Thursday, February 2, 2017

Oakland Planning Commission Approves 'Mammoth' Tower Next to MacArthur BART

Vote almost didn't happen because multiple planning commissioners had to recuse themselves

by Darwin BondGraham
Thu, Feb 2, 2017 at 10:33 AM

MCGRATH PROPERTIES
  • McGrath Properties
A 402-unit residential tower that will loom over BART's MacArthur Station in North Oakland gained approval at last night's planning commission meeting. Proponents call it the MacArthur Mammoth due to its unusual size compared to the surrounding mix of mostly two and three story buildings.

Commissioners hailed the project for exemplifying the type of housing density proximate to transit that many say is necessary to achieve environmental and socioeconomic goals.

"All the regional planning agencies say we have to put housing near transit," said Commissioner Amanda Monchamp just before voting yes.

Commissioner Jahmese Myres praised the project's affordable housing units, its "family-sized" two and three bedroom apartments, and the developer's pledge to hire Oakland residents for construction. "A lot of projects we've approved don't have any of these things," she said, referring to the community benefits package.

Some speakers criticized the project, however, asking the commission to delay it, or even deny it approval.

Jim Bergdoll said he's most concerned about the lack of affordable housing units. "This project has been granted height and density variances," he said, referring to exceptions to the city's zoning regulations, "and public bonds paid for the infrastructure. Their contribution to affordable housing should be more."

According to plans, the developers, McGrath Properties and Boston Properties, will rent out 45 of the building's 402 units at below market rates for the next 55 years. Their affordability plan is the minimum required under terms set by the existing development agreement.

The rents will be set at rates affordable to people earning 80 percent of the area median income, providing middle class housing in a neighborhood that has rapidly gentrified.

Others agreed with Bergdoll that these affordability levels aren't deep enough and won't allow low-income residents an opportunity to live there.

Many pushed back, saying the project should be approved as is, and that new housing near transit shouldn't be delayed over aesthetic concerns or a desire for more affordable housing.

John Gatewood, a 27-year resident of Oakland, said he supports the project. "About 2000 homes were destroyed in North Oakland to make way for the freeway and BART. Over fifty years we still haven’t completely replaced that housing that was destroyed," he said.

Kieryn Darkwater, a supporter of the project said Oakland needs more housing near BART. "Unleash the mammoth," they told the commission.

Another supporter, Milo Trauss, said critics of the project's terms were asking for too much. "Would it be good if the developer had millions more than they're already spending on it? Yes," he said. "But this is a great project and we should take advantage of it."

Boston Properties, the company financing the project, is one of the largest real estate owners in the U.S., with net income of over half a billion last year. The company’s CEO, Owen Thomas, was paid $8.7 million in salary, bonus, and stock awards in 2015, the most recent year for which information is available.

The commission ultimately felt that the project is providing affordable housing in adequate numbers, and that its other benefits outweigh objections like the shadows it will cast across the area.

Even so, the approval almost didn't happen because three of the planning commission's seven members were forced to recuse themselves due to the fact that they all have economic stakes in the project's approval.

Planning Commissioner Chris Patillo's firm PGA Design is working on landscape designs for the MacArthur Transit Village, where the tower will be built.

Commissioner Adhi Nagraj's employer, Bridge Housing, is helping to develop another parcel that is part of the MacArthur Transit Village.

And Commissioner Emily Weinstein also works for Bridge Housing.

Commissioner Tom Limon, who was recently appointed to the Planning Commission by Mayor Libby Schaaf, had to defend his decision not to recuse himself from voting on the project after a member of the public raised questions about his membership in an influential real estate industry lobbying organization.

Brandie Albright, who lives near MacArthur Station, demanded that Limon recuse himself from voting on the project due to his position on the board of the Oakland Builder's Alliance.

Developer Terry McGrath and Planning Commissioner Tom Limon are both members of the OBA board. - OAKLAND BUILDERS ALLIANCE WEBSITE.
  • Oakland Builders Alliance website.
  • Developer Terry McGrath and Planning Commissioner Tom Limon are both members of the OBA board.
Also on the OBA board is Terry McGrath, of McGrath Properties, the developer of the proposed MacArthur Mammoth tower. Pictures of both men appear on OBA's web site next to each other, and OBA lobbied the planning commission in support of McGrath's project.

"How is a planning commissioner who is an active board member of a lobbying group allowed to also hear and vote on a project that one of his fellow board members is developing," said Albright in an interview. "Normally where there's a conflict of interest, commissioners recuse themselves, and we've already seen three of the planning commissioners do that just for this single project."

But Limon said last night during the meeting that his position on OBA's board doesn't constitute a conflict of interest because he doesn't have a financial stake in the outcome of McGrath's project at MacArthur Station, and he's not paid by OBA for serving on its board.

"This is a really unique opportunity to build near transit," said Limon, just before voting yes. "I commend your efforts," he told McGrath, who was in attendance.

The project still requires approval by the Oakland City Council and a hearing at the Community and Economic Development Committee is expected later this month.

Councilmember Dan Kalb said today that the developer hasn’t yet committed to any meaningful community benefits, and that instead they are taking credit for affordable housing, a project labor agreement, and local hiring promises that have been requirements since the project was first approved in 2008. But since then, the city has allowed the developer to dramatically increase the size of the project without asking for more in community benefits.

Kalb said he is also asking for a $1 million community benefits package to improve infrastructure around the building and neighborhood.

"He hasn’t said yes to anything so far," said Kalb about most of the community benefits requested.

Correction: the original version of this story misattributed a quote to John Gatewood.

Trump Threatens UC Berkeley's Federal Funding After Milo Yiannopoulos Protest

by Emma Courtright
Thu, Feb 2, 2017 at 9:29 AM

When asked how he would describe Wednesday evening's protest against conservative provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos at UC Berkeley, Oakland resident Michael Mendoza chose “volatile” and “togetherness.”
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The contradiction of these words was a sort of hamartia, or fatal flaw, for the demonstrators last night: UCB is a campus famed for its free-speech value, yet students and residents denied an individual that very right.

Hundreds of protesters converged on the campus just after 5 p.m. and, within an hour, shut down Yiannopoulos' appearance. Some students sparked an impromptu dance party on Sproul Plaza, with people shouting out lyrics of Rihanna’s “We Found Love.” Others sparked fires and a sort of riot.

A small crew of protesters even destroyed campus property, shattering glass windows at the MLK Student Union and ransacking banks and a Starbucks just off of campus.
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Later in the evening, a live band led the protesters down Telegraph Avenue, which felt more like a tailgate than a protest. 

It was clear from early on that the action was not simply about Yiannopoulos, but also President Trump and the so-called Alt Right movement which promotes white nationalism and patriarchy. And many of those gathered at Sproul were angry at their school for even flirting with the notion of a Yiannopoulos speaking engagement.

And so, for many, UC Berkeley had to burn — in the most literal sense, including a tree on Sproul Plaza that was lit on fire.
Some students were surprised by the aggressive demonstrating. “This protest did not go the way I thought it would go,” said a Berkeley student, Maya, who did not give her last name.

The protest was originally intended as a dance-party resistance, a la the demonstration outside Vice President Mike Pence’s home on January 18. And, while people did dance, sing, and chant, this sense of togetherness was ultimately overshadowed by by fires and vandalism.
After the demonstration, President Donald Trump threatened UC Berkeley's federal funding.
To which Congresswoman Barbara Lee replied:

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

'Sanctuary State' Bill Moves Forward in California Senate

by Darwin BondGraham
Tue, Jan 31, 2017 at 12:16 PM

The California State Senate's public safety committee passed a bill today that would prohibit local law enforcement agencies from using resources to investigate, interrogate, detain, or arrest anyone due to their immigration status.

Introduced by Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de Leon, SB 54 builds on other recently passed measures that supporters say are meant to build trust between law enforcement agencies and the state's immigrant communities, and to protect immigrants who aren't convicted of violent crimes from being arrested and deported.

See also: Ambushed: Contra Costa County Law Enforcement Sets Up Surprise Stings To Help Federal Immigration Agents Arrest and Deport Immigrants

More …

Monday, January 30, 2017

Oakland Asks Judge to Throw Out Coal Lawsuit

by Darwin BondGraham
Mon, Jan 30, 2017 at 5:47 PM

The City of Oakland filed a motion in federal court today asking a judge to dismiss a lawsuit aimed at neutralizing the city's recently enacted ban on the storage and handling of coal.

Oakland was sued in December by developer Phil Tagami and his company, the Oakland Bulk Oversized Terminal. Tagami alleges that the coal ban violated his company’s contractual right to build a fossil fuel export hub at the old Oakland Army Base near the foot of the Bay Bridge.

But according to the city, Tagami's company never had any vested rights to store and handle coal.

See also: Banking on Coal in Oakland

"The [development agreement] did not expressly provide a vested right to store or handle coal or coke at the Terminal, nor any vested right to be free of further health and safety regulations of the type at issue," attorneys for the City of Oakland wrote in papers filed with the court today.

Tagami's company obtained control over the land at the old Oakland Army Base in 2013 and planned to build a bulk commodity export terminal from the start. But in 2015, four Utah counties attempted to invest $53 million in the project in order to secure the right to ship millions of tons of coal through it each year. Numerous Oakland residents, labor unions, environmental groups, and religious leaders opposed the coal proposal and demanded the city block it.

Last June, the Oakland City Council voted to ban the storage and handling of coal. The vote followed a lengthy period of study and public comment which resulted in a finding by the city that the coal terminal would negatively impact the health and safety of Oakland residents and workers.

However, Tagami and his attorneys have maintained all along that the city's policy is preempted by federal laws governing the transportation of commodities via railroads and ships. They say their original proposal for a bulk commodity terminal included coal as one of its potential goods.

For several months after the coal ban was implemented, the city and attorneys representing Tagami met for months attempting to hash out a settlement, according to a December 7 letter sent by one of Tagami's lawyers to Mayor Libby Schaaf and the City Council. But the talks didn't resolve anything.

Tagami filed suit in December against the city.

Protesters rallied earlier today outside the Rotunda Building, where the Oakland Bulk Oversized Terminal's offices are located, in support of the city's effort to defend the coal ban.

"If this lawsuit is successful, it would prevent local communities throughout the country from protecting themselves against environmental catastrophes," said Michael Kaufman, a member of the No Coal in Oakland Coalition.

Reverend Ken Chambers, who leads the Westside Missionary Baptist Church in West Oakland, called on Tagami to end the litigation against the city. "It's a waste of money, a waste of time, and a waste of energy," he said.

Town Business: Oakland City Council Fights Trump Immigration Ban; Police Monitor Contracts Come Back; 2017-19 City Budget

by Darwin BondGraham
Mon, Jan 30, 2017 at 7:58 AM

Oakland Councilmember Abel Guillen opposing Trump's immigration order over the weekend. - FACEBOOK
  • Facebook
  • Oakland Councilmember Abel Guillen opposing Trump's immigration order over the weekend.
Last Friday, President Donald Trump signed a controversial executive order that bans all refugees from entering the U.S. for 120 days, bans Syrian refugees indefinitely, and blocks citizens and green card holders of seven majority Muslim countries – Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen – from entering for 90 days.

As a result, people were immediately detained in airports by border guards.

But protesters also immediately swarmed  airports like SFO to oppose the immigration bans and help those being held by the government.

Several Oakland councilmembers took part in the protests, according to Facebook posts.

On Tuesday night, the Oakland City Council is expected to do more to push back against the Trump administration's anti-immigration policies. The council is proposing to set aside $300,000 to defend immigrants in deportation hearings over the next two years.

Oakland Councilmember Dan Kalb at a protest against Trump's immigration orders. - FACEBOOK
  • Facebook
  • Oakland Councilmember Dan Kalb at a protest against Trump's immigration orders.
The city's money will be leveraged with another $1 million in nonprofit support to deploy five attorneys and five community responders who will argue cases in the federal immigration court in San Francisco.

The network will also conduct "know your rights" workshops at schools, places of worship, clinics, and other places presumed to be safe from immigration agents.

City staff say this "rapid response network" will provide free legal consultations for at least 500 families, and represent up to 200 Oaklanders in immigration court.

Legal researchers have observed that people with access to legal counsel are much more likely to prevail in court and avoid deportation. Lack of legal representation often leads to deportation, but many immigrants cannot afford attorneys to defend themselves and their loved ones. Unlike criminal courts, there is no right to legal counsel in federal civil immigration court.

Trump's orders are already being fiercely debated. On Saturday a federal judge blocked his administration from deporting new arrivals caught in transit. But these people remain detained at ports of entry, their future uncertain.

At the same time that he has banned entry into the U.S. by citizens of majority Muslim nations, Trump has also said he wants to prioritize the immigration of Christians to America.

Some attorneys believe U.S. law allows the president to cut off immigration using extreme measures targeting citizens of specific nations, and to more or less discriminate based on nationality and other factors.

But others believe that Trump's order violates the the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act, which overturned America's previous system of national immigration quotas that were based on racially discriminatory efforts to minimize Asian, Latino, African and southern Europeans from coming to the U.S.

In fact, prior to the 1965 reforms, the U.S. blocked immigrants who were thought to be "imbeciles," or who had genetic disorders. And the 1965 bill actually banned immigration of gay, lesbian, and bisexual people as "sexual deviants," and was only repealed in 1990.

Police Monitor Contracts: Two weeks ago, the Oakland City Council voted unanimously to delay renewing two contracts with the court-appointed monitor who oversees the city's police department. Councilmember Desley Brooks, who was behind the delay, said she wanted the council's public safety committee to review the contracts before rubber stamping them, and that she feels the council needs to get more involved in the oversight program.

But U.S. District Judge Thelton Henderson responded by issuing a stern order two days later requiring the city to pay the monitor, and reminding the council that the monitor is "an officer of the court," not just another city contractor.

Later, at the special city council meeting last week, Councilmember Guillen recommended that the city ditch the hearings Brooks had asked for, and to place the contract renewals back on the full council's agenda for approval.

Following Guillen's successful motion, the council is scheduled to take up the contracts again on Tuesday night.

New City Budget: Oakland is starting to draft its fiscal year 2017-2019 budget. Mayor Libby Schaaf will release her proposed budget in April, and by June the council is expected to debate and adopt a new spending plan.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Poll: White, Affluent Oaklanders Happiest. Black Residents Least Happy. And Everyone's Freaked Out By Housing Crisis.

by Darwin BondGraham
Fri, Jan 27, 2017 at 12:00 PM

Oakland's annual budget poll is out, and will be discussed at next week's special city council meeting. The big take-away is that happiness very much depends on a person's race, class, and where they live.

According to the poll, white people with college educations and six-figure incomes who live in North Oakland and around Lake Merritt are "most happy" with the city's quality of life. They like to bike to work, and frequently take Uber.

But Black and East Oakland residents are more likely to be unhappy. They're feeling the pain of high housing costs, crime, poor schools, crumbling streets and sidewalks, and other longstanding problems.

FAIRBANK, MASLIN, MAULLIN, METZ & ASSOCIATES
  • Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates

This happiness gap, apparently stemming from race and class inequalities, is nothing new. In fact, it appears to be rooted in the city's history of racial segregation, redlining, deindustrialization, job discrimination, the drug war, and most recently the foreclosure crisis.

But regardless of who you are, housing is now the biggest worry for Oaklanders, with residents of West Oakland fearing rising rents and home prices the most. According to the poll's authors, "concerns about housing affordability and homelessness have spiked."

In 2015, the last time surveyors asked about housing, 10 percent of Oaklanders said it was their No. 1 concern, behind crime and education. In 2016, 29 percent of Oaklanders said housing is the biggest problem, with crime and education trailing at 13 percent each.

FAIRBANK, MASLIN, MAULLIN, METZ & ASSOCIATES
  • Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates

Nearly 73 percent of Oaklanders said they want the city to spend more on helping homeless people, and 67 percent say the city should invest more in affordable housing. Black Oaklanders were the most likely group to say the city should do more to help the homeless.

The poll also reveals that all Oaklanders are willing to pay higher taxes to support better services, almost across the board.

The only thing Oakland residents would cut is city spending to keep its sports teams. Only 13 percent of respondents said keeping sports teams should be a significant spending priority.

The survey was conducted by Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates of Los Angeles. It involved 1,202 interviews with Oakland residents reached via land line and cell phones, conducted in English, Spanish, and Chinese.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

To Undermine Sanctuary Cities, Trump Orders Cuts for Lead Safety, Homeless Shelters, Childcare, Many Other Programs

by Darwin BondGraham
Wed, Jan 25, 2017 at 2:55 PM

Trump's official portrait from the White House website. - WHITEHOUSE.GOV
  • Whitehouse.gov
  • Trump's official portrait from the White House website.
President Donald Trump signed an order today to cut federal funding for sanctuary cities like Oakland, Alameda, and Berkeley.

But what exactly is Trump cutting by removing funds from cities that do not assist the feds with enforcement of immigration laws?

His order only specifies that law enforcement grants will be exempt. That means the Trump administration can continue sending several billion a year to local police agencies. But it appears that healthcare, housing, infrastructure, disaster preparedness, and other programs face the chopping block.

Here's a list of some City of Oakland programs funded by the U.S. government that could be weakened or eliminated if Trump's order is fully executed.
  • One of Oakland's biggest federally funded programs is Head Start, the childcare centers for low-income families. Head Start provides nutrition education, healthcare, mental health services, and much more for children and their parents. Oakland has been getting federal money to run its numerous Head Start daycares since 1971. This year, 1,038 kids were enrolled and the feds provided $16.7 million in support — three-quarters of the program's total cost.

  • Lead Safe Hazard Paint Program: Oakland's program to help low-income property owners remove toxic lead paint is funded through a federal grant. Last year the program was used to remove lead from 20 buildings.

  • Homeless shelters and healthcare: Using federal funds, Oakland supports shelters and harm reduction and healthcare services for thousands of people living on the city's streets. For example, last year the city used HUD money to provide shelter for 548 people at the Crossroads Emergency Shelter in deep east Oakland. The city's Homeless Mobile Outreach Program also distributed food, hygiene kits, blankets, water, and resources and referrals to 546 people.
  • Providing housing for homeless people with HIV/AIDS: Oakland case workers found transitional and permanent housing for 161 people living with HIV/AIDS last year. Without federal funding, the program will be scaled back drastically, or possibly eliminated.

  • Fixing housing for low-income seniors: Last year, the city spent $274,977 to make 81 units of housing safer and more accessible for seniors and disabled people.

  • Earthquake and fire emergency response: Since 1991, Oakland has received millions in Federal Emergency Management Agency funds to purchase search and rescue equipment and train its fire department to save lives in case of a major disaster. Most recently Oakland got $1.2 million.

  • Cleaning up toxic land to build housing: Oakland has obtained $2 million in federal funds to find and clean up toxic pollution on sites that later become housing or commercial buildings. Just last month, Oakland accepted a $110,000 grant from the U.S. EPA to help the city identify contaminated land along International Boulevard. Without these grants, many contaminated parcels in Oakland will remain blighted.

  • Rape investigations: For years Oakland, like many cities, hasn't had the resources necessary to process DNA kits that are used to identify suspects in rape investigations. The US Department of Justice gave Oakland $312,241 last year to help pay for these time-consuming laboratory tests. Although Trump's immigration order appears to exempt law enforcement-related grants, it's entirely up to the U.S. Attorney General to decide what qualifies, so it's possible some grants like this could be eliminated for sanctuary cities also.

  • Food for low-income seniors: Using HUD Community Development Block Grant money, Oakland provides food to impoverished and malnourished seniors. This year, Oakland spent $20,000 in federal funds to pay for food subsidies for 5,752 people living in East Oakland through the Alameda County Community Food Bank.

  • Strengthening homes against earthquakes: In the event of a major earthquake, as many as 26,000 housing units in Oakland, or 15 percent of the total, will become uninhabitable. The way to prepare for this is by seismically retrofitting homes and apartment buildings, but the costs are enormous. Oakland has been seeking millions from the federal government to slowly work on this problem. Just last year the city tried to leverage $1.95 million in federal funds into $6 million using local and state money to retrofit buildings.

  • $39.2 million to fix the Oakland Airport’s runways: The Port of Oakland is a municipal department and therefore probably subject to the intent of Trump’s order to withhold money from sanctuary cities. A lot of money used to improve the port’s maritime and aviation infrastructure comes from the feds. In fact, at the port’s board meeting tomorrow, its commissioners are expected to approve a grant application to the Federal Aviation Administration seeking $39.2 million to repave the main runway. That strip of asphalt hasn’t been upgraded since 2001.
In response to Trump's threatened cuts, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf issued a statement today along with San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, and Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin.

"The Bay Area stands united against this White House’s morally bankrupt policies that would divide families, turn our nation’s back on refugees in need, and potentially thwart the efforts of nearly one million productive young people who are on a legal path to citizenship," said Schaaf. "Oaklanders rely on $130 million in federal funding for everything from early education programs like Head Start to getting officers out of their cars and onto our streets at a time when community policing is so desperately needed. We will not allow this president to play politics with our safety and security."

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

As Trump Advances Pipelines, Oakland Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan Calls on CalPERS to Divest

by Darwin BondGraham
Tue, Jan 24, 2017 at 11:25 AM

Rebecca Kaplan at the Oceti Sakowin camp in North Dakota.
  • Rebecca Kaplan at the Oceti Sakowin camp in North Dakota.
President Donald Trump signed today several executive orders reviving the controversial Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines. He also signed an executive order that will speed up the review process for similar oil and gas projects, all part of a Trump administration policy to help the fossil fuel industry and weaken environmental and labor regulations.

In response to Trump's actions, Oakland City Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan says it's time for California's biggest pension fund to divest from the companies building both pipelines.

See our previous coverage: CalPERS, CalSTRS, UC Invested in Dakota Access Pipeline Despite Pledges of Sustainability

More …

Monday, January 23, 2017

Court Orders Landlord to Fix 'Inhumane Conditions' in Lead-Contaminated, Fire-Damaged Fruitvale Building

by Darwin BondGraham
Mon, Jan 23, 2017 at 2:28 PM

The three-story, 30-unit apartment building at 1620 Fruitvale Avenue was the subject of no less than twenty different housing habitability complaints since 2008, according to city records. Problems included raw sewage pooling under the building and no smoke alarms in over-crowded apartments.

Oakland City Attorney Barbara Parker sued the building's landlords last August. Today her office secured an injunction requiring the landlords, Jad and Suad Jaber, to fix every code violation within 40 days, or face contempt of court charges and other sanctions.

"It is critical that the City hold accountable landlords who violate tenants’ rights and turn a blind eye to inhumane conditions that persist at their properties," said Parker in a press release issued today.

According to city records, the building has been plagued with every imaginable problem: there are infestations of mice, cockroaches, and bed bugs, numerous plumbing leaks spilling water into the hallways and rooms, no hot water in many units, no locks on the building's front door, holes in the floors and walls, no heating, poor ventilation, broken windows, and even lead contamination and chipping paint.

Nearly all the tenants are low-income Mexican and Central American immigrant families. Many of the residents do not speak English.

The Jabers bought the building in 2007, according to county records. The City Attorney alleged that they did nothing to fix the many health and safety issues in the building, despite numerous complaints that were repeatedly verified over the past ten years by building inspectors.

Last August, part of the building caught fire. Two units were subsequently yellow tagged by the city. The tenants of those apartments were displaced. According to the City Attorney, the fire damage was not fixed in a timely manner.

The City Attorney has successfully sued several other Oakland landlords using the Tenant Protection Ordinance to stop harassment and require repairs.

The Express was unable to immediately reach the Jabers for comment.

A copy of the lawsuit can be read here.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

In Oakland, Massive Crowd Of 100,000 Turns Out For Anti-Trump Women's March

At one point, procession extended more than 40 city blocks.

by Nick Miller
Sat, Jan 21, 2017 at 3:06 PM

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Attendees at Saturday's Women's March in Oakland described the event as one of the largest protests in recent memory. There weren't yet official law-enforcement estimates that morning, but various local officials and police officers told the Express that anywhere from 60,000 to 80,000 people turned out for the march — and some guessed that the total attendance might be even higher, up to 100,000.

One police officer shared that more than 25,000 individuals rode BART to the event (we've yet to confirm this information). And the procession itself extended more than 40 city blocks, according to law enforcement.

In fact, while the front of the march was finishing at Oakland's City Hall, those waiting at its end, near Laney College, had yet to even begin.

Attendees started gathering for the march as early as 11 a.m., and a celebration was ongoing at 2:30 p.m. out front of City Hall. Downtown Oakland eateries and bars were flooded with marchers after the event.
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And so many clever signs!

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