Agitprop Stunt Spurs Park Action

September 15, 2008

Mysterious Local Activist Slings Mud at City for Stalled Park Project

by Marc Albert

Who did it remains unclear. But after scores of flyers (pictured, left) were pinned to a fence around the future site of a park on Emeryville’s north side, City officials sprung into action. Within 10 days of the flyers being posted – seemingly mocking the City’s lack of progress on the park – residents living near the site received postcards from the City announcing that construction was imminent. The City even launched a park-naming contest. See

The site, bordered by Hollis, 61st, Doyle and 62nd Streets, was declared blighted by the City about 18 months ago. The City seized the property through eminent domain and quickly demolished the building on the site. Dutro Company, a Utah-based maker of hand trucks, employed more than 40 workers at the site before the City shut them down. Now, 1 ½ years after the City took ownership of the property, the only visible improvement is a chain-link fence to keep the public out.

While the flyers were taken down by city employees, according to, they appear to have had an impact on City Hall. Soon after, neighbors of the site received notices that park construction was indeed beginning soon, and the city launched a web-based naming contest which has now concluded. Formal banners have been attached to the fence.

As for those boys and girls of summer looking vainly over the fence hoping to swing a bat or lay on some grass, it’s time to learn that Oakland A’s refrain, “Well, maybe next year.”

Marc Albert has been a reporter at three radio stations and seven newspapers over the past 20 years. An East Bay resident since 1987, he lived in Emeryville from 1997 to 2008 and is still keenly interested in a community he considers home.

One Response to Agitprop Stunt Spurs Park Action

  1. Anonymous on October 5, 2008 at 3:37 am

    Findings of blight are made when the Redevelopment Area is created and the Redevelopment Plan is adopted, not when eminent domain is used. The site was declared blighted whenever the Redevelopment Plan was adopted, not 18 months ago.

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