Oakland Polluter Donated to Schaaf, Lobbied, Shortly Before Inclusion on “Battle for the Bay” Partners List

Posted on September 19, 2019


2019-09-18_16-56-02A local concrete and asphalt recycling company penalized by the EPA In 2018 for polluting stormwater runoff to the San Francisco Bay was added to Oakland’s Battle for the Bay “partners” list shortly after donating a collective total of 2,000 to Schaaf’s mayoral campaign funds. Argent also gave $9,150 to the Oakland Chamber of Commerce PAC–which spent almost all of its 2018-2019 funds on ousting former District 6 Council person, Desley Brooks. Schaaf made clear in several public statements her aspiration of ridding the council of Brooks in 2018.



In March 2018, Argent Materials was found to have failed to take measures to prevent pollutants from entering stormwater runoff at its East Oakland site. Argent settled with the EPA for a fine of $27,000 in August, 2018. Following the fine, Argent made one donation of $800 to a Schaaf-controlled campaign fund in December, 2018. It was followed by two separate donations from Argent Materials administrators in March 2019—apparently made on the same day.


Argent Materials also appears to have lobbied the Mayor for inclusion on the Partners list via lobbyist Isaac Kos-Read. In an email exchange from August made available through a public records request, Kos-Read asks Schaaf’s staff to schedule a tour of the facility for her, with enough lead time to be included in Oakland’s particpation in the Battle for the Bay, an environmental clean up and publicity exercise alongside the city of San Francisco. Failing that, Kos-Read specifically requests a meeting before Battle for the Bay.



Following, the lobbying and donations, Argent apparently donated 50,000 to the Battle for the Bay, and was added to the partners list. Notably, Argent is the only Oakland-based for-profit corporation–and one of only three for profit corporations–included in the “Partners” section. Following the addition to Battle, Kos-Read sent out a press release that included glowing words from Schaaf and other local officials, and with Argent’s apparent re-branding as “eco-friendly”. Kos-Read is listed as the point of contact.



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