Sheng Thao’s Record of Accomplishments
Councilmember Sheng Thao is known as one of Oakland’s most creative, substantive, and effective leaders on housing, homelessness, and public safety. At City Hall, she’s passed over 100 laws that have made a difference.
Public Safety: Investing in Violence Prevention, New Police Academies and Retention Incentives, and Fighting to Get Guns Off Our Streets
- Sheng is the only Mayoral candidate who voted to invest a historic $18 million in violence interrupters and violence prevention to address the root causes of crime. Included in this budget allocation were funding for victims services and relocation services for families impacted by violence.
- For this year’s budget, Sheng voted to increase funding for the police department by $38 million over the previous year. Over the last four years, no one on the City Council has allocated more money for public safety than Sheng, because she believes that violence prevention and police response must be the cornerstones of a safe community.
- Sheng brokered a landmark public safety agreement, breaking a Council deadlock, to fund 3 new police academies, while also holding OPD accountable for overtime costs and pushing to localize and diversify the police force by hiring more Oakland residents, people of color, women, and from the LGBTQ+ community.
- In July 2022, Sheng worked with the Police Chief, Fire Chief, and City Administration and passed incentives for our Police Officers and Firefighters to curb attrition rates. The city is seeing good, Oakland-trained officers come back to the city, thus saving taxpayers’ dollars.
- Sheng helped pass legislation requiring better security and storage of weapons by gun owners.
- She helped ban untraceable ghost guns and pushed for the same policy which Governor Newsom recently signed at the state level.
- Led and negotiated a compromise between the Police Chief and privacy advocates to allow the police department to continue using license plate readers to catch criminals while increasing oversight of the process to protect our privacy.
- Sheng was an early champion of bringing the MACRO program to Oakland, providing alternatives to an armed police response for those in mental health crisis.
- During the height of the COVID pandemic, the City administration cut Ceasefire, a proven gang violence prevention, intervention, and community-mobilization program that is led, in part, by the faith community. While the other Councilmembers running for Mayor tried to block her, in 2021 Sheng worked with other colleagues to restore the program.
- Previously, Merritt College ran a successful feeder program that sent new officers to the California Highway Patrol. Sheng expanded the program to bring in new recruits to the Oakland Police Department, curbing the attrition rates.
- Sheng was the first to adopt the BOTS dots traffic calming program in her council district, which has made a real difference in reducing sideshows, preventing speeding, and making streets safer.
- She authored a City Resolution pushing the State to implement a paper trail system for sales of catalytic converters, to help prevent catalytic converter theft, which the Governor has just signed into law.
Fighting for Affordable Housing, Homeless Services, Working Families, and Renters
- Sheng Thao is one of only three renters on the Oakland City Council. During her time at City Hall, she has been a leader in the fight for renters’ rights.
- On the Council, Sheng has secured millions in funding for affordable housing, homeless services, and marginalized youth.
- Recruited an affordable housing developer to turn a lot above 580 that had sat vacant for decades into nearly 200 new units of affordable housing for our teachers, city workers, and more.
- During the COVID-19 pandemic, Sheng strongly supported Oakland’s eviction moratorium–the strongest moratorium in the Bay Area.
- Expanded Oakland’s Paid Sick Leave policy to ensure workers could take time off to care for their loved ones due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Passed Right to Recall legislation, helping thousands of Oakland workers get back their jobs after the state reopened during COVID.
- Co-Founded Oakland Mutual Aid Collective, in partnership with AAPI Women Lead, UCSF Benioff Children’s Community Health, and UCSF Women’s Health Initiative, which passed out over 110,000 pieces of PPE (personal protective equipment) and mutual aid supplies during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Sheng helped save our Head Start program, protecting free early childhood education and family services for low-income Oaklanders.
- Extended the moratorium on residential hotel conversion or demolition.
- Extended a moratorium on substantial rehabilitation exemptions for the Residential Rent Adjustment Program, protecting tenants throughout the city.
- Increased the number of members on the City’s Rent Board, and authorized more cases to be heard by the Rent Board.
- Requested the Rent Board to consider regulations to have property owners who owner-occupy duplexes/triplexes confirm owner-occupancy status through a certificate of exemption to protect tenants.
- While other candidates for Mayor remained silent, Sheng fought back against school closures in Black, Latinx, and low-income neighborhoods, including calling upon State Legislators to support no school closures without a plan.
- Sheng has stood up to ICE to protect our immigrant communities and is a leader in the fight to pass the VISION Act.
Curbing Illegal Dumping
- Sheng authored legislation that directed the City Administration to provide a list on the City’s website of permitted haulers as a resource for residents, to prevent fraudsters from posing as legit garbage haulers and then dumping garbage on our streets.
- Worked to fund more litter enforcement officers who investigate those who are dumping illegally.
- Supported the installation of high quality cameras at illegal dumping hot spots across Oakland.
Supported previous illegal dumping sting operations, and will continue to support more as Oakland’s next Mayor.
City Hall’s Leader on Wildfire Prevention and Emergency Response
- Passed legislation through the City Council that made wildfire prevention a top City priority.
- Expanded our budget for clearing highly flammable vegetation.
- Currently working to establish a regional wildfire prevention strategy with other local governments.
- Solved a 33 year old dispute, securing support from the California Public Utilities Commission to move forward with the undergrounding of utility lines in the Piedmont Pines neighborhood, protecting the neighborhood from the risk of devastating wildfires.
- Expanded Oakland’s emergency service response, which was pivotal to our success handling COVID-19.
City Hall’s Budget Expert, Sheng Has Brought Diverse Interests Together to Make Smart Investments in Oakland
- Sheng united labor and business to secure millions in funding for housing and homelessness services. She brought the two sides together when nobody else could, securing a historic agreement to raise taxes on big corporations, reduce taxes on small businesses, and generate $22 million a year to fund public safety, affordable housing, homeless prevention, parks, libraries, and street paving.
- Sheng doubled the City’s budget for street paving, to help repair our aging roads.
- Sheng has made investments in parks throughout the city, most recently securing $2 million in state funds to invest in parks in Deep East Oakland, including updates to Verdese Center Park, Tassafaronga Park, and Arroyo Viejo Park. She also secured funding for a new tot lot for Allendale Park, refurbished tennis courts at Dimond Park, Pickleball Courts at Montclair Park, funding for Joaquin Miller Park infrastructure improvements, and so much more.
- Sheng saved Chabot Space and Science Center by bringing together leaders from Oakland Unified School District, the East Bay Regional Park District, and the City of Oakland to solve a decades-old dispute. The budget agreement Sheng secured allows the Center to privately fundraise, become fiscally solvent, and achieve new partnerships, such as its latest with the NASA Ames Research Center, so Chabot can continue to make exciting, new STEM offerings available to Oaklanders from all neighborhoods,
Protecting Abortion Rights in Oakland
Immediately after Roe v. Wade was overturned, Sheng took action, authoring emergency legislation that passed the Council and made Oakland the first sanctuary city for abortion rights in California. Oakland’s abortion sanctuary city status declares that our clinics will remain open, safe, and accessible, not just for women locally but also for women living in repressive states like Texas who seek to come to Oakland for reproductive healthcare needs, and that anyone who seeks to use our clinics will be free from harassment by anti-choice extremists. Since its adoption in Oakland, sanctuary city legislation has been enacted in other cities across the country such as Seattle, Chicago, Washington D.C., and more.