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by Anne
Hey folks, did you know that the Oakland City Council recently approved a deal which will sell off our waterfront real cheap to a private developer? We need to save our waterfront and public space for all of us. We need to oppose this deal. THIS IS AN ISSUE WORTH FIGHTING FOR AND THIS IS AN ISSUE WE CAN WIN! Here's what's going on.
The Oak to Ninth Project, recently approved by the City Council with virtually no press coverage, is a boon for the developer and a disaster for the rest of us. We need to ask these questions:


Walling off our waterfront and limiting public access?

Selling our public land at a discount to a private developer?

Subsidizing a private developer to the tune of $114 million while leaving 2000 children without a school?

Demolishing the historic Ninth Avenue Terminal?

Building housing next to air-polluted I-880?

Creating unmitigated traffic congestion?

This deal is a downright shady one. It goes against the plans which were already created, supported by Oakland voters in 1999 and 2003, and which would be good for all of us. This plan will line the pockets of a few people who don’t care about our city and will take away one of our most precious resources with all its wonderful potential.

Oakland is a waterfront city-a special city located on one of the most beautiful bodies of water in the world-and yet many people don't even realize it. Oakland's waterfront is a valuable but largely neglected treasure that should be developed and nurtured for the pleasure and use of all of us. Why should this resource belong to a private developer and the few affluent people who will buy his waterfront units, blocking the water views and access to the rest of us, and creating traffic and other nightmares? Why indeed? A few people will make some big bucks. But the rest of us will get gouged, and the waterfront will be gone. Forever.

There IS a plan which was created by many people working for a long time on Oakland's waterfront area. It is a good plan, one which addresses social, historical and environmental concerns. It is called the Estuary Policy Plan and Oakland voters overwhelmingly approved it in 1999 and 2002. But the city is preparing to move forward with this private developer's plan which does NOT meet the goals and vision of the Estuary Plan.

The Oakland City Council's recent vote to approve the private plan received little press coverage or analysis of the deal-that is the defining feature of a back room deal.

BUT IT IS NOT OVER YET! We can stop this train wreck but we have to move fast.

A number of civic organizations and alarmed citizens have organized as the Oak to Ninth Referendum Committee to mount a referendum (that would put the deal on the ballot) on this development agreement. This committee is determined to get a much better project by stopping the present proposal. The League of Women Voters, the Sierra Club, the Coalition of Advocates for Lake Merritt (CALM), and the Green Party are among the sponsoring organizations.

By putting the deal on the ballot we will halt the developer's plans and allow them to be held to public scrutiny and analysis. We need to gather 18,700 valid signatures in the next month in order to do this. WE CAN DO THIS if we work together and hit the streets now. We have the petition ready to go, we have lots of will and people with the courage and strength of their convictions to save Oakland, but we need all hands! Please help.

KICK OFF MEETING FOR THE SIGNATURE DRIVE IS tomorrow! SUNDAY, July 23, 1-3 PM at Geoffrey's Club, 410 14th St. at Franklyn, Oakland. 14th and Broadway BART. At the meeting we will have a brief training, petitions available, and information about the issues.

If you can't make the meeting don't worry, you can still get involved and help make this happen.

Go to our website for lots of information, articles and in depth analysis of the deal from several perspectives including a public health professional

For more info or to get involved:
Call Kate at 510 914 8355
katetanaka [at]

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Wed, Aug 16, 2006 10:58AM
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