Amended Oakland city budget aims to fight crime

Bay Area

OAKLAND, Calif. (KRON) — Public safety just got a financial boost from East Bay city leaders who just amended the city budget, which is good news for a lifelong resident who says violent crime in her neighborhood is worse than ever.

“We have more crime. We have more shootings. We have more homicides but at the same time we have less officers,” Mary Forte said.

That is about to change now that the Oakland city council amended the recently approved city budget to invest more resources for public safety in East Oakland. The lifelong home of Mary Forte.

“I have lived here my entire life other than when I went away for college,” Forte said. “So, I was born and raised in East Oakland.”

Change was inevitable over that time span but the level of violent crime in her neighborhood is something she thought she would never see in this area highlighted on this map.

“It’s like night and day. When I grew up in East Oakland the streets were clean. It was safe for children to walk to the neighborhood store,” Forte said. “The shootings since the pandemic are way out of control. In my neighborhood it’s almost a nightly basis that I can hear gun shots. I had a bullet come through my home.”

The amended budget will now fund traffic safety sideshow deterrents, expedite 911 response time, grant money security cameras in the business corridors, neighborhood beautification and workforce development.

Back in June, East Oakland councilmembers Loren Taylor and Treva Reid both voted no on the city’s highly anticipated new budget because they say it lacked equity for their constituents. Now they are both thumbs up.

“We have about $4.5 million of additional investments that came through these amendments the majority of which are impacting East Oakland,” Taylor said.

“I was glad that they were able to speak up and get something for us because we have more crime,” Forte said.

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