Oakland News: Coliseum City Approved, Abel Guillen Wins DFA Oakland Straw Poll

2014-12-25 10:03:41
Oakland News: Coliseum City Approved, Abel Guillen Wins DFA Oakland Straw Poll
Thursday, December 25, 2014, 10:03:42 AM

Coliseum City

The Oakland City Council approved the Oakland Coliseum City project at last night’s Oakland City Council meeting. The idea, a much needed and long overdue overhaul of the Oakland Coliseum Complex, will, if built guarantee that a Super Bowl will be hosted in Oakland. That’s because the National Football League has a policy of giving a Super Bowl to NFL cities that build new stadiums.

According to Marine Layer, who attended last night’s City Council meeting while this blogger was at the Oakland Rockridge Library’s Democrats For America (DFA) CA Assembly District 18 Candidates Forum, there was no one to speak in opposition to Coliseum City out of 23 speakers. As to funds, they would come from the existing 7,000 acre Coliseum Redevelopment Area.

For those who may be scratching their heads on the redevelopment angle, the recent State of California decision doesn’t erase current redevelopment project areas, just future ones. This is an attempt to finally use the Coliseum Redevelopment Area to its fullest potential.

Other info from Marine Layer:

De La Fuente – Supports resolutions. Understands passion of fans. We don’t have to bargain or beg for our teams because our site is the best. The teams are an asset, but they also want to be here. Can’t forget we are subsidizing the franchises for $10 million/year. We can do better next time. We are prepared to work hard, but it takes two to tango. It’s responsible to look at the no stadium alternative. We can’t force teams to stay. Hopefully we’re sending one more message tonight that we’re willing to work with MLB. Hopefully we’ll get the same in return.

Brooks – In the last year I think we’re making moves like we’re talking to the teams in a way they understand. Refers to opening of management of contracts for Coliseum, which she started.

Brunner – Congratulations Mr. Reid. He has been pushing the Coliseum (his district) as long as I can remember. The only reason we didn’t look at the Coliseum was that the A’s were saying they wouldn’t go there. I’m in total support of this. The reason I’m interested in (980 Park) is that there’s a chance that the A’s will still come back to us and say we’re still not interested in the Coliseum. Talking to staff offline, we need to understand the feasibility of doing it over the freeway. It’s good if we know the pros and cons.

Schaaf – We all want all of our teams to stay, but we don’t totally control that. We have to be mindful that there are other people who control those decisions. There will be scenarios if one or more of those teams don’t stay. Resolution does not include that kind of language, so will ask Blackwell to include it. Coliseum City doesn’t adequately describe how big it is.

(Angstadt clarifies that non-stadium alternative will be specified in the professional services contract.)

Reid – Nobody’s spent more time on this than I have. I tried to get Dan Lindheim to see it, he wouldn’t. I tried to get Jerry Brown to see it and he wouldn’t. Thanks to the Mayor and to Jane Brunner for writing the letter to MLB.

Nadel – Constituents support 980 Park as part of study.

Reid – If we do nothing then we will lose every sports franchise in our city. When we first sat down with Lew Wolff and showed him our vision of Coliseum City, he took it down to San Jose (sic) and came up with the 66th-High Street. If we give MLB two options and MLB tells him, “Here are two options, take one or put the team up for sale,” Oakland would never be the same. (Referring to Coliseum City and Victory Court). I’m glad that someone caught the vision. I just hope it’s not too late.

Abel Guillen Wins DFA Oakland Straw Poll

I was at last night’s Oakland DFA meeting, which in fairness to the DFA was about more than just the California Assembly District 18 Candidates Forum, but since 70 percent of the 40-or-so attendees were at a DFA Oakland meetup for the first time, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out why.

With such a well-attended forum, you’d think the candidates – Rob Bonta, Abel Guillen, and Joel Young – would bother to show up. But the timing of the event was such that Alameda Councilmember Bonta could not miss his Tuesday night Alameda City Council meeting. Abel Guillen was sick. And Joel Young just plain failed to show up, even as the event organizers expected him to attend.

Now Bonta and Guillen sent representatives to speak on their behalf. Bonta dispatched Jessica Reynolds and Jim Oddie, whereas Guillen sent Winnie Chan to speak for him. My longer video will reveal what this 15 second Tout will show: that Winnie rocked the house for Abel.

Basically, it was a case of one person beating a two-person tag team. Winnie slaughtered them, and the result showed it. Because of her great, forceful, passionate speech, Abel won the straw poll last night, getting the vast majority of votes; there was no vote cast for Joel Young.

I can understand why Joel didn’t show up – possibly questions about the domestic violence issue, the presence of a blogger with a video camcorder (me) – but he should have arrived anyway. Had he done so, he could have shown many that he’s much bigger than the one issue that, to date, has come to define him. Moreover, it was purely bad form to not come, not send a rep, and not even call the event organizers to say he wasn’t coming.

Oh well.

Stay tuned.

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