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Alameda Point for People not Profits

Dear Editor,

We think there are better uses for Alameda Point than the SunCal plan. We have a VISION for a PUBLIC LAND TRUST, like the San Francisco Presidio.

Consider:

• The City of Alameda has made an agreement to transfer effective control and ownership of Alameda Point to D.E. Shaw, a secretive, private hedge fund based in New York City. Whether SunCal will be the actual developer of the Point is uncertain. (SunCal has recently stopped work at the Oak Knoll project in Oakland.)

• While Alameda’s youth sports leagues go begging for more soccer and baseball fields, the City of Alameda is turning over Alameda Point to private interests to profit from building houses and for at least one league, reduce the number of playing fields.

• None of the housing development plans considered to date are “fiscally neutral” – they don’t pay for themselves. They all require additional special tax levies on top of property taxes to pay for City services like Police and Fire.

• SunCal calls for $700 million of taxpayer money to provide a massive overhaul of the existing infrastructure – TO BE PAID BY RESIDENTS OF ALAMEDA THROUGH BONDS THAT CAN BE ISSUED WITHOUT A VOTE OF THE CITIZENS.

• Changing Measure A is a condition of the agreement with D. E. Shaw; CHANGING MEASURE A WILL COST US $700 MILLION AND MAKE ALAMEDA CONGESTED AND UNLIVABLE.

• The City of Alameda is already deeply over-extended in bonded indebtedness; CITY SERVICES, such as POLICE and FIRE protection, are GOING TO BE CUT.

The current housing-centric plans for Alameda Point do nothing for existing residents. We want an ecologically sound development that serves the public with open space, wetlands, schools, recreation areas, research parks that are partnered with educational institutions, and light industry. In other words, we want to build on what we already have: a state of the art film studio, wine and spirits tasting rooms, warehouses and other services that currently produce $10 million to $12 million in annual income for Alameda.

Our vision is practical and financially sound. It is “green”; it does not increase traffic; it will allow for sensible growth; and will reduce the tax pressure on the citizens of Alameda. Join us in helping to create a Public Trust for the people of Alameda.

NO PUBLIC SUBSIDY FOR PRIVATE INTERESTS!
NO PUBLIC BAIL OUT OF WALL STREET HEDGE FUNDS!

Contact Gretchen and Arthur Lipow: 510.814.9593 or gretchenlipow at comcast dot net

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