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Top Oakland Business Leaders Collaborate on $10 Million Plan to Add Safety Measures in Downtown Oakland

Blue Shield of California, Clorox, Kaiser Permanente and PG&E to support increased security and other programs to make Oakland safer and protect employees

Mark Seelig

Blue Shield of California


Noel Hartzell

The Clorox Company

Kerri Leedy

Kaiser Permanente


John Kaufman



OAKLAND, Calif. (March 28, 2024) – The CEOs of four of the largest employers in Oakland have announced plans to collaborate on a $10 million security enhancement program to improve public safety while protecting their collective employees.  

This new security enhancement program, announced jointly by Blue Shield of California, The Clorox Company, Kaiser Permanente, and Pacific Gas and Electric Company, is designed to complement and augment the recent efforts of Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao, the Oakland Police Department, California Governor Gavin Newsom and California Attorney General Rob Bonta to address crime, especially in the downtown area. Data on Oakland’s government resource page show crime remains a serious issue. Oakland is focused on addressing public safety and reducing crime rates, and these new initiatives are expected to further support overall crime reduction downtown.

Following input and support from Mayor Thao and now with the city’s new police chief, Floyd Mitchell, in place, the new security measures are rolling out starting this month – and in the coming weeks – and will include:

  • The creation of an Uptown/Downtown Safe Zone in partnership with the Oakland Police Department that will improve visible and responsive security in downtown areas to provide greater confidence in support of residents, visitors, employees and the local business community.
  • Funding for the Oakland Uptown Downtown Community Benefit District’s Ambassador program for on-demand buddy escorts to and from local destinations, including offices, restaurants, or points of interest.
  • Employee safety training and subsidized transportation for employees to and from work and transit hubs, nearby parking lots and local businesses.

Program elements will be in place through 2024 at a cost of approximately $10 million, most of which will be shared among the four organizations. The four companies have also agreed to support Oakland’s Measure Z, the Public Safety and Services Violence Prevention Act established in 2014. 

“We chose Oakland as our headquarters and are proud to be a part of this community,” said Paul Markovich, president, and chief executive officer of Blue Shield of California. “It’s important that we do what’s needed to not only protect our people who live and work here but support our community as we work together to revitalize this great city.”

“Oakland has been our global headquarters for more than 110 years and we are committed to making the city better and safer for everyone.” said Linda Rendle, chair and chief executive officer of The Clorox Company. “We’re energized by our collaboration with Blue Shield of California, Kaiser Permanente, PG&E and the City of Oakland to help make it safer for our collective workforce and the entire community.”

“For nearly 80 years, Oakland has been Kaiser Permanente’s home. We provide health care to the Oakland community and are deeply invested in the city’s health and prosperity,” said Greg Adams, chair and chief executive officer, Kaiser Permanente. “We believe these actions are a necessary step to help improve the current downtown situation for all who work in Oakland and call Oakland home, including our employees and physicians.”

“The partners involved in this effort saw a need to take quick, meaningful action on behalf of our coworkers and neighbors in Oakland,” said Patti Poppe, chief executive officer, PG&E Corporation. “In the months ahead, we’ll learn what works and what more may be needed to support our goal of creating a safer, more prosperous hometown for all.”

All four companies have a history of making meaningful contributions to the city of Oakland, including dozens of active partnerships with local non-profit organizations, thousands of ongoing employee volunteer hours, tens of millions of dollars donated to charitable causes and many contracts with local small and diverse businesses.

“I’m so grateful for the deep collaboration with our four largest employers during this time of change and opportunity in Oakland and see this as an example of a strong public-private partnership,” said Oakland Mayor Thao. “I applaud their engagement as true civic leaders to improve conditions for everyone in the Uptown/Downtown community. Collectively we share a deep love and commitment to this beautiful city and linked arm in arm with the Governor and our top CEOs, I know we will be successful in quickly bringing safety, growth and vibrancy back to our streets.”

About Blue Shield of California

Blue Shield of California strives to create a healthcare system worthy of its family and friends that is sustainably affordable. Blue Shield of California is a tax paying, nonprofit, independent member of the Blue Shield Association with more than 4.8 million members, over 7,500 employees and more than $24 billion in annual revenue. Founded in 1939 in San Francisco and now headquartered in Oakland, Blue Shield of California and its affiliates provide health, dental, vision, Medicaid and Medicare healthcare service plans in California. The company has contributed more than $97 million to Blue Shield of California Foundation in the last three years to have an impact on California communities.

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About The Clorox Company

The Clorox Company (NYSE: CLX) champions people to be well and thrive every single day. Its trusted brands, which include Brita®, Burt’s Bees®, Clorox®, Fresh Step®, Glad®, Hidden Valley®, Kingsford®, Liquid-Plumr®, Pine-Sol® and Natural Vitality®, can be found in about nine of 10 U.S. homes and internationally with brands such as Clorinda®, Chux® and Poett®. Headquartered in Oakland, California, since 1913, Clorox was one of the first in the U.S. to integrate ESG into its business reporting. In 2024 the company was ranked No. 1 on Barron’s 100 Most Sustainable Companies list for the second year in a row. Visit to learn more.

About Kaiser Permanente

Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, Kaiser Permanente has a mission to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve 12.5 million members in 8 states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal Permanente Medical Group physicians, specialists, and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery, and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education, and the support of community health.

About PG&E

Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric utilities in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with more than 24,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation’s cleanest energy to nearly 16 million people in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit .



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