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Re-establish the City of Oakland Arts & Culture Commission to #KeepOaklandCreative

This petition had 1,097 supporters

We believe that all families and communities in Oakland benefit from a vibrant, creative and culturally rooted city. Therefore, we need a revitalized Arts & Culture Commission for the City of Oakland to help protect, promote and progress the vitality of our creative economy and the artists who sustain it.

On April 30, 1991 the City of Oakland established the Cultural Affairs Commission (CAC) by City Ordinance No. 11323 C.M.S. for the purpose of advising the Mayor, City Council and City Manager on all matters affecting cultural development in the community. However as of 2014, The City of Oakland's Cultural Affairs Commission has been inactive, with all commission seats vacant.

As the City of Oakland continues to invest in the development and adopt planning processes that impact our culture, the artists who create it, and the community which thrives in it – we must ensure that development projects include these elements of sound arts policy and cultural equity, we are demanding/requesting the City of Oakland, under the leadership of the Mayor and City Council, adopt the following amendments to Ordinance No. 11323 and No. 11778 to re-establish the City of Oakland Arts & Culture Commission:

1. Empower the Commission to advise the City Administrator, Mayor and City Council on all matters pertaining to cultural development, cultural equity and art and cultural funding in the City of Oakland – including, but not limited to following duties:

  • Work collaboratively with Office of the Mayor, City Council, other boards and commissions, and other city departments and agencies involved in creating and promoting arts and culture activities, policies and programs related to arts and culture;
  • Make recommendations to City Council regarding funding for arts and culture activities, services and programs -- including public and private funds -- to ensure programs are adequately resourced and are distributed equitably in way that is consistent with community needs in each district and citywide with a focus on cultural preservation, affordability, and healthy neighborhoods;
  • The commission shall develop and adopt procedures for evaluating grant requests and provide annual reports on cultural vitality and development;
  • Maintain arts policy coordination activities as a function of the Arts Commission within City government and promote cultural policies and plans for consideration by other City departments and by the public, including increased services for the arts community, facilitating arts funding and funding opportunities and coordination among City departments which affect arts services and policies;
  • Advise and develop policy recommendations for cultural equity in matters of economic and workforce development, public health and city planning;
  • Advise and develop recommendations for the inclusion of an Arts Element in the City of Oakland General Plan and integrated into current and future development and planning processes;
  • Develop and adopt a cultural master plan that supports arts and cultural preservation, affordability, and healthy neighborhoods and protects the existing/historical cultural assets;
  • Develop and adopt a creative vitality index to measure the health and impact of cultural development and the creative economy of Oakland 
  • Provide timely, regular and accessible public meeting notices, minutes and community announcements to ensure deep community engagement and input

2. To ensure that the Commission has the appropriate community oversight and advisory powers:

  • The commission may assist and cooperate with key municipal agency or group(s) responsible for establishing, modifying, implementing and impacting arts and cultural policy
  • The commission may plan for the development of arts and culture activities and make recommendations to the Council
  • The commission may establish working committees as necessary to carry out the work of the commission

3. To ensure that the Commission has equitable representation and funding to faithfully carry out its duties:

  • The Commission shall be mandated to include a membership with a minimum of 9 and not more than 11 City residents appointed as members by the Mayor and City Council to serve 3 year terms
  • The Commission shall be fully staffed with at least 1 FTE City staff liaison
  • The membership requirements shall include equitable representation in the commission among of Oakland’s Art & Cultural Community in each district


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Oakland Creative Neighborhoods Coalition needs your help with “Oakland City Council, Mayor Libby Schaaf: Re-establish the City of Oakland Arts & Culture Commission to #KeepOaklandCreative”. Join Oakland Creative Neighborhoods Coalition and 1,096 supporters today.