Born and raised in Oakland, Libby Schaaf was inaugurated Oakland, California’s 50th mayor on January 5, 2015, having served one term as a member of the Oakland City Council and been Council chief of staff and top mayoral aide to Jerry Brown. Prior to commencing her political career, Ms Schaaf was a lawyer. She also has a long history of volunteering, involving roles with community projects and she set up the Marcus Foster Institute, the first centralised volunteer program for Oakland public schools.
Oakland’s 2030 Equitable Climate Action Plan (ECAP) is a 10-year plan to tackle climate change through equitable actions that is based on a future vision of Oakland as a city that prioritises green jobs, cleaner air, improved economic security, greater use of public transport, more resilient communities and the increased involvement in policy-making for frontline communities. The plan commits to 40 actions divided into seven categories: transportation and land use, buildings, material waste and consumption, adaptation, carbon removal, city leadership and the Port of Oakland. Substantial actions include: transforming the city’s transportation system, ending the use of natural gas in buildings, diverting virtually all organic material from landfills, and helping transform the aviation and maritime industries to end the use of fossil fuels. The plan aims to pursue carbon neutrality while addressing broader social challenges like racial inequity, housing and food insecurity, public health, and workforce development. It was created under guidance from the ECAP Community Advisory Committee, using feedback from more than 2,100 residents via public engagement such as workshops, social media outreach, and an online survey, and prioritising input from communities facing the gravest impacts of climate change.
The City of Oakland provides safe temporary accommodation for homeless residents in the form of Community Cabin sites that offer security and privacy, basic sanitary services, secure storage for personal items, and a central community area. On-site case managers at the Community Cabins assist residents to transition into temporary and permanent housing facilities. Other services offered through the sites include healthcare, mental health and addiction recovery services, assistance acquiring California ID, securing benefits, and seeking employment. The program is 100% voluntary and people can come and go 24/7. It is low barrier with minimal rules, but participants are asked to abide by a code of conduct designed to maintain a healthy and safe community. Demonstrating that regional problems require regional solutions, one of the Community Cabin sites is provided by the City of Oakland in partnership with neighbouring City of Emeryville.
Oakland is tackling homelessness in order to progress toward equity and inclusive prosperity for the whole city. Keep Oakland Housed aims to help prevent Oakland residents from losing their housing and to support those living in temporary housing.
Services include emergency financial assistance, legal representation and housing supportive services, and are available to all Oakland residents experiencing a housing crisis who have a household income at or below 50% of the area median income. The City of Oakland operates the program, in partnership with funding and non-profit organisations.