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Emergency Mobilization Against Gentrification in Oakland!

By x363464 - November 6, 2013

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are not the official position of the IWW (or even the IWW’s EUC) and do not necessarily represent the views of anyone but the author’s.




Emergency Mobilization to resist the Oak to Ninth project this Thursday November 7, 2013 3PM, Jack London Aquatic Center, 115 Embarcadero Oakland: public "outreach" meeting to introduce Phase 1 design & schedule.

Governor Jerry Brown is waging a war on on the environment and the working class! We must draw the line in Oakland!

The Oak to Ninth Project is the definition of gentrification. "The Oak to Ninth Project would wall off the waterfront, demolish the historic Ninth Avenue Terminal, build housing next to I-880, and create yet more traffic congestion. This deal, which its opponents point out received virtually no coverage in the corporate media, has been called 'shady.' "[1] To add insult to injury they are calling it the "Brooklyn Basin" [2]

The project would build into the estuary which the Sierra Club once again uses their privilege to compromise the environment and state "Rather than approving the developer's request for 3,100 units, the Council should insist on the environmentally superior project of just 540 units."

In 2006 opposition was raised The League of Women Voters, the Sierra Club, the Coalition of Advocates for Lake Merritt (CALM), and the Green Party. They were met with a demand to collect 18,700 signatures in 30 days for the plan for the a referendum [5] They ended up collecting 25,000 but were shut down and in response filed a lawsuit in Superior Court.

“After mounting an enormous and successful effort to alert the public and collect signatures, the Referendum Committee faces an impossible situation,” president of the League of Women Voters of Oakland Helen Hutchison said in a prepared statement announcing the lawsuit. “The city gave us the authorized documents several days into the brief 30-day signature gathering period. Then when we turned in the signatures, they said, ‘we supplied the wrong documents so the referendum petition is invalid.’ Invalidating our petition for this reason completely undermines the right to petition for referendum on a city action"

This project is being pushed forward by Gov. Jerry Brown who recently received an award from the Blue Green Alliance and the Sierra Club for "catalyzing the clean energy economy" This was a complete farce considering Jerry Brown has been attacking unions and the environment for some time now [3] This project may be exactly why he is working to dismantle the California Environmental Quality Act for infill housing development! [4] In the Environmental Impact Report it states:

"The Court Order found that the EIR failed to comply with CEQA by not including a sufficient analysis of the cumulative land use/plans and policies impacts of the proposed project."

This project will also require the movement of contaminated soil and hazardous waste that has a high potential spill in the Bay and pollute the air when disrupted. The EIR reports:

"The proposed project consists of the redevelopment of a former industrial area. Remediation of the existing subsurface contamination would occur prior to development of the project. Remediation would employ of various technologies, including excavation and off-site disposal of contaminated soils. Under the significance criteria for hazardous materials, however, potential cumulative impacts could occur if the project combined with past, present, and future development to (1) create a significant hazard to the public or the environment through the routine transport, use, or disposal of hazardous materials; or (2) create a significant hazard to the public or the environment through reasonably foreseeable upset and accident conditions involving the release of hazardous materials into the environment."

There also land use codes and policies in the EIR that the project violates. One is that the project cannot divide an existing community.

"The proposed project would not result in any physical division of an existing community in any of the areas surrounding the project site, because of the site’s physical separation from other surrounding neighborhoods. " The project-specific potential impact on the Fifth Avenue Point area could not combine with any other project, because the Fifth Avenue Point is completely surrounded by the Oak to Ninth project and the potential impact is related to the project’s removal of the surrounding industrial/warehouse area on the project site. There is no physical opportunity for any other project to contribute to this impact. Moreover, mitigation measures will reduce this project-specific potential impact to less than significant. Consequently, the project would not combine with other past, present, or reasonably foreseeable future projects to physically divide an existing community on the project site or in the surrounding area." [6]

In they document they rule it would not divide any community but this project would literally surround the 5th ave Marina, overshadowing the artist community with Yuppie high rise condos, overpriced restaurants, and shops.[7] The state refuses to recognize them as a community because it is made up of working class and poor people. [8]

The EIR clearly lays out the plan to dismantle the 5th ave Marina Community and neighboring communities through gentrification stating:

"Creation of a new neighborhood on the project site (along with development of park and waterfront amenities) would enhance the desirability of the privately-owned Fifth Avenue Area surrounded by the project site. Market values of property would increase as would interest in additional new development there in the future. Although not a residential area, there are a small number of existing work-live studios that could become more desirable depending on the condition of the older structures, and rents for existing space could be higher in the future as a result of the project."

“We’re just art types down here,” “We can fight as hard as we want with sticks and stones, but they’ve got the big guns. The government does what they want to do when they want to do it.” stated 5th Ave Marina resident Zack Parkes in a 2013 interview [9]

The EIR has failed to challange the Oak to 9th project to address issues such as gentrification and hazards due to seismic activity and pollution. It would also require the expansion of the Altamont Landfill and the Vasco Road Landfill .

"The project would result in a significant cumulative utilities and service systems impact withrespect to solid waste if, in combination with closely related past, present, and reasonably foreseeable future projects, it would (1) be served by a landfill with insufficient permitted capacity to accommodate the project’s solid waste disposal needs and require or result inconstruction of landfill facilities or expansion of existing facilities, the construction of which would cause significant environmental effects; or (2) violate applicable federal, state, and local statutes and regulations related to solid waste standards."

History has proven you cannot depend on the Sierra Club. They have compromised too many times and are in bed with Jerry Brown as well as developers who are evicting the Albany Bulb of over 60 homeless people.[10] We should raise an immediate grassroots opposition to this Gentrifying project or it will destroy the Estuary and make Oakland a haven for the Bourgeoisie.

Grassroots Environmentalists and 'Rank and File' Labor must unite here and draw the line to defend the working class and environment of Oakland!

Emergency Mobilization to resist the Oak to Ninth project this Thursday November 7, 2013 3PM, Jack London Aquatic Center, 115 Embarcadero Oakland: public "outreach" meeting to introduce Phase 1 design & schedule.


[10] & -

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