June 26, 2018

Anti-Displacement Network Urges Oakland City Council to Adopt the “People’s Proposal” to Build Affordable Housing on Public Land

Oakland – This afternoon, at a long-awaited session of the Oakland City Council’s Community and Economic Development Committee, the People’s Proposal will be presented. The Proposal contends that publicly-owned land, or land controlled by the government on behalf of the people, must serve the public good and the needs of communities most impacted by the housing crisis.

Recognizing the decades of racial discrimination in housing and employment that have harmed communities of color—especially Black communities—the Proposal empowers these communities to have a say in how public land is used and to share in its benefits. By contrast, the City has put forward a plan that excludes any requirement to use public land to build affordable housing or to promote public benefits such as good jobs or community health.

“Existing Oakland residents deserve public land that serves the benefit of creating a healthier environment for communities that have experienced historical disinvestment and injustice,” said Ernesto Arevalo, Communities for a Better Environment NorCal Program Director. “City staff are suggesting, instead, that we trust the City to sell off our land.”

The People’s Proposal was introduced by the Oakland Citywide Anti-Displacement Network (CWN), a coalition of community-based and labor organizations that includes the Building Trades Council of Alameda County, Communities for a Better Environment (CBE), East 12th Coalition, East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy (EBASE), East Bay Housing Organizations (EBHO), East Oakland Black Cultural Zone, and Public Advocates Inc.. Representatives of these groups, together with Oakland residents, will testify in favor of the People’s Proposal.

Reverend Ladd Phelps, a formerly unhoused resident leader at East Bay Housing Organizations, who now resides in affordable housing said, “We see abandoned buildings falling into disrepair, and open lots accumulating garbage all over this city. We feel like we don’t have any control over our community and we’re the ones who care most about making it beautiful. The city should adopt the People’s Proposal and allow into the process community input from the directly impacted communities that live in and love these neighborhoods.”

Kate O’Hara, Executive Director of East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy (EBASE), said, “Here In Oakland and across the East Bay, we demand that public land be used for the public good. Oakland’s public land is a precious resource that belongs to the People and must be developed to meet the needs of our communities. That means, above all, affordable housing, good jobs and investments in our community.” She continued, “The city has the opportunity to do something meaningful to relieve the housing crisis now — it just needs the will to do it.”

Click here for a copy of the People’s Proposal

Duc Luu, Public Advocates, 857-373-9118,
Daniel Robelo, East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy (EBASE), 650-465-2584,
Ronald Flannery, East Bay Housing Organizations (EBHO), 207-344-4485,



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