We Call on Oakland A's to prevent Chinatown Displacement

September 18, 2017

Dave Kaval, President, Oakland A’s

Mayor Libby Schaaf, City of Oakland

Council President Larry Reid, City of Oakland

Councilmember Abel Guillen, City of Oakland

Chancellor Jowel Laguerre, Peralta Community College District

Dear Oakland Leaders;

We were heartened to hear the recent news that the Oakland A’s have re-confirmed their commitment to remain in Oakland.  While in office at the City of Oakland, we did everything possible to keep the A’s in Oakland.  We met frequently with Lew Wolff.  We then convinced Major League Baseball of the importance of keeping the A’s in Oakland and the viability of our proposals for the construction of a new ballpark.  Had the Governor not killed Redevelopment in 2011, it is highly likely that the A’s would already be playing in their new ballpark.

We fought to keep the A’s in the past.  We continue our commitment to the A’s.  At the same time, we believe there are legitimate community concerns about potential negative impacts of a new Oakland A’s ballpark located on the Peralta Community College site, not far from the Chinatown and Eastlake neighborhoods.  We strongly recommend that you address these community concerns with full respect and include community representatives in your planning process.  

The history of Oakland Chinatown is unfortunately replete with misguided development decisions that disrespected the Chinatown community and displaced residents and community institutions.  It is our great hope that the Oakland A’s new ballpark development does not add to this ignoble history.

We also recommend that you undertake a rigorous socio-economic impact analysis of the Peralta site, as well as other site options, that includes study of potential market force displacement and pedestrian safety impacts.  Wise decision-making about the future site for the Oakland As, a beloved community asset, should be informed by a full understanding of both potential community benefits and impacts.  An effective impact analysis is critical to your ability to balance economic development and community preservation and pedestrian safety priorities for Oakland, as well as to develop meaningful community buy-in and support.

We thank you for your efforts on behalf of the Oakland community.

Sincerely yours,

Ron Dellums, Former Oakland Mayor & Congressman

Dan Lindheim, Former Oakland City Administrator

Margaretta Lin, Former Oakland Deputy City Administrator

The Dellums Institute for Social Justice