No Coal in Oakland reveals giant donations to 1 candidate
By Janis Hashe
The combat in opposition to an Oakland terminal on the West Gateway web site on the foot of the Bay Bridge, which might be used to ship coal, has been occurring for years. In the newest twist, in line with the group No Coal in Oakland (NCIO), allies of the terminal have been funneling cash into the campaigns of a candidate for mayor.
The group additionally has famous that some metropolis council members have refused to signal a “no coal” pledge, elevating issues that, if elected, they are going to undermine the eight-year battle to maintain coal out of Oakland.
NCIO requested mayoral and metropolis council candidates to signal a pledge supporting the Metropolis of Oakland’s efforts “to make use of each possible authorized technique to stop building or operation of a coal terminal in Oakland.” As of this writing, mayoral candidates Greg Hodge, Treva Reid, John Reimann, Loren Taylor, Sheng Thao and Allyssa Victory have signed the pledge. Candidates Ignacio De La Fuente, Tyron Jordan, Peter Liu and Seneca Scott haven’t.
In metropolis council races, District 2 candidate Nicki Fortunato Bas has signed the pledge. Harold Lowe has not. In District 3, each Janani Ramachadran and Nenna Joiner have signed the pledge. In District 6, Kenneth Session and Nancy Sidebotham signed the pledge. Kevin Jenkins and Yakpasua Zazaboi haven’t.
In response to Margaret Rossoff, NCIO co-coordinator, group members have been monitoring the town’s two websites which document marketing campaign contributions, www.opendisclosure.io, and “Present Me the Cash.” Crimson flags had been raised when it was found that mayoral candidate Ignacio De La Fuente had first taken $50,000 donations from an “Impartial Expenditure Committee,” known as “Californians for Safer Streets Supporting Ignacio De La Fuente.” This “committee” was arrange by longtime coal lobbyist Greg McConnell, who has ties to Vikas Tandon, the financier who has now taken over plans to construct a coal terminal.
The large cash donors to this embrace Jonathan Brooks, founding father of hedge fund JMB Capital, which shares the Los Angeles workplace with hedge fund Autumn Wind, which picked up possession of Perception Terminal Options (ITS) in a chapter continuing. Autumn Wind’s Chief Funding Officer is Vikas Tandon, who’s now the CEO of ITS.
Oakland Bulk & Outsized Terminal (OBOT), Phil Tagami’s shell firm that entered right into a growth settlement with the Metropolis of Oakland in 2013 (by way of father or mother firm CCIG), till the Metropolis terminated the lease in late 2018 because of the developer’s failure to satisfy contractual obligations, additionally donated $50,000.
Then, on Oct. 12, Open Disclosure revealed a $250,000 further donation to De La Fuente’s marketing campaign by way of the committee by Brooks. On Oct. 20, Brooks contributed yet one more $250,000, bringing his whole to $550,000 to a pro-coal candidate.
“If the mayor and metropolis council skew extra pro-coal, it may have an effect on the continued settlement negotiations,” Rossoff mentioned. If no settlement is reached, the matter is about to go to trial once more in April 2023. Nonetheless, “there continues to be robust public opposition to a coal terminal,” she mentioned, praising particularly the rising activism of Youth vs. Apocalypse, whose September “local weather strike” drew a whole bunch.
Participant Georgia Wallace, 17, advised NCIO, “Constructing a coal terminal by way of a predominantly Black and brown neighborhood exhibits us once more that the protection of those communities just isn’t valued.”
Oakland Police will proceed to make use of license plate readers after metropolis council vote
By Keith Burbank
Police in Oakland will proceed to make use of automated license plate readers (ALPRs) following a unanimous vote by the town council on Oct. 20.
The readers are cameras mounted on police autos that scan license plates throughout routine police patrols. Data gained might assist officers determine stolen autos or autos linked to a criminal offense or lacking individuals’ case.
Final month, the town council’s public security committee despatched the police division’s request for continued use of the readers again to the privateness advisory fee.
Councilmembers Treva Reid and Loren Taylor, each who’re operating for mayor this fall, used a procedural movement to get the request out of committee and permit the council to think about it, Taylor mentioned final week in an interview.
Metropolis council President Professional Tem Sheng Thao, additionally a mayoral candidate, proposed amendments eventually week’s metropolis council assembly to Reid and Taylor’s movement. The amendments adopted negotiations Thao spearheaded between the privateness advisory fee and Oakland Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong.
The town council handed the merchandise with Thao’s amendments.
“As our metropolis grapples with a rise in violent crime and the restricted capability of our at the moment understaffed police division, I’ve reiterated the necessity to leverage expertise to enhance our public security providers,” Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf mentioned final week in an e-mail to residents.
Schaaf urged residents to inform metropolis council members to let the police maintain the information collected from the readers for a yr. Councilmembers opted to permit police to maintain the information for six months.
“The assist obtained from my council colleagues prevented additional delay and much-needed motion,” Reid mentioned in a press release.
She mentioned the readers give police “enhanced instruments to maintain Oaklanders secure and maintain criminals accountable.”
Reid mentioned in an interview final week that criminals don’t consider they gained’t be held accountable in Oakland.
“Whereas ALPR expertise is already in use in well-resourced industrial corridors, and in a small fraction of OPD autos, it’s important that we pave the way in which for expanded use throughout the town to enhance security and handle fairness,” Taylor mentioned in a press release.
Police have about 20 readers now, Taylor mentioned. The town council’s approval might result in using extra readers sooner or later.
Taylor and Reid mentioned audits shall be performed to make sure using the information by police addresses residents’ privateness issues.
The readers will save police time, and amongst different issues, enhance officers’ effectivity, Taylor mentioned.