The Bay Conservation and Development Commission, which oversees development on the San Francisco Bay, recently heard testimony about how land at the Port of Oakland should be used through 2025.
I applaud the commission for soundly rejecting a study presented by the Oakland A’s to strip Howard Terminal of its current maritime designation in order to free land for a stadium and real estate development. This is not the time to consider dismantling the Port of Oakland by making long-range, irreversible changes that would eliminate the port’s flexibility to address future economic and supply-chain needs.
The Covid-19 pandemic has changed every aspect of our daily lives — while threatening life itself — over the last few months. It has also shone a stark light on our literal dependence on California’s strong supply chain. While essential workers such as health care professionals, grocery store clerks, and food delivery drivers have held our society together, the behind-the-scenes work of seafarers, longshore workers, and truckers has ensured that our access to food and supplies is uninterrupted.
Here in the Bay Area, the Port of Oakland and its affiliated operations are responsible for more than 99% of containerized goods moving through Northern California. The port’s operations are what keep our hospitals and manufacturing plants open and running. Shelves in our grocery stores are full because of the efficient and reliable operations of producers, shippers, and transporters.