Flashy Signature 

Oak to Ninth foes decry developer's positive-spin mailer

Full Disclosure recently detailed how Oakland City Attorney John Russo and housing developer Signature Properties have been trying for months to bury opponents of the controversial Oak to Ninth condo project in legal bills ("Russo Versus the People," 2/21). Now Signature Properties has a new tactic: Dry up its opponent's funding.

At least that's Stuart Flashman's take on the glossy, obviously expensive mailers that blanketed Oakland last month. Flashman is the attorney for the Oak to Ninth Referendum Committee, which wants Oaklanders to vote on whether Signature should be able to build 3,100 condos along the estuary.

Flashman believes the mailers, titled "The Oak to Ninth Neighborhood Project: Building Something Special for Oakland," are meant to dissuade potential donors from helping his client with its legal bills. If that happens, the grassroots referendum committee may run out of cash and have to give up its legal fight.

The twelve-page brochure looks as if it were designed for a political campaign. It features rosy testimonials from project backers and community leaders, such as Bishop Bob Jackson of Acts Full Gospel Church, Unity Council CEO Gilda Gonzales, and Laura Chung of the Oakland Chinatown Chamber of Commerce.

Signature Properties President Michael Ghielmetti said the mailers were not an effort to bleed his opponents. "They're meant to set the record straight," he says. "There are a lot of people out there who like this project for a lot of reasons."

The deep-pocketed Ghielmetti, however, declined to reveal how much the PR vehicle cost his company or many homes received them.

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Anonymous and pseudonymous comments will be removed.

Readers also liked…

Latest in News

  • Oakland Organic Gardener Wins Battle Against Roundup

    Diane Williams fought for two years to stop Oakland Unified from spraying the likely carcinogenic herbicide. And, finally, she was vindicated.
    • Oct 10, 2018
  • Two PACs Take Aim at Desley Brooks

    Building trades unions and some supporters of Mayor Libby Schaaf and ex-Mayor Jean Quan are hoping to oust Brooks, but the councilmember’s backers say the PACs are misrepresenting her record.
    • Oct 9, 2018
  • Targeting Muslims?

    Critics say the Alameda County Sheriff's Office is using a Trump administration anti-terrorism grant to focus on Black, Muslim inmates returning to society.
    • Oct 3, 2018
  • More »

Author Archives

  • 40 in 40

    For our 40th anniversary, we compiled a list of 40 of the Express' memorable in-depth reports and the topics we've loved writing about the most.
    • Oct 10, 2018
  • Turning the Page

    My commitment to regaining your trust.
    • Jul 18, 2018
  • More»

Most Popular Stories

  • The Express' November 2018 Endorsement Guide

    We endorse Schaaf, Ezzy Ashcraft, and Butt; along with Fortunato Bas, Thao, Middleton, and Whitaker for Oakland council and Knox White and Oddie for Alameda council.
  • The Fight Over Rent Control

    Tenants are pushing to repeal the 1995 Costa-Hawkins Act, which strictly limits local rent control. But landlords are spending big to beat Prop. 10.
  • A Guide to Oakland's Ballot Measures

    Six measures on the November ballot include new taxes, tax breaks, changes to existing taxes, worker and tenant protections, and education funding.
  • A New Berkeley Council?

    With two longtime councilmembers retiring and two vulnerable newcomers defending their seats, half of the city council could be gone next year.
  • Role Reversals in the Oakland Mayor's Race

    In the Oakland mayor's race, the normally staid Libby Schaaf has come out swinging, while one of her top challengers, the usually brash Cat Brooks, is acting more like a Fortune 500 CEO.

Special Reports

Fall Arts 2018

Our Picks for the Best Events of the Fall Arts Season

The Queer & Trans Issue 2018

Stories about creating safe spaces in the Queer and Trans community.

© 2018 East Bay Express    All Rights Reserved
Powered by Foundation