Connect with us

#NNPA BlackPress

A Moral Budget for Oakland



Jeremy McCants is a faith-rooted organizer with FAME (Faith Alliance for a Moral Economy).

By Jeremy McCants

On Tuesday, Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao released her new budget proposal, and the City Council will begin its review.

This is a critical time for our voices to be heard as the people of Oakland already know what our city needs.

As members of the Faith Alliance for a Moral Economy (FAME) and the Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity (IM4H) we have created a Moral Budget Platform in step with the key concerns we have heard from our over 45 of our community faith leaders and 20 congregations and/or faith -based institutions.

The Moral Budget Platform is drawn from the righteous hopes of the people of Oakland who wish to see our neighborhoods reflect the just economic power and sustainability we all deserve.


Thousands of our congregants are in alignment. We are tired of seeing our neighbors forced to sleep on the streets and so our city’s budget must codify that 10,000 of the 30,000 planned housing units in our city are explicitly for affordable housing.

To invest in our people, we must invest in our land. We believe in public land for public good, meaning that any key developments within the city must include strong community benefits agreements to ensure access to jobs and economic sustainability for the people of Oakland.

Billionaires cannot treat our city and our land like playthings.

We are the lifeblood of this city, and we have a right to shape developments so that they don’t just benefit greedy profiteers but provide our communities with the affordable homes and quality jobs we deserve.

Further, our city must invest in the legal resources necessary to defend tenants facing unjust evictions and harassment from corporate landlords.

Public Safety

Everyone wants our city streets to be safer and so we must invest in public safety measures that are proven to prevent violence before it occurs.

We cannot allow biases to perpetuate disparate law enforcement practices and the killing of unarmed Black people by police. Our streets need to be safer for everyone, not just those armed with a badge and gun.

Successful programs like MACRO show that we can have a civilian response to human problems that leave us all safer and better supported, when appropriately resourced.

As a social justice-driven faith minister, I spend a lot of my time walking through the streets of Oakland and celebrating the incredible community that exists here.

The people of Oakland know what we need and deserve to build safe, abundant lives. As the City Council reviews Mayor Thao’s budget, all eyes will be on the dollars and cents behind our city.

If we want to ensure that our elected officials are putting our values in action we must join together and raise our voices. Together we can ensure that the line items on a budget spreadsheet are treated as they should be—as sacred extensions of our shared lives in this city we love.

The post A Moral Budget for Oakland first appeared on Post News Group. This article originally appeared in Post News Group.


Sign up to receive the latest news in your inbox

* indicates required

Like BlackPressUSA on Facebook


Advertise on BlackPressUSA

advertise with blackpressusa.com