The Civic Classroom: Libby Schaaf, Oakland Councilmember (District Four)

Libby Schaaf
Libby Schaaf
The Civic Classroom – Special To
By Oakland Councilmember Libby Schaaf (District Four)

Hi, I’m Libby Schaaf, Oakland’s District Four Councilmember.

This week offers some incredible learning opportunities for Oaklanders – a veritable civic classroom.

This Tuesday, April 23rd at our Oakland City Council’s Public Safety Committee, I’ve arranged for a presentation by Berkeley Law Professor Franklin Zimring on “What Oakland Can Learn From New York About Reducing Crime.” No city has come close to New York’s success in improving safety – reducing crimes like murder, robberies, burglaries and car thefts all by more than 80%. And no author or academic has come close to Zimring in rigorously studying it. He’ll present in City Hall Chambers (14th at Broadway) at 6pm, or you can watch the meeting on KTOP Cable Station 10 or live stream here .

Wednesday, April 24th my Safe Oakland Speaker Series continues with another Berkeley Law Professor Justin McCrary, who’ll be sharing his recent study, “The Effect of Police on Crime: New Evidence from U.S. Cities, 1960-2010.” Learn why McCrary considers Oakland one of the most under-policed cities in the country and why every dollar spent on increasing police in Oakland should generate $2.90 in reduced victimization costs. Also hear McCrary’s thoughts on how technology could help Oakland’s police force. Join me Wednesday for this important conversation – 7-9pm at Holy Names University, 3500 Mountain Blvd. Details, including live stream viewing instructions at . Please carpool as parking will be limited; we’ll have shuttles from Lincoln Square Shopping Center.

And if you haven’t learned enough already, join your City Council on Tuesday, April 30th at 5:30pm for a Special Mayor’s Presentation of the Proposed Budget. It will be a lesson in municipal finances that every citizen should have. You’ll learn…

Good news: how our economy is growing and how we’ll rebuild our police force from 649 officers today to roughly 700 in 2 years.

Bad news: what cuts we’ll need to make to do it and how we’ve racked up $1.6 billion in unfunded retirement liabilities that we aren’t addressing just yet.
Like all Council meetings, you can watch it on Cable Channel 10 or live stream by clicking here

Read more about the budget at

And last Saturday was Oakland’s annual Earth Day – with more than 80 events throughout Oakland. Did you know that three types of blackberry bushes grow along Sausal Creek, but only one is native? Did you know one of the only places you can find the endangered flower Presidio Clarkia is on the Crestmont median? You could learn how to harvest grass seeds with former news anchor Wendy Tokuda on the slopes of Beaconsfield Canyon, wield a weed wrench on hazardous scotch broom, or discover the mysteries hidden in Courtland Creek – Oakland’s rich natural environment can be your outdoor classroom this Saturday. Visit for more on Oakland’s Earth Day.

And for you self-motivated learners, enjoy exploring — winners of the Code for Oakland Hackathon (I was on the judging panel) – that visualizes where Oakland’s money is coming from and going to.

We all have a lot to learn – go out and enjoy Oakland’s civic classroom.

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