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.
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.