I was able to get to the Linden Street Brewery near JLS just a minute or two before mayoral candidate Rebecca Kaplan started her speech on sports in Oakland. Mike Davie, who is a fairly prominent Keep the A’s in Oakland figure, is volunteering on Kaplan’s campaign and introduced her. The speech lasted about 25 minutes, after which I had to leave. Here are some of the nuggets I got from it.
- She’d like to keep the A’s in town, have a rebuilt Coli be the home for both NFL franchises, bring a WNBA team to town, and attract more international soccer matches.
- Kaplan talked up the potential of TOD developments, citing the Coliseum as a distinct site with potential. She joked about the BART bridge being a “walkway of chain link doom.”
- She did not say it specifically, but I inferred that she would push for a A’s ballpark solution at the Coliseum, with new ancillary development around it to make it feel like a proper urban ballpark feel.
- She did not mention any of the JLS sites. She tried to make a distinction between what she called the “Possible Dream” (something that is feasible) and the “Impossible Dream” (something that people simply keep talking about in circles). Does this mean that she’s not a shill for the JLS-area developers that want/need the ballpark to boost their ROI?
That’s what I got from it. About 50 people attended. I felt like a media person, so as much as it pained me I didn’t partake in any beer (big fan of Linden’s version of steam beer) or freshly grilled hot dogs. We’ll see if any of the other candidates hold a similar forum.