The city has already paid $26 million to Goldman Sachs, and local activists say the deal is unfair gift of public funds and should be terminated.
By Darwin BondGraham
Although last week's $26 billion settlement between the Obama administration, attorneys general from 49 states, and five large banks over unscrupulous lending practices appears to have been deeply flawed, it may provide a modicum of relief for two million homeowners nationwide, including a half-million Californians. The agreement, however, does nothing for cities like Oakland that are trapped in expensive and toxic financial deals with some of Wall Street's biggest players. Oakland's bad lending deal is with Goldman Sachs, and it's already cost the city $26 million. By 2021, the total pricetag for local taxpayers could reach $46 million.
Park Oakland loses a $1 billion a year to other cities, and without redevelopment, the city's plans for a major shopping district in Upper Broadway may be history.
Glenda Barnhart and her partner Clay Wagers dreamed of opening a bicycle shop. In 2008, as the economic meltdown started to spread nationwide, she feared that she would lose her income as a consultant and noticed that a bike shop was for sale around the Valdez Triangle. She took one look at bike shop and walked out. The area also known as Upper Broadway — failing auto dealerships, vacant storefronts, desolation — reinforced the thought it would be a horrible idea to buy that shop.
Six months later, Barnhart noticed the bike shop was still for sale. But this time she saw signs that the area was springing back to life. The nearby Whole Foods on 27th and Harrison streets had become a vibrant attraction for area shoppers. Condos were popping up close by, new restaurants were opening, and a nascent art community was blooming. It was time, she concluded, to buy that shop — Bay Area Bikes. "If we do this now," Barnhart recalled thinking, "we will be getting on the ground floor of something big. It was my dream to retire and do what I love."
OAKLAND, Calif. - A new chapter opened Feb. 7 in the long saga of efforts to redevelop the former Oakland Army Base, as the City Council approved guiding principles to assure Oakland residents priority for construction jobs and for the warehouse and goods movement jobs that are to follow.
The base is especially important to the city's economic life because it is next to the Port of Oakland, the nation's fifth busiest port, in a working-class area where unemployment is high.
Agreement on the provisions came after years of discussion, and a nine-month process that brought together labor, community members, environmentalists and the business community, with Councilmember Jane Brunner playing a major role. Participating in the discussions was the 30-organization Revive Oakland! coalition of clergy, workers, youth, and neighbors from West and East Oakland.
Besides construction jobs, the project is expected to create some 2,500 to 3,000 permanent jobs.
Please Join us! Thursday July 14th at 6:30pm at First Congregational Church in Oakland (2501 Harrison Street) for what will hopefully be the largest transportation justice event ever in the East Bay.
Put on by our close allies at Genesis, this town hall will bring hundreds of families, bus riders and youth together to call on our elected officials to make AC Transit free for students and demand equal funding for our bus systems, so we can restore cuts to service.
Specifically we demand that Alameda County spends a portion of its $10 billion in transportation dollars to:
* Provide every Middle and High School Student in Alameda County with a free bus pass (to get to school and afterschool activities)
* Secure more funding for AC Transit so it doesn't have to cut more service and so it can restore the 15% of service it cut last year
As part of Forum's "Our Changing Communities" series on the results of the 2010 census, we take a close look at Oakland.
BART has already spent $64 million on the controversial Oakland Airport connector. But Robert Raburn, a member of the BART Board of Directors, thinks he can derail the roughly $500 million project, which he’s nicknamed the “gold-plated” connector, before any more money is spent.
The tram is slated to run from the Coliseum BART station to Oakland International Airport and replace the shuttle bus that currently runs a similar route. It’s been called a “boondoggle” by critics; the feds yanked $70 million from the project last year over civil rights concerns. Others say the connector would be a boon to Oakland, bringing jobs and an easier way to get to the airport.
The BART board approved the connector last July — and a celebratory ground-breaking was held in October. But two of the project’s biggest champions have since left the transit agency.
ACCE Riders for Transit Justice is organizing a People’s Hearing to allow bus riders and their allies to speak directly to AC Transit, MTC and Alameda CTC board members – the ones who determine AC’s funding -, and lay-out proposals for:
1) Restoring lost AC service, 2) Funding a FREE Eco bus pass for middle and high school students, and 3) Allowing transfers to be used multiple times (rather than just once).
When: Thursday, April 21st at 6 p.m.
Where: 160 14th Street, Oakland (at Madison) in the Community Room.
For more information, contact Jason at 714-745-6243 or firstname.lastname@example.org
To learn more about AC Transit's proposed fare policy or get involved with the free youth Eco bus pass and the multi-use bus transfer campaigns open the document attached.
Wednesday, June 8, 2011 @ 6:00 p.m.
Pacific Coast Brewing Company 906 Washington St. @ 10th St. Oakland, California.
Drink, eat, mingle! Meet the writers and editors behind the magazine. All ages invited (under 21 okay) and wheelchair accessible.
Join us in conversation about the critical issues facing the environmental and social justice movements today.
Subscribe today and receive a free copy of the latest issue of RP&E, the national journal for social and environmental justice.
Please R.S.V.P. to rsvp[at]urbanhabitat.org or for more info call (510) 839-9510 ext 303
How much did Oakland and Alameda's population shift over the past 10 years? This week, we're about to (finally) find out. Yesterday, the Census Bureau shipped local 2010 Census data to the governor and leadership of the state legislature in California. Today, at 12:30 p.m. PST, the full set of data for every county in California will be available via FTP download at http://www2.census.gov/census_2010/01-Redistricting_File--PL_94-171/. By Wednesday afternoon, the data will be posted on the Census Bureau's new American FactFinder site http://factfinder2.census.gov
The data will include summaries for Alameda County and all other Cali counties of population totals, as well as data on race, Hispanic origin and voting age for multiple geographies within the state, such as census blocks, tracts, voting districts, cities, counties and school districts.