"We have left undone those things which we ought to have done" - Protestant Episcopal Church 1928 U.S. Book of Common Prayer


The Trashing Of Oakland

The Trashing of Oakland did not begin with the Administration of Libby Schaaf. It was already a major problem in the city's flatlands neighborhoods when Schaaf entered the mayor's office in January of 2015. But in the three years following that Schaaf has been mayor of Oakland, the problem has escalated dramatically and grown into a full-blown crisis. Yet there is no evidence that Mayor Schaaf understands or appreciates the depth of Oakland's trash-dumping crisis, or that Mayor Schaaf cares about this enormous neighborhood problem enough for her administration to take the steps necessary to attack and solve it. And so many of Oakland's low-to-moderate income neighborhood streets and sidewalks—mostly in the flatlands—continued to be buried under piles of discarded furniture and rotting garbage.

And Right On Cue, As Predicted...

"All that would be needed to make [Mayor Libby Schaaf's "bulky block parties"] full-fledged campaign events would be for the mayor herself to be there to shake residents’ hands and pose with them for plenty of selfies..." Oakland's Getting Shaafted, August 24, 2018

Mayor Schaaf posing with resident at August 25 East Oakland "bulky block party," posted on the Mayor Libby Schaaf Facebook page.

In The War Against Oakland's Illegal Dumping, Salvation Is Not Yet At Hand

Illegally dumped furniture, appliance, and mattress on Peralta Street in West Oakland

Published on the OGS website August 24, 2018

In recent weeks, Mayor Libby Schaaf has begun to publicly admit that her City of Oakland administration has not been successful in attacking and solving the enormous and growing problem of illegally dumped trash on Oakland’s streets, sidewalks, and vacant lots.

Answering a question from the audience about the dumping crisis at the city’s Safety Town Hall at Laney College last month, Mayor Schaaf said that “there are people in city government with good intentions about solving this problem, but good intentions are not enough. What we have been doing on the illegal dumping problem is not working.  So we will continue to experiment and try new things.”

One of those “new things” the mayor is experimenting with is setting up three dates—each one in a different portion of the city—where residents can drop off and dispose of oversized trash items such as appliances, furniture, and mattresses without charge. Providing these three bulky trash drop-off dates, Mayor Schaaf says, should be a cause for celebration and rejoicing in Oakland.

“Oaklanders should celebrate that they get to drop off their old mattresses, couches, and bulky goods for free,” the mayor said in a prepared written announcement, “but they should also rejoice that they’re helping to keep Oakland free from abandoned debris.”

The drop-off events will be held August 25, September 25, and September 29th.

In keeping with Mayor Schaaf’s celebration theme, the city is officially calling these drop-off events “parties.”

[Click on link to go to complete commentary]

Oakland Holds Three "Bulky Block Parties" For Large-Item Disposal

Originally published in the San Francisco Chronicle August 18, 2018
Posted on the OGS website August 21, 2018

Oakland residents who need to dump large, bulky items will have three opportunities to dispose of them in the city's "Bulky Block Party" initiative. 

In an effort to help curb illegal dumping, these special large-item pickup events will be held in three different locations around town. They're designed not only to allow people to get rid of ungainly, unwanted items, but also to educate residents about existing curbside bulky pickup service, already available by making an appointment with Waste Management. 

"Oaklanders should celebrate that they get to drop off their old mattresses, couches and bulky goods for free, and should also rejoice that they're helping keep Oakland free from abandoned debris," Mayor Libby Schaaf said in a statement. 

The Bulky Block Parties will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Aug. 25 at 7101 Edgewater Drive in East Oakland; Sept. 15 at 250 Victory Court in Central Oakland; and Sept. 29 at Engineer Road at Wake Avenue in North/West Oakland. 

Food trucks and music on-site will create a party atmosphere, city officials said. And residents will be assisted unloading items. 

The disposal parties are only to Oakland residents only. Proof of residency will be required. 

Oakland Holding Block Parties Where Residents Can Drop Off Junk

Published August 17, 2018 by the East Bay Times
Posted August 19, 2018 on the OGS website

Have an extra mattress or couch you need to get rid of? The city invites you and your junk to a series of bulky block parties starting later this month.

“Oaklanders know how to turn anything into a party, and the Bulky Block Party is no different,”Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf said in a statement. “Oaklanders should celebrate that they get to drop off their old mattresses, couches and bulky goods for free, but they should also rejoice that they’re helping to keep Oakland free from abandoned debris.”

At the parties, city workers also will provide information on Oakland’s bulky pickup service, where residents can schedule a free curbside pickups each year.

Though the service is offered year-round and only requires scheduling an appointment, city officials said residents rarely take advantage of it and they hope the parties will encourage more use.

The bulky block parties will be held Aug. 25 at 7101 Edgewater Drive in East Oakland, Sept. 15 at 250 Victory Court in Central Oakland and Sept. 29 on Engineer Road at Wake Avenue in West Oakland. Residents can drop off their junk from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on each of those days.

The parties will have food trucks and music.

[Click on link to go to entire article]

Oakland Hosts ‘Bulky Block Parties’ To Discourage Illegal Dumping

Published August 16, 2018 by KPIX 5
Posted August 17, 2018 on the OGS website

Several big block party are being planned in the East Bay for the coming weeks and the only thing residents are required to bring is their big trash items.

Mayor Libby Schaaf on Thursday announced the unusual effort to clean up the streets of Oakland.

She hopes the three “Bulky Block Parties” that will give people  a chance to drop off bulky trash items will stop people who might otherwise choose to trash Oakland.

Illegal dumping has long been an unsightly problem in East and West Oakland. Piles of everything from mattresses to old tires  can be seen left along the streets.

The city is now placing high-resolution cameras in dumping hot spots, buying more trucks  to respond to complaints and hiring a 12-person litter enforcement team that will be on the streets this fall.

Schaaf called the parties an experiment.

“We’re going to have food trucks. We’re going to have music,” said Schaaf. “We know that there are going to be lines. And we want to be clear: this is for Oakland residents only.”

Another incentive to stop dumping in Oakland. If a resident reports someone for illegal dumping, they can get part of the fine if the culprit is caught. All residents have to do is call 311 to make the report.

[Click on link to go to entire article]

Open Letter To Mayor Libby Schaaf And The City Of Oakland — “Illegal Dumping”

Originally published May 3, 2018 in Medium
Posted on the OGS Website August 5, 2018

By Shaniece Alexander

I’m writing to you as a three year renter in District 7 and leader of an equity driven community based organization. I am a frustrated Oaklander and must offer critical feedback and alternative solutions to addressing the issue of “illegal dumping” in Oakland based on the proposal presented by Mayor Libby Schaaf on May 2, 2018. In this letter I will offer four practical solutions in hopes that they will be taken into consideration as the City moves forward in its policy implementation.

As a social justice advocate, I’ve committed my organizing efforts in Oakland around centering economic and health equity through policy and practice. This work crosses the intersections of community food systems, bridges generations, economic classes, and impacts a diversity of ethnic and cultural groups. It must be known that the recent announcement by Mayor Schaaf to roll out an “aggressive new approach to combating her city’s rampant and often disgusting litter problem,” is a reactive, ineffective response to addressing Oakland’s ongoing issue of blight that’s only been exacerbated by the housing crisis and rampant displacement of people of color and poor community members in Oakland.

The decision to spend $500,000 (of which the funding source has not been communicated) to hire three “litter enforcement officers” or “trash detectives” as the mayor states, is neither an aggressive or remotely reasoned solution to rectifying the current and/or future dumping of trash in Oakland. In fact, this proposal will purposefully increase the policing and criminalization of communities of color. It seems that this money could be more effectively used as a resource to address the immediate concerns of community members while setting a practical foundation for ongoing action to solve the underlying problem, which is mass displacement of people who work, advocate for, and raise their children in a city that they cannot afford to live in.

[Click on link to go to complete letter]

Community Action Needed Against Illegal Dumping And Litter

Originally published in the Oakland Post June 26, 2018

Picking up and preventing illegal dumping is the responsibility of the Libby Schaaf Administration.

By Oakland City Councilmember Desley Brooks

Litter has be­come a major prob­lem in Oakland. Throughout the city you see the devastating effects of ille­gally abandoned construction waste and garbage. It blights our streets and parks, impacts our health and safety, and is a disgrace to everyone who calls Oakland home.

Despite my advocacy and the work of many volunteers, our city services still don’t have the capacity to meet this challenge. Between 2011 and 2016, calls to report illegal dumping increased 129 percent. The old, complaint-driven model is inadequate. We are reaching crisis levels, and something needs to be done.

Last week we finished the budget process. One victory was the City Council voted to increase funding to fight illegal dumping, including:

* $85,000 for a pilot program that will employ unsheltered individuals to help clean our streets;

* $1 million dedicated to sanitation, health, and hygiene services;

* $452,415 for three litter en­forcement officers.

In total, approximately $1.4 million will be spent to fight il­legal dumping. While this is a good start, it’s not enough.

In my district, I spearheaded an innovative pilot program to address illegal dumping. Instead of following the typi­cal complaint-driven process, we organized a rapid response team that proactively removed litter from wherever they found it in their designated zone.

This program made a vis­ible difference while it was ac­tive, and now that it has ended we can see the problem getting worse again. This pilot program was effective and cost-efficient, collecting more waste per man-hour than regular garbage trucks.

I asked the administration what it would take to ramp up this program and make it city­wide – they estimated it would cost $3 million. After seeing how effective this program was in my district, I know what a huge impact this program could have on our city.

I was gratified that the Coun­cil voted to fund a partial ex­pansion of the program – but one three-person crew just isn’t enough. I’m in this for the long term and want to deliver long term solutions.

This problem affects every­one in Oakland, and it’s going to take broad support to make change. Oaklanders deserve clean streets. Oaklanders de­serve to take pride in their neighborhoods.
Oaklanders deserve a city that responds to their needs. I will continue to advocate for a proactive, geographic program to address the crisis because I believe that it’s the best option we have to tackle the problem.

I will keep leading monthly cleanups in my district and en­courage everyone to take part in a community cleanup in your neighborhood. Together we can keep Oakland the beautiful place that we know it deserves to be.

There are many ways you can help:

Organize or join a commu­nity cleanup; “Adopt a Spot” or set up a free bulky drop off event;
Report illegal dumping by calling 311.

If you are concerned about this problem and want to get in­volved, please email me at des­leyb@gmail.com or you can call my office at (510) 238-7006.

Desley Brooks is the District 6 representative on the Oak­land City Council.

Illegal Dumping In Oakland Caught On Camera; Mayor Schaaf Said She's "Outraged"

Originally published in NBC Bay Area June 8, 2018

Oakland residents Rickisha and Elgin White came home from work found a pile of rock debris outside their door.

A surveillance footage provided by one neighbor, Tom Larson, showed a white truck stopping on East 17th Street in Oakland Thursday afternoon [and dumping a line of trash]. 

Mayor Schaaf quickly responded and said she's "outraged" that people think they can dump their trash in someone else's neighborhood.

In the past 5 years, illegal dumping complaints in the city have doubled, Schaaf said.

Schaaf said the city has increased enforcement and added illegal dumping pick-up crew, "sort of like litter police," in the new city budget.

People who find an illegal dump can report it Oakland 311 to get it cleaned up, Schaaf said.

[Click to link to complete article]

Illegal Trash Dumping Problem Getting Worse In Oakland's 'hot spots'

Originally published in the East Bay Times June 4, 2018

SUMMARY: With residents complaining and city staff member acknowledging that Oakland's illegal trash and garbage dumping crisis is growing worse, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf announces a new initiative to deal with the problem. Schaaf proposes to hire three city employees to look through the city's piles of illegally dumped trash for clues to who might be dumping it. Meanwhile, requets from residents to pick up piles of trash dumped in city neighborhoods "nearly doubled" since the summer of 2013, a year and a half before Schaaf was elected mayor.

Trashed mattresses, tarnished furniture and heaps of garbage line G Street in East Oakland’s Highland neighborhood like an obstacle course — one that neighbors have had to tolerate for years.

“It’s annoying, seeing garbage right here in front of my house and all throughout G street,” said Ricardo Salas, who has lived in the neighborhood about a year. “…we just live with it, there’s not really anything we could do about it, we don’t see them doing it, so we can’t report them, so we just leave it as is.”

City officials say the problem has gotten even worse over the years. Requests to pick up trash piles nearly doubled from 2012-13 to 2016-17 despite city efforts to stop it, according to information from the Public Works Department. In the past few months, following an outcry from flatland residents, the mayor and other city officials have introduced initiatives to amp up those efforts.

Those proposed allocations were laid out in a list of demands made by the East Oakland Congress of Neighborhoods after a recent town hall meeting in which droves of residents expressed their dismay.

[Click to link to complete article]




Front Page

Why An "Oakland's Getting Schaafted" Website

In The News

Our Thoughts On The Libby Schaaf Administration

What Others Are Thinking And Saying—Opinion Pieces About The Schaaf Administration

The Trashing Of Oakland

Schaaf And Oakland's Homeless Crisis

In The War Against Oakland's Illegal Dumping, Salvation Is Not Yet At Hand
Oakland's Getting Schaafted
August 24, 2018

Oakland Holds Three "Bulky Block Parties" For Large-Item Disposal
San Francisco Chronicle
August 21, 2018

Oakland Holding Block Parties Where Residents Can Drop Off Junk
East Bay Times
August 17, 2018

Oakland Hosts 'Bulky Block Parties' To Discourage Illegal Dumping
August 16, 2018

Open Letter To Mayor Libby Schaaf And The City Of Oakland—"Illegal Dumping"
August 5, 2018