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Mills Public Policy Students Help Enhance Oakland Business Development

Oakland, CA–December 10, 2013 Merchants from Oakland's Eastlake District recently benefited from the combined brain power of Mills Master of Public Policy (MPP) students. As part of their Local Policymaking, Planning, and Management course, student teams surveyed 70 parcels between Fourth and Eighth Avenues along International Boulevard and East 12th Street. The students tracked vacancies, litter, graffiti, and illegal dumping in an effort to identify solutions that would help enhance business development in the area.

Students made a number of recommendations aimed at increasing vitality in their community. Ideas included developing community involvement projects, appointing a “public works liaison,” partnering with the nearby Eastside Arts Alliance, and eventually forming their own community benefit district (CBD), similar to one recently developed by Oakland’s uptown neighborhood.

The Mills MPP Program allows students to put their education to work as pro-bono policy consultants for real-world clients and communities throughout the Bay Area. To learn more about the program, visit


Last Updated: 12/10/13