Let’s Keep Coal Promoter Tagami off the Oakland Police Commission

Phil Tagami is currently a candidate for a position on Oakland’s Police Commission.   This powerful new commission will provide civilian oversight of the Police Department by reviewing and proposing changes to Department policies and procedures, requiring the Mayor to appoint any new Chief of Police from a list of candidates provided by the Commission, and having the authority to terminate the Chief of Police for cause.

Out of an original 146 applicants for the four seats on the commission to be chosen by a selection panel, 28 were selected for second interviews.  Tagami is one of the 28 who made the cut and is still under consideration.

No Coal in Oakland is horrified at the prospect that this man—who proposes to bring toxic coal into Oakland and has sued the City to overthrow its popular ban on coal—could be chosen to represent residents on a city commission.

We are urging Oaklanders to email the selection panel and explain why Tagami is not fit to serve in this position.

Second interviews will be held between August 8 and 14.  We need to let the selection panel know now that Phil Tagami is not qualified for this role.  As soon as we know the date and time of Tagami’s interview, this information will be posted on this website.

Here are the selection panel members and their email addresses:


Tal Klement                           TalKlement@gmail.com

Jim Chanin                           jbcofc@aol.com

Sarah Chavez-Yoell             Sarah@schavezconsulting.com

Shikira Porter                        stiambe@gmail.com

Mary Vail                               4406vailcat@comcast.net

Candice Jessie                     CJessie@oaklandnet.com

Jean Blacksher                    jeanwblacksher@gmail.com

John Jones III                       jjones@curyj.org

Arnold X. C. Perkins            arnold_perkins@yahoo.com

Here are some of the reasons you can include:

Background: Mr. Tagami has a 66-year lease on city-owned property, on which he proposes to build a coal export terminal. Although the Oakland City Council unanimously banned coal storage in the city, Mr. Tagami’s company is suing in federal court to overthrow the ban. Throughout this process, he has demonstrated that he is not qualified to serve on this commission.

A Police Commissioner should tell the truth, should be open and honest, should care about public health and safety, and should prioritize the financial health of our city. Mr. Tagami has shown that he does not have these qualities.

1. Mr. Tagami promised in writing, and personally to a Council Member, that he would not deal in coal. He has shown that his word cannot be trusted.

2. Mr. Tagami kept his coal plans secret until they were leaked to a Utah newspaper. He has shown that he is not straightforward or open.

3. Mr. Tagami’s plans would bring toxic coal to Oakland with two mile-long trains per day, filling our Oakland air with coal dust linked to asthma, cancer, respiratory ailments and other health problems. The burning of this coal at its final destination would accelerate global climate change, one result being the flooding of West Oakland, the port’s facilities, and our airport. Mr. Tagami has shown he is indifferent to public health and safety, locally and globally.

4. Defending against Mr. Tagami’s law suit is costing the city both time and money better used to serve its residents. Mr. Tagami has shown that he values his personal finances above the needs of the people of Oakland.

Please feel free to use any of these arguments, or any others, in emails to the selection panel. Messages are most effective in your own words.

For more information about the Police Commission selection process, see http://www2.oaklandnet.com/government/o/CityAdministration/d/police-commission/index.htm