A’s and Raiders Extend Agreements at Coliseum
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
OAKLAND, CA Nov 25, 2013 – Oakland City Council President Pro Tem Rebecca D. Kaplan (At Large), who serves as an Oakland representative on the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority, issued the following statement Monday morning following the Authority’s approval of a lease extension for the Athletics and Raiders:
“This morning, the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority – on which I serve – approved lease extensions for both the Oakland Athletics and the Oakland Raiders.
This development is a positive step in our continued efforts to build a positive future with our sports teams.
Oakland is a sports town – and this is good news for the teams, the fans and the city alike.
Today’s news is a symbol of the strong partnership between the city, the county and the teams. It materially increases the momentum of our efforts to improve economic vitality and the overall fan experience.
As we work to bring new and expanded development to this central and accessible location, the A’s and Raiders will continue to play great seasons here in Oakland.”
Oakland City Council President Pro Tem Rebecca Kaplan serves as one of the City of Oakland’s representatives on the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority. She was elected in 2008 and re-elected in 2012 as Oakland’s At-Large Councilmember. President Pro Tem Kaplan works to improve quality of life by restoring public safety, expanding economic opportunity and rebuilding trust in government. She holds a B.S. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a M.A. from Tufts University and a J.D. from Stanford Law School.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 19, 2013
Contact: Jason Overman
OAKLAND, CA – Two city councilmembers in Oakland are asking their colleagues to show solidarity at Tuesday’s City Council meeting with Sasha Fleischman, an Oakland teenager who was lit on fire while riding a bus earlier this month – and to speak out against violence and hate crime.
Council President Pro Tem Rebecca Kaplan (At Large) – Oakland’s first openly lesbian city councilmember – and Councilmember Lynette Gibson McElhaney (District 3) introduced a resolution last week asking the Oakland City Council to express its solidarity with Fleischman, a gender nonconforming high school student attacked while wearing a skirt.
The resolution also declares November 20, 2013 as “Transgender Remembrance Day” in the City of Oakland.
“An injury to one of us is an injury to all of us,” Kaplan said. “There are no words that could adequately convey the tragedy and brutality of attacks against members of the LGBTQ community – in Oakland and everywhere. But the outpouring of support for Sasha from every corner of our community is a heartening reminder of just how much we all have in common with one another, and how strongly we’ll stand up together. I’ll continue to pray that Sasha recovers fully and quickly, and I’ll continue working to create a community that supports the right of all to be free from violence.”
Kaplan and McElhaney will present the resolution Tuesday evening with leaders from the transgender community during the ceremonial portion of Tuesday’s council meeting – and the councilmembers will also speak at the ‘Transgender Day of Remembrance’ ceremony, hosted by TransVision and the Tri-City Health Center, in Frank H. Ogawa Plaza’s amphitheater on Wednesday evening.
“I’m proud to stand in solidarity with my colleagues to honor Sasha,” McElhaney said. “The violence inflicted upon transgender members of our society is significant and it must end. May our community be, first and foremost, less violent. May we learn to be more accepting of our neighbors.”
Members of the public are invited to attend Tuesday’s City Council meeting and participate in the presentation of the resolution, numbered 4.2 on the council’s agenda.
The Transgender Day of Remembrance will be held in Frank H. Ogawa Plaza on Wednesday, November 20 from 5:15 to 6:30pm. This event is open to the public. For more information, contact Tiffany Woods with the Tri-City Health Center at (510) 456-3521.
By Janie McCauley
Oakland Athletics owner Lew Wolff insists his team is staying put. For now, anyway.
Wolff said Monday through the team that the A’s will extend their lease at the Oakland Coliseum and “look forward to another great season.” The team’s managing partner responded to a report in the San Francisco Chronicle saying Major League Baseball might get involved to help the A’s play across the bay in the San Francisco Giants’ AT&T Park if no short-term lease was reached to continue their home games in the rundown Coliseum.
“It’s a little more rugged,” A’s center fielder Coco Crisp said of the ballpark. “It does have its own personality.”
It was unclear how many years Oakland is seeking for its lease, and the team declined further comment since no deal has been reached with the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority. Yet the Coliseum Authority also sounded encouraged by the progress, issuing a statement from board chair and Alameda County Supervisor Nate Miley.
“We are working on a deal that we believe will be beneficial for both our tenant and the people of this community,” the statement said. “We are confident that everyone involved sees the value in continuing for as long as possible the 45-year relationship between the A’s and the City of Oakland. While we cannot comment on the specific issues now under discussion or on whether there is any basis to recent rumors that Major League Baseball has played a role in the discussions, we are optimistic that a final deal is close at hand.”
The Giants didn’t comment on the Chronicle report.
Oakland City Council President Pro Tem Rebecca Kaplan, who represents the City of Oakland at-large and is on the Coliseum Authority, also expressed her desire to keep the A’s around.
“I am fully committed to working toward a positive agreement for the A’s lease in Oakland,” Kaplan said.
The small-budget A’s have won consecutive AL West titles, losing in five games of the division series to the Detroit Tigers in each of the past Octobers. The Coliseum, shared with the NFL’s Oakland Raiders, had multiple sewage problems in 2013 that caused damage during games.
By Will Kane
San Francisco Chronicle
The A’s will most likely play at O.co Coliseum next year. Or maybe not.
But they probably will because they have nowhere else to go. Unless they do.
One thing is certain: As Oakland again latches its hopes and dreams to the sizzling, plucky ballclub, there’s still no official deal for the A’s to play their next season in Oakland.
The current lease agreement expires at midnight Dec. 31, and while negotiators are meeting almost daily, the president of the Athletics said the two sides “still remain far apart.”
City leaders, though, remain optimistic that a deal is just a few crossed-t’s and dotted-i’s away.
It is a strange circumstance because neither side appears to have the upper hand. The A’s have nowhere else to play next season, and city and county leaders have every incentive to play nice with A’s owner Lew Wolff, who never misses a chance to note that he’d rather be playing ball in San Jose.
At issue is the crumbling Coliseum complex, one of the most out-of-date stadiums in Major League Baseball, and the only field that still hosts both a baseball and a football team.
Councilwoman Rebecca Kaplan said the two sides were focusing on a six- to eight-year deal that would emphasize improving the experience for fans.
“I feel it is quite clear that we can come to a good solution here,” said Kaplan, who sits on the Coliseum Authority’s oversight board. “I am certainly committed to helping make that happen. And by a good solution I mean one that benefits the community as well as benefits the A’s.”
“Some of the things we are still working on the details of are improving the fan experience, the food and drink experience, the ambiance,” Kaplan said, adding that they are also planning to update the scoreboard.
The hope is that a better environment will lure more fans to the stadium, she said. And more fans means more money for both the A’s and the Coliseum Authority, which is run by both the city and the county.
“We’re in this great context of this huge upsurge in the interest in the A’s and a huge upsurge in the attendance in the games,” Kaplan said. “With the level of interest so high, I think we have the real opportunity for a win-win.”
And the six- to eight-year window should give Oakland plenty of time to get serious about building a replacement ballpark and luring the A’s to stay, Kaplan said.
The city has offered two ideas: a new stadium near the old one, part of the Coliseum City development plan, and a waterfront yard near the downtown Howard Terminal site.
“As long as all the parties decide to take the steps to make this succeed, it can succeed here,” Kaplan said.
Earlier this week, two big investors joined the Coliseum City project, a proposed development that will bring shops, bars, restaurants and hotels to the area. Early plans also include a football stadium, a baseball park and a basketball arena.
“It goes so far beyond a stadium with a couple of sports bars next to it,” said Ed MacFarlan, a principal of JRDV Urban International, the development’s master plan architectural firm. “The urban context is part of the reason people get off the sofa and come to a live game – the place, the quality of place.”
Jim Zelinski, a founder of the grassroots group Save Oakland Sports, said the A’s deserve a permanent home in Oakland.
“Whether it is the waterfront or where, this is where the team belongs,” Zelinski said. “And it is not just nostalgia, there is economic firepower here.”
By Brenda Payton
Here we are again. The A’s are in the playoffs, winners of the American League West Division, just like last year. Here we are again, facing the Detroit Tigers, just like last year. This time, it’ll be different. This time, we’re going all the way to win the World Series.
That was the mantra at the city of Oakland’s rally for the A’s last week. The team is even stronger this year; watch out Detroit, it’s payback time. October is Oaktober and full of possibility (when you read this we’ll be up two games, fingers crossed).
The mood was upbeat and decidedly feisty. Reddick didn’t mince words; he said he enjoyed showing that the A’s are better than the Los Angeles Angels and the Texas Rangers. A couple of speakers mentioned the fact that even though the A’s won the division last year, the national media played down their chances this year. The Rodney Dangerfield of baseball.
City Councilwoman Rebecca Kaplan summed it up: “Oakland and the A’s go together so well because people are always trying to count us out and every time we surprise them.”
Every city with a baseball team has a special relationship with its team. In Oakland, the relationship is symbiotic. They are two underdogs, and both embrace the role. The A’s have one of the lowest payrolls in Major League Baseball and ended the regular season with the second-best record in the American League. Oakland, the city that’s lived in the shadow of San Francisco for decades, insists on defining its own personality.
The A’s fans capture the quirky, spunky nature of both city and team. Fan Will MacNeil originated the Balfour Rage, celebrating the passion of pitcher Grant Balfour. At the rally, MacNeil wore oversized green plastic fists and led the crowd in the rage — a torrent of air punches.
Last season we had the Bernie Lean, a very weird movement involving leaning backward, shaking your shoulders and looking like you’re in a trance. (If you haven’t seen it, I’m sure I can’t make you imagine it.) It was inspired by the movie “Weekend at Bernie’s” — Bernie is a dead man.
And for more than 30 years, The Banjo Man — aka Stacy Samuels — has been making his way through the stands, playing his banjo and wearing a propeller beanie.
The players have their own eccentric rituals. The congratulation handshakes they give each other get more involved and lengthy as the season progresses. After a game is won in walk-off style, a player is being interviewed on television can expect to get a whipped cream pie in the face.
Given some of the other recent headlines, Oakland can definitely use the good news and good feelings engendered by the A’s success.
…Two major investors [have] joined the master planning team for Coliseum City, an 800-acre sports and entertainment complex proposed for the Coliseum and surrounding area. A group of local CEOs wants to purchase the team to keep it in Oakland. And in July, a vote by the Oakland Port Commission paved the way for a possible new ballpark at the Howard Terminal, adjacent to Jack London Square.
Anyway, in the meantime, the city is enjoying the thrill of having a baseball team in the playoffs. Take that, Giants fans. Very sweet. Differences are put aside, worries are put on hold. Let’s go, A’s. Let’s go, Oakland.
By Alan Wang
Oakland City Council President Pro Tem Rebecca Kaplan rallies fans of our division champion Oakland A’s in front of Oakland City Hall (10/1/2013).
Legislation Advances to Enhance Illegal Dumping Penalties
Kaplan Supports Eliminating Blight in Oakland Neighborhoods
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
OAKLAND, CA Sep 24, 2013 – The Oakland City Council’s Committee on Public Works, chaired by President Pro Tem Rebecca Kaplan (At Large), advanced legislation Tuesday afternoon to crack down on blight caused by illegal dumping.
The committee unanimously approved the strengthened ordinance, which would make illegal dumping a misdemeanor – it’s currently just an infraction – and allow for significantly increased monetary penalties for violators.
“Illegal dumping isn’t just a hazard to our sidewalks and our streets,” Kaplan said. “The blight created by the dumping of debris and hazardous waste is harmful to our health and safety as a community. This ordinance will help end these eyesores, prevent new magnets for crime – and send a clear message that people who trash Oakland won’t get away with it.”
The legislative action comes on the heels of a new city effort – the “Illegal Dumping Enforcement Action Initiative” – a joint effort of the City Attorney’s Office, the Public Works Agency and the City Administrator’s Office to track down illegal dumping offenders and hold them accountable.
“As chair of the Public Works Committee, I’ve really enjoyed collaborating with City Attorney Barbara Parker, Councilmember Lynette Gibson McElhaney and Councilmember Noel Gallo on ways to combat this issue,” Kaplan said. “And I hope the Council will approve this strengthened ordinance next week.”
The committee’s action forwards the ordinance for a full hearing at the Oakland City Council on Tuesday, October 1st.
Kaplan continues to encourage community members to report illegal dumping – especially the license plate numbers of offenders – through the mobile app “SeeClickFix” or by contacting the Public Works Agency at (510) 615-5566 or email@example.com.
Rebecca Kaplan represents the entire City of Oakland as its Councilmember At-Large and serves as Council President Pro Tempore. She was elected in November 2008 and re-elected in 2012. Council President Pro Tem Kaplan works to improve quality of life by restoring public safety, expanding economic opportunity and rebuilding trust in government. She holds a B.S. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a M.A. from Tufts University and a J.D. from Stanford Law School.
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Oakland City Council President Pro Tem
A benefit to help create safe streets and local jobs in Oakland.
Thursday, September 19, 2013
5:30 – 7:30 pm
Everett & Jones BBQ
Delicious food provided by Everett & Jones BBQ.
Vegetarian options available.
$5,000 | Olive (10 tickets)
$2,500 | Hickory (5 tickets)
$1,000 | Oak (3 tickets)
$500 | Applewood (2 tickets)
$100 | Mesquite (1 ticket)
$43 | Individual
With questions or to RSVP, contact Jason Overman
at firstname.lastname@example.org or call at 510-463-4WIN.
Rallies Nationwide Support Head Start Program
Kaplan Calls On Congress To Restore Head Start Funding
By Steven Tavares
East Bay Citizen
Calling on the feds to intervene on the local level is nothing new for Oakland Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan.
In the past, for instance, she has excoriated the federal government for looking askance while financial institutions like Goldman Sachs were left unscathed by their malfeasance. That indiscretion left cities like Oakland paying dearly for the effects of the Great Recession. Now, she says Congress is letting down Oakland’s children.
On Wednesday, Kaplan urged Congress to restore full funding to Head Start, the federal program relied upon many low-income residents in Oakland and Alameda County, at-large, to help prepare young children for the beginning of their school years.
Kaplan says Oakland already did it part. Earlier this year, $1.5 million in federal funding for Head Start was unilaterally cut by Congress through sequestration. However, the Oakland City Council’s voted to fill-in the cuts in its latest fiscal year budget approved last June. In the meantime, Oakland’s budget remains cash-strapped. “I call on Congress today, with a deep sense of urgency, to restore full federal funding for the Head Start program,” said Kaplan in front of the federal building in Oakland. The rally was organized by the Service Employees International Union, Local 1021.
“The federal cuts to Head Start across America are nothing more than collateral damage from congressional dysfunction commonly known as sequestration,” Kaplan added. “But let’s be clear: it is simply unconscionable that Congress would act so quickly to protect themselves and the well-connected from sequester-based inconvenience in air travel, while continuing to impose devastating cuts to Head Start and other vital programs that help working families who need it the most.”