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Council President Pro Tempore Sheng Thao, Oakland Officials, and Community Leaders Hold Press Conference to Announce New Investment Into East Oakland Parks

OAKLAND, California - Council President Pro Tempore Sheng Thao, Assemblymember Mia Bonta, community, and faith leaders gathered at Arroyo Viejo Park this morning to announce a $2 million investment into East Oakland parks secured by Pro Tem Thao in recent state budget allocations signed by Governor Newsom. This $2 million investment will help revitalize and celebrate parks serving some of Oakland’s most marginalized communities and includes:

  • $700,000 to the City of Oakland for the Verdese Center Park renovation.

  • $295,000 to the City of Oakland for Tassafaronga Park upgrades.

  • $1,035,000 to the City of Oakland for Arroyo Viejo Park improvements.

Council President Pro Tempore Sheng Thao States: “This is about getting Oakland back to basics. This is about clean and functional parks for our children, youth, and families to enjoy. This is about building stronger communities through activating safe public spaces we can all be proud of. This is about a cleaner, greener Oakland that is dedicated to healing communities impacted by environmental racism.

“I know that many East Oakland residents have felt their voice has not been heard, as if they have not been seen, but I am here to tell you today that I see you and I hear you and this is just the beginning. I am determined to bring more investments into parks, open space, clean air and water, good schools, job programs, affordable housing, safe streets and more to our communities most impacted by decades of underinvestment. This is about providing basic services to every Oakland neighborhood.”

Prom Tempore Thao was joined by Assemblymember Mia Bonta, who worked with the Pro Tem to bring these investments through the state budget.

Assemblymember Mia Bonta States: “With the passage of Assembly Bill 179 and California’s commitment to making sure our parks are honored, but more importantly our children are honored, our families are honored, people are honored with access to open space. To breathe clean air, to play baseball, to run and play and convene together. And I am so incredibly thankful for the work and leadership of Council President Pro Tempore Sheng Thao for helping us invest in these East Oakland parks.”

Pastor Billy Dixon Jr, Co-Chair of Ceasefire States: “First Councilmember Thao went to the enforcement side and asked for more academies, and now she is following up with real investments to develop this great community. We need to do something great and open this park up to the people, so I will be leading a gospel and peace walk in this park to celebrate Council President Pro Tempore Sheng Thao’s investments.”

These investments will go towards many unfunded projects and needs in these parks and Pro Tem Sheng Thao is thrilled to work with the community to identify key areas of investment once the City accepts the grant awards.