Oakland Rising realizes this year’s budget process has been especially difficult. With a city that has 13% of its residents living below the federal poverty line, Oakland Rising and our core partners have been working with Councilmembers to ensure that the 2011-13 Budget prioritizes resources and services that are absolutely vital to the most at risk Oaklanders.
Last night, Council adoped a budget that retains funding for all of our libraries, keeps senior and recreation centers open, sustains community programs, and adds money to the City’s reserve fund. We believe that City Council has heard us loud and clear: Oaklanders believe core services are the basis of a holistic approach to public safety.
We want to thank the five public sector unions for making difficult contributions to help fund the City’s essential services. These concessions are a sincere response to a shared responsibility and won’t go unnoticed in communities that would have been hardest hit by more cuts to core services. City workers are the real heros of this battle and Oakland Rising appreciates and applauds your commitment to and sacrifices for Oakland.
We hope large corporations and banks doing business in Oakland will take note and commit to contributing their fair share over the coming years as well. We also hope to see City staff and elected officials develop long term, proactive and progressive solutions that properly address the root causes of the budget crisis.
In the coming months Oakland Rising will continue to engage in coalition building and joint action to advance our shared vision of a healthy and safe Oakland.