Reentry Jobs Discussed at Economic Summit

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John Bowe (right), President, American President Lines listens to Omar Benjamin, Executive Director, Port of Oakland discuss investment in Oakland at Dellums’ 2nd Annual Economic Summit. Photo by Gene Hazzard. 

By Post Staff

Creating decent jobs for Oakland residents will improve public safety as well as the economy, according to leaders who spoke at the Second Annual Economic Summit, which brought together over 500 representatives from the City’s large and small businesses, government, non-profit and community organizations.
“A safe community is not a community with a zillion police officers but a community where people have hope and opportunity,” said Mayor Ron Dellums.
Addressing the connection between jobs and public safety, panelist Gay Plair Cobb called for called for efforts to enhance opportunities for people leaving state prison. “Folks that are coming out of prison directly impact our City,” said Cobb, who is Chief Executive Officer of the Oakland Private Industry Council, pointing out that 50 to 75 people come from state prisons to Oakland each month.
“It is really possible to prioritize services for those who are most at risk of involvement in the criminal justice system,” she said. “This is a critical need.”