Oakland Wants Billions, Now What?

President Barack Obama called Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums “an old friend” yesterday, but will this mean we get over $2.6 billion worth of federal assistance?  Maybe we deserve this much investment, but many requested items seem like they will get scratched from the list.

Mayor Visits DC

Like all cities, our requests were first submitted through the 2008 U.S. Conference of Mayors.  We made 75 requests for streets/roads (16), water (10), airport (5), community federal block grants (14), energy (7), housing (1), and public safety (22).

Without help from Uncle Sam, there are some breathtaking infrastructure projects that would never see the light of day.  Here are the largest ticket items, which each run more than $100 million and add up to $1.75 billion alone:

  • New police administration building –  $450 mm
  • New airport parking garage – $300 mm
  • Library upgrades – $270 mm
  • New municipal service center – $220 mm
  • Clean water, safe parks – $150 mm
  • Wharf reconstruction – $130 mm
  • Sanitary sewer system upgrades – $130 mm
  • Oakland army base upgrades – $100 mm

The project list also includes familiar, budget-gap items that Oaklanders have discussed over the past year.  Many deferred public works are shown, even sidewalk repairs.  The public safety wish list runs from new patrol cars to sophisticated surveillance, and goes far beyond the minor systems rejected in Measure NN.

Are all these projects actually eligible for Recovery Act funds?  See the complete list of Oakland requests below, and draw your own conclusions.

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