As we continue into the new month of sheltering in place, many of us are dependent on service workers on the frontline – from delivery people to ride-share drivers – to be able to meet our daily needs. Many of these workers are predominantly people of color who not only carry out necessary essential work but are also the most financially burdened by the current public health crisis. 

Essential workers are literally putting their lives on the line for us during this COVID-19 fight and it’s up to us to show up with them.

It is time for our City Councilmembers to prioritize the health and livelihood of our workers in order to create a safe and healthy environment for ALL. By protecting our workers, we protect the public.

Workers need to be able to take time off with emergency paid sick leave when they or their loved ones are sick, so that we all stay healthy. And when employers have laid them off, they need to know that their jobs are secure and that they’ll be able to come back to work once it’s safe.

Here are three actions you can take to support Oakland workers:

  1. Join the Council meeting and drop an e-comment

    Please join us online this Tuesday, May 5th at 5:30PM to urge Oakland City Council to adopt emergency paid sick days for our workers and a right to return to work ordinance immediately. The Council will also vote to set up the City’s Department of Workplace and Employment Standards (DWES), a new city department charged with upholding workers’ rights laws in Oakland. Click here to submit an e-comment between today and Tuesday (e-comment closes at 5:25pm).

  1. Contact your Councilmember

Sample script: 

Hello, I am _______ (a worker/ advocate/ resident / faith leader / etc.) calling on behalf of _______ (your organization, if applicable). I am in support of the Emergency Paid Sick Days and Right to Recall ordinance. Essential service workers are taking care of all of us; we need to take care of them/the city should take care of us! Workers need access to immediate paid sick days to help flatten the curve and protect themselves and our community. Workers who’ve been laid off need an assurance that when it is safe to return to work, they still have a job.  I’m calling to urge the Council member to vote yes on the emergency paid sick days and right to return ordinance. Thank you.

District 1 – Dan Kalb – 510-238-7001 – @DanKalb – [email protected]

District 2 – Nikki Fortunado Bas – 510-238-7002 – @Nikki4Oakland – [email protected]  

District 3 – Lynette McElhaney – 510-238-7003 – @LynetteGM – [email protected] 

District 4 – Sheng Thao – 510-238-7004 – @ShengForOakland – [email protected] 

District 5 – Noel Gallo – 510- 238- 7005 – @NoelGallo5 – [email protected] 

District 6 – Loren Taylor – 510-238-7006 – @lorenmtaylor – [email protected] 

District 7 – Larry Reid – 510-238-7007  – [email protected] 

At Large – Rebecca Kaplan – 510-238-7008 – @Kaplan4Oakland – [email protected] 


3.) Sign the petition

Click here to add your support for Oakland workers

Thanks to our partners at East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy for all the amazing and hard work they are doing to expand worker protections in Oakland! We also want to thank Councilmember Sheng Thao for sponsoring the legislation and Councilmember Nikki Fortunato Bas for working with labor partners to create the new department.




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Oakland, CA 94612

Oakland Rising and our collaborative partners are united in our vision for a city that embodies health, happiness, safety, and equal opportunities for all. Our goal is to create a model of progress and sustainability that showcases the possibilities for American cities in the 21st century. We are committed to dismantling the barriers of racial, economic, political, environmental, and educational inequities that have divided us, and instead, embracing the collective strength found in our city’s diversity. We firmly believe that Oakland can achieve its full potential when every resident, student, and bus rider has the ability to shape our city’s future. This vision is attainable and we are determined to realize it through our collective actions, whether it’s through voting, meetings, or call to actions.

Every year, we release a Vision, Issues, and Policy Platform (VIPP) which outlines the annual policies that we and our eight partner organizations prioritize in order to advance racial, economic, and environmental justice in the Town. Our collaborative’s agenda encompasses a range of critical initiatives, from expanding affordable housing to creating a more equitable democracy through campaign finance reforms. These priorities are designed to provide vital protections and innovative solutions for the most vulnerable members of our community. As we continue our efforts to promote these policies, we hold conversations with thousands of voters, lead and co-host impactful town hall meetings, educate and mobilize residents and voters, and undertake various other initiatives.

To gain a deeper understanding of our commitment to resist, protect, and advance in this political moment, we invite you to explore our 2023 Vision, Issues, and Policy Platform. Together, we are making strides towards a more equitable and just Oakland, and we remain steadfast in our pursuit of change, one vote, one meeting, one march at a time.

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