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For Immediate Release

July 20, 2021

 

Oakland Chinatown Coalition Statement on

City Council’s Howard Terminal Vote

 

OAKLAND, CA – Today, Oakland Chinatown Coalition issued the following statement in response to Oakland City Council’s vote on the Oakland A’s Howard Terminal proposal:

“We appreciate the leadership of Council President Bas and Vice Mayor Kaplan and the work of City staff in improving the proposed terms of the Oakland A’s mega-development at Howard Terminal to meet community needs. It’s promising to hear that Chinatown is a vital historical and current cultural and economic resource to Oakland reflected in Council’s words and actions today.

While today’s vote marked some progress on issues of affordable housing and infrastructure, this required the diversion of additional public resources to a private development project. Unfortunately, the City’s proposal still does not require any out of pocket contributions from multi-billionaire John Fisher and the Oakland A’s corporation to fund affordable housing, the offsite infrastructure required by that development, traffic and parking mitigations in Chinatown, or community benefits.

The vote today is a step forward in this ongoing negotiation, and we will continue to advocate for the measures that we need to keep Chinatown around for generations to come.

In the coming weeks, we are looking to our Council members to continue standing up for vital cultural communities like Oakland Chinatown and including us in these negotiations. Despite nearly two years of participation in the City’s Community Benefits Agreement process, Oakland Chinatown continues to be excluded from the Draft Environmental Impact Report and the City’s term sheet still does not address the impacts of this development on Oakland Chinatown.

We appreciate that Oakland City Council recognizes the importance of addressing the impacts of the Howard Terminal development on Oakland Chinatown, and we look forward to working with the City to address these issues in the final development agreement.

Moving forward, we need commitments to deeply affordable housing so that longtime Oakland Chinatown and West Oakland residents can stay in the cultural communities that we’ve built over generations.  That means ensuring a minimum of 35% affordable housing that is accessible to people making 60% of the Area Median Income or less, and contributing to anti-displacement measures.

John Fisher and the Oakland A’s corporation need to stop playing games with this development proposal.  We urge the A’s to honor the hundreds of workers that would be impacted by their decisions and the tens of thousands of Oaklanders who live in the neighborhoods surrounding Howard Terminal by negotiating transparently in good faith.

We urge the Oakland A’s corporation to:

  • Commit to a minimum of 35% affordable housing that is accessible to longtime West Oakland and Chinatown residents who are making less than 60% of the Area Median Income (AMI).  
  • Complete an Environmental Impact Report that accounts for the full scope of the mega-development’s impacts, including traffic, pollution and parking in neighborhoods like Oakland Chinatown.
  • Commit to 50% local hire, including targeted hire to ensure that union jobs benefit the communities that need them most.
  • Contribute $1.5 million toward anti-displacement measures.
  • Directly and fully fund community benefits to address the impacts of their development.
  • Include neighborhood specific mitigations into the development agreement, especially for heavily impacted neighborhoods like Chinatown (and West Oakland)

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Oakland Chinatown Coalition is comprised of over 15 community-serving organizations for health, housing, faith, and more.  Our groups serve thousands of working class immigrant and refugee families and youth every day.

In this moment, it is more important than ever that we invest in grassroots organizing on the frontlines of the struggles against climate change, displacement and environmental injustice.

Make a donation to APEN today to support our organizing in 2021 and beyond.

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