Will Oaklanders Be Given Equal Access To Liveable Wage Jobs?

City Council to hear community vision to implement Dellums’ 10,000 Jobs Plan

The Oakland NetWork for Responsible Development (ONWRD) says more than 2 in 5 Oakland residents live in conditions of economic hardship (defined as 200% of the Federal poverty level or below) and are struggling to find livable wage jobs during this present economic downturn.
ONWRD, a coalition of community-based groups and labor will present their vision for an economic development strategy to lift families out of poverty on May 13 to the Oakland City Council’s Community Economic Development Committee.
ONWRD’s recommendations are based on the coalition’s 2007 report Putting Oakland to Work: a Comprehensive Strategy to Create Real Jobs as well as their 400-person grassroots summit, Building Oakland for Everyone (www.workingeastbay.org/sop).
ONWRD says its effort complements Mayor Dellums’ call for 10,000 jobs.  
According to ONWRD, a vibrant economy with broadly shared prosperity is within reach. “Traditional economic development focused on revenue generation and business growth alone misses an opportunity to create good-paying jobs and move residents into sustainable employment,” explained Kate O’Hara of the East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy (EBASE).  “To put Oaklanders to work, the City needs a new, comprehensive strategy for economic development that prioritizes Oaklanders’ needs and includes single mothers, formerly incarcerated, immigrants and youth.”
In their report, Putting Oakland to Work, ONWRD recommends the City of Oakland use a 3-point approach:
• Commit to an ambitious, concrete goal.  Namely, commit to moving 25% of Oakland’s high-need residents—10,000 people—into family-sustaining jobs over the next five years.
• Prioritize creating jobs that meet Oaklanders’ needs.  Clear criteria are needed to prioritize industry sectors, including 1) viability and collateral benefits, 2) job quality, 3) accessibility and career ladders, especially for “high barrier” workers.
• Expect more from development projects.  Promote high labor standards, training, and local hire requirements for construction and operating jobs.
ONWRD, The League of Women Voters and the Oakland People’s Housing Coalition has  planned a meeting Building Oakland for Everyone At Large Candidates Forum on May 14, 6:30 – 9:00pm at East Bay Community Foundation at 200 Frank Ogawa Plaza.  .
Gay Plair Cobb, CEO of the Oakland Private Industry Council, Inc. said “In the interest of equity, it is important to commit to specific goals that are both measurable and achievable. ONWRD’s approach makes sense if we are serious about addressing Oakland’s high unemployment and poverty rates.”
For information about other organizations involved with ONWRD’s push for equal access for all Oaklanders to livable jobs, go to website www.workingeastbay.org/ONWRD.