Labor

Budget Diaries 3 – The end or just the beginning?

To balance an $83 million general fund deficit,  the Oakland City Council passed an amended budget proposal Tuesday night  that leaves many departments’ budgets substantially smaller. The most controversial change, Council member Jean Quan noted while reading the proposal aloud, was the $13.4 million cut to the Oakland Police Department’s personnel budget.  It’s equivalent to the 10 percent cut the city requested from all departments. The police union is still in talks with the council and how the money will be…

Budget Diaries 2: No end in sight

In the beginning, a little after 3:00 p.m., the council chambers were crowded and the air was thick with anticipation. Two television stations jockeyed for camera room, residents lined up against the walls and some people found seats in the balcony to watch the Oakland City Council discuss a new alternative budget proposal to Mayor Dellum’s much maligned proposal for 2009-2011 on Tuesday. But by 11 p.m., after countless speakers and hours spent quibbling over parking meter fines, the cameramen…

Rising BART and AC Transit fees sends some commuters reeling

By STEVE SALDIVAR Commuters said Friday that the BART and AC Transit increases that will go into effect on July 1 are  unfair and unaffordable. “We need to get more help from the government, not less of it,” said Mahvash Nasehi. “Most people who use BART are low income people, they can’t afford to buy cars. They’re losing their jobs and now an increase in BART? It’s just not fair,” said the Brentwood resident. Nasehi uses the BART sparingly but…

Career Center popular with Oakland’s unemployed

Across the street from the City Center where professionals work purposefully on laptops and Blackberries, a different scramble unfolds inside the Old Oakland Bank building. There, a portion of Alameda County’s 80,100 who are unemployed—10.3 percent, in April compared to 5 percent at the same time last year—shuffle through literature on how to sharpen resumes and and interviewing skills.

Budget Diaries: Just your average meeting, or the end of Oakland as we know it?

The apocalypse seems near on Thursday.  The Oakland City Council will meet for six hours to grill various department heads about their proposed cuts to balance the city budget.  This is, many will say, the worst fiscal situation they have ever seen.  Ever. Thanks to a declining economy the general fund, which is the city’s annual income for almost half of its budget, is at least $83 million short of the $500 million it needs to pay for such services…

Workers, immigrants rally in Oakland on May Day

The incessant rain didn’t stop over a thousand immigrant workers, youth and families, and their supporters, from taking to the Oakland streets Friday afternoon in commemoration of May 1st, International Workers’ Day. Skipping over puddles, completely drenched, the marchers made their way from Fruitvale Plaza to City Hall in a little under two hours.