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Communities Turn Out for E12th Coalition’s Affordable Housing Proposal



The fight to build affordable housing on a parcel of public land by Lake Merritt has once again turned into a tug-of-war between the East 12th St. neighborhood coalition with various community organizations’ support and market-rate developer UrbanCore backed by some of Oakland’s city staff.



On Monday, City Council held an emotional public hearing on the three development proposals for the E. 12th St. parcel, which were submitted by Bridge AVI Avant, Satellite Affordable Housing Associates (SAHA) with the E12th Coalition, and UrbanCore with East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation (EBALDC).



While each of the proposals includes affordable housing, SAHA and the E12th Coalition’s plan is the only one designed for 100 percent affordable housing on the site, arguing that city-owned land should be delegated to housing those facing displacement during Oakland’s housing crisis.



Organizations that showed up in support of the E12th Coalition’s proposal included SEIU Local 1021, Asians 4 Black Lives, Oakland Education Association, Causa Justa, Oakland Rising, Urban Habitat, Critical Resistance and Public Advocates.



However, a city staff report released before the public hearing on Monday recommended UrbanCore’s proposal to build 360 units on the site – 252 market-rate units in a tower overlooking Lake Merritt and a separate mid-rise building of 108 affordable units facing the neighborhood.



On Thursday, UrbanCore, EBALDC and city staff submitted a resolution to authorize the city to enter into an exclusive agreement with the market-rate developer to go ahead with their proposal.



The resolution will be voted on during the March 15 City Council meeting.



UrbanCore’s proposal is quite different from their previous proposal to build a luxury apartment tower that had no affordable housing at the site—a violation of California’s Surplus Lands Act.



A leaked legal memo to the City Council by the City Attorney revealed to the public that councilmembers were aware of the illegality of UrbanCore’s proposal but were set to make the agreement anyway.



Back then, supporters of the E12th Coalition took over the City Council meeting to prevent the agreement from being passed. After months of compiling input from hundreds of community members living in the area, the E12th Coalition submitted a proposal for 133 affordable housing units and found an affordable housing developer – SAHA – to make the goal a reality.



On Monday, over 140 speakers signed up to speak on the item, almost all of them in favor of E12th Coalition’s “People’s Proposal.” Young spoken-word artists from 67 Sueños recited poems about their painful experiences of displacement.



James Vann, co-founder of the Oakland Tenants’ Union, told council members they needed to pass a public lands policy to address the use of city-owned land in a way that stops displacement and to prevent the battle for affordable housing from recurring on a case-by-case basis.



While housing advocates are in agreement that market-rate housing needs to be built alongside affordable housing to alleviate Oakland’s housing strain, speakers argued that doing so on city-owned land would be detrimental to residents facing displacement.



“Oakland is in a serious housing crisis due to the evictions of working-class people living here. There is no market-rate housing crisis,” said Vann. “There is probably between 15,000 and 20,000 market-rate units coming through the pipeline in the next five years.”



“We need to use the small amount of public land that we have to house the people who live here,” said Vann.



Krishna Desai of the E12th Coalition said, “The market will take care of market-rate housing. 73 percent of projects currently in the pipeline are for market-rate housing.”



“They’ve got it handled, they don’t need Oakland’s help,” said Desai. “The poor and working class need your help. Luxury housing will displace these folks in the last affordable neighborhood in Oakland.”



Several educators spoke at the meeting, reminding council members that the lives of Oakland families, students and teachers are at stake with this decision.



“We need our students to be able to live here,” said a member of the Oakland Education Association. “Black families are having to move out of Oakland, but they are Oakland. We need them here.”



“I am so glad that this is an election year,” said Mike Hutchinson, a school activist in Oakland. “Five of these eight seats are up for re-election, and if this process of choosing developers over communities doesn’t stop now, we will remember come November.”


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City Government

Policy Pathways Honors Former Mayor Elihu Harris and Six Youth Leaders

The recipients of the 2021 Youth Public Service Award are students from Virginia high schools.



Policy Pathways Logo courtesy of Organization's Facebook

Policy Pathways has announced former Oakland Mayor Elihu Harris as its 2021 Policy Leadership Award recipient, along with six youth who will receive 2021 Youth Public Service Awards.

The award winners will be recognized Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021, at the Policy Pathways Third Annual Fall Celebration from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. The event will take place online and is open to the public.

Elihu Harris

Kayla Patrick

The keynote speaker will be Kayla Patrick, senior data  and policy analyst at the Education Trust. She has conducted several major reports on policy and data analysis on the education of girls, particularly those of color. She has been featured in The New York Times, MSNBC, and 2020 presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s education platform.

She will be receiving the Excellence in Public Policy and Administration Award.

Elihu Harris’s career in public service has spanned five decades. He is a former California assemblyman, executive director of the National Bar Association, mayor of Oakland, and chancellor of Peralta Community College District. Today, he is a private attorney and owner of the Harris Funeral Home in Berkeley.

Dr. Lenneal Henderson, visiting instructor at the College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA, and board member and fellow of numerous humanitarian and cultural institutions, will introduce Harris.

The recipients of the 2021 Youth Public Service Award are students from Virginia high schools.

University students being honored include Virginia students who have proven themselves to be leaders in public service in academics, community involvement and vision of the future.

“During our Third Annual Fall Celebration, we celebrate the accomplishments of policy leaders and public servants who have inspired us through their work, courage, dedication, and sheer will to overcome the barriers they faced that could have easily derailed their dreams,” said Policy Pathways President and CEO, Dr. D. Pulane Lucas.

The Fall Celebration supports the operations and programs of Policy Pathways. To purchase tickets and sponsorships, go to Contributions are tax-deductible. For more information about the event, contact or call (866)-465-6671.

Policy Pathways, Inc. is a nonprofit organization based in Richmond, Va., providing education, training, and leadership development to high school students, recent high school graduates, and community college and undergraduates students who desire to become leaders in the fields of public policy, public administration, and public service.

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City Must Pay Contractors, Businesses, Non-Profits Promptly

By restoring the Prompt Payment Ordinance, local organizations working for Oaklanders will be compensated in a timely manner and can do more work for Oakland as a result.



Sheng Thao

I have introduced legislation to restore the City of Oakland’s Prompt Payment Ordinance and it will be heard at 1:30 p.m. by the City Council on October 19 because local contractors and local businesses need to be compensated in a timely manner for work they do on behalf of the City.

It’s unacceptable that the city is using the COVID-19 pandemic to delay payment to these local non-profit organizations.  By restoring the Prompt Payment Ordinance, local organizations working for Oaklanders will be compensated in a timely manner and can do more work for Oakland as a result.

In March 2020, at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, then-Interim City Administrator, Steven Falk issued an Emergency Order suspending parts of the City’s codes to give the City the flexibility to navigate the uncertain times.  Few would have guessed then that the world would still be navigating the COVID-19 Pandemic nearly 18 months later. One of the ordinances suspended by the Emergency Order was the Prompt Payment Ordinance.

Oakland’s Prompt Payment Ordinance requires the City to compensate local businesses and contractors executing City grants or contracts within 20 days of receiving an invoice.  This allows local organizations providing services on behalf of the City of Oakland to be compensated in a timely manner and builds trust between these organizations and the city.  Local contractors and businesses provide a diverse set of services to the City, covering areas ranging from trash removal and paving to public safety.

Almost 18 months since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Oakland’s Prompt Payment Ordinance is still suspended.  Even as City staff have adjusted to working remotely and the City has adjusted to operating during the pandemic, there is no requirement that the City compensate its contractors or local businesses in a timely manner.

Oaklanders can comment at the meeting by joining the Zoom meeting via this link or calling 1-669-900-6833 and using the Meeting ID 885 2765 2491 and raising their hand during the public comment period at the beginning of the Council meeting.


The Oakland Post’s coverage of local news in Alameda County is supported by the Ethnic Media Sustainability Initiative, a program created by California Black Media and Ethnic Media Services to support community newspapers across California.

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A’s Owner John Fisher Port Proposal No Good for Oakland

Billionaire John Fisher, owner of the A’s, has things to do before he can take over Oakland’s public port property to build malls and housing for the rich. 



Howard Terminal on Port of Oakland Map


Billionaire John Fisher, owner of the A’s, has things to do before he can take over Oakland’s public port property to build malls and housing for the rich. 

It is such a bad idea and the costs to the public are so ridiculous that logically it shouldn’t happen.  But this right-wing, Trump-supporting Republican has a boatload of money and a few corporation-oriented politicians to help him push it through.  

So, Oaklanders need to be active, or he might get it. Here are two of the things we need to act on: 

  1. Fisher won’t spend his own money.  So, he wants Alameda County to give up spending on things like the COVID-19 pandemic, so we residents can pay for his project with taxpayer money.  The vote on this will come up to the Board of Supervisors on October 26.  If you’d prefer that the County fund health care, housing and other resident necessities, ask them to vote “No.” Call your supervisor at 510-208-4949 and/or attend the meeting.
  2. The Oakland City Council will make the ultimate decision about Fisher’s project and there are a zillion reasons they should say “No.”  Among them: a) Fisher’s project requires that thousands of people run across the tracks of a busy railroad, which killed a number of people even before there were big crowds needing to get to their condos or a stadium.   b) And  Fisher’s project would wreck Oakland’s Port.  The “Seaport Compatibility Measures” necessary to keep the Port alive would cost hundreds of millions of dollars which would not be needed if it were not for Fisher’s project.  So, Fisher, not taxpayers, should pay for them. c)  And then there are all the other ways it will hurt the waterfront, the environment, and Port workers.

You can get contact information to reach your Council member here –

Personally, any public official who votes for Fisher’s project will never get my vote again.   Call me hard-headed, but the harm to  Oakland as a working-class, multi-racial city, the harm to the ILWU (the union of Port workers, perhaps the most progressive union in America)  and the opposition of the people of East Oakland are enough to make my hard head think that’s what solidarity requires.

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