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

    NO STADIUM AT LANEY

    A COMMUNITY DECIDES ITS FUTURE

    The Peralta Community College District is out of the game.

    At an emergency closed-session meeting Dec. 5, the Peralta Board of Trustees announced it had instructed Peralta Chancellor Jowel Laguerre to “discontinue planning” with the Oakland A’s.

    The district said that it would instead focus on what was best for

    students and the surrounding communities. In a Dec. 6 interview with the Tower, Laguerre confirmed that talks with the A’s would cease immediately.

    “We’re done,” he said, adding that there were no future development deals in the works.

    A statement on the A’s Twitter page said the team is “shocked” by the district’s decision.

    “All we wanted to do was enter into a conversation about how to make this work for all of Oakland, Laney, & the Peralta Community College District,” the A’s statement reads. “We are disappointed that we will not have that opportunity.”

    The announcement comes after months of resistance against the proposed stadium from local community groups and Laney College faculty and students.

    “I’m very excited,” said Kimberly King, a psychology professor at Laney and a leading member of the Stay the Right Way Coalition (StAy), a stadium-opposition group.

    King and dozens of other stadium protesters gathered on the Laney Quad Dec. 6 to celebrate what many said was a victory.

    But some members of the group said they were skeptical the announcement was any more than a flat gesture from the board.

    StAy organizer Alvina Wong said the group would still keep a close watch for deals between private interests and the district.

    “Is [Laguerre] going to keep fighting for us, or keep the door open for future development?” Wong said.

    The day of the announcement, dozens of StAy members marched from Laney to the Peralta district offices to ask the chancellor in person whether negotiations with the A’s were, in fact, over.

    At the end of a contentious exchange with protesters, several of them asked Chancellor Laguerre whether the district would continue to pursue development deals with private interests.

    “No,” he said, adding that since the deal with the A’s is dead, Laney community members “need to come together now.”

    We’re done.
    Chancellor Jowel Laguerre, on the A’s stadium deal

    King said she would “have to take the chancellor at his word,” unless she saw evidence of other development deals with the district.

    Though many stadium opponents hesitated to call the board’s decision an outright victory, the protesters shouted “thank you” to the chancellor as he left, and applauded the board’s decision.

    To King, the board’s announcement was an overall triumph for Laney and the surrounding communities, and a learning experience in civil disobedience.

    “I feel like we’re learning how to fight,” she said.

    The A’s announced in September their intention to build a new ballpark at the Peralta site, after months of rumor about which site the team would choose.

    A’s president Dave Kaval didn’t respond to the Tower’s requests for comment, but in a November public statement, Kaval said the Peralta site was the A’s only option.

    “People ask me if we have a plan B,” he said. “I say ‘Hey! We’re the A’s, we don’t have a plan B.’”

    It is unclear whether the A’s have a plan C.

    Brian Howey

    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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