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Mayor Schaaf To Revive 41-Year-Old ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION OF OAKLAND From Oakland News Now Blog: After saying again, and again, that Oakland did not have the economic development staff to understand how to implement tax increment financing as allowed under California Enhanced Infrastructure Financing District legislation, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf made the bold and exciting decision to revive the long-dormant, 41-year-old, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION OF OAKLAND. The original ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION OF OAKLAND was established on 21 August 1980 by Buzz Gibb and Zack Wasserman. That version of what was called “Ed Co” formed the first plan to build a downtown shopping center in what is now called Uptown Oakland. However, Oakland Citizen Committee for Urban Renewal Executive Director Paul Cobb (now Oakland Post Publisher) formed a giant set of community groups to oppose the project, and so it was terminated by the Oakland City Council in 1985 and the original firm folded in 1986. But the new ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION OF OAKLAND will have a much larger and more community-serving impact on Oakland. Mayor Schaaf said “The ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION OF OAKLAND will take on an exciting initiative: to focus tax increment revenue collected from parts of Downtown Oakland, Chinatown, and West Oakland on the acquisition of housing via eminent domain under The Polanco Act, assistance to Pandemic-harmed small business with a priority on helping to establish black-owned small businesses based in homes, finishing environmental cleanup work abandoned when the original Oakland Redevelopment Agency was terminated by the State of California, providing reparations funds to West Oakland-based black families (with priority given to long-standing West-Oakland-based families), special grants to Oakland-based firms in the 3D Manufacturing - Additive Manufacturing, video-content-production, movie-making, movie-production support, music, fashion, security, and transportation industries, grants to West Oakland multifamily building owners to reduce rent levels by 20 percent to 40 percent per month, and a special program to provide some type of free housing to every truly homeless person identified in West Oakland and Downtown.” Mayor Schaaf added that the objective is to revive West Oakland as a vibrant and active example of how we can re-create an American economic system so that it works for everyone. “My vision,” Mayor Schaaf said, “along with that of Oakland District Two Councilmember Nikki Bas and Three Councilmember Carroll Fife, is to dramatically improve the quality of life of everyone in in West Oakland, Chinatown, and Downtown, and use part of the TIF revenue for projects in East Oakland.” To do this Mayor Schaaf said that she would focus on using legislation crafted last year, and called AB464 Mullen ( That form of California EIFD law was created to specifically allow tax increment financing revenue to be used to help small businesses negatively-impacted by the Pandemic. Here's part of AB464 Mullen's language: AB 464, Mullin. Enhanced Infrastructure Financing Districts: allowable facilities and projects. Existing law authorizes the legislative body of a city or a county to establish an enhanced infrastructure financing district to finance public capital facilities or other specified projects of communitywide significance that provide significant benefits to the district or the surrounding community, including, but not limited to, the acquisition, construction, or repair of industrial structures for private use. This bill would include, in the list of facilities and projects the district may fund, the acquisition, construction, or repair of commercial structures by the small business, as defined, occupant of such structures, if certain conditions are met, and facilities in which nonprofit community organizations provide health, youth, homeless, and social services. More:
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