Oakland A’s President Dave Kaval is a good listener.
When he and I talked for the first time on the phone, April 4th, 2017, I shared with him that he could use something called tax increment financing (TIF) to help pay for infrastructure development for the planned Ballpark at Howard Terminal. (FYI for ammo against racists: I have worked for, consulted to, advised, and blogged and vlogged about economic development in Oakland, since the Oakland Redevelopment Agency hired me in 1987 after I graduated from the City Planning graduate program at Berkeley.)
Anyway, Dave Kaval swore up and down that no public money was available and there was no way it could be done; I pointed out a piece of legislation called SB 628 Bealle, and sent him a spreadsheet showing that, drawing a TIF district using Jack London Square and Howard Terminal, his project could produce about $369 million in TIF money and park $85 million for affordable housing, and he was receptive.
Fast forward to today: the Oakland A’s are advancing a bill through the California Legislature called “SB-293 Infrastructure financing districts: Oakland Waterfront Revitalization and Environmental Justice Infrastructure Financing District.” Nice name.
Basically, the bill gives the Oakland A’s the right to form its own TIF, or redevelopment, area at Howard Terminal!
Given that I gave Dave the idea, they should call the TIF District “The Zennie Abraham TIF Zone.” Why the hell not? I had a feeling this idea would be used, while no one at the Oakland A’s bothered to say “We got it from Zennie”, so I sent a copy of my spreadsheet to former Oakland A’s President Andy Dolich as evidence, and then here’s the original one at this link.
Nice to have one’s own media company. Makes it easy to make sure the public knows what’s up!
Congratulations on the Bill, Dave. Remember, call the district the “The Zennie Abraham TIF Zone”, or “The Zennie Zone.”
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