Grand Lake Neighbors Meeting Minutes: 12/17/2014

Attendance: 18 people (13 from 14Y and 16X)

  1. The following officers were elected to two year terms by unanimous vote of 11 Grand Lake Neighbors:
    David Flack (Chair)
    Dean Zumach (Vice-Chair)
    Andy Campbell (co-Secretary)
    Eric Hughes (co-Secretary)
  2. New Bylaws were adopted by the unanimous vote of 13 Grand Lake Neighbors (2 arrived after the above vote.)
  3. Jim Hopkins, Pastor of the Lakeshore Avenue Baptist Church, spoke about the “Ceasefire Oakland” program:
    • Ceasefire is a national, data-driven strategy to reduce gang/group shootings and homicides, decrease recidivism and incarceration rates of gang/group members, and strengthen police-community relations. It is the primary violence reduction strategy used in Oakland.
    • The program is supported by Measure Y and Z funding, and includes people from criminal justice, faith and community leaders, victims, residents of affected neighborhoods, and formerly incarcerated individuals.
    • It is the reason that every few months there are quite a few police cars outside the church in the evening – they are there to help manage and enable successful “call-ins.”
    • Around 20 at-risk, influential individuals are invited and encouraged to attend one of 4-5 call-ins per year at the Church, where the strategy is to present the opportunity for positive change, well-being & peace, with the alternative as consequences that are intended to be far less desirable.
    • At these call-ins, personal experiences from individuals impacted by crime are brought up and discussed, with an emphasis on understanding the consequences and their impacts on people. Attendees are invited to rejoin their communities, and to envision what change might look like when they do.
    • The program is based on the book “Don’t Shoot: One Man, A Street Fellowship, and the End of Violence in Inner-City America,” by David M. Kennedy
    • The program also sponsors weekly community night walks on Fridays. There are 4 recurring walks in East Oakland and one West Oakland. The walks are intended to help build community relationships & trust. Rev. Hopkins referenced this recent column by Brenda Payton about the walks. All members of the public are invited to join the walks.
  4. Michael Ford from the City of Oakland Public Works Department spoke about city parking lots and variable parking rates.
    • There are 20 City-owned parking lots, 16 of them are now under contract to the Oakland Parking Partners (OPP). The OPP-managed lots in our area are the Lake Park lot (under I-580 between Lakeshore and Grand Aves) and the Walker lot (between Grand and Walker north of I-580). The Trader Joe’s parking structure is also city-owned, but not managed by OPP.
    • There is about $1.8M available for those lots for deferred maintenance, safety, security, and ADA compliance. Plans are underway for how to most effectively spend that. The priorities include: a) repair what’s broken, b) relamp Lake Park, and c) manage RFP responses for security network providers (2 potential vendors have responded, looking for a 3rd).
    • There are around 8,000 on-street metered parking spots in Oakland, half of them have single space meters and half use Cale parking kiosks.
    • There is currently an experiment in Montclair, where flexible, ‘market-based’ parking rates are being tested. The goal is for 85% of the spaces to be full at any one time. The prior $2.00/hour rates are being increased up to $2.50 in some areas and decreased to $1.50/hr or $1.00/hr in others to achieve the 85% goal.
    • Both Walker and Lake Park lots could be converted to flex-based parking rates, and are under consideration. Lake Park rates could be reduced by $1.00/hr, and Walker lot rates reduced by $0.50/hr.
    • The kiosk meters at Lake Park go into the general fund, just as all others in Oakland do, so are not currently managed by OPP. Ford is working with the city’s Revenue group to get the kiosks repaired more quickly.
    • There are 190 spaces in the Lake Park lot, 80 are available for monthly parking (65 are sold)
    • It is possible that more monthly parking permits will be sold for the top level of the parking garage by Trader Joe’s on Lakeshore Avenue.
    • Michael said that safety and security are the number one priority under the new OPP contract but did not provide specifics about actions taken or plans related to safety and security other than the planned repairs to Lake Park lighting.
    • Michael will return in February with a written report on plans and results of the studies being done.