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Town Hall Says Don’t Let Fisher’s Stadium Project Choke the Port of Oakland

Post publisher Paul Cobb said the newspaper has been discussing the different sides of this issue and hopes to help clear up the confusing messages the public is receiving about whether this project will help or damage the prospects of good jobs for Oaklanders.

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Howard Terminal Courtesy Port of Oakland website

A town hall meeting this week examined the negative consequences of placing John Fisher’s privatized, multibillion dollar real estate development on publicly owned land at the Port of Oakland, the region’s thriving and growing economic engine.

More than 100 people attended the town hall on Wednesday, which was live on Zoom and Facebook.  Councilmembers Carroll Fife and Noel Gallo were among those who attended.

Speakers included voices of those who are directly impacted by the project: members of the longshore union, the ILWU, who said the project was a dangerous threat to the livelihood of port workers, over 70% of whom are Black; representatives of the Pacific Merchants Shipping Association and several of the largest businesses based at the port; and Paul Cobb, publisher of the Oakland Post.

ILWU Local 10 President Trent Willis, with other union members, speaks on June 19, 2020 about shutting down West Coast ports for Juneteenth. Photo by Workers World, Judy Greenspan.

Though called a baseball stadium project, the massive, luxury real estate development is what backers have called a “city within a city.” Besides a stadium, the plan calls for 3,000 luxury condominiums, with no guaranteed affordable housing; 1.5 million square feet of high-rise office space; a 400-room hotel; retail shopping; and a performance venue with seating for 3,500.

Linda Adams, a member of the ILWU who is who is one of the workers “responsible for moving the cargo on a daily basis,” said, they are “compromising our jobs.”

“They say they can build these high rise luxury condos, and (we) can work around them. But we’re moving cargo around the clock, (with) thousands of (workers), trucks and cargo coming into the port.” She pointed out that luxury tenants will go to court to stop the noise, pollution, bright lights and thousands of daily trucks and railroads that are wrecking their days and nights, pushing companies to leave Oakland for other West Coast ports.

Susan Ransom, representing SSA Marine, the Port’s largest tenant, said the Port has over 84,000 total employees and moves the products on which everyone depends – food, household goods and medical supplies

“We have grave concerns about the A’s (stadium) project,” she said.   ”We operate 24/7, (our work) would not be stopped during a game” or for a fireworks display.

Mike Jacob of the Pacific Merchants Shipping Association which represents employers, said, “We have real issue here. Do we want to preserve our industrial base? Do we want to make Oakland a smaller kid’s version of San Francisco? Should Oakland continue to be a blue-collar city with good blue-collar jobs.”

Jacob said he was talking with the A’s, but they stopped meeting with him in 2019 when he raised concerns that would be expensive to mitigate. “You don’t have to be either pro- or anti-baseball to be pro-port,” he said.

ILWU business agent Aaron Wright, broadcasting live from on top of a port crane, showed the basin where ships have to turn around, which would be impacted by the project, and the Howard Terminal property, where thousands of trucks park daily instead of where they parked in the past on West Oakland and other neighborhoods’ residential streets.  “One day at the port can do more for the economy than all of the team’s home games,” he said. “You can’t bring in thousands of sports fans to block all of this.”

Andrea Luna Bocanegra, who works for a manufacturing company that does business with the port, said that disrupting shipping at the port would cause a ripple effect, damaging manufacturing businesses throughout Northern California that utilize the port as a dependable way to ship their products and the receive goods they need to run their operations.

Post publisher Paul Cobb said the newspaper has been discussing the different sides of this issue and hopes to help clear up the confusing messages the public is receiving about whether this project will help or damage the prospects of good jobs for Oaklanders.

Cobb displayed an Alameda Labor Council flyer promoting jobs for Blacks. He said “it’s encouraging to see Labor unions join the fight to hire and protect Black workers. By working together with civil rights groups we can finally expand the narrow definitions of PLA’s (project labor agreements) and redefine them as CLA’s (community labor agreements) that will hire Blacks and formerly incarcerated across all trades.”

“We are being lobbied on both sides of this issue,” he said. “Some say Howard Terminal is no longer vital to port operations, but others it very important to the economy” and to keep the port running daily.

A number of people submitted written comments during the Zoom meeting.

Housing rights activists James Vann wrote, “There are innumerable negatives from placing an A’s stadium at Howard Terminal. Can anyone name just one benefit from placing the stadium at this location within the Port?”

BART Director Robert Raburn, wrote, “A significant and unmitigated impact is public safety at the unprotected railroad grade crossings.”

“In addition to BART, I also serve on the governing board for the Capitol Corridor, which operates 30 passenger trains. a day on West Embarcadero (and) another 20 trains deadhead to the Amtrak yard each day,” he said.

“No stadium in the US permits postgame crowds of up to 35,000 to risk crossing mainline railroad tracks at-grade! The costs to mitigate these hazards are not included in the (A’s) ‘term sheet.’”

Organizers of the townhall are asking community members to attend the City Council meeting Tuesday, July 20. The council will consider voting on a non-binding resolution regarding the term sheet for the development. Public comment begins at 9 a.m.

People are encouraged to email council members at https://form.123formbuilder.com/4755450/

The video of Wednesday’s town hall can be watched on Facebook at  https://fb.watch/6M9NiSMAxc/

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Bay Area

De La Fuente Runs for Mayor

De La Fuente said he “will not tolerate homeless encampments where violence and drug abuse are rampant.” These encroachers are disrespecting our neighborhoods, our schools, our businesses, our residents, taking over our parks and defacing our city. He said the residents and businesses in our low-income flatland neighborhoods have been disproportionately affected by these encampments, and they deserve better. In collaboration with the county, we will serve our homeless residents who need it most, but not at the expense of other residents and businesses in our city.”

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Photo Caption: Ignacio De La Fuente

By Paul Cobb and news services

Ignacio De La Fuente, the former President of the Oakland City Council for 11 years, says he will run for mayor to rescue the city from its deep troubles.

He said he is returning to political leadership after a 10-year absence. Claiming that he is “sick and tired of what’s happening to our city,” and he can’t just stand by and witness “the city that I love become a place where people are afraid to walk the streets, to take their children to parks, to go out to dinner with their families or to park their cars on the street. I cannot let our city continue [to] be a place where seniors are assaulted and robbed in broad daylight, a place where illegal side-shows are constant throughout the city and a place where children are being shot and killed! ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! Oakland is not a dumping ground, and it is time to take action!”

He, along with the support of his former council colleague Nate Miley, who is now serving as an Alameda County Supervisor, and who is sponsoring a fundraiser for De La Fuente, has boldly declared that he will “do whatever it takes to increase the number of police officers, but I will give them the resources that they need to help them do their job, but above all, I will provide them the back up and political support that they need and deserve to perform their job for our residents and for our businesses.”

He said he “will not tolerate homeless encampments where violence and drug abuse are rampant.” These encroachers are disrespecting our neighborhoods, our schools, our businesses, our residents, taking over our parks and defacing our city. De La Fuente said the residents and businesses in our low-income flatland neighborhoods have been disproportionately affected by these encampments, and they deserve better. In collaboration with the county, we will serve our homeless residents who need it most, but not at the expense of other residents and businesses in our city.”

He wants to change the focus and emphasis of how the city spends its infrastructure money on what is truly needed by “repairing potholes, taking back and beautifying our parks, fixing our sewers and providing robust programming for our recreation centers and libraries to enrich the lives of our kids and seniors.”

In a characteristic fearless, colorful style that he achieved a no-nonsense reputation De La Fuente announced “The job of mayor is not for the faint of heart! Oakland is a great city that needs a mayor with the political backbone and experience to make the tough decisions to get this city back on track!

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Activism

Sheriff’s Deputies Skate with Marin City Youth

Sgt. Scotto and Deputy Gasparini, two officers from the Marin County Probation Department, came to interact with the youths and help them learn to skate and play basketball. Sharika Gregory, who hosted the event, really appreciates how Scotto and Gasparini interacted with the kids and said that it made a great difference.

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Top: Scotto lifting Aria, 7, so she can make her basketball shot. Middle: Sgt. Scotto and Dep. Gasparini of the Marin County Probation Department. Bottom: Scotto playing limbo. (Photos by Godfrey Lee)
Top: Scotto lifting Aria, 7, so she can make her basketball shot. Middle: Sgt. Scotto and Dep. Gasparini of the Marin County Probation Department. Bottom: Scotto playing limbo. (Photos by Godfrey Lee)

By Godfrey Lee

The Father’s Day Skating event on Sunday, June 12, at the Golden Gate Village’s Basketball Court in Marin City was a successful event that contributed positively to the relationship between the Marin County Sheriff’s Department and the Marin City community and helped some of the children get to know the officers.

Sgt. Scotto and Deputy Gasparini, two officers from the Marin County Probation Department, came to interact with the youths and help them learn to skate and play basketball. Sharika Gregory, who hosted the event, really appreciates how Scotto and Gasparini interacted with the kids and said that it made a great difference.

During the event, Scotto helped lift Aria, a 7-year-old girl, so she could make a basketball shot into the basket. Later Scotto played limbo with the children and tried his best to go under the rope.

The community generously contributed to the skating event. The Corte Madera Safeway and Costco donated the food. The Costco in Novato gave the skates. The Target in Marin City and the Marin County Probation Department also gave skates and gift cards.

Rev. Stephanie Ryder and the Redwood Presbyterian Church in Larkspur, also donated money to help to buy more skates for the events.

Gregory said that this was a very wholesome event for the community and will continue to host similar events in the future.

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Bay Area

WCCCSB Member Mister Phillips Announces Run for Richmond Mayor

Attorney and West Contra Costa County School Board member Mister Phillips is a fourth-generation Richmond resident and the son of two law enforcement officers, Tommie and Cynthia Phillips. Tommie was a lieutenant at the Richmond Police Department. Cynthia was a deputy at the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office.

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Mister Phillips, a West Contra Costa School Board member, ran unopposed in the last election. Photo by Buddy Terry.
Mister Phillips, a West Contra Costa School Board member, ran unopposed in the last election. Photo by Buddy Terry.

By Shantina Jackson-Romero

Attorney and West Contra Costa County School Board member Mister Phillips has filed initial papers to run for mayor of Richmond, CA, in November.

Phillips said that he is running, because he believes that “the city is heading in the wrong direction.” According to the Bay Area Council, “A record 64 percent of residents say the Bay Area is headed in the wrong direction, a 14-point jump over the previous year and the highest level of dissatisfaction since the poll began in 2014.”

Phillips envisions “a community with clean and safe streets, great schools, livable wages, affordable housing, and quality parks and recreation for all,” according to his website.

Phillips is a fourth-generation Richmond resident and the son of two law enforcement officers, Tommie and Cynthia Phillips. Tommie was a lieutenant at the Richmond Police Department. Cynthia was a deputy at the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office.

Phillips, age 44, is a two-term member of the West Contra Costa County School Board and a three-term member of the Democratic Party County Central Committee. A former Naval Reserve officer, Phillips has been an attorney for 19 years and been in business for 17 years. He has been married to Angela Phillips, since 2010. They have four children. For more information, visit www.misterphillips.com.

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