Oakland


Urban Strategies Council

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Contacts:
Steve Spiker, Director of Research, Information & Technology
Junious Williams, Chief Executive Officer

Urban Strategies Council, a social impact organization focusing on research, policy, collaboration and innovation, is located in Oakland, California and works locally and regionally to provide research, data and policy analysis, strategic planning, program development, capacity building and advocacy in service of low-income communities of color.

As a community building intermediary, the Council serves as a facilitator of comprehensive initiatives, convening residents, stakeholders, policy makers, public agency managers, and service providers to devise and implement comprehensive solutions to a wide range of problems facing low-income children and families. The Council works with stakeholders in low-income communities, community-based organizations, and major public systems to expand services for children and families, improve health, educational and other outcomes, and increase employment and economic opportunities.

The Council provides technical assistance, research support, training, and networking for community building initiatives. These services have increased community capacities to conduct outreach and organizing; improve and expand programs and services through the use of data and advocacy; and engage in planning and implementing community improvement. Our methods of support are grounded in a commitment to intensive, responsive, peer-based technical assistance, respectful of the local variation that uniquely defines each neighborhood and situation. We build relationships of trust which can sustain a focus on community building over the long-term.

Information and Technology

The Urban Strategies research team has extensive experience in the design and implementation of web based GIS systems and the Council has been a leader in the use of spatial technologies in their application to local issues and decision making. The Council operates two web mapping systems (InfoOakland and InfoAlamedaCounty) that provide local level data to help guide decision making and policy and empower local communities with access to reliable data and maps to support their agendas and goals. The Council provides extensive training on the use of these systems that are tailored towards the needs of grassroots organizations and community based collaborations. These trainings range from overviews of GIS and mapping social data to full day intensive sessions guiding residents in the presentation of data to local officials and the aplpication of data and maps to their unique situations.

The Council plays a supporting role to many local organizations through the provision of data and maps and also in the implementation of technology solutions to better manage their operations and to ensure they collect quality data on their operations to support future funding applications and to aid in the evaluation of their services.

Current projects include a detailed Health Gap Survey of formerly incarcerated persons to examine the adequacy of post-release health care services. This survey will inform local service providers and policy makers about the access to required health services in our community. The Council is also supporting a new coalition of service providers and government insitutions looking to provide a network of financial education and counseling services to low-income families through the creation of a website with an interactive partner database that allows counselors and individuals to see which agencies offer services relevant to their clients. The Council produces detailed mapping and reporting of violent crimes in our cities, education outcomes and disparities, housing issues and economic development monitoring.

John Garvey
Research Associate
Steve King
Housing & Economic Development Coordinator
Steve Spiker
Director of Research, Information & Technology
Junious Williams
Chief Executive Officer

Activities

August 2014
Last week we were awarded an implementation grant from the Aspen Forum for Community Solutions for our Oakland-Alameda County... [read more]
May 31, 2014
Oakland Answers 2014, held in coordination with the National Day of Civic Hacking, was a combined writeathon and civic hackathon.  The event invited writers to contribute information to the... [read more]
October 12, 2013
PlanningCamp is an unconference in Oakland sponsored by the Urban Strategies Council and... [read more]

Publications

October 2, 2014
Blog post - By: Steve Spiker

2014
Website - By: Urban Strategies Council

Link
August 2014
Presentation - By: John Garvey

August 7, 2014
Video - By: Kathy Pettit, John Garvey, Seok-Joo Kim, Jessie Partridge, Diane Gavarkavich, Maia Woluchem

August 2014
Report - By: Rebecca Brown, Joe Jackson, Sarah Marxer, Steve Spiker

Report

Partner Webinars

August 7, 2014 - 1:00pm - 2:00pm

Organizations: Urban Strategies Council, Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development, Metropolitan Area Planning Council, UNC Charlotte Urban Institute
Our virtual idea showcase webinars are intented to offer a way for partners to share potential projects, early work, or recent projects with each other in between in-person... [read more]

Presenters: Kathy Pettit, Urban Institute, John Garvey, Urban Strategies Council, Seok-Joo Kim, Case Western University, Jessie Partridge, Metropolitan Area Planning Council, Diane Gavarkavich, University of North Carolina-Charlotte, Maia Woluchem, Urban Institute
May 30, 2012 - 10:00am - 11:00am

Organization: Urban Strategies Council
On May 30th at 10am Pacific, Urban Strategies Council and the Oakland Unified School... [read more]

Presenters: Junious Wiliams, Steve Spiker, Tony Smith, OUSD Superintendent, Chris Chatmon, ED for African American Male Achievement at OUSD