We found Oakland Magazine's December 2016 edition article, “Unintended Consequences”, biased and unfair. The article’s author argues our labor unions are filing environmental appeals of local housing projects with the City purely to secure jobs for its members. This is a mischaracterization.
Recently, the City of Oakland rallied together to stop the shipment of coal for export from the Port of Oakland. Why should communities sit by while other projects are proposed that could also have a significant impact on our health?
If a development project could in anyway pose a threat to the community’s health, we file an appeal. This forces the City to thoroughly investigate the project’s impact and requires mitigation. Many times, our major concerns are then dealt with at the staff or commission level, so when our appeal reaches the City Council, few items of contention remain. This means our appeal has been successful, no matter the final vote.
Is Oakland Magazine supporting developments that don’t meet basic environmental standards in its crusade to support building at all costs?
Oakland is in the middle of a precedent-setting construction boom. The question our city faces is who will benefit from this boom? Out of town developers that could make billions? Or the residents who have lived here for decades, building and paying to create the city these developers would exploit?
We strongly believe that new developments must meet strict environmental standards, provide jobs, support a middle class and pay appropriate fees for their impact on the community. We will oppose those developments that do not meet these criteria.