Grand Lake Neighbors September 2023 Meeting Minutes

GLN Monthly meeting minutes 9/20/23
Barnett Hall, Lakeshore Baptist Church
Attendance: 30, including OPD(3) and City reps(3)
Questions: Eric Hughes –

Crime reports and project status from OPDNot reported in writing this month.

    • Foot patrol officers are back in the Grand Lake, Tuesday through Friday, noon until 10pm; there is a 3-year federal grant for foot patrol officers.
    • Foot patrol is expanding from 8 to 12 officers.
      • City officials will attempt to make this permanent.
      • Officer Cooper ( will divide his time among the Montclair shopping district, College Avenue, and the Grand Lake district. You can email him with issues and photos of suspicious activity. There is no need to file or call in a police report, but it is always recommended. 
      • Officer Kemmitt will patrol Jack London Square and Piedmont Avenue.  
        • Both officers will focus on “quality of life” issues in the business improvement districts.
        • They may be pulled away to cover other issues or events.
    • The Walker parking lot now has surveillance cameras monitored by a person from 3pm until 11pm. There is a speaker to issue warnings and an alarm that can be sounded.
    • The encampment on Grand under the freeway was cleared 9/25.
  • $2.1 million was allocated for 911 staffing and infrastructure. There are currently 16 vacant dispatcher positions. There were 70 applicants — 50 of whom have made it through background checks.
  • CHP is patrolling hot spots on International Boulevard onramps and offramps.
  • Department of Violence Prevention programs will continue and increase.
  • The city is giving 10K grants for neighborhood festivals. The program is called ‘Activate Oakland.’ Get the application here
  • Mayor Thao secured a 1.2 million loan from the state for 300 fixed ALPRs (Automated License Plate Readers.

Ryan Micik from the Public Ethics Commission gave a brief presentation on the work the Commission does:

    • “The Public Ethics Commission is an independent commission made up of Oakland residents and charged with ensuring fairness, openness, honesty and integrity in Oakland City government. Our objective is to make sure Oakland public officials and government decision-making processes operate in a fair and unbiased manner, to promote transparency in Oakland government, and to promote public trust in our local political system. The Commission’s duties include ensuring compliance with the City of Oakland’s government ethics, campaign finance, transparency, and lobbyist registration laws.”
    • Ryan discussed the Democracy Dollars program which will begin in 2026. The program gives the public $100 in vouchers to donate to city political campaigns in order to increase public engagement and give candidates with less money an opportunity to fund raise. More info on this can be found at
    • Follow the Ethics Commission on X (formerly known as Twitter) @oaklandethics and on Facebook and
    • The Public Ethics Commission currently has a vacancy.  If you’re interested in applying you can attend a commission meeting or file an application online via this link

The second half of the meeting was dedicated to brainstorming and establishing neighborhood safety priorities that…

        • Are achievable by we the people of Oakland
        • Have a time frame measured in weeks, not years.
        • Are actions that actually prevent crime.
        • Avoid duplicating actions already in progress.

We broke into five 4-7 person groups. Here are the results:

  • Group 1:
    • Implement true Community Policing
    • Install 911 Software from 2018
    • Add bollards to slow down traffic on ‘smash & grab’ streets
    • Install roundabouts & speed bumps
    • Organize more (quarterly?) national night out block parties
  • Group 2: 
    • Support and establish a police substation (500 Lake Park?) 
    • Road diets to onramps & major roads (bollards, speed bumps)
    • More night time street lighting (on parcels & street poles)
  • Group 3: 
    • Grand Lake Neighborhood festival, block party
    • Communicate services & police contact info better 
    • Expand lake ambassadors
    • Follow up on Bratton report (what has been done)
    • Reinstate “Coffee with a cop”
    • Parking enforcement, double parking
  • Group 4:
    • Police substation (Vegan Mob temporary?)
    • Demand an exclusive beat officer
    • Crowd sourced data (needs clarification)
    • IT donation, public/private partnership
  • Group 5:
    • Immediately get people on commissions (neighbors).
    • Declare an emergency and establish a command center
    • ReAppoint Chief Armstrong
    • Enable 1000 police officers to do their job
    • Demand FBI Rico investigation

Next steps: 

  • Further reduce this list to a few achievable items; find owners. 
  • Track the other items so as not to lose track of them. 
  • Get the retail improvement email list going (Eric will do).

EDITOR’S NOTE: Comments welcomed below.





2 responses to “Grand Lake Neighbors September 2023 Meeting Minutes”

  1. What can be done about the cars that are driving into neighborhoods to do donuts? I have seen evidence (skid marks and tires debris) on Haddon Rd, MacArthur Blvd, and Wesley. These just bring more people into the neighborhood that later cause trouble.

  2. Sally Keane Avatar
    Sally Keane

    Can we can get someone from the police commission to attend the next meeting in order to explain what it does and when there will be a new police chief in place.
    Also, to explain why three members oppose Chief Armstrong and why they boycotted the commission meeting last week and if there are any sanctions for their failure to appear.