New Deal Involving City-Owned Land Contradicts City’s Own Goals

Co-written by Steve King, Bobby Stahl and Spike. Judging by the development plans being discussed for seven acres of city-owned land at Oak Knoll, we would guess that no one involved in the deal has happened across the City’s own Playbook For a Resilient Oakland. The Playbook has been publicly available for a few short months, and [...]

Oakland’s Housing Affordability Crisis

As part of the City of Oakland’s A Roadmap Toward Equity report, Urban Strategies Council prepared a comprehensive data profile of the City’s current housing situation. By every measure, Oakland is in the midst of an affordability crisis: the vast majority of residents cannot afford to buy a home, nor would they be able to afford [...]

Hard Math for Boys and Men of Color in Alameda County

Inadequate Education + Low Income + High Rates of Illness = Unhealthy Communities for Boys and Men of Color and Their Families In Alameda County Few would dispute that income and education are important for well-being and long-term health. This relationship is well documented and supported by an impressive body of research, much of which [...]


Urban Strategies Council is pleased to announce that the Alameda County Community Asset Network (AC CAN) and Alameda County Social Services Agency were awarded the Platforms for Prosperity Prize on September 18 at the 2014 CFED Assets Learning Conference in Washington, DC.  AC CAN is a collaborative co-founded and staffed by Urban Strategies Council which [...]

By | October 14th, 2014|Economic Development, Income and Assets Development|0 Comments

Innovative Solutions: Richmond ONS Peacemaker Fellowship

Last week, the City of Richmond Office of Neighborhood Safety (ONS) was featured on Al-Jazeera’s America Tonight two part series “Paying For Peace” on their innovative approach to violence prevention and reduction. On Tuesday, April 1st 2014 the joint tables of the Oakland – Alameda County Alliance for Boys and Men of Color Alliance welcomed [...]

Broadband Adoption in Oakland

The digital divide is a very real and very stable reality in communities like Oakland, California.  Knowing which neighborhoods have solid access to high speed internet is a critical aspect of planning for government and nonprofit provided online services- if we want low income folks from Oakland’s flatlands to use a new digital application, we’d [...]

By | May 9th, 2014|Data, Economic Development, Issue Areas, Maps|0 Comments

Savvy Consumer – What we’re learning so far

During the course of their work in Alameda County, our members discovered a gap among the existing financial education and credit building tools available.  Existing tools focused on individual choices, including budgeting and saving.  However, these tools did not address the immediate situation in which many community residents found themselves – trapped in the predatory [...]

By | April 7th, 2014|Economic Development, Income and Assets Development|0 Comments

Savvy Consumer – Helping to protect and build wealth locally

One of the highlights of our Income and Asset Development program is the Alameda County Community Asset Network (AC CAN), a collaborative of financial institutions, community based organizations and public agencies working to develop innovative income and asset building strategies, service and policies.  AC CAN members recognize that increasing access to appropriate banking products is [...]

By | April 1st, 2014|Economic Development, Income and Assets Development|0 Comments

Healthy Housing in Oakland

A well-established body of academic, clinical, and community-level research has demonstrated that conditions within housing units can deeply impact the physical and mental health of individuals in those units, for better or worse. In many areas, the literature is conclusive: just as a dilapidated apartment with a cockroach problem can trigger asthma in a vulnerable child, so too can a well-maintained and properly managed apartment contribute to the positive well-being of its tenant. The data presented in our new report show that Oakland is a city of disparities, many of which are reproduced in the City’s topography. Oakland—as a whole—is incredibly diverse; the same cannot be said for many specific parts of the City. There is an incredible amount of overlap between Oakland’s communities of color, the renter populations in the City, the areas with high enrollment in social safety net programs, and neighborhoods with poor health outcomes. More often than not, these neighborhoods also have the highest counts of residential code enforcement complaints, indicating problems with the housing stock. These discrete data pieces, when viewed in concert, begin to paint a high level picture of resident experiences and vulnerabilities in Oakland, neighborhood by neighborhood. Commissioned by the Alameda County Healthy Homes Alliance with funding support from the Kresge Foundation, this report establishes a set of neighborhood level indicators to help guide community planning efforts to improve the health of residents and the condition of Oakland’s housing stock.  The report takes a detailed look at populations typically most vulnerable to poor housing conditions—youth, seniors, renters, and those in poverty—and lays out a clear picture of the diverse data which describe the often overlooked nexus between housing and public health. […]

By | February 17th, 2014|Economic Development|0 Comments

Affordable Housing Needs (Data)

Way back in 2011, we carried out a comprehensive study of the data landscape in the Bay Area related to the important work of affordable housing and neighborhood stabilization efforts for Enterprise Community Partners.  The report got delivered to our clients but we realized that we did not ever publish the results. Despite the time [...]

By | January 30th, 2014|Economic Development|0 Comments