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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
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Commissioner
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Joan H. Story
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Commissioner
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Cestra "Ces" Butner
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Commissioner
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    Press Releases
    Thumbnail of Port of Oakland looks past pandemic and plans for future
    Port of Oakland looks past pandemic and plans for future
    July 22nd, 2021
    Oakland, Calif. – July 22, 2021: As pandemic restrictions ease, the Oakland Seaport is bursting at the seams with record cargo volume. The traveling public is returning to Oakland International Airport for business and leisure travel,... READ MORE
    Thumbnail of Port of Oakland Board gives President Cluver second term
    Port of Oakland Board gives President Cluver second term
    July 20th, 2021
    Oakland, Calif. – July 20, 2021: The Port of Oakland’s governing Board has given Andreas Cluver a second term as President. The seven-member Oakland Board of Port Commissioners unanimously selected... READ MORE
    Thumbnail of Zero-emissions truck project launches at Port of Oakland
    Zero-emissions truck project launches at Port of Oakland
    July 19th, 2021
    Oakland, Calif. – July 19, 2021: The Port of Oakland and its logistics partners launched a battery electric truck demonstration project this month on its path to zero emissions at the Oakland Seaport. The Port debuted ten new battery... READ MORE
    Thumbnail of Port of Oakland volume spiked 11.4 percent in first half '21
    Port of Oakland volume spiked 11.4 percent in first half '21
    July 16th, 2021
    Oakland, Calif. – July 16, 2021: Port of Oakland first half 2021 total cargo volume increased 11.4 percent over 2020 and forecasters envision no letup. The Port said today it... READ MORE