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Oakland Moves to Sell Share of Oakland Coliseum

If approved, awarding this vital site for development to an Oakland-based African American development group would help remedy extensive racial disparities in Oakland contracts and economic opportunity, the statement said.

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Oakland is taking the next step to sell its interest in the Oakland Coliseum Complex to the African American Sports and Entertainment Group AASEG.

Vice Mayor Rebecca Kaplan and Councilmember Noel Gallo announced on September 28 that they have submitted a scheduling request for a proposal to proceed with approval non-binding terms of an agreement for the proposed acquisition and development (including, purchase, lease, and partnership) of the City of Oakland’s 50% undivided interest in the Coliseum.

The Coliseum property is a large, publicly owned site that has excellent connectivity throughout the region, including with BART, Amtrak, freeway, and airport access. “By developing it in a way that provides jobs, housing at all income levels, and public revenue, we can achieve significant improvement for the Oakland community, especially in the East Oakland area where it is located,” their statement read.

If approved, awarding this vital site for development to an Oakland-based African American development group would help remedy extensive racial disparities in Oakland contracts and economic opportunity, the statement said.

The request to schedule the item will be heard Thursday, September 30 during the Rules Committee meeting at 10:30 a.m. The item is proposed to come to the full Council in October.

Kaplan has worked towards revitalization of the Coliseum for several years. Two years ago, in an Op-Ed for the Oakland Post, she wrote of the existing concerns about the loss of jobs, lack of affordable housing, and the further erosion of the Black community in East Oakland, and how community-oriented revitalization can help remedy these problems. See Op-Ed at https://www.postnewsgroup.com/opinion-a-vision-for-the-future-of-the-coliseum-area/
AASEG is an Oakland-based group focused on creating economic opportunity for the Black community in East Oakland, as well as the community throughout Oakland and beyond, and using the Coliseum Complex as a vehicle for economic equity and social justice.

AASEG has agreed to 35% affordable housing and to cover the City’s project costs during the negotiation process. The group projects the creation of up to 40,000 jobs, and significant inclusion of local residents. AASEG already cleared a major hurdle when the Oakland City Council adopted Kaplan’s Resolution 88764, on July 20, 2021, which directed the City Administrator to negotiate with AASEG the potential terms of agreement for the City’s interest in the Coliseum Complex.

Furthermore, AASEG has already submitted a proposal to the Oakland-Alameda Coliseum Joint Powers Authority (JPA) to lease the Arena in the Coliseum site for a WNBA team, the terms of which has been approved by the Oakland City Council and the full JPA Board.https://www.kron4.com/news/bay-area/wnba-team-one-step-closer-to-coming-to-oakland/

Currently, the City of Oakland owns a 50% share of the large, easily accessible property known as the Coliseum. The site is a major regional hub, served by BART, Amtrak, airport connector and freeway, and in providing thousands of jobs to Oakland residents.

It also contains many acres that can be used to provide housing for all income levels, jobs, business, sports, entertainment and more, and which has completed both environmental review and the surplus lands act notification process, to allow for proceeding with revitalizing it.

Given much of Oakland’s community, including parts of East Oakland, have been harmed by past decisions that undermined opportunity and increased inequality, the development must be done in a way to improve, and not harm, conditions for long-time, disparately impacted communities, and be planned in close connection with community needs.

AASEG has received wide support from the Oakland community. Over 40 community and labor groups have expressed support for AASEG’s vision and plans for the Coliseum Complex, from the Building and Construction Trades to the Oakland African American Chamber of Commerce. Oaklanders are enthusiastic about AASEG’s plans to inject much needed economic vitality into East Oakland, which would benefit all of Oakland.

Kaplan stated: “I am thrilled that we have the opportunity to bring jobs, housing at all income levels, sports, entertainment and more to this vital Oakland site, in a way that strengthens equity and vibrancy for the community at this transit-accessible location.”

Gallo, who has been actively supporting the effort for improving the area, said: “We see the harm that is caused by blight and abandonment, and our communities in East Oakland and the surrounding area deserve better. I am honored to help move forward this important proposal from AASEG, to help improve and uplift our community.”

Ray Bobbitt, of AASEG stated: “The African American Sports and Entertainment Group has agreed with City Negotiators to increase its offer to $115 million on the City’s 50% undivided interest of the Coliseum Complex. In addition, the AASEG has agreed to other critical negotiation elements, including 35% affordable housing and covering the City’s costs during the negotiation process. The AASEG will submit its revised term sheet (September 28), which leaves open the options of buying the site, leasing the site, or partnering with the City on the site.”

Rules (Scheduling) Committee Meeting Info: September 30, 2021, 10:30 a.m. meeting agenda: Link Zoom Meeting Link : https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87529531780
Link to Scheduling Request for Item: Link

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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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.

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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 https://policypathways.org/event/fall-celebration/. Contributions are tax-deductible. For more information about the event, contact info@policypathways.org 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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Business

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.

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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 https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88527652491 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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Business

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. 

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Howard Terminal on Port of Oakland Map

OPINION

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 – https://www.oaklandca.gov/officials

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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