Blogging Bayport Alameda

February 2, 2017

Directory assistance

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:43 am

Here’s an interesting, but perhaps not that effective Council Referral from Trish Spencer and Malia Vella.  The initial subject matter is good, but it feels a bit hollow if the goal is to do something with minimal or nominal expenditures, from the Council Referral:

Consider Outreach Efforts to Provide Immigrant and Refugee Support Services and Programs with Nominal or Minimal Expenditures.

The goal is laudable: providing outreach to provide immigrant and refugees in Alameda with supportive services and programs, but how do you do it effectively — in this environment — if you set out to not really spend any money?

From the Council Referral:

 While the Mayor was at the recent U.S. Mayors Conference, Seattle’s Mayor shared that they are implementing programs to support and assist immigrant and refugee families. Vice Mayor Malia Vella was also recently in Seattle and had the opportunity to learn of their work.

We would like our Council to consider what efforts the City of Alameda can take reaching out to our City’s Social Service Human Relations Board (SSHRB), local schools, including but not limited to Alameda Unified School District and the College of Alameda, non-profits, service providers, faith based providers, counselors, social workers, and attorneys to provide services to assist our immigrant and refugee residents and students, without spending any City monies, or with only nominal or minimal expenditures.

I mean, if the desire is to spend no money or limited money what we’re really just talking about here is creating a directory of services that other people and organizations are providing.  I’m not quite sure that compiling a directory is necessarily “outreach” or could be construed as the City providing services itself.  It’s not nothing, but it definitely feels a bit anemic compared to the strong action taken regarding the Sanctuary City resolution.



  1. You are right. This is pablum from the newbies on the Council to take credit for resources that have already been in place (See Eden I&R’s directory, aka 211). Those that didn’t research history are bound to repeat it.

    Comment by Alan — February 2, 2017 @ 8:41 am

  2. Hillary Clinton: If you had to do all over again, what would you have done differently?

    Comment by MP — February 2, 2017 @ 10:37 am

  3. I am not sure the population they need to reach necessarily would know about directories, or trust them. This effort would need boots on the ground efforts of networking with the targeted population and SSHRB may have access to social workers and volunteers. Other service organizations may have some volunteers as well.

    Comment by Nancy Hird — February 5, 2017 @ 7:40 pm

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