Ayla Burnett

Decision looms on plan to build more than 200 housing units in West Oakland

The neighborhood surrounding the West Oakland BART station could be described as a microcosm of the city’s growing housing inequality: Unhoused residents live in camps alongside new apartments and condos that cater primarily to transplants and commuters. The area is set to undergo even more changes in the next few years. As part of a larger West Oakland Specific Plan launched by the city in 2014, hundreds of market-rate units, stores and workspaces are expected, which would change West Oakland’s skyline permanently. …

Will Oakland get federal rescue dollars for anti-violence measures?

City officials and community leaders want to pump newly available federal money into addressing the gun violence that has claimed more than 100 lives this year and the health inequities that enabled COVID-19 to devastate communities of color.  Both Oakland and Alameda County declared gun violence a public health crisis in the hopes of speeding up the process of securing money from the American Rescue Plan, which passed in March. But the money is still tied up in red tape…

Vaccine plan for Oakland workers irks unions, who say they were left out

Oakland’s labor unions say they should have been involved in a draft mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy that would apply to the city’s 4,500 or so employees as a condition of employment. “Unions aren’t against vaccines at all,” said Elizabeth Ortega, executive director of the Alameda Labor Council. “But we do want to stay at the table.” Ortega said that the 135 unions that ALC represents received notice of the mandate only a few hours before the draft was released. She…