Downtown Oakland and Lake Merritt/Uptown District Associations Report Renewed Growth in 2012, Positive Outlook for 2013

Oakland, CA, – The 4th Annual Breakfast Meeting of The Downtown Oakland & The Lake Merritt/Uptown District Associations, two Oakland Community Benefit Districts (CBDs), was held on June 13 and highlighted the successful community partnerships that have resulted in significant district improvements.

With over 250 people in attendance, the group celebrated the vital work of the district sponsored Safety and Maintenance Ambassadors, district management staff, City employees, as well as the community members that have worked to help make Oakland a vibrant and flourishing city.  Steve Snider, District Manager for both CBDs, announced that over 66 new, ground floor businesses will have opened their doors in the districts between June 2012 and December 2013, resulting in the addition of 117 new businesses to the thriving districts in the past 5 years!

Beautification highlights within the districts include the recently installed back of BART planters, hanging plant baskets, Big Belly Solar Waste and Recycling Stations, Median Landscaping, Street Level Planters and the co-sponsored parklet at Farley’s East.  Interesting facts regarding the Ambassador program in 2012 were shared with breakfast attendees, including the following:  District Ambassadors made over 21,889 business contacts, assisted 24,299 pedestrians, collected 9,272 bags of trash and abated 2,677 instances of graffiti.

“Without a doubt, our partnership with the community benefit districts is resulting in a positive, collective impact for the Downtown and Uptown neighborhoods,” said Deanna Santana, City Administrator for the City of Oakland

The meeting culminated with the presentation of numerous awards that acknowledged the hard work and dedication of members of the Ambassador team, city employees and other notable individuals whose efforts have contributed to the success of the districts. Please see below for a complete list of award recipients.

In addition to the award ceremony, the Kaiser Center Foyer was transformed into a “mini-district” with informational booths representing various businesses and organizations in the area while displaying examples of district beautification projects contributing to the ongoing vibrancy of the Downtown and Uptown areas.  Some of those key projects and businesses include Girls Inc. (moving to the Districts in July), Tea Here Now, Uptown Kitchen, The Sound Room, Hub Oakland and more.

For the Downtown Oakland Association:
Spirit of the District Award: Robert Maccario of Rotunda Dental for their role in the ‘Ambassador Card’ program
Ambassador of the Year (Maintenance Ambassador Program): Davin Barnett
Ambassador of the Year (Safety Ambassador Program): Mario Bonds
For the Lake Merritt/Uptown Association:
Spirit of the District Award: Bobbie Bond & Paul Tutwiler of the Senior Citizen Task Force
Ambassador of the Year (Maintenance Ambassador Program): Florentino Pelayo
Ambassador of the Year (Safety Ambassador Program): Randy Lee

Joint District Awardees Include:
Oakland Police Department Officer of the Year: Lieutenant Nishant Foshi & Officer Steven R. Bang
Ambassador of the Year: Juan Aragon
City of Oakland Employee of the Year: Vitaly Troyan
The Elizabeth Clark Volunteer of the Year: Leland Thompson

About The Downtown Oakland and Lake Merritt/Uptown District Associations
The Downtown Oakland and Lake Merritt/Uptown District Associations were formed in February 2009. Property owners in bothDowntown Oakland and the Lake Merritt/Uptown Districts voted by a margin ofalmost 8 to 1 to support a voluntary property tax to fund services that would improve the quality of life in their respective communities. The associations meet and function jointly. Services funded by these Districts include maintaining cleanliness and order in the public rights of way, improving district identity and advocating on behalf of the area’s property owners, business owners and residents.

The Downtown Oakland and Lake Merritt/Uptown District Associations were recently named ‘Downtown of the Month’ by the International Downtown Association (IDA).

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