Peralta Community College District's Only Student-Run Publication
Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

    Oakland A’s settle on Peralta site

    Peralta’s district offices (bottom) may soon be the new home of the Oakland A’s. The new stadium would be directly across the street from Laney College (mid-photo). (Noah Berger/Courtesy of San Francisco Chronicle)

    Pending deal, district office location would become new stadium

    By Brian Howey

    The A’s have decided.

    Now the Peralta Community College District must consider the potential effects.

    In a Sept. 12 letter to Peralta Chancellor Jowel Laguerre, Oakland A’s President Dave Kaval officially announced the baseball team’s intent to build its new ballpark on land that is now the Peralta District Offices.

    “We have a clear priority: the Peralta Site,” Kaval wrote.

    In the 1,400-word letter, the A’s president detailed months of community study and polling in the Lake Merritt area and alluded to plans to improve infrastructure, parking, and housing for Laney students.

    In a phone interview with the Tower, Kaval said he simply wants to begin discussions about the “possibility” of an A’s stadium at the Peralta Site.

    But he’ll be pitted against a collection of vocal community members, including Laney faculty and students.

    Laney Psychology Instructor Dr. Kimberly King speaks at the Peralta Colleges Board of Trustees meeting on Sept. 12. Dr. King is also the faculty co-coordinator of Umoja-UBAKA, and a main organizer for the Laney College teach-in series, which focuses on social justice. (Tower/Dejon Gill)

    The same night Kaval sent the letter of intent, dozens spoke out against the stadium at a Peralta Board of Trustees meeting. ASLC President Keith Welch was one of several speakers who shed tears at the podium as he spoke of Laney’s positive influence on his life.

    He said he represented the interests of fellow students who were too busy raising children or working full-time jobs to “fight the power.”

    “Laney College will not survive with a ballpark next to it,” Welch said after the meeting.

    Most speakers shared the belief that the arrival of a new stadium near Laney and Oakland’s Chinatown would start a domino effect of development and gentrification that would push out local residents, businesses, and eventually, Laney College itself.

    Alvina Wong, the organizing director of the Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN), said nearby Chinatown was under threat as well.

    She predicted sharp rises in rent, evictions rates, and tenant harassment by Chinatown landlords as the A’s solidify their plans for the stadium.

    “This is just another carve-out of Chinatown,” Wong said.

    At the meeting, Wong appealed for solidarity from the trustees. She said Chinatown and Laney were part of one community and needed to cooperate with each other.

    APEN and the Oakland Chinatown Coalition are vocal against the stadium project. According to Wong, the two groups will be hosting a press conference in the coming weeks.

    Wong and other members of APEN have also attended meetings held by a group of Laney faculty and students opposing the new stadium, calling themselves “Save Laney: Stop the Ballpark.”


    Laney Psychology Instructor Kimberly King and Laney Librarian Phillippa Caldeira organize the group’s meetings and encourage students and faculty to speak out against the A’s.

    “This is just the beginning,” Caldeira said.

    In an Aug. 25 email to the Tower, Peralta Chancellor Jowel Laguerre reiterated his point that “selling Laney land would be dumb,” but added that leasing the land was an alternative.

    In the past, proposed leases of Laney land were 99 year agreements.

    Laguerre responded to Kaval’s letter of intent in the form of a letter to Peralta faculty, which stated that no deals, commitments, or decisions had been made in regards to the stadium.

    The chancellor wrote that the board of trustees would work with the community and college to ensure a productive conversation between the Laney community and the A’s.

    As of now, there is no date set for a board of trustees decision on the stadium.

    Caldeira and Peralta’s Career Pathways Project Manager, Michael Goldberg, were skeptical of Laguerre’s sincerity, and believe his allegiances lie with the A’s.

    “I want to remind [Laguerre] that this is public land,” Goldberg said. “We are not a private corporation.”

    In a mass email to Laney faculty Sept. 13, Laney Faculty Senate President Donald Moore said that process between Peralta and the A’s could take “months, if not years.”

    No doubt the process of negotiation will take some time. The A’s hope to play the first game at their new stadium by 2023, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. However long, it’s likely to be a rough transition unless the skeptics can be satisfied.


    Brian Howey is the News Editor of the Tower. Email him at deathandtaxes(at)tutamail.com. Additional reporting contributed by Toni Cervantes.

    Read the A’s letter of intent and Chancellor Laguerre’s response below:


    About the Contributor
    In the fall of 2019, The Laney Tower rebranded as The Citizen and launched a new website. These stories were ported over from the old Laney Tower website, but byline metadata was lost in the port. However, many of these stories credit the authors in the text of the story. Some articles may also suffer from formatting issues. Future archival efforts may fix these issues.  
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