[Skip to Content]
Port of Oakland Mobile Logo
Full Menu
Image of Board History

Board History

A former governor of California, the owner of a major department store, a prominent attorney, a well-known pharmacist and the proprietor of a busy downtown tobacco shop – their names are woven into the fabric of Oakland history: Dr. George Pardee, H.C. Capwell, Roscoe Jones, Robert Leet and Ben Pendleton.

In 1927 they were celebrated on the front page of the Oakland Tribune as "The Men for the Big Job." They had been entrusted with the unpaid duty of stewarding the city's waterfront as the first members of the new Oakland Board of Port Commissioners.

Two years earlier, under the jurisdiction of a politically divided city council, the municipal harbor had cost Oakland taxpayers $400,000 in a string of annual losses. One year after the appointment of the new independent Board of Port Commissioners, the Port of Oakland could pay its bills from its own earnings—and would remain self-sustaining from then on.

The seven Oakland Port Commissioners, who must be residents of the city, serve four-year staggered terms without compensation. The mayor nominates members, and the city council confirms their appointments.

Port Commissioners exercise exclusive control over the use of – and income from – properties within a 16,645-acre swatch of San Francisco Bay and Oakland Estuary shoreline that stretches from the borders of Emeryville in the north to San Leandro in the south.

The Port of Oakland area includes 665 acres of marine terminals; the 2,500-acre Oakland International Airport, 569 acres of commercial, industrial and recreational land under lease or available for lease or sale and 9,700 acres that are presently under water.

As in 1927, members of the Oakland Board of Port Commissioners are achievers, opinion-shapers and decision-makers. Successful in their professions and actively involved in the betterment of their community, they represent the community's diverse spectrum.

Arabella Martinez
Image of Arabella Martinez
Commissioner
Contact
Joan H. Story
Image of Joan H. Story
Commissioner
Contact
Cestra "Ces" Butner
Image of Cestra
Commissioner
Contact
Contact Us



I have read and agree I have read and agree to the Port of Oakland Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Press Releases
Thumbnail of Port of Oakland Board names new Chief Audit Officer
Port of Oakland Board names new Chief Audit Officer
December 7th, 2018
Oakland, Calif. – Dec. 7, 2018: A longtime Santa Clara County audit and accounting manager becomes the Port of Oakland’s Chief Audit Officer next month.  The Board of Port Commissioners said... READ MORE
Thumbnail of A Port of Oakland export that's winning the trade war
A Port of Oakland export that's winning the trade war
December 6th, 2018
Oakland, Calif. – Dec. 6, 2018: A scrappy little export commodity at the Port of Oakland is winning the battle against global trade headwinds.  The Port said today that scrap paper... READ MORE
Thumbnail of Wings for All® lands at Oakland International Airport
Wings for All® lands at Oakland International Airport
December 1st, 2018
Oakland, California - December 1, 2018: The Arc of the East Bay, Manos Home Care and Southwest Airlines and The Arc of the United States will co-host a Wings for All®... READ MORE
Thumbnail of Jack London Square’s Tree Lighting Ceremony returns Nov. 30
Jack London Square’s Tree Lighting Ceremony returns Nov. 30
November 28th, 2018
See video here. Oakland, CA – November 28, 2018: Jack London Square lights up for the holidays with the annual Tree Lighting Ceremony on Friday, November 30, from 5 P.M. to 8... READ MORE