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Labor unions at odds over West Oakland hotel development

Every theater seat was occupied in Oakland’s city council chamber on Tuesday night, with more community members spilling into the hallway, as members of two of the city’s biggest unions turned out to take opposite sides on a proposal to build a hotel in West Oakland. In November 2016, Architectural Dimensions, an Oakland architecture and planning firm, filed an application to build a six-story 220-room hotel on what is currently an empty lot on Mandela Parkway along Oakland’s border with…

Police arrest protesters at Oakland school board meeting

For the last three Oakland school board meetings, protesters from the newly-formed Oakland Is Not for Sale Coalition have tried to prevent the meetings from taking place, chanting, raising banners and attempting to take over the stage where board members are seated in order to hold what they call a “people’s board meeting.” The group is protesting the “The Blueprint for Quality Schools,” a district-run plan that supports the closure and merger of under-enrolled and underperforming schools. The protests coalesced…

Arrest of former Oakland councilmember sparks outrage at committee meeting

Tuesday night’s Oakland Public Safety Committee meeting’s main agenda item—reviewing a report about holding a special election to amend the regulations that govern the Oakland Police Commission—was initially upstaged by jarring testimony from former Councilmember Wilson Riles Jr. about his arrest last week.  Councilmember At-Large Rebecca Kaplan introduced the issue for the committee to address. “Our colleague, former Councilmember Wilson Riles, was arrested—” Kaplan began, but was interrupted by members of the crowd yelling, “brutalized!” “And brutalized, and improperly treated,…

Oakland naturalization ceremony welcomes new Americans

Over 1,100 people from 86 different countries took the oath to become United States citizens at the Paramount Theatre in Oakland on Wednesday.   In a warm and thunderous atmosphere, with friends and family whistling and singing, California Assemblyman Rob Bonta (D-Oakland), the keynote speaker, said, “I am so grateful to welcome all of you, my fellow Americans. I am one of you. Look at me, I made it. To those of you who say you can’t, I say you can.” …

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