March/April 2016

Our community planning process is continuing underway.

67 students currently enrolled in a U C Berkeley Department of Education field course have completed door-to-door canvassing of the Santa Fe, Golden Gate and Longfellow neighborhoods. They are now analyzing data will be used to inform the design of and proposal for the Santa Fe Elementary School which will be presented to the Oakland Unified School District in 2017.

9 students currently enrolled in a City & Regional Planning course in U C Berkeley’s Department of Environmental Design course have canvassed our neighborhoods collecting data to inform our housing plan and our transportation plan. Our neighborhood leads continue to meet with two UCB professors and separately with Councilman Dan Kalb and top level City Planning Staff to move our neighborhood pilot program forward.

On April 30th, we will present our progress to the three communities and seek community input.

February 2016 

On February 8th, representatives from our pilot program Cathy Leonard (Santa Fe CAN’s Board Co-Chair) and Angela Gennino (President of the Golden Gate Community Association) introduced our pilot program to 125 U.C. Berkeley students who are enrolled in the City and Regional Planning course (College of Environmental Design). We, along with Prof. Hutson, will choose students to work on the pilot program.

On February 2nd and 3rd, a representative from our pilot program Cathy Leonard, Santa Fe CAN’s Education Chair Megan Low,  and Education Committee members Sharon Rose (member of Block by Block Organizing Network) and Steve Childs trained Department of Education students in “door-to-door” canvassing techniques and cultural sensitivity training. The data collected will be used to inform the design of and proposal for the Santa Fe Elementary School which will be presented to the Oakland Unified School District.

January 2016 

This year, our three community associations leads met with our stakeholders and new partners regarding our pilot program – Northwest Oakland Community Coalition. The leads are: Cathy Leonard (Santa Fe CAN board co-chair), Angela Gennino (President of the Golden Gate Community Association) and Sandra Musaka (Longfellow Community Association).

The re-opening of the Santa Fe Elementary School and the redesign of the Helen MacGregor Plaza are the focal points of the pilot program.

City of Oakland Stakeholders

This year, our three community associations leads met with Councilperson Dan Kalb and key members of Oakland’s Planning Department to discuss funding sources.

U.C. Berkeley Partnerships – New

Cathy and Angela met with an associate professor of city and regional planning in U.C. Berkeley’s College of Environmental Design. This professor specializes in community development and urban sustainability/equity; racial/ethnic inequalities and urban policy (metropolitan fragmentation, segregation and health); built environment and health. We are super excited that he has agreed to work with us on our pilot program.

We have partnered with two graduate students at U. C. Berkeley’s Department of Education. Their 67 students from two classes will assist in canvassing the Santa Fe, Golden Gate, and Longfellow neighborhoods (and possibly the Bushrod neighborhood) to survey residents about the re-opening of Santa Fe Elementary School, obtain pledge signatures, conduct data analysis and engage in collaborative writing on our proposal to the Oakland Unified School District. We are excited about this partnership and have attended the classes to inform students about our respective associations, history of our neighborhoods and the pilot program.

For more information and/or volunteer opportunities, contact Cathy Leonard at cathy@santafecan.org.

Budget Addendum

To view details of our Northwest Oakland Community Coalition pilot program, click on NOCC budget addendum – Final 2015.06.22.

Councilman Dan Kalb’s response to our proposal after passage of the 2015-2017 Oakland City Budget

Hi North Oakland friends and neighbors in the Golden Gate, Longfellow & Santa Fe neighborhoods:

Thanks so much for writing me expressing your support for neighborhood-based and neighborhood-led planning. I appreciate all the work that went into preparing theproposal and soliciting neighborhood and city support. I am very enthusiastic about the potential here and am committed to making sure that this proposal and the associated planning process actually happens.

To that end, after I received the proposal I shared it with Darin Ranelletti, our city’s Deputy Director of Planning, who is best positioned to provide professional and actionable feedback.

Darin noted that neighborhood plans could take many forms. The more thorough they are, the more expensive and lengthy they are likely to become. $150,000 would of course not cover the major cost items involved in preparing a traditional, comprehensive neighborhood plan. According to Darin, the largest costs tend to be related to hiring technical experts to analyze things relevant to the plan.

However, as the neighborhood-based proposal suggests, if residents were to take the lead in an organized fashion (with City Planning staff oversight, guidance and assistance) in preparing a less intricate Neighborhood-oriented plan, Darin suggests that residents could consider focusing on developing a set of Community Goals with clear recommendations for follow-up actions by the City. This plan would inform future City actions, and having such a plan would likely prove beneficial and informative both for neighborhood residents and for the city administration.

Darin mentioned that staff time can be dedicated to this project as early as in the beginning of the next calendar year. And we feel confident that adequate funding can be identified through Bay Area planning grants that can be available for designated priority development areas, and/or one-time funds from the city budget that are likely to be available after the first of the calendar year.

Darin and I are eager to meet this summer with the neighborhood leaders who submitted this forward-thinking proposal to further discuss and flesh out what the shared vision of a community-based plan would look like and what the next steps are to ensure that this gets done.

We agreed right off the bat that it was great to see you and so many of your neighbors interested in developing a plan for the future of your neighborhood. I have no doubt that there is real potential here to pull off something of tremendous value for the three contiguous neighborhoods identified in the proposal, and the city overall. I know that Portland, OR has had some success with their version of neighborhood plans. And this proposal and process could be a model for other neighborhoods in our city.

Thanks again for contacting me. I have discussed this with my colleague Rebecca Kaplan and she is in agreement that this is a worthy project. I’m very much looking forward to working with neighborhood leaders and residents on making this happen.


Oakland City Councilmember