Report: OUSD Spends Too Much on Top Administrators, Not Enough for Schools

Parent Zaineb Alomari of Community United Elementary School spoke at the Board of Education meeting Wedenesday night, calling on boardmembers to protect schools and students. Parent El Ham Omar translated for Alomari. Photo by Ken Epstein

Parent Zaineb Alomari of Community United Elementary School spoke at the Board of Education meeting Wednesday night, calling on boardmembers to protect schools and students. Parent El Ham Omar translated for Alomari. Photo by Ken Epstein

By Ken Epstein

 

As the Oakland Unified School District prepares to slash spending and make large budget cuts in the next 18 months to keep from going into the red, teachers and members of the school community are discussing the finding of a report commissioned by the district that finds OUSD has a top-heavy administration, spending more and its central office and less on instruction at schools than comparable districts.

The district last year paid nearly $455,000 to Educational Research Services (ERS)–a national nonprofit organization–to provide a “robust picture of resource use within the district.” A preliminary report was released in June.

Picolia Manigo

Picolia Manigo

ERS researchers found that “OUSD spends a smaller share of its resources on instruction than national benchmarks, which is partially driven by high central office spending.”

According to the report, OUSD in 2014-2015 spent $420 million on its pre-kindergarten through 12th grade students, which seems like a lot of money.

But compared to other school districts examined by ERS, OUSD spending on students is 25 percent below average, $35 million less than what would be expected for a district of its size.

Looking at emerging findings, the report said, “At $11,400 per student, OUSD’s total investment in operating pre-K to (grade) 12 is $24 million lower than its total per pupil spending level would suggest.”

At the same time, spending on instruction at the school level is $35 million lower than total per pupil spending in comparison districts.

The cost of the central office is high in Oakland. The district spends about $325 per student or about $11.4 million more on central administration, compared with other school districts.

Factors contributing to the district’s failure to invest in schools and instruction, according to the report, include 370 central office administrators, 120 more than in comparison districts.

The ERS researchers found that the district has two times as many upper level positions as other districts, “though within each position level salaries are lower than comparisons.”

In addition, ERS said, benefits for top administrators in OUSD cost 50 percent more per employee than other districts.

ERS also minimized the impact to the district’s budget of small, under-enrolled schools.

"We need teachers, we need equity," said Castlemont High School junior  Karla Briseño, speaking at Wednesday night´s board meeting. Photo by Ken Epstein

“We need teachers, we need equity,” said Castlemont High School junior Karla Briseño, speaking at Wednesday night´s board meeting. Photo by Ken Epstein

Under-enrolled schools cost the district $7 million, which is only about 1.7 percent of the OUSD budget.

“The financial implications” are “not as significant” as the other district’s other program spending, report said.

At school sites, parents and school communities are feeling the lack of supplies and staff due to the limited budget for instructional resources.

And now as the district attempts to eliminate a $22 million budget shortfall, the schools are becoming more alarmed.

School communities came out in large numbers Wednesday night a board meeting to protest the administration’s decision to eliminate most of their schools’ budgeted funds for the remainder of the school year.

The board is also backing a plan to cut $14 million in next year’s budget or to close or merge small schools’ in the 2018-2019 school year.

A staff member at a small Oakland school told the board, “We are a school that serves kids, and we do it because we are small,” pointing out that at her school, every teacher knows every student by name and can give students personal attention.

Pecolia Manigo of the Bay Area Parent Leadership Action Network (PLAN) called on the board not to cut school site programs.

The decision to limit spending at “ultimately mean that school sites cannot spend their dollars, which means there are cuts to schools this year,” she said.

The budget shortfall is a “mistake on the part of the district and the superintendent, and as a result, the schools are paying for that mistake,” Manigo continued.

Zaineb Alomari, a parent at Community United Elementary School spoke in Arabic through a translator to the board. “We need to protect our schools and students. We need to make it better for our children,” she said.

Others argued that while some of the top central office employees who were hired in the last couple of years can easily be eliminated, there are others who are necessary, such as gardeners, buildings and grounds staff who do repairs, truck drivers who deliver supplies and payroll department staff.

“The worker bees are very important,” said a Fremont High School teacher.

The school district did not respond to questions about the ERS report.

 

 

Posted January 27, 2017

Faith Leaders Call on Legislators to Commit to Jobs, Justice and Human Rights

Three Oakland pastors are taking the lead to bring together interfaith religious leaders to participate in coordinated faith community actions next month at statehouses across the country to revive the country’s moral commitment to jobs, justice, immigrant rights and an end to mass incarceration.

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Office of Civil Rights Says School District Discriminated Against Autistic Student- nine-year-old was held face down and kept in seclusion

By Ken Epstein

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights (OCR) has found that the Oakland Unified School District discriminated against a nine-year-old student with autism, placing him at a private special education school where he was repeatedly held face down and kept in seclusion.

In the 11 months that Stuart Candell attended Anova Center for Education in Concord, he was restrained 92 times, held face down for up to an hour and a half at a time.

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Stuart Candell

OCR’s investigation found that OUSD knew about but did little to address the excessive use of prone restraint.

Under a resolution agreement with OCR, Oakland Unified agreed to no longer send students to private special education schools that use prone restraints on district students and to hire an expert to teach staff positive behavior intervention and train staff on the harmful effects of restraint and seclusion.

“I am thrilled with OCR’s decision,” said Bonnie Candell, mother of Stuart, who is now 12 years old.

“I saw how being restrained negatively affected my son, caused him to cry and have suicidal thoughts,” she said. “I am happy that other Oakland kids will not have to go through what my son did. “

According to the school district’s statement on the settlement. “After collaborating directly with (OCR), OUSD is actively complying with the terms of the resolution, which OUSD and OCR believe will positively impact OUSD’s students with special needs who are placed in non-public schools.”

OUSD has also agreed to hire an outside trauma expert to provide Stuart with mental health treatment to deal with the consequences of his mistreatment, as well as compensatory services and tutoring.

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Bonnie and Stuart Candell

Anova operates three campuses in the Bay Area. There are no OUSD students currently at the Concord campus, but there are a few district students at a different Anova campus.

In a statement on Aug. 4, Anova said the OCR investigation report was not a public document and that the school had not received a copy. “Once available, we will carefully consider the findings of the report,” the statement said.

When OUSD placed Stuart at Anova Center in 2013, with the consent of his parents, he was described as an intellectually gifted student with autism, anxiety and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Anova specializes in managing the behavior of high functioning children with autism.

According to the OCR complaint letter, dated June 24, federal investigators found that the school did follow the student’s Individualized Education Program (IED) but “utilized Anova´s own methods of behavior modification, which Anova used on all of its students.”

Over the child’s 11 months at the school, staff held him face down 92 times for a total of 2,200 minutes. The longest time he was held down 93 minutes, and the average duration was 29 minutes.

He was held in a resource room that had no furniture, only a mat. “There were no windows that let in natural light and only one small window in the door to the room,” the letter said.

The reasons the student was restrained included “not following directions,”“pushing desks” ripping up assignments,” “too much silly” and “non-compliance,” the letter said.

Once in the resource room, a child would be held down until he demonstrated “ a calm body and quiet voice.”

Staff held the student face down and pressed his arms and legs down into a mat on the floor, the letter said. Usually two alternating staff members would cup their hands over the long bones of the student, “pressing their fingertips into the mat to maintain the hold.”

Until the student became sufficiently calm, he would not be allowed to use the restroom or have a break for food in water.

“Anova staff acknowledged that the student would spend most of the school day in the resource room, and the student was out of the classroom more often than in the classroom,” according to the OCR letter.

Suge Lee, Attorney for Disability Rights California, the agency that filed the OCR complaint on behalf of the family, said that when she talked to Stuart, he remembers “how horrible (the experience) was” at the school.

He is pleased, however, “that he has made some difference” for other children, she said.

When Bonnie Candell approached the legal agency seeking help, said Lee, “It was clear that something and inappropriate and unacceptable was happening.. We represented the family to get a placement where Stuart wasn’t going to be subjected to this treatment. “

According to Lee, “Stuart would come home saying they were holding him down, that his arm hurt and his chest hurt. When the mom talked to the school and the district, she was reassured that this program was going to work, but it was going to get worse before it got to better.”

Lee explained why Stuart’s mom was reluctant to complain at first. “When you have a kid whose has a serious behavior (issues), and has been removed form several schools, you feel your choices are limited and you want to put your faith in someone.” Lee said.

According to Lee, prone physical restraint of students is legal in California and other some other students and Disability Rights California is working to change the law.

Opinion: Violence Against Students by Oakland Schools’ Staff Must Stop

Fremont_Walkout

 

By Jorge Lerma

Jorge Lerma

Jorge Lerma

A disturbing new video has surfaced showing security guards at Fremont High in Oakland roughing up and handcuffing a student in the school’s office.

The school district is saying the Jan. 8 video may not show what it seems to show. The district says the 16-year-old student was acting strangely, was a danger to himself and had to be restrained.

But what we see in the video is a Latino student acting calmly and trying to walk out of the office door when he was manhandled by a School Security Officer who began hitting him and pushed him into a room, where they were joined by several other officers. A few moments later, we see the young man being taken out of the side room in handcuffs.

This is not a new occurrence for Fremont High and the Oakland Unified School District. A school security camera last year recorded a Latino student also being beaten up by security guards at Fremont High in the main office.

Earlier at Oakland High School, a camera caught a security guard attacking a student in a wheelchair.

Scene of video of Fremont High School's office where school security officer had a confrontation with student. Screen shot courtesy of KGO-TV.

Scene of video of Fremont High School’s office where school security officer had a confrontation with student. Screen shot courtesy of KGO-TV.

As a lifelong educator, Oakland resident and community activist, I think it is fair to say that a systemic, endemic problem exists in Oakland Unified. The videos are capturing Latino students, often special education students, being brutalized – not out of the public eye in the parking lot or behind the gym – but in the main office of the school.

And from what we witness in the videos, nobody intervened to stop the assaults.

This kind of behavior may be shocking news to people in our community, but you can be sure the students at our schools know about it and many have experienced it.

If this kind of violence is condoned against our children, we would have to be naïve to believe the school system enforces a respectful, humane educational environment in the classrooms and that all of our students – especially our special educational students – are given opportunities to be successful.

Of course, there are many decent and humane teachers, administrators and security officers who love their students and dedicate their lives to education.

But do they have the power to change this system? Do they have the ability to intervene when our students are brutalized by those in authority?

Do those with the experience and the humanity have the opportunity to select and train the inexperienced teachers, administrators and consultants who at present troop through our schools for six months, a year or two years without a clue about our students and the complex multicultural diversity of student needs in our community.

Last year, after the last incident at Fremont, the Latino Education Network (LEN), of which I am member, submitted a list of questions and concerns to the district, but we never received a response.

The concerns were:

School Security Officers (SSOs) lack leadership and high professional standards;

A lot is expected of the SSOs in terms of stopping violence and maintaining safety at a school site, but they lack training in issues of how to work with students with learning disabilities, cultural and language differences, and angry or upset students.

The security force is not diverse, or multicultural in its makeup, or have enough bilingual personnel to help students in a crisis;

The security force lacks proportional Latinos and Spanish speaking officers in its ranks and in the leadership from the superintendent’s cabinet to the program operations.

The district administration talks in speeches, and press releases about “Equity and Redesign” of schools, and though the words are bold, the reality is that our children are suffering, living in the margins and are often excluded from the benefits of the mainstream academic programs.

At this point, I think it is clear that the school security force should be temporarily disbanded and totally reorganized.

A group of parents, students and community activists (especially high school students and members of youth organizations) should be established – not handpicked by administrative staff – to create guidelines and oversee the creation of a new “Peace keepers “security force that protects and supports students and are integrated into the academic programs of the district, not just Fremont High School alone, but throughout the district.

 

Reprinted from the Oakland Post, January 29, 2016 (postnewsgroup.com)

 

 

 

Black Students Demand School District Take Steps to Reduce Racism at Berkeley High

By Ken Epstein

In the wake of a racist, violent threat and a one-day walkout by most of the student body at Berkeley High School (BHS), the school’s Black Student Union is demanding that the school board and district administration act immediately to reduce the level of racism on campus, create a safe place at the school for African American students and enhance the teaching of African American studies.

Nebeyat Zekaryas

Nebeyat Zekaryas

The demands were presented to the board and Supt. Donald Evans at the Dec. 9 board meeting by Black Student Union (BSU) Co-Presidents Nebeyat Zekaryas and Alecia Harger.

Zekaryas told the board that the BSU is raising its demands “in light of the terroristic messages left on a Berkeley High computer on Nov. 4, 2015 and in light of the continued instances of systemic and interpersonal racism that plague our school.”

“We demand that history curriculum in grades K through 12 be amended to include Black history and an accurate view of colonialism … African history up to the present day, the history of the Black people in the Americas, including but not limited to enslavement, the civil rights movement and historically significant Black people outside of equality movements,” said Zekaryas.

Alecia Harger

Alecia Harger

“Black history (should) be taught as an important and relevant piece of world history rather than its own independent subject that is relegated to a semester of ethnic studies,” she said.

“It is insulting to condense all history of nonwhite people into an ethnic studies class,” she said. “It is essential that Black students are educated on this history in its entirety – Black students should not be expected to excel in an institution that gives us knowledge where we can only see our ancestors as slaves.”

The BSU is also demanding full funding for the Berkeley High’s African American Studies Department. “This funding (should) allow for the continuation and betterment of all currently running programs,” Zekaryas said.

BSU Co-President Harger told the board the BSU is demanding that the district create and fund a Black Resource Center on campus.

The Black Resource Center would be a location where Black students can congregate and (find) support for any issue that we may face,” said Harger.

“This center would become a permanent school fixture until Black students regularly have the same test scores and are graduating at the same rate as white students,” she said.

The BSU wants Berkeley Unified to create a committee to recruit and retain Black staff throughout the district.

“We demand that this committee include representatives of Berkeley elementary, middle and high schools, along with members of the Berkeley High BSU,” said Harger.

The BSU also wants the district to institute comprehensive racial sensitivity training for all Berkeley High faculty and staff, she said. “(The) training (should) be ongoing and not be limited to a single professional development day.”

“Black students cannot be expected to feel safe in our classrooms or on our campus if Berkeley High School staff is not equipped to discuss or handle issues of racism or racial bias.” said Harger.

The BSU wants the district administration to begin implementing the demands within the next three to six months and to receive an official response from Supt. Evans no later than Dec. 16.

Courtesy of the Post News Group, December 18, 2015 (postnewsgroup.com)

Oakland School District’s Catalog Promotes Charters That Exclude Special Needs Students

Enrollment Options Guide

By Ken Epstein

The Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) for the first time has included charter schools in its annual catalog of school choices for parents – advertising many charters that do not offer services for special education students and English Language Learner students.Enrollment Options Guide sp

The new catalog is a big step toward implementing “common enrollment,” a proposal by OUSD Supt. Antwan Wilson’s administration that has not yet been approved by the board of education.

The administration has said its goal is to create opportunities for students who are underserved in Oakland public schools to move to better public or charter schools.

The proposal minimizes the distinction between district schools and charters – despite differences in curriculum, legal requirements and level of public accountability – because they are both publically funded.

“This year, for the first time, you will find individual school descriptions and application information of all OUSD public schools, including charters,” said Supt. Antwan Wilson in an open letter published in the 195-page catalog.

“With this guide, parents and caregivers can learn about any Oakland public school (public or charter) they choose and make the best decision for their families,” he said.

Roseann Torres

Roseann Torres

However, 44 of the 62 charter school programs listed in the Enrollment Options Guide say they do not offer multilingual and English learner services, and 40 say they offer no special education services.

Oddly, while the physical catalog released last week contains charter school listings that say they offer no special education services, an online version of the catalog that was on the district website this week has been revised.

Under the heading of special education services, it now says, “Contact school for details.”

By the Post’s deadline, the school district did not respond to questions about the catalog.

At least some Board of Education members are saying they had not been informed that the new options catalog was going to include charter schools.

“I didn’t even know that it was coming. As a board member, that really bothers me,” said Roseann Torres, who represents District 5 on the board.

“We were elected to do policy and direct the superintendent, not the reverse.”

“We are public schools, and by law we are supposed to serve all students. But the majority of charter schools are not there to educate all.

The catalog is published annually by the OUSD Student Assignment Office. This year’s edition cost $78,000 to produce.

Jorge Lerma

Jorge Lerma

Parents and school activists who have been critical of the district’s increased support for charter schools are finding the new catalog disturbing.

According to opponents, for a charter to say they do not offer these services, they are in effect telling parents of English Language Learners and special education students they should not bother to apply to their schools.

Meanwhile the district – by promoting these charters – is giving a green light to practices that are discriminatory, potentially illegal and move toward the consolidation of a two-tier public school system, say opponents.

Jorge Lerma, a member of the board of the Latino Education Network (LEN) in Oakland and former OUSD administrator, says the new system may end up shortchanging the students it is supposed to help.

“Superficially, it seems like it is going to offer a wider menu for parents to choose from, but it ends up excluding the students who are most in need of support,” said Lerma.

“These charters don’t say we’ll work with you – we’ll help figure what your children need. They’re saying they don’t offer these services,” he said.

“Public money is supposed to serve the public,” continued Lerma. “That means taxpayers. But if you’re using tax money to create little enclaves, you’re defeating the purpose of public education.”

Dan Siegel, former school board member and a former general counsel for the district, criticized the superintendent and school board for promoting charter schools.

“It’s completely outrageous that they are doing this,” he said. “They are promoting the destruction of the public school system in the City of Oakland, and they are promoting a system of education that discriminates against English language learners—who are a big portion of children in the district, and students with special needs—who are disproportionately low-income African American students.”

While discriminatory policies of charters and the district promotion might violate the law, there are few or no cases where these practices have been challenged in court – so far, he said.

Under the state education code “admission policies, employment practices, and all other operations (of charter schools) shall not charge tuition, and shall not discriminate against any pupil.”

Ismael Armendariz, an OUSD special education teacher and a member of the teachers’ union executive board, says he was upset by the implied message sent out by the district that many of the charter schools will not accept special education students.

“This (catalog) is going out to thousands of parents and children. If I were a parent and looking at that message, I wouldn’t apply to that school. I’d skip it. It’s going to discourage them.”

He said that he had a student this year, a good student who works hard, who came from a charter school and had been encouraged to leave because the school said it did not have the resources to help him.

“I come from a community and family who weren’t not always given the best support. It’s really hurtful to me when my students don’t have access to all the opportunities other students have.”

Courtesy of the Oakland Post, December 12, 2015 (postnewsgroup.com)

Oakland City Councilmembers Reluctant to Call Housing State of Emergency

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Housing protest in Oakland

By Ken Epstein

The City of Alameda has been in the spotlight in the past few weeks after it declared a housing crisis state of emergency, which includes a temporary freeze on rent increases and blocks evictions.

But the Oakland City Council appears to be unwilling to follow the path that Alameda is treading.

The Oakland Post sent questions to the mayor and all eight city council members this week, asking if they would support declaring a housing state of emergency.foreclosure action 3  8 12 003.preview

Most of the councilmembers did not reply to the questions. Those who did reply did not speak in favor of calling a housing state of emergency in Oakland.

The Post also asked the officials if they were willing to take other immediate actions to slow down the displacement tidal wave, including: backing a housing development impact fee, which would be used to exclusively support affordable housing; strengthening rent control so it would have teeth to protect tenants from huge rent increases; and imposing relocation or other fees on landlords who evict tenants.

Councilmember Dan Kalb and Vice Mayor Rebecca Kaplan responded to the questions.

Council members who did not respond were Council President Lynette Gibson McElhaney, Desley Brooks, Anne Campbell Washington, Larry Reid, Noel Gallo and Abel Guillen.

Councilmember Kalb said:

“I strongly support efforts to make sure the City Council prioritizes the construction of lower- and moderate- income housing, including housing for families.

Protest for housing in Boston, as gentrification sweeps through cities across the country.

Protest for housing in Boston, as gentrification sweeps through cities across the country.

“I’m certainly fine with additional market rate housing as well, but I want to put an emphasis on the lower and moderate income portions of the spectrum. We need some type of inclusionary housing requirement for ownership housing, and I intend to put forward legislation on this.

“I am proud to have been the author of the landmark ordinance that helps protect tenants from harassment, including prohibiting attempts to influence a tenant to vacate via intimidation or coercion. We need to make sure that this law is fully implemented and enforced.

“I support instituting a requirement that requires landlords to submit applications for any rental increase beyond the annual cost-of-living increase that is already allowed.

Kalb supports development impact fee to fund affordable housing.

“Another ordinance that I have been working is condominium conversion legislation that will better protect renters from displacement.”

Vice Mayor Kaplan said:

” We must do more than just admit that we have a housing problem, we must also take action to solve it.  That is why I have been working hard to pass real actions to stop the wave of displacement and protect and expand affordable housing.

“This includes recently winning funding for enforcement of tenant’s rights laws, so we don’t have so many people being displaced.  Thanks to the efforts of Councilmember Brooks and myself, along with a grassroots coalition, we were able to get this funding passed despite resistance.

“Now I am continuing to work for stronger relocation assistance laws, improving the rent board, an affordable housing impact fee and other strategies.  My proposals to expand relocation assistance will be coming to the City Council in the coming month.”

Mayor Schaaf’s office said:

The City Council has voted in favor of Mayor Schaaf and Councilmember Abel Guillen’s proposal to declare a shelter crisis.  The measure will provide more housing for the homeless population.

“On the question of strengthening rent control, the mayor’s office said, “Property ownership and management encompasses many financial responsibilities which need to be factored and balanced in order to respond thoughtfully to this question.

There have been good discussions at the Housing Cabinet about various revisions and amendments to the City’s renter protection and rent adjustment regulations.  These are being considered by the Housing Cabinet and will be presented to the City Council early next year.”

Her office said the mayor supports impact fees for creating affordable housing and other infrastructure improvement.

On the issue of charging landlords fees for tenant evictions, her office said, “There are various proposals, which “are scheduled for discussion some time early next year.”

Also being discussed, the mayor’s office said, are an increase in the renter assistance program fee and potential eviction/relocation fees and Ellis Act fees.

Courtesy of the Oakland Post, December 13, 2015 (postnewsgroup.com)

 

Community Protesters: Amid Housing Crisis, Why is Council Funding More Police?

Community member's protested at last Tuesday's City Council to spend money on more police instead of dealing with Oakland's housing crisis. Photo by Tulio Ospina.

Community members protested at last Tuesday’s City Council  meeting against the council members decision to spend money on more police instead of dealing with Oakland’s housing crisis. Photo by Tulio Ospina.

By Tulio Ospina

The Oakland City Council voted Tuesday evening to accept a controversial $1.875 million federal grant from the US Department of Justice that would pay 18 percent of the cost of hiring 15 additional Oakland police officers over three years.

The grant requires the city to “match” the federal funds by spending an additional $10.25 million from its general funds in order to receive the $1.875 million.

According to a city report, most of the city money will be appropriated from future budgetary cycles, taking $6.5 million from the 2017-2019 budget.

Speaking at the council meeting, Oakland Police Deputy Chief David Downing said that receiving the grant is a cheaper way of increasing staff to better do community policing.

“Nothing is better than having a walking officer on the street with direct contact with the community each and every day,” he said.

City councilmembers in support of the resolution cited increased crime and robberies in Oakland as reasons they were voting to fund hiring the 15 new officers.

But dozens of community members and housing rights activists filled City Hall to speak out against the resolution, claiming that the Oakland Police Department is already overfunded—receiving nearly half the city’s budget—and that the extra spending flies in the face of Oakland’s housing and displacement crisis.

“Police do not stop the cause of crime,” said one Oakland resident at the council meeting. “Increase people’s dignity, their sense of self-worth, their ability to attend schools, have a warm meal with their families. Good housing is a deterrent to crime.”

Other community members referred to how under-resourced and under-funded the city’s Rent Adjustment program and other anti-eviction services are, making them barely enforceable.

“We can’t spend millions of dollars on 15 officers when 1,000 residents are being displaced per month,” said Ramiro Montoya, a member of East Bay Housing Organizations.

“I experience crime in my neighborhood daily and understand that more cops in the street is not the solution. We need more services for people to improve their lives,” said Montoya.

Desley Brooks was the only councilmember to vote against the resolution, questioning why the council was not as proactive about funding housing solutions amid a housing crisis.

“We keep talking about a housing crisis and the city puts no money towards actually addressing it,” said Brooks.

“And who pays $10 million to get $1.8 million? That’s just bad math,” she said.

“Here’s proof that there’s money and, if there’s truly a housing crisis, we’re choosing not to fund it,” said Brooks. “The council isn’t being honest if they’re saying that they are concerned about a housing crisis.”

Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan was also skeptical about the city’s willingness to spend millions on hiring new police after being told for months that there was not enough funding for enforcement of tenants’ rights laws and having to scrape to fund the Housing Equity Roadmap earlier this year.

Kaplan noted that the resolution was really a budgetary adoption as opposed to a grant match.

“It feels procedurally weird to me that $10 million is to be adopted entirely outside the budgetary process,” said Kaplan. She ultimately abstained from the vote.

After the public comments section of the agenda item, attendees dropped red painted dollars of “blood money” from the balconies in protest of the resolution.

“The health of a city is about public safety. and that relies on services and people’s access to decent affordable housing, access to income and to food,” said Robbie Clark of Causa Justa: Just Cause.

Courtesy of the Oakland Post, December 12, 2015 (postnewsgroup.com)