The Oakland Athletics recently promoted Taj Tashombe to Vice President of External Affairs. In his new role, Tashombe oversees community engagement and outreach for the team’s new ballpark effort.
The new job places Tashombe right in the middle of the A’s new coliseum project and their hopeful plans to build on the Peralta Community College District’s land near Laney College.
Tashombe considers Oakland to be at a major tipping and wants the community to grasp the the gravity of the moment and the positive impact the new stadium will have on education, jobs, crime prevention and re-entry.
“If we miss this opportunity, I don’t know when the next ship is coming because this is the largest project on the table in Oakland,” he said. The 35,000 seat stadium is expected to have its new location established and begin building by the year 2023.
Tashombe says that change is inevitable, however he wants gentrification with equity. Primarily privately funded, Tashombe says the project will yield a $3 billion dollar economic impact on Oakland with 2,000 construction jobs. He is really excited about the creation of partnerships and the possibilities for anyone involved.
“The new stadium will be state of the art with cutting edge technology and we look forward to creating a pipeline for students to be a part of the A’s family in the form of internships while in school and viable jobs thereafter,” he said.
From an infrastructural standpoint, he says the project will create improvements on the surrounding roads, sewage system and buildings.
“The infrastructural impact and development of the loan will be of benefit with the use of Infrastructure Finance Districts which allows new revenue from the ballpark after it’s built, to be poured back into the community so that the cost to the City goes down and there are no new taxes,” he said.
A desire for Oakland residents to have the opportunity to tell their story, leave their legacy and imprint in the lens of past, present, and future is of importance to Tashombe. As Tashombe pushes the new vision for the A’s he feels that his own life story has come full circle since his return to the Bay Area in January, with his wife and 4-year old daughter.
Prior to the A’s, Tashombe worked in conjunction with the NBA on TNT, NFL Sunday Night Football, and MLB Network. He has also worked with big brands such as Toyota, Hilton Hotels and Hyundai.
The Oakland native who once worked as an Oakland A’s intern, is a graduate of HBCU, Clark Atlanta University.
“On campus, I started the Men’s Institution Program, a campaign that promoted the success and dignity of who we are as men, our character, and dreams and the way in which we conduct ourselves in a collegiate environment,” said Tashombe. “We even had Nelson Mandela’s grandson as a part of the organization.”
Tashombe took his leadership skills and gained valuable political and community engagement experience as a special assistant to Congresswoman Barbara Lee, as well as to the Director of Communications at the Port of Oakland. His love of business and entertainment moved him to Southern California for 15 years until a 15-minute meeting with the A’s president turned into a job opportunity.
“I simply reached out to the president of the A’s and asked for a 15-minute meeting – that meeting turned out to be a job offer that changed my life.”
Just as Tashombe walked through the door of opportunity he hopes to help others weigh in on the development and partake in the benefits of the new stadium.
“My dream is for this ballpark to coincide and be very meaningful to the community and I want it to be done in a responsible way,” he added.