Oakland leads way in securing Recovery investments for Green Jobs

Authors: Ladan Sobhani

Ladan Sobhani is a Program Manager at Green For All, and oversees the Communities of Practice.

Last night I attended a very inspiring reception at Oakland's City Hall hosted by Mayor Ron Dellums. Packed in a large conference room stood more than three dozen stakeholders from community organizations, labor, small business, and workforce who have all been active participants in shaping the City's various applications for competitive Recovery grants.

We were all there to celebrate the success of this City in seizing the opportunities created by the Recovery Act to create a roadmap for a long-term recovery. Under Mayor Dellum's direction, City staff have been working across departments to ensure that the applications didn't lead to siloed grants, but to a unified plan for how to create good green jobs, to fund a training pipeline for those jobs, and to ensure that locally-owned small businesses, particularly minority and women owned firms, have a chance to thrive as a result of these opportunities.

After the reception we all went to the City Council meeting to congratulate the City, the community, and the dedicated city staff for working so hard to make these opportunities real for their city.

Mayor Dellums told the Council that he took it as his challenge to leverage one-time money with other resources to create long-term problem-solving solutions.

The East Bay Alliance for A Sustainable Economy (EBASE) and other members of the community spoke at the Council meeting of their commitment to work with the City to ensure that the jobs created by the successful grant applications lead to family supporting-wage jobs, to ensure that the local hire policy is successfully implemented, and that graduates of the City's training programs are linked to the jobs and are provided a pathway out of poverty.

Green For All is proud to be working in Oakland as part of our Cities Initiative and to be supporting our allies here in the development of green jobs policies that lead to prosperity and opportunity for under-served communities.

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