What we do - Coalition building & Oakland smart city implementation

SmartOakland is the first-of-its-kind, non-profit, Smart City consultancy built by Oaklanders to address the needs of the 145 micro-communities that make up our vibrant city.

We're coming together because urban challenges are too complex for single teams or city government to fix. Two flashpoints inspired us to organize and take action:

December 2016 Oakland sustained two major shocks:

  1. Dec. 2, 2016: The Ghost Ship Fire, located in Fruitvale, killed 36 people and accountable parties were hard to find and it wasn't clear who would be held responsible.  People wanted answers.
  2. Dec. 19, 2016: Reuters News and East Bay Express release new that Fruitvale has lead poisoning 4 xs worse than Flint, Michigan. People wanted answers.

Many tried to locate the responsible agency, council persons, city departments, or individuals who were orchestrating efforts to abate lead and ensure tenant safety to discover there is no such entity in Oakland.

In March 2017 Vision Architecture and SmartOakland founders asked 500+ attendees at Code for America's Oakland City Camp:

Should zip code determine life expectancy?"

A large group of cross-functional people joined our workshop to brainstorm ways to address lead poisoning as a community.

Early contributors like Kilton Hopkins of IOTRACKS in San Francisco, and Linda Drabik of SFIoT & NYIoT Meetups and Marencik Group, kept us thinking we could and should do something to figure out how to end this issue.  We did not realized the depth or complexity of the problem.

Stephanie and Michael's Smart City Meetups continued at Oakland City Hall and SmartOakland was formed as a non-profit corporation in July 2017. 

Vision Architecture Hosts the Get the Lead Out Coalition during National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week to discuss what we need to do, collectively to triangulate on this complex issue and bring lead poisoning to an end in the US, starting with a pilot in Oakland, CA via SmartOakland Wednesday's featured



We've been meeting regularly with Larry Brooks, Director, Alameda County Healthy Homes Dept/Lead Poisoning Prevention Program and Dale Hagen, Housing Services Manager at Alameda County, to listen and learn about their wealth of information about why it takes so long to fix lead poisoning.

They described the long history of groups like PUEBLO, (People United for a Better Life In Oakland), starting a community-lead effort to end lead poisoning in Fruitvale in 1987!  This is where the Alameda Healthy Homes and Lead Poisoning Prevention division comes from.

larry brooks risk map alameda county.png

They shared this aggregate data pulled together by local area health agencies while they collaborate in looking for patterns and new approaches to stop lead poisoning. 

Rather than explain it on their behalf, we've asked Larry, and Dale to join us at our Oakland City Hall Smart City Meetups to share this information with you in person.

"Nov. 18: Passion & Purpose of Diverse Metropolitan Networks" where we hope to feature live data dashboards showing lead poisoning data so we can start getting a grip on the real-time problem so we can figure out what to do, faster.

SmartChicago served as great inspiration and a reference model for us because they combine forces from the Code for America Hacktivist Brigades, the MacArthur Foundation, large funding partners, and a technology and entrepreneurship co-working center, 1871, to address city challenges in Chicago so we've learned from their great work too.

We're looking for pillar partners like these, today, and a co-working space(s) for SmartOakland to begin and continue building success stories with Oakland micro-communities.

This is the collaborative architecture we use to amplify and connect six core contributors of value with constituent services, which is what we call our Resilient Solution Framework. It runs on data sharing, diversity, inclusion, and systems thinking and is the operational DNA of our design process.

We look to the private sector, corporate sponsors, and crowdfunding for primary financial support and will apply for traditional grant funding too.  To date, the last five months have been 100% pro-bono work and immediate funding is required to move forward with our flagship lead abatement program. Help us get going today by donating to our Fruitvale Micropilot.

end Oakland lead poisoning by visualizing invisible lead location data so we can find it & get it out

Join our Do It Yourself, "If it's RED it's LEAD!" crowd-source campaign to quickly locate where people are who think they may be living in lead-poisoned housing units.  Once you do your test, send us your results and we'll post them on a map of Oakland to raise public awareness of the current lead poisoning threat in Oakland, as identified by constituents and individuals who can still avoid being poisoned.

If your test is RED, which means lead is present, we may ask to send a Certified Lead Inspector to your home to capture data using a XRF scanner to provide defensible data dashboards described in our micropilot below.  These dashboards are private and secure for you and your family to manage interactions with agencies, funding, and legal representation to help you manage your family's risk of being lead poisoned in your homes. 

Blair Matsuura, of SmartOakland, provides a fantastic explainer video so you can learn how to buy a 3M Home Lead Test and Do It Yourself (DIY) to see if the walls in or outside your home contain lead poisoning.

Two-phase approach to tackle finding people in lead units

1) self-identify and tell us where you are so we can come to you - here's how you do that:

2) once you've made contact with us here on SmartOakland.org it's faster for us to come scan more peoples' homes for them at reduced or no-fee services

Here's a little video (no sound) that explains what we're raising money to build, for Tenants through SmartOakland, and how the process works.  There are additional data dashboards and case management tools available for Service Providers, Landlords, Oversight Committees, and Case Workers via MetropolitanIntelligence.com:

find it & get it out

Ending lead poisoning is pretty straight forward, except one major issue: Lead is invisible.

If you don't already know the story, we put the explainer video together, so you can get up to speed and help out.

1) first we have to find it
2) make people safe and get kids tested for lead poisoning
3) then we can get rid of it

Because lead is invisible we're using XRAY VISION to find it in people's homes, drop a GIS location pin in it on a map the public can see, and visualize it so it is no longer hidden from view and able to be ignored. Once we can see the lead we can understand what we need to do to get it out.

It's time to stop poisoning oaklanders

Here's how lead gets into kids, adults, and our society today:

Contribute to micropilot.smartoakland.org now to help us end this poison pipeline using people & tech!

Our Get the Lead Out live lead location data assessment dashboard pilot will cost $86,000 for the total engagement of phase 1 for 100 homes and families.

smartoakland news

history of smartoakland

SmartOakland began January 22, 2016 when Michael Ford kicked off the City of Oakland's response to the Federal DOT call for Smart City Challenge and Stephanie Hayden joined the network of crowd-sourced talent to dream up a Smart City proposal for Oakland. The group enjoyed working together so much Stephanie started Smart CityMeetups and they continued meeting once a month Oakland City Hall to keep conversations going toward future projects.