Oakland City Council Preview
1 Frank Ogawa Plaza
Tuesday, Mar. 4, 5:30 p.m.
Twitter hashtag: #oakmtg


Councilmember Lynette Gibson McElhaney’s
speech Feb. 18 against the DAC may have 
turned the tide against its citywide use.

DAC IS BACK YET AGAIN Oakland city staff is recommending the City Council award a $1.6 million contract to Schneider Electric for maintenance and construction for phase two of the controversial Domain Awareness Center (DAC), a citywide and port surveillance hub . At the last City Council meeting, Oakland council members asked city staff to provide information on the ramifications of making the DAC a more port-centric project, which was the original purpose of the center. Among the questions posed include, potentially disabling some functions of the DAC unrelated to the city, along with questions over the cost sharing of potential lawsuits triggered by the center. Staff was also directed to provide answers on whether information procured by the DAC could be accessed by the federal government (Item 14).

WHAT IT MEANS There was a distinct break in the Oakland City Council’s tenor towards the DAC on Feb. 18. Councilmember Lynette Gibson McElhaney even offered a vehement rebuke of the DAC that drew rousing applause from the audience. There were other skeptics on the council who showed a new found willingness to confront issues stemming from the potential loss of public privacy routinely lodged by opponents against the center. According to a staff report prepared for Tuesday’s meeting, there are nominal costs toward disabling some DAC functions, such as the inclusion of ShotSpotter, a service used to pinpoint the discharge of firearms. Most costs include reimbursing FEMA $5,000 each for each service already installed in the first phase of the DAC. If Tuesday’s resolution is voted down, it will constitute a major victory for privacy proponents against the DAC’s mission creep deeper into Oakland.

BE AWARE Like other East Bay city council this month, Oakland leaders will be asked to approve a recommendation by the Alameda County Transportation Commission to place a half-cent sales tax increase for transportation and infrastructure on the November ballot. A majority of the county’s 14 jurisdictions and the Board of Supervisors must approve the potential measure. A similar referendum was unsuccessful two years ago, failing to reach a two-thirds majority by 721 votes. Oaklanders, however, overwhelmingly supported Measure B1 in 2012 (Item 13). Also, don’t forget City Administrator Deanna Santana reportedly resigned this weekend.

Mayor Quan appoints Kisha Jackson to the Violence Prevention and Public Safety Oversight Committee (Item 7.4)…In addition, the mayor appoints Joyce Gordon, Evelyn Orantes, Cristina Cece Carpio and Bryan Cain to the Public Art Advisory Committee (Item 7.3)…A resolution urging the California Legislature to place a referendum on the 2016 ballot to reform Proposition 13 is on consent (Item 7.20)…Read about additional items on consent heard during last week’s committee hearings here.
Councilmember Noel Gallo awards acknowledgement of service to Oakland in resolutions to Beverly Hodge and glass company Owens-Illinois Inc for 100 years in the city. Councilmember McElhaney honors Arbor Day at Children’s Fairyland on Mar. 15 (Item 7.10).

Feb. 19, other than the lengthy debate on the DAC, the council accepted a report on the Oakland Army Base air quality plan and appropriated a transit grant for a freee bike station near the 19th Street BART. >>> SEE IT FOR YOURSELF