Mayor Schaaf: From Guest Speaker to Birthday Guest

Eden’s success rests squarely on being a good neighbor and engaging in collaborations and partnerships within the local communities where we provide affordable housing. Each year, National Night Out (NNO), celebrated on the first Tuesday in August, provides an opportunity for Eden Housing residents and staff to reach out and build relationships with local elected officials, police, funders, local jurisdictions, and community groups. Community engagement does not end with NNO; it is just the beginning. 
This year, staff at the historic Altenheim in Oakland organized a phenomenal NNO celebration for residents. In attendance were a few special guests: volunteers from Starbucks, representatives from Oakland’s City Council, as well as representatives from Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf’s office. Residents were able to voice any concerns with City staff, and they had the opportunity to learn about some new, exciting Oakland initiatives, all while building relationships with volunteers and sipping on chilled Starbucks beverages. Mayor Schaaf’s staffers enjoyed meeting and forming relationships with residents so much that they requested to return and host a Town Hall at the property in early November. This public Town Hall for Oakland residents further exemplified Eden’s commitment and ability to provide a welcoming and inclusive space for everyone in the neighboring communities to gather and connect.
As Mayor Schaaf and her staff entered the Altenheim Community Room, more than 50 residents and staff began approaching them with excitement and appreciation. They were eager to hear responses to each of their questions. Residents’ concerns ranged in topic from the proposed Oakland ballpark, to the ongoing rising costs of living, to the potholes that plague some roads. The Mayor responded candidly and attentively. She shares these concerns and articulated her plans to remedy them. For many residents, the highlight of the event was learning about OAK 311, a mobile application and call line resource that the Mayor’s office rolled out to empower Oakland residents to submit and request routine maintenance and urgent infrastructure issues. 
It was clear that the bond created during NNO will only continue to strengthen and expand. Moving forward, Mayor Schaaf and her staff are excited to celebrate milestone birthdays (i.e. 90th, 95th, 100th, etc.) with Altenheim residents and have even offered to provide proclamations from the City. 
Many thanks to the Altenheim staff and residents for opening the doors to the Mayor and her team and for your commitment to bettering the local community. 

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