THE WEST OAKLAND COMMERCE ASSOCIATION (WOCA) is the oldest business development and advocacy organization in West Oakland founded and incorporated in 1990. The West Oakland Commerce Association, works to promote the overall health and vitality of West Oakland and the surrounding area through promotion of business and the free enterprise system. 

Our Mission

As a non –profit, 501 (c) (6), volunteer organization to develop, attract and retain business in West Oakland

Program of Work

WOCA is dedicated to ensuring that west Oakland is a safe, secure and attractive place to live, work and do business.  We take a leadership position in planning for economic development and intelligent growth, and serve as an ombudsman and a facilitator to the City in cooperation with other local organizations, residents and agencies.

WOCA acts to create an environment in which business is understood, welcomed and supported in West Oakland by working with residents, other associations, City officials and county, state and federal agencies regarding the fundamental relationship between the quality of life and economic vitality.

Your support allows us to continue to promote, protect and advance the goals of the West Oakland business community.  Without you and the other supporting businesses and individuals, we could not fulfill our mission statement below:

Section 2.02. The mission of this association is to gather information about important issues, determine priorities and inform its members on such issues; to represent the members' interests in the community; to strive to make West Oakland an attractive place to live, work and do business; to provide leadership for economic development; to inform others about the fundamental relation between economic vitality and the quality of life; to use business skills to find long term solutions to local problems; to encourage local employment; and to encourage its members to do business with others in West Oakland.

Accomplishments of WOCA 1990 to Present Time

Stopped the Cypress Replacement Freeway from being replaced at grade, and tripled in width, where the current Mandela Parkway is today. This would have caused massive condemnation of business buildings and property.

Chaired the State and Local Coalition for the Replacement of the Cypress Freeway Replacement, which included the Federal Highway Administration, State of California, County of Alameda, City of Oakland and local residents and businesses.

Pushed the replacement freeway out away from West Oakland, but kept the on and off ramps including Market Street

Kept the 4 traffic lanes on Mandela Parkway from becoming 2 and stopped the excess roadway and median from being sold off for housing

Obtained a plan for landscaping of the median and obtained $15 million to complete work

Stopped Mandela Parkway from being cul-de-saced to the North and getting a $6 million extension to the Emeryville border

Obtained the extension of Mandela Parkway to the South to 3rd street

Saved the Market Street off ramp which was to be demolished

Assisted in marketing over 2.5 million square feet of vacant industrial property

Secured an order from the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC) for the relocation of 30+ acres of trucking from West Oakland to the Oakland Army Base area 

Participated in the General Plan and Zoning updates. Preserved West Oakland "business land". Drafted the 'CIX-1" zone, which allows the maximum number of commercial and industrial uses in Oakland. 

Stopped the City's attempt of using Amortization.  Amortization is the "taking" of land and / or businesses without payment.

Board member of Oakland Commerce Corporation (non profit business retention support).

Board representation on the West Oakland Project Area Committee.

Reduced the Eminent Domain area in the Redevelopment Plan to 1 acre. Advocated against the use of Eminent Domain now and in the future

Continue to advocate for business retention support from the City of Oakland

Created the BusinessAlert partnership with the City of Oakland, CEDA to eliminate public dumping, repair and clean railroad(s) right of way, clean and secure Caltrans properties and other public and private properties (elimination of blight) and to address all local safety and security concerns

The Peralta Biz Committee of WOCA, spearheaded efforts for the multi million dollar renovation of Ramondi Park and tree planting throughout West Oakland

Continue to advocate for positive transportation initiatives, that will benefit West Oakland

West Oakland’s Future  -   High Potential for Positive future change

Fundamental to any repositioning and improvement of an area is a review of the  underlying infrastructure, physical assets, and of streets and zoning, which is occurring now and has significant implications.  

This is truly a time of change, challenge and opportunity and we are here for you, since 1990.

For further information regarding WOCA, please contact

George Burtt, Vice President Internal Affairs

Voice 925-967-8002 or 

via e-mail

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