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COMMENTARY: How Dare They Deny Our Right to Vote on Public Funds | Oakland Post

On July 5, the City Council rejected the request of Oakland voters to place a measure on the 2022 ballot to allow them to weigh in on whether the City should spend public funds on infrastructure for billionaire A’s owner John Fisher’s privately owned baseball stadium and luxury condominium project at Howard Terminal.

Along with 800 likely voters, 76% of us said ‘yes’ to a survey by a nationally acclaimed polling firm that asked if we wanted to be heard before the City spent public money on infrastructure and other costs associated with the A’s development project. We followed that by getting 12,000 signatures on petitions sent directly to the Council demanding that they place the question on the Nov. 8, 2022, ballot.

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Council Rejects Measure for Voters to Weigh in on Billion-dollar Tax-Funded Infrastructure Expenditure | Oakland Post

In a meeting this week that dragged on for more than 12 hours, Oakland City Councilmembers decisively turned down a proposal to place a measure on the November ballot to allow voters to weigh in on whether they want over a billion of their tax dollars spent on infrastructure for private luxury development and baseball stadium on public land at the Port of Oakland.

The final vote was 5-2 against the measure, with council member Rebecca Kaplan abstaining.

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New details emerge on where the A’s and Oakland stand in negotiations over the Howard Terminal ballpark plan | SF Chronicle

The Oakland A’s said they agreed to build the amount of onsite affordable housing the city wants at the team’s proposed waterfront ballpark — a key sticking point in their negotiations with officials — in exchange for more money to help pay for infrastructure, but the city rejected the terms.

Dave Kaval, president of the A’s, said the baseball team agreed to the city’s terms for onsite affordable housing— 15% — in exchange for tax money generated by the parking, sales and business license taxes to help pay for infrastructure upgrades at the proposed ballpark site. Kaval did not specify how much tax money the team wanted. Mayor Libby Schaaf said the revenue from those taxes would be millions of dollars.

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EDITORIAL: If the City Council Won’t Vote for You, Don’t Vote for Them | Oakland Post

The voters of Oakland demand the right to vote on whether the City of Oakland should spend a billion dollars of public money on a privately owned baseball stadium and luxury condominiums at Howard Terminal.

We agree.

If City Councilmembers want the voters to support them in upcoming elections, they must support the voters’ demand for a public vote on Howard Terminal now.

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A fight over affordable housing in the Bay Area may tank the Oakland A’s Howard Terminal ballpark | SF Gate

To hear Oakland A’s President Dave Kaval tell it, the baseball franchise is getting closer and closer to a deal with the city of Oakland on a $12 billion development (including a ballpark) at Howard Terminal. The beautiful waterfront stadium will deliver unparalleled community benefits, he promises, all at no cost to taxpayers.

But interviews with city council members, housing experts and advocates reveal a starkly different story. There’s little evidence suggesting the A’s are willing to budge on several key items, including affordable housing, arguably the most pressing issue facing Oaklanders today. From the inside, the “negotiations” Kaval describes look less like a productive discussion and more like a game of chicken.

 

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Opponents of A’s waterfront Howard Terminal ballpark flood state agency meeting, with key vote looming | SF Chronicle

Dozens of Oakland port workers urged members of a key state agency Thursday to reject the A’s $12 billion proposed waterfront project, calling it “real estate grab” that will transform the port into a “yuppie playground.”

The San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission held a public hearing Thursday to hear from the public on the proposed A’s ballpark and development project.

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Oakland A’s Clash With Shipping Industry Over Waterfront Ballpark | Bloomberg

The $12 billion plan by the Oakland Athletics to build a baseball stadium and real estate development on a parcel of industrial waterfront owned by the Port of Oakland has faced any number of challenges and opposition since it was proposed in 2018.

These include Oaklanders who are skeptical of the privately funded ballpark’s projected financial benefits and wary of the team’s demand for $855 million in tax breaks to fund infrastructure investments, all while attendance is falling at the team’s longtime home, the aging and increasingly decrepit Oakland Coliseum.

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PMSA: Port of Oakland Turning Basin expansion could be at risk from Oakland A’s ballpark complex | American Journal of Transportation

The Port of Oakland Turning Basin expansion, crucial to allowing mega containerships to expeditiously dock at the Port of Oakland, could be in jeopardy if the Bay Conservation and Development Commission approves the Oakland Athletics application to exclude the Howard Terminal site from its current seaport designation, according to Mike Jacob, vice president and general counsel, Pacific Merchant Shipping Association (PMSA).

The proposed Oakland A’s ballpark and condominium complex requires that the current Public Priority Use (PPU) designation be removed for the Port of Oakland’s Howard Terminal site by the Bay Conservation Development Commission (BCDC).

The issue will be decided on June 30th when BCDC votes on the A’s application.

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Opinion: Oakland A’s stadium development should be put on the ballot | East Bay Times

After nearly three years of smoke and mirrors from politicians, a disingenuous community-benefits process and blatant lack of financial transparency, there may finally be a chance for Oakland residents to be heard about whether they want hundreds of millions of their tax dollars to be spent supporting the for-profit project of a billionaire.

Oakland City Council members Carroll Fife and Noel Gallo are proposing council actions to ensure Oakland residents have a say. The first is a ballot measure allowing Oakland voters to decide whether it’s appropriate and responsible to spend nearly a billion dollars of public funds to build a privately developed project. The second is a requirement that a full, independent economic analysis be performed before a decision is made on the A’s Howard Terminal development.

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New Poll: Oakland Voters Overwhelmingly Want to Vote on Proposed Stadium Deal | Oakland Post

A new poll of Oakland voters conducted by the Mellman Group for the East Oakland Stadium Alliance (EOSA) shows that city residents overwhelmingly want the right to vote on any deal the city strikes with the Oakland A’s using public funds for a Howard Terminal real estate development.

Voters also want an independent and public financial report produced on any deal before it is approved.

The poll surveyed 800 voters representing the likely November 2022 electorate in Oakland, California. Three-quarters (76%) of voters want to vote on any deal, while only 15% do not. Further, 63% strongly support putting a proposed agreement with the A’s on the ballot.

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