The Island: Candidate Questionnaire
What do you think needs to be done with Alameda Point– and what steps would
you take to make that happen?
I believe that we should pursue sound and thoughtful development of Alameda
Point. Alameda Point is one-third of our City and lies in a prime Bay Area location. But
the use of Alameda Point is not currently being optimized. It has been approximately 15
years since the Navy left and the Point is far from meeting its full potential.
But we do not need just any development, we need the right development.
I believe that we need to consider our full range of options for Alameda Point.
Community input will be critical to what we ultimately decide to do.
Any decision I make as a City Councilmember regarding how best to develop Alameda Point will be guided by three critical principles: (1) Financial soundness, (2) job creation, and (3) traffic mitigation.
Guided by these three principles, I believe that we should move the development
of Alameda Point along with a degree of urgency, while also moving thoughtfully and
If done right, we can improve the quality of life for all Alamedans and create
wonderful public amenities for the entire community to enjoy (parks, open space, sports
fields, thriving waterfront business and entertainment districts, commercial, retail, etc.—
in short, a world class development) while also creating jobs (mostly in light industry,
including, but not limited to, green economy jobs) and generating tax revenue (transfer
tax, property tax, sales tax, utility users tax, business license fees, Alameda Municipal
Power (AMP) payments, and building permit and inspection fees), which revenue will
support other programs and services that our community values most, such as our schools
and our public safety (Police and Fire).
I am open to considering different and creative ways to successfully develop
However, the concept of the City being its own Master Developer raises some
major questions for me regarding my requirement that the project be financially sound.
How will the massive up-front costs of the project be paid for, such as cleanup, buildout
of public infrastructure (roads, sewer lines, water lines), addressing sea rise, addressing
seismic challenges, etc.? Are the proposed funding sources reliable? Will they be
The traditional method for redeveloping a former military base has largely been a
private-public partnership in which the City works with a private partner.
I understand the attraction to the City being its own Master Developer, especially
after having such a poor experience with our last master developer SunCal. I do not think
SunCal was or is a good fit for our community, I voted against Measure B (SunCal’s ballot measure) way back in February, and I have taken an early, public, and strong position against accepting any campaign contributions from any developers.
But the pendulum does not have to swing all the way to the other extreme.
Because it did not work out with SunCal or APCP, does not mean that we must write off
all private partners forevermore.
It means that we must find the right partner, not just any partner.
And, in order to do that, we need to do our due diligence and conduct an
extremely thorough and comprehensive review of the City’s potential partners to ensure
that (1) they have the required financial wherewithal to complete the project and (2) they
will adopt and embrace our community’s vision for Alameda Point.
We need to implement our community’s vision of what should be developed at
Alameda Point, not the private partner’s view. And in order to crystallize that vision, we
should invite and rely on substantial community input. The City Council— not the private partner or an outside consultant— should lead this discussion and community visioning process.
After four year in office, I would hope that the cleanup at Alameda Point is
complete or nearly complete and that a clear plan has been approved and supported by
the community and City leaders and is well under way.