Tagami gets thumbs-down from Police Commission Selection Panel
No Coal in Oakland mobilized in opposition to the possible appointment of Phil Tagami to the new civilian Police Commission. We are delighted to report that the Police Commission Selection Panel did not include Tagami in their proposed slate, which will be submitted to the City Council for final approval.
Tagami offered himself as one of 146 candidates for the commission, and remained in the running when the Selection Panel narrowed the field to 28.
According to one member of the Selection Panel, “The Selection Panel has received over 50 emails in opposition to Phil Tagami, and the message is not lost nor has fallen on deaf ears.”
A couple of dozen NCIO supporters attended Tagami’s interview on August 8. During the Open Forum period, seven people spoke in opposition to Tagami’s appointment. All were succinct, lucid, and pointed in their remarks. Speakers referenced Tagami’s deception, not only about his intentions to transport coal through the Oakland Bulk and Oversized Terminal (OBOT), but also about jobs he deceptively alleged would result from the building and operation of the terminal; and also highlighted the concern Tagami expressed in the interview for the protection of property, not human rights. Several NCIO supporters tried to talk with Tagami in the hallway after his interview, and people subsequently noted in their comments to the panel how disrespectfully he treats people with whom he disagrees: not a good quality for a commission member. Another powerful point was made about the impact on youth if Tagami is appointed—encouraging cynicism about politics and government.
Darwin BondGraham wrote in the East Bay Express that “Sarah Chavez-Yoell, the chair of the selection panel that will determine whether Tagami and others are picked to serve on the police commission, also happens to be the director of the Oakland Builders Alliance, and according to recent disclosure filings with the Oakland Public Ethics Commission, Chavez-Yoell also has worked as a lobbyist directly for Tagami’s company, California Capital Investment Group and the Oakland Bulk Oversized Terminal—Tagami’s company that hopes to build the coal terminal.” NCIO was informed that Chavez-Yoell was on the subcommittee that decided to give Tagami a second interview, but that she recused herself from voting on him.
Between the e-mails sent to the Selection Panel members, the presence of many activists at Tagami’s interview, and the powerful statements in the Open Forum, community opposition to Tagami was strongly expressed. It made an impact on the panel and also received media coverage. This is part of NCIO’s campaign to pressure Tagami to drop his lawsuit and ally with the residents of Oakland in finding a better use for the city’s waterfront property.
For more details, see these articles by Darwin BondGraham in the East Bay Express: