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Indybay Feature
Stop The Corruption! No Vote By BCDC Chair & Fisher's Lawyer Zack Wasserman On Fisher A's Stadium
by SLAP
A press conference was held at the law offices of Zachery Wasserman who is chair of the Bay Conservation Development Commission BCDC and the lawyer for billionaire GAP A's owner John Fisher. He plans to vote on Fisher's Oakland port privatization scheme for a stadium and 3,000 luxury apartments despite his long financial connections with Fisher and his advocacy for this development scheme.
wasserman_press_conf_signs_1.jpg
Zack Wasserman who is the chair of the Bay Conservation Development Commission BCDC and has been billionaire GAP A's Owner John Fisher's develop project lawyer plans to vote on Fisher Oakland port privatization stadium development proposal. A press conference was held outside the offices of his law firm Wendel Rosen Black & Dean in Oakland to protest his conflict of interest and to demand that he not be allowed to vote on the development project of privatizing the port of Oakland for a billion dollar stadium condo development project with $850 million in tax funds for the infrastructure. Speakers also said that since he had a conflict there should be no vote by the commission under Fair Political Practices Commission rules.

The California Fair Political Practices Commission however instead of stopping this scam has had their legal counsel argue that his law firm was only paid by Fisher last November 2021 so he is able to vote on the project.

Fisher and his family were big supporters of Governor Newsom and Newsom appoints the members of the FPPC.

The press conference was supported by the Schools and Labor Against Privatization SLAP and it was held on 6/16/22.

Additional media:
Fisher's Labor Development Lawyer Zack Wasserman On Stadium Development Plan In 2018-Appointed to
BCDC By Governor Brown
California Expedites Oakland A’s Stadium Development with AB
https://news.theregistrysf.com/california-expedites-oakland-as-stadium-development-with-ab-734/?fbclid=IwAR2Q188Lrl0jcV2_J8PUOcdxQ83CtexHrjw0OWhKTbVCxqYkm5ILt5nMDns

Voices At Oakland Parker Elementary School Occupation "We Are Defending Our Kids”
https://youtu.be/v08X5cgfiIg

Oakland Parker Elementary School Occupation, Charters, SLAP, OEA/CTA, Privatization & Guns
https://youtu.be/ERZ1cWJ7YRk

Shut It Down! OEA Strikes & ILWU Shuts Docks In Fight Against Privatization & Union Busting
https://youtu.be/a4ozf6qiQSw

East Bay Trade Unionists Oppose Port Privatization of Howard Terminal For Billionaire GAP A's Stadium
https://youtu.be/X7BOde5wq_E

No Shutdown! Oakland La Esquelita School Meeting On Closures, ,Charters, OEA & Fisher's Stadium
https://youtu.be/bmS3D---_Os

STOP FCMAT Attack On Oakland Public Schools! OEA, Community & Pols Oppose $90 M In Cuts By Thurmond
https://youtu.be/hVZYDPDXgJA

Oakland ILWU & OEA, Students & Community Rally To Stop Privatization & Union Busting From The Port To The Schools!
https://youtu.be/-s2iGYDfUAs

NO Public Money To A's Billionaire Owner John Fisher For Stadium In Port Of Oakland
https://youtu.be/7L3detM583c

For more info:
Slapbayarea.org

Production of Labor Video Project
http://www.labormedia.net

Fisher's Labor Development Lawyer Zack Wasserman On Stadium Development Plan In 2018-Appointed to BCDC By Governor Newsom
California Expedites Oakland A’s Stadium Development with AB
https://news.theregistrysf.com/california-expedites-oakland-as-stadium-development-with-ab-734/?fbclid=IwAR2Q188Lrl0jcV2_J8PUOcdxQ83CtexHrjw0OWhKTbVCxqYkm5ILt5nMDns
November 2, 2018
By R. Zachary Wasserman

AB 734 provides a specially speedy CEQA approach for approval of a new Oakland A’s ball park and associated development at Howard Terminal near Jack London Square. The basic benefit of AB 734 is to limit the time to complete the CEQA process, including all appeals, to within 270 days of the filing of the certified record of proceedings with a court if litigation is filed against CEQA approval of the ball park project. AB 734 requires the California Judicial Council to amend the Rules of Court to achieve this result. This gives the Oakland A’s certainty over timing, which is critical for building a major sports facility that needs to plan its schedule for future games.

The bill requires that the project include a number of environmental, transportation, employment and community benefits that are greater or more extensive than would likely be imposed during a normal EIR process. These include building to LEED Gold certification for each element of the project and developing a project that does not result in any net additional emissions of greenhouse gasses within Oakland or the Bay Area Air Quality Management District’s jurisdiction under California Air Resources Board rules – with not more than 50 percent of the greenhouse gas emission reductions as a result of purchasing offsets. It also includes developing a transportation management plan that achieves at least a 20 percent reduction in vehicle trips collectively by attendees, employees, visitors and customers as compared to operations absent the transportation management plan, transportation demand management program, or both. The community benefits will be specified by the City of Oakland and/or the Port of Oakland. These programs will include open space, affordable housing, local business and small business policies, as well as local employment and job training programs. These measures will also include increased frequency of public transit and transit accessibility. The contractors and subcontractors building the project must pay prevailing wages.

While the effects of this bill are important to the Oakland A’s and their ability to develop at Howard Terminal in a timely manner, there are other approvals from a number of other agencies that are required for the development of a baseball park at Howard Terminal that are not affected by this bill.

This bill is similar to bills passed by the legislature and signed by the Governor in recent years that benefitted the Golden State Warriors building their new facility in San Francisco and the Los Angeles Clippers planning their new facility in Inglewood. It is also similar to a general CEQA streamlining bill passed in 2011 and extended in 2016 to benefit large economic development projects requiring the Governor’s approval. Six projects have been approved under the general large project approval process:

There was another CEQA reform bill passed by the legislature and approved by the Governor in 2018 – AB 1804. This bill extends the existing exemption to CEQA review to certain infill residential or mixed-use housing projects that are no larger than five acres and are in unincorporated parts of a county. The projects must have at least six residential units, contain a density of at least six units per acre, and mirror the average density of nearby residential properties. At least two thirds of the project must be residential. The purpose of this bill was to extend the urban infill exemption to CEQA to some areas in unincorporated parts of counties with urban-like densities.

These measures are in contrast to the numerous attempts to reform the CEQA process more generally, which have all failed in the legislature. The failure of those measures is largely due to an alliance of some environmental groups and labor unions. The environmental groups are concerned about weakening environmental protections, while the unions use the threat of (or actual) CEQA lawsuits to leverage union agreements on large scale developments. This latter issue, plus similar tactics by development competitors using the CEQA process to slow or stop projects, is a primary reason that both development interests and local government agencies continue to push for CEQA reform. In addition, of course, there is the excessive time and cost involved with EIRs, causing significant barriers to the housing development that California so desperately needs.

R. Zachary Wasserman is a partner with Wendel Rosen Black & Dean LLP. He may be reached at zwasserman /at/ wendel.com.
The bill requires that the project include a number of environmental, transportation, employment and community benefits that are greater or more extensive than would likely be imposed during a normal EIR process. These include building to LEED Gold certification for each element of the project and developing a project that does not result in any net additional emissions of greenhouse gasses within Oakland or the Bay Area Air Quality Management District’s jurisdiction under California Air Resources Board rules – with not more than 50 percent of the greenhouse gas emission reductions as a result of purchasing offsets. It also includes developing a transportation management plan that achieves at least a 20 percent reduction in vehicle trips collectively by attendees, employees, visitors and customers as compared to operations absent the transportation management plan, transportation demand management program, or both. The community benefits will be specified by the City of Oakland and/or the Port of Oakland. These programs will include open space, affordable housing, local business and small business policies, as well as local employment and job training programs. These measures will also include increased frequency of public transit and transit accessibility. The contractors and subcontractors building the project must pay prevailing wages.

While the effects of this bill are important to the Oakland A’s and their ability to develop at Howard Terminal in a timely manner, there are other approvals from a number of other agencies that are required for the development of a baseball park at Howard Terminal that are not affected by this bill.

This bill is similar to bills passed by the legislature and signed by the Governor in recent years that benefitted the Golden State Warriors building their new facility in San Francisco and the Los Angeles Clippers planning their new facility in Inglewood. It is also similar to a general CEQA streamlining bill passed in 2011 and extended in 2016 to benefit large economic development projects requiring the Governor’s approval. Six projects have been approved under the general large project approval process:

There was another CEQA reform bill passed by the legislature and approved by the Governor in 2018 – AB 1804. This bill extends the existing exemption to CEQA review to certain infill residential or mixed-use housing projects that are no larger than five acres and are in unincorporated parts of a county. The projects must have at least six residential units, contain a density of at least six units per acre, and mirror the average density of nearby residential properties. At least two thirds of the project must be residential. The purpose of this bill was to extend the urban infill exemption to CEQA to some areas in unincorporated parts of counties with urban-like densities.

These measures are in contrast to the numerous attempts to reform the CEQA process more generally, which have all failed in the legislature. The failure of those measures is largely due to an alliance of some environmental groups and labor unions. The environmental groups are concerned about weakening environmental protections, while the unions use the threat of (or actual) CEQA lawsuits to leverage union agreements on large scale developments. This latter issue, plus similar tactics by development competitors using the CEQA process to slow or stop projects, is a primary reason that both development interests and local government agencies continue to push for CEQA reform. In addition, of course, there is the excessive time and cost involved with EIRs, causing significant barriers to the housing development that California so desperately needs.

R. Zachary Wasserman is a partner with Wendel Rosen Black & Dean LLP. He may be reached at zwasserman /at/ wendel.com.

Wasserman has recused himself 3 times before including February 2022. Yet now the FPCC is citing October 2021 as the last time Wasserman's firm Wendel Rosen was contracted with the A's and using this as a justification that there is no reason for him to recuse himself now because he no longer benefits financially from the A's. If this is the case then why did Wasserman elect to recuse himself in February 2022? What was the abundance of caution that applied then but not now?

In most cases, this presumption cannot be avoided by having the interested board member abstain from the decision. Rather, the entire governing body is precluded from entering the contract.

https://www.fppc.ca.gov/content/dam/fppc/NS-Documents/LegalDiv/section-1090/Section%201090%20-%20Quick%20Guide%20-%20Oct%202020.pdf

In most cases, this presumption cannot be avoided by having the interested board member abstain from the decision. Rather, the entire governing body is precluded from entering the contract.21 Recognizing the prophylactic purposes of conflicts statutes, the case law makes clear that section 1090 should be construed broadly to ensure that the public has the official’s “absolute loyalty and undivided allegiance.” (Stigall v. City of Taft (1962) 58 Cal.2d 565, 569.) The focus is on the substance, not the form, of the challenged transaction, “disregard[ing] the technical relationships of the parties and look[ing] behind the veil which enshrouds their activities.” (People v. Watson (1971) 15 Cal.App.3d 28, 37.) To that end, we have held that the “making” of a contract for the purposes of section 1090 includes “planning, preliminary discussions, compromises, drawing of plans and specifications and solicitation of bids,” and not just the moment of signing. (Stigall, at p. 571.) Building on Stigall, the Courts of Appeal have explained that officials can be liable if they “had the opportunity to, and did, influence execution [of the contract] directly or indirectly to promote [their] personal interests.” (People v. Sobel (1974) 40 Cal.App.3d 1046, 1052.)17

Therefore, “the test is whether the officer or employee participated in the making of the contract in (their) official capacity.”18

A decision to modify, extend or renegotiate a contract constitutes involvement in the making of a contract under section 1090.19

When members of a public board, commission or similar body have the power to execute contracts, each member is conclusively presumed to be involved in the making of all contracts by his or her agency regardless of whether the member participates in the making of the contract.20 In most cases, this presumption cannot be avoided by having the interested board member abstain from the decision. Rather, the entire governing body is precluded from entering the contract.21

A decision to modify, extend or renegotiate a contract constitutes involvement in the making of a contract under section 1090.19

When members of a public board, commission or similar body have the power to execute contracts, each member is conclusively presumed to be involved in the making of all contracts by his or her agency regardless of whether the member participates in the making of the contract.20 In most cases, this presumption cannot be avoided by having the interested board member abstain from the decision. Rather, the entire governing body is precluded from entering the contract.21 However, if an agency

Fair Political Practices Commission 3 A Quick Guide to Section 1090 October 2020

employee is financially interested in a contract, the employee’s agency is not prohibited from making the contract so long as the employee does not participate in his or her official capacity.22

A governing body cannot avoid application of Section 1090 by delegating its contracting authority to another individual or body.23 However, it may avoid violating Section 1090 if the contract is made by an “independent” government official and that official does not have a conflict of interest.24

Resigning from a governmental position may not be sufficient to avoid a violation.25
§ILWU Local 10 Member Janiero Baltrip Spoke
by SLAP
baltrip_janiero_wasserman_press_conf_1.jpg
Janiero Baltrip spoke about the effect of the privatization of the Port of Oakland and the thousands of homeless while $850 million of tax funds that are preposed to be spent for billionaire GAP A's owner John Fisher's development project at Howard Terminal in the Port Of Oakland.
§Zachery Wasserman Speaking For Wendel Rosen
by SLAP
sm_wasserman_wendel_rosen_speech_1.jpg
Zachery Wasserman has been pushing billionaire John Fisher's development for many years and represented his as a lawyer. He still plans to vote on this deal despite his flagrant conflicts of interest.
§FPPC Board Picked By Brown & Newsom
by SLAP
sm_fppc_board_1.jpeg
The California Fair Political Practices Boad has been captured by the corporate interests. Their lawyer said that Zachery Wasserman had no real conflicts of interest despite his firm and him taking money from Fisher.
§Zachery Wasserman Has Been Pushing Fisher's Stadium For Years
by SLAP
wasserman_zack_hat_1.jpeg
John Fisher's land development lawyer and advocate Zachery Wasserman is also chair of the Bay Conservation Development Commission BCDC and plans to vote on the land development scam despite his conflicts of interest.
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