Public Comment

Oakland City Council District 1 Candidate Statement: Jane Brunner

Thursday May 22, 2008 - 10:40:00 AM

I am proud of what I have accomplished as the Councilmember representing North Oakland, but there’s much still to be done. That’s the reason I am running for re-election June 3.  

I appreciate this opportunity to share with you some of the things I’ve accomplished and what my plans are for the future. 


Reducing Crime 

Reducing crime is my top priority. I led the Council in adopting first $2 million and then an additional $7.7 million to implement an intensive recruitment strategy to bring the force up to 803 officers by December of 2008. I persuaded the police department to re-establish the Juvenile Desk to track crimes by juveniles and provide them with options to help turn their lives around.  

`I have researched best practices for crime prevention and I strongly supported the reorganization of the police department into geographic districts. Now I’m working closely the North Oakland captain who is implementing many new approaches to reduce crime in North Oakland including:  

• Setting up Mobile Command Posts in target areas.  

• Expanding truancy sweeps.  

• Referring at-risk individuals to Measure Y prevention programs.  

• Assigning police officers to walk the neighborhoods.  

Recently, the Chief of Police delivered a plan for the next steps to address crime through out Oakland. The plan had hundreds of good ideas, but it didn’t: 

1. Provide a clear roadmap for reducing crime. 

2. Formulate clear priorities based on best practices. 

3. Establish a timeline for implementation. 

4. Lay out how the priorities will be measured. 

Now I’m demanding that the Chief return to Council and present his road map for reducing crime in Oakland. 


Business and Jobs 

When Jerry Brown was Mayor, his 10K Program focused on bringing 10,000 new residents to downtown Oakland. That has been successful and now Mayor Dellums has shifted to a different 10K Program, to bring 10,000 new jobs to Oakland. I strongly support this objective.  

I have been the leader on the City Council in relation to job training. When I first got on the Council, no one knew how much money the City was spending on job training and there was no objective evaluation of the effectiveness of job training programs. I led the successful effort to get a report card to evaluate job training programs and to provide funding based on the report card. Additionally, I led the effort to obtain a local apprenticeship program for construction jobs at the Port of Oakland.  

Now I am working to implement three initiatives to encourage businesses that offer quality jobs to locate and grow in Oakland:  

1. Establishment of a Geographic Information System to track all opportunity sites to assist in attracting businesses to Oakland.  

2. Creation of a one stop center in the City that is business-friendly and is one place that assists businesses to obtain business licenses, information on tax credits and other incentives, and permits.  

3. Constitution of a network of consultants with expertise in each business sector the city is focusing on so that businesses have a high-level person working with the CEO and the city.  


Affordable Housing and Infill Development 

There is not enough affordable housing in Oakland. I’ve taken the lead on affordable housing, obtaining a $40 million bond and a change in the redevelopment set aside for housing from 20 percent to 25 percent for affordable housing. I spearheaded an exciting new initiative called Office Linkage, where each new office development pays $4 per square foot into a fund that is used to produce more affordable housing.  

I strongly support infill development and smart growth, provided that it is balanced with neighborhood preservation. I’ve been a major backer for the MacArthur BART Transit Village and for placing a priority on development at transit hubs and along transit corridors. I am very aware and work to ensure that higher density developments on transit corridors need to be in scale and character with the surrounding neighborhoods. 


The Greening of Oakland  

I’ve worked hard on the Greening of Oakland by: 

• Co-chairing Oakland’s Sustainable Community Development Initiative, which has led to Oakland installing more solar per capita than any other City in the country.  

• Introducing the legislation that made Oakland the second city in the country to join the Chicago Climate Exchange and measure its carbon footprint each year. 

• Initiating a campaign that has planted more than 3,000 trees in Oakland.  

• Co-chairing the campaign for Measure DD that led to over $190 million for Lake Merritt and the Estuary Trail from downtown to the airport.  

• Partnering with the community to launch the Temescal Farmer’s Market. 

• Providing funding for the Frog Park and other parks at school sites in North Oakland.  

• Recently introducing the measure that the City Council passed to oppose the dangerous aerial spraying that the State wants to undertake. 

As a result of our efforts, our city is ranked in the top five cities in the country for sustainability. 


Serving Our Neighborhoods  

I pride myself on providing responsive, and effective constituent services. I carefully track every constituent case that comes to my office. My policy is to ask residents to call the relevant city department once and then, if they don’t get the service they need, to call my office and I will go to bat for them.  

Finding solutions for my constituents is my highest priority. I have helped North Oakland residents in relation to fixing pot holes, vegetation management, garbage collection problems, speed bump installation, median strips, cameras for businesses, sidewalk repair, along with many other issues. 


Moving Forward 

As Oakland confronts its many challenges and opportunities, the city needs seasoned leadership that residents can count on. That’s why I’ve been endorsed by:  

• Attorney General and Former Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown; Assemblymember Sandre Swanson; County Supervisor Keith Carson; Alameda County School Superintendent Sheila Jordan; Alameda Central Labor Council; Sierra Club; National Women’s Political Caucus; ACORN; Alameda County Democratic Party and many Democratic Clubs; and hundreds of residents throughout North Oakland. 

I hope you’ll join with me in working to make Oakland a great place to live, work, go to school, and raise a family.