The award-winning publication of the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce | oaklandchamber.com | Jan/Feb 2020
Small Business Spotlight Acumen Building Enterprise; Home of Chicken & Waffles Page 4
California 2020 Employment Law Changes Page 8
Special Section: Port of Oakland
Transit & Transportation: HNTB, Acumen, ACTransit
Dining at OAK: Tastes of The Town page 14
Kaiser names Gregory A. Adams new Chair, CEO Jonathan Bair, Kaiser Permanente
The Kaiser Foundation Health Plan hospital operations in all eight Kaiser Permanente regions. Prior to and Hospitals Boards of Directors have named Gregory A. Adams as Continued page 22 Chairman and CEO of the organization, one of America's leading integrated health care providers and nonprofit health plans. Adams has 30 years leadership experience as a senior health care executive and a key leader in driving the organization's mission forward, strengthening company culture, and ensuring Kaiser Permanente continues to be a great place to work. Since 2016, he has served as Executive Vice President and Group President, with direct Gregory A. Adams responsibility for health plan and
Port of Oakland names new Executive Director Port of Oakland
Danny Wan, who has been serving as the Port of Oakland’s interim Executive Director since last summer, and Port Attorney for six years before that, has been named permanent Port Executive Director. The Port’s governing Board selected Mr. Wan at a special meeting last December. He replaces Chris Lytle who retired in July after six years at the helm in Oakland. This announcement capped a two-month, nationwide search. "We're fortunate to have Danny as the Port's new chief executive – not only is he an experienced public professional, he is also a local leader with demonstrated commitment to the communities the Port serves," said Board President Ces Butner. Mr. Wan is a familiar figure in the Oakland community. In 2000, he became the first openly gay member Danny Wan of the Oakland City Council, representing Chinatown and the Lake Merritt district. From 1996 to 2000, he represented Oakland, Alameda and San Leandro on the EBMUD Board. He brings more than two decades of experience in public agency law, finance and environmental Continued page 22
Call to Action
Join 2020 Oakland Chamber Committees The Oakland Chamber of Commerce has reimagined the committee structure for 2020 to provide opportunities for further engagement, high impact meetings, and key issue briefings. Standing committees of the Board of Directors are broken down into specific issue areas, each meeting every other month. Some standing committees will have ad hoc task forces that activate around unique challenges or events.
Public Safety; Illegal Dumping; and Budget The Public Policy Committee is comprised primarily of government affairs professionals from Chamber member businesses, nonprofits, and public agencies. The Committee is responsible for guiding and advising the Chamber Board of Directors in legislative decisions as well serving as a place for policy generation and discussion. Open by invitation only.
Public Policy Task Forces: Ballot Measures;
Transportation, Housing, and Land Use Continued page 7
▶︎ Congratulations to Candi Martinez-Carthen, winner of the citywide #ShopOAKPROUD 2019 Holiday Photo Contest. The photo contest was offered in partnership with Southwest Airlines, and Oakland’s BID Alliance (Business Improvement Districts) to encourage shopping local during the season. Planned and supported by many of Oakland’s public and private entities, including the City of Oakland, Visit Oakland and Main Street Launch, the annual effort assists in providing greater awareness of the diverse retail community available to shoppers, the importance of a strong, independent business community in the city, and the positive economic impact of shopping local. Candi’s winning selfie was a snap of her purchasing a gift at A Great Good Place for Books, an independent, full-service bookstore and thriving community hub in Montclair Village. She won two roundtrip tickets to any Southwest Airlines published, domestic destination including Hawaii.◼ ▶︎ #OAKPROUD Bon Appetit! Chamber member Impossible Foods, the brand behind the Impossible Burger, wowed attendees at the 2020 Consumer Electronic Show (CES) in Las Vegas earlier this month with the launch of Impossible Pork, a plant-based pork replacement. The man-made pork substitute is designed for kosher and halal certification and can be used in any recipe calling for ground pork. The company plans to also roll out Impossible Sausage in late January in five test cities. The move positions the company well – while chicken is the most-consumed protein in the US, pork is the most consumed protein worldwide; China represents more than half that consumption. Impossible Foods received the 2019 United Nations Global Climate Action Award, Planetary Health category, in December 2019.◼ ▶︎ The Chamber and partners Southwest Airlines, Oakland African American Chamber of Commerce, Oakland Vietnamese Chamber of Commerce, Oakland Latino Chamber of Commerce and Oakland’s BID Alliance, worked together to support Oakland’s eating and drinking establishments again this year during Oakland Restaurant Week presented by Visit Oakland. The winner of the Chamber’s #EATOAKPROUD promotion will receive two roundtrip tickets to any Southwest Airlines published, domestic destination including Hawaii!◼ ▶︎ Celebrate Valentine’s Day the Fair Trade Certified way. Fair Trade certified products – including flowers to chocolates from Oakland Chamber members – are perfect for celebrating the day. Here are a few of our #OAKPROUD top picks. If chocolate is on your love’s list, a monthly subscription to Oakland’s own premium organic OCHO Candy, makers of several combinations of delicious treats, (ochocandy.com) is sure to please. Looking for the perfect floral bouquet for your sweetheart? Check out Oakland’s Whole Foods Market floral (230 Bay Place). Start Valentine’s Day sipping Oakland-based Numi Organic Tea or meet up at Equator Coffees (170 Bay Place, across from Whole Foods) for a cup of Equator Estate Coffees & Teas.
The Fair Trade Certified™ seal represents thousands of products, improving millions of lives, protecting land and waterways in 45 countries and counting. Purchases have sent $610 million to farmers and workers since 1998. Look for the Fair Trade Certified™ when shopping and check the Fair Trade website, fairtradecertified.org, to find other certified products. Every purchase supports something. Choosing Fair Trade products helps support what’s fair.◼ Page 2
Happy 2020! There seems to be some debate as to when one should refrain from a Happy New Year salutation, so let me begin by wishing everyone a healthy and prosperous 2020. After time spent with friends and family, Chamber staff have been back at work planning for the new year and executing our mission, “To secure the economic future of our community and to enhance the quality of life in the City of Oakland.” Each year the Chamber releases a brief member survey to ensure that our new year’s “recalibration” represents what is most important for you and your annual investment. It’s imperative our information, programming and advocacy align with your business priorities. This is no small task given our diverse membership base, and we continually modify our offerings based on the feedback we receive. This year’s respondents included a cross section of small to large businesses, members who have enjoyed our programming for less than a year as well as our longtime economic stewards, and a balanced representation of years in the workforce. Areas of strength include: 1. Members continue to agree that the three main reasons for Chamber investment include:
a. Stay current on key civic and community issues. b. Increase exposure and opportunities to engage with like-minded professionals. c. Ensure representation at all levels of Government. 2. 90% of members believe they receive equal to or greater return on their Chamber investment. 3. The Chamber receives strong marks for our varied informational programming, economic data reports and advocacy efforts, although some events fared better than others! Focus areas for 2020
1. Members don’t like our website … and neither do we! The Chamber is working with our friends at Oaklandish to redesign the website making it more user friendly. Launch date by end of Q1 2020. 2. Although our members give strong ratings for the content and information in our Oakland Business Review, over two thirds of respondent’s support moving to an online-only OBR. Launch date July 2020. 3. The Chamber can do more to support our small business members. Our current efforts, in
addition to our work supporting Chamber members, is focused in the areas below: a. Advocate for and convene monthly the Oakland BID Alliance representing 10 merchant districts across Oakland where many of our small businesses are located. b. Collaborate with our Ethnic Chamber partners by cross-marketing our programs, cosponsoring B2B events, and speaking with one voice for business at city hall. c. Engage with the City, Visit Oakland and our small business partners on marketing campaigns designed to increase shopping and dining in Oakland. See our #EatOakProud, #ShopOakproud and #LuvOakProud campaigns annually. 4. Additional focus area, and equally important to our members, is to ensure Oakland has a strong pipeline of local talent for our growing jobs base. Chamber member involvement is critical to the success of our Chamber’s mission and 2020 priorities. So please consider joining a Chamber committee in 2020 (see front page article on revised committee structure) and lend your expertise to ensure Oakland’s equitable and sustained growth has room and makes room for all.◼
Hiring a Foreign National on H-1B Visa Nadia Yakoob, Managing Partner, Yakoob & Associates
With the economy booming in Oakland, employers often meet candidates who require visa sponsorship to work. The most common visa option for employment is the H-1B visa. The Four Key Requirements for the H-1B Visa: 1) The position must be a “specialty occupation,” which means it rquires a person who holds at least a bachelor’s degree, and the prospective employee must have the required bachelor’s degree. A bachelor’s degree from the United States is not required in order to qualify for the H-1B visa. If the foreign degree is evaluated and considered to be the equivalent of a US bachelor’s degree, it qualifies. 2) There must be an employeremployee relationship between you and the prospective employee, meaning the foreign national must be placed on payroll and get a Form W-2 at the end of the year. 3) The position must be paid the higher of the prevailing wage or actual wage for the position in that geographic area. In order to determine the “prevailing wage” for the position you seek to fill, check the Wage Library on the Department of Labor’s website. The Wage Lib-
rary has four levels of wages for each occupational category in a particular geographic area. You should make sure you will pay, at a minimum, the Level 1 salary. If you pay your employees above market, you will need to pay the H-1B worker the same salary (or in the same range) you pay your US workers in the same position; you cannot pay them less. 4) The employer must pay all government filing fees and legal fees
government filing fee of $1,440 for associated with the H-1B petition. These are not insignificant numbers. premium processing service, which gets you a decision in 15 For a small comYakoob & Associates calendar days, as opposed pany (defined as explains the H-1B Visa to waiting three to six less than 26 em- • Four key months. The government ployees), govrequirements ernment filing fees • Annual limits of H-1B filing fees are separate alone are $1,710. visas; how it plays out from legal fees if you • Terms and conditions retain a lawyer to prepare For companies and file the H-1B petition. with 26 or more of H-1B status. Prospective H-1B workers employees, cannot reimburse the employer for government filing fees are $2,460. These numbers do not include the Continued on page 21
Acumen celebrates 25 years
Home of Chicken & Waffles serving up success
Tamara Halbritter, Acumen
Home of Chicken and Waffles
Less than two miles from the Oakland International Airport, Acumen Building Enterprise, Inc. (Acumen) is one of the businesses at the end of Pardee Lane, a quiet street abutting Martin Luther King Jr. Regional Shoreline. Acumen staff can look out the office Clients look to windows of this engineering consulting firm and Acumen for see a squadron of pelicans landing on the water, transit system snowy egrets and spotted sandpipers along the engineering shore and people bike riding or walking dogs on expertise, the trail. Inside the office, art from around the systems integration, world spurs creativity and innovation. In this program idyllic setting, Acumen staff come to work each management, day with the mission to improve transportation project controls, infrastructure and mobility throughout the world. procurement Since 1994, Acumen has been collaborating with assistance and local transportation agencies and governments to technical communications. maintain and upgrade transportation infrastructure throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond. Walter E. Allen founded the organization with a green vision in mind; he initially worked toward supporting LEED building design and construction, then saw the strong connection between buildings and transportation infrastructure. Now the company focuses on transit systems integration, improving passenger experience and protecting the environment by encouraging people to use alternatives to solo-driving trips. Over the past 25 years, Acumen has grown from a few employees to 46, working on projects throughout the nation from Hawaii to New York City and Miami, but Oakland is home. Key areas of expertise in 2020 are intelligent transportation systems (ITS), systems engineering and infrastructure management. Acumen has worked on many ITS projects, is an expert in fare collection systems and has consulted with transit agencies about fare collection standards and hardware and software development. The Acumen R&D department developed BART’s Bill-to-Bill Changer and AcuFare® 135 Smart Card Reader, which BART recently purchased for use as fare verification devices in all of its station agent booths. Systems engineering projects have run the gamut from AcuSecure security and access control for a Kaiser Permanente medical center construction site to work on BART’s Communication-Based Train Control system as part of its Train Control Modernization Project, assisting Caltrain with implementation of Positive Train Control and replacing the Automatic Vehicle Identification System at Los Angeles International Airport. An infrastructure management project of note is the California High-Speed Rail Authority Early Train Operator project; Acumen is consulting on the design, development and procurement of the commercial aspects of high-speed rail passenger train operations. Acumen celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2020 by launching the firm’s redesigned website (acumentransit.com) mid-2020; hosting an onsite event this summer at the home office (watch for details on the website); and staying in touch with clients and partners who have helped Acumen thrive since its modest beginning back in 1994. Acumen’s CEO Walter Allen says, “Our primary focus is consulting services in the transportation space, public transit – focused on systems and working to create more public-private partnerships to save the earth. I also want to create more opportunities for people. It’s not just the dollars and cents, it’s how can I bring on more people, provide more jobs and opportunities.”◼
Home of Chicken and Waffles has existed synonymously in Jack London Square for more than two decades while others have not withstood the test of time. Owner Derreck Johnson took over the business from his father in 2004, which continues to be one of the Bay Area’s favorite restaurants by attracting an incredibly diverse crowd of local residents and tourists alike. As one of the founding employers working with City of Oakland's Measure Y Hiring Program, Johnson sought to hire young men of color who were previously on parole and/or probation. He has been rallying other small businesses since 2004 to also step up to hire and mentor these young men, most in need of employment, to break the cycle of recidivism. “Hearing these guys’ stories made we want to help them transform their lives,” he says. “We all make mistakes. Some of us get caught up in our own mistakes while some of us do not.” Johnson’s experience growing up in West Oakland has helped him establish a rapport with workers. Since the program began, Johnson has expanded the staff to include women who have been formerly incarcerated as well. By the last year of Measure Y, it provided approximately $22 million annually to fund violence prevention programs, additional police officers, and fire services. Johnson has a training program for all his staff and doesn’t treat those on parole any differently. “We reach out with a level of concern, and say it’s okay to ask questions. Just let us know what you don’t understand so we can empower you to be great,” he says. In 2012, the City of Oakland rewarded Johnson with the Humanitarian Award. He continues to provide a loving but firm hand in teaching these young men and women the basic skills they need to survive in today’s workplace and economy. The Home of Chicken and Waffles has truly invested in the City’s Measure Y clients, some of whom have risen in the ranks to manage the restaurant over time. Initially 10 to 15 percent of his workforce, formerly incarcerated people now make up about 70 percent of his staff. Johnson received the “Heart of Oakland” Award from the Oakland Chamber of Commerce, 2015. Although he has empathy for their situation, “They also have to understand that as soon as they walk through the door their personal lives need to be left behind, and that can be a challenge,” he says. “At the same time, you have someone who is very loyal and really appreciative about receiving a job.” Johnson is a member of the Oakland Workforce Development Board, founding participant in the Prison to Employment Program, mentor for the Mayor’s Summer Youth Program and continues to participate in Alameda County’s Workforce Program.◼
Extend the tangible benefits of Chamber membership and gain additional exposure for your business via the Chamber’s “M2M” (Member-to-Member) and “HotDeals” offers! Participation in both M2 and HotDeals are featured via Chamber’s website, social media platforms, Oakland Business Review (print and digital versions) and weekly outbound Chamber emails. Look for these and other current offers; oaklandchamber.com for details, expiry dates and any restrictions. HotDeals Offers available to Chamber members and the general public. Please check oaklandchamber.com for offer expiration dates, additional information.
Home of Chicken & Waffles Restaurant & Bar
We don't do happy hour...we do happy HOURS! Entire menu half off every Monday through Thursday, 3pm - 6pm! 2019 marked 15 years in business for The Home of Chicken & Waffles? It's hard to believe that it has been that long, but time flies when you are having fun serving up soul food at its best! Located on the Embarcadero at Broadway, Jack London Square. (510) 836-4446.◼
Flying out of The Town? Get 1 FREE Day of airport (OAK) parking when you board your pet with our "Park & Bark Program"! AllSuite, Overnight Dog Boarding and Doggie Daycare at our conveniently located facility near Oakland International Airport. Our discerning clientele includes Bay Area veterinarians, trainers, sports team players, police and fire-fighters. Loving, professional staff work hard to make each canine guest feel as though they are on vacation filled with friends and fun! Whether you're traveling from OAK for business or pleasure, your precious pet is our priority while you're away. All new clients must complete an in-person consultation prior to utilizing our Citizen Canine services and redemption of any offers. 420 Hegenberger Road, Oakland. (510) 562-1750.◼
plank Happy Hour Specials and More! Enjoy Happy Hour Specials and Save $2 off ALL drinks, and $2 off ALL appetizers! Four hours of fun; four hours of savings! Choose from our robust beer selection, Martinis, Margaritas, Spiked Lemonades, Signature Cocktails, Sparkling Cocktails, Wines and more, plus an extensive appetizer menu featuring delicious items such as our Hummus, Southwest Rolls, Nacho Stack, and Ahi Tuna Poke. Come in, wind down. Located in a picturesque setting, overlooking the waterfront, plank is a unique Oakland experience whether you’re with your friends, business associates or family, with over 50,000 square feet of indoor/ outdoor space. Featuring 70 HDTV’s, plank is a favorite sports HQ in the East Bay; catch NFL Playoff games and the Super Bowl, and of course, cheer on your favorite teams during hoops season. Located at 98 Broadway at Embarcadero West. (510) 817-0981.◼ Scott’s Seafood Grill & Bar Book a party for a minimum 25 persons in a private room at Scott's Jack London Square from October 30, 2019-February 29, 2020 and receive a $140 Brunch Certificate. As one of the East Bay’s premier private dining and wedding destinations, Scott’s Jack London Square has seven banquet rooms including our Public Pavilion. Private Dining rooms and Scott’s Pavilion are available for corporate to special events in the morning, afternoon and evening, daily. All indoor banquet rooms are beautiful, complete with tables, chairs, linens, and fine china service ware and full bar services. Located on Jack London Square’s waterfront; main dining room and bar/lounge overlooking the beautiful estuary. #2 Broadway, Oakland. (510) 444-3456.◼ Choose To Be Happy Now 30% off Initial Consult. Learn self-love and self-care by living a heart centered life and develop resilience for success in both your business and personal life. Cia Robles, BS, CHS, Hypnotherapist; Transformational Counselor. (510) 853.5323.◼
Red Bud Floral Sign up for a 1-year floral subscription commitment, get 12th month for free. 52 weeks of custom-designed and delivered arrangements. Billed monthly; 12th month free! Specialists in reception area, lobby, restaurant, and hotel/hospitality floral design, Red Bud Florals uses an organic style that incorporates complex textures and flowing lines, scents, and hues from flowers and foliage as an art medium. Owner/Founder Tami Etziony combines an extensive horticulture and garden design background with green business sensibility, and a commitment to local products – as well as her company's own propagated native and unusual species – to increase each arrangement's sensory impact. (510) 282-2070.◼ Modera Jack London Square Move up to Modera Jack London Square and receive up to 8 weeks FREE RENT, + $1000 with our “Look & Lease” offer! Special offer available now! Pick your floorpan and your view, sign your lease and receive up to 8 weeks free rent and up to $1000 with our “Look & Lease” program at Jack London Square's newest luxury apartment homes. 134 studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom apartment homes, Modera Jack London Square offers Oakland-enthusiasts a home packed with possibilities, inside and out. Interior features include 9-foot ceilings, wood plank-style flooring, quartz countertops, and more. 134 studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom apartment homes. You'll love the game room with a demonstration kitchen, and expansive rooftop decks – complete with an outdoor pizza kitchen, barbecue area and gorgeous vistas of the downtown skyline. Perfect for gathering with old friends or making new ones. Even a luxurious pet spa! The tastes. The action. The shops. The bay. There are countless reasons to come to Jack London Square. And now, thanks to Modera, there is also one incredible reason to stay. 378 Embarcadero West, Oakland. (628) 600-3650.◼ Page 5
Council Update Aly Bonde
The Oakland City Council returns to work with a full day of committee meetings on Jan. 14 and the first Council meeting of 2020 on Jan. 21. 2020 is expected to be a busy year as we head into the November election in which five of the eight council seats are up. Below is a recap of the end of session work as well as a preview of the first meetings of the new year. Cannabis Business Tax CutsÂ After months of debate, the Council voted to lower the taxes on cannabis businesses previously set at 5 percent for medical and 10 percent for recreational. Now all cannabis businesses with gross receipts under $500,000 will pay 0.12 percent. Equity cannabis businesses (those owned by populations impacted by the War on Drugs) with gross receipts under $1.5 million will pay 0.12 percent per year. The Council also created a phased-in system that lowered the tax rates for nonequity businesses and larger equity businesses to between 2.5 and 5 percent by 2022 depending on the size and sector of the business. Non-equity businesses can receive 0.5 percent rebates for activities such as incubating an equity business, local hiring, equity supply chain contractors, and workforce quality of life. However, businesses are limited in the number and frequency of rebates they can receive and still must pay a minimum tax rate of 2.5 percent in 2022. Most business tax classifications in Oakland pay below 2 percent per year. Cannabis businesses assessed at 2.5 percent will pay the highest business tax rate in Oakland, followed by the classification for "Firearms Dealers" that pay 2.4 percent. Proposed Budget Cuts In response to the Council's decisions to lower cannabis taxes, some limited small landlord taxes, and lower the Vacant Parcel Tax for the first year, the City Administration proposed mid-year cuts to balance the budget at the Dec. 10 meeting. Staff estimated that $4 million in cuts will need to be made to balance the budget. They recommend cuts that would not impact homelessness, housing, and illegal dumping services. The cuts include funding from the cannabis equity business program, new BID formation fund, city clerk's office, Shotspotter, Oakland Promise, vegetation management, crime analysts, and emergency planning. Parks and Recreation Parcel Tax Before the end of session, the Oakland City Council voted to place a special parcel tax to
fund parks and recreation services on the March 3 Primary Election ballot. The measure would charge every parcel of property in Oakland $148 per year to bring in an estimated $21 million annually to go mainly towards parks and homelessness interventions, with a small amount set aside for stormwater management. The City Council budget passed in June assumed the passage of this measure in its calculations. The Chamber Board of Directors has voted to endorse Measure Q. The Chamber's full voter guide will be released in the coming weeks. Fair Chance Housing Policy Similarly to cities like Portland and Seattle, Oakland will consider adopting a "fair chance" housing ordinance that limits the ability of property owners to consider criminal history in housing applications, in a policy similar to the "ban the box" hiring practices. The Fair Chance Housing Ordinance would prevent landlords from asking about or requiring disclosure of an applicant's criminal history (with the exception of the sex-offender registry). Owner-occupants of duplexes and triplexes are also exempt, as would be landlords of HUD-funded housing to comply with federal regulations. It is sponsored by City Attorney Barbara Parker, Councilmembers Reid, Bas, and Kalb. The Berkeley City Council is currently considering a similar policy. It goes to CED on Jan. 14.
more than 25 units or 25,000 sq. ft. to document community engagement in their applications; recommend strategies to amend zoning requirements for OZs not falling within specific plans; and to evaluate strategies for establishing Enhanced Infrastructure Financing Districts in OZ census tracts. Condo Conversion President Pro Tem Dan Kalb is bringing forward an ordinance to change the way property owners are able to convert their rental units into condominiums. The changes would add additional tenant noticing and assistance requirements, limit conversion rights to residential buildings with building permits issued after conversion application, and extend existing condo conversion restrictions to owners of smaller properties. Councilmember Kalb has indicated that he is open to removing the provision that would impact new construction projects, as long as they have filed a condo map with their initial permits. It will return to Committee on Jan. 14.
Opportunity Zones On Jan. 14 Councilmember Loren Taylor is proposing a resolution to formalize the Council's adoption of specific Opportunity Zonerelated recommendations intended to help the city mitigate potential negative impacts of the Federal Opportunity Zone legislation while
Project Appeals Two major projects have pending appeals before the City Council this fall. One is a 220room hotel slated for a former CalTrans property between Mandela Parkway and Beach Street, approved by Planning Commission over a year ago. The project is being appealed by the hotel labor union. After an initial hearing at Council on Nov. 19, the Council delayed a decision until the second meeting in February 2020. Oakland has a unique section in its Planning Code allowing the City to take into account the potential increase in city services that would result from the creation of new hotel jobs. Councilmember McElhaney requested staff return with an analysis of project impacts on the demand for affordable housing
taking advantage of the potential benefits. This includes asking staff to start preparing an ordinance to expand the Conditional Use Permit noticing requirements to include tenants as well as landlords within 750 feet of a project; preparing an ordinance to require projects with
and social services. The second appeal is against a high-rise residential development at 1750 Broadway that would bring 300 new units of housing and pay over $7 million in affordable housing impact fees. It was approved by Planning Commission Continued next page
Session Update Leadership Oakland Class of 2020 gathered for Public Safety Day at Oakland’s Emergency Operations Center in January. This fourth session of Leadership Oakland featured a panel discussion with Anne Kirkpatrick, Chief, Oakland Police Department, and Darin White, Chief, Oakland Fire Department; guest speakers Nancy O’Malley, Alameda County District Attorney; Zac Unger, President, Oakland Firefighters Union Local 55; Guillermo Cespedes, Chief of Violence Protection, City of Oakland; and a tour of the Emergency Operations Center and Fire Station #1. Cohorts learned the ins-and-outs and had an up-close look behind the scenes of of maintaining public safety for a major municipality.
A special thank you to Oakland Leadership’s generous sponsors, Pacific Gas & Electric, Program Sponsor; and the Oakland Fire Department, Program Supporter, without whom this program would not be possible. The group convened at Dogwood in Oakland’s Uptown, 1644 Telegraph Avenue, for a post-session happy hour.
Leadership Oakland Class of 2021 Watch for enrollment information and online application coming late Spring 2020.
2020 Oakland Chamber Committees
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this spring and is being appealed by labor unions and residents of a neighboring building. It will appear before Council on Feb. 4.
Task Forces: Manufacturing; Infrastructure; and Broadband Transportation, Housing, and Land Use drives the Chamber’s agenda relative to ensuring Oakland is well-positioned for sustainable and equitable economic growth by convening an array of stakeholders from developers to transit agencies to city planners to nonprofit leaders. The committee tackles longstanding economic development issues from a unique, solutions-oriented and interdisciplinary approach.
Impact Fee Accountability As members of the Council continue to inquire about the status and collection of Oakland's affordable housing impact fees, the City has released several memos outlining what has been collected in advance of bringing on third-party auditors to conduct a standard review. More than $8 million has been collected in Affordable Housing Impact Fees since they were created in July 2016 (see table, page 6). That number jumps to over $15 million when including the Jobs/ Housing Fee. Of the below Affordable Housing Impact Fees collected to date, $4.9 million have been committed to three affordable housing projects in Oakland totaling 162 units. The remaining AHIF have been included in the City's Notice of Funding Availability and will return to Council for appropriation in January 2020. These discussions are in advance of the City reconsidering it's impact fee levels in 2021. Council Retreat The City Council scheduled its annual retreat for Jan. 29 where Council President Kaplan will announce new committee assignments and chairs. The retreat is intended to be an opportunity for the Council to discuss big picture issues, functioning, and direction of the city. The Council was not able to schedule a retreat in 2019.◼
Small Business Council Oakland’s vibrant small business community is an asset to the entire city. The Small Business Council convenes a diverse group of Oakland entrepreneurs, employees, and advocates to share knowledge and resources to grow and support Oakland’s small and micro business ecosystem. Page 7
Jobs and Workforce Task forces: Tech and Innovation; Trade and Logistics; Healthcare; and Education Education and workforce preparation are the most important economic development activities in working to ensure prosperity and growth can be shared by all Oaklanders. The Jobs and Workforce Committee guides the Chamber’s regional workforce development responsibilities while also identifying policies and practices that will create new jobs throughout Oakland. Community Impact Committee The Community Impact Committee (CIC) is a unique, structured program bringing together for-profit and non-profit organizations in furtherance of productive partnerships committed to philanthropy and social mission.
Key changes to California employment law for businesses in 2020 Livca Shin-Kim, Donahue Fitzgerald
Companies should also consider an entire handbook review/update for older handbooks. 3. Arbitration Agreements (AB 51) Beginning in 2020, new or modified arbitration agreements may not require workers to arbitrate labor code claims or claims of discrimination/harassment under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), unless the agreement is subject to the Federal Arbitration Act and meets certain other requirements. Companies should have an attorney review their arbitration forms to ensure that agreements entered into beginning 2020 will be enforceable. 4. Paid Family Leave (SB 83) Monetary benefits under Paid Family Leave, a California state program, will be extended from 6 weeks to 8 weeks, beginning on July 1, 2020. San Francisco’s supplemental pay ordinance will follow California law and will also extend to 8 weeks. Companies that provide supplemental pay during leaves should review their policies. 5. Statute of Limitations for FEHA Claims (AB 9) The statute of limitations to file a complaint with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) will be extended from one year to three years. Because employees may then take an additional year to file a civil suit after filing the DFEH charge, a minimum 4-year record retention policy is suggested. 6. Injury Reporting (AB 1805) The California Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Cal OSHA) reporting obligations have been expanded. The 24-hour hospitalization requirement has been removed. Now, any hospitalization must be reported, excluding those for medical observation or diagnostic testing.◼
2020 brings some significant changes for California employers, from the codification of the “ABC test” for independent contractor classifications (AB 5) to bans of certain mandatory employment arbitration agreements entered into after January 1, 2020 (AB 51). Below is an overview of key new employment laws businesses need to understand and be aware of going into 2020. 1. Independent Contractors v. Employees (AB 5) The ABC test under the 2018 Dynamex case has been codified into law, at Labor Code Section 2750.3. Labor Code Section 2750.3 adopts the ABC test in most situations, making it difficult to correctly classify a worker as an independent contractor. Additionally, the new law is retroactive and applies to all wage and hour claims under the Labor Code, as well as unemployment insurance. Starting in July 2020, it will also apply to workers’ compensation claims. The new statute, however, does carve out many exceptions, which if applicable, allows the old, less stringent, multi-factor balancing test under the Borello case to be used. Misclassification suits are being filed by workers alleging that they are wrongfully treated as independent contractors and denied protections afforded to employees. They usually allege that they were improperly paid under California’s wage and hour laws, and denied overtime pay, as well as various other benefits. Businesses should consider their risk, and determine whether they need to convert their independent contractors to employees under the new law. 2. Lactation Accommodation (SB 142) All companies should update their lactation policy after SB 142, which expands requirements for lactation accommodations, and requires that specific language be newly included in lactation policies.
Donahue Fitzgerald elects new Partners Livca Shin-Kim, Donahue Fitzgerald
Donahue Fitzgerald announces the addition of three new attorneys to the firm’s partnership, Kathrin R. Dimas, Jesse B. McKeithen, and Jessica M. Takano. Their practices include real estate, construction, intellectual property, and business and corporate transactions and litigation. “We are proud to welcome Kathrin, Jesse, and Jessica to the firm’s partnership,” said Andrew MacKay, Managing Partner. “They have demonstrated commitment to delivering quality client service through their legal and technical skills, while partnering with their colleagues in bringing practical and strategic solutions in line with our clients’ goals.” Dimas represents business and corporate clients ranging from start-ups to emerging Kathrin R Dimas companies and multinational corporations in a wide range of industries. She also advises
commercial landlords and tenants, real estate developers, and property managers in real estate matters. As a business, corporate, and real estate attorney, she focuses her practice on domestic and crossborder mergers and acquisitions, business restructurings and reorganizations, private security offerings, securities law compliance, commercial contracts, and real estate purchase, sale, and leasing transactions. Dimas received her business law degree from Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich in Germany, and obtained her masters of law degree (LL.M.) in Transnational Business Practice from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, in Sacramento, California. Jessica M. Takano is a litigator whose practice focuses primarily on real estate and business disputes. Her representative clients include real estate owners, investors, and developers, landlords, contractors, homeowners associations, real estate brokers and agents, and businesses and their owners. Takano has litigated, arbitrated, and mediated numerous
cases in a wide variety of substantive areas, and she is an experienced trial attorney. Takano recJessica M. Takano eived her undergraduate degree from the University of California, Berkeley, and her law degree from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law. She also received advanced training in Mediation and Conflict Resolution from the University of California, Berkeley, UC Extension. Jesse B. McKeithen represents corporate and individual clients in a variety of sectors, including technology, consumer packaged goods, energy, transportation, media, real estate, and construction, leading them through all stages of investigations and litigation. He has experience with unfair competition and antitrust matters, post-closing M & A investgations, multi-district class action litigation, copyright infringement matters, government investigations, real estate and
construction disputes, and complex commercial litigation. Jesse graduated with honors from Princeton University and received his law degree from the UCLA School of Law. McKeithen is also active in the Oakland community. He is a member of the Oakland Rotary Club, a graduate of the Chamber of Commerce Leadership Oakland Program, and sits on the Boards of Oakland Feather River Camp and Ace Kids Golf. Donahue Fitzgerald LLP is a fullservice law firm with more than fifty attor- Jesse B. McKeithen neys located in three Bay Area offices, and an office in Los Angeles. The firm provides legal advice and representation in all aspects of business and corporate law, employment, intellectual property, real estate and construction, franchise, legal cannabis, and tax, as well as trusts and estates and litigation.◼
Port of Oakland priorities and projects 2020 Port of Oakland
Coming off a strong year for passenger and cargo activities, the Port of Oakland is moving forward on key priorities and projects in 2020 with a focus on long-term planning for growth. With the retirement of Chris Lytle, the Board of Port Commissioners last November appointed Danny Wan to take the helm as Executive Director. Wan is an 11-year Port employee, last serving as the Port Attorney, and a longtime Oakland resident and leader. “I believe in the principles of strong ethics, transparency and common sense because those are the paths to growing our business with community support,” Mr. Wan said. “Our job is to move people and goods efficiently, provide a positive experience for our customers and visitors, and benefit the communities that surround the Port.” The Port operates three lines of business: the Oakland Seaport, Oakland International Airport and commercial real estate, including Jack London Square. Businesses and operations at Port facilities provide more than 84,000 jobs in Oakland and the region. Oakland Seaport In 2020 the Seaport will build on the foundations for increasing cargo volume and efficiency. Along with the continued construction of the warehouse and transloading Seaport Logistics Complex, the Port will see nearly a half-billion dollars of infrastructure and security upgrades. The first distribution center to be located at the Seaport – CenterPoint Landing – is under construction and expected to be completed this summer. The 464,000 square-foot warehouse being built by CenterPoint Properties is on Port land near the docks and railyards. And three new cargo cranes, which could be the tallest in the U.S., are arriving this fall. These projects exemplify the unique advantages of the Oakland maritime facilities with near-dock distribution and readiness for mega-sized cargo ships to load and unload efficiently. At the same time, funding and design are well underway for new technologies and a new roadway grade separation that together will reduce congestion and improve safety. “The Oakland Seaport will grow because we have a growing economy in Northern California and our neighboring states,” said Wan. The Port is the export and import global gateway for the important agricultural and “gig” industries in California and western states. “The Seaport has the shipping terminals, the warehouse distribution centers, the refrigerated facilities and the railyards all in one convenient location and that’s why we will grow.” said Wan. Oakland International Airport Customer experience and planning are also
priorities at Oakland International Airport (OAK) this year. The passenger count is at nearrecord levels and, despite headwinds from the halt in production of the Boeing 737 Max, OAK will serve an increasing number of destinations throughout the United States and Mexico for both leisure and travel. The Airport will complete the overhaul of its food and beverage offerings in 2020. Passengers will enjoy a dining experience reflective of Oakland’s culture. Local favorites like Luka’s Tap Room & Lounge, a hometown-themed Oakland A’s Club House and Red Bay Coffee are part of the mix. Oakland International Airport has implemented many improvements to create a better traveling experience for the public, including live music at baggage claim, a pet relief station, a lactation station, an Escape Lounge and a living wall with 4,500 plants – all to help passengers keep calm and carry on. As the terminals at the Airport reach their capacity both in terms of passengers and airplane size and count, the Port is undertaking planning and evaluation of airport facilities for possible renovation and expansion. “The Port is committed to a transparent process as we plan to provide an even better experience at our favorite and most convenient regional airport,” said Wan.
Growth with Care “One of my major priorities is for the Port of Oakland to engage our neighbors and the public so that, together, we can grow the Port for the benefit of our communities,” said Wan. 2020 will see the Port continuing to reduce the environmental impact of its operations. It’s currently researching plans and funding to move toward a “zero-emissions” future at the Seaport. “To achieve our clean-air goals, we will need to find alternative sources of reliable, clean energy,” said Wan. “It will be expensive, but we need to be creative and collaborate with state, federal and industry partners to achieve our goals.” He concluded, “The Port is an integral part of our regional economy that supports the communities around us and we also strive to be a good neighbor.”◼
Bigger cranes coming to Oakland Port of Oakland
Commercial Real Estate
Thirty million dollars – that’s the investment it takes for three, new and larger container cranes for Oakland International Container Terminal (OICT) – the busiest marine terminal at the Port
2020 will see new offerings at Jack London Square and all along the Oakland waterfront to add to the vibrancy of Oakland. Miles of waterfront are under the Port’s jurisdiction, including Jack London Square. CIM Group manages the Square for the Port, works with tenants, and is constructing a new residential building. Channel House is an eightstory, 333-unit apartment building, with ground floor retail. Residents are expected to begin moving in this year. Coming this summer is Oakland Assembly, a 40,000-square-foot, market hall. Several celebrity chefs have signed on to the project that will enhance Jack London Square’s reputation as a food-lover's destination. The Oakland Athletics have proposed a mixeduse development at the Port’s Howard Terminal. The term sheet imposes several requirements on the baseball team before the Port’s sevenmember governing Board can consider a final vote on the project. “The Port Commission believes a ballpark to keep the A’s in town would add to the excitement of our waterfront and Oakland downtown, provided the project does not interfere with the seaport operations,” said Port Executive Director Danny Wan. “A final deal would need to ensure everyone — the City of Oakland, the Port, our maritime partners and the A’s — are able to continue to thrive.”
of Oakland. Once installed, the new cranes would be the tallest on the West Coast and among the largest in the US. They are needed to move cargo on and off the biggest ships in the world. Stevedoring Services of America (SSA), which operates OICT, is making this significant infrastructure investment. “SSA’s plan and commitment demonstrates confidence in the Port of Oakland for the future of its business,” said Port Maritime Director John Driscoll. “OICT is gearing up to handle the largest ships in the world when they are deploy-
CenterPoint Landing at Port to open this summer Port of Oakland
CenterPoint Properties, a premier industrial real estate company, is building CenterPoint Landing, a 464,000 square-foot facility. It’s the first building at the Port of Oakland’s Seaport Logistics Complex (SLC). Driving by the 27-acre CenterPoint site, one can see that construction is well underway with the walls of the new warehouse up and a grand opening anticipated this summer. The facility will specialize in moving cargo quickly and efficiently to its destination. CenterPoint Landing is optimal because it’s adjacent to where ships, trucks and trains come together. This unique location, within the Port footprint, will save time and money for customers who are moving imports and exports through Oakland. “The Seaport Logistics Complex will give shippers the opportunity to manage international supply chains next door to the marine terminals
transfer from ships to trucks or rail. The Oakland Seaport is probably the only U.S. port that has enough land to bring together transportation and logistics infrastructure and services in one convenient location by the waterfront. The Seaport Logistics Complex will help the Port of Oakland grow by attracting additional cargo volume. It will also help the surrounding community as hundreds of new jobs are being created through this project. CenterPoint committed to giving local residents first shot at those job opportunities. With more cargo volume, it will be the Port’s and rail yards where their cargo is transported,” responsibility to manage that growth so that it said Port of Oakland Maritime Director John doesn’t negatively impact nearby communities. Driscoll. “We’ve got programs in place to keep truck CenterPoint’s $52 million facility is located at traffic and diesel exhaust emissions in check,” Maritime and 14th streets in the heart of the said Mr. Driscoll. “We’re building a future at the Port. The SLC eventually calls for a complex seaport that will benefit our customers, business with multiple buildings that serve as a transload partners and community.”◼ center where shippers can prepare cargo for
Howard Terminal ballpark project process Port of Oakland
ed between Asia and the West Coast.” OICT handles more than 60 percent of the Port’s total cargo volume. Today, megaships routinely call on Oakland, carrying the equivalent of as many as 14,000 twenty-foot cargo containers (“boxes”). They can carry 15,000 twenty-foot boxes and more. Containers are stacked up to 12-high above deck on ULCVs (Ultra Large Container Vessel). The new cranes will be able to reach the top of the stacks on those huge vessels. In 2019 SSA ordered the new cranes; delivery is anticipated in Q3 2020; and commissioning expected by year’s end. The Port and SSA will be closely coordinating this challenging engineering project. The new cranes, with their booms up, could reach more than 440 feet in the air with an overall lift height of 174 feet. They will be delivered partly assembled to clear the Golden Gate and Bay Bridges as they head to the Port of Oakland.◼
The Oakland Board of Port Commissioners approved a non-binding Exclusive Negotiation Term Sheet in May 2019 that gives the Oakland Athletics up to four years to advance their quest for a baseball stadium and mixeduse development project at Howard Terminal at the Port of Oakland. The term sheet imposes requirements on the baseball team before the Port’s seven-member governing Board can consider a final vote on the project. Among them: • Completed environmental review under CEQA of the development project; • Certain land use approvals from other public agencies; • Real estate agreements with the Port; and
• Measures, designs, and operational standards to ensure compatibility between seaport use and operations. Seaport Compatibility Measures Port Commissioners expressed strong interest in supporting the maritime industry in Oakland and helping its tenants and business partners grow. The Port Board is committed to addressing industry concerns over the proposed Howard Terminal development project and ensuring it’s compatible with seaport operations, health and safety. The Port is working with maritime stakeholders to identify Seaport Compatibility Measures that could be incorporated into the appropriate transaction and/or land use approvals for the project.◼
Matson welcomes new ships in 2020 Keoni Wagner, Matson
As a proud American shipping company with Bay Area roots dating back 138 years, Matson got its start when Captain William Matson sailed his first vessel, Emma Claudina, from San Francisco to Hilo, Hawaii in 1882. Serving Hawaii continuously ever since, Matson is uniquely experienced in carrying the wide range of commodities needed to support remote economies. It provides a vital, reliable lifeline to the economies of Hawaii, Alaska, Guam, Micronesia and select South Pacific islands, where Matson is a key supply chain partner allowing customers to rely on the company’s dependable vessel schedules to continually replenish inventories. Matson’s ocean transportation service is recognized for its industry leading on-time arrival performance and awardwinning customer service. Its diversified fleet features containerships, combination container and roll-on/ roll-off vessels and specially designed container barges. Matson’s ships and assets are U.S.-built, -owned and -operated, which provides significant advantages in the integrated trade lanes of the company’s operations. From its modest start, Matson has grown to become the premier shipping company in the Pacific, and one of the most respected and innovative carriers in the world. Matson was one of the first to recognize the potential of Hawaii as a tourist destination, building a fleet of first-class luxury liners to ferry passengers from the mainland and a five-star hotel on Waikiki Beach – the iconic Royal Hawaiian Hotel – to welcome
program, Matson was awarded a grant from the California Air Resources Board for its use of Tier 3 engine technology in its two new Kanaloa Class ships. Matson’s terminal operating partner SSA Terminals has also received funds for zero and near-zero emission cargo handling equipment at the Ports of Oakland, Long Beach and Seattle. The new Kanaloa Class vessels – Lurline, which entered service in January, and Matsonia, which will enter service later this year, are the largest combination container / roll-on, roll-off vessels ever built in the U.S., and will be the only vessels serving the West Coast with the new Tier 3 technology. Along with its world-class service from the Bay Area, Matson’s China-Long Beach Express is the industry’s leading ocean shipping service in the Transpacific trade for reliable, expedited service from Xiamen, Ningbo and Shanghai to Long Beach. Matson’s ocean services in the Pacific are further enhanced by the transportation and distribution network of the company’s subgantry crane, which was erected in Alameda in sidiary, Matson Logistics. A leading provider of 1959 and became the prototype of container freight transportation, warehousing, and supply cranes around the globe. chain services to the North America market, Matson was among the first containership Matson Logistics helps companies source, store, operators to recognize an obligation to protect and deliver their products faster, more reliably the environment and set the industry standard for and cost efficiently. Its services and technology environmental protection with its Zero Solid are customized to drive efficiencies in – and Waste Discharge policy. From its use of state-of- costs out – of supply chain networks for retailthe-art bilge water and exhaust gas cleaning ers, manufacturers, and distributors. systems, to the dual fuel, LNG-capable engines Matson remains firmly committed to the Bay in its four new ships, Matson is committed to Area, committed to operational excellence and being an industry leader in environmental to providing its customers with the highest level stewardship. of service across all modes of transportation. A participant in the Sustainable Terminals Learn more at matson.com.◼ Accelerating Regional Transformation (START) them upon arrival. Matson never hesitated to take the first step. It pioneered containerization in the Pacific – an innovation that revolutionized the industry and became the worldwide standard – and developed the first automobile-carrying ship in the Pacific. Matson’s talented engineers designed much of the industry’s first shore side container handling equipment, including the world's first A-frame
Reducing truck impacts in West Oakland Port of Oakland
Quality of life is important. The West Oakland reduce localized diesel emissions. The TMP is an action-based plan to reduce Truck Management Plan (TMP) will help. It’s designed to reduce truck impacts; improve safety the effects of transport trucks on West Oakland streets. It’s the result of a joint planning effort, for those walking, biking, and driving; and over more than a year, undertaken by the Port of Oakland (Port) and City of Oakland (City) with substantial input from West Oakland residential and business communities. Implementation is underway. The Port and City approved the TMP in April 2019, and began Year 1 of the fiveyear implementation program in July 2019. To date, the TMP team has collected truck count data on Page 12
specific West Oakland streets, completed detailed evaluation of the truck route changes proposed in the TMP, completed an inventory of the location and condition of all truck-related signs in West Oakland, and completed an evaluation of proposed changes to parking regulations. The TMP team will complete additional community engagement in 2020 to obtain feedback on proposed changes to the City’s municipal code regarding truck routes and truck parking. When the TMP is fully implemented, the West Oakland community should experience fewer trucks driving or parking in residential areas; a reduction in the nuisance of trucks driving or parking where they should not; fewer diesel emissions; and safer streets for drivers, pedestrians, bicyclists and people living and working in West Oakland.◼
Foodie makeover at OAK taking off in 2020
Aloha spirit begins at OAK
Keonnis Taylor, Oakland International Airport
Keonnis Taylor, Oakland International Airport
Newly contracted Food & Beverage Concessionaires and their architects have been hard at work planning the redevelopment of every single bar, restaurant, and café at the Oakland International Airport, since contracts were awarded by the Port of Oakland last year. Already, travelers can see the transformation underway, with con-struction walls up and some new names in old spaces. Along with the former Food Court near Gate 25, many familiar spaces have gone under construction, which will continue throughout much of 2020. The newcomers, representing Oakland’s food scene burgeons, are all scheduled to be re-opened by Fall 2020. During the transition, look for creative “pop-ups” in reimagined spaces, such as the new “pop-up” Subway across from Gate 27 with ready-made favorites perfect for travelers on the go. What’s coming, where and when A-16 Pizzeria – Michelinrecognized, award-winning restaurant. Gate 8; opening Spring 2020. Artisan: 24 – Award-winning concept presenting farmto-terminal eats in a ready-to-jet format. T2 Baggage Claim; Winter 2020. Calavera – Vibrant Mexcan gastronomy made from scratch. Gate 28; Summer 2020. Cosecha Market – Uber-hip, ontrend brand serving a curated selection of scratch dishes daily. Gate 24; Autumn 2020. District – Buzz-worthy menu of small, sharable plates; extensive wine and whiskey offerings. Gate 26; Spring 2020. Farley's Café – Straightforward,
delicious menu, comfortable neighborhood atmosphere. Gate 23, Spring 2020. Luka's Taproom & Lounge – “Greatest hits” version of Luka’s Uptown location. Gate 9, Spring 2020. Oakland A's Club House – Warm, welcoming full-service restaurant/ sports bar as energetic as the team’s fans, in a high-end, executive suite atmosphere. Gate 6; Autumn 2020. Oaklandish Coffee Collective – Inovative concept brings together local roasters, vendors, and artists in a collaborative space. Gate 4; Summer 2020. Peet's Coffee – From food offerings plus an “Express Bar” for fast service drinks orders as well as ontrend “Slow Bar,” Peet’s is in multiple locations throughout OAK. Gate 9; Winter 2020; Gate 26, Summer 2020. Oakland Draft House – Sierra Nevada beers; full-service bar; light food options and iconic, local brews, plus a Peet’s Coffee .T1 Security; Summer 2020. Southie – Old-school pub menu; local wines and beers on tap; full selection of drip and specialty coffees featuring Cole Roasters. Gate 29, Summer 2020. Subway – healthy alternative for travelers looking for a packaged meal. Gate 25/26, Spring 2020. Tay Ho Oakland – Vietnamese “street food” with an urban twist in an open kitchen. Gate 23, Spring 2020. The Hangar – Featuring Brown Sugar Kitchen, Drakes Brewing and Red Bay Coffee in an iconic Oakland-food-hall-meets-beergarden. Gate 24, Summer 2020.◼
Adding to its existing service to the Hawaiian Islands of Oahu and Maui, Southwest Airlines will begin four times a week service to Kona on the Big Island on January 19, 2020. Then, three times a week
nonstop service to Lihue on the Island of Kauai begins January 21. This spring, Oakland International Airport will have as many as six nonstops a day to Hawaii on Southwest Airlines, and up to 13 daily in all, including flights on Hawaiian Airlines and Alaska Airlines. Aloha!◼
Jack London Square, waterfront energizing Oakland’s food scene CIM Group
Welcoming Oakland Assembly Jack London Square announced Oakland Assembly, a 40,000-square-foot market hall, will join the Oakland waterfront properties’ thriving dining scene at 55 Harrison in summer 2020. The twolevel venue will feature live entertainment, community events, and novel food and beverage purveyors, which currently include ventures by many of the Bay Area food scene’s most notable names, including Reem Assil, Preeti Mistry, Satoshi and Sachi Kamamae, Anthony Kresge, Matt Horn, and Abram Plaut and Tomoharu Shono. The space will also feature a large indoor stage, a second-floor banquet hall and balcony, and outdoor alfresco dining areas. Led by John McEnery IV, the long-term lease with Kinzie Bridge Holdings is McEnery’s third and largest market concept, following the popular San Pedro Square Market in San Jose and the Abbott Square Market in Santa Cruz. The unveiling of the exciting Oakland Assembly merchants further establishes Jack London Square as one of the Bay Area’s hottest food destinations. “Oakland’s vibrant and diverse culinary scene is reflected in Jack London Square. Generations of visitors and Oaklanders have been coming to the Square since the early 1950’s for restaurant experiences they could not find anywhere else in the Bay Area,” said Mark Everton, CEO of Visit Oakland. “The latest incarnation of amazingly creative and diverse restaurants along Water Street provide innovative culinary opportunities for diners. As the restaurants and culinary spaces expand and evolve to meet the needs of the influx of new residents to the district, the future looks great for the Square and for those ready to explore it.” “Bringing our concept to the beautiful Jack London Square in Oakland will add something truly interesting, exciting, and fun to Oakland’s rich food scene with our family-friendly entertainment and culinary destination,” said John McEnery IV of Oakland Assembly. Market Hall Purveyors to Feature Culinary Scene’s Exciting and Notable Names Reem Assil’s kiosk will offer stuffed falafel and al pastor-style chicken shawarma, while Preeti Mistry of Juhu Beach Club will provide Juhu Snacks, sweets, and a Juhu Chinese menu. The Kamamae’s will be opening Okkon in Oakland Assembly, which delivers Japanese street food. Kresge plans to open two spots in the new Oakland food destination, with Belly Goat delivering craft burgers and The Bull & The Bird offering charcuterie, cheese, and panini. Matt Horn of Horn BBQ will be opening
KowBird, specializing in all things chicken. Abram Plaut and Tomoharu Shono will open Mensho Tokyo Ramen, which has become the gold standard for ramen in the Bay Area. Oakland Winery, a boutique working winery that will feature a wine bar and mixing lab, will make its debut in Oakland Assembly. Additional food and beverage purveyors to be featured in Oakland’s new foodie destination market hall will be announced at a later date. Jack London Square Restaurants – Expansions, New Chefs, Direction The food scene at Jack London Square is booming, with Oakland Assembly’s full dining options joining both old favorites and the new generation of restaurants. Over the past two years, a significant number of award-winning restaurants and eateries have opened, including sustainable meat butchery and restaurant Belcampo, Michelin-recognized Farmhouse Kitchen Thai Cuisine, Arabic cuisine Dyafa, and Burmese restaurant Grocery Café. While known for fresh seafood at this waterfront property, Jack London Square boasts a diverse culinary offering with something for everyone. After a successful first year, Farmhouse Kitchen expanded its Oakland location to include the neighboring lease. With the addition of approximately 2,700-square-feet to the existing space, the restaurant is now more than 5,200-square-feet and can accommodate up to 300 people. Located at 336 Webster Street, the wildly-popular and beloved restaurant transports diners to the streets of Thailand with its zesty food, Thai melodies, and vibrant space. With the expansion, each room boasts a different theme to compliment the white marble and gold accents. The tropical outdoor patio has also expanded, and is a waterfront favorite. As with all outdoor patios at Jack London Square restaurants, dogs are welcome. Lungomare, a staple in Jack London Square since 2013, has new management and now boasts both a new Executive Chef and General Manager. Under the leadership of General Manager Phillip Le, a Slanted Door alumnus, the restaurant's focus will shift to coastal Italian cuisine with an emphasis on seafood and a warm, family-sharing atmosphere. Both a new look and menu will be unveiled at 1 Broadway during Oakland Restaurant Week in January 2020. New Executive Chef, Phillip Taddei, was born and raised in Alameda. He began his culinary career studying at the Le Cordon Bleu and eventually became Executive Chef at the 1400 Bar and Grill in Alameda shortly thereafter. Phillip ventured on to new culinary experiences at two renowned San Francisco institutions, Page 15
Tony's Pizza Nepolitano and the famed Jardinière in the Hayes Valley district. "I see a lot of potential in Lungomare and the popular Jack London Square and feel that together we can provide an experience and destination that both locals and visitors can enjoy," said Phillip Le, General Manager of Lungomare. Mona Leena Michael, a Palestinian-American Chef, has joined the Dyafa team as the permanent lead consulting chef. Chef Mona, who has worked at Jardinière, Serpentine, and Roka Akor, was last running pop-up Fallaha Dining and currently, Shuk Shuka in San Francisco. Her role at Dyafa, which is named after the Arabic word for ‘hospitality,’ will be refinement, education, and modernizing the menu to celebrate California’s bounty even more, leveraging a seasonally-driven menu and including a variety of cuisines to influence and develop beyond a simply traditional Palestinian fare. “I look forward to sharing my knowledge of Palestine’s food, culture, ingredients, and rich history with the Dyafa team. And, am even more excited to be able to do so in Oakland’s beautiful Jack London Square,” said Chef Mona. “Palestinian food is traditionally homey and heart-warming – at the same time it is complex and layered and shares so many connections across other cuisines. My food will celebrate the diversity of California through a Palestinian lens.” In addition to the full restaurant offerings at this vibrant waterfront entertainment and dining destination, the property is also home to the weekly Jack London Square Farmers Market. With more than 30 vendors, the Jack London Square Farmers Market offers local produce, food craft products, and breakfast and lunch options. A weekly tradition for many, the farmers market is operated by CUESA on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., year-round, rain or shine. Founded in 1989, the Jack London Square Farmers Market has deep roots in Oakland, providing a vibrant waterfront marketplace of local farms, food crafters, and restaurants for Bay Area families. "The Jack London Square Farmers Market has been a hub for good food and community in Oakland for more than 30 years. New interest and energy in the Square's food scene will bring more folks to the waterfront to support our local farmers and food makers," said Brie Mazurek, Communications Director of CUESA. As Jack London Square becomes home to the Oakland Assembly market hall and its noteworthy lineup of renowned Chefs and eateries, it further defines this vibrant waterfront property as one of the top food destinations in the Bay Area.◼
Good growing pains Robert Lyles, ACTransit
Dating back to 2015, AC Transit rider feedback was unanimous: An alternative to BART into San Francisco, a commute with more seats, and more elbow room. So the District turned to a coach already popular in Europe and Asia – doubledecker buses. AC Transit tested the two-story buses on some of our most popular Transbay bus lines. The “test drives” were overwhelmingly successful with resounding support from riders. As a result, AC Transit purchased 10 double-decker coaches manufactured by Alexander Dennis. An additional five doubledeckers were purchased through generous funding from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission. Offering unparalleled vistas from the upper saloon, AC Transit’s fleet of 15 double-deckers began operating in December 2018. By comparison to coaches in our existing fleet, each double-decker is a quantum leap forward in comfort and seating capacity: the Van Hool 30footer seats 37 riders and the New Flyer
articulated 60-footer seats 52 riders. The double- corridor experiencing significant dense residential development. Equally, Line J serves deckers dwarf both with 49 reclining seats, on Emeryville’s highly populated residential the upper saloon, and 31 lower saloon seats, districts; already experiencing the highest Transbay ridership per stop. Lines L and LA, serving San Pablo and Richmond, are also enjoying less crowding and more comfort to work each day, aboard double-decker coaches. More comfort is on its way bustling Transbay Network. AC TRANSIT has approved the purchase of 36 new ADA accessible coaches. Modern and sleek, the D45 CRT LE – manufactured by Motor Coach Industries – is the Cadillac of coaches. “AC Transit is an essential lifeline to physicians, careers, and recreation. We are assembling an entirely new bus fleet that not only accommodates all riders but mobility devices as well,” says AC Transit General Manager, Michael Hursh. “The D45 CRT LE will help revolutionize our boarding. Its middle door ADA offering seating for 80 riders. ramp opens to an ingenious vestibule, eliminThe first double-decker coaches rolled into ating stairs, quickening boarding and providing service on Lines FS and J. Both Transbay lines ample space and greater independence for riders operate from Berkeley to the Salesforce Transit with mobility devices.” Center and were selected following at least a Ultimately, these coaches will be the backbone 20% growth in ridership since 2017. AC Transit of AC Transit’s efforts to eliminate commuter anticipates greater ridership growth particularly gridlock across three of the Bay Area’s most on Line FS which serves University Avenue: a congested bridges.◼
ACTransit’s BRT: A transportation revolution Robert Lyles, ACTransit
What’s in a name? When the question is Oakland’s role in transportation, the answer is AC Transit’s BRT.
Oakland made its 1869 transportation splash as the western terminus of the Transcontinental Railroad. By 1916, the site of the first auto manufacturing plant west of the Mississippi River. By the 1920s, the Key System’s trolley
coaches and streetcars moved Oakland. By1960, Oakland became home base for the newly created Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District (AC Transit). Now, Oakland and AC Transit roar into the 2020s with a new transportation moniker: revolutionizing transportation. In March 2020, AC Transit will begin system operations of the East Bay’s firstever Bus Rapid Transit system (BRT). BRT will operate primarily within a bus-only lane, between Uptown Oakland and San Leandro’s BART station. The bus-only lane operates in concert with coordinated traffic signals. The result is BRT buses moving with train-like frequency. Imagine it, a bus at least every seven minutes during peak Page 16
hours. The lane also provides faster travel for first responders. BRT's bus-only lane is also a better road to homes and businesses. Nearly 10 miles of roadway along International Boulevard and East 14th Street has been replaced curb-to-curb, and deteriorated asphalt replaced with all-new blacktop with a life expectancy of 20 years. The world-class BRT embodies innovative transportation design. All 46 platforms are the same level as the BRT bus floor to ease the boarding experience for riders with mobility devices, strollers, and cyclists. Twelve curbside stations and 21 center median stations feature sun and wind shielding canopies and station artwork. AC Transit commissioned local artists, who through intensive research, created a ninemile poem. The poem, coupled with images reflecting the culture of BRT's nine neighborhoods, will be installed at seven enhanced stations. The station’s honeycomb panels and windscreens produce a kaleidoscope of colors and shapes that turn the platform into a transit canvas. The stations at Oakland’s 19th and 14th Streets – serving at least 1,400 and 1,600 riders respectively each weekday – will be covered by expansive 48-foot canopies. BRT riders will enjoy the added safety features of a state of the Continued next page
Workforce development critical for transportation Tamara Halbritter, Acumen
ACTRANSIT’S BRT: A transportation revolution Continued from previous page
art camera monitoring system. Energy-efficient LED lighting will illuminate the stations, and platform mounted Clipper Card readers quicken the boarding process. BRT is also environmentally kind. The all-new fleet of 60-foot articulated coaches is propelled by hybrid-electric technology for low CO2 emissions. Building AC Transit's transit revolution has faced obstacles. BRT’s original December 2019 opening date was delayed after construction crews discovered unmarked utilities and an array of underground and unmapped objects. Additional delays occurred when crews unearthed sinkholes along International Boulevard between 38th and 39th Avenues. The robust construction of private developments in Downtown Oakland and scheduling setbacks with utility providers has created further delays. Despite the challenges, the Cities of Oakland and San Leandro, as well as Caltrans have worked tirelessly to
develop efficient remedies. Currently, in Downtown Oakland, several existing Broadway bus stops are now temporarily relocated to Franklin Street. To minimize disruptions to riders, AC Transit launched a seven-day public communication campaign of street ambassadors, wayfinding signage, maps of reroutes, updates on social media and actransit.org. An estimated 7,500 informational handouts were distributed, representing over 400 hours of direct community outreach. As a sincere thank you to East Bay communities for the collective support during construction, AC Transit is offering free fares during the first 90 days of BRT’s operation. The transit revolution is not televised, instead, it’s rolling down Oakland’s historic drives aboard AC Transit’s BRT.◼
The transportation industry needs workers. Chris McCarthy warned of the “retirement cliff” in an August 6, 2019 article in Metro Magazine. “According to a 2017 report from the University Transportation Research Center, up to 50% of the current U.S. transit workforce will be eligible for retirement in the next 10 years.” As transportation workers leave, taking valuable industry knowledge with them, it’s critical that transit agencies and private companies in the industry reach out to potential workers and encourage them to consider a career in transportation. Acumen Building Enterprise, Inc. (Acumen) is one such company, and Acumen’s Director of Workforce Development Gian Fiero is passionate about recruiting both young and older, more experienced workers for the transportation industry. Fiero says, “Acumen is actively engaged in dialogues with municipal agencies and agency partners throughout Northern and Southern California to address the pervasive challenges of recruitment and retention that pose a threat to an aging transportation industry workforce.” In addition to collaborating with partners, Fiero is working with staff at Acumen to create a new workforce development plan that will improve Acumen’s competitiveness and result in more people being gainfully employed in transportation. Acumen's workforce development plan will facilitate outreach to and training of a new generation of workers to be deployed in a wide array of transportation roles that support systems engineering, program management and project controls. Every quarter, Acumen’s human resources (HR) staff makes a concerted effort to bring one recent college graduate to Acumen who will be exposed to the transit
industry, major infrastructure development trends and safety training; and learn about Acumen’s overarching goal to save the earth by reducing CO2 emissions. Acumen is already involved with various science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics (STEAM) programs and invites STEAM graduates to learn about employment opportunities at Acumen. Each year, HR staff also travels to local universities in search of computer science, civil, electrical and mechanical engineering students who are potential Acumen employees. Other skill and career development initiatives in the works that target and benefit minority and women candidates include partnerships with East Oakland Youth Development Center, Cypress Mandela Training Center and The Hidden Genius Project. Acumen is beginning to coordinate with current clients and invite community college students on project tours to give students information about what they can expect from a career as engineer in the transportation field. Other workforce development techniques include facilitating internships with local transit agencies. Two recent graduates were brought on by Acumen prior to their graduation to work on BART projects. They gained valuable experience as transportation engineering interns. Fiero believes communication is key to hiring and retaining employees. “It’s all about finding common ground. We need to clearly identify the skillsets we require and match potential employees with projects in environments in which they will excel. Once they are on the job, we check in with them regularly. That way, if their position changes, we know it has changed. If they need more training, we recommend the best training, such as a course on fundamentals of railway train control and signaling or fundamentals of traction power systems and overhead contact systems, to help them succeed in their role.”◼
HNTB celebrates 20 years in Oakland Infrastructure solutions firm making its mark in the community and on many of the region’s most complex transportation projects HNTB
HNTB Corporation is celebrating 20 years in Oakland. The infrastructure solutions firm, recently selected by Bay Area Rapid Transit and Capitol Corridor to assist with developing a New Transbay Rail Crossing across the San Francisco Bay, originally expanded into the Bay Area to support transportation agencies with improving and modernizing infrastructure throughout the region. HNTB’s original Bay Area office opened with approximately 20 staff in a 2,000-square-foot space in downtown Oakland. The firm has grown to employ 100 professionals at its current 20,000-square-foot office, also located downtown. “The Oakland office has been a vital component of our dedicated service to transportation agencies in the region and state,” said Jeff Watson, HNTB vice president and Northern California office leader. “HNTB is proud to serve this thriving metropolitan area. We are now at the center of numerous transit, highway, aviation and tunnel projects with agencies seeking to accommodate increased population and resulting transportation demands.” Early projects focused on retrofitting and expanding BART service, as HNTB assisted with service expansion to San Francisco International Airport and strengthening aerial
bridges throughout Northern California to withstand a major seismic event. In recent years, HNTB worked with Caltrain on the San Bruno Grade Separation; San Francisco International Airport on their Air Traffic Control Tower; Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority on Phases I and II of the BART to Silicon Valley Extension; California Department of Transportation on the Tom Lantos (Devil’s Slide) Tunnels and Presidio Parkway projects; and California High-Speed Rail for the segments between San Francisco and Merced. Currently in Oakland the firm is delivering planning, environmental, and design services for Alameda CTC (Oakland-Alameda Access project), the Port of Oakland (planning and engineering services at Oakland International Airport, and BART (K-Line Interlocking and other planning and design tasks). HNTB has played an active and significant role as an advocate for transportation investment ballot measures to generate funds for necessary infrastructure improvements. The firm was a proponent, along with a number of regional transportation nonprofits, of the 2014 Alameda County Transportation Commission sales tax, 2016 BART Measure RR and 2018 Regional Measure 3 toll on bridges. HNTB has emphasized civic participation by
its employees since its expansion to Northern California, encouraging philanthropic involvement with a variety of Bay Area organizations to improve the community. Volunteer efforts in recent years have supported cleanup events at the Middle Harbor Shoreline Park in the Port of Oakland and the Ira Jinkins Community Center. HNTB has also maintained financial support of local nonprofit groups, including the East Bay Economic Development Alliance, Oakland Chamber of Commerce, Oakland Parks and Recreation Foundation and the Unity Council. HNTB Corporation is an employee-owned infrastructure solutions firm serving public and private owners and contractors. HNTB’s work in California dates back to its founding in 1914. Today, HNTB continues to grow in size and service offerings to clients in California from eight office locations, currently employing more than 350 full-time professionals. With more than a century of service, HNTB understands the life cycle of infrastructure and addresses clients’ most complex technical, financial and operational challenges. Professionals nationwide deliver a full range of infrastructure-related services, including awardwinning planning, design, program management and construction management. For more information, visit hntb.com.◼
Projects ranging from BART and California High-Speed Rail Authority
Acumen working to improve transit, protect environment Tamara Halbritter, Acumen
Software and hardware developers in the Acumen Building Enterprise, Inc. R&D department spend their days sequestered in the “cave,” dedicated to advancing technology to improve transit systems, from revenue collection to train movements. In 2001, R&D staff worked with the San Francisco Bay Area Transportation District (BART) to develop a fare collection product, the Bill-to-Bill Changer (BBC) allowing riders to exchange $10 and $20 bills for $5 bills for ticket purchase; unique and innovative, nearly 20 years ago. Since that time, Acumen has built a solid working relationship with
BART and consulting services on numerous project cont r o l s , engineering and construction management projects. Acumen’s innovation was exhibited again with the design of products such as the AcuFare 135 Smart Card Reader, which BART recently purchased for use as fare verification devices in 49 stations. Acumen has also been very involved in BART’s Train Control Modernization Program (TCMP) Communication Based Train Control (CBTC) project. The goal of the TCMP is to improve the aging automatic train control system to
allow BART to safely operate more frequent service. The CBTC will replace the existing fixed-block train control system with a serviceproven technology to increase capacity, improve safety and reliability, decrease runtime of trains between stations and allow trains to run closer together. Acumen works on projects that protect the environment Acumen’s CEO Walter Allen is proud of the work Acumen has done with BART, which has an added bonus, beyond the excellent rapport between client and consultant. “Acumen wants to save the earth by reducing CO2 e m i s s i o n s , a n d B A RT r a i l infrastructure projects facilitate this end goal. We work on projects that improve transit, and we encourage
people to use public transit, reduce their use of gasoline-fueled vehicles and increase their use of electric and in the future autonomous vehicles.” Allen stays informed about transit trends around the world. It is well known in the global transit industry that Europe is leading the world in rail infrastructure integration; Europe is also moving forward with the Paris Climate Accord and is one of the leaders in the fight against climate change. Allen attended an ITS conference and a rail conference in Amsterdam last year and is scheduled to attend the European ITS conference in Lisbon, Portugal in 2020. California’a High-Speed Rail project is another rail project Acumen is working on that will reduce Continued from page 22
A Newer You A relaxing, safe and NATURAL answer to your aches, pains and problem areas! A Newer You’s founding purpose is to offer people an opportunity to feel their best again, take away stress, and have an overall better quality of life. We do this by providing revolutionary non invasive natural detoxification services that aid in inch loss, skin tightening/toning, and pain management support. The ultimate rejuvenation experience, our services include the ionic foot detox, infrared LED technology for the body combined with transformational guided imagery for the mind. Designed in a tranquil spa-like setting, the aroma, ambience, and soothing treatments bring the best of wellness to the beautiful Lakeshore area. Everyone can benefit from these highly praised services. What are you waiting for? Visit us today! (510)313.8654.◼
CSG IT Solutions provides premium technical support and managed services to businesses in the San Francisco Bay Area. We work with businesses of all sizes but specialize in small and medium businesses, where we work to minimize your IT costs and maximize productivity by keeping your systems running smoothly. We offer hardware and software management solutions to fit any type of business and can handle all aspects of your network environments, from network security to VoIP phones to server hardware. We are forward thinking and can provide CIO level management services to keep your IT infrastructure ahead of your growth and to keep you focused on your business. Our mission is to handle all aspects of your technology and infrastructure for you so you can focus on running your business, instead of worrying about your network. Our services include network cabling, wireless installation, IT equipment moves, server and workstation management, VoIP installation, network/wifi management, server/workstation management, Microsoft Office 365 implementation, backup & recovery and cloud solutions. Feel free to call or email us for a free on-site assessment (510) 647-6590 or firstname.lastname@example.org.◼
Choose To Be Happy Now is a private therapy practice in Oakland since 1994. Cia A. Robles works with an evidence based Heart and Neuroscience informed approach, dedicated to the transformation of the whole person. Cia sees individuals, couples and children; her client base includes attorneys, CEO’s, doctors, artists, teachers, professors, nurses, students, entrepreneurs and others who want to increase the quality of their health and happiness. Whether you are dealing with relationship disharmony, financial issues, physical health challenges, career changes, or addiction or developing your business and team to the next level, you can find help here. Cia’s expertise is in stress reduction and trauma healing for long term benefits. She is an experienced and gifted hypnotherapist. Her soothing voice will help lower your stress level right away, clearing your mind to access higher intelligence and creativity; it is like a mini vacation! She also provides the use of special software to measure heart-brain coherence; experience in real-time the effects of stress and anxiety. Learn how to shift your physiology and even lower your blood pressure! She teaches easy tools and techniques to help release stress and anxiety in the moment. (510) 853.5323.◼
Elder Care Alliance has been serving seniors and their families in California for nearly 20 years, but our history stretches back even further. We trace our history to the 1907 opening of Mercy Retirement & Care Center in Oakland, founded by the Sisters of Mercy. Today, not-for-profit Elder Care Alliance is a network of five communities: Mercy Retirement & Care Center, AlmaVia of San Francisco, AlmaVia of San Rafael, and AlmaVia of Camarillo in Southern California. Our newest addition to the Elder Care Alliance family is The Villa at San Mateo. From day one, our mission and vision have been centered on the care of seniors – putting their well-being and dignity at the forefront of all we do. Our vision is clear: Engaging hearts, transforming lives, erasing boundaries. We want our communities to be not just places where seniors live, but places where seniors flourish. This vision is brought to life through the work of our team members, which is why we’re intent on hiring the right people and providing them with professional development and employee wellness opportunities. Contact: Cynthia Gregory, Director of Philanthropy, (510) 989.5198.◼
Fair Trade USA® is a non-profit organization in Oakland and the leading certifier of fair trade products in North America. Its trusted Fair Trade Certified™ seal on a product signifies that it was made according to rigorous fair trade standards that promote sustainable livelihoods and safe working conditions, protection of the environment, and strong, transparent supply chains. Rather than creating dependency on aid, Fair Trade USA’s model empowers farmers, workers, and fishermen to fight poverty and earn additional money to improve their communities The Fair Trade USA Cocoa program launched in 2001, when partners imported 14,050 pounds of fair trade cocoa for a total Premium of $956. In 2018, partners imported 48,774,206 pounds for a total Premium of $4,424,758. Today, the program reaches 11 countries, 43 producer organizations. For more information, visit fairtrade.org.◼
Hana Japan Experience Hana Japan, one of California’s finest Teppanyaki-style steak and seafood Japanese restaurants. Family owned and operated since 1979, Hana Japan restaurants are located in the Berkeley Marina and Dublin. Dine at one of the Teppanyaki tables and watch fresh, flavorful ingredients cooked before your eyes, and the intricate knife skills on display by your chef in a show of performance artistry. Teppanyaki uses an iron griddle to cook food; the word is derived from “teppan,” a metal plate on which it is cooked, and “yaki,” meaning grilled, broiled, or pan-fried. At Hana Japan, the Teppanyaki menu includes everything from shrimp, scallops and lobster, to chicken, beef and an assortment of vegetables, all skillfully prepared. The extensive menu includes New York Steak, Teriyaki Steak and Filet Mignon; Calamari, Salmon, Scallops, Shrimp and Lobster Tail, and tasty Vegetarian dishes with Tofu. Hana Japan features a full bar; children’s menu, and delightful desserts. Enjoy amazing food, an exciting atmosphere perfect for any evening and any celebration, and beautiful views of the Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco Bay. Corporate events and private parties welcomed. Happy Hour Monday-Friday, 4:30pm – 6:30pm, featuring select appetizers and drinks. Open 7-days a week for dinner; check the website for hours. Free parking. Reservations recommended. 235 University Avenue, Berkeley, at the Berkeley Marina. Visit hanajapan.com.◼
Hiring a Foreign National on H-1B Visa Continued from page 3
777 Broadway 777 Broadway Oakland CA 94607 510.271.8000 A Newer You 3340 Lakeshore Avenue Oakland CA 94610 510.313.8654 Amelia 411 9th Street Oakland CA 94609 510.703.6700 Choose To Be Happy Now 3798 Grand Avenue Suite 1 Oakland CA 94610 510.853.5323 Cintas 777 139th Avenue San Leandro CA 94578 510.352.0348 CSG IT Solutions 5111 Telegraph Avenue, #106 Oakland CA 94609 510.495.5670 Elder Care Alliance 1301 Marina Village Parkway Suite 210 Alameda CA 94501 510.769.2700 Ellen Cavanagh Consulting 1423 Broadway Oakland CA 94612 (718) 909-6881 Hana Japan Steak and Seafood 235 University Avenue Berkeley CA 94710 510.848.8515
any of these fees (government or legal), unless the H-1B candidate Mason at Hive wants premium processing of the 459 23rd Street petition and the employer does not Oakland CA 94612 510.925.4441 normally cover this cost. Annual H-1B Visa Limit and Norwood Construction Lottery. The biggest issue with the 1348 Ios Senderos Drive H-1B visa is there simply aren’t Santee CA 92071 (925) 999-6992 enough visas available for every ` employer who would like to sponOmbudsman Services of Contra sor a foreign national worker. So, Costa, Solano and Alameda Counties each year, USCIS accepts H-1B petitions the first week of April, 7677 Oakport Street Oakland CA 94621 then runs a random, computerized 510.638.6878 lottery later in the month. Selected petitions are adjudicated over the Orion Oakland summer for the earliest start date of 255 Ninth Avenue Oakland CA 94606 October 1, although not all petitions 510.243.6844 are approved by then. The annual limit for H-1B visas is Pixel Valley Studio 65,000, of which 6,800 are reserved 4005 Adeline Street Emeryville CA 94608 for nationals from Chile and Singa347.277-1920 pore. An additional 20,000 H-1B visas are available for foreign natRasa ionals with a US master’s degree. 459 23rd Street USCIS runs two lotteries: the first Oakland CA 94612 510.925.4441 is for the 65,000 (minus 6,800 for Chilean and Singaporean nationRowhaus als); from petitions not selected in 2500 Webster Street the first lottery, USCIS pulls out all Oakland CA 94612 510.925.4441 US master’s degree holders, then runs a second lottery for the 20,000 TRI Commercial Real Estate US master’s limit. 1777 Oakland Boulevard In 2020, the process is going to Suite 220 Walnut Creek CA 94596 change. Employers will complete a 925.296.3300 basic online registration form from March 1 to March 20, 2020 (instead Variable Path Inc of filing complete petitions the first One Market Plaza week of April). Once that window Spear Tower, 36th Floor San Francisco CA 94105 closes, USCIS will run a lottery of 800.863.9198
the registered entries. Those selected will file a complete H-1B petition during a period that has not yet been specified, but the assumption is it will be around May or June so that USCIS has enough time to adjudicate the petitions for an October 1 start date. H-1B Petitions that are Exempt from the Annual Visa Limit. Certain organizations are exempt from the H-1B visa limit, including institutions of higher education (i.e., UC Berkeley) or related or affiliated nonprofit entities; nonprofit research organizations; and US government research organizations (i.e., Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory run by the Department of Energy and UC Berkeley). If the candidate already holds H-1B status, you will have to file a H-1B transfer petition on his or her behalf. Terms and Conditions of an Approved H-1B Petition. An approved H-1B petition typically grants the beneficiary three years of employment, which can be extended by another three years. There is a six-year maximum, which can be extended if sponsoring the foreign national for permanent residence. Learn more at Nadia Yakoob’s workshop on the employmentbased visas Wednesday, January 29, 2020. More details are available at nadiayakoob-law.com.◼
Bringing heart to business in 2020 Cia A. Robles, Choose To Be Happy Now
Running a successful business can be a challenge; we are often focused on the profit margin to determine that success. It can be an isolating experience to be a business owner; without the necessary supports in place this can be a sure road to overwhelm and burnout. Studies show 90 percent of doctor visits are stress related, compromising the health of the individual, as well as the health of the business. Whether you are a business, sole proprietor, or a large organization, all people who need SelfCare. Here are six suggestions that can reap great benefits. 1. Take time to Pause & Breathe from the Heart Research shows focusing on an uplifting emotion and breathing from the heart space at a regular pace brings a physiological shift which allows us to feel safe and secure. When we are in stress overload – flight, fight, freeze – we do not have access to our intelligence or creativity. 2. Stay focused, present and aware Be focused on what you want, not on what you don’t want. Are there some changes that would
be made; something to let go of? Keep in mind your vision of a thriving business. Try not to worry; anxiety drains you of vital energy and raises cortisol levels which can contribute to digestive issues, hypertension and insomnia. It can also lower the immune system and make the body more susceptible to colds and flu. Worry can make us tired and unhappy. 3. Add Value, Belonging and Appreciation Everyone wants to feel valued, connected and supported. Listen and appreciate yourself; listen to others, let them know you appreciate them. Instead of emphasis on profits and competition, explore what other businesses you might collaborate with. When you notice someone is feeling down or upset, take time to acknowledge this. Suggest they take a walk outside or get a cup of tea; this will pay off hugely! Page 21
4. Nurture and Nourishment Feed yourself well each day, take time to have a nourishing breakfast and drink water; this is like putting gas in the tank, you won't get very far without it. Get adequate sleep and rest, too. 5. Movement and Attention Pay attention to your body. Many people are sitting, or in one position, for extended periods everyday. Get up to stretch, tune in to what parts of your body need attention. Go outside for five minutes, look up at the sky. Build in grattitude thinking and remember to breathe! 6. Music and Environment Play soothing music; it helps the nervous system feel safe and calm. Keep the environment comfortable and orderly; use inspiring colors. The heart will send signals to the brain all is well, and stress levels go down.◼
Wendel Rosen elevates Flood, Lenherr to Partner
Kaiser names Gregory A. Adams new Chair, CEO
Port of Oakland names new Executive Director
Continued from page 1
Continued from page 1
that, he was named Regional President of Kaiser Permanente for Wendel Rosen LLP, announces from the University of California, Northern California in 2008, and in Hastings College of the Law (2009) Bart Flood and Lisa Lenherr have 2013, appointed Executive Vice been elevated to partner, effective and his B.A., cum laude, from President. Jan. 1, 2020. Georgetown University (2005). "It is truly an honor to be named “Since joining our team, Bart has A member of the firm’s InsolChairman and CEO of this amazing proven himself to be an expert in vency, Restructuring, and Crediorganization and follow Bernard. enabling clients to tackle significant tors’ Rights Practice Group, LenHe was an exceptional leader who estate planning and business herr focuses her practice on busiwas passionate about and dedicated successions, and Lisa is a stand-out ness insolvency and restructuring to Kaiser Permanente," said Adams. in working through complex and issues, including out-of-court A nationally recognized leader creative bankruptcy and workouts, debtor-creditor law, 363 and a champion of health care transrestructuring issues. Both lawyers have endeared themselves to clients sales, avoidance actions, assignformation, improving access, and as dependable advocates and trusted ments for the benefit of creditors, pushing for better health outcomes, bankruptcy appeals and distressed advisors, and they embody the Adams is past Chair of the Caliand non-distressed debt financing firm’s dedication to exceptional fornia Hospital Association's Board transactions. She has extensive client service,” said Managing of Trustees and serves on the execexperience Partner Daniel utive committee. He is a member of Rapaport. “Their representing all the National Association of Health elevations to the constituents in the Services Executives and The partnership are insolvency context, Executive Leadership Council, and well deserved, and including Chapter also serves on the board of directors our clients are the 7 and 11 for the Los Angeles Philharmonic ultimate bankruptcy Association and the American beneficiaries.” Lisa Lenherr Bart Flood trustees, debtors, Nurses Foundation. He is a past Flood works creditors, landlords, lenders, title member of the California Chamber with clients in all aspects of estate companies, equipment lessors, and of Commerce Board of Directors. and wealth transfer planning, asset purchasers. and is an active Kaiser currently serves 12.2 including estate and gift taxation, member of the Bay Area insolvency million members in eight states and business succession and community. the District of Columbia. In the City sophisticated estate planning for Lenherr received her J.D., cum of Oakland, there are some 12,500 high net worth families. He earned laude, (2008) from Lewis & Clark employees and physicians working his LL.M. in Taxation, with Honors, Law School and her B.A. (2000) for Kaiser Permanente.◼ from the Golden Gate University from Lewis & Clark College.◼ School of Law (2014), his J.D. Wendel Rosen
Acumen working to improve transit, protect environment
Partnering to Improve Transportation
Continued from page 18
emissions. Allen is a true believer in this project, which will run from San Francisco to the Los Angeles basin and change the Central Valley. He serves on the Authority’s Business Advisory Council as The Conference of Minority Transportation Officials’ Northern California representative. He gets the word out and connects local small businesses to opportunities resulting from the highspeed rail project. Acumen works with the California High-Speed Rail Authority as part of the Early Train Operator consultant team. Allen is closely watching high-speed rail progress across the U.S. in Nevada connecting to C a l i f o r n i a , Te x a s , Washington state and the Northeast corridor. These projects represent huge opportunities to build wealth, connect major urban cities, increase productivity and protect the
policy, community relations and strategic planning. Wan takes over at a key moment. The Port reported record revenue and operating income in Fiscal Year 2019. Its seaport reached an alltime high in cargo volume while Oakland International Airport neared record passenger levels. The Port is now reviewing its strategic direction heading into a new decade. "We're fortunate to have Danny as the Port's new chief executive – not only is he an experienced public professional, he is also a local leader with demonstrated commitment to the communities the Port serves," said Board President Ces Butner. “It’s an honor to lead an organization that operates international transportation and shipping hubs and that generates tens of thousands of jobs,” said Wan. “I look forward to working with the Board and an excellent Port staff to plan for even greater efficiency in moving people and goods and to grow benefits for the state and the communities that surround the Port,” Wan concluded. Wan takes over an organization with three principal businesses: Aviation, Maritime and Commercial Real Estate. The Port directly employs more than 450 people.◼
environment. “We really have no other option, given the demand for transportation and threat of climate change. These projects could be the foundation for a national rail renaissance supported by the Green New Deal,” noted Allen. Acumen also strives to make transportation equitable. A large number of people are transit dependent or have no transit in their
neighborhood to get them to jobs or medical appointments. Said Allen, “Acumen is very interested in assisting transit agencies in implementing and expanding Mo-
• Alameda County Transportation
bility as a Service (MaaS) — inte- Commission Planning, Policy and
grating modes of transportation – a way to improve mobility equity.” The future of transportation with MaaS – a truly integrated system – will result in greater investments in public transit infra-structure, free public transit for all, more electric vehicles on roadways reducing the cost of them, automated vehicles and shuttles carrying more than one person at a time and reducing pollution, carsharing and alternatives to driving including rides from transportation networking companies, shared scooters, bikes and better walking paths. Allen adds, “This kind of mobility equity future is possible if communities, government and private companies all work together.”◼
Administration Support Services • Amtrak American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Los Angeles Maintenance Facility and Northeast Corridor Projects in New York, Washington D.C. and Philadelphia • BART Construction Management, General Engineering Services, Train Control Modernization Program Communication Based Train Control Project and Station Area Access Improvements for Berkeley and Fremont, among others • California High-Speed Rail Authority Early Train Operator Project • Caltrain Communications Based Overlay Signal System & Positive Train Control Project • Honolulu Fare Collection System Options Analysis • Metro ExpressLanes Consultant Support for Operations; Maintenance of Way Operations Assessment • Yuma County Intergovernmental Public Transportation Authority AcuFare 200 Procurement • Samtrans/Caltrain project controls • Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority On-Call General Automatic Fare Collection Engineering Consulting Services
All events are held at the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce offices, 1333 Broadway, Plaza Level Suite 100, Oakland CA 4612, unless otherwise noted. Call 510.874.4800, or visit oaklandchamber.com to confirm dates/times. Meetings are open to all Chamber members. Where applicable, specific events costs or fees are noted.
EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE Board Chair ZACK WASSERMAN Wendel Rosen LLP DAN COHEN Full Court Press Communications MARK EVERTON Visit Oakland Board Chair
BEJNAMIN HARRISON Colliers International KENNETH MAXEY Comcast JACKIE RAY The Clorox Company MANAN SHAH Gensler
BOARD OF DIRECTORS KAREN BALDERAMA Wendel Rosen LLP
WADE MARTIN Oakland Athletics
23 | Oakland Multi-Cultural All Chambers Mixer ▶︎ 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM Kick off the new year with the annual All Chambers mixer, co-hosted by the Oakland Metro, Oakland African American, Latino, Chinatown and Vietnamese Chambers of Commerce. Open to members of all Oakland Chambers of Commerce. Register at oaklandchamber.com. Held at the New Parkway Theater. Free.
February 23 | Small Business Power Hour ▶︎ 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM “Compliance is not enough” – a special hour workshop for employers and employees featuring nationally recognized diversity, equity and inclusion speaker, author and leadership coach Lewis Brown Griggs. Learn why legal compliance alone is not enough and key into why words and actions must align with the energy behind them. Free; bring a lunch. Register at oaklandchamber.com.
ED MCFARLAN ALICIA BERT Pacific Gas & Electric Co. JRDV Urban International DAREN CHAN AT&T RAYMOND CONNELL Holland Partner Group MICHAEL L. HESTER McGuire and Hester
SAM NASSIF Creative Hospitality Corporation DENISE PINKSTON TMG Partners DENISE PIPER Wells Fargo
PAT KERNIGHAN Former Councimember City of Oakland
JENNIFER SCANLON Kaiser Permanente
PAMELA KERSHAW Port of Oakland
DAVID STEIN Donahue Fitzgerald LLP
RICH KINNEY Matson
ANGELA TSAY Oaklandish
MICHAEL LEBLANC PLāYT
Bj WASHINGTON JPMorgan Chase & Co.
28 | Community Impact Committee ▶︎ 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM “Planning for Productive Partnerships in 2020.” Start off the new year with an opportunity to network with fellow nonprofit members, exchange ideas, and agree on an exciting and educational program series for the upcoming year. Open to Chamber members only. Held in the Chamber board room. RSVP to Alana Ross by January 24, email@example.com.
28 | Inside Oakland Public Policy Breakfast ▶︎ 8:30 AM – 10:00 AM Featuring a conversation with guest speaker Ed Reiskin, Assistant City Administrator, City of Oakland. Free to Chamber members; $15/nonmembers. Register at oaklandchamber.com. 28 | EBWIB ▶︎ 12 PM – 1:15 PM Save the Date! The first 2020 gathering of East Bay Women in Business (EBWIB); Scott’s Seafood Grill & Bar, Jack London Square, 2 Broadway, Oakland. 11:30am Registration; 12:15pm Lunch and Program.
March 11 | 2020 Economic Summit Breakfast ▶︎ 8:30 AM – 10:00 AM The Oakland Chamber’s 2020 Economic Summit: District Report, featuring Christopher Thornberg, Founding Partner, Beacon Economics; Commercial Market Update with Robert Sammons, Director of Northern California Research, Cushman & Wakefield; and “Spotlight on Transformative Urban Projects.” Chamber Members $95; Non-Members $105. At the 2nd
JOHN WORLEY SE GEORGE LOW California State University ARUP East Bay CIM Group ROBERT LUCCHESE Peralta Community Bank of America College District JIM MACKSOOD Alta Bates Summit Medical Schnitzer Steel Industries Center
BARBARA LESLIE President and CEO Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce The mission of the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce is to secure the economic future of our community, and to enhance the quality of life in the City of Oakland.
OAKLAND BUSINESS REVIEW OBR Oakland Business Review (ISSN-7220) is published bi-monthly by the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, 1333 Broadway, Plaza Level Suite 100, Oakland CA 94612-1903. Membership dues include subscription. Periodicals postage at Oakland CA. Contents may not be reproduced without permission. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to OAKLAND BUSINESS REVIEW, 1333 Broadway, Plaza Level Suite 100, Oakland CA 94612. Editor-in-Chief: Julia Lehman, BlackInk firstname.lastname@example.org Advertising Sales: email@example.com Design/Production: BlackInk Page 23
Floor Auditorium, 500 Lakeside Drive, Oakland. Event Host: The Swig Company. Event Sponsor: Southwest Airlines. Register at oaklandchamber.com. 24 | Inside Oakland ▶︎ 8:30 AM – 10:00 AM Save the date! Free to Chamber members; $15/nonmembers. Register at oaklandchamber.com.
Nonprofit’s vision for its own infrastructure expands By Benito Delgado-Olson, SupplyBank.Org
The nonprofit SupplyBank.Org is planning to develop a five-story 160,000 square foot nonprofit center, 120,000 square foot warehouse (covered in murals) and other associated land improvements on Oakport Street in the City’s Coliseum area. The transit oriented 16-acre development on the beautiful East Oakland waterfront is part of an innovative public-private partnership all geared towards the community and public benefit. SupplyBank.Org is an Oakland based nonprofit public benefit corporation that is working with 450 public agencies in California to build the nation’s first regional supply bank (like a regional food bank, but for supplies). Throughout the course of their history the Organization has distributed tens of millions of dollars’ worth of materials to more than 500,000 people. Items include hygiene and toiletries, baby and diaper products, school supplies, disaster relief related materials and other basic needs items. The vision is simple – to apply the lessons and best practices of the food banking sector to meet the other critical basic and tangible needs of low-income children and families. The Organization began as a student project at UC Berkeley more than 10 years ago. To bring this vision to fruition the Organization’s leadership concluded there was one missing key ingredient – a modern distribution center to provide the infrastructure for growth. With two initial capital grants from Kaiser Permanente and the now closed Thomas J. Long Foundation, the Organization began to explore
options, but quickly realized warehouse vacancy in Oakland was nonexistent. The socially entrepreneurial spirit that drives SupplyBank.Org led it to a parcel of undeveloped land on Oakport Street and subsequently a unique partnership. Luckily, the Organization and the landowner, the East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD), had a mutual interest – the need for a new warehouse. As the East Bay has continued to grow, EBMUD will need modern facilities to house new pipes for their water delivery systems, which includes materials needed for emergency repairs. This shared interest laid the foundation for a partnership, where in exchange for the land needed for the project, SupplyBank.Org would provide EBMUD with 70,000 square feet of warehouse space and other land improvements. Their facilities will also include their workforce development and training program. To provide a long-term solution for nonprofits feeling the pinch of ever-increasing rents, the plans also include a non-profit campus of approximately 160,000 square feet. While still under planning, the fundamental goal of the nonprofit center is to create a longterm affordable and collaborative space of the most passionate, equitable and socially minded organizations and people in the region all serving the same community in different ways. To provide guidance for this effort, SupplyBank.Org is partnering with Community Vision, a nonprofit organization that in part consults
nonprofits on real estate and finding affordable spaces. Amenities for the office building and adjoining SupplyBank.Org distribution center will include a free BART shuttle to the Coliseum Station, several shared conference spaces, outdoor gathering spaces, a rooftop garden with panoramic bay and city views, a shared gym, urban farming, car share, bike share and several other amenities. The Organization is also consulting with several agencies on strategies to include onsite childcare with subsidized costs as well for lower-income earners. Leasing opportunities will initially exclusively be offered to nonprofit organizations located in the Bay Area and will be structured up to 50 years for qualified organizations. There are additional plans to provide warehouse space for other local nonprofits, paint several large murals on the warehouse walls (and an abundance of other public art), job training programs and a sustained volunteer effort to preserve and improve the shoreline park area. SupplyBank.Org plans to announce additional plan details and reveal updated renderings at its 10th Anniversary Luncheon, February 1, in Oakland. See insert flyer in OBR for information or contact SupplyBank.org.◼