District 5 Spring 2019 Newsletter


Spring 2019 Newsletter

A quarterly update for the residents of District 5

District 5 of Alameda County includes Albany, Berkeley, Emeryville, Piedmont, and parts of Oakland. 



It has been a busy Spring in Alameda County, as we have been hard at work on the 2019-20 budget, making sure we continue to serve the critical needs of the community, including our top priority - addressing our homeless crisis. I hope you enjoy reading about what I and my staff have been up to these past few months.  As always, please reach out to us if you need assistance with any county-related matters.

- Keith Carson


  • Emergency Preparedness Day
  • Budget Brief
  • Homelessness
  • Town Hall on Race
  • Boards & Commissions
  • Ask Keith!
  • Staff Spotlight

Every week, our office sends out the Wednesday Weekly, an e-update on the various community meetings and events taking place in and around District 5.  Don't miss out on the wealth of activities our district has to offer! 

Sign up to receive the Weekly and our quarterly newsletter here: bit.ly/2Kmqz1p

Do you receive SSI?

Don't miss out on food benefits!


Beginning June 1, 2019, many SSI recipients are now eligible for CalFresh Food Benefits. There is NO CHANGE or reduction to SSI/SSP amounts.


Online: GetCalFresh.org

Call: 1-877-847-3663


Every Friday until the end of the year the East Bay Regional Park District is offering Free Park Fridays to mark its 85th Anniversary.

Free Park Fridays applies to park entrance and fees for day use parking, swimming, dogs, horse trailers, boat launching, and fishing permits will all be waived.

For 85 years, the Park District has preserved and protected open space in Alameda and Contra Costa counties, and provided public access to regional parks, shorelines, and trails for recreation and nature discovery.

Learn more: https://www.ebparks.org


ACGOV Vision 2026 is Alameda County’s comprehensive effort to set a course for the next decade that anticipates community challenges and maximizes our ability to meet residents’ needs in a rapidly changing world. Our vision of the future and the goals and guiding principles you see here grew from extensive collaboration involving Alameda County leaders and other local officials who are "facing forward" to promote communities that are vibrant, prosperous, safe, healthy and inclusive.

To learn more, visit: vision2026.acgov.org 


Keep a lookout for Team Carson at these upcoming events:

June 9
Temescal Street Fair

June 16
Berkeley Juneteenth

June 22
Oakland Lakefest

Connect With Us!















Supervisor Carson with BAY EMT Volunteers

Over the years, earthquakes and fires have damaged thousands of structures and endangered countless lives in the East Bay, especially in District 5. The recent wildfires in our neighboring communities were a stark reminder that we need to ensure that every citizen, without exception, is informed, educated, and prepared for the inevitable next local disaster.

To make sure our community is better prepared, our office hosted Alameda County Emergency Preparedness Day on April 13th at Chabot Elementary School, in Oakland.

The event began with a dynamic keynote presentation given by Lars Eric Holm, Disaster Preparedness Coordinator at Eden I&R, followed by a day full of informative and life-saving workshops on topics including insurance, personal planning, basic life saving techniques, and community planning. There was also a resource fair with over 25 organizations and agencies tabling throughout the day, and we distributed 300 free emergency kits.

See more photos from the event here: bit.ly/2UBkpR2

Many thanks to all of our sponsors, presenters, and outstanding volunteers for making this day a great success!


The County’s Fiscal Year 2019-20 budget process is in full swing, and we are finalizing plans to both serve residents while maintaining the County’s strong fiscal position. We are required to pass a balanced budget by June 30.

The County Administrator’s Office projected a $60.4 million funding gap for the coming fiscal year. The County’s Budget Workgroup has set targets for each of the County’s four program areas – General Government, Public Protection, Public Assistance and Health Care – to distribute the contributions needed to close the funding gap. In June, the Board will hold budget hearings to finalize the details of the Final Budget for 2019-20.

You can stay up to date on the County’s Budget on our Open Budget website:




Supervisor Carson recently joined his fellow California State Association of Counties (CSAC) leadership members in Sacremento to meet with Governor Gavin Newsom to learn about his vision for California and to discuss the needs and priorities of counties. The focus of the meeting centered on the issue of homelessness and the challenges around delivering the specific services that counties are statutorily required to provide, including public health, mental health, and social services.

The Supervisor stressed to the Governor that, in most instances, it will take from a year to five years for any proposed new housing to go through the planning, funding, and building process before it opens. Counties need immediate support from the state to continue providing critical health and social services in an organized, structured way, particularly for those who are unsheltered.

Learn more about what Alameda County is doing to address homelessness: https://homelessness.acgov.org/


town hall

In April, Supervisor Carson served as moderator at a town hall conversation on race, hosted by Congressman Mark DeSaulnier and Congresswoman Barbara Lee, at the Black Repertory Theatre, in Berkeley. Panelists included john a. powell, Director of the UC Berkeley Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society; Dr. Chinyere Oparah, Professor of Ethnic Studies at Mills College; and Vanessa Moses, Executive Director of Causa Justa.

The conversation was very insightful, and many people walked away with a better understanding of how race and racism impact daily lives, as well as a greater willingness to have uncomfortable conversations to promote healing.

Thank you to Representatives Lee and DeSaulnier for creating a space to have an honest discussion about the impacts of harmful rhetoric and policies that aim to further divide and marginalize communities of color.



Earlier this spring, Supervisor Carson hosted his annual Boards & Commissions Update. District 5 representatives serving on various Alameda County boards and commissions gathered together to share updates on what their respective bodies have been working on, and to alert the Supervisor about issues he should be aware of/the County needs to address.

It was wonderful to see so many of the individuals who give their time and expertise to serve the residents of our district - thank you for spending an evening with us!

Serving on a county board or commission is a great way to further engage with your local community and help shape government policy. If you are interested in serving, visit www.acgov.org/bnc/#/home to view current vacancies and to apply for an appointment.


I have launched new weekly video series that YOU get to contribute to! Have a burning question about county policy or programs? Want to know more about life as an elected official? Curious about my favorite books? Send me your questions and I may just answer you via video on social media!

Visit my YouTube channel to view all AskKeith! episodes:


Email questions to: AskKeith@acgov.org


Team Carson has grown!  During the past few months, our office added three dynamic women to our roster: Melissa Male, Eliza Macasocol, and Irene Farnsworth. Learn more about them below.

We also said farewell to our long-time Community Engagement Associate, Shomari Carter. We will miss him and wish him great success as he moves on in his career!


Melissa Male is our new Communications Manager, responsible for all things communication, including our website, newsletter, and social media accounts, as well as media relations. She will also be the main point-person for boards & commissions appointments.  Melissa brings with her a wealth of non-profit, government, and political experience, as well as a passion for advancing positive social, economic, and environmental change. Prior to joining our office, she worked as a consultant for the Equal Justice Society, an Oakland-based nonprofit dedicated to transforming the nation’s consciousness on race through law, social science, and the arts. Before that, Melissa was a Senior District Representative for former California State Senator Loni Hancock. She has served on numerous boards and commissions, including as the current Chair of the Board of Directors of The Center for Independent Living (TheCIL). Melissa received both her B.A. (Political Science) and her J.D. from UC Berkeley, and is a member of the California State Bar.


Eliza Macasocol is an administrative assistant for District 5 through an internship with Alameda County’s CalWORKs Public Service Training Program. This program helps working parents get back on their feet and gain experience working within the County. Eliza is finishing up her AA-T at Chabot College and would like to transfer to Cal State East Bay. She currently has a certificate in Communications in Rhetoric and would love to pursue a career in public relations or community affairs within Alameda County or an organization focused on the arts, social reform/advocacy, or educational programming. 


Irene Farnsworth has joined us as a summer intern, focusing on district-specific outreach for the 2020 census. A current Master of Public Policy student at the Goldman School (UC Berkeley), Irene will be conducting research, creating outreach materials, and working with community organizations and leaders to ensure that District 5 has a complete census count in 2020. She will be working particularly closely on outreach to UC Berkeley students, one of the designated hard-to-reach populations in the district. Prior to starting her master’s degree, Irene worked for a social impact consulting firm, where she conducted community-centered quantitative and qualitative research.