I don’t think I’ve ever been as enraged as I was when I finally listened to Tuesday night’s City Council meeting. It was one thing to read the #alamtg tweets but a whole other thing to actually hear them. On the agenda was the Specific Plan for Main Street Neighborhoods which includes the Alameda Point Collaborative and the Big Whites.
Back in December of 2015 the City Council unanimously voted to approve an Exclusive Negotiation Agreement with Alameda Point Collaborative (formerly homeless families), Operation Dignity (formerly homeless veterans), and Building Futures for Women and Children (formerly homeless families escaping domestic violence) to start the process for new facilities for what is now APC to better serve the residents. (Video here)
I’ll let the minutes speak for themselves:
Councilmember Daysog stated that the relationship with the Alameda Point Collaborative makes Alameda a greater city and makes everyone proud.
Councilmember Oddie stated if the community cannot come to a consensus on the Main Street neighborhood, it is important to keep the process going because the area houses some of the most vulnerable population.
Councilmember Daysog inquired whether the City is trying to sync the project with the larger mainstream neighborhood in order to use the financial mechanism generated to fund the project.
The Chief Operating Officer – Alameda Point responded the zoning creates subdistricts and requires that no one develop the neighborhood without a specific plan; stated the land needs infrastructure and the market rate development may be needed to finance the development.
Mayor Spencer inquired whether the ENA is what Mr. Biggs wants, to which Mr. Biggs responded the ENA is what the residents want.
Mayor Spencer stated inquired whether the proposal is based on the needs of the residents, to which Mr. Biggs responded in the affirmative.
The coalition of APC, Operation Dignity, and BFWC are asking for an improved pad with infrastructure to it which will need to be paid by someone other than the coalition. The coalition has indicated that if the City can provide that they could finance 67 more units, above the 200 like for like swap which would provide individual living spaces for formerly homeless veterans who are currently bunking up in shared space because of the larger units existing Navy units.
But Tony Daysog doesn’t want to make any commitments to the coalition and doesn’t want that to reflect in the Specific plan, despite the vote in December which committed the City in an ENA with the coalition. And you don’t even have to take my word on the interpretation of Tony Daysog’s lack of support for APC, Operation Dignity, and BFWC, here are the contemporaneous tweets from Tuesday night:
The 67 units in question are important because while the 200 APC units don’t count against the Navy’s housing unit cap, the 67 additional units that APC is seeking and willing to fund, would. The 67 units would be permanently affordable. Tony Daysog wants those 67 units to go to whoever can pay the most for them.
And finally I’ll leave you with this quote, from Tony Daysog, who was so eager to support APC less than a year ago, but now wants the City to renege on its commitment to some of the most vulnerable community members in this town.
“This is a relationship we’ve had with the Alameda Point Collaborative going on 22 years, since 1993 or 1994,” Daysog said. “It’s not just a legal relationship, but a relationship that has made Alameda a great city.”
Now, he claims the plan has “no soul.” Well I can think of something else that is missing a soul as well. Unfortunately these “public interests” — formerly homeless families, domestic violence survivors, and veterans with PTSD — can’t afford to write a check to Tony Daysog’s campaign, so their interests are not special enough.