May 2019 Newsletter


If this email was forwarded to you, please sign-up by clicking this link to receive updates
Dear Friend,

I'm proud to share with you that my team and I have been hard at work. Together, with Mayor Schaaf, my Council colleagues, city staff, and the community, we are tackling many important issues including: fighting for fire prevention funding in the budget, investing more dollars for paving our streets, securing funding for restorative justice & foster youth programming in Oakland Unified Schools, fighting to uphold the voters' integrity, and demanding implementation of pedestrian friendly measures around our schools to keep our kids safe.

Current Issues

2 year City of Oakland Budget

Currently, we are working on the City's 2-year budget. The City Council is the legislative branch, and one of the most important responsibility we hold is to pass a balanced budget that represents our values and where we see the City of Oakland moving towards.

The Mayor (executive branch) presented her proposed 2-year (FY 2019-2021) budget on May 7th. From there, the Council will have an opportunity to review and make amendments and pass a balanced budget by June 30th or earlier.

Please click HERE to view video and supplemental documents from the Mayor's City presentation.  

To better track and understand the city's budget process, I've placed a timeline below:

Currently, there are District budget meetings happening throughout Oakland. At these meetings the Finance Department will present the Mayor's proposed 2-year budget and the community can add their input for changes you'd like to see the City Council make to Mayor's proposed budget.

For a list of meetings, please click here.

On May 8th, I hosted the first of these meetings at the Redwood Heights Recreation Center in District 4. The City Administrator's office along with the Finance Department presented the Mayor’s proposed 2 year budget at a Community Meeting. Katano Kasaine, Director of Finance and the budget team was available to answer questions regarding the city's budget. I also discussed the budget priorities for District 4 and was able to answer specific questions from the community and hear all the valuable feedback. Thanks to all of those who attended.


Recent Issues

3 year street paving plan

The Three-Year Paving Plan is a $100M construction investment in pavement rehabilitation and preventative maintenance for Oakland roadways. The Public Works Committee, which I'm a member, approved the staff recommendation that 75% of plan dollars be prioritized for rehabilitating local streets and 25% prioritized for rehabilitation and preventative maintenance on major streets. The framework to prioritize streets for repaving is based on equity, density, street condition, and traffic safety.

The original proposal by staff allocated a 5% set-aside for Councilmembers to pave roads that were left out of the three-year plan at their discretion, each of the 7 districts and 1 At-Large City Council seat, would have had an approximately $470K each. On Tuesday, April 23rd, staff acknowledged that $1 million equates to an approximate 1 mile of newly paved roadway. I fought for an amendment that more than double District Councilmember’s discretionary fund to $1 million for each Council District and $500K for the At-Large Member. I'm happy to announce my amendment was adopted by a unanimous vote.

I appreciate what the Department of Transportation presented, I fully support using an equity framework for developing this and all of Oakland’s investments. However, this plan leaves many Oaklanders out, and I am glad my colleagues agreed that as Councilmember’s we are on the ground in our Districts and better understand the every day needs of our local streets. Therefore, having more dollars for street paving in the District will help tackle some of the streets that did not make it into the 3-year plan.

Measure AA

Last year, Measure "AA" was put forth to Oakland voters. The measure received 62% voter approval and on the official election site of Alameda County, including Oakland's City Attorney, Barbara Parker's ballot statement, stated that it would require a two-thirds vote, which would call for at least 66% voter approval.

In December of 2018, the Oakland City Council, which included three Councilmembers who are no longer on the City Council voted to certify Measure AA as passing with 6 ayes, 1 no (McElhaney) and 1 absent (Brooks).

On April 16th the new City Council took a vote to either collect the tax and escrow the funds or not to collect the tax. I'm a strong supporter of Early Childhood Education and openly supported and voted for Measure AA when it was on the ballot this past November. I'm glad that the majority on the new City Council agreed with me and voted to NOT collect the Measure AA tax for the first year and to have it reviewed again next year. Maintaining the voters' trust, integrity and ensuring transparency with Oakland voters is extremely important to me. This is about the process, and as we await to receive more clarity from the courts, it's important for me to protect my constituents' and Oakland voters' financial resources.

Securing Funds for Oakland Youth

I'm happy that the majority of the City Council took extraordinary action to save critical services that included the restorative justice and foster youth case management programs. These programs were cut or reduced during the adoption of OUSD's recent budget.

A Resolution authored by myself, Councilmembers Bas, Gallo, and President Kaplan allocates one-time funding of $690,000 to fund the Restorative Justice program and $510,000 to restore funding to OUSD foster youth case managers. These programs have shown to help our Oakland students be successful not only academically but have proven to be pillars for their positive personal growth. We need to do more at the State level to ensure that our students have the resources they need to be successful in the classrooms year after year.

Future Events

Join City staff, the Oakland Climate Action Coalition and District 4 Councilmember Sheng Thao at the District 4 Community Workshop to share your vision and solutions for Oakland’s 2030 ECAP.

The City of Oakland is developing its 2030 Equitable Climate Action Plan (ECAP) to identify how the City can equip Oaklanders (businesses and residents) to take critical actions to stop climate change, and adapt to a changing climate.  Oakland has a strong history of bold climate action and community advocacy.  In October 2018, City Council adopted a Climate Emergency and Just Transition Resolution, calling for an urgent climate mobilization effort to reverse global warming, reduce greenhouse gas emissions as quickly as possible, and accelerate adaptation and resilience strategies in preparation for intensifying climate impacts.  This includes actions that create good green jobs, reduce pollution, and help Oaklanders thrive.  The ECAP is the tool that will make this happen.  Come take part in shaping this important plan, to ensure that it reflects the District 2 communities’ needs and dreams!

When: Tuesday, May 28th, 6-8:30pm (come early for food!)

Where: Dimond Branch Library - 3565 Fruitvale Ave

Why: Climate change affects all of us. Oakland residents, particularly frontline communities, can be deeply involved in crafting equitable climate actions for our city. Get involved to define the solutions we need to ensure the 2030 ECAP benefits existing Oakland residents with improved health, green jobs, and better neighborhoods!

  • Food provided.
  • Childcare provided by request. Please fill out this form.
  • Spanish and Cantonese interpretation available.
  • Wheelchair accessible event.

Visit for more information and to RSVP.

Save the Date! Councilmember Thao and Assemblymember Buffy Townhall

I will be hosting a Townhall Meeting with Assemblymember Wicks as a co-sponsor to discuss Fire Prevention and what can be done at the State level.

Date: Thursday, June 20, 2019 
Time: 6:00pm 
Location: Joaquin Miller Community Center, 3594 Sanborn Drive



Sheng Thao
Council Member, District 4

District Office Hours:
Montclair Farmers Market
Date: Sunday, May 26, 2019
Time: 10:00am-12:00pm
Location: La Salle Ave between Mountain and Moraga Ave.

For daily updates, follow me on social media:


Report a Problem to OAK 311

To learn more about Oakland 311, a service where Oaklanders can call 311 from their cell phone in Oakland to report maintenance issues (graffiti, potholes, illegal dumping, please click the link below)

Ever wonder how to get an agenda for a future or past Committee or City Council Meeting? You can find it on Legistar,  which is the City of Oakland’s comprehensive database where you can view and search legislative records, and access previous and present agenda materials. Please click the link below to view the legistar website. 

Contact Us!

Please feel free to contact my office and me at 510-238-7004 or at [email protected]. Below is the contact info for my staff:

Louansee Moua, Chief of Staff
Office: 238-7042
Email: [email protected]

Brandon Baranco, Deputy Chief of Staff
Office: 238-7041
Email: [email protected]

Amauri Collins-McMurray, Community Liaison
Office: 238-7273
Email: [email protected]

Updates District 4 Issues

Undergrounding in Piedmont Pines

As of Wednesday May 8th, our outside council from Davis Wright Tremain LLP, has responded to multiple requests for additional information and data from the California Public Utilities Commission and we are awaiting to hear if the CPUC has any additional questions or issues they would like to discuss.

Vegetation Management Plan Update

Early this month, on Wednesday, May 1st, the consultant finished the last in a series of site visits (King Estate) with parks stewardship groups to solicit additional comments and feedback on the Oakland Vegetation Management Plan. The consultant is reported to be finishing the plan after conducting an environmental study on treatments to the vegetation they are drafting, this item should come Council this year.


Update on Antioch Court - The Montclair Business District raise $10,000 at the Community Supper on April 7. Merced Ave. is on the three-year pavement plan which makes having Antioch Court Improvement Project to revitalize that whole roundabout.


UPDATE: Shepherd Canyon Road reopened to traffic in both directions on Friday, May 10, 2019.

Please continue to report any infrastructure issues you may observe to the City of Oakland's new OAK 311 service. You can contact us by calling 311; e-mailing [email protected]; making an online request at; or using the OAK 311 app (powered by SeeClickFix), free for Apple and Android devices. Thank you, and drive safely!


Snake Road Closure: City of Oakland Update, April 26, 2019

On Dec. 11, 2017, a fire at a construction site in the 6600 block of Snake Road destroyed four homes and forced the indefinite traffic closure of Snake Road. This post is an update from the City of Oakland on our ongoing work to resolve the road closure.

In December 2018 the City awarded the construction contract to PMK Construction (the Contractor) for the repairs of Snake Road, Shepherd Canyon Road and Melvin Road. Throughout the winter and spring, Oakland experienced greater-than-average rainy weather, and the unimproved areas of the hillside caused an inefficient and unsafe condition with mud and wetness. Both the City and Contractor remained eager to work swiftly, but this project has been, and remains, highly dependent on worksite conditions and weather patterns.

Recently, the demolition phase of construction at the site was completed. The demolition revealed previously inaccessible details about how the concrete wall must attach to the steel beams holding it up. These new details require additional manufacturing and welding, which has been expedited. Weather conditions permitting, the City is projecting reopening the road by the end of June 2019.

Upon completing work at Snake Road, PMK construction will complete recent repairs at Melvin Road. Work on the retaining wall there has been completed with the exception of a 6” asphalt curb that will be constructed between the edge of the driving lane and the guardrail.

Snake Road is scheduled to reopen by the end of June.

For information about the construction work, please contact Resident Engineer Bert Chang, at (510) 238-5239 or [email protected]

We will provide additional updates as work progresses. In the meantime, please continue to report any infrastructure issues you may observe to the City of Oakland's new OAK 311 service. You can contact us by calling 311; e-mailing [email protected]; making an online request at; or using the OAK 311 app (powered by SeeClickFix), free for Apple and Android devices. Thank you, and drive safely!

Upcoming Neighborhood Crime Prevention Council Meetings (NCPC) - open to neighbors in the community


Neighborhood Crime Prevention Council - Beat 22X

Date: Thursday, May 16, 2019
Time: 7:00pm-9:00pm
Location: Dimond Branch Library, 3565 Fruitvale Ave.

Neighborhood Crime Prevention Council (Melrose-High Hopes) - Beat 27X

Date: Wednesday, May 22, 2019
Time: 7:00pm-8:00pm
Location: Horace Mann School, 5222 Ygnacio Avenue

Neighborhood Council Meeting - Beat 25X

Date: Wednesday, June 12, 2019
Time: 7:00pm
Location: Redwood Heights Recreation Center, 3883 Aliso Road

District 4 Upcoming Events

Dimond Improvement Association Volunteer Fair 

Date: Wednesday, June 5, 2019
Time: 7:00pm-9:00pm
Location: Dimond Branch Library, 3565 Fruitvale Ave.

Organizations will give short presentations about volunteer opportunities in the Dimond. This event is open to the public and all are encouraged to come. This can be just a couple of hours one time, or something more lasting, lots of possibilities for fun and rewarding experiences! Adults, teenagers, families - all are welcome.

Come and check it out, maybe get involved now or in the future. No obligation!  Light refreshments will be served.

For More Information Please Email: [email protected]


Announcements, Resources, and Opportunities


Hire Oakland Youth

The City of Oakland and Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) are partnering so Oakland youth have summer jobs. Summer is fast approaching, and we are recruiting businesses to offer youth employment opportunities! Hiring youth is a great way to deepen local relationships, connect your business with talented youth and help develop a skilled workforce and thriving local economy. Businesses can choose to directly hire an intern, donate to the program or host a young person at your worksite, who is sponsored by the City of Oakland. To sign up, click here or email [email protected].

APIs Mobilize Youth Leadership Program 2019

The application for the 2019 Mobilize Youth Leadership Program is now open!

Past Engagements

Bike to Work Day

On May 9, my son Ben, Amauri on my staff and I all biked from The Laurel Cyclery and met up with Stomper, Councilmember Noel Gallo, Councilmember Loren Taylor, King-Baybe Champ, and The Original Scraper Bike Team where we then headed for pancakes at City Hall! 

Thank you Bike East Bay and all those who participated in the event. 

Small Business Appreciation Week

In celebration of Oakland Small Business Week, I had the pleasure of honoring Delightful Foods in District 4 at the May 7th City Council meeting. Delightful Foods is a family-owned bakery established 25 years ago in the heart of the Fairfax business district. Bilal Sabir, Rafia Yusif and their family of ten own and operate Delightful Foods, which began as a pie shop that developed into a bakery which specializes in eight varieties of vegan cookies and 13 flavored pies. DELIGHTFUL FOODS is famous for the “No Cookie” cookie, which does not contain dairy, eggs, or wheat, and has been sold at over 400 health food stores, convenience shops, and grocery stores across the United States.

Thank you DELIGHTFUL FOODS for the key role that you play in driving Oakland’s economy and contributing to the city’s quality of life.

4th Annual Asian Pacific American Read-In Week

On April 29, Laurel Elementary and Oakland Public Education Fund hosted me for Asian Pacific American read-in week.

I read a Hmong Cinderella story to 3rd and 5th graders, the book is call “Jouanah”. Throughout the book I was able to share more details about the Hmong culture and had Q/A.

Every student learned something new about Hmong people, and that warms my heart.


SongKran Festival

On April 27, I was honored to welcome the 1st annual SongKran Festival in Jack London Square - celebrating the Thai, Lao, Myanmar and Cambodian New Year. Special thanks to Farmhouse Kitchen Thai Cuisine Oakland, Thai General Counselor Mr. Mungkorn Pratoomkaew, and everyone who worked tirelessly to put on the SongKran Festival.

Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce

On Friday, April 26, I had the honor of being a guest speaker for the Oakland Chamber Public Policy Breakfast that consisted of 20-30 small businesses and nonprofit members. I was able to tell my story about my background, discuss priorities and challenges, and give insight to my vision for Oakland. 


Earth Day Events

On Saturday, April 20, my team and I participated in various District 4 Earth Day events at Joaquin Miller, Montclair Park, and Allendale Park. I was able to pick up trash, debris and speak with community members at Dimond Park, a special thanks to Friends of Sausal Creek, Brothers on the Rise, Oakland YMCA and IUPAT District Council 16 for taking the call to come out to keep Oakland clean!


Tour of Affordable Housing in District 4

On Thursday, April 18, East Bay Housing Organizations, Satellite Affordable Housing Associates (SAHA), and East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation (EBALDC) provided my colleagues and I a tour of affordable housing in each of our districts.

I was able to view Redwood Hill Townhomes, located in District 4. This affordable housing development will provide 28 new, affordable townhomes apartments to low-income residents; including survivors of domestic violence and individuals experiencing chronic homelessness.


Love Your Park - Family Fun Day & Fundraiser

On Saturday, April 13, the Redwood Heights Association hosted The Love Your Park event which is the kickoff for fundraising events to renovate and invigorate Redwood Heights Park. You can help support these efforts by donating HERE. I had the opportunity to see the preliminary design concept and speak to Oakland residents about what they envision for the park in the future. 

Office Hours at Communitē Table

On Saturday, April 13, I hosted Office Hours at Communitē Table and discussed solutions regarding potholes and street paving with concerned neighbors and community members. Afterwards, my staff, Amauri Collins and I went to view the potholes first hand in the Laurel and Redwood Heights neighborhoods.   
(Update: The above pothole has been filled!)

Montclair Village - Sunday Community Supper

On Sunday, April 7, I attended an amazing Sunday Community Supper in District 4 - all in support of the Antioch Court Beautification Project! Thank you to all who made it a success, including all who attended, Montclair small businesses, Daniel SwaffordNina SennOakland Firefighters Local 55 and my wonderful staff. 

Big thanks to District 4 School Board Representative Gary Yee, Assemblymember Rob Bonta and AC Transit Representative Elsa Ortiz for attending and supporting these efforts as well. 


Safety Walk 

On Wednesday, April 3, I held a Safety Walk in the Laurel Business District. We were joined by the OPD, the Laurel District Association, Neighborhood Service CoordinatoRenee Sykes and community members. We walked to each of the businesses, introducing ourselves and giving each merchant information around target hardening their establishment to deter robbery and theft.

We also met many community members throughout the businesses, we even sang happy birthday to one of our constituents. We will be posting a video of today’s safety tips soon. Thank you for everyone to participated!!



Celebrating the Legacy of Cesar Chavez

In observance of celebrating the legacy of Cesar Chavez, the City Council honored many courageous individuals, who were recognized for their volunteerism, leadership, and community service in the City of Oakland.

On Tuesday, April 2nd I had the pleasure of honoring Mr. René Quiñonez as District 4's honoree!

I am so proud to honor Mr. René Quiñonez from District 4 in honor of celebrating the legacy of Cesar Chavez. His leadership and commitment in the community has created unity and opportunities for aspiring businesses in Oakland. Mr. René Quiñonez’s family history spans over three decades in Oakland. He is the owner of Movement Ink, a family run silk screening company in the Laurel District, that utilizes fashion apparel to spread positive messages of culture, resistance and love through original designs and custom printing. Mr. René Quiñonez has dedicated his life to fostering and building a better community by providing space to incubate many independent small businesses to learn, grow, and launch successfully. Mr. René Quiñonez represents the key values of Cesar Chavez and has made a tremendous impact in the community through organizing, violence prevention, and youth advocacy.


Important City Resource Numbers 




MAYOR: 238-3141

CITY COUNCIL: 238-3266



PERMITS: 238-3443



GARBAGE: 613-8710





RECYCLING: 238-7283

FPPC ID #1405456 

The Oakland Campaign Reform Act limits campaign contributions by all persons (OMC Section 3.12.050 and 3.12.060) and prohibits contributors during specified time periods from contractors doing business with the City of Oakland or the Oakland Unified School District (OMC 3.12.140) Contributions are limited to $800 per election from any person, i.e., individual, business entity, committee, or other organization or group of persons acting in concert.
Contributions from a broad-based political action committee is $1,600 per election.