New Leadership Will Make a Difference

February Newsletter

Vol. 1: Issue 1

Inside This Issue

1. Getting Started Right Away... In The Right Way
2. Introducing The District 6 Team
3. Recent D6 Highlights
4. Upcoming Events
5. Policy Updates

1. Getting Started Right Away... In The Right Way   

I write to you today with gratitude and purpose as I begin my 2nd month as your District 6 representative on the Oakland City Council.  Since being sworn in on January 7th I have hit the ground running; meeting with D6 residents, City staff and community members to help guide a new vision for District 6.  

As I have consistently shared in these early interactions, it is important that we get started right away addressing the urgent needs that many of our neighbors face. It is also important that we get starting in the right way, building a solid foundation that allows us to consistently build the long-term sustainable solutions that our city needs.

To achieve both goals requires hearing from you and other District 6 residents, and as such, I hope you can make it to one of our upcoming District 6 Town Halls:

  1. March 2nd (10a-12noon) at Cypress Mandela Training Center (RSVP Here)
  2. March 3rd (2-4p) at Arroyo Viejo Recreation Center (RSVP Here)
  3. Week of March 4th (Time & Date TBA) at Skyline Community Church (RSVP Here)

In addition, please consider filling out this brief survey through which you can inform us of your skills, experiences, and how you would like to help make District 6 a better place for all residents.

My hope is this newsletter will keep you up to date with the topics we are working on and ways that you can join in the effort to help all residents of District 6 and across Oakland achieve their full potential. 

Please enjoy this newsletter and share with me any feedback you may have either by phone (510-238-7306) or email (

With Oakland Love,


Loren M. Taylor
Councilmember, City of Oakland, District 6

"Change will not come if we wait for some other person, or if we wait for some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek."

– Barack Obama


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2. Introducing the District 6 Team

Part of getting started in the right way is ensuring that we have a solid team in place to best serve the individual and collective needs of District 6 residents.  I am excited to have such a high-powered and talented team to work with and look forward to you getting to know them and working with them as well!

Mona Barra-Gibson
Chief of Staff

Mona is a proud Oakland native with 15 plus years of experience in local Government.  Mona has served in various capacities in the California State Legislature and the City of Oakland with a focus on Local Government and Community Engagement.  She is thrilled to still be living in Oakland with her family. Mona will be working on issues in the Hills of D6, Coliseum and Melrose neighborhoods.

Pamela Ferran, Esq.
Sr. Policy Advisor

Pamela is a Bay Area native and resident of District 6. She is a licensed California attorney and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Howard University. She has over 20 years of experience in political engagement locally, nationally and abroad. She has researched re-development policies, drafted op-ed articles and policy statements. Pamela is the Senior Policy Advisor and handles issues in the Millsmont, Evergreen, and Eastmont neighborhoods. 

Victor Flores
Constituent Liaison

Victor was born and raised in East Oakland, attending a variety of schools including St. Elizabeth, Unity, Fremont, Sojourner Truth. He previously worked as an Operations Supervisor at UPS and legal intern at Catholic Charities of the East Bay. Victor is active in many organizations at the intersection of community, business, and politics. He staffs the Public Works and City Port Liaison Committees and is assigned to Seminary, Maxwell Park,Eastmont, and Havenscourt neighborhoods. 

3. Recent D6 Highlights

$1M fund to bring Transportation Equity to East Oakland

Inadequate access to affordable and convenient transportation is a major barrier to better education, higher-wage jobs, and greater economic stability for many East Oakland Residents. This past Monday, I was honored to join former US Transportation Secretary, Anthony Foxx, Mayor Libby Schaaf, East Oakland's own Scraper Bike Team, Lyft, and TransForm to help announce a $1M fund to invest in transportation equity for East Oakland.  This new investment will go a long way toward eliminating transportation barriers that have disproportionately impacted East Oakland residents.

Stay tuned for ways you can provide input on the best ways to allocate funding for the benefit of East Oakland residents!

MLK Day of Service - Thanks to all who showed up to help make District 6 Shine!

In the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Volunteers from across Oakland came to sites in East Oakland to serve others on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.  Thanks to the following volunteer groups who came out and gave time on their day off. 

  • Boy Scouts - Troop 409 (Allen Temple)
  • Northern California Howard Alumni
  • Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.
  • Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
  • Crocker Highland Families
  • North Oakland Community Charter
  • Keep Oakland Beautiful
  • Maxwell Park Neighborhood Association
  • Mayor Libby Schaaf
  • former Mayor Jean Quan

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Eastmont Post Office Service Improvement

The services provided by the Eastmont Post Office have been inadequate, leaving many neighbors to wonder what can be done to ensure that (a) mail is delivered on time and (b) the customer service experience is a good one at the Eastmont Post Office. I joined Councilmember Larry Reid (D7), representatives from the US Post Office, and many community members to discuss solutions that would address the needs of East Oakland residents.  As a result of the meeting, there were renewed commitments to improve staff training, operational processes in addition to a commitment to report back on progress in the next couple months.  Thanks to all who stepped up to help organize the meeting and demand necessary improvements.

Workforce Development program Site Visits

In District 6 we have a high unemployment rate (8.3%) compared to the average in Oakland (6.9%), and the average across Alameda County (4.7%).  This high unemployment rate is disproportionately attributed to our Black and Latino residents.  As such, I am excited potential partnerships with Workforce Development programs like Cypress Mandela Training Center (Construction Trades), Ralph Bunche High School (Culinary Arts), and The David E. Glover Technology Center (Technology-based Careers) 


4. Upcoming Events

February is a great month for Oakland where we celebrate some of the amazing cultures that make us the best city in the world.  Below are a few selected events to consider among the many others. 

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  • Black Power Movement Exhibit at the Oakland Museum of California (Ongoing): Coinciding with Black History Month, The Oakland Museum of CA has added a new exhibit that illustrates the creative ways black anti-racist activists in California supported their communities and challenged the U.S. government.  The exhibit is running until February 25th.

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  • Obama Foundation's My Brothers Keeper Alliance 2-Day Convening (Feb 18-20)The Obama Foundation’s My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) Alliance will host its first national convening in Oakland, California, on February 18-20.  This two-day convening will bring together the growing network of MBK Communities, elected officials, cross-sector leaders, and young men of color and the organizations working hard to help them achieve their dreams. Even though event registration is closed, main stage sessions will be live streamed from the MBK website.

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  • East Oakland Neighborhood Planning Meeting for Havenscourt, Lockwood, Coliseum, & Rudsdale neighborhoods. (Feb 20th: 6-8pm):  The East Oakland Neighborhoods Initiative (EONI)  is hosting three neighborhood planning meetings that include Havenscourt and Lockwood neighborhoods in District 6. Come and join in resident-led discussions focused on asset mapping, reviewing existing infrastructure, and envisioning new projects to ensure that our neighbors and our neighborhoods thrive. -- Meeting location is the 81st Avenue Public Library @ 1021 81st Ave. Check out the EONI Calendar for more information.

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  • The Pacific Companies (TPC) Community Engagement Meeting On Proposed Development at the Former Ace Hardware Site (Feb 23rd: 1-3pm): A housing developer (TPC) is proposing to build 200+ units of affordable housing and a new school building to which 2 existing charter school will relocate.  The community meeting on February 23rd will focus on transportation, traffic, and parking impacts and how they will be addressed.  In addition, the meeting will focus on how the community's retail needs can be addressed by the project.  Come and share your thoughts.  The meeting will be held at 8030 Atherton Street, Oakland, CA.

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  • Black Joy Parade (Feb 24th: 12:30 - 8pm): In February the Black Joy Parade will fill the streets of Oakland. We welcome all types of individuals and organizations to join the procession and be a part of the 2nd annual Black Joy Parade. Beyond the need to travel 8 blocks, there is no limit to what you can create! We encourage participants to bring their unique flavor of Black Joy from floats and marching bands to costumes, dance, art and more. Be creative. Be positive.  Be energetic and free!

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  • Oakland Civic Orchestra's "Honoring Black History" Concert (Feb 24th: 4-5:30p): The Oakland Civic Orchestra, conducted by Artistic Director Martha Stoddard, presents its “Honoring Black History” concert on Sunday, February 24, at 4:00 pm, at Lake Merritt United Methodist Church, 1330 Lakeshore Avenue, in Oakland. The Orchestra is pleased to be joined by L. Peter Callender – renowned actor and Artistic Director of the African-American Shakespeare Company – and soloist Christina Owens

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  • District 6 Community Town Halls: Please join us for one of our three upcoming D6 Town Halls during which I hope to hear from you and other residents, share important updates and begin to establish our district priorities for the upcoming budget cycle.  Meeting times and locations will be as follows:
  1. Saturday, March 2nd (10a-12noon) at Cypress Mandela Training Center (RSVP Here)
  2. Sunday, March 3rd (2-4p) at Arroyo Viejo Recreation Center (RSVP Here)
  3. Week of March 4th (Time & Date TBA) at Skyline Community Church (RSVP Here)


Resistance, Resilience, & Anticipation:  A fresh look at the Black Arts Movement in Oakland (Ongoing, starting March 1st): 

You are invited to join the Sarah Webster Fabio Center for Social Justice in a four-weekend long event where all programs are FREE!

Starting March first at the 81st Ave. Library, we will celebrate the Black Arts Movement & review its progeny as we set a stage for the future of Black Art in Oakland.

For more information visit


5. Policy Updates - 

Council Meetings take place at 1 Frank Ogawa Plaza, 3rd Floor.  Meetings can also be viewed on KTOP, The City of Oakland's Cable News Channel or streamed online.  Please check the City of Oakland's website to confirm future meeting agendas  as Scheduling of Items is Subject to Change -


Recent Council Meeting Highlights

City Council supporting our students, teachers, and the future of Oakland Schools

With OUSD teachers on the verge of a strike and communities struggling to deal with pending school closures (including District 6's own Roots International Academy), it is important that we do all we can in Oakland to support our students and teachers.  This is why I am proud to have joined my fellow council members in passing a resolution expressing support for OUSD teachers in improving their working conditions, providing all schools the resources to help students thrive, and seeking to avoid closing public schools.

How is the City of Oakland supporting families during the potential strike?: In response to a request from the Oakland Education Association (OEA), Oakland Parks, Recreation & Youth Development (OPRYD) will open 15 recreation centers between 8 am and 3 pm, Monday through Friday, as early as Wednesday, February 20.  Sites include: (Arroyo Viejo, Allendale, Brookdale, Bushrod, Carmen Flores, DeFremery, Dimond, Ira Jenkins, FM Smith, Franklin, Golden Gate, Manzanita, Montclair, San Antonio, Redwood Heights, Mosswood). OEA will rent the facilities from OPRYD at no cost. From 8 am to 3 pm, OEA will provide staffing and volunteers to facilitate the day and provide food for youth. For more details, or if you would like to volunteer, contact the Oakland Education Association at (510) 763-4020.

Elimination of Owner-Occupied Exemption From The Rent Adjustment Ordinance? (O.M.C. 8.22.030.B.2).

With the passage of Measure Y in November,  Oakland voters eliminated the owner-occupied exemption from the just cause eviction ordinance for duplexes and triplexes. The council is now considering also removing this exemption from the "rent stabilization" ordinance to further protect renters from displacement due to excessive rent increases.  Many argue that doing so will exacerbate the housing crisis by discouraging potential property owners from placing their homes on the market while also pushing homeownership further out of reach for many Oaklanders.  To allow for sufficient time to study impacts of permanently removing the exemption, City Council authorized a temporary 6-month emergency ordinance restricting rent increases to 3.4% (Tied to CPI).   There is much more work to be done before finalizing the policy.  Stay tuned for ways to contribute to the discussion. 

Looking Ahead

Measure Z Audit Report

Measure Z is a voter-approved bond from 2014 that provides approximately $24-25 million annually for ten years for violence prevention programs, police officers, fire services, and evaluation services.  At the Feb 19 meetings of the Finance and Management Committee and Public Safety Committee, a Measure Z audit report will be presented for review.  As improved public safety and violence prevention are important for a thriving District 6, it is important that Measure Z funds are being well spent.

Oakland Police Commission

On March 5, 2019, the Special Public Safety Committee will receive a quarterly progress report from the Oakland Police Commission. It is important that the Police be fully empowered to fulfill its role in providing critical oversight of for the Oakland Police Department. Doing so is a critical step in allowing our police department to be freed from the costly oversight provided by the Independent monitor under the negotiated settlement agreement. 

The Cannabis Equity Program

On April 9, 2019, the Finance Committee Meeting Special Finance and Management Committee Agenda will receive an informational report from The City Administrator on The Cannabis Equity Program including an update on program outcomes, the application process, and any opportunities for improvement.