East Oakland residents took local officials on a “trash tour” of the city last weekend to highlight the differences in public services delivered to different parts of the city.
The driving tour visited some of the city’s more affluent neighborhoods, with a stop at Mayor Libby Schaaf’s home, to make it clear that residents expect the mayor to take action to remedy the dumping and potholes that plague the streets of East Oakland.
Other stops in the Trash Tour included underserved locations in East Oakland.
“We’ve been dealing with these issues for years,” said District 7 resident Enrique Martinez.
“We pay taxes just like people in the mayor’s neighborhood. So why do our children have to walk over piles of filth to get to school?”
The tour was organized by residents of Council Districts 2, 5, 6, and 7 who are working a new alliance of community-based organizations, East Oakland Congress of Neighborhoods, to strengthen their impact and influence on the issues that most affect their lives, according to a press statement.
In 2017, the Congress of Neighborhoods held “peoples’ assemblies” that brought together over 800 residents to create an East Oakland agenda that addresses their concerns.
“We know that we are stronger together,” said District 5 resident and Congress leader Andre Spearman. “All of our Flatlands neighborhoods face the same problems, whatever district we live in or whatever language we speak.
“We are tired of cleaning up trash that the city should take care of. We want to tell the mayor and other elected officials that enough is enough—do your job!”
The residents want the city to increase resources to solve illegal dumping, including adding an illegal dumping cleanup crew, restoring trash inspector positions and targeting hot spots with dedicated crews and more lighting.
The Saturday morning Trash Tour started at the offices of Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE), 2501 International Blvd.
Officials who attended the event included Councilmembers Rebecca Kaplan, Desley Brooks and Noel Gallo, Alameda County Supervisor Nate Miley, Assemblymember Rob Bonta and Director of the Public Works Jason Mitchell.
The Mayor’s Office. Councilmember Larry Reid and District Attorney Nancy O’Malley sent representatives, and Councilmember Abel Guillén sent a statement.