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Saturday, December 24, 2011

Build It And They Will Come?

Bogus Sports Field Claim:
Emeryville's Phony Field Of Dreams

This week, City Hall issued a plea to residents to join in a letter writing campaign to persuade the State of California to unleash money for an Emeryville sports field, something City Hall says citizens sorely need since Emeryville has no sports field.  As it turns out, Emeryville does have a sports field and the bogus grassroots advocacy amounts to a fraudulent claim to State money by the City.

Emeryville sports field now
The December 19th letter from City Hall to citizens urged residents to tell Sacramento that Emeryville should get  money to help build the cash strapped Center of Community Life, a school/community center proposed for San Pablo Avenue because the project would include a sports field and that "Emeryville does not have a single sports field".  The letter went on to suggest residents tell the State and that "we will be able to play on a sports field" if the Center of Community Life is built.
What the City doesn't say is that there already is a baseball field, football/soccer field and track at the existing High School and that the only reason the citizens can't use these sports facilities right now is that the city itself has disallowed it.

Sports field after $400 million
Center of Community Life is built
This fraudulent letter writing canard is but the latest in a multi-year string of deceptive endeavours meant to gin up support for the Emeryville Center of Community Life (ECCL).  With its huge price tag and its dubious list of pre-awarded no bid contractor cheerleaders, the ECCL project is certainly controversial.  The School District, taciturn and pious in its public face has nonetheless been single minded in its undemocratic behind the scenes maneuvering to facilitate the school/community center project.  The City on the other hand has been pretty much silent about the project other than its commitment to throw in $25 million.  The well documented Machiavellian tactics, so favored by the School District, have been mostly eschewed by the City; that is, up til now.

The City's attempt to draw residents into this scheme to make false claims against the State of California is bad governance, at best.  We call on the City and the School District to stop with these sleazy tactics in their efforts to build the Center of Community Life.  If the State does disperse funds as a result of the new letter writing campaign directed by City Hall, we hope it will be in spite of, not as a result of the phony claims regarding a sports field.


  1. They can build as big a field as they like, provided they keep Anna Yates where it is.

  2. what disturbs me about this appeal for letter writing is that the email from amber evans says that the state is considering two grant awards for emeryville park space. it does not mention that one is for the emeryville center of community life and the second is for the peladeau park and greenway. you will discover this if you read the two form letters attached. and as mr. donahue pointed out, we have the fields at the emery high school. i do not know of any "dense housing" at the eccl location and the closest buildings to the peladeau area are wareham buildings unless they are talking about the terraces, another wareham development. are two blocks too far to walk to the new dutro park? i do not oppose parks; only the manner in which this appeal is written.

    i would prefer to see a park in the bay street area which i consider "dense housing;" the vacant lot scheduled for madison marquette's site b perhaps?

  3. can you post the letter as I did not get it.

  4. Below is the template letter, forwarded to hundreds of Emeryville residents by the City, to be addressed to Sacramento. Residents are to fill in the blanks with thier vital information. The first bullet point states the canard about no sports fields existing in Emeryville:


    Ms. Ruth Coleman, Director
California Department of Parks and Recreation
P.O. Box 942896 
Sacramento, CA 94296

    RE: Support for the City of Emeryville’s Proposition 84 State Parks Program application for the Emeryville Center of Community Life (Project #: XS-01-029)

    Dear Ms. Coleman,

    I want to express my support for the City of Emeryville’s Proposition 84 State Parks Program application for the Emeryville Center of Community Life. I am strongly supportive of efforts to create park space in our community.

    The Emeryville Center of Community Life is a project created by the community, for the community. Since its inception over 10 years ago, the City of Emeryville and the Emery Unified School District have worked tirelessly with the Emeryville community to create a public asset that will serve our current and future recreation needs. Specifically:
    • Emeryville does not have a single sports field. Nor do we have a community gathering place, such as a centralized plaza, and residents like me feel fragmented as a result. This has been identified by the community as a critical need in every community survey and city park plan since 2002.
    • The Emeryville Center of Community Life will be the ‘heart’ our community has been missing.
    • The neighborhood around the Emeryville Center of Community Life site is dense, with only pocket parks and little space for children to play or adults to exercise.
    • Children and families seldom go outside of our community for recreation. Over 23% of families with children in Emeryville live in poverty and over 80% of our school-age children qualify for the free or reduced lunch program. Often times, these families are not inclined to prioritize traveling long distances for recreation facilities.
    The recreation features supported by this grant at the Emeryville Center of Community Life, will improve our community tremendously. Our community families, seniors, working professionals, teachers, and workers will finally have a shared space to come together and connect with one another. We will be able to play on a sports field, socialize on the playground, on the par-course, or in the pool, learn about our environment and healthy eating, and host community events that can accommodate everyone, truly leveraging the State investment with tremendous local support.

    This is an important project that can truly make a difference in our community.

    Thank you for your consideration!