A meeting scheduled to discuss jobs, contracting and other issues for the new Oakland Army Base development that appeared to have strong community, business and labor support was abruptly canceled Tuesday.
Councilmember Jane Brunner, who is the chairwoman of the Oakland Community and Economic Development Committee and convened meetings for the past year to draft a jobs component of a community benefits package, said some residents raised questions about the report so she decided to cancel the meeting and reschedule it for Jan. 24.
The decision did not sit well with about 40 members of the Revive Oakland coalition who supported the recommendations and showed up at City Hall Tuesday for the meeting.
Pastor Brian Woodson of Bay Area Christian Charities said the West Oakland community has been on a "roller coaster ride" with the former Army Base development, waiting years for new development and new jobs. He said people get their hopes up each time developers come in with big plans only to have the deals fall through.
He and other members of Revive Oakland want to make sure that the Oakland City Council includes the recommendations, which include local hiring, contracting, apprenticeships, and training for ex-offenders, in any signed development deal.
Currently California Commercial & Investment Group and ProLogis are finishing a master plan for the old base that will be brought to the council for approval this spring.
"We've been working on this for a long time," said Ellen Wyrick-Parkinson, a West Oakland business resident and activist, "so don't tell me (the development) will happen. Any time there's a delay in a meeting, there's a problem."