Politics

Alameda County supervisors vote to to scale back, shift focus of Urban Shield

After more than five hours of public comment and heated debate, the Alameda County Board of Supervisors voted on Tuesday to approve nearly all of an ad hoc committee’s recommendations to demilitarize the county’s controversial Urban Shield annual training program. They voted 4-0 to eliminate SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) deployment exercises and the event’s weaponry and military gadget show, shifting the focus of the training event to natural disaster preparedness. The Alameda County Sheriff’s Office launched the annual Urban…

An Oakland teacher explains why he’s going on strike

Today is the first day of the Oakland teachers’ strike. Public school teachers and staff gathered outside their schools to form picket lines, chanting and rallying support in their quest for smaller class sizes, higher wages, more student support services and a promise from the district that there will be no more school closures. Earlier this week, we followed Alejandro Estrada, a 4th grade teacher at International Community School and the union representative for his school, as he prepared to…

Oakland teachers strike for higher wages, smaller classes

Early Thursday morning, Oakland teachers went on strike, calling for a pay raise and a reduction in class sizes. As early as 6 am, teachers gathered—equipped with coffee, jackets, and beanies to withstand the chilly morning weather—and started to picket in front of their schools. The strike follows two years of failed negotiations between the Oakland Education Association, which represents teachers as well as school nurses, counselors and other staff, and the Oakland Unified School District. The teachers have been working…

Lawsuit challenges Oakland’s certification of education funding tax Measure AA

Two weeks ago, a business advocacy group sued the city of Oakland over its certification of Measure AA, a tax initiative from the November election that would create a fund for more early childhood education programs. The lawsuit—filed by the Jobs and Housing Coalition, along with a group of property owners—argues that the city council thwarted the will of Oakland voters by certifying the measure even though it failed to earn support from two-thirds of the voters. The measure, also…

Oakland City Council backs teachers; doesn’t vote on rent protections

The Oakland City Council meeting ended in confusion and shouts of anger Tuesday night after a legal issue delayed a vote on an ordinance that would have extended rent control protections to tenants living in own-occupied duplexes and triplexes.   “What’s the issue?” shouted attendee Reisa Jaffe at new Council President Rebecca Kaplan (at-large). “I’d like to know what happened?” demanded another atttendee, standing up with his hands in the air.  “These issues were just brought to our attention tonight,” said…

Sen. Kamala Harris kicks off presidential campaign with Oakland rally

Senator Kamala Harris leaned into her East Bay roots as she held the first official rally of her presidential campaign in Oakland on Sunday. Stepping onto a podium in the shade of a flag-draped Oakland City Hall, Harris waved at the largest crowd ever gathered in her support, unable to contain a broad, excited smile. An estimated 20,000 people poured into Frank H. Ogawa Plaza and overflowed into the streets surrounding Oakland City Hall. Cheers and chants drawing out the…

Oakland North’s 2018 year in review — our top stories

2018 brought a new group of student reporters to Oakland North from across the country and the globe. They covered an incredibly busy year in Oakland politics, as the city geared up for the mayoral and city council races, as well as the national midterms, while reacting to the often-divisive new policies on immigration, health and environment being enacted by Donald Trump’s presidential administration. But they also covered stories emanating from Oakland’s own city issues: The increasing urgency of finding places…