The Howard Terminal proposal Community Benefits Agreement (“CBA”) is an opportunity to set a national precedent. It will be the first CBA to use existing conditions of racial disparities data from the Oakland Race and Equity Baseline Indicators Report that was published in 2019 to establish race and equity baselines from which CBA will be developed. It will also be the first to be developed through a collaborative multi-stakeholder Steering Committee.
The Howard Terminal CBA process is equity-centered and community-focused. The City of Oakland is leading the process, working closely with community members and other stakeholders such as community advocates, community-based organizations, faith-based organizations, schools, health-care providers, public agencies, and partners from the West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project and a forthcoming additional community partner, the Port of Oakland, and the Oakland Athletics.
The Howard Terminal CBA content will be community-driven and developed from a grassroots level through working groups that have been identified as Topic Cohorts. There are seven Topic Cohorts: Community Health & Safety, Culture Keeping & History, Economic Development & Jobs, Education, Environment, Housing, and Transportation. Topic Cohorts will meet between 2-4 times per month between February through June 2020, and membership is open to any Oakland resident or stakeholder.
A multi-stakeholder Howard Terminal CBA Steering Committee will be responsible for the deliberation of the comprehensive CBA that unites the Topic Cohort content and will work collaboratively to arrive to a legally-binding and enforceable Community Benefits Agreement. The Steering Committee will be formed by the following: 1) Each Topic Cohort will elevate two members to the Howard Terminal CBA Steering Committee. 2) In addition to the Topic Cohort representatives, the Steering Committee will have four At-Large seats that will be filled by the Councilmembers who represent the high Impact Areas (Chinatown, Jack London Square, Old Oakland, and West Oakland). 3) Lastly, the City of Oakland, the Port of Oakland, and the Oakland Athletics will each have one seat on the Steering Committee.
Community involvement, particularly from those who are typically marginalized in public processes, is integral to identifying the appropriate steering committee, equitable metrics and terms, and a holistic and inclusive Community Benefits Agreement. The Howard Terminal CBA focuses on participation from Oakland’s community members who are most impacted by racial, economic, and health disparities. Residential community members from the geographic areas that may experience higher impact levels (Chinatown, Jack London Square, Old Oakland, and West Oakland) are especially sought to get involved with the development of the Howard Terminal CBA.
The Howard Terminal CBA process adopting the following guiding principles:
- To be inclusive: Developing alternative methods for public engagement for racial/ethnic communities; establishing rapport and trust with racial and ethnic groups and individuals who are traditionally not involved in decision-making processes.
- To be transparent: Sharing with community the pros and cons of options, and informing the community about steps actions, changes to or new services.
- To be collaborative: Develop a comprehensive and exhaustive CBA based on extensive engagement by community members and stakeholders who: 1) offer previous CBA development experience, 2) whose lived experience can inform the development of the Howard Terminal CBA, and, 3) stakeholders who have policy and other technical expertise through their professions.
- To have integrity: Have open discussions and garner consensus by respecting what stakeholder peers support or oppose. There will be no “backroom deals”.
- To seek solutions: Identify feasible solutions to problems that may be long-standing, or unique to the Howard Terminal ballpark development.