City Government

The Oakland City Council has voted to explore using loans and negotiation to help residents in danger of losing their homes through foreclosure and to clean up vacant properties.

Oakland is suffering from the foreclosure crisis that is affecting the nation. Although the city cannot regulate the actions of lenders, it can manage the blight that comes with vacant properties and can use leverage to ask banks to back off on foreclosing.

“I have all the confidence that the city’s housing staff is going to proactively address this issue,” said Larry Hynson, policy analyst with ACORN, a community organization that counsels homeowners in trouble.

The foreclosure rate in Oakland is rising, according to City Attorney John Russo’s office. Russo has sponsored a new hotline, (510) BE-ALERT, for homeowners in trouble.

The resolution, which passed unanimously on Tuesday, urges banks to work with homeowners, possibly by turning adjustable-rate mortgages into more stable, fixed-rate mortgages. The resolution also requires city staff to look into the feasibility of providing city loans to buyers in trouble and requiring bank-owned, vacant properties to be managed so that blight and vandalism are avoided.


Jean Quan, district four city council member and president pro tempore, is organizing a group of citizen volunteers who will work with Oakland police to crack down on drivers speeding through their neighborhoods.

So far 20 volunteers have signed up for a two day training that will be conducted by Oakland police traffic officers. The training will show them how to use a hand-held radar gun purchased by Quan’s office for the program.

After they are trained, groups of three volunteers will take the radar gun to areas where speeding is common. They will clock the speed of cars and send speeders license plate numbers to police who will mail the speeders a warning letter. Volunteers will not have access to driver information.

The first speed trap will be set on 35th Ave. in the Redwood Heights area. Another group is organizing a trap for Skyline Blvd.

City Councilmember (District 1) Jane Brunner’s Community Advisory Meeting
Topic:                       North Oakland Town Hall
Speaker:                   Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums
When:                       Saturday, October 13th, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 Noon
Where:                      Peralta Elementary School, 460 63rd

Sen. Clinton Campaigns at Laney College

Click image for photo slideshow.

The Oakland City Council Life Enrichment Committee approved a $72,000 grant Monday for Second Start, an adult literacy program that serves people over age 16 who read below a fourth-grade level.

The money, which now goes to the City Council for final approval, would pay for staff, tutors and support in the computer learning center for the 200 people in the program. (more…)

When: Saturday, September 15th from 2-7pm.

Where: DeFremery Park.

What: Free BBQ, skate ramps, dance area, DJs, peace pole dedication, and memorial peace pledge and drive.

The City Council/Oakland Redevelopment Agency meets the 1st 3rd and 5th Tuesday of every month.

City Council Committee meetings are held on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month beginning at 12:30 p.m. and running until 9:00 p.m.

Further details here.

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