The Department of Economic and Personnel Development (EWDD) builds on the foundation that has been established through the work of Oakland Economic Recovery Advisory Council (OERAC) and the COVID-19 Racial Differences Task Force, two large and diverse advisory groups that helped the City of Oakland respond immediately to the pandemic. OERAC and the COVID-19 Racial Disparities Task Force produced numerous key policy recommendations that influenced ongoing action in Oakland, including health and safety measures, the Oakland Resilient Families Guaranteed Income pilot, and the flexible use of public space by the Flex Streets Initiative. Many members continue to help shape the recreation of Oakland. These recommendations also guided how the city and the EWDD received the funds from the Aid, Assistance and Economic Security Act (CARES) related to the coronavirus.
An equitable recovery leads with those who experienced and survived the worst effects of the pandemic. In addition to the Oakland Economic Recovery Advisory Council, 10 business services organizations including Oakland Chambers of Commerce and Visit Oakland, 48 small businesses (72% black owned and 64% women owned), and three nonprofits across the city (East, Downtown, and West Oakland ) contributed their ideas to recreation.