Oakland to be a model city for stimulus spending
on February 6, 2010
On Thursday, Mayor Ron Dellums said that federal government officials will visit three cities, including Oakland, to learn about how the cities have used stimulus money. Dellums said that federal officials are planning to visit Oakland on March 1.
“We are the one of the most diverse cities in America. We represent the future,” said Dellums at the luncheon hosted by the Oakland Chamber of Commerce and Oakland based Clorox Company. He said that this is an opportunity to attract more federal funds to create jobs in Oakland.
California tops the nation for stimulus funds awarded, with $23 million having come into the state by December 31, 2009. Within California, Alameda County is the third biggest recipient of the funds, and Oakland was awarded one of the most expensive projects—$192 million for the construction of a two-lane tunnel on State Route 24 between Alameda and Contra Costa counties. Dellums said infrastructure is one of the most important agenda items for the city because its infrastructure is getting old. “Here in Oakland, we are still one of the top several earthquake cities. The disaster is waiting to happen. A new infrastructure program is the most significant for the city to grow,” said Dellums.
Talking to hundreds of business leaders, Dellums also unveiled a strategy that he said will help generate more than 5,000 jobs over the next three years.
Dellums said that the city and its partners have been working hard to create jobs in the areas of public safety, community and public infrastructure, economic development, social services and the environment. “These projects alone will generate over 5,000 jobs in the next three years,” said Dellums.
Dellums also mentioned that he hoped that the A’s will stay instead of moving to San Jose. He mapped out a preliminary plan to apply for federal Department of Transportation grants to revive Oakland’s street car system to connect Oakland’s heritage sites with A’s stadiums.
His tone throughout the speech was optimistic and encouraging. He said that between 2007 and 2009, jobs increased 2.8 percent in Oakland, and that the Oakland Partnership program, a public-private collaborative effort to implement a work plan for creating a vibrant economy for Oakland, has created more than 10,000 jobs over five years.
However, Oakland still has $9 million budget deficit to close in coming weeks. Dellums encouraged communication among residents and city officials to discuss what services are more important to keep “We have to think about what services we want and what budget can be cut for that,” said Dellums.
The City Council is scheduled to meet on February 16th at 5 p.m. to decide what services to cut to save $9 million.
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