Welcome! How much of our money should go to each city department every year? Click a department name to see a description of its function.

Note: This survey reflects the budget’s general funds. A true People’s Budget, as proposed by the Community Democracy Project, would include community control of the entire budget. Read more at Behind the People’s Budget Survey.

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DepartmentCurrent AllocationMy Allocation
The Police Department is responsible for enforcing the law, maintaining public order, and investigating crimes.
The Fire Department provides firefighting and emergency rescue/medical services.
• Debt Service is the payment of interest and principle due on long-term loans Oakland has taken
• The Information & Technology (IT) Department manages the use of computers to store, retrieve, transmit, and manipulate information (such as providing citywide WiFi)
• The Finance Department recommends and implements financial policies and recommendations
• The Planning & Building oversees the regulations for all of Oakland’s development and neighborhood projects
• Non-Departmental are funds set aside for other miscellaneous reasons
City Administration5.33%
These funds operate the offices of:
• City Administrator (oversees the day-to-day work of all City departments)
• City Attorney (the lawyer for the City of Oakland)
• City Auditor (responsible for keeping Oakland's government transparent and accountable)
• City Clerk (facilitates City Council meetings and projects and communicates with the public)
• City Council (legislates city laws)
• Mayor
Parks, Recreation, & Youth2.03%
The Parks, Recreation, & Youth Department provides public parks, community programs, and neighborhood- strengthening services with a focus on young Oaklanders.
Human Services2.01%
The Human Services Department creates and manages programs for all ages such as family literacy, free meals, emergency housing, senior employment, volunteer programs, paratransit, and case management.
The Oakland Department of Transportation plans, builds, and maintains the city's transportation system including streets, bike lanes, and bridges. It is primarily funded by the Capital Improvement Program which is separate from the general fund.
Oakland Libraries allow people to:
• Borrow books and other materials (such as tools)
• Use technology, such as computers and printers
• Access literacy classes, public meeting spaces, and other services
Economic & Workforce Development1.06%
The Department of Economic & Workforce Development works on attracting people and businesses to create new jobs in Oakland.
Violence Prevention0.37%
The Violence Prevention Department was founded in 2020 to proactively reduce homicides, gun violence, domestic violence, and sex trafficking.
Housing & Community Development0.24%
The Department of Housing & Community Development is responsible for developing and improving access to safe and affordable housing. It is primarily funded by state and federal grants separate from the city's general fund.
Race & Equity0.13%
The Race & Equity department teaches people about systemic racial disparities and helps other city departments address and eliminate systems that reproduce those disparaties.
Public Works0.12%
Oakland Public Works builds and maintains all city facilities including public buildings and parks. It is primarily funded by the Capital Improvement Program which is separate from the general fund.
Shuumi Land Tax0.00%
The Shuumi Land Tax is a voluntary annual contribution that non-Indigenous people living on the Confederated Villages of Lisjan’s territory can make to support the critical work of the Sogorea Te' Land Trust. The Shuumi Land Tax directly supports Sogorea Te's work of rematriation, returning Indigenous land to Indigenous people, establishing a cemetery to reinter stolen Ohlone ancestral remains and building urban gardens, community centers, and ceremonial spaces so current and future generations of Indigenous people can thrive in the Bay Area. Shuumi means gift in the Ohlone language Chochenyo.

Context: 2021 Oakland Budget

Source Data: City of Oakland’s Open Data Platform.

Oakland 2021 general fund bar chart Oakland 2021 total budget bar chart

About the Survey

This survey is hosted by Cooperative 4 the Community, an Oakland-based group committed to community empowerment. We understand budgets as moral documents that should reflect the values and priorities of those impacted by the funding decisions. The format is based on the Community Democracy Project’s budget assembly workshop.


All responses are anonymous. After you submit the survey you can see the “People’s Budget” which is the average budget from all participants. Only you can see your own individual results.


You can see the People’s Budget results here. We invite all members of the Oakland community to take the survey and share it with their friends.