Speak Up on Oakland’s Economic Development Strategy
The City of Oakland is creating an Economic Development Strategy to set the city’s economic vision for the next five years. We invite you to contribute your ideas on our new online public engagement platform, Speak Up Oakland!Oakland residents and businesses can post, comment and debate ideas online with city staff and each other. What should Oakland’s economic priorities be? For more information, contact Economic Development Strategy Manager Marisa Raya and check out SpeakUpOakland.org.
SPUR Oakland Launches
Public policy and good governance think tank SPUR celebrated the opening of their Oakland office last month with a launch party in West Oakland. We interviewed new Director Robert Ogilvie on why SPUR has come to Oakland and what he hopes to accomplish. “Oakland has a set of incredible assets,” says Ogilvie. “Eight BART stations, a walkable urban street grid; more affordable housing than San Francisco and San Jose; an engaged, sophisticated citizenry; a nationally significant art, restaurant and nightlife scene; a robust manufacturing ecosystem; and developable land within walking distance of transit.” He continued, “I want SPUR Oakland to be a forum where the different voices in Oakland can come together to debate Oakland’s growth challenges and help form a consensus for moving forward.” Read more about SPUR Oakland in the latest issue of the Urbanist.
Oakland Businesses Nab Five Innovation Awards
Oakland’s Blue Bottle Coffee, FATHOM, SfunCube, and the Oakland Digital Arts & Literacy Center (ODALC) took home East Bay Innovation Awards on February 19, while Clorox received the Legacy Award. Oakland again dominated the awards ceremony, which was held at the Fox Theater. The event celebrates the most innovative businesses in the categories of advanced manufacturing, clean tech, education, engineering and design, food, information and/or communications technology, and life sciences. Overall, seven outstanding East Bay organizations won from an original pool of 178 nominations. The East Bay Economic Development Alliance was founded in 1990 with a goal of establishing the region as a world-recognized location to grow businesses, attract capital and create quality jobs. For more information, please contact Economic Development Manager Aliza Gallo.
New Minimum Wage effective March 2nd
This past November, Oakland citizens voted to increase the Minimum Wage to $12.25 per hour and require businesses to provide paid sick leave and pay hospitality service charges to employees that provide the service. All employers must post notices, adjust wages, and update policies by March 2. The City of Oakland has resources to help, including posters, FAQs, technical assistance and upcoming workshops. The City, business owners, workers and consumers are working together to get the word out, and encourage all Oaklanders to keep shopping local to support our businesses. For more information, visit the City’s Minimum Wage Website, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (510) 238-6258.
OUSD, Highland Hospital share in $22 Million Healthcare Training Awards
The Oakland Unified School District and the Alameda Health Care Services Agency won $12.2 million from Atlantic Philanthropies and the California Endowment to help students explore health care career pathways. The joint grant will triple the number of students in health career training programs, from 670 to 1,874, expand existing programs for middle-school students, and develop a public-private partnership to improve health education programs. Atlantic Philanthropies awarded a second, $10 million grant to Alameda Health System, which includes Oakland’s Highland Hospital, to develop training and internship programs for young people in Oakland. Healthcare is Oakland’s largest employment sector and Alameda County is expected to see 10,000 new health-related jobs in upcoming years.
The Dimond District: An Urban Gateway to the Redwoods
The Dimond District is a unique Oakland neighborhood where an urban creek connects local shopping to hiking trails and redwood forests. Centered at the intersection of MacArthur Boulevard and Fruitvale Avenue, the neighborhood’s cluster of shops and restaurants, including Oaklandish, Farmer Joe’s, Taqueria Los Comales and Nama Japanese Cuisine, sit a block away from scenic Sausal Creek. Local La Farine Bakery Manager Stan Dobson leads custom tours along the creek to the 94-acre Diamond Canyon, and is creating a documentary to show off this unique rural to urban trail and neighborhood. Know another local Oakland business champion? Tell their story in Oakland Economy Now!