Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Mayor Quan lunches with Chamber Board

Oakland Mayor Jean Quan joined the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce Board at its year end lunch meeting today to discuss the future of Oakland.  The Mayor covered a number of topics from the city budget and public safety to education and promoting business and international trade.

The Mayor told us that the budget while difficult after years of declining revenue was more transparent and better set up with reserves than had been true in the past.  She appreciated the concessions made by labor groups and was confident that the loss of the parcel tax (Measure I) would not imperil city services.  Quan indicated she expects to continue to streamline city services to make the most out of city resources.  The Mayor also expressed confidence in her new management team, City Administrator Deanna Santana and Assistant City Administrators Scott Johnson and Fred Blackwell, all three of whom have been with the city for just the last 3-4 months.

On public safety she talked about hiring police officers and focusing on 100 blocks that have suffered the worst crime problems.  She has confidence in new Police Chief Howard Jordan who has held the post since mid-October. The Mayor and City Administrator Santana meet weekly with federal monitors to avoid a federal takeover of OPD.  One particular law enforcement tool the Mayor cited as effective and that she wants to see more of is cameras especially in commercial zones.  She says the data shows that where the cameras exist, crime gets pushed away and so she wants to expand the areas covered.

Mayor Quan indicated she has promoted trade in her efforts on various national groups, trips to China and conferences, including the Regional Export Initiative signed by her and other area mayors at the Chambers MegaRegion event earlier this year. 

The Mayor talked about her efforts to keep the city’s sport franchises and attract retail to town.  She talked about her 25% solution, the idea that even just a 25% increase of local shopping by Oaklanders could create jobs and improve city finances.

The Chamber looks forward to continuing to work with Mayor Quan to promote economic growth and job creation in Oakland!

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