep 18, GreenBiz

Economic & Workforce Development Dept.
City of Oakland
250 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, Suite 3315
Oakland, CA 94612


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