Oakland will gain some government jobs and will lose some government jobs during 2011 -- and it will battle tooth and nail to cling to the positions the city has now.
The federal departures that were revealed recently are expected to cost Oakland about 355 to 370 government jobs.
In addition, the Association of Bay Area Governments, Metropolitan Transportation Commission and Bay Area Air Quality Management disclosed about two weeks ago that they would like to base all three agencies in a single building. This regional center would be in Oakland or San Francisco -- and could shift hundreds of jobs to or from those cities.
"A BAG, MTC and BART are all based in Oakland -- they all belong in Oakland," said Walter Cohen, director of Oakland's Community and Economic Development Agency. "We're going to fight to keep them all here."
Among the newly confirmed departures from downtown Oakland:
The agencies have varied reasons for wanting to vacate Oakland, said Gene Gibson, a spokeswoman for the General Services Agency, which handles realty needs for an array of federal entities.
"The reason for the eventual move (by the immigration agency) to San Francisco is ICE's consolidation into a San Francisco federal building," Gibson said.
The parks agency wrote to Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, to explain why it's leaving the East Bay's largest city.
"San Francisco offers greater accessibility for the National Park Service and the Office of the Solicitor in dealing with clients and partners," the parks department wrote to Lee.
The department wrote that it often interacts with agencies such as the state Coastal Commission, the Bay Conservation and Development Commission, NatureBridge, the Yosemite Fund, National Parks and Conservation Association and Save the Redwoods League. Those are all in San Francisco.
"The National Park Service also has two large units in San Francisco, the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park, that being more geographically proximate to would be advantageous," the agency wrote in its letter.
FEMA hasn't decided where it will move. Realty sources said that FEMA, which responds to disasters such as earthquakes, is concerned about being in a quake-prone region such as the Bay Area.
As a result, sources said, FEMA is strongly considering a move to Sacramento.
FEMA's lease details haven't been finalized, Gibson said.
Oakland also must confront the future departure to Pleasanton of hundreds of Clorox Co. workers from downtown. Clorox will keep its headquarters in Oakland.
The city will mount a full-court press to retain A BAG and MTC and to lure the air district to Oakland.
"We are talking to every developer in town," Cohen said. "We have met with A BAG. As soon as the new mayor is on board, we will have the new mayor go over to talk to MTC. We must open doors of communication."
Yet Oakland has attracted a number of employers. Among the up and comers: Sungevity, Livescribe, BrightSource, SolarFirst and iParadigms. In addition, the U.S. Department of Agriculture will shift 40 workers from San Francisco to Oakland.
"Oakland is a strong market," Cohen said. "We are attracting people."
Contact George Avalos at 925-977-8477.