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Oakland

Building an Economic Roadmap for Oakland

Bloomberg Associates worked with the City of Oakland to balance its rapid economic growth with its core values of equity and inclusion.

 

Rather than react to economic development fearfully and as something thrust upon us, we must harness it for the greater good… I believe this is the moment to unlock the potential of Oakland, expand our opportunities, and aggressively take action to ensure every Oaklander benefits from and participates in this prosperity.

Libby Schaaf, Mayor of Oakland

Relevant Expertise

Expand Workforce and Learning Opportunities

  • Talent Attraction and Retention

Improve Public Space and Neighborhoods

  • Housing Supply and Inventory

Spur Business and Industry Growth

  • Business Attraction and Retention Strategies
  • Small Business Support

Challenge

Oakland’s economy is growing and transforming rapidly, and while the city has benefited from this expansion, other impacts of this growth are not as positive. There has been a rise in housing costs and homelessness, an increase in the cost of doing business, and a widening of the racial income gap. In 2017, rents rose faster in Oakland than almost anywhere else in the country. The City of Oakland asked Bloomberg Associates to help develop a strategy to align this growth with a responsible economic development agenda that would ensure all residents were able to participate and benefit.

Approach

Bloomberg Associates worked with Oakland’s Economic & Workforce Development Department to devise a three-year economic development strategy, which established specific and measurable goals and key performance indicators in order to maximize limited resources. Among the plan’s primary goals were: securing a strong economic future for all Oaklanders, committing to equity and diversity, growing good jobs right in the City, prioritizing fiscal sustainability, and emphasizing collaboration and transparency. The plan was unanimously adopted by the Oakland City Council in November 2017.

Impact

The Oakland Economic Development Strategy has been a categorical success. A progress report issued in April 2018 reported that the city had achieved or surpassed five targets and was on-track to achieve the other targets established for 2018. A notable success of the plan was increased collaboration and coordination across City departments and stakeholders. Specifically, the Economic & Workforce Development, Housing & Community Development, and Planning & Building Departments worked together to develop an opportunity-zone program during the first quarter of 2018. This three-year strategic plan has set the course for Oakland to become an easy, efficient, prosperous and resilient place to do business, while reducing racial disparities and helping all Oaklanders achieve economic security. Most importantly, the Mayor’s vision fosters inclusiveness, growth, supportive services, and opportunities for all Oaklanders, especially those most adversely affected.

Oakland Economic Strategy

Metrics

The City of Oakland will spend $120 million on transportation and infrastructure by the end of 2020. Other goals are:

1000K businesses supported annually

2800K jobs added each year

4250K homes constructed with 1200 below market

12K people with access to job training

90% business satisfaction rating for the city’s services