Environmental groups, community activists, union leaders, maritime businesses, and others come together to oppose the A’s waterfront stadium and luxury housing-retail project

In anticipation of the City Council vote on the Howard Terminal term sheet with the Oakland A’s, labor leaders, environmental groups, community activists, port businesses, and more are speaking out against the project. The proposed agreement does not give adequate consideration to the communities that would be significantly impacted by this major real estate project on the working waterfront, nor does it address the harm to the long-term success of the Port of Oakland, which provides over 80,000 jobs to the region and fuels the local economy.

Also, see Stas Margaronis’ Opinion: Proposed A’s Ballpark and Condo Development Threatens Future of Port of Oakland

The term sheet being voted on today was negotiated by the team and city staff, however the parties remain far apart on critical issues, and the A’s have insisted on a one-sided, public giveaway. As it is, the current draft agreement fails to protect the city, its residents, and its workers while lacking firm plans and critical details that the City Council and the public need to properly assess.

Igor Tregub, Sierra Club Northern Alameda County Group, Chair

“The Sierra Club urges the City Council to conduct sufficient environmental review to protect public health, the San Francisco Bay ecosystem, and the integrity of our system of public oversight. The A’s have pursued several shortcuts, including avoidance of the standard evaluation process for the Project at the State Lands Commission and the Bay Conservation and Development Commission — before the DEIR was even prepared. Community leaders in East Oakland have been clear that they want the A’s to stay and make good on promises to provide economic development and affordable housing. East Oakland residents have been good neighbors to the A’s for decades. It’s time for the A’s to be good neighbors in return and develop a project that will truly benefit the Oakland community.”

Pastor LJ Jennings, Kingdom Builders Christian Fellowship

“East Oakland has been waiting for 50 years for the A’s to invest back into the community that hosted them since their move to Oakland. Now, instead of building a world-class ballpark in East Oakland, the A’s are asking for more than a billion dollars in public dollars to accelerate displacement of more Blacks out of West Oakland. Their proposal is nothing more than a real estate taking for a billionaire developer at the expense of Oakland residents.”

Alfred Twu, East Bay Housing Activist

“The A’s proposal is a series of mistakes. First, the refusal to follow the city’s affordable housing rules that every other project has to follow sets a bad example. Second, Howard Terminal’s proposed 1.5 million square feet of office space past the edge of downtown is counter to the city’s Downtown Plan to keep jobs near BART stations. Finally, there’s the lack of transportation planning for thousands of cars to cross a busy railroad used by passengers and freight without any bridges. That’s three strikes already before the proposed Enhanced Infrastructure Financing Districts siphons nearly a billion dollars of tax revenue from Jack London Square. Oakland’s downtown is already on the rise—let’s stick with the existing plan and not give the A’s owners special exceptions.”

Aaron Wright, International Longshoreman and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Local 10, Business Agent

“The Port of Oakland is a hub for thousands of good-paying union jobs that have allowed Oaklanders to build lives, homes, and families in this community. If the efficient operation of the working port is put at risk by conflicts between commercial and industrial uses, the jobs of those who work at the port will be put at risk as well. The A’s have made no effort to account for the tens of thousands of cars that will clog up truck routes and jeopardize the entire function of the port as a result of this project.”

Scott Taylor, GSC Logistics, Founder & CEO

“Time and again, those of us who actually operate at the port have made it clear that the A’s project as proposed, with thousands of residential units, offices, and allowances for party boats, is not compatible with the 24/7 operations of a heavy industrial working port. With no allocation for measures that would limit the impact of this development on port operations, the A’s term sheet makes it clear that the long-term success of the port that fuels this region’s economy and provides thousands of union jobs to local residents is not a concern of the team’s. But it must be a prime concern of the City Council.”

Mike Jacob, Pacific Merchant Shipping Association, Vice President & General Counsel

“In their term sheet, the A’s made no acknowledgement of the many concerns port stakeholders have raised about this project, nor suggested any commitment to mitigating the negative impacts of the project on port operations. The Port Commissioners and the businesses that operate at the port have been working for over a year on a set of Seaport Compatibility Measures and that process is still ongoing. It is premature for the City Council to take any vote on this project before the A’s commit to a final set of Compatibility Measures that will ease conflicts between this residential and commercial complex and port operations.”

Mercedes Rodriguez, West Oakland Resident and CBA Steering Committee Member

“As a longtime West Oakland resident and member of the CBA Steering Committee, I have deep concerns about the Oakland A’s proposal and its impact on the surrounding communities, including West Oakland, Old Oakland, Jack London Square, and Chinatown. The term sheet revealed that the A’s want the city to spend $855 million in public tax dollars to pay for not just publicly-owned infrastructure, but also mitigation costs that should be paid for exclusively by the team, including transportation impacts. The A’s term sheet also revealed that the City of Oakland will be paying the $450 million in community benefits that a private developer would typically pay as part of such a large endeavor. The City Council should not approve any term sheet until all the details of this massive development are finalized and the community has had sufficient time to weigh in.”