Community Keeps Pushing for Army Base Jobs

West Oakland residents met this week to learn about the future of plans to develop Oakland’s old Army Base that could mean thousands of local jobs. Community members who attended the meeting Wednesday evening at Mt. Zion Baptist Church in West Oakland want to make sure that they are at the table when the city, Port of Oakland and the developer – Prologis – make the key decisions that determine how the project will be developed. Assistant City Administrator Fred Blackwell told the meeting he was committed to negotiating with the developer to include all provisions of the city’s community benefits policy, which was passed unanimously by the Oakland City Council in February after a year-long workgroup process with community stakeholders. Blackwell also said that he would continue to work to ensure that community representatives are present at the negotiating table with the developer. At issue are more than 8,000 jobs to be created by the project. Residents want to make sure the jobs are good jobs with benefits and that the jobs go to local residents. The policy adopted by the city requires 50 percent local hires, the creation of a Community Jobs Resource Center, removing barriers for hiring the formerly incarcerated by “banning the box” and ensuring permanent work by banning temporary employment agencies. Richard Sinkoff, director of Environmental Planning at the Port of Oakland, told the meeting that the port would consider a Community Jobs Policy similar to the city’s at the Port Commission Meeting on May 11. Mark Hansen, Senior Vice President for Prologis, did not attend the meeting. Prologis, which has its headquarters in San Francisco, is the major project developer. The company is partnered with CCIG to redevelop the former base. Hansen did not return calls to the Post.
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