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Oakland to Discuss Plan to Reach Aggressive Greenhouse-Gas Reduction Goal

Submitted by News Desk on Wed, 04/14/2010 - 4:40pm

As of November 2009, at least 139 cities in the United States had climate action plans, including Portland and Chicago. Oakland doesn’t have one yet, but it does have a goal: by 2020, the city seeks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 36 percent of what they were in 2005. That goal is more aggressive than those of either San Francisco or Berkeley, which both have climate action plans.

MTA’s two-year budget shortfall projected at $23 million

Submitted by News Desk on Tue, 04/06/2010 - 12:50pm

The Municipal Transportation Agency’s once-cavernous deficit projection for the next two years continues to shrink with each new update to the drawn-out budget balancing process.

Thanks to some new adjustments, the MTA, which operates Muni, faces a two year projected shortfall of $23 million — drastically less than forecasts made a few months ago. The agency has been able to lessen its shortfall by proposing annual fare increases (starting in 2011), installing thousands of new parking meters, and cutting down on its work order repayments to other city agencies by $6.5 million.

The agency also been on the fortuitous end of two unexpected cash windfalls — one, a $17 million payment due to the failure of BART’s Oakland Airport Connector, the other a $67 million allocation as part of new state legislation.

The MTA’s Board of Directors, which will meet Tuesday, must approve a balanced budget deficit for the upcoming fiscal year by May 1.

Read more at the San Francisco Examiner:

Open Forum, Oakland Airport Connector - Urban Habitat vs. BART

Submitted by News Desk on Tue, 04/06/2010 - 12:30pm
Oakland Airport connector ignored civil rights laws
By Juliet Ellis, Mahasin Abdul-Salaam

The Federal Transit Administration pulled $70 million in stimulus funds from BART's Oakland Airport Connector project last month based on our civil rights complaint, finding that BART ignored civil rights laws. Fortunately, the Bay Area didn't lose that funding - it was distributed among the region's ailing transit systems. But the transit administration's action makes it clear that public money must be spent fairly or agencies will be held accountable...

Complaint derailed funding for Oakland jobs
By George Holland, Ron Silva

The statistics are stunning: With a 65 percent minority population and an 18 percent unemployment rate, Oakland is near the top of the nation's jobless chart. So when the region looked for the most effective way to spend $70 million in federal stimulus money, the BART Oakland Airport Connector became its signature project.

In the short run, the connector would help revitalize Oakland's economy by providing thousands of jobs - many targeted to local hires. In the long run, the connector will elevate Oakland Airport's prestige by providing a world-class train-to-plane connection - a crown jewel in the East Bay's efforts to attract tourism and the corporations essential to its future economic vitality...

Oakland airport connector could lose $70 million

Submitted by News Desk on Wed, 01/20/2010 - 2:35pm

(01-20) 11:10 PST Oakland -- BART and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission could lose $70 million in federal stimulus funds to build the Oakland Airport Connector unless the agencies quickly complete an analysis of whether the project adversely affects minority communities.


My Word: Oakland's opportunity to be green and be economically vibrant

Submitted by Staff on Wed, 12/16/2009 - 12:04pm
OAKLAND has an amazing opportunity to be a worldwide leader in equitable climate action.

With crucial international climate talks in Copenhagen set for December, the Oakland Climate Action Coalition is showing how strong climate policy can build a safe, economically vibrant, and socially just city.

Assault on Oakland's homeless population continues

Submitted by News Desk on Wed, 12/16/2009 - 11:39am

Oakland - It's cold and wet. Dawn breaks, and the screams of a
howling cat in the distance sounds like a child abandoned in the
frigid cold of the night, begging for attention.
 A raggedy looking homeless man recently near the entranceway of a
Lucky store in Oakland, is chased off by security a few evenings ago,
barely a moment after I had the pleasure of giving him a dollar, to
buy something to eat.

Oakland Airport Connector Moves Forward In Spite of Strong Opposition

Submitted by News Desk on Wed, 10/07/2009 - 4:33pm

Transit advocates, community groups, and faith-based environmental justice organizations made another plea to Oakland and regional policy makers to kill the half a billion dollar Oakland Airport Connector (OAC) with a resolution sponsored by Oakland City Council members Nancy Nadel and Rebecca Kaplan at their monthly meeting last night. Citing a significantly more expensive project from the $130 OACmillion dollar proposal supported by voters in 2000 without intermediate stops along Hegenberger Boulevard and with fares three times those originally promised, the groups argued in vain that the council should not support the existing proposal but should seek a surface Bus Rapid Transit option at one-fifth the cost.

Most of the political class lined up in opposition to the council resolution and in favor of completing the OAC as an elevated people mover under the current design. A late letter of support from Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums urged several provisions, including intermediate stops and hiring requirements, but did not set up parameters for their inclusion in the project. Most speakers honed in on the need for job creation in Oakland, which is suffering from more than 17 percent unemployment, though disagreement raged over whether or not the construction jobs (estimated from 689 to 15,000, depending on the job creation metric used by the speakers) merited the public outlay of funds.


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