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I moved here a decade ago and am black. I also have neighbors who have historical roots in this community. From all racial backgrounds. And many of the black community were here during the periods when employment existed in the rail yards and Port of Oakland.
While I don't agree with the vandalized style the fence was taken down, I am far from surprised that it occurred.
First the closing of the Recycler without a response to serve the poorer residents. When you leave something sitting, without designing it to completion and not continuously engaging the ENTIRE community and including those activating the Plaza to resolve problems, this is what can happen.
All you have to do is look at who lives in these encampments to measure who is being effected. Promises to engage with nothing coming back to the table.
The one thing most wanted gone is the crime and drug use going on in the Plaza, along neighboring Filbert Streets and Brockhurst Street where there is a senior center and Youth Center within a block from the Plaza. Many of the neighboring activities which are serving the community are the anthesis of activities going on in the Plaza
What's unfortunate is there is no Adult Center because the age group between senior and youth appears to be ignored.
I actually like the Black Joy idea but don't think it should to be just racially motivated. If that was related to Dr King's Day, I am not surprised. The challenges in this community are about poverty across the racial spectrum. Everyone in this community including new residents understand this. It is clear that the people suffering most of these injustices are residents of a predominately black and impoverished community, with higher indices of unemployment and other opportunities.
And weekly cleaning that include defecation not to mention the hundreds of used needles from overwhelming addiction in this community. The Plaza was abused when it was open on so many levels that these discussions, which were inclusive and open to the public were intended to redesign the Plaza and try to get those who brazenly did whatever they wanted to do, with blatant disregard for EVERYONE ELSE. No matter who they were or what group they represented.
Serving JOY for the benefit of ALL PEOPLE within the Community isn't a bad idea, especially if the goal is to bring healthy alternatives to the Plaza and change the environments that remove crime (drug dealing) and behaviors that brought more police action to that little parklet and plagued a community for several decades; long before the gentrification occurred this was here and continues to be here.
Children here need more also; McClymonds just won the State championship and turning around the crime and drug use, dumping and ignoring the for JOY isn't truly a bad thing. But it should be done right.
Long time black residents want these eradicated also. When you have less of this, as one of the elders on Filbert Street told me 'you can't have officer involved shootings when you can keep the police away from the community; keep the crime out and the police don't have to spend tons of time here'.
No one wants their children and family exposed to these behaviors. Black, Hispanic, Asian or White.
Once again, a failure to focus and complete goals to serve the community's needs, serves to embarrass the City. We have folks sleeping under overpasses here. Of course a group of people who are activated to do something to change the subject was and is brewing.
I think the focus should shift the blame from the community. There are those in position who should be working with all of the residents: those who acted and those who want change and to bring everyone to the table.
The divisive nature of this is unnecessary, when all in the community want outcomes not dissimilar. The activists and the residents. In my opinion, that's an exclusive community that recognizes the needs of the poor and under-served and longtime disenfranchised and balances it with the growth and development for change that includes affordable housing and jobs, is what needs mending.
Reality check: The residences who work and pay rent to live in a crime infested hell hole, invested time and energy in obtaining that fence to drive junkies, thieves, and low lifes away from where their children play.
Now entitled journalist who think more about movember than about hour by hour hardships of impoverished youth move to celebrate this vandalism of hope as some kind of social justice victory.
Is it any wonder that people are disavowing cultural Marxists at every turn?
Typical EBX drivel.(Identity Politics) This corner park has been a serious health and safety threat for years, and you know it. Drug dealing, defecation and unhealthy sanitary conditions. I am happy the city is finally doing something about it, I encourage development. Oakland needs to continue to encourage new massive infill market rate development. Maybe EBX should join forces with Indy Bay and safe us all from.....How about setting up camp in front of the home of one of Wells Fargo's board of trustee's. Some of them live here too.
The article also mentions plans for the park's "renovation, using a $456,000 grant, [that ostensibly] would transform the area into a welcoming space for all," but fails to discuss the current status of those plans. Isn't that the heart of the story -- even if a clique of self-appointed arbiters of "Black Joy" meanwhile have a plan of their own that they seek to impose on the neighborhood instead?
If, indeed, "a group of neighbors had complained for years that the sliver of land was a magnet for illegal drug use and crime," why weren't any of them interviewed for this story? For that matter, those neighbors were evidently there for years: were all of them white? As neighbors (not to mention other passers-by) did they find that park intimidating?
A power play is a power play -- a battle for control (with conflicting cultural norms being weaponized by both sides). "Displacement" cuts both ways.
your use of the phrase 'black joy' is disgusting.
Good to see the plaza opened up again as it has been a bastion of black joy for decades. Drug use, prostitution, violence, public defecation and various other forms of black joy on display for the whole world to see.
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Thank you Congresswoman Lee for standing up to an unprincipled, bigoted and immature individual by NOT attending the inauguration - we are a great country because of principled politicians like you!
No one is going to miss you Barbara there.
She's right on the nose with everything.
Bill H raises the salient equation: Who pays for rehabilitating Oakland?
I suggest we take our cue from commonsense (and Tom Paine, while we're at it (Agrarian Justice)).
Land values belong to the community, not to those who nominally own one and another plots of nature. Tax land values heavily, and the owners of land will get that land into use quickly. The rent for the structure will pay for the rehabilitation; meanwhile the land value rents won't go to the mere landlord, they'll be a pass-through from renter through landlord and back to the community where they'll pay for streets, fire protection, and other social services. Renters will get what they pay for: safe, secure housing and work space (the building rent) AND public infrastructure (the land value rent).
And, all that rehabilitating of Oakland's buildings will employ scads of people!
I send her all our Aloha from Hawaii!!!
Still holding out hope? Well stop. It's over! The liberals are parched and dying as they claw through an unending desert of denial. And for the next four years, the Hand of God will be dry.So you may want to save a precious swallow or two.
-What if the building is hazardously noncompliant with building codes b/c of the actions of the tenant, and the tenant is unresponsive to requests by the land-lord? Do they still get paid to leave? (If not, great way to extort).
-What if the tenant is richer than the landlord? (Even greater way to distort).
-What happens in the case of commercial warehouses that are zoned commercial (no variances) and a tenant illegally subleases. When & if the landlord finds this out, will the subtenants still be given protection, and the landlord still forced to pay illegal tenants to move?
I'm guessing/hoping not, but given our reactionary City and how general the article is written it makes it sound like no matter the condition all tenants will be protected, even if they're illegal and even if it violates zoning.
Barbara Lee is extremely disillusioned on the subject of Russia interfering with the election. The entire intelligence community report is nothing more than baseless accusations and conjecture at best. There is no hard evidence of Russia interfering. No recorded conversations from the Kremlin to hackers and no digital forensics released on the hacking. The report even says and I quote
"Judgments are not intended to imply that we have proof that shows something to be a fact. Assessments are based on collected information, which is often incomplete or fragmentary, as well as logic, argumentation, and precedents.
They assess that russia interfered. This is not the same standard as proof that they interfered. This is more "weapons of mass destruction" fairtale like stories to mislead the public and make us less resistant to a future confrontation with Russia.
Oh and those sr intelligence serve at the pleasure of the president and they are non elected officials who do and are not suppose to make policy.
Barbara Lee boycotts for me!
Well, JIM MZT
Rep. B. Lee is courageous person with a moral compass to distinguish between corruption and lies
The reason people live in improvised in law apts and warehouses is because it's cheap and that's all they can afford. The warehouses are only fire traps when you have huge parties in them.
I don't know how the city of Oakland thinks the owners of these properties can afford to bring them in compliance without raising the rents on the existing tenants. The owners are small time not the full time developers with lots of capital. My guess is once they get red flagged by the city and get a few 100-200 thousand dollar bids from contractors they'll just board up the place.
Another big big problem is the Oakland building department. Thy are EXTREMLY difficult and expensive to work with. If you haven't learned personally find out what they're all about by researching past EBX issues concerning the tiny fence a man tried to build on Yosemite St. off Broadway.
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