Tag: Oakland

Oakland Bulk And Oversized Terminal Focus Of Greg McConnell Interview

The Oakland Bulk And Oversized Terminal, the Oakland Army Base Redevelopment Project that was won by Phil Tagami and California Capital Investment Group (CCIG) in 2009, is the focus of a 39 minute interview of Oakland Jobs and Housing Coalition Executive Director Greg McConnell by Zennie Abraham of Zennie62Media.

Here’s the video from that livestream talk:

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf

Mayor Schaaf Must Form A Sports Task Force – Her New Oakland A’s Stadium Hire Won’t Solve The Problem – Zennie Abraham

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf
Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf is the one I back for re-election as our leader, but that’s not going to stop me from making some very pointed criticisms of the way she’s handled the topic of sports in Oakland.

As I write this, she’s about to annouce her new point-person for the Oakland A’s Stadium. Ok, but one person will not solve the problem and she certainly didn’t ask for my input. A giant mistake. That person’s not going to be Oakland Coliseum JPA Executive Director Scott McKibben, nor will it be former Oakland City Manager and public builder of the Washington Nationals Stadium Robert Bobb, nor will it be Former Oakland City Manager and local development wiz Kofi Bonner (whom I put Libby in touch with two years ago). She’s ran out of capable names who are locally known and can get this problem of not having a stadium plan done out of the doldrums. The reason is one I will explain later in this column.

Indeed, what I’m about to explain that focuses on her could be applied to most of the Oakland City Council, but she’s the Mayor, so I’ll start there.

First, let’s take stock of where we are right now, January 28th, 2019:

• The City of Oakland has lost the Golden State Warriors to San Francisco, and after an aggressive economic development campaign led by the late San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, and with no real challenge from either former Oakland Mayor Jean Quan or current Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf.
• The Oakland Raiders are attempting a move to Las Vegas, but that effort is as of this writing five months behind where it should be, and that gap could widen with the latest political dispute around minority stadium construction jobs. Still, the NFL granted a conditional relocation, dependent on the Raiders ability to actually get it done.
• The Raiders have a lease that extends to 2019, but are working to have it extended to 2020 or perhaps longer, and based on a set of conditions of need. In other words, “if you don’t have that new stadium in Las Vegas finished and open, the Oakland Coliseum’s your home.” It’s also worth noting that the extension has the same wording in it, not removed: that is the parties, Oakland and The Oakland Raiders can enter talks toward a new stadium at the Coliseum. Anyone surprised here should not be: the Raiders always leave an out for themselves.
• The Oakland A’s, getting no active help from Mayor Schasf or the Oakland City Council, on their own tried to work a deal with Peralta Community College, only to be rebuffed by the board. The A’s are setting up the situation so they can indeed say they were committed to Oakland – and move if the current situation of complete lack of leadership continues. And here’s where we get into the problems Libby has created.

Second, Mayor Schaaf, my friend of 30-plus years and who’s really smart enough to know better, failed to and still has not, established a sports task force – really, it should be called the M.I.C.E task force, but that would not ring a bell with anyone, save for economic development specialists. M.I.C.E stands for “Meetings, Incentives, Conventions, and Exhibitions”, and it’s an industry folks. An industry that Oakland, because of it’s completely baseless and personal way of looking at economic development, is all but non-extentent in.

That task force could form a plan for the retention of sports in Oakland, and its future growth, and in the process solve the problem of not having enough space for meetings (like for electrical engineers), conventions (like for comic books), incentives (like a Pharell concert) or exhibitions (like an auto show). A really good sports stadium district has, by design, space for all of that. We have that in the Coliseum and with Oracle Arena and the current Raiders / A’s Stadium. We also have a deficiency of over 800,000 square feet of convention and meeting space – adding that equals more events and more jobs.

Second, Libby has had something like four years to establish a sports task force, and did nothing- she points to her staff of people as that group. That action flies in the face of all of the task forces assembled in history: each one consists of leaders in the community, both business and non-business, and who represent what I call a “value chain” of actors that can help solve specific problems associated with a development project, from permits to media and public relations. I tried to get Libby to set that up years ago, but I got this stuff both from her and from Oakland and Alameda County Consultant Pat Cashman talking about the task forces that didn’t work. Look, in Oakland, we need a task force. I solved the problem of lack of cooperation when I formed the Oakland Downtown Coalition in 1997 – that got us the 14th and Broadway Transit Cooridor for AC Transit’s large buses. If I can do, it, I can do it again. If Libby would ask me – which brings me to my next point.

Between Oakland’s now deep list of people who are experienced enough in many ways related to sports stadiums and the M.I.C.E industry, and Libby’s relationships with those Oaklanders, like me, you’d think she’d form a task force to call on her friends, right? Not done. And that’s because Libby’s taking bad advice from her political consultants, and is afraid to take bold action. Mainly because she and the other Oakland City Council members are completely freaked out by the homeless problem.

And on that, I take this aside:

The City Of Oakland’s Homeless Problem is there because we don’t have a good fund to pay for the construction of afforable housing. The equation is simple: government investment via subsidy can help make a development project pay for itself with lower rent. We need tas increment financing to do that, which means we need a district, and that means we need and have legislation that allows it in California: SB 628, called Enhanced Infrastructure Financing Districts.

SB 628 specifically allows Oakland to finance affordable housing construction. It can be used with the A’s Stadium Plan to generate up to $80 million in financing assistance ear-marked for housing, in that case. We can use it in the case of Oak Knoll, or the Coliseum City project. When I talk about this with Oakland Councilmembers, they just tell me “redevelopment is dead” – as if they’re resigned to do nothing, let alone avoid using government policy tools that can solve the problem.

But for the homeless, the City can create a grant program that gives up to $3,000 per homeless person to get them housing – times the estimated 4,000 homeless in Oakland, and that calls for $12 million. Give them the grants – help them get into housing, and then that gives us time to rebuild our stock of both affordable and cheap homes.

The problem, it seems to me, is that Democrats seem to want people who need help to exist, rather that doing everything it takes to invest in those same people and eliminate their problems. Giving money, at the end of the day, is the solution – but Oakland’s Democrats don’t want to do that because it means no one to look down on and say “oh those poor people need our help.” I’m a Democrat, but that’s the way our party has turned, and Oakland’s ran by Dems. Time to call it as I see it. Back to the main point: sports and Mayor Schaaf.

Mayor Schaaf needs to do the following: 1) make a sports task force, 2) stop fooling around and call the one person with the nerve to really solve this problem fast, me, 3) let me stock the task force with capable Oaklanders and SF Bay Area experts in development and sports specialists, 4) ask Oaklanders to vote on what land they want used for the A’s, 5) work with the A’s to form a development plan for the stadium, 6) set a list of goals and objectives with respect to the M.I.C.E industry, 7) develop an overall finacing plan for structures, and 8) work on a plan for the development of the Oakland Coliseum of the future, which includes a review of change in the very nature of sports – for example, we now have E-Sports.

In closing, Mayor Schaaf and the Oakland City Council, and many Oaklanders, must change what their view of sports is. For example, a couple of people interrupted my interview with an Oakland A’s fan at FanFest to tell us they didn’t want a stadium at Jack London Square. One reason one of the persons gave was the idea that it added low wage jobs at $13 per hour! Wrong! The average stadium worker makes $68,000 a year – that’s on a par with nurses according to Simply Hired – and that’s the average and well above $13 an hour – it’s $32 an hour.

We also have to stop making the conversation about economic development and sports one about personalities, like Oakland Raiders Owner Mark Davis, and Oakland A’s President Dave Kaval, and make it about financing, land, goals, and objectives. Historically, whenever we talked about tech economid development, it was about just that, not about personalties like Steve Jobs or Jack Dorsey. You see? Our approach to sports in Oakland has been parochial and more often than not nasty and personal.

We have to stop that, and Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf can and should lead the charge to do so.

My Intro To The Oakland – East Bay DSA (Democratic Socialists of America)

Anyone is welcome to join or attend a DSA event – look for DSA signs at the Women’s March in Oakland tomorrow and come say hi! 

A few weeks ago, I found myself wandering around Grand Avenue, looking for a panel discussion on single-payer healthcare with the East Bay Democratic Socialists of America. The area around the Cathedral of Light is always pretty quiet at night, so I didn’t see any signs of life that would point the way….until I saw this sign:

“The worker must have bread but she must have roses too.” – Rose Schneiderman.

I knew I was in the right place. I found the door, the sign-in table, and the warm, bright room with 100+ people and a panel discussion on the future of healthcare.

Like so many of my peers, I’ve spent the last decade struggling with student and medical debt. I’m fortunate that bread has never been an issue for me, but roses, and the idea of thriving, is seen more and more as a luxury for my generation. What would you do if you weren’t weighed down by debt and financial insecurity? So many people I know just want to enhance their education, or start a business, or visit another country. How can we change our reality if we’re kept uneducated, inexperienced and sheltered from the rest of the world? Not to mention suffering from anxiety and depression because we’re still told that our worth is tied to our financial stability?

These are the questions my friends at the DSA are asking, and the fact that the East Bay chapter is one of the fastest growing in the country gives me up. I think Oakland knows what’s up. It isn’t hard to see that our country has the resources to responsibility for the health and education of its people.

DSA events happen every week or so, whether they’re happy hours, neighborhood canvasses for single-payer healthcare, watch parties, workshops or panels. I enjoy having unusually meaningful conversations with strangers at every event. You don’t have to exchange small talk before diving into politics, housing, healthcare and labor. The people I meet are issue-driven and care deeply about Oakland. At the last happy hour I learned about the brake light initiative, which was started in New Orleans and offers free brake light repair to get rid of just one of the excuses police use to pull over and harass people of color. It’s not just that these chapters are full of people committed to intersectional solidarity work, but they operate independently enough that they have the agility to take on a variety of meaningful projects that benefit their communities the most. It’s an exciting movement to be a part of.

Upcoming events:

Tuesday, January 23rd
Bernie Medicare For All Town Hall Watch Party
Temescal Brewing (4115 Telegraph Ave)
Facebook Event

Saturday, January 27th
East Bay DSA Bimonthly Informational Meeting
East Bay Community Space (507 55th St, Oakland)
Facebook Event

Tuesday, February 13th
West Oakland/Uptown/Adam’s Point Social
Telegraph Beer Garden (2318 Telegraph Ave)
Facebook Event

Saturday, February 17th
Adam’s Point Single-Pare Canvass
Facebook Event

Oakland City Council Votes to Advance Adult Use Cannabis – With Kaplan’s Amendments

OAKLAND, CA – Tonight, Oakland City Council unanimously voted to advance adult use cannabis, with amendments authored by Councilmember Kaplan to ensure effective implementation. Councilmember Kaplan’s amendments include: the community request to make sure approvals don’t get stuck in Revenue and Planning departments due to cross-departmental delays, and protecting applicant information from the Federal government.

Oakland Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan, who has been a leader in regulating and taxing cannabis, authored the nation’s first cannabis tax in 2009, which was placed on the ballot by the Council and passed overwhelmingly by Oakland voters.


Under Proposition 64, California will allow the sale of cannabis to Californians age 21 and over, but businesses can’t actually sell cannabis unless they get permits from their local city. By passing this legislation, Oakland cannabis businesses can now qualify for state and local authorization.

Kaplan says: “By permitting and taxing cannabis manufacturing, cultivation, and sales, Oakland will be better positioned to fund expansion of vital public services, including homeless solutions, and to remedy illegal dumping which threatens public health. Tonight’s vote made clear that Oakland will not miss the opportunity to bring in vitally needed tax dollars, by harnessing California’s coming legalization of cannabis for adult use. The people of Oakland voted overwhelmingly to support the legalization, taxation, and regulation of cannabis, and our city has successfully provided permitted medical cannabis dispensaries for over a decade — leading the nation in this effort. Now, as Adult Use cannabis sales are about to become legal in California, Oakland has built on this work by providing for adult use sales, in compliance with state and local laws.”

As many California cities have chosen to ban cannabis facilities, and others are enmeshed in lengthy ongoing debates, tonight’s action means that Oakland has now passed our revised cannabis ordinance, and is positioned to be one of the few cities in California prepared to have licensed adult-use sales by January 2018, when the State law allowing them goes into effect.

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf’s State Of The City Speech, Thursday Nov 3rd, 2017

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf’s staff for some reason used this Facebook page to post her State of The City Speech, even though the result was not used to be distributed via other social media. Sad.

The City’s residents needs to have a look at The Islamic Cultural Center, located at 1433 Madison, Steet. This gives them that chance – and it’s one reason why I reposted the speech here.

Sit back and watch and listen – and click on this link to hear the speech:

Stay tuned.

Fred Blackwell

In Oakland City Government Management 2017, Black Men, Once Common, Are Rare

Fred Blackwell
Fred Blackwell

John B. Williams, Lionel Wilson, Carter Gillmore, Marcus Foster, George Williams, Henry Gardner, Avon Manning, Elihu Harris, Robert Bobb, Gregory Hunter, Cedric Williams, Clint Bolden, Austin Penny, Ray Leon, Fred Blackwell, Kofi Bonner, and Ron Dellums, Larry Reid, and Lamont Ewell are some of the top names in a long list of distinguished black men who have served executive management positions in the City of Oakland since 1968.

Elihu Harris
Elihu Harris

If you know Oakland at all you know many of the names: John B. Williams was the City of Oakland’s legendary boss of its redevelopment agency, and going back to 1968. Lionel Wilson was Oakland’s first black mayor in 1979. Carter Gillmore was the first African American elected to the Oakland City Council in 1977. Marcus Foster was the first black Superintendent of the Oakland Unified School District, who was killed by the Symbonese Liberation Army in 1973. Henry Gardner was Oakland’s first black City Manager. Avon Manning was Assistant City Manager under Gardner. The legendary Ron Dellums became Oakland’s 48th Mayor in 2007. Robert Bobb was Oakland City Manager and then Oakland’s first City Administrator in 2000. Larry Reid is the current Oakland City Coucilman for District

Larry Reid
Larry Reid

Seven and was Mayor Harris’ Chief of Staff. And Gregory Hunter, Cedric Williams, Clint Bolden, Austin Penny, (now San Francisco Foundation CEO) Fred Blackwell, (now Lennar Urban Director) Kofi Bonner, and Lamont Ewell all held positions as City Manager, Assitant City Adminstrator, or head of Oakland’s economic development and redevelopment departments.

What these gentleman represented was what became something of a tradition in Oakland: an expectation of seeing a black man run something. That’s not to say there wasn’t a great list of black women then, but there are many African American women in high positions in Oakland today – however the ranks of black men in City of Oakland management positions have lessened to such a degree that Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf did not have one black male in any position in her office for most of her time as Mayor, and that includes the City Administrator’s Office.

As one who served as Oakland Mayor Elihu Harris’ Economic Advisor from 1995 to 1999, and then as the founder and Executive Director of The Oakland-Alameda County Sports Commission from 1999 to 2001, I’m proud to say I’ve known the majority of the men I’ve listed, and many others. For example, Mr. Bonner and I have a relationship that goes back to September 15th 1985, when I met him in the computer room of The University of California at Berkeley Department of City and Regional Planning, where we were both students. Part of the Berkeley Mafia.

But something has happened, and that it has became obvious to me when I was at Mayor Schaaf’s thank you event earlier this year. I made a livestream of the gathering, which is up at Zennie62 on YouTube as I write this. It was a fantastic time, but one moment just completely shocked me: when Mayor Schaaf asked her staff of what was by my count 29 people to come up for a photo, there was not a single black man. Black women, yes; black men, no.

That was jarring to me.

It was particularly bothersome because prior to what I will call “The NFL issue”, Mayor Schaaf and I had been close – after she was elected Mayor, she referred to me as her “brother” and so I returned the act, and called her my godsiter, and it went on from there.

This all started because we’ve known each other for about 30 years, and both shared a love for the Oakland community. In May of 2009, I was the one who told Libby she should run for Mayor, and I said it in front of her parents, my godparents, and my Mom, at their place. Libby ran for District Four Oakland City Council, and won in 2010, even as I wrote that she was going to run for Mayor of Oakland as an April Fools story that many took seriously.

But, in 2013, things changed: Bryan Parker, a black Oakland busness man new to politics, asked me to support his run for Mayor. I held off to ask Libby if she was going to run; she said no. But I was completely blindsided by the news she changed her mind – and it did not come from her. Libby never asked me to join her team – just expected that I would automatically dump Bryan and back her. But that’s not something one does in politics. Rank Choice Voting saved me – I could pick Parker 1, Schaaf 2, and Joe Tuman 3. But I was, and still am, hurt about that. The one who pushed her to run for Mayor and laid the publicity groundwork – the one who has a deep history in Oakland government – was left on the outside of her campaign, even as a black man in Bryan Parker asked for my help. That really dd hurt.

Then came the NFL: Schaaf rotinely learned on me for advice – some she took early on (like working to develop a relationship with Oakland Raiders Owner Mark Davis) but most she did not take (the stadium plan Mark Davis asked for from me, landing Pier Jaffrey Investment Bankers for the stadium project, letting the NFL purchase the Coliseum land, forming an incentive package and a plan to have the A’s go to Howard Terminal, and so on). But what was occasional at first became for all practical purposes a job for me. So, when I changed my mind and sought to be brought on as a consultant, and after Oakland Raiders Owner Mark Davis asked me to form a plan for Coliseum City – and after I cold-called Piper Jaffrey Investment Bankers and introduced a spreadsheet financial plan the firm blessed that called for no tax subsidy. Even with all of that, Libby never hired me – just maintained what I called the brother code.

We lost our preliminary bid to keep the Raiders, and for reasons that, had I been placed in an official position to fix, would not have existed. That because I have a relationship with the National Football League which goes back to 1995, and the return of the Raiders to Oakland from LA. After my work from 1999 to 2001 to have Oakland bid for the 2005 Super Bowl (we lost to Jacksonville), I wound up covering the NFL Draft from 2005 to present year.

Anyway, on March 26th 2017, by a vote of 31 to 1, we lost. A lot happened that weekend leading up to that day that involved the Mayor and I will not go into. But after that, I started to put things together, and look around at my City of Oakland – and that’s when the problem I wanted to ignore became impossible not to pay attention to: black men in non-elected executive positions were all but impossible to find in Oakland’s City Hall.

Now, you can say my reasons for being so interested in this issue now are self-serving, and you would be correct. But look: the whole point of being gainfully employed, being able to be well-compensated for being good at what you do, is self-serving. It would have been great to see other black men in many different high-level positons in Oakland, thus meaning it really was just my lack of whatever, but that is not the case. Oakland has gotten rid of black male managers under Mayor Schaaf.

That this is happening under Libby, and that I am compelled to point it out, makes me sick to my stomach. But someone has to shed a light on this problem. One media publication I will not named pointed to the “sisterhood” but I contend deliberately failed to note the lack of black men. Moreover, that publication has had a history of attacking black male government executives in Oakland. So, when I read that article, it seemed to me that the publication was engaging in a kind of dog-whistle racism, celebrating that black men were nowhere to be seen, without saying so.

This has to be considered a crisis of perception based on race and sex. A combination of some kind of weird hatred for competent black men, combined with what seems to be a white guilt over the race issue. Even though Oakland’s had and has a great history of powerful black women in many executive positions in Oakland, to see the ranks today and the media coverage, you’d think Oakland had never seen sisters before. Perish the thought.

Clearly, we collectively took a wrong turn over the last few years. If Mayor Schaaf was committed to ending the problem of perception, she would have hired me to represent her on the NFL issue, rather than just repeatedly calling me her brother and saying I have her ear. When you believe someone is truly competent at something, you pay for their services, and not seek free advice and work from them.

Something is wrong in Oakland. It’s not the way we used to be. That said, the new City of Oakland Planning Director William Gilchrist, an African American man, is a step in the right direction. It’s not that the ranks have to be as they were when Oakland was a majority black city, but the drop in black men has been so dramatic that people have talked about it – I decided to write about it.

Stay tuned, because I’m not done trying to figure out what happened to Oakland.

Oakland Raiders Las Vegas NFL Stadium Snags Are Roadblocks

More fake news about the Oakland Raiders Las Vegas NFL Stadium was tossed your way this week.

There are some in the sports media business who just write to maintain access. Access to team players, managers, and owners. When that desire runs up against the public’s need to get the truth, readers stuffer under the worse barrage of fake news there is. That happened on Tuesday of this week.

I’m not going to name the person at fault for this, but the scribe is well-known in San Francisco Bay Area Sports Media and, from an entirely other perspective, is a heck-of-a-nice person. Still, the writer is obviously only trying to make the Oakland Raiders brass happy, because this person issued a take with the headline that the Oakland Raiders Las Vegas NFL Stadium project will have only snags and not roadblocks, and based that conclusion only on a so-called source who said “the casinos want this”, referring to the Raiders new stadium.

My friend could have got that kind of quote from any yahoo – and that dude or dudett would not even have to be a Las Vegas resident. “The casinos want this” is a statement only a person who has not really followed the Oakland Raiders Las Vegas NFL Stadium story, let alone understand urban development, would make.

Everyone who knows the Oakland Raiders Las Vegas NFL Stadium story is aware, and in some cases painfully so, that the project is posting a giant mound of costs that the Raiders would never have to deal with in Oakland. Let’s look at what they are:

1. Relocation Fee of $370 million: This is the easy cost the Raiders have to bear and they expected it, and because it’s levied by the NFL, there are a number of ways the League can allow the Silver and Black to afford to pay it. Still, it’s a cost the Raiders would not have to deal with in Oakland.

2. Off-Site Transportation Cost of $450 million: This is 50 percent of the estimated $900 million in total, stadium related, expenses for the installation of a number of projects the Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) has identified as needing to be completed before the stadium opens. Such things as new interchanges (three of them) at $200 million each, and ‘High Occupancy Vehicle” lanes along Interstate 15.

The Southern Nevada Tourism and Investment Act (SNTIA) is the law that not only gave the greenlight to the much-talked-about $750 million subsidy for stadium construction, it also mandates that the “developer” pay an “adequate” amount of the off-site transportation infrastructure cost that was preliminarily determined by NDOT. Note the word preliminarily.

Here’s the latest bad news associated with that matter: the Las Vegas Stadium Authority hired a firm called Marnell Companies to basically review the Kimey Horn Transportation Study – the one that laid out that the Raiders would also generate a number of traffic problems for streets and roads, not just the highways. Well, guess what? Marnell Companies found a ton of errors that also point to the late-2016 NDOT report of $900 million, and the Kimey Horn work which was based, to a degree, off of it.

The simple explanation is that no one at Kimey Horn or NDOT bothered to estimate the actual traffic impact of the stadium itself on top of and in addition to the current traffic levels! In the case of NDOT, existing planned projects were identified as candidates for early construction, but not one person bothered to ask exactly what kind of highways and roads would be needed because of the stadium but that are not planned as of now. In NDOT’s defense, it did say the findings were preliminary. But what this means is the real cost of the transportation infrastructure improvement needed for the Las Vegas NFL stadium is not known, and is certainly higher than $900 million – which means the Raiders share of that cost is going to be north of that, thanks to the SNTIA.

What Marnell Companies also pointed out is that NDOT and Kimey Horn did not take into account the combined traffic produced by the patrons leaving the Raiders stadium just as others are trying to get to McCarran International Airport. That would create a nightmare traffic situation higher and beyond the kind of ‘we can deal with traffic as if it’s nothing’ take that Clark County Commissioner Steve Sisolak shared a few months ago when it became obvious this traffic deal had not been thought out by the Raiders. There are a lot of problems – did you know the stadium can’t even handle having a line of taxis and Uber and Lyft cars? That’s what Marnell Companies discovered. Wow!

3. Parking Facility Cost of $195.7 million: that’s based on Clark County’s regulatory call for 14,000 additional parking spaces and only because, well, the Raiders need 16,250 of them, but can only come up with 2,250 next to the stadium – times the per-acre cost of land around the stadium, the market rate of which is $2.9 million right now, and then times the number of acres needed: which is 67.4 acres assuming that each parking space is about 210 square feet – that comes to $195.7 million.

So that total cost is, so far, $1.015 billion in costs that the Oakland Raiders have to bear that they can avoid by building a new stadium in Oakland. Repeat, the Raiders could take the Fortress new stadium deal in Oakland, and save at least $1.015 billion in costs. Let’s add that to the stadium’s base expense of $1.9 billion – we get $2.915 billion – almost $3 billion in expenses and climbing. Note that we have not even seen the acutual price tag to build the stadium (the guaranteed maximum price), and we will not know what that will be until (hopefully for the Raiders) February or March of 2018. That could be even more expensive that the $1.9 billion – and that does not even include other unforceen costs. Like, who’s going to pay for the much-needed water runoff drainpool? The Atlanta Falcons Stadium has one; what ahout the Raiders stadium, which happens to be in a flood plain?

So far, no casino has officially stepped forward to take on these expenses on behalf of the Oakland Raiders. In fact, as Las Vegas minority contracting activist Stanley Washington told me “the casinos have gotten a lot for spending no money at all – they’re not about to change that. Now, Everyone’s watching to see what the Raiders do.”

Raiders Owner Mark Davis scared away the blank check Las Vegas Sands CEO Sheldon Adelson had offered to pay for all of these costs (and as a gift to Las Vegas) when Davis tried to double-cross him.

I hear the popcorn’s good in Las Vegas. Maybe the guy who wrote the take about the idea that the “casinos want this” should have some for himself – he’s gonna need it.

Oakland City Council

Oakland Councilmembers Brooks, Kaplan, Gallo Introduce Resolution Supporting DACA

Oakland City Council
Oakland City Council
OAKLAND, CA (Press release) – Oakland Councilmembers Brooks, Kaplan and Gallo introduces a Resolution supporting the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals that was put in place by President Obama to allow immigrant minors who entered the United States illegally, but who had been largely raised in the United States to receive a renewable two-year period of deferred action from deportation and eligibility for a work permit.

Councilmembers Brooks, Kaplan and Gallo’s statement:

“We are sickened and saddened by Attorney General Sessions announcement winding down and rescinding DACA. We know that immigrants strengthen our country. We know that diversity strengthens our country. We have seen how DACA has let scores of young people come out of the shadows and pursue fuller, richer lives – and we will fight tooth and nail to protect and defend DACA for those young people and for the next generation.

These are the aspiring citizens who live and work in the communities and cities that Local Progress members represent. They have completed their education here, they have families here, they are our neighbors, friends, and colleagues.

Ending this program further demonstrates that President Trump is committed to an agenda of white supremacy that runs counter to the values of inclusion and diversity that we hold dear in this country. Oaklanders stand in direct opposition. As such, we will introduce the Resolution below at the first Council meeting in September.”