Mayor's State of the City, Renew Your Business Tax Online, Opportunity Zones Workshops for Property Owners, Cultural Affairs Commission Re-established, Staff Announcements
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Mayor Shares Successes, Outlines Next Steps
Mayor Schaaf delivering remarks during the 2020 State of the City
Mayor Libby Schaaf’s Belonging in Oakland-themed State of the City drew a sold-out crowd to the Oakland Museum of California. The Mayor touched on several topics including homelessness and housing, safety and streets, and arts and culture. While she acknowledged that there’s more work to be done, the Mayor shared positive trends: Oakland has doubled its shelter capacity to more than 1,700 beds in just two years. Rent protection laws have been extended to more than 40,000 low-income Oaklanders in just four years – far exceeding the goal set for 2024. Oakland evictions are down 36% in the last five years. In just 18 months, 2,100 households facing displacement have been able to stay in their homes thanks to Keep Oakland Housed. Production of affordable housing is on track to meet the goal of 4,760 units set for 2024. Ceasefire cut gun violence in half in five short years. A first-in-the-nation equity-based policy will result in the paving of 100 miles of streets in three years. The Downtown Oakland Specific Plan proposes cultural zoning that will allow us to harness our land use authority to incentivize vibrant arts and cultural uses in ground floor spaces. The event’s theme emanated from "Belonging in Oakland: A Cultural Development Plan," the City’s first Cultural Strategy Plan in 30 years which lifts up the role of culture in building a just and equitable city. A video highlighted City staff from a variety of departments who play roles as place keepers in fostering a sense of belonging for Oaklanders.
Oakland Cultural Affairs Commission Re-Established
cover of Belonging in Oakland: A Cultural Development Plan
On February 18, the Oakland City Council confirmed Mayor Libby Schaaf’s appointments to the Cultural Affairs Commission. The Commission is an advisory council to the Mayor, City Council and City Administrator on all matters affecting cultural development in Oakland. The members’ primary role and responsibility will be to act as ambassadors and advocates for arts and culture in Oakland.

The Cultural Affairs Commission will work to meet the objectives of Belonging in Oakland: A Cultural Development Plan, which seeks to lift up the role of culture in building a just and equitable city, and positions diversity at the heart of the work of City government.
Renew Your Business Tax Online
Now through March 2, business owners can save time by renewing their business tax online. The renewal mailers included instructions, along with a PIN, to complete the process using a credit card. The Finance Department’s website also allows new business tax applications and online payment of other taxes and fees. New business owners can apply for a Business Tax Certificate online in just minutes and receive their actual Business Tax Certificate within seven days via email. All businesses, rental property owners and contractors that do business in Oakland are required to have a Business Tax Certificate.
Workshops To Educate Property Owners About Opportunity Zones
Map showing the 30 census tracts that have bee designated Opportunity Zones
To educate property owners in Oakland’s 30 Opportunity Zone-designated census tracts, the City will host two community meetings from 10am-1pm on Saturday, February 22, at the Fruitvale Senior Center and from 5:30-8:30pm on Wednesday, February 26, at The Crucible.

Workshop participants will learn:

  • What the Opportunity Zones program is and how it may help activate your property
  • What the City of Oakland is doing to direct Opportunity Zone investments to advance equitable economic development
  • Some considerations when looking at options and potential uses for your property
  • How to put a deal together for your property

Postcards were mailed to registered property owners and residents can doudouble-checkether their parcel is in an Opportunity Zone using the
State’s online tool. Learn more about the City’s efforts to use this designation to advance equitable economic development at

New EWDD Director Named, Senior Staff Announced
photo of Alexa Jeffress, the new Director of the Economic & Workforce Development Department
Alexa Jeffress was appointed as the new Director of the Economic & Workforce Development Department (EWDD) in late January. She had been serving as Interim Director since late September. Prior to joining the City as Real Estate Managing Director in April 2019, Alexa held leadership roles at BRIDGE Housing and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. In mid-January, Brendan Moriarty joined the EWDD senior leadership team as Real Property Asset Manager. He will oversee and direct activities in the Real Estate Asset Management Division, which provides real estate services – including leasing, buying and selling – to many departments throughout the City organization as well as to the Oakland Redevelopment Successor Agency. Brendan brings more than 15 years of experience in real estate transactions, planning and policy, and most recently managed all land transactions in the greater San Francisco Bay Area for The Trust for Public Land. Kelley Kahn joined the EWDD senior leadership team as the Director of Special Projects and Mayoral Liaison. She will oversee a number of multi-disciplinary and interdepartmental initiatives related to major development projects, business retention, land use and arts and culture. She will continue to serve as a mayoral liaison and advisor on economic development issues. Kelley joined the City in 2013 and was most recently the Policy Director, Art Spaces in the Office of Mayor Libby Schaaf.
Photo of Brendan Moriarty, the City's Real Property Asset Manager
Photo of Kelley Kahn, Director of Special Projects and Mayoral Liaison
Afrocentric Masquerade Fundraiser
Feb 22 @ BLOC15

Opportunity Zone Community Meeting
Feb 22 @ Fruitvale-San Antonio Senior Center

Laurel Lunar New Year Celebration
Feb 22 @ Laurel District

3rd Annual Black Joy Parade
Feb 23 @ Downtown Oakland

Search Marketing: They Are Looking For You!
Feb 25 @ Cal State East Bay Oakland Center

Opportunity Zone Community Meeting
Feb 26 @ The Crucible

What’s Ahead for the Bay Area Real Estate Market in 2020?
Feb 27 @ Merrill Lynch

Inside Oakland – Assistant City Administrator Ed Reiskin
Feb 28 @ Oakland Metropolitan Chamber

Digital Marketing For Social Entrepreneurs
Mar 5 @ Impact Hub Oakland

Building Relationships with Prime Contractors Webinar
Mar 5 @ Alameda County SBDC

First Fridays
Mar 6 @ KONO District

Thirteen Street Commons Grand Opening
Mar 7 @ 13th & Broadway

How to Write a Compelling Business Plan
Mar 11 @ Cal State East Bay Oakland Center

2020 Economic Summit
Mar 11 @ 300 Lakeside

Powerful Women of the Bay 11th Annual Awards Luncheon
Mar 13 @ Scott’s Seafood

Finding Customers/Marketing Your Idea
Mar 18 @ Cal State East Bay Oakland Center

QuickBooks Basics
Mar 19 @ Cal State East Bay Oakland Center

Oakland Running Festival
Mar 22 @ Snow Park

Power Pitch: Making A Great First Impression Webinar
Mar 25 @ Alameda County SBDC

8th Annual East Bay Innovation Awards
Mar 26 @ Fox Theater

SEO Optimization for Small Businesses
Mar 26 @ Cal State East Bay Oakland Center


Five Places to Visit in Oakland With Fantastic Negrito
Feb 7, New York Times

Second Phase Of Artisanal Coworking Kicks Off In Oakland
Feb 5, BisNow

Ritzy, tech-inspired tower coming to Uptown in Oakland
Feb 5, Curbed SF

The Black Food and Wine Experience is an event for and by the black food community
Jan 30, Berkeleyside

This Oakland startup spent $64M to develop a THC breathalyzer
Jan 27, San Francisco Business Times

Rents jump in Oakland, drop in San Francisco
Jan 23, Marin Independent Journal

Southwest Expands Hawaii Service at Oakland International
Jan 22, Airport Improvement

Oakland startup nets $22.1M to build out what's 'no longer science fiction'
Jan 22, San Francisco Business Times

Longtime South Bay Builder Breaks Into Oakland Opportunity Zone
Jan 21, Bisnow

New HBO Documentary Follows Oakland Kids Preparing For MLK Oratorical Fest
Jan 20, KPIX

Two Oakland health giants give $45 million to Newsom's new housing fund
Jan 17, San Francisco Business Times

Oakland Airport gets new, cheap Florida nonstop flight
Jan 16, SFGate

West Oakland project would create live-work units, plus industrial space
Jan 14, The Mercury News

Oakland launches city, community effort to combat illegal dumping
Jan 14, The Mercury News

New Oakland arts center emerging in most unusual spot
Jan 14, The Mercury News

A Tale Of Two Cities: The Oakland-Saint Denis Cooperation Project
Jan 11, KPIX

Chefs, owners welcome Oakland Restaurant Week with open arms after difficult year
Jan 10, ABC7 News

Arrival of the Inner East Bay
Jan 8, Oakland Magazine

Port of Oakland Outlook: A Conversation With New Executive Director
Jan 2, SupplyChainBrain

A Thank-You Letter to Oakland
Jan 2, Oakland Magazine

As rents soar, more small businesses turn to loan program to buy property
Dec 30,

Around Lake Merritt, Oakland is quietly finding its culinary soul
Dec 28, San Francisco Chronicle

Oakland Assembly: With giant food hall, Jack London Square again seeks to fulfill potential
Dec 24, San Francisco Chronicle

Oakland real estate tech startup plans hiring spree after tripling in size
Dec 23, San Francisco Business Times

New Jack London Square apartments leasing up amid Oakland housing boom
Dec 18, San Francisco Business Times

Black students, parents forge a tech career path at Oakland’s Brothers Code event
Dec 16, East Bay Times

Big deal: Dreyer’s properties in choice Oakland area are scooped up by East Bay developer
Dec 16, East Bay Times

Cookies Oakland Is the New Heart of Oaksterdam
Dec 12, Cannabis Now

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


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