Oakland tenants strike, COVID-19 testing site opens in Deep East Oakland

image of coronavirus molecule with words "rent strike"
About 250 Oakland renters are on strike. (Image: Bay Area Rent Strike)

The total of positive coronavirus cases in Oakland has reached 665, as of Mother’s Day. In all of Alameda County, 2,101 residents have coronavirus and 71 people have died, according to the Alameda County Public Health Department.

Oakland tenants on strike

Some Oakland renters are on strike. Tenants of one Oakland’s biggest evictors, Neill Sullivan, have formed a tenants council and demanded Sullivan Management Company cancel their debts, according to the Oakland Post. About 250 Oakland renters have announced a rent strike against Oakland landlords, Berkeleyside reports.

In March, the Oakland City Council passed an emergency moratorium on evictions and rent increases. Tenants first announced the rent strike for April due to the inability to pay rent, the Appeal reported. Tenants report that landlords have been harassing them and entered their homes.

More information on rent strikes is available on Bay Area Rent Strike.

Oakland Housing Authority to receive $1.5 million for COVID-19 relief

The Oakland Housing Authority will receive $1.5 million in federal aid for coronavirus relief under the congressional CARES Act. 

Indybay reports that funds to OHA will be used to prepare for a COVID-19 outbreak, create an outbreak plan, purchase personal protective equipment (PPE) for staff, and coordinate the dlivery of goods, supplies, and services for residents. Additionally, OHA can coordinate with local health providers and childcare costs for working residents and staff.

Oakland is one of nearly two dozen local public housing authorities to receive a portion of the $685 million from HUD, the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Other Bay Area housing authorities, including San Francisco, Richmond, Marin, and Livermore will also receive funds. 

Oakland City Council cancels two meetings

Last week, the Oakland City Council canceled two important votes at the last minute.

The two votes that were cancelled relate to a stronger Police Commission and also emergency sick leave for employees in Oakland. As the East Bay Times’ Jon Kawamoto reports, the City Council planned to vote on an amendment to an ordinance that would strengthen the Oakland Police Commission. The ordinance is supported by Council President Rebecca Kaplan and Councilman Dan Kalb, and is opposed by Mayor Libby Schaaf.

The second cancelled item is an emergency sick leave ordinance, sponsored by Councilwoman Sheng Thao and co-sponsored by Councilmembers Kalb, Nikki Fortunato Bas, and Loren Taylor. The ordinance would give more protection and payment for workers who need to stop working due to illness.

However, it looks like both items are back on the City Council’s agenda for this Tuesday, May 12.

New COVID-19 Testing Site in East Oakland

As Berkeleyside’s Sarah Belle Lin reports, ROOTS Community Health Center opened a new COVID-19 test site in East Oakland. Oakland Voices previously reported that the majority of positive COVID-19 cases are in East Oakland.  

To register for free COVID-19 testing, visit the City of Oakland’s website.


Author Profile

Rasheed Shabazz is a multimedia storyteller, urban planning historian, and youth development professional based in the Bay Area. He is co-director of Oakland Voices. He recently completed his Masters of City and Regional Planning at UC Berkeley. 

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